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Still Since 2002 (Mid-Week Review, Weekend Preview): EPL Talk Podcast

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If we learned anything in the wake of the Carling Cup Final, it’s that six weeks is a long time. At least, that’s what’s implied every time Arsenal’s silverware drought is evoked. But if six years really is so long in Premier League years, how long is nine, because that’s how long it’s been since Manchester United won at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea’ 2-1 win Tuesday over the league-leaders.

To talk about that result, the FA Cup replays, and the upcoming weekend’s action, I was joined by my co-hosts, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Laurence McKenna. We focus on what was Chelsea’s best performance of 2011 while making our way to a look at this weekend, action that will be dominated by the season’s third North West Derby, Manchester United visiting Anfield.

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Still Since 2002 (Mid-Week Review, Weekend Preview): EPL Talk Podcast

EPL Talk Podcast Logo draft 300x242  Still Since 2002 (Mid Week Review, Weekend Preview): EPL Talk PodcastIf we learned anything in the wake of the Carling Cup Final, it’s that six weeks is a long time. At least, that’s what’s implied every time Arsenal’s silverware drought is evoked. But if six years really is so long in Premier League years, how long is nine, because that’s how long it’s been since Manchester United won at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea’s 2-1 win Tuesday over the league-leaders.

To talk about that result, the FA Cup replays, and the upcoming weekend’s action, I was joined by my co-hosts, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Laurence McKenna. We focus on what was Chelsea’s best performance of 2011 while making our way to a look at this weekend, action that will be dominated by the season’s third North West Derby, Manchester United visiting Anfield.

This entry was posted in General, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Still Since 2002 (Mid-Week Review, Weekend Preview): EPL Talk Podcast

  1. JC says:

    I agree, not a bad penalty call, but had it NOT been called, i could have accepted that too. Regardless, I have no sympathy for United, they are as lucky as any team in the league when it comes to getting calls in their favor.

    I thought Scholes and Fletcher were poor for the majority of their time on the pitch, and I’m surprised you didn’t touch on it. Maybe you disagree. Either way, great job as always. Thanks for doing it!

    • Andrei says:

      Well what we learned on Tuesday is that Arsenal is not the only team that disintegrates under physical pressure and when going gets tough. United didn’t do particularly well with Chelsea trying to kick them off the field and were pretty much out-muscled in the second half. Surprising? Not really. It is just not often that we see the opposing team trying to bully United and ref letting them get away with it.

  2. Robert Hay says:

    Gents, I have to disagree with your Arsenal assessment and point out that your commentary is exactly what puts Arsenal in a no-win situation.

    First, the tactics. Do Arsenal think their tactics are better than the traditional rough-and-tumble English tactics? Yes, no doubt, and there is a legitimate argument to be made that they are. However, the same commentators (not you folks but others on FSC, ESPN etc) are the quickest to jump all over Arsenal about their red card record or their hard fouls. The talking heads who mock Arsenal’s pure play are the same ones who decry the Henry-Viera-Pires clubs for being so dirty. Arsenal can’t have it either way.

    As for the current club, I think you are overlooking the big reason the club doesn’t have “IT” to win a trophy. Their only trophy winner is Gael Clichy. Their main clogs have no trophies to their names, and while this cannot be measured in statistics it makes a huge difference for these players to know how to win a trophy. Man U-Chelsea win trophies constantly because of tactics and talent, but because they know how to win as well. Arsenal need, honestly, a captain who knows how to win a trophy. Maybe there aren’t many out there, but they need to either find one, or get over the hump themselves.

    • Laurence says:

      Robert,

      I see your point in the second paragraph. There does seem to be a lack of experience in the team when it comes to big moments. But equally they have a manager who has “too-much” experience in winning and key players such as RVP, Fab, Gael, Nasri, Squillaci and Arshavin. Granted, they lack in some key positions on the field, but maybe that’s measuring them against a system that Wenger doesn’t believe they need to fit into. We’ve highlighted this for a few seasons now and I think the conclusion was that they have had disappointment, now it seems like a matter of time and patience. The next few games will decide it for them. The worst thing is that they have to rely on someone else slipping up.

      You’re right that some experience would help, the question is where and for how much? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts for the podcast.

      (No one can have an Arsenal argument both ways, but some in the press have been known to swing between arguments just to sell papers. How many of the Arsenal detractors are just picking holes and how many are looking to find the crux of the problem?)

      • Robert Hay says:

        Laurence –

        Thanks for the thoughts. The hard part of playing manager in soccer, as opposed to general manager in American football, is the vast pool of players. Maybe the key addition a team needs isn’t in their home country, but in Africa or Greece or Russia. Not relevant to the current discussion, but a caveat I throw in to any discussion thoughts.

        Maybe it’s naivety, but maybe what the team needs is what it had. The think the backline would have been very well served this season if they had Sol Campbell. There were behind the scenes discussions that I was not privy to, but he would have provided experience and leadership for a backline that in the center has very little EPL experience. Maybe what this team needs is a former player like a Viera to come back and take some minutes from a younger guy but has won a something and can provide that locker room leadership. Arsenal have the talent but lack the heart of champions.

        I agree with your point that Wenger has won championships, and his strategy should reflect that (and at times hasn’t). But having been in locker rooms with excellent championship coaches, a coach or manager can only say so much. The players have to have that spark, that belief, in themselves as well, and some of it is not transferable.

        • Erich B. says:

          How much, if any, would you attribute the current mentality/struggle to Wenger’s unwillingness to bolster the backline and keeper positions during the past transfer window? Is relying on a 20 year old keeper with little big game experience really a wise strategy to employ? On Sunday, it certainly did not seem to be.

          I would agree that keeping a Sol Campbell around for his leadership would have been a wise. And now seeing how depleted their depth is on the backline, he would have provided an extra body to put out there when needed.

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