Is winning trophies important? A comparison of titles and success in English football: Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal – The Trophy Data

On Sunday age old questions over the definition of footballing success resurfaced as Arsène Wenger’s current generation of Arsenal players failed in their bid to win a trophy of their own in the Carling Cup final against Birmingham, who prevailed to win their first silverware in forty eight years, against the side who have been waiting a mere six.

Is winning trophies the definition of a good side? Most football fans would agree that it proves something, but there are always those who judge sides on other merits. Indeed the cult of the glorious loser is one that only increases with age.

The pain of defeat: Carsten Jancker in tears after losing 2-1 to United in the Champions League Final 1999, and Jack Wilshere confiding in Eboue after the latest Arsenal defeat.

Say what you like about the Carling Cup, but it represents something tangible, a measure of mental strength, which Wenger’s current side, led by Cesc Fábregas have been accused of lacking time and again. There are those who claim arrogance on the part of Wenger’s charges in their adherence to a certain style of play, but it has to be said that in terms of basic quality the side does have the potential to win something.

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A clean sheet and a point. Spurs 0 – 0 Arsenal

Tottenham 0 – 0 Arsenal. Highlights here

Take what you will from the match today. With 10 men for an hour and Adebayor taking a hamstring injury at the same time, we still managed to take a point and kept a clean sheet, which is positive with our defence.

The downside is that we gave away the chance to go 3 points behind Chelsea in 4th place. This was a great opportunity, Spurs took no advantage of their extra man, and with 11 we should have taken 3 points.

The sending off was inevitable, Eboue is a liability. I have defended him before on ArseSpeak, but today his actions were unprofessional in the extreme. I hope that Wenger has serious words with him, and I hope Arshavin takes his spot on the right.

Before any Wenger bashers start going off on one, the only reason Eboue is plaing is because Rosicky and Walcott are injured as well as several other midfielders, he is not Wenger’s first choice, but our injury woes have forced the choice upon him.

In any case, I was happy with the defensive display, but Eboue’s sending off cost us the match, putting us on the back foot.

Hleb tips Arshavin to shine as Derby Day looms

This is a guest post by sports writer Thomas Rooney

Alexander Hleb – remember him? The one time Arsenal man – who moved to Barcelona in the summer – has found time to speak about his former club. In particular, he has had words of praise for new signing Andrei Arshavin.

Shouldn’t he be concentrating on all things Barcelona, I hear you ask! Well, he would do, but to put it politely, he isn’t getting a look in at the Nou Camp. Since moving from Arsenal last year he hasn’t played nearly as much football as he would have liked. Many Gunners may find the following phrase appropriate – ‘I told you so.’

In my opinion, Hleb should never have left Arsenal. He was playing regular football, was part of a team that suited his style of play and most importantly he seemed settled. Despite this, he jumped shipped to Barcelona and if his latest comments are anything to go by – he is regretting it.

Hleb says that he is desperate ‘for more time on the pitch’ and will do all he can do ‘fight for a place in the team’ between now and the end of the season. The problem being that Barcelona are top of the league by a mile and are playing some excellent football at present. Thus decreasing Hleb’s first team chances in the next couple of months.

So, what does the future hold for him? Well, he has admitted that he will ‘see what might happen in the summer’ because he isn’t willing to sit on the sidelines for two seasons on the trot. Maybe you should have stayed at the Emirates then Mr Hleb? I’d be interested to see if he would consider a move back. Would you take him?

Anyway, onto more immediate matters that Hleb has been discussing. He says that Arsenal’s new signing Andrei Arshavin will suit the ‘style of the team’ and that the Russian will prove to be ‘a success’ in the Premier League. Overall, Hleb strongly believes that Arshavin will ‘enjoy his time at Arsenal’.

Speaking of Arshavin, he is all set to make his debut for the club in this weekend’s game with Tottenham. Let’s talk a bit about this eagerly anticipated 144th North London Derby.

First things first – it is a must win for Arsene Wenger’s men. In terms of points to secure a 4th placed finish, in terms of confidence for the rest of the season and in terms of condemning Spurs deeper into the relegation mire – this is a must win game.

Nothing other than three points will do. Some people may consider a draw to be a decent result, but not for me. A similar performance as the wins over Manchester United and Chelsea please Arsenal. Let’s make sure that Arshavin gets off to a winning start so that the team can finish the season strongly.

As far as team news is concerned, Arshavin is included in the squad and could well start the game. Elsewhere, Emmanuel Eboue is fit but Abou Diaby is banned. For Tottenham, Robbie Keane is set to captain the side on his return from Liverpool.

Whatever players are in an Arsenal shirt on Sunday though, they must show the fans how much they care about this game and they must prove that they have what it takes to claw back Aston Villa in the race for 4th place.

Adebayor has his say on Tottenham game as Arsenal prepare to face Stoke City

This a guest post by sports writer Thomas Rooney

Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor has revealed that the game against Tottenham on Wednesday night was one of the ‘most difficult games’ of his entire life. As we all know, Arsenal led 3-1 and then 4-2 in the game, but proceeded to concede two late goals for Tottenham to force a 4-4 draw.

Adebayor is under no illusions about the significance of this result, saying that if Arsenal have aspirations to be Premier League champions, they can’t let leads like this slip. He says that Arsenal will ‘never be a champion’ if they continue to behave in this way and that he ‘doesn’t know how’ the game ended up being a draw.

Something Adebayor touches upon is the notion that he and his team-mates believed the game was won at 4-2. He says that in the players’ heads the ‘game was over’. In all fairness, as far as everyone else was concerned – this was also the case. Having brought the game back to 3-2, there were some that could see Spurs getting an equaliser. However, when Robin van Persie made it 4-2, everyone believed that was that. How wrong can you be?!

The Arsenal celebrations after this goal perhaps told their own story. Every player dived on top of each other, Adebayor and van Persie performed some sort of prepared celebration and it looked as if they were celebrating victory. As much as I wouldn’t want to take celebrating out of the equation, perhaps on this occasion – a crucial game against your biggest rivals – the Arsenal players should have simply gone back to their positions and focused on shutting out Spurs for the remaining few minutes.

As Adebayor says, everyone is very ‘disappointed’ with the way the team dropped two points. However, it must now be put to bed. It’s gone. All things considered, a point was still gained and Arsene Wenger’s team must move onwards and upwards.

Speaking of Wenger, there is no doubt that he will be demanding a positive response in the game against Stoke City. Arsenal travel to the Britannia Stadium to face the newly promoted side and it is essential that three points are picked up. If Arsenal drop points yet again, then 1st place would start to look a long way away. They can’t afford to be playing too much catch-up.

The game at Stoke won’t be easy – that’s for sure. They are a well organised outfit and in Rory Delap they have someone who can cause more threat than a corner with his long throws. Arsenal will have to watch out for this. Up front, Stoke have power, power and more power. Fuller and Sidibe won’t give Arsenal’s shaky defence an easy afternoon. Of that I can be certain.

As far as the team Arsenal will put out is concerned, William Gallas and Emmanuel Eboue are very doubtful. Other than that, it should be the same team that played against Spurs. Let’s just hope Arsenal can produce the same threat going forward, but this time manages to hold onto a lead.

By Thomas Rooney – A sports writer who blogs about football betting

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Arsenal 4 – 4 Tottenham Highlights. How did we draw?

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I returned from watching the North London derby feeling a little deflated, although I have to say it was one of the most exciting Arsenal games I have seen.

There was an electric atmosphere at the Grove, Bentley was abused as you might expect, and there were plenty of goals.

Tottenham scored first, Bentley (who else?) lobbed Almunia from about 40 yards. We couldn’t get the ball down in midfield and we were all over the shop.

The goal provided the usual wake up call, and we pressed back, getting a few good opportunites, with lovely passing moves, Theo and RVP linked up well. Then came our reply on ’37 – Silvestre got a goal from a corner – Gomes got nowhere near the ball, he looked very weak at corners.

We were hoping for a quick start after half time and we got it, RVP was felled and the freekick was swung into the box for Gallas to head in, 2-1 on ’46.

Things were looking up, and we went into cruise control as Ade put Nasri’s stunning chip over the line and made it 3-1.


Spurs then went on to get a lucky goal within 3 minutes, Almunia spilled a strong shot from Huddlestone, and Bent picked it up, 3-2 on ’67.

We went back up the other end and scored straight away, Hutton gifted Ade the ball, and he set up RVP for a beautiful goal, everyone went wild, 4-2..

Eboue, Diaby and Song all came on as Theo, RVP and Nasri got a rest. We seemed to relax a little – in the 89th minute Clichy (who was fantastic all night) slipped on the ball, presenting Jenas with an open run on goal, his shot went past Almunia – 4-3.

Now panic set in, and Arsenal looked in disarray, the feeling in the crowd was that we couldn’t hold on, and it was only to true, in stoppage time Modric shot took a deflection off Silvestre, which put it onto the post, it bounced back out perfectly for the onrushing Lennon who easily put it away. The few remaining Spurs fans went mental.

Tonight was very disappointing, there were positives, Denilson had a fantastic second half, and RVP played amazingly, but our defensive mistakes cost us yet again. We were unluck, but all of their goals could have been prevented by more astute defensive work.

Interestingly, two of our goals came from centre backs today – maybe representing how much more of an attacking team we are!

In all, it was an amazing Arsenal performance, but the last 4 minutes where we lost focus cost us 3 points which we thoroughly deserved.

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Walcott’s Rage, Lehmann Crazy

Firstly a very strange article here about Jens making insulting gestures to fans during Germany’s 4-0 win over Cyprus.. Apparently he claims he was scratching his head. I don’t know why he would have done anything like that.. Jens is a bit mad but that just seems random, unless he was being abused by the fans??? I didn’t watch the game but I’ll have a look on the net later to see if there are any videos of it!

Also Chelsea have been linked with Luka Modric in several papers, some claiming we have also joined the race as we have been interested for a long time.

The Mail here has an article about Theo’s ranting at Milner and Stuart Pierce while claiming his penalty on Friday evening, Psycho says it shows his coming of age!! The Guardian also has coverage here.

Also the Scum have been linked with loads of players all over the place, Villa is apparently coming, as well as the Beast, who Ramos worked with at Sevilla, if he plays like he did for us then I would be happy for them to sign him. Also the People have an article about how David Comolli, our ex-scout, now their Director of Football wants to sign Diaby, Denilson and Traore. I doubt this, although the £7 million price tag on Diaby could be good if he is really desparate to leave.. In any case I can’t see why we would let any of those players go to Spurs….

Not too much else going on, Scotland lost out on the Euro 2008 finals last night through a late Italian goal to make it 2-1, and Israel beat Russia 2-1 to give Engalnd an undeserved chance of qualifying.