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Time the Vieira Witch Hunt ended.
25 January  2005

Paddy Vieira has played roughly 25 odd games for Arsenal this season.
Lets say that every single one of those games he has played in he has been as bad as I have been lead to believe. And let's add to that roughly 10 odd games before this season that he has not been as good as we know he can be. That is around 35 off games Vieira has had for the club since he joined us.

My god. What a moaning bunch we have become.

I have been totally amazed by some of the things I have read since Vieira turned down his chance to move to Madrid. Everyone has a different train of thought as to why he didn't go. The truth of the  matter is, only Paddy knows. That is a fact. No one else does other than him. Only Paddy can say why he suddenly changed his mind in that final hour.
What we do know is he stayed. Which is what we all bloody wanted.

He stays and people turn against him.

Paddy started the season injured. He missed some pre-season. Any player will tell you that if you miss pre-season, your miles behind the pace when you do finally come back. Paddy came back and was off form. He wasn't the player we knew he could be.

"Oh well that must be because of the whole Real Madrid thing".

Err..no. He became injured pre-season.

Paddy then carries on playing while injured on his comeback. And like any payer, his game suffers as a result. Wenger comes out and says he brought him back to early. Honest and fair enough. But again his form is blamed on the fact he didn't go to Madrid.
Wenger is accused of covering up for his captain (who according to most no longer deserves the armband).

People start to become annoyed and are more than happy to go along with the train of thought that Paddy no longer has the love for the club he once had. Simply because of his form.

The internet then becomes a circus and it's open season on Vieira. "He only plays for himself" was one mad comment I read. "We are better off with Flamini and Fabregas". "Edu plays like he wants to be at the club" was one I also read....I will come back to that in a minute. Someone should be eating their words now.

Paddy is a disgrace, shouldn't be the captain, doesn't love the club and should be rubbed out of Arsenal history forever.

Will you all just listen to yourselves for a second.....

The bloke had some bad games. What, is he not allowed his first real drop in form in an Arsenal shirt since he joined? Give the man a chance will you. For what ever reason Paddy chose Arsenal over Madrid.....for whatever reason. We were the better option. Simple as. End of story. He wasn't the first player to have his head turned by Madrid, and god he won't be the last. But he saw what he preferred and stayed. The joke is, all these people who are now slating him would do exactly the same thing in Paddy's boots. Who wouldn't. No matter who we all support, who we love....how many times to Real Madrid knock on your door...
What is so disloyal about wondering if you could cut it in the Spainish league against the likes of Barca and Valencia.

And so to the last couple of games. Paddy has started finding his feet, started controlling games. Started winning man of the match awards.
And all of a sudden it's quiet on the "we hate Vieira" front. What has amazed me is that most of the people moaning haven't moaned about the team playing badly, just Paddy.

But what has got me more annoyed than anything is the sheer silence of all these people who questioned Paddy's loyalty during the resent sagas involving Edu.
Now if any of you really wanted to moan about anything....here is your chance. Edu IS turning his back on the club. IS openingly saying he wants out. IS holding the club to ransom....and no one has said a word.
Here is a player taking the piss out of the club we love far more than Paddy was accused of and no one wants to comment. Yet this was the player you were all turning too.

I read that sticking up for Vieira at the moment shows "Paddy worship" and a blind faith. It's seen as weak to talk on the side of Vieira. Papering over the cracks or something like that. So be it. The way I see it is people are turning on a player they cheered on only months ago, and their only real reason for hating him is becuase he stayed at the club.

Hows that for a riddle.

Sigh...


The Ginge
andyw@theginge.com
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