Monday, 27 November 2006

The Beast? The Pussycat more like!

I forgot to add that with a nickname like "the Beast" and being built like the proverbial brick sh*thouse, I would've hoped that Julio Baptista might lend our squad the sort of imposing physical presence that we've been missing. When you think of the lightweight likes of Fabregas, Flamini, Freddie etc. lining up in the tunnel prior to the match at the Reebok, opposite such lumps as Nolan, Campo and Davies, is it really that surprising that psychologically we look and feel like a soft touch?

As far as I am concerned, the jury is definitely still out as far as Baptista is concerned. I certainly don't know and I am not convinced Wenger knows what Baptista's best position is and to date I have yet to see Julio make the most of his muscular attributes by imposing himself on a Premiership game. On paper one would've imagine Bolton would've been the ideal scenario for Julio to make a name for himself and I am sure I wasn't alone in being surprised to see a featherweight Theo get the nod instead.

However from where I stood, it seemed to me as if, far from adding to our momentum, by sending on some fresh legs, the substitutions of Hleb and Baptista appeared to have the opposite effect. With Hleb struggling to stay on his feet, seemingly slipping over all the time and Baptista remaining relatively anonymous, our dominance dissipated after these changes were made.

Moreover in reference to the point I made below about Arsène's pragmatism and his reliance on statistical data about his players and potential signings, Roná was reading the piece and came out with a particularly pertinent comment. Can you imagine a young Martin Keown, or Ray Parlour making the grade at Arsenal nowadays??!!

Big Love
Bernard

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are a genius with such observations as "the jury is still out on Baptista"...what really,your kidding.The bloke came to Arsenal clearly well below what Arsene considers to be fit so wasn't considered for selection for the start of the season,he then picked up an injury in training that took him out of the game for 3 weeks and has probably played less than a total of 200 minutes football for us.However I can remember him striding up the pitch at Old Trafford,dummying a defender and curling the ball inches wide.If this guy turns out to be the usual Wenger quality we have come to expect please feel free to reprint your doubting article and say how wrong you were.

Anonymous said...

Another glory hunter writing a crap blog.

How many games has Baptista started for Arsenal? 1 or 2? He is also in a new country, playing for a struggling, injury-stricken team, being played out of position in midfield when it's obvious that he is much more effective as an out and out striker.

Give him a chance you bloody muppet, you're making yourself look a fool.

Anonymous said...

Harsh assessment in my opinion. Coming on as a sub for your new club - who incidently, are losing and clearly struggling - when you lack match sharpness is always going to be difficult. Baptista is not an impact player you should expect miracles of as a sub. He was never drawn into any sort of physical battle and was mostly anonymous because the likes of Gilberto and Ade couldn't keep the ball long enough to even attempt to pass to him and the likes of Clichy and Walcott were sending crosses into the stands. The whole team was piss-poor on saturday and a half-fit Baptista should not be the scapegoat.

Anonymous said...

benard - u dick - u chat crap

lc said...

You should blame AW who is playing Walcott and Fabregas against over physical team, like Bolton. Batista's got a record and has got nothing to prove to anyone. If AW who brought him here for exaltly this type of games and prefer to play light weight and kids instead of Batista, you should Wenger over his poor tactic.

Bernard said...

I don't think we were piss poor on Saturday, as everyone I spoke to at the Reebok seemed to have few complaints about our second half performance

Slag the blog all you want but I've been "glory hunting" with the Gunners for over 40 years!

As for Baptista, sure he's entitled for us to cut him some slack. However ever since Wenger was supposedly entirely focused on securing his transfer the summer before last, to the exclusion of anyone else, I started watching his performances for Real Madrid, to see what all the fuss was about. I have to admit that I don't remember seeing him play for Seville (apart I believe from the one game where Baptista secured his reputation when they mullahed Madrid) and most of his time at Real seemed to be spent playing out of position, or on the bench.

However on those occasion when he appeared in the games shown on Sky, I really struggled to see what Wenger saw in him.

Moreover I am pretty much convinced that Baptista wasn't exactly desperate to come and play for the Arsenal (having already turned us down once, although I understand there were some extenuating citizenship circumstances). But bearing in mind he was only the makeweight in the Reyes loan deal, Julio is going to have to go some to prove to this particular Gooner that he's suitably commited to the Arsenal's cause

Vamos la Julio

Anonymous said...

I'll try to be nice.

Do you know your football???

In the 1st half, Arsenal were bullied and bundled away from the ball easily. Ljundberg and Gilberto cannot lead the team. When Baptista came on he did make a difference. What do you expect him to do? Barge the Bolton players off the ball, win possession, go on a Vieira-like power surge through midfield and blast the ball right through Juskilanen? Then stick his head through the smouldering hole on Jussi's belly and shout 'I Love Arsenal'??? What I saw was, he lent some composure to the side, he passed well, got the ball into decisive areas and his movement was decent. Hleb I think did as well as he was expected of.

Anonymous said...

Frankly speaking, we can't afford to wait or be patient for Baptista. He needs to be making much more than the impact he has been correctly. Frankly speaking, if he was half injured...he wouldn't even had made the bench. Baptista is match fit...but he just hasn't played enough football. In order to do that, he needs to be making a much positive impact of the time he gets off the bench than he normally has. He shouldn't be hiding away from the ball like Flamini. He should be commanding it and start taking some shots.
Even if he can't make the necessary impact of the bench...then I think we're not gonna sign him.
Heck, I think getting Bendtner, Stokes, and Muamba back will strenthen our side significantly (well, atleast Bendtner as this guy is gonna be a star for years to come).

liamc said...

Spot on Bernard. Baptista was touted as the Viera replacement the summer before last. Saw a few bad signs against Newcastle, where he lost the ball and then stood up. We need a big aggressive player and unfortunately he does not look to have that mentality. We have enough players that can make sliderule passes. If he does not show a better work ethic, then back to Madrid I'm afraid.
I hope Diaby recovers and Muamba sounds promising.


Liam C

Anonymous said...

Will make verdict on Julio this timen ext year. Wouldn't have been very fit at Real, takes a year ot get up to prem speed and adjust to team mates.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree. He's looked almost lightweight so far. He's majorly over-hyped. From what steve Bruce has said there is a new ray parlour - Muamba.

Anonymous said...

Give the guy a break guys. How many foreigners come into the premiership and perform superbly in their first few games? Anyone doubting his ability should go on youtube and watch him when he was at sevilla. Seems from those clips that his best position is definitely up front, a position he hasn't been given a chance in at arsenal.

Anonymous said...

Bgooner said:

What was Bobby Pires like at first? We're all fcuking livid at getting beaten again thats why we're running out of patience. Baptista maybe Craptista now but when he finds his feet I think he will be a good signing so let's leave it out.

We're not signing anyone cos we have all we need in muamba and bentner at brum, kerrea's still got promise but I think Larssons gonna go.

GET BEHIND THE TEAM. COME ON YOU GUNNERS

BGOONER EIE

Anonymous said...

I find it amazing how quickly knobs like you judge a player! he has been in the country 4 three months and your already critizing him. Why not get behind your team and players and give them the support they need to help them improve. Wenger will get it right and when he does i expect you to write a grovelling apology about your crap support of your team.

Anonymous said...

I think the blame for the defeat at bolton has to lay completely at wenger's feet. Just look at the team, Senderos, Clichy, Flamini, Ljungberg, Walcott & to some extent Adebayor, none of those players I have just mentioned have played hardly any football for some time. Flamini & Adebayor because wenger doesnt ever tend to choose them from the start & 10 minutes here & there does nothing for you. Walcott was only his 2nd start for the first team in nearly a year, clichy is not long back from 2 years out injured, senderos also suffered a major injury at the world cup & this is only his 2nd start & we all know about ljungberg's injury problems. You cannot go into a game against a team like bolton who will always be up for it against us & play 6 players that have next to no playing time this season against a team that usually keeps a settled side & who had a complete weeks rest as opposed to a champions league game.

Also anyone who has watched Baptista play for real madrid would know he was continually played out of position & had to suffer several different managers asking him to do different things. However when madrid kept the same coach towards the end of the season baptista settled down & his performances improved no end, which resulted in him being madrid's top scorer for the final 2 months of the season. His record for sevilla is superb with something like 50 goals in 2 seasons so for heavens sake give the bloke a chance. Rooney missed a few games at the start of the season & people gave him weeks to find form.

Anonymous said...

Statistics - then I take it he's aware of our shots/goals ratio in comparision to other teams. Or corners for that matter.

Bernard said...

Perhaps if there were a few more Gooners who supported the team in such a "crap" fashion, our new stadium wouldn't be such a morgue

I hate these "anonymous" comments which don't give me an opportunity to respond, but I'll have you know that I schlepped ten hours on the road to watch us get beat at Bolton and would never give anything but support to any player wearing a red & white shirt and get very angry with all the boo-boys who get on the players backs every time they make a mistake, as I've never believed that giving an Arsenal player stick could possibly encourage him to play better.

However having paid a small fortune for our two season ticket and having followed the team home and away for so many years, I am perfectly entitled to my point of view, far more so than many of the armchair Gooners who don't know their arse from their elbow.

Baptista is obviously entitled to be given a certain amount of time to adapt to the frenetic pace of the Premiership and I am a helluva lot more patient than plenty of Arsenal fans I know

However you can only go on what we've seen to date and after Julio turned us down the summer before last, he's going to have to go some way to prove to me that he's had a change of heart and is here out of choice, rather than being forced to come as the makeweight in the Reyes deal.

I would love to say otherwise and no one will be happier to eat humble pie when he proves me wrong. But to date I can only go on what we have seen and so far it is hard to think of absolutely anything Julio has done on the pitch that would justify Wenger's intense interest in signing him the summer before last

I will be absolutely delighted to see Baptista do the business and will be the first to put my hands up and admit the error of my ways. However from the little we've seen to date, I get the distinct impression that "the Beast" doesn't really enjoy the intensity of our game, compared to playing in La Liga, where players tend to have more time on the ball.

From watching Julio play (at close quarters, rather than via television coverage), I get the feeling that he's far too happy having a peripheral role, doesn't appear to be hungry for possession and when he does receive a pass, I get the feeling that he's a little bit too keen to lay it off, rather than taking responsibility and running with the ball, which to my mind, can only suggest that Baptista's a little more concerned with avoiding being clattered, than he is in benefitting the Arsenal

Hopefully I'll have tempted fate by expressing these thoughts and Julio will go prove me wrong

If he does, I will be the first to apologise

Anonymous said...

what arsenal really need rite now is their fans to get behind them!

Anonymous said...

" What did you expect him to do?Barge the Bolton players off the ball, win possession, go on a Vieira-like power surge through midfield and blast the ball right through Juskilanen? Then stick his head through the smouldering hole on Jussi's belly and shout 'I Love Arsenal'???"

What an excellent comment! made me chuckle.

Julio has not come into form yet, this is clearly true but as others have said, give the guy a break, he was playing out of position at real, has been at arsenal to an extent and has also been injured/not at full fitness.

Thierry didn't work miracles in his first couple of seasons, come to think about it none of our stars shone straight away - give Wenger the benefit of the doubt sooner or later you will write something stating how great an acquisition he was.

Anonymous said...

Bernard, I post as anonymous because otherwise you have to register & quite frankly I cannot be bothered. However my name would be Ashburton Gooner as it is on the arsenal vital football site & the only other post I have made on here was about the blame being at wenger's feet & that we should all give the beast time.

You say that Baptista has a lot to do to win people over but what about rosicky?? This is a guy who wanted to join athletico madrid & is only here because they didnt pay dortmund any money. He chose them over us but so does that mean he is rubbish aswell?? Obviously his performances have been better than baptista's but then they should be considering he has had much more playing time. If you honestly believe that players from abroad join arsenal for the love of the club then youre in a dream world, they join because of the money.

As for your digs at fans who dare question people like yourself dont just assume they are glory hunters. I have been a season ticket holder for 20 years now & I am just as entitled to an opinion as you or anyone else, but at the same time someone who has been a fan for 6 months is also equally entitled to their own view, without being labelled.

the lumpen prole said...

blow it out your ass bernard!

your i'm-a-lifelong-gooner-don't-attack-me shit wont wash

you're there to be shot at
you write here and in other places
(as i recall, often using 10 words where 5 would do)
so we can say what we like in response
and we can be anonymous
that's how blogs work
this one and all the other mediocre, wannabe-journo, ego-fests out there

c'mon u gunners!!

Anonymous said...

You my friend are an absolute muppet..
Having ranted about your 10 hour trip(boo hoo!)and your endless support of the team,you seem to have gone back on a lot of what the article is saying.
I've seen the beast at close quarters, albeit fleetingly and it is clear he is merely adapting to AFCs way of playing football right now. His strong run and shot at Old Trafford was hardly the sign of a man shirking his team responsibilities. He scored in a brief outing vs Hamburg at home, an almost identical chance to one Adebayor skyed a week later.Give the man a chance.
Oh..and for the record,anyone that spouts so much rubbish trying to prove what a "real" gooner they are clearly needs to take a break... If it's so terrible supporting this great club of ours!!
I was at Bolton on saturday too. The difference is,i don't mention it every other sentence and I don't feel like I'm continually owed something by the players.My mate had to watch it on tv..do you think the result hurt him less??!!..Even with hindsight I consider myself lucky to have been at the Reebok on saturday. A dissapointing loss up north and you're whole world comes tumbling down?.
If you've been going as long as you say you have, you'll remember going to places like Oldham and losing 1-0 on a cold wednesday night.In fact in Copenhagen in 93 a middle aged man alongside me in the stand broke down in tears at the final whistle.As he turned to me he said "Enjoy this son..you may never see this again in your lifetime!"
..Little did we know.
Gooners have truly become spoilt and you epitomize that Bernie.