Short Term Form and Knee Jerk Criticism

During our poor start to the season and generally throughout the season Arsène Wenger has faced many criticisms, one regular complaint is about players we should’ve or could’ve signed.

I myself don’t mind a bit of “I’d like to see him in an Arsenal shirt” chat from time to time…..but unlike Arsène I only have MotD highlights, and media hype to go by.

Remember when we drew with Fulham at home and Arsène received much ridicule for claiming not to know Berbatov was available? I’m sure you do everyone was laughing, everyone ignored Gary Neville’s article on the subject supporting Arsene’s answer.

Anyway at that stage Berbatov was setting Fulham alight and earning all the plaudits in the press…”if only we had signed him” came the cries from the disenchanted. 5 goals, 3 assists in 7 games, Fulham had a bargain, what has been largely ignored is since then he has amassed a grand total of 8 goals and 0 assists from 20 games, and for the 7 games immediately after their trip to the Emirates he managed 0 goals and 0 assists. It should also be noted that apart from his first appearance of the season he has started every game he has appeared in.

Have a glance to the stats on the right and look at Olivier Giroud, 10 goals and 3 assists in the PL from 29 appearances, only 17 of which have been starting appearances. Should Arsene have bought a 32 year old known to be lazy centre forward or a keen and willing 26 year old?

On the stats and looking further ahead than the end of summer of 2012 I’d say he probably made the right decision.

I’m sure if I did a bit of digging through the stats of other players I would find similar dips in form, but I ask all those that moaned about us not signing Berbatov, do you think the criticism was justified? And do you still want him now?

Gooner in Exile


68 Responses to Short Term Form and Knee Jerk Criticism

  1. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning to you all,

    Nice one GIE, all players are likely to suffer a dip in form, a certain Dutchman is a case in point…nine games now without a goal. Before anyone says anything about Manure’s winner at Sunderland, it’s been officialy credited as an own goal by Bramble. Maybe the bubble has burst and Wenger will again be proved right in selling an unreliable player.

  2. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Hello….. is anyone there?……Knock once for yes, twice for no….Knock! Knock!……so there’s nobody there! Spooky…..

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Clubs with real ambition such as Liverpool and Chelsea sign players like Sahin, Joe Cole and Marin.

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sorry, nice work GiE. Thank you.

  5. FIRST!

    Is anyone there?
    Knock! Knock!

    Nope, only me it seems.

  6. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Big Al,

    You can have my first place if you like.

    Knock! Knock!….. I’m not here now either.

  7. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Its a bloody knocking shop 🙂
    Morning Norfolk et Al

  8. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Re Berbatov. Can’t really comment on his overall game and contribution without his youtube clips at hand 🙂

  9. Manthan says:

    Gie Great Post,

    Let’s take it other way around, suppose we would have bought Berbatov and Giourd would have went to other team. Then people would have criticized wenger for buying old player even tough young and LIgue 1 Top scorer was available. This situation is like you are on the boat and both the side there is deep Ocean, Jump on either side you will drown. People will always criticize him, I still believe in him. Wenger is still Maestro in getting great players in cheap price.

  10. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Thanks for the post GIE.
    I was never one to complain about not getting Berbatov as i think buying players at his age is a backward step for our club, unless it was a stop gap purchase with another striker in mind.

    That said, Berbatov currently sits on 13 goals and 4 assists in the EPL. Even if you take away the 2 goals and 1 assist against us, he still leads Giroud in the stats.

    I recognise the dip in form and the amount of starts and appearances he has had till now but there will always be the arguement that Berba would score more than he currently has, in a team like Arsenal where the service would be much much better than that of Fulham (Santi, Jack v Duff, Sidwell).

    I also think that Berba and Giroud are two completely different players. Giroud being more of a battering ram, where as Berba plays an intricate style of football that may be better suited to our philosophy.

    Either way, im glad we didnt buy him. I do like his style when he is on form, but he also has a similar lazy style to that of Arshavin………… lets not go there.

    Again, cheers for the post.

  11. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Has everyone gone around to Peaches place to help in the garden?

  12. No-one else want to mention Lennon’s injury?
    What about Bale’s injury?
    OK then… Lennon and Bale picked up injuries yesterday.

    But you all knew that really, didn’tcha?

  13. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Knock! Knock!

  14. Norfolk Gooner
    Back to you – I’m knocking off for a while… 🙂

  15. Gooner In Exile says:

    Afternoon all, football in t-15 hours…..hoo-bloody-ray!!!

  16. GunnerN5 says:

    Not sure what to make of this but AW has not held a pregame news conference, all I’ve been able to find is snippets of information from Steve Bould. I wonder if he is boycotting news conferences after he got upset at the pre-Bayern conference?

  17. GunnerN5 says:


    I think that AW would have been reluctant to sign Berbatov – even if he was on a free. Technically he would have been fine but his work rate would have been unacceptable

  18. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My sources tell me that Arsene is reluctant to go in front of the cameras for fear of breaking out in hysterical laughter over the Spud injuries.
    Some foul journo could easily bring up the subject and trigger the reaction.

  19. Didier says:

    I am one of the people that criticized AW for not buying Berbatov and I still do! I am also one that never doubted the ability of Giroud. The thing is, it was never a question of the one over the other. For the sum that Berbatov went for, we could have had both VERY comfortably. Berbatov was always to be a short term solution so a 2 year deal could have been struck especially when we had the trump card of Manure wanting RVP so badly! In fact we could have had him for free! We dropped a lot of points in Oct/Nov that we should have never dropped and with an extra option of Berbatov caliber, we certainly would have.

  20. Didier says:

    …wouldn’t have!

  21. GunnerN5 says:

    Be good now and say 50 times –

    “I must not take the Micky out of the poor old Spuds”.

  22. MickyDidIt89 says:

    No, I won’t.
    Its Friday, and its very very funny 🙂

  23. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My “reply” box has just come in line with GiE’s Projection table. I see it now has in 6th below Pool.
    Really is Friday 🙂

  24. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Didier,
    I see where you are coming from, but if AW had listened to me and always had Podolski as an either/or striker with Ollie, rather than out left, I’m sure that would have been a better option than Berbatov.

  25. MickyDidIt89 says:

    While Rasp is not around, I do look at some of the boxes on the right and
    Wish we had a league table, and season fixtures and results.
    Call me old fashioned 😦
    I mean “recent comments”?!

  26. chas says:

    Cheers, GIE.

    Berbatov isn’t a Wenger type signing.
    He’s too old and smokes to many gitanes without taking them out of his mouth.

    Besides the purple-beaked, donkey jacket-wearing Caledonian would have loved the idea of selling to Fulham where he could perhaps take some points from manyoo’s main rivals.

    The mancs had already played Fulham at home in August before Fulham signed him and miraculously in February, Berbatov missed the Fulham v manc game at the cottage with a ‘hamstring injury’, even though he managed to appear in both fixtures either side of the manc game.

    Another thing I find amusing is the current list of players we ‘have’ to sign to make us into title challengers once again. They change so regularly, it’s ridiculous. Look at LG only 1 year ago and the list will be completely different to today’s list.

  27. chas says:

    I think the ‘recent comments’ widget is a wordpress thing (though I may be talking out of my derriere).

    Besides I’ve seen some belting comments because of it. Occasionally posters comment on blogs a few days old (usually with a large bee in their bonnet) and that widget makes them stick out as the name of a different post sticks out like a sore thumb.

    Apologies for too many similes etc. all a bit Gael Clichy.

  28. I’ve never looked at any of the boxes on the right.
    A league table, season fixtures and results is what we need.

    I mean… League Projection. What’s that when it’s at home?
    Daft I call it.


  29. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Baked beans are good for your heart
    Baked beans make you fart
    The more you eat, the better you feel
    Baked beans are really UNREAL

  30. Evening all – GiE a very valid point you raise about the “Why didn’t we sign so and so” on the basis of very little,

    So, the Spud Simian out for at least 2 weeks only, any chance of a relapse would be handy. 🙂

  31. Big Raddy says:

    Out most of today but at last a few moments to feed my addiction.

    GIE. I agree Berbs is a fine player but doesn’t understand the word “team”. Hence the freeze out at MU – a club desperate for a creative forward (at the time)

    And what of Sahin at L’pool? Loads of AFC fans wanted him (me included) huge signing on fee, massive wages, rubbish return for the money. We dodged a bullet.

    But I would very much have liked to sign Mata & Vertoghen

  32. GunnerN5 says:


    Totally agree Mata and Vertonghen were both big misses, but we now have Cazorla and Monreal, although Nacho is not in the same class.

  33. MickyDidIt89 says:

    We want a fixture list
    We want a fixture list
    We want a fixture list
    And when do we want it?
    Well any time that is most convenient, naturally.

  34. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Here’s a prediction: we will be two points ahead of Spuds before Bale returns.

  35. chas says:

    Another reminder that modern football supporting consists of the joyless obsession for what constitutes success. Everyone is so caught up with the pressures applied by expectancy that for most the whole experience becomes torture.

  36. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Success used to constitute making it to the game sober enough to actually be able to see what was going on.
    Today’s success is to make it through a full 45 without needing a wee.

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Are you training or motoring for the Norwich game, as I’ll be boogying on down from Birmingham. Oh joy.

  38. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Got a plan.
    Next week, we all agree to meet here on the hour and cut out the gaps. 🙂

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Wow Chas 7.53. That was heavy, man….

  40. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. It has been very quiet of late. Not much to do about it that I can think of. Some regulars of missing, some not blogging much and others have nothing to say.

    Things will change soon on the run in I hope. Thankfully the core are still active

  41. RockyLives says:

    I have nothing to say.

  42. RockyLives says:

    Dammit, I just said something. Now I’m confused.

  43. RockyLives says:

    There has been some sterling work with Posts this week.

    Another good conversation starter today GiE – many thanks.

    I wouldn’t have minded a little bit of Berba action for a year or two – but with the signings of OG and Pod it was never likely to happen.

    As to the general point – as soon as someone starts listing the players we “must sign” to achieve success I switch off.

    If there’s a strong rumour or whatever it can be fun speculating about a player’s merits, but the “I can’t believe we didn’t sign X, Y or Z” is just silly.

  44. RockyLives says:


  45. Big Raddy says:

    We must sign Messi

    There I have said it and now I must take my leave……

  46. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rocky: “I wouldn’t have minded a little bit of Berba action for a year or two”
    Don’t sound too confused to me 🙂

  47. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Shit, I’ve left a gap. Again!

  48. chas says:

    Ant and me are training for Norwich as Jon is sorting JC.
    See you there.
    We are also planning for a day of drink and away day debauchery at West Brom tomorrow. 🙂 Shame Fulop’s not playing, he could single-handedly win us CL qualification again.

    For some reason I strolled on to a spud blog, dearmrlevy and that was a direct quote from his spud v Basel match report. It just seemed very similar to the internet experience of following the Arsenal these days. I thought I would post it and see what the reaction was. 🙂

  49. chas says:

    Whoops sorry, too much of a gap for anyone else to be awake blog-wise.
    Anyway, up the Arse, or whatever takes your fancy on a Friday night.

  50. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all, maybe we should face facts and realise that the glory days are over Arsenal fans (Internet based) are shifting support from the club and we are left with core Arsenal fans whose support is deep rooted and immovable. (I’m not including 26May in this bracket 😀 )

    I’ve been spending a day with the black sheep of the family my Uncle the Spud, I made sure George was suitably attired for the day….pics to follow.

  51. RockyLives says:

    I hope as George grows up he comes to know him as “Uncle Spud”

  52. Haha Rocky, so do i, there was much ribbing about the whole Spud team getting injured in the last minute 😀

  53. RockyLives says:

    Brilliant pic GiE.

    Very cute baby.

    Your wife must be a looker 🙂

  54. RockyLives says:

    I always have a small bet on the Grand National and I always try and find a name with Arsenal connections.

    So this year I’ve plumped for Rare Bob… Which makes me think of Bobby Pires (although would also work for Willow, McNab…)

  55. Andy Mack says:

    We all know that if he’d joined us, berba would have picked up a major injury in the 1st month and been out for the season. That’s just our luck.

  56. GunnerN5 says:


    Our rarest Bob has to be –

    Bob John 1922-1937 – 470 games, 3 titles, I FA cup.

  57. RockyLives says:

    Haha – that’s brilliant Gn5

    If my horse wins I’ll raise a glass to the man.

  58. MickyDidIt89 says:

    At long last…we’ve made it 🙂
    And I’m going to miss it. Thing is, I missed the last one, then watched it on Arsenal Player and the picture was so much better than a stream.
    Question is? Could it be possible to avoid all contact until tomorrow in order to watch the match “live”, or do I cave in, and and keep a radio in my ear?

  59. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Have a great day and say Hi to Ant.
    Any chance of Ant ‘n Duck giving us some live feeds?

  60. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all! It’s finally a football day!!! Woo to the hoo.

    Chas your game count this year must be high, quite a few away trips…i’ve always fancied going to the Hawthorns, seem like a good bunch of fans (except Chiles) but away tickets never make it past ST allocation.

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Agree Micky. The Ant n Duck show was very amusing as they got progressively worse for drink.

    I sometimes go on a Spurs blog to read what my nephew writes (The Spurs Community). The comments are so funny

  62. chas says:

    Greetings Goonerlings.

    Micky, you avoiding all contact with the score reminded me of that Likely Lads episode where they bet someone they can avoid finding out the score of the England game and it’s rained off. 🙂

    GIE, we’ve just gone over the 15 plus mark for away points (accumulated over last couple of seasons) which makes a few more games ticket-gettable. Some don’t even go below Away Scheme members and 20 plus away points.

    We’re in cattle class today to Birmingham as the tickets were £17 day return as opposed to £56 return in Iain Dunky Smith class. 🙂
    No free wifi unfortunately, but I’ll see what we can do.

  63. Big Raddy says:

    Post finished. Now a relaxing few hours pre-match.

    kelsey. Where are you? – you used to be one of the early morning crew.

    evonne. What happens to your dogs when you spend all this time in Poland?

  64. evonne says:

    GiE, he is an absolute beauty!!!! Even my cold blooded mother agreed that George is gorgeous

    match day!!!!!!!!!!!!

  65. evonne says:

    Hiya Raddy! I have to go to Poland, mother is very old and when she is still around I won’t go anywhere else. My almost ex looks after older dogs and cat, and bees and Bambi staffie shredder goes to a dogsitter, expensive, but excellent

    I am soooooo looking forward to a Raddy today, it’s been a long long time …..

  66. Rasp says:

    Morning all ……..

    ……. New post …….

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