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A great victory But ethos is not just for Christmas


By Boris Mellor
March 14 2013

What a great victory, the first time this season that Bayern have failed to score to at home. The first time in 53 games at home they have lost by more than a solitary goal. It could be said that Bayern missed Schweinsteiger and Ribery, but Arsenal were without Wilshere and Podolski.

It was a strange game, Arsenal probably only played full out for six minutes, but when they did they looked lethal, and got their best conversion rate in a long time. Usually it’s Arsenal that has 21 shots and no goals and the opposition 5 chances and 2 goals, this time the situation was completely reversed.

Not that Bayern’s 21 shots were that much of a challenge to Fabianski, most were from out of the area, but that’s a credit to the Gunner’s defending. Meanwhile Arsenal’s shots were up close and personal. If only Africa’s greatest footballer didn’t have rubber legs the biggest upset in CL history may have occurred, but it would be unfair to blame Gervinho for the failure to qualify for as Arteta  said the game was lost in London.

Ethos
It was a great result, but not the greatest of displays, there were too many poor performances for that to be the case. It is also the case that it is hard to judge how much the Germans got into a “what we have we hold” mentality and were confident that Arsenal couldn’t score three. If they underestimated Arsenal they were not made to pay the price as they still went through.

However, what I am interested in here is “ethos”, for what Arsenal clearly demonstrated here was a fighting mentality. Yes some of the midfield was off key, but nonetheless players were clearly battling for each other. There was no petulance, or stupidity, nothing but hard work and application. The kind of ethos no doubt many Arsenal fans would like to see week after week, not just for a one off occasion.

If Arsenal are criticised often the first response is that they do not have the money to compete with Chelsea and Man City, due to our stingy billionaire owners that is true, but that doesn’t explain losing to Birmingham, Bradford and Blackburn, it can’t be the case that they are funded by Oil Sheiks (Unless they have a phobia about the letter B).  No the lack of money does not explain these defeats, but the lack of ethos does. An ethos of understanding you have to earn the right to win a game. That victory starts with a firm defence, that a chance in front of goal is not to be spurned because another one will along in a minute. That it is not ok to go missing in matches, or not to track back. I could go on, no doubt you can add your own favourites.

This lack of ethos includes a lack of leadership, last night the Captain was dropped, he was replaced by another lame duck captain. The Arsenal way is that everyone is a leader, but of course that means no one is a leader. However, leader or not, last night the ethos overcame the lack  of leadership and kept a clean sheet. I don’t know how hard Bayern were trying, but I could see that Arsenal were, that is the ethos that will be needed at Swansea and the 9 matches after, if it isn’t it will have been a pointless end of season party.

Game Plan

I have never managed for an afternoon, but Herbert Chapman would take a good idea off a programme seller, and my idea is that Arsenal go into too many games without a plan. I believe a game plan is an important part of any managers’ ethos, unless he is managing the Harlem Globetrotters. Last night I could see the plan, it was keep tight, defend well,  and break when you can, contest the midfield and get three men up the other end when the other side is stretched. It almost worked, and though it didn’t make for the greatest of games it was an interesting tactical game, even if the midfield wasn’t the greatest ever. I also saw the offside trap used to real effect.

So why doesn’t Wenger have a plan like this every week, if he doesn’t have great players, and let’s be honest he doesn’t, then plan for the opposition every week, and  not just once in a blue moon to avoid complete meltdown.

Sadly this victory will mean nothing in terms of the history of the CL, the record books do not remember teams who went out heroically at this early stage, but it will mean that the team should be able to maintain its confidence for future fixtures, but only if they maintain the ethos used in Germany and Wenger gives them a game plan.

However at some stage ethos and game plans will not be enough, the issues of quality will have to be addressed. Once again, like the Milan game,  the lack of a strong bench meant that when in pursuit of the final elusive winning goal there was no way to strengthen the team.  Wenger’s substitutes last night added energy, but unfortunately not the killer touch. Great teams do not only have an ethos, they also have class.

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A great victory but ethos is not just for Christmas
Arsenal Times (IP Logged)
14/03/2013 18:21
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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2013:03:16:21:37:14 by Padre Pio.

 
Re: A great victory but ethos is not just for Christmas
Gunners R Us (IP Logged)
15/03/2013 00:03
fantastic.

 
Re: A great victory but ethos is not just for Christmas
Padre Pio (IP Logged)
15/03/2013 08:07
Thanks GRUS, I was about to get my coat.There were other issues I could have dwelt on further, for instance what will happen to Chesney? Has he lost the no 1 shirt? Lehman was dropped when he was mentally tired and ended up losing out to Almunia. Will Fabianski be the winner here, is he really good enough?

What will happen to TV and the captaincy, you drop your Captain and win - what is the lesson here? Strip him of Captain? Keep him on Bench? Will he demand to go?

How much longer can Arsenal go on with shortage of quality strikers? Giroud was the only striker of merit (debatable) available as Wenger clearly needed walcott to stay on the wing.

The ethos was good, but the shortage of class remains worrying



- until Wenger moves on, they'll always be the also-rans in the major competitions. A club in elite purgatory. Always good enough to make it to the big race, never fast or smart enough to push over the finish line in first place. That's all about the manager. Until he changes, Arsenal fans will continue to celebrate glorious failure.

 
Re: A great victory but ethos is not just for Christmas
NobleTrojan (IP Logged)
15/03/2013 08:37
Failure in the champion league is a reflection on the English club. It is a true reflection of Wenger's failure.It is time for Wenger TO GO. Too little to late. I agree with the fact the players were fighting for each other but what is still lacking is a true leader who can inspire the whole team. For a very long time the malaise that has permeated through the team and ultimately on the pitch is due to a true lack of leadership from the club directors and Wenger himself. The ethos of believing a fourth place is good enough then complacency sets in. We no longer believe in your words Wenger we believe in your action. You say you want to win trophies but you sell your best player.

 
Re: A great victory but ethos is not just for Christmas
Padre Pio (IP Logged)
15/03/2013 11:19
Quote:
For a very long time the malaise that has permeated through the team and ultimately on the pitch is due to a true lack of leadership from the club directors and Wenger himself. The ethos of believing a fourth place is good enough then complacency sets in.End quote

I agree, for one night we had a good ethos. why? To save Wenger's neck and avoid humiliation, it worked but as Trojan says the problem is the overall ethos. Thats why I called the article Ethos is not just for Christmas. The Ethos must change, or this will prove top be a Pyrrhic victory.



- until Wenger moves on, they'll always be the also-rans in the major competitions. A club in elite purgatory. Always good enough to make it to the big race, never fast or smart enough to push over the finish line in first place. That's all about the manager. Until he changes, Arsenal fans will continue to celebrate glorious failure.

 
Re: A great victory but ethos is not just for Christmas
karl16 (IP Logged)
15/03/2013 13:31
Just one thing: 'but Arsenal were without Wilshere and Podolski.'

everyone knows our best players but no one knows our best 11, Wilshere has been played in 4 positions for us during a match, he'll start AM end a match RCM, he'll start AM end a match LCM, He'll start RCM end AM. He played a season LCM.

The team that started could have been a blessing in disguise.

 
Re: A great victory but ethos is not just for Christmas
Padre Pio (IP Logged)
15/03/2013 14:44
But the midfield wasc.rsp



- until Wenger moves on, they'll always be the also-rans in the major competitions. A club in elite purgatory. Always good enough to make it to the big race, never fast or smart enough to push over the finish line in first place. That's all about the manager. Until he changes, Arsenal fans will continue to celebrate glorious failure.

 
Re: A great victory but ethos is not just for Christmas
RadioFreeArsenal (IP Logged)
15/03/2013 18:28
Quote:
Padre Pio
Quote:
For a very long time the malaise that has permeated through the team and ultimately on the pitch is due to a true lack of leadership from the club directors and Wenger himself. The ethos of believing a fourth place is good enough then complacency sets in.End quote

I agree, for one night we had a good ethos. why? To save Wenger's neck and avoid humiliation, it worked but as Trojan says the problem is the overall ethos. Thats why I called the article Ethos is not just for Christmas. The Ethos must change, or this will prove top be a Pyrrhic victory.

And that is the question - whose ethos are these? Can we be confident that a mangerial change will be matched by an absolutely essential change in the Club's ethos?

Unlikely at best. I am left to recall what someone told me from another forum in 2006 or 2007, which is that the Board would have to be given five years with a new manager before their behavior and policies should be questioned.

My guess is either will we bring in a former Arsenal legend who can be easily manipulated into continiuing the currnet policies while they get us to back our hero, or a former big-name happy to take a big wage for more top-four football with minimal investment and then let him take the heat for them after a year or two or longer maybe.

 
Re: A great victory but ethos is not just for Christmas
Padre Pio (IP Logged)
15/03/2013 18:58
Well RFA Wenger seems to have copyright on the phrase 4th Place is a trophy. Meanwhile Gazidis fudges and Stan says sweet FA. so may be the answer is the whole f.ecking lot of them



- until Wenger moves on, they'll always be the also-rans in the major competitions. A club in elite purgatory. Always good enough to make it to the big race, never fast or smart enough to push over the finish line in first place. That's all about the manager. Until he changes, Arsenal fans will continue to celebrate glorious failure.

 
Re: A great victory but ethos is not just for Christmas
karl16 (IP Logged)
15/03/2013 19:29
Quote:
Padre Pio
But the midfield wasc.rsp

not many good midfield performances have ended in wins this season.

 
Re: A great victory but ethos is not just for Christmas
Padre Pio (IP Logged)
15/03/2013 19:32
I think we won in spite of the midfield, they kept losing the ball, but they did break up play.



- until Wenger moves on, they'll always be the also-rans in the major competitions. A club in elite purgatory. Always good enough to make it to the big race, never fast or smart enough to push over the finish line in first place. That's all about the manager. Until he changes, Arsenal fans will continue to celebrate glorious failure.

 
Re: A great victory but ethos is not just for Christmas
RadioFreeArsenal (IP Logged)
15/03/2013 21:31
And I don't know that getting rid of anyone is necessary at all if we follow your advice and simply change the ethos and the business model that inspired or was inspired by those ethos.

 
Re: A great victory but ethos is not just for Christmas
Merlion96 (IP Logged)
16/03/2013 11:20
SImple.
We do not have a TEAM that gelled.
Players are still developing an understanding, hence many a-stray passes.

COntrast that to Barca vs Milan where barca players passed teh balls literally to the feet of the players.

Plus barca players have a knack of finding space and letting their markers guarding shadows. That is CLASS which is missing from this lots of players.

Our strengthen is playing the balls on the ground. Why so many high balls?

Arsene Wenger knew that and why he is now planning for the next season, and not this season. Thsi season is for players to prove themselves that they are worthy of a place in 2013/14 squad......and also to indicate which posiitons that Arsene Wenger will need to strengthen next season.

Ramsey?
A most frustrting and limited players with many of his final passes not finding the player adn too predictable. He is definitely not a playmaker of Arsenal class.
Forget him as he is a squad member.

Cazorla?
ANother frustrating player who has yet to gell with his team-mates. Perhaps we will see the bets of him next season....or had we saw the best fo Cazorla?

TEAM?
Back to teh drawign baord and let's hope that the whole squad will have a decent pre-season training this summer.
Plus, let's hope that Arsene Wenger will finsih his pruchases of new players before pre-season satrt.

I look upon finishing Top-4 as a bonus, but really only looking froward to 2013/14 squad and how Arsene Wenger can dig himself out of the hole of his own makings for teh past 2 seasons, including this season.

It is not ETOS padre but simply this TEAM lacks class and quality to play as "Bartca Lite".

If we retain Top-4 status this season, it is not due to our ETHO for teh next 10 games, but more to the failings of our competitors like CHelski, 5pud2, Everton and Liverpool bottling it at the final hurdle.

Well, we will know this evening then.

Back to the drawing board then.

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