*A little announcement first as I have finally set up the blog's Facebook page so go ahead and 'like it' here: https://www.facebook.com/arsenalwildinnocent. It would be greatly appreciated, thank you!*
Now onto the real reason you are here ( I think..).
We are Arsenal fans, and as such have become accustomed to 'nice' football, fast incisive play with a view to scoring.....eventually. While most enjoy and praise our brand of football, there have always been the naysayers sitting in the dark corner dissenting at each and every opportunity. They say things such as 'yeah it's pretty but its not effective' or 'whats the point in playing well if you don't win anything'. First of all this is complete bullshit. Now, allow me, if you will, back up my assertion with a rebuttal; 1) Why can't you win playing 'nice' football?, why is there some strict belief that playing well doesn't equate to points on the board? 2) The best team, arguably, in the modern era played 'nice' football- Barcelona (who we beat, playing 'nice' football, by the way) and arguably the Premier League's greatest team played 'nice' football- Arsenal 03/04 and 3) Why are so many managers now trying to get their teams playing 'nice' football?
It is one of those blanket statements that people make that really have no basis in fact that irritates me. Why is it that when a team who doesn't play 'nice' football, say Chelsea, it's not down to their style of play? I never hear, (apart from the odd rumblings from fans), pundits, journalists and the like say 'they didn't win because they played too defensive, or too long ball'.
Most times when Arsenal lose there is a mention about the style of play, about the 'tippy tappy' nature of our game and how that prevents us from scoring a goal. Now, sometimes this is true and as fans, we have all been there, shouting at the T.V or the pitch; 'JUST SHOOT!!' That's natural and sometimes it does prevent us from scoring and sometimes the passing nature of our play is perfectly suited to the oppositions strengths. However, that is true for every team. No team is perfect; no team can go a season without losing a League match (Well, besides Arsenal in 2003/04, that is). They will all lose at some point; but its not always down to the fact that Arsenal play 'nice' football. Sometimes, you know, the opposition is just better.
Why is there such a backlash, at times, against teams for trying to play 'nice' football, and to make games exciting? Although they may ultimately fail, why blame a team for trying to take the initiative and being positive after they lose? Why not go after the teams who don't try and be positive in their play? Or better yet, why don't people who analyze games relax about how the team likes to play and focus on the reasons the team lost that day. It is not always down to a particular 'philosophy' ( I hate when managers and fans use that word).
You might argue that playing in a certain manner allows the opposition plan and set up accordingly, but I would counter that with the fact that teams who play 'nice' football are all about movement and creativity, and, therefore they also perfect the art of playing in tight spaces. They plan for a well marshaled, deep back four as much as the opposition will plan to stop all the 'nice' football. Why isn't there anyone saying that Mourinho is as predictable as Wenger, as he always lines up defensively? Sure, the details may change but the narrative is always the same with Mourinho. If Wenger doesn't 'do' defence then Mourinho doesn't 'do' attack.
Now onto the reason for my ranting, which is to say that it was refreshing to hear Ronald Koeman criticize Mourinho for being too defensive and basically what I was saying in the last couple of sentences above. Here is what he said via Goal;
"Chelsea prefer to defend when attacking is also an option,"He makes a good point, and I said something similar when both Chelsea and Arsenal were knocked out of the Champions League last season on twitter (I do say some things of note, every now and then) ;
"Mourinho always chooses to defend. Even if his team goes 1-0 up, they would rather defend their lead than try to score more goals.
"Yet Arsenal can kill an opponent. That is why their victory against Manchester United was so impressive.
"Attacking-wise, they completely destroyed United. For 20 minutes, they played the most fantastic football, while Chelsea do the opposite thing.
"By defending, Chelsea give their opponent a chance to come back in the game. It was a shame that Mourinho was putting attention on the referee after we beat them.
"He wanted to have a penalty in the first half. But, in the first half at Stamford Bridge, Southampton should have had two penalties."
"Question; Wenger gets slaughtered for going too attacking against Monaco, Shouldn't Mourinho be killed for going too negative against 10 men?"
It's a strange football environment we live in where it seems that to go out and try do something the right way only wins you more criticism. Everyone talks about liking 'nice' football, but when they see it they criticize it. Anyway its a question for serious men.
By the way I kept highlighting 'nice' football for no reason at all, it just seemed like something I should do to make up for my laziness in not using another adjective.
Right I'll Leave it there- Remember if you like the blog or any of my posts please do share them as it would be greatly appreciated! Also comment below, plenty to talk about, if only to criticize me for many of the reasons you should do!
Have a good one!
Subjectively, Cosmic Kid.