It’s not the players … it’s the tune

Following on from yesterday’s post, there was a degree of agreement that balance is a crucial factor in the way a team performs.

An extension to that theory would be that the best team may not necessarily comprise the best 11 players. Jeff Beck playing in Black Lace (showing my age 🙂 ) wouldn’t have appreciably improved the music.

Players in their best position and performing to their maximum, surrounded by other players all of who understand their role in the side, breeds confidence … and confidence combined with work rate and ability makes good teams great.

We have the potential with the players currently in the squad to win the league … I have no doubt about that …. we just need them all to be singing from the same song sheet.

Discuss …..



27 Responses to It’s not the players … it’s the tune

  1. Zee says:

    There is very little to disagree with there, Rasper.

    An addendum that may round out your observation is the old adage that a ‘good big un’ will always beat a ‘good little un’.

    It goes to the heart of the unbalanced financial nature of professional football, that pertains in the present era, which inclines the best players to inevitably gravitate to those clubs with the most money [despite FFP supposedly levelling the playing field — which it does not] and as a result those financially well endowed clubs usually have the best teams — who will also meet the criteria you have stated in the Post.

    There are at least three clubs in the Premiership who can be classified as super-rich (you will al know them, but for clarity, they are the two Manc clubs and the Chavs.

    Throughout Europe there are a number of others who can be classified in that way; Barça, Real, Bayern, PSG, Monaco(?) and two or three of the Italian clubs Juve, AC Milan and Inter Milan.

    Which brings us back, full circle, to those fans who ridiculously scream [in my opinion] that ‘we are the Arsenal and we demand the club win the Premiership and the CL’ or similar.

    There is no divine right to ‘win trophies’ and therefore I content myself with expecting that the manager and the team do their best to entertain and win trophies where possible. Which with FA Cups they generally do.

    I reserve the right to have the occasional whinge at the team for poor performances, and at the manager for making some incomprehensible decisions both tactically and in the transfer window – but then, nine of us is perfect. 😀

  2. Rasp says:

    Good points Zee …. but I chuck Leicester into the mix …. we can all dream 🙂

    Incidentally, who are the other eight?

  3. Zee says:

    OK, ‘nine of us’ and all the rest! 🙂

  4. RC78 says:

    I don’t think we have the potential to win the league neither in talent or depth. We can definitely challenge for a Cup and a Top 6 finish though. I think that our glory should come through Europea League this year – it would be a massive boost to the club and I believe that we have the squad and that the players are very hungry to win this trophy.

    For the EPL, Man Utd and Man City seem in a league of their own and Chelsea and Tottenham seem better equipped than us overall but let us see…

  5. RC78 says:

    As for the rest of the post – yes, we need to be in sync – maybe we can ask Justin Timberlake for some tips (sorry for the bad joke…)

    Xhaka is a deep laying playmaker – he needs to be our Alonso/Pirlo but that demands more grit and more vision from him. He can still grow but he can do it.

    We really need another anchorman – one that can get the ball back. Coquelin never fullfilled his promises. I am not sure who can do it in our squad though: El Neny? Wilshere? Chambers? Koli? Holding (that would be a fantastic pun: Holding midfielder….- sorry again)? Maitlands? Debuchy? Anyways – am not sure any of them is ideal but one has to do it until we get our “Kante/Matic/Dier”.

    If we want to play well, we also have to put our players in their best position and for me (sorry for saying it again), we can only do that playing in a 4-3-2-1 set up for most games (against weaker teams, I would play with Ozil, Giroud or Wellbeck upfront together with Lacazette from the start, hence in a 4-3-1-2):

    Cech – Bellerin, Mustafi, Kos, Koli – Xhaka, El Neny, Wilshere (until Santi) – Ramsey, Sanchez – Lacazette

    This team will offer us the best balance and then our bench is providing great options all around the pitch:
    Ospina – Holding, Monreal, Coquelin, Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi, Wellbeck, Giroud

    Against weaker team:
    Cech – Bellerin, Mustafi, Kos, Koli – Ramsey, Xhaka, Sanchez – Ozil – Giroud, Lacazette
    -> Yes, Sanchez to play deeper in this set up as he has the engine and intelligence to play there

  6. Eddie says:

    Thanks for the post Rasp, gosh you are very productive these days 🙂 But I think I have to agree with RC, we are not title challengers. I would love to be wrong, but somehow we still look volatile and inconsistent. The only reason Leicester won the league 2 years ago was them consistently turning up for the games. Ok, the other reason was piss poor performance of other teams.

    I have noticed with interest high scores, ie 5 nil, 6 nil and few 4 goals per gane results. This might be indicative of managers’ perception that there are more than usual contenders for the title and it could go to the wire where the goal difference would matter.

    On for that reason alone I doubt we can win the league this season, we are not known for our scoring abilities, are we?

  7. Rasp says:

    Thanks Eddie. The main thrust of the post was not that we will win the league, but that when our team really clicks as it is beginning to, we are as good as anyone. Our best football is amazing … we just need to produce it consistently, and for that to happen we need balance and harmony 🙂

  8. chas says:

    Cheers, Rasp.
    Balance, unity and all pulling together to sing the same song should do the trick nicely.

    I came across this about The Invincibles season the other day and found it interesting with regard to how few players were used and weird stuff like Wiltord preferred to DB10 at the beginning of the season.

    I’d imagine that these days, more players from each squad are used compared to even 2003/4.
    Leicester being a notable exception which partly accounted for their success.
    Now I come to think of it, the chavs had virtually no injuries last season and consequently fielded a settled team throughout.

    Sorry, off on a tangent again.

    Here’s that article….

  9. Rasp says:

    Thanks chas, yes, I’m sure consistency and ‘familiarity’ both go hand in hand with a settled first team 11.

    I looked at your link….. Pascal Cygan featured in The Invincibles season …. and we still went unbeaten 😆

  10. Rasp says:

    No one picked me up on my black lace fetish 😳

  11. Rasp says:

    😂 that’s my theme tune chas 😂😂

  12. chas says:

    I can imagine Black Lace doing this one, too.

  13. chas says:

  14. chas says:

  15. Eddie says:

    what did hector say to Corbyn? apart from thank you for your support bit

  16. LB says:

    It was a pleasure to meet you. It’s better that we do not tell him what we were talking about, he will not understand. Well played in Sunday’s game.

    Thank you Mister Corbyn it was a pleasure to meet you. Of course what was said stays with us!

  17. neamman says:

    PLEASE dont tell me that dozy prat Corbyn is an Arsenal fan????? Ok thats it.. next time |Im back Im off to see Orient!!

  18. chas says:

    Thank heaven for that.

  19. chas says:

  20. Gööner In Exile says:

    My tuppence on this andthe previois post, well in fact it’s Chas’s tuppence because I don’t think I can better it:

    “When Ozil and Ramsey play in the same team, they do seem to leave us short in midfield defensively. This doesn’t make a huge amount of sense because Ozil doesn’t play in midfield as such.
    It’s almost as if Ramsey wants to vie for the limelight higher up the pitch and consequently shirks his defensive duties.”

    That for me was the difference vs Chavs, Ramsey was not constantly making lung busting runs taking himself out of the game whilst hopeful of a delivery from Ozil, at the same time he was near Xhaka able to help him out of tight spots. We played some very nice triangles out of midfield using wing backs and Ramsey because Ramsey was there and not 30 yards further up the pitch.

    I love both players, and they can both play in the same team, but a lot of the responsibility lies with Ramsey to go up the pitch at the right time and certainly not every time we have the ball which seemed to be his mission at Anfield.

  21. Gööner In Exile says:

    So Spuds managed to fill one third of Wembley last night ……..

  22. chas says:


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