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Why Gunners Slate Hargreaves?

Why Gunners Slate Hargreaves?

Owen Hargreaves is subjected to vicious abuse on the web since he dared saying United controlled Arsenal's passing game on Saturday.

The England man, having impressed in the game, went on to say United were more penetrative and defended very well.

'Arsenal kept the ball and had a lot of possession, but they were never really threatening,' said Hargreaves.

'Defensively, we did a good job and tried to control their so-called beautiful football. Both of our goals were from really beautiful pieces of play and theirs were a bit scrappy.

'Football is about scoring goals and winning games and I don`t think they had a clear-cut chance in the first half, apart from the header by Gallas, and that was a set piece.

'They keep the ball and try to play that way, but when a team is as good defensively as ours, you can keep them at bay because we played very tight together.'

I don't think that anyone who watched the match can disagree with that. Arsenal were reduced to harmless long-range shots and only due to serious mistakes in our defence were they allowed to score and it's fair to say neither of them came from beautiful football.

But hey, let Arsene Wenger speak instead of me.

"In the first half, we played with the hand-brake on," he said. "In the second half we had more freedom but we didn`t find our flowing game completely. We had to rely on character and determination."

A very precise and exact summary, Mr. Wenger. I completely agree. Why your side's fans feel Hargreaves insulted their style is beyond me.

Yet there are deluded supporters, like at Online Gooner who feel Hargreaves offended them. The aforementioned website issued an open letter to our midfielder, with some frankly ridiculous statements. I know that nowadays it's a crime in England to say that Arsenal are not the best thing since Brazil 1970 but still...

This website (no advertising here, believe me) claimed everyone on Saturday tuned in to watch Fabregas, Hleb and their brilliant full-backs. May I humbly say that some people were interested in Ronaldo, Tevez, Rooney, Giggs...

Secondly, the writer of the letter claims that England's real number one team did not make such remarks but praised Arsenal after the draw at Anfield. I did not know that England's number one team are Liverpool, I was of the belief that we were the reigning champions but if anyone can provide conclusive evidence to the opposite, I'll believe them.

And my most favourite is a recurring theme, I heard it from dozens of gooners since Saturday's game: that Hargreaves' football is not beautiful, he rarely makes a forward pass and so on... Lack of such basic knowledge of the game is incredible, slating a defensive midfielder for not being spectacular...

And I'm sorry for all those Gunners with a common sense. They are the majority, I know, it's just that message boards are littered with idiots. For me it's a fact that Arsenal played brilliant football up to the clash with us and they still deserve credit for the way they rescued a point at the death. But it's difficult to argue that they were far from their free-flowing best on Saturday: even Wenger admitted that.

There's simply no reason to take Hargreaves' views as an insult. They weren't meant to be.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

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Date:Tuesday November 6 2007
Time: 3:13PM


I was at the game and personally think that each team nulified the other. It was far more a tactical encounter than I imagined, but compelling all the same. For every chance Arsenal had Man Yoo had a counter and a draw was probably a fair result. I'd like to find a consensus of opinion though on whether you think SAF was out of order for his rant about the referee, the crowd and evrything else.
06/11/2007 15:37:00
Hargreaves should let his football do the talking not his gob. It's not what's said that upsets most, its the fact that it's been said by someone paid to play not be a pundit. Plenty of time for that in a couple of years when he's retired. He has also apparently also had a dig at Dynamo Kiev. Just keep your gob shut and do what you're paid to do, and this goes for ALL big-mouthed over-paid players
06/11/2007 15:42:00
i agree hatespur. the thing that annoyed arsenal; fans was hargreaves saying you scored two beautiful goals and are's were scrappy. i'm sorry but your first was very scrappy with rooney mi*****ting it and it deflecting in off gallas's hand! i would also like to hear your views on fergie's outburst? did you feel hard done by the referee (despite him missing the foul on hleb in your box and in the lead up to your goal)
06/11/2007 15:42:00
anyone called hatespur, is an arse.
06/11/2007 15:46:00
Why are your goals so different to ours. Rooney's shot hit gallas's hand otherwise Almunia had it and Ronaldo's was a defensive disaster with Almunia and a defender racing towards Rooney and getting in each others way. They were all defensive errors and btw ppl only say ur football is good because u win alot and have long term respect. That was some of the worst football i've seen from Arsenal this season and it was still equal to yours.
06/11/2007 15:55:00
our first goal may look scrappy, but it was a result of a wonderful pass from hleb and a few beautiful exchanges involving cesc, ade and sagna. the second goal was a driving run from a full back, crossed in, knocked across goal by walcott and slotted in by willy gallas. not too scrappy if u watch it again. it was a beautiful game ruined by nasty off-field antics
06/11/2007 15:57:00
I'm not called hatespur knobjockey. It is a tag for the internet. But you're right, i'm the arse.
06/11/2007 16:00:00
again, this article is pathetic.. just like their players and stupid manager... PATHETIC
06/11/2007 16:16:00
Not Nearly as pathetic as being called, sorry tagged hatespur, no need to look any further into the intellect of the gunners fan than that tag, but lets be positive, so glad we agree your an arse.
06/11/2007 16:24:00
zzzzzzzzzzz Perhaps I should change my tag to represent an ex player with a face like a horse who left us in the lurch after falling out with the best manager we are ever likely to be lucky enough to have. Is life in Surrey so interesting that your biggest concern in life is what I call myself on the internet??
06/11/2007 16:35:00
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