The Independent London Newspaper



The Crow - Demise of Denilson, a symbol of the Wenger project

Published: 24 March, 2011

TWO things this week: 1. Denilson and 2. Rio Ferdinand. I’ve kept my membership card of the Denilson fan club in tact in recent months. While affection has clearly waned for him on the seats, I was convinced that he would come good this season for Arsenal. He is an intelligent passer, has a deceptive crunch in his tackle and a shot capable of netting from way out. Yet, he can’t have played a worse match for Arsenal than he did on Saturday. Every pass went astray, he looked short of confidence and the Gunners fans cheered when he was substituted at half-time. 

Never mind that Arsenal were losing to West Brom, it was disheartening to see somebody who encapsulates Arsène Wenger’s project malfunctioning: a talent nobody had heard of taken from the Copa Libertadores to the Premiership at A-level age to play with the rest of Europe’s best creative players. Something has gone wrong – as it has with Abou Diaby, and it sums up Arsenal’s problems right now. 

The week can’t pass without mention of international football. Our weekly fun is ruined by a match with Wales none of us really wants to watch. England is a divfest where players compete to see who can be the biggest div. No surprise then that the manager of said divs decided to put the winner of the biggest div title back as captain. If I was Rio Ferdinand I’d be furious that I’d been asked to pass the armband to John Terry. So badly handled, that sums up England’s problems right now.

TODAY is a day for reflection as, over the weekend, the Football League quite rightly observed a minute silence for the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. 

As I stood among the silence at the Lane, I couldn’t help but feel how lucky we are. Whether supporting Blue, Red, Pink or White; whether living north or south of the divide, the fact is that we are blessed and it’s only at times like this that we realise it. 

The game against West Ham was a timely reminder that throughout our modicum of success so far this season our strikers have not been firing. Van der Vaart is back from injury but still doesn’t look match-fit though, to be fair, the Hammers’ goal was peppered all afternoon with Jermaine Defoe missing a handful of chances that in days gone by would have been foregone conclusions. 

Man City showed again that no matter how much money you throw at it, if you don’t have the right tools it’ll take ages to get the job done! And alas for the chasing pack, Manchester United’s bullish attitude shone through as they beat Bolton 1-0 with 10 men. 

So as the sun begins to shine and the blossom of spring is upon us, pick up the telephone and make the calls you’ve been meaning to for ages. Tell the ones closest to you how much you love them and acknowledge the neighbours that live alongside and around you, because life’s too short so let’s live it the best way we can.



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