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Arsenal, Simply the best?
04 May  2004

Saturday's game was an odd, anti climax after the title win at White Hart Lane the week before.
But I suppose it was to be expected. Birmingham will have been well chuffed to have come away with a point. Putting 11 men behind the ball you, could tell they had turned up simply to grab what they could and pray they didn't get hammered by an Arsenal team who might have been on a high after winning the title.

They were lucky, we clearly couldn't get motivated. Birmingham defended well don't get me wrong, they did what they had to do, but we didn't even bother to have a shot on target.
Fingers crossed we wake up a bit during the last three games or we will get beat. Portsmouth are in good form and will have seen how we played Saturday and will see if they can play on that as much as they can.
But don't be surprised if we see three more games like Saturdays to end the season.

Of course now the title has been won, the question all reporters and pundits are asking now is, is this Arsenal side the best league side England has ever seen? A question which has rattled every Man Utd fan in the country, which in itself is very amusing. They have been falling over themselves to argue back, to bring up the treble side, to point out that we need to win back to back titles to be classed as the best.
But they all seem to be missing the point and the question.
Is this Arsenal side, as it stands here and now, not over two seasons, not including other cups, but this team right now, are they the best team the league has ever seen?
I don't really want to go into it myself, but I have enjoyed seeing this question get so many people's backs up, all wanting to put their own teams forward for such a title.
But my own personal opinion is that they are the only team to win the title without losing a game, that surly says it all. They were unbeatable.
The only team to even come close to that record......oh look Arsenal 1991, losing just one league game all season.
So please put your Treble winning teams away, your European Cup winning teams back in the correct catagory and let's just go with the facts of the subject in hand shall we.
(Don't you just love stirring it a bit....)

And as we come to the end of the season, it's rumour time in the transfer market.
Some of which already have been so laughable it's been madness to have even read such things.
The best so far I think is Owen to Arsenal.

I can never in a million years see that happening.
Owen isn't good enough. Simple as that. I have never rated him as highly as most. He is a good goalscorer and will go on to score loads more goals during his career, but I don't think there is that much to his game, well at least not as much as is made out.
I don't think he is good enough, quick thinking enough, or creative enough to even get on the Arsenal bench. He certainly doesn't play the fast moving passing game we play. Too often he needs a second touch, this wouldn't fit in our team. One touch football has become a trademark of ours and Owen would struggle. There also seems to be this on going problem (I think) with Owen about who can be his striking partner, he has yet to find one after all these yeasrs that really works well with him. Please no one call out Heskey, it's hardly been a partnership that scares the life out of defences, which lets face it should be the case of any striking partnership involving Owen if his reputaion is to be believed. He has never had a partner who will chip in with the goals as well as him. The same goes for when he plays for England. He has never settled with anyone along side him. Something that has lead me to believe (pretty much on my own it has to be said) that Owen should in fact be dropped from the England team. We could go on and on trying to find the ideal striking partner for him, or we could scrap the whole idea with him and find two people who can play together and get some real results. That train of thought will of course get many peoples backs up. The basic thought in this country is that Owen is our only real forward and without him where the hell would the goals come from. Well imagine an England team with a proper striking partnership, twice as deadly, surly? Owen simply can't play with anyone up front with him. Even when England play Scholes as his supplier, it's not been deadly has it. Owen plays for Owen, he doesn't know how to play with anyone. Look at the danger Rooney causes when he plays, he never has the trouble Owen seems to have playing with others. Look at the damage Defoe did when he played Sweden. Even Vassell causes more problems. Everytime Smith has played a bit of passion has been added to the side, all these players offer more than Owen, and given a run in the side........they would offer the goals as well.
I would love to see Smith and Rooney or Smith and Defoe......opps sorry far to exciting and adventeous for a Sven team. I take that all back.

Anyway...

No I could never see Wenger even thinking about Owen.
Nor could I see Gerrard coming to Highbury, something else that has been banded about.
Gerrard is a really great player, but again I honestly don't think we have a space for him. We need an Edu next to Vieira, not a Gerrard.

No doubt there will be loads more big names attached to Arsenal over the summer. But I don't think a big name is on Wenger's list this summer. I think he is happy with what he has got. He will bring in a couple more young up and coming players and mould them into the team much the same way he has with so many before.

A couple of weeks ago I did have this feeling Beckham would be a surprise signing.
Madrid seem to be rather annoyed that Chelsea have the bigger spending power at the moment, and I did think that maybe they would sell him to us (if they let him go) complete with letting his buy out clause be wavered just to annoy them. But I think that thought has long gone now.  I think they would be happy to take their money to fund what now looks like a bit of a rebuilding task.

Whatever happens I think it will be another interesting summer of spending.

The Ginge

andyw@theginge.com
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