Is Joe Cole Right about Arsenal’s ‘Globetrotters’?

Despite recent speculation linking Joe Cole with moves to both Aston Villa and Liverpool, it would have to be said, his recent interviews don’t add much weight to the stories.

The Chelsea midfielder, who like everyone else seems to think this season’s Premier League campaign will be fairly close run, has talked up both Arsenal and Liverpool’s chances of challenging. However, he thinks they’ve both got a bit of work to do when it comes to grinding out results and Arsenal, in particular Cole suggests, need to drop the ‘Harlem Globetrotter’ stuff if they’re serious about the title.

Cole says “’Manchester United and Chelsea have learnt how to win games in different ways, but Liverpool and Arsenal are different. They are both great sides on their day, but maybe they don’t win enough games when they don’t play well.”

And I’m inclined to agree because whilst Chelsea’s bland, efficient football filled me with no joy last season and added precisely nothing to our trophy cabinet, over the course of the season it was still marginally more effective than Arsenal’s pretty, but over-elaborative style which ultimately left them behind us on points.

Don’t get me wrong, during the earlier part of the season, Arsenal certainly looked the part – and yet the majority outside of the Emirates still probably expected their winning run to come to the end it eventually did. And it’s exactly their reaction in the face of defeat that lets them down. Rather than dig in deep and show they’ve got some grit, they whine about other teams roughing them up or playing ‘negative’ football to spite them. As far as Arsenal are concerned, playing ‘the beautiful game’ puts them above everyone else, win or lose.

I mean, if the supporters are happy with that then that’s fine, it must be very pleasing to watch the game being played as it should be after all. But this isn’t coming from someone who thinks their own team does it better, just a supporter who believes being a purist isn’t half as satisfying as being a winner. You see, whilst I’d like to see Chelsea play a more attractive style of football in the coming season, I’d rather that isn’t at the detriment of their ability to get a result. Because Cole’s quite right, Arsenal’s inability to mix it means they only win when they’re playing well and a bad day at the office usually results in tantrums all round and a lack of points.

And whilst we still might not be the “Harlem Globetrotters” or have the same attacking style as the current Champions, our ability to win games can’t be questioned. So, here’s hoping the addition of a ‘manager’ this season addresses the aesthetics whilst leaving the backbone intact.

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23 Responses

  1. wow Arsenal the only club out of the top 4 thats not financially backed by some dirty foreigner that always end up in the top 4 take away all the money thrown into united chelsea and liverpool and arsenal would win the league with ease … Chelsea would ave gone bankrupt without Roman they were slipping into administration before he got there

  2. the guy is spot-on we are just playing good football but without any substance,for how long is arsene wenger going to rebiuld the team??????????/
    we need established players now like spurs are doing
    prediction this season
    5th in the premier league

  3. Jole Cole would be better served concentrating on his own team and keeping his gob shut about others.

  4. good article but you do realise that scolari (cant stand why we all someone “big” when they are clearly overweight and fat) a very defensiev coach. he took on of tehj most exciting brazil teams in years and yes won the WC in 2002 but playiong and very boring brand of football. very functional and not much else. you will win points and games but it wont be fun. i use to admire chelsea, as a gooner i thought they played with passion and heart, since the russian took over you have lost your soul and i should know, i live in parsons green and see your gaff everyday. shame

  5. Spot on. I’m an Arsenal fan and the truth of the matter is there are far more down at the Emirates than we’re led to believe who believe the same.
    I admire Wenger’s principles but at the end of the day we’re all in the business of winning trophies. What he’s done for us should never ever be forgotten or belittled but I for one feel AW has lost sight of what it actually is he’s employed to do. It’s become a personal crusade rather than an organisation set-up for non-financial success.

  6. What are you talking about!
    Compare our seasons. We came third marginally and you came second ok you got to the final of the champs league to fair play for that.
    But neither of us won anything, yet you played boring football and entertained no one yet we won nothing and still have people saying that we play by far the best football in the premier league!
    When Arsenal win silverware will anyone say then to drop the beautiful football we play, i doubt it. So for now at least i would have to say that your players shoudl concentrate on your club as you now has a manager that knows how to win yet doesn’t know how to turn it around when the result is not going in his favor!

  7. we won ugly last night, joe cole should hush and watch out for his spot ,swp shits on him every day of the week

  8. I’m an Arsenal fan and have to agree with Cole. If Arsenal put more shots on target instead of trying to walk the ball in some times then who knows, we may have beat Birmingham home and away instead of drawing, we may have beat Boro at the Emirates instead of drawing. Those 6 dropped points would have made us Champions last season!!!

  9. Beautiful football won Arsenal the premiership unbeaten. “Functional” football just about won Chelsea the title twice. We’ve won the league like that twice, it ain’t big, it ain’t clever but its a step in the direction of success. but for that you hae to evolve, and giving Lampard a 5 year contract is more a sign of going the way of Liverpool 1990 than Arsenal 2001.

  10. In the end the gap was minute and the various sites that keep track of refereeing decisions actually put Arsenal ahead so lack of grit or an excess of showboating is an explanation for a difference that doesn’t exist. In fact Arsenal lost their most famous player and had disastrous injury problems yet improved dramatically on 06/07.

    On the other hand since Joe Cole is probably the player with the highest ratio of stepovers to goals he should be an expert on the dangers of the Globetrotter temptation.

    I hate to admit it but Chelsea would probably have the best third team in the world. The question: is the first team any better?

    What will happen when Ballack and Lampard are both fit at the same time? Will Essien ever be given the chance to play where he should or will he just keep showing that he is better in almost any position than the player supposed to play there? Will Cole(A.) be allowed out of his own half? Will Cole(J.) even get a game if Robinho comes? Can JT make it to the other penalty box before the free kick taker gets a card for time wasting? How will the team perform when their sons turn out against them for Arsenal? Does Drogba’s knee still bend? These are the questions Cole should be pondering.

  11. “And it’s exactly their reaction in the face of defeat that lets them down”

    Games lost last season by Arsenal, 3
    Games lost last season by Cheslea, 3

    Arsenal points gained from losing positions last season, 22
    Cheleas points gained from losing positions last season, 11

    Hmmm….

    You make valid points about Arsenal’s inability to win ugly but you cant suggest that we dont “dig in deep and show they’ve got some grit”

    As for the whining about other teams roughing us up, understandable after the Eduardo injury? I seen to remember a certain “special one” saying the same after you Cech’s injury at Reading.

    If you weren’t trying to snipe at Arsenal just to get hits (as usual) the article is fairly well rounded in places. It’s just your blatant agenda against us that lets down you and your writing.

  12. Not winning is bad enough. But to not win anything and endure shit football must be murder.

  13. Not Spot on…Cole’s description of arsenal is practically pathetic..its like hes summing up views from the press. we gained the most points from losing positions, weve only lost one game in two seasons at home. We were only two points away from chelski and four from the manc. At one point Chelsea were dire and needed favors from the ref to win games. I think cole needs to look at the facts that, he was shitting his pants for most of the season because of Arsenals good form.

  14. Fact: Chelsea can afford to play ugly, non-pleasing football watched by less than a half-full 40 000 capacity stadium, why? becasue they are bankrolled by a filthy rich Russian whereas Arsenal have just built a state of the art grand 60 000 capacity stadium, which should be filled every week to keep the team in competition.So pretty football makes sense to me. Wenger has lost sight of his priorities? no. he came up with the idea of a new stadium and now we are paying the price. I would take coming 3rd with 4 points adrift of the champions having played pretty football all season than come 2nd with 2 points adrft of the champions having won ugly all season.

    So f**k off and worry about your team. Write something else. I mean there are so many topics that you can spend your time on, than worry about our pretty football and your ugly football. You can write about the how Deco or Robhino are going to change the playing style of Chelsea , Whether it was wise to buy Sidwell from Reading only for him to warm the bench and end up at Aston Villa with Reading going down, Whether it was wise to buy and keep SWP, How you see Chelsea post the Russian Era, etc etc.

  15. “Manchester United and Chelsea have learnt how to win games in different ways, but Liverpool and Arsenal are different..” surely, Chelsea D, is right. Its all about winning and no ethics; it does not matter how the result is wrought. It could be through conjured penalties or controversial red cards or unfair denial of penalty awards and vice versa, or the refree looking the other way on off-side positioning or awarding controversial freekicks at very crucial moments. Arsenal is truly different. games should be won by playing good and effective football that leave the fans and opponents with satisfaction in success and defeat. I do not advise Arsene W. to adopt Cole’s brand of “Gritty” football at the expense of fairness.The dirty- gritty style may have got Man. U. trophies last season (perhaps through the Anderson style) but i havent seen what it got chelsea. Ideal football however, got Arsenal fans all over the world. Bravo Gunners.

  16. Isaac, thanks for proving my point exactly. If Arsenal win its because they play attractive football but if anyone else wins its because they cheated, ha ha. Wenger clones.

  17. a considered, intelligent and well-written article by a chelsea fan. whatever next 🙂

  18. http://soccerlens.com/right-result/

    Not just making it up. Also, it’s what happens if you play attractive football. If you win it’s better and if you lose there’s a consolation. If you play like a bunch of cybermen then even if you win you’ve played like a bunch of cybermen and if you lose you just look silly.

    Arsenal fans had to stomach the cyberman approach for years and learn to appreciate the excitement of a well sprung offside trap but there other ways and they are a lot more fun. Even Abramovich seems to think so.

  19. well i think we have won some games by not playing beatyful so its going to change seasen by seasen-arsenal can play and win by pretty football and ugly .
    i want to say that joe cole might love a lot arsenal lol,i like to see him one day in arsenal kid

  20. I’m an Arsenal fan apologies to the author of this piece on behalf on the other idiot minded Arsenal fans who been mindlessly abusive, the studpidity of football fans/people never ceases to amaze me.
    Nevertheless I don’t agree with Cole, the stats shown above – losing the same number of games as you, coming back from losing positions simply disprove your argument. We won ugly a few times last season. We just ran out of steam and lost our way for a while. Only one team can win the league and we can’t expect every year, seeing my team win it 5 times in my lifetime is something many football fans don’t get.
    English footbal os always mistrustful of teams such as Arsenal i.e ones that are preoocuppied with playing pretty football and always extols the virtues of the gritty English approach. I think we are lumbered with a stereotype just as Chelsea are with the boring tag.

  21. goon – Your comment about how if you take away the money thrown into ManU and Chelsea, that Arsenal would win the league is just stupid. It sounds like you are quite envious of a wealthy owner.

    Vivas – I don’t buy the feeling of “consolation” that a team feels if they lose but played attractive football. Losing is losing.

    Arselicked – When a Chelsea player (Joe Cole) talks about Arsenal (plays in the PL with Chelsea), I think a blog about the topic is within the scope of relevant topics. Telling Chelsea D to f**k off and “worry about your team” is silly. She writes about anything Chelsea related. You should probably go elsewhere if you can’t handle that. Perhaps deep down you are a Blues fan.

  22. Abz, on August 14th, 2008 at 1:32 pm Said: – Fabulous response Abz, nice one! Nice to see the Arsenal digging deep last night to grind out a result!

  23. Cheers Spektral – of course I could’ve deleted Arselicked but I just can’t resist when someone shows themselves up so badly, lol.
    Eduardo – yeh, Im not one of those swept up in the sort of football Scolari will have us playing, Ive said before anyone could get Brazil stroking a ball around the way they did under him. For us, I just hope we improve on last season’s offerings.

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