Arsenal: The A-Z Guide to guaranteed success in 2013/14

Hello and welcome to the very first installment of my Mad
Musings. Most of you know that I barely ever blog and when I do it’s not
because I have to but it’s because I feel the need to.

However, when Dave
approached me to become a part of the Gunners Town crew I simply couldn’t say
no. He has been my blogging guardian angel and hosted both pieces about Arsenal
I had written in the past. Since none of you seemed to have anything bad to say
about them (I suspect you are all just a bunch of very polite people) we
decided that I will run a monthly column on this wonderful site and see how it

Two more games left of this season. Two more
never-ending 90-minute tortures before it’s all over. I think many of you can relate
when I state a simple “THANK DENNIS FOR THAT”. I don’t remember being as eager
to see the back of a season ever in my 14 years of supporting Arsenal. I am not
even going to analyse this season too much because for me it’s simply the one
to get over and done with, and to be deleted from my memory as soon as my old
brain allows. Apart from maybe 5-6 rather shining games I would describe this
season as nothing else but good old bollocks. But enough about that. Today I
would like us all to go back to basics. The alphabet to be precise. I found
myself thinking that the bright future of Arsenal Football Club can be simply
summarised in 26 English letters. Let’s begin our lesson then, shall we?

Arsenal Ambition

Many of our players were ambitious in the past. Many
of those ambitious players opened the door to turn their backs on us and never
came back. We need players who want to succeed HERE. Who want to make history
WITH Arsenal. There are a few I can already name in our current squad but the
more the merrier.


I will not talk tactics here, there are hundreds of
bloggers out there who’ll do it way better than me. Add 2-3 more players and
this squad is technically capable of ripping everyone apart. Our main problem
lies within the Brain. We
simply need Balls. We need to
Believe. Believe we can Be.
Believe we can Beat. Believe and Be Big.


We have been extremely consistent in our inconsistency
over the past few seasons so I think it is about time we learn to be
consistently consistent in our performance throughout the whole season.


And I don’t mean that literally. As much as I love
Abou even I have come to terms with the fact that unfortunately we cannot rely
on him as a player anymore due to his injury record. I wish him all the best
but a new Diaby is needed in this squad. A solid defensive type midfielder who
will stop the nonsense of teams doing whatever they feel like at times
sprinting towards our half of the football pitch. A demolition man. A rock.

European Football

Yes. I want that. I need that. I don’t know Arsenal
without that. And one cannot underestimate the effect that finishing outside
top four might have on the already-fragile mental state of the current squad.
So help us Bergkamp.


This season is a record season for me screaming at my
TV set “Where the hell is everybody?” after yet another Arsenal cross finds
nobody inside the box. I long for that sharp edge of the attacking sword that
will pierce through defenders and goalkeepers running out of nowhere with his
sprinting skills and natural finishing. Come rescue us knight in shining armor!


Aaron Ramsey might not (yet) be the most technically
skilled player in our squad but boy has that kid got the guts! Never shies away
from any situation, always in the middle of things, fighting for every ball
being in attack or in defense. We need more Ramseys in that respect.


It has become a rather worrying trend when our team
comes out onto the pitch looking like they can’t be bothered. The famous
fatigue is becoming too regular a visitor for everyone’s liking. Those kids
have to smell blood and go for the kill every single game irrespective of the
opponent. We have seen them do just that on a number of occasions, it’s only a
matter of C now.


As much as I am a finance world person and enjoy
talking business, in this case I am first and foremost a football supporter. So
my plea is investment in the squad. SHOW ME THE MONEY! Buy quality. Buy to
improve the squad not to patch up existing holes. It’s way overdue. We owe it
to ourselves.


Dear Mr. Wenger. I dare you to exclude this word from
your vocabulary for the season 2013-2014. Yours truly.


Close your eyes. Pretend Arsenal is a man. Now raise
your leg and give it a good kick. Go on, you know you want to. We all get a certain
feeling of stagnation in our club lately so a good kick never hurt anyone in
the long run eh?

Loyal Leader

Who was the last Arsenal leader you thought was a true
one? Tony Adams? Patrick Vieira? Whoever it was for you it happened a long way
back. Longer than any of us want it to be. Mikel Arteta is currently warming up
to our hearts as someone who can temporarily fill that role, but a long term
solution needs to be worked on. Who will it be? Jack Wilshere? Ramsey? Time
will tell. Just hurry up already whoever you are.


Corner stone. Number one problem. All parties need to
make that aspect of our game a priority because that will undoubtedly lead to a
direct improvement of our overall performance. (I am available for motivational
speeches prior to every match day)


Do you ever watch an Arsenal match and catch yourself
thinking, “We think too much!” We often seem to want to be too perfect, to want
things done too properly, too academically. Taking risks in healthy doses
sometimes does pay off. C’ est la vie.

Options or Plan B

Every single team from London to Timbuktu and back
knows how to play against Arsenal these days. And even though it becomes
evident rather swiftly at times we still insist sticking to same tactics, same
substitutions, same style of play. The more time that passes, the less it’s
going to work. Time to broaden our options, time for back-up plans.


The definition as I found it is the best comment I can
give on this: “the essence that makes something the kind of thing it is and
makes it different from any other”.


I, Anna Lvova, an Arsenal supporter of 14 years hereby
grant my squad a license to kill its opponents with ruthless football and
character performances every single match we play. You are not called rip
roaring reds for nothing boys.


Moan, curse, cry,
laugh, jump for joy, chant, sing, hug, argue, debate, pray, love. Whatever
happens we are what we are. Supporters of Arsenal Football Club.


You know those
shiny things teams get when they win something? Yeah, I think one of those
would be nice to get. Even a tiny one. So I don’t have to hear about the “8-year draught” anymore.


A football club is
way more than just 11 players on the pitch and a manager in the technical area.
As hard as it is to achieve, unity amongst every single person related to our
beloved Arsenal no matter who or where they are should be our main target. As
an old Russian saying goes “One
is not a warrior in the battlefield”.


See Options or Plan B


I can already
picture a few of you cringing reading this. You have a right to. However when I
sit down and think what I fear most at the moment and what will have more
serious consequences: him staying or him leaving, there is no doubt in my head
that Arsene Wenger is the man who needs to take Arsenal back to glory and
winning ways. Something deep down inside me tells me that our players think
that, too.

Xtreme measures

I do enjoy Mr.
Wenger’s display of character as of late I must say. Captain and some other
players benched for underperforming, no more silly excuses in the interviews,
it’s bare truth and facts. Keep it up Boss. It’s a cruel world out there.


Yellow away kit.
It’s been too long. A good classy away kit. Nike, Puma, Adidas I don’t care who
designs it, just bring back the sunshine.

Zonal marking

I think it would
be extremely helpful if players of a club that is going on a quest for a
quadruple come next season start paying attention to marking their respective
zones on set pieces, crosses and opponents’ counter attacks. I truly believe
this could work wonders in the end.

There you have it
ladies and gentlemen. 26 easy steps to Gunner happiness.

Now you’ve learnt
my ABCs, tell me what you think of me J

Until next time.

Anna Lvova

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One Response to Arsenal: The A-Z Guide to guaranteed success in 2013/14

  1. Kevin Mayers May 16, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    What no comments? Maybe I just can’t see them yet.. Enjoyed this first piece Anna, following via Twitter too (you poor soul…). Agree with A-C, Diaby – done our best by him but need another Vieira/Yaya type now. I won’t go through all the letters but a Trophy, Motivation, Europe, Hunger & a Finisher – yep I’m with you all the way. Also think Wenger’s is still the man for us. As for the captain’s role, I like Arteta & he’s doing a good job. Many tip Jack as a future skipper but for me it’s Rambo. He’s done it already with Wales (until the sad demise of Speed), has energy, hunger & motivation by the bucketload. Too many dislike him but he’s the epitome of all that is the Arsenal IMO. Re a finisher, if we really are in for Rooney (again he’d be disliked by some) then he’d be on the end of a lot of balls & wouldn’t be muscled out of it.
    I look forward to next month’s mad musings Anna 🙂

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