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Xtratime's Head of Humour 2007
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Discussion Starter #1
Arsenal edge ahead Liverpool class of '88
By Gary Lineker (Filed: 28/03/2004)

As Arsenal attempt to secure their place in history at Highbury today, you can't help wondering what would happen if, like the ingenious television advert that pits Muhammad Ali against his daughter Laila, you could somehow splice together Arsene Wenger's side and the wonderful Liverpool team of 16 years ago in a confrontation to settle the footballing debate of the moment. Which of them would sting like a bee?

On a statistical level, if Arsenal avoid defeat against Manchester United today they will establish a 30-match unbeaten record in a single season in the top flight, surpassing the previous marks set by Liverpool in the 1987-88 season and Leeds 12 years earlier.

There can be no doubt that Wenger's provocative claim a couple of years ago that a power shift had taken place in English football has now been justified, for the moment at least, yet Arsenal's place in footballing history continues to provoke heated argument.

I was in Barcelona the year that Liverpool equalled the record and therefore missed out on the wild celebrations that took place at Goodison Park after my old club stopped their Merseyside rivals' run in its tracks with a 1-0 victory.

But I did, of course, have plenty of opportunities to experience the might of Liverpool throughout the 80s and it is a measure of Arsenal's progress this season that I give them the edge over that 1987-88 side. But if you ask me whether Arsenal are truly the greatest club ever to grace English football, my answer would have to be: not yet. But more of that later.

It is always dangerous to compare sides from different eras, particularly since players nowadays are so much quicker and more athletic, but, allowing for the advances in sport science, fitness and nutrition, the present Arsenal line-up throws up some interesting comparisons with Kenny Dalglish's championship-winning side.

Arsenal, like the Liverpool of '88, combine a sturdy defence with a free-scoring attack and a tremendous work ethic in midfield. But for the greatest similarity you need look no further than the men between the posts. Goalkeepers are always mad, but none come madder than Bruce Grobbelaar and Jens Lehmann, players who are capable of sheer brilliance one minute and an embarrassing howler the next.

The similarities go further than their volatile temperaments. The reason why both can occasionally appear so accident-prone is that they are goalkeepers who like to dominate the penalty box. Alan Hansen would be the first to tell you that, faced with having to head the ball clear in a crowded area, he would much rather have seen his goalkeeper come out and grab the ball.

A goalkeeper who is prepared to come off his line can take the pressure off his defenders, though such positive thinking comes at a price. It is precisely because they are prepared to put themselves in the firing line to such an extent that errors will occur.

Looking at Lehmann's season, you have to say that the pros have outweighed the cons, though my only reservation is about his temperament. He never seems happy when challenged and you wonder how long it will take for him to lose his head and earn himself a red card. It is a chink in his armour that managers may well seek to exploit in the future.

Fortunately for Lehmann, he has had the privilege of playing behind a magnificent defence, perhaps Arsenal's biggest area of improvement since last year. Wenger, to his credit, has replaced the old guard gradually and brilliantly, and this season they have reaped the benefits.

Sol Campbell has grown steadily in confidence and Kolo Toure looks to be one of the manager's most astute buys, a prodigious talent who has made the centre-back position his own.

Yet for all that, the Liverpool defence of 16 years ago takes some beating. Steve Nicol, at right-back, was a solid uncompromising footballer capable of playing in a number of positions, while Gary Gillespie was a terrific defender. And then there was Hansen.

It pains me to say it, and I hope to God he never reads this, but he was quite simply the best. He was a footballing centre-half, keeping the ball and never giving it away needlessly. Positionally, he remains unrivalled, which is something that I think comes across in his TV analysis. He understands the art of defending more than any player I have ever seen.

In terms of the midfield, Arsenal probably shade it. I would put John Barnes marginally ahead of Robert Pires, even though critics would say he was never able to reproduce his club form in an England shirt,but in Patrick Vieira the north Londoners have one of their most potent weapons.

His Liverpool counterpart, Steve McMahon, was a fiercely combative professional, but Vieira has the same qualities and more - great athleticism allied to awe-inspiring skill. You are talking about a truly world-class player.

As for the attack, Liverpool's strike-force of Peter Beardsley and John Aldridge were a fearsome double act. For England, Beardsley was the best strike partner I ever played with, an unselfish player with superb vision and great passing skills who stayed out of the penalty box and left it to me to apply the finishing touch.

I averaged nearly a goal a game with him alongside me and Aldridge, a classic goal-poacher like me, also reaped the benefits. Neither Thierry Henry nor Dennis Bergkamp fit the Aldridge mould, though both are not averse to scrapping in the danger zone. Yet you have to say that Henry is in a class of his own. If you are looking to assess Arsenal's place in history, Henry is the one player who stands out from any era. He has got it all.

So let's return to the central question. Where does this Arsenal side stand in the footballing pantheon? Better, I would say, than the Liverpool class of '88, but not quite the best. Although Dalglish's side equalled Leeds's record, it was during his playing days that Liverpool hit their peak.

He was a great, great footballer and the team he played in during the late 70s and early 80s, alongside the likes of Hansen, Mark Lawrenson, Phil Thompson and Graeme Souness, still loom large as the outstanding side of the modern era.

For Arsenal to achieve true greatness, they need to prove themselves in the years to come. With youth on their side, I see no reason why they cannot go on to better things, but the true test will be whether they win European honours and claim back-to-back league titles for the first time in their history.

Only after a sustained period of supremacy, like Liverpool's domination of the 80s, can one talk of a genuine power shift in the game. In 1988, Liverpool were approaching the end of their reign and the era of Manchester United was about to begin. The challenge for Wenger's side is to match that.



-------------------------------------


I agree with nearly all of Lineker's views,but would likt to point out that Chapmans side won three consecutive titles.

good article though,thoughts??????




;)
 

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Jern Lizardhous said:
what arrogance Drummer? did you actually bother to read the article ?
or he can't understand that we are number ONE in ENGLAND

and there is only one team in ENGLAND
there is ONLY ONE team called ARSENAL
 

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Xtratime's Head of Humour 2007
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Discussion Starter #6
Record Breaker,
If you're the tallest, the smallest,
If you're the fattest, the thinest, if you always win it,
Your the fastest, the slowest, if you really go,
Then you're a record breaker, a record maker,
You're a record breaker.

If you're the best, the worst, longest immersed,
If you're the base, the ace, furthest in space,
If you can score, more, that a herbivore,
Then you're a record breaker, you're a record maker,
You're a record breaker.

If you can fly like a bird,
If you can play the highest note, ever heard,
If you could swim the Atlantic,
Then the records, mmm, they would go frantic.

If you're the rarest, the fairest, grown the longest hair,
If you're oldest, the boldest, got the most gold,
If you're the newest, the fewest, largest tattoo,
Then you're a record breaker, you're a record maker,
You're a record breaker.

If you could lift, twenty tonnes,
If you could score, ninety-nine thousand runs,
The whole sporting world, would applaud it,
The McWhirters, mmm, they would record it.

If you're the wildest, the mildest, cleverest child,
If you're the strongest, longest, never been wrong,
If you're the latest, the greatest, then you can state,
That you're a record breaker, you're a record maker,
You're a record breaker.


Dedication

Dedication, dedication
Dedication, that's what you need
If you wanna be the best
If you wanna beat the rest
Oh-oh dedication's what you need;
If you wanna be a record break-er, Oooooh.







DEDICATION IS WHAT WE HAVE!!!!!!!!!! :D

ALL HAIL THE ARSENAL!!!!!!!!!!!! :fero:

THIRTY GAMES UNBEATEN FROM START OF SEASON!!!!!!

THE RECORD BREAKERS!!!!!!!!

:star: :star: :star: :star: :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:
 

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Congrats on the record.:thumbsup:
It must suck though since Arsenal is basically a french team in an English league, and they just became arguably the best team in English history.:howler:
 

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Jern Lizardhous said:
Record Breaker,
If you're the tallest, the smallest,
If you're the fattest, the thinest, if you always win it,
Your the fastest, the slowest, if you really go,
Then you're a record breaker, a record maker,
You're a record breaker.

If you're the best, the worst, longest immersed,
If you're the base, the ace, furthest in space,
If you can score, more, that a herbivore,
Then you're a record breaker, you're a record maker,
You're a record breaker.

If you can fly like a bird,
If you can play the highest note, ever heard,
If you could swim the Atlantic,
Then the records, mmm, they would go frantic.

If you're the rarest, the fairest, grown the longest hair,
If you're oldest, the boldest, got the most gold,
If you're the newest, the fewest, largest tattoo,
Then you're a record breaker, you're a record maker,
You're a record breaker.

If you could lift, twenty tonnes,
If you could score, ninety-nine thousand runs,
The whole sporting world, would applaud it,
The McWhirters, mmm, they would record it.

If you're the wildest, the mildest, cleverest child,
If you're the strongest, longest, never been wrong,
If you're the latest, the greatest, then you can state,
That you're a record breaker, you're a record maker,
You're a record breaker.


Dedication

Dedication, dedication
Dedication, that's what you need
If you wanna be the best
If you wanna beat the rest
Oh-oh dedication's what you need;
If you wanna be a record break-er, Oooooh.







DEDICATION IS WHAT WE HAVE!!!!!!!!!! :D

ALL HAIL THE ARSENAL!!!!!!!!!!!! :fero:

THIRTY GAMES UNBEATEN FROM START OF SEASON!!!!!!

THE RECORD BREAKERS!!!!!!!!

:star: :star: :star: :star: :star: :star: :star: :star: :star:

I will wait to hear it in the new Album
Hetfield Voice will be great when he'll say "You're a record breaker."
:D :D :D
 

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Jern Lizardhous said:
Arsenal edge ahead Liverpool class of '88
By Gary Lineker (Filed: 28/03/2004)

Yet for all that, the Liverpool defence of 16 years ago takes some beating. Steve Nicol, at right-back, was a solid uncompromising footballer capable of playing in a number of positions, while Gary Gillespie was a terrific defender. And then there was Hansen.

It pains me to say it, and I hope to God he never reads this, but he was quite simply the best.

On terms of the midfield, Arsenal probably shade it. I would put John Barnes marginally ahead of Robert Pires,

His Liverpool counterpart, Steve McMahon, was a fiercely combative professional, but Vieira has the same qualities and more

As for the attack, Liverpool's strike-force of Peter Beardsley and John Aldridge were a fearsome double act.

For England, Beardsley was the best strike partner I ever played with, an unselfish player with superb vision and great passing skills who stayed out of the penalty box and left it to me to apply the finishing touch.

Neither Thierry Henry nor Dennis Bergkamp fit the Aldridge mould, though both are not averse to scrapping in the danger zone. Yet you have to say that Henry is in a class of his own. If you are looking to assess Arsenal's place in history, Henry is the one player who stands out from any era. He has got it all.

Although Dalglish's side equalled Leeds's record, it was during his playing days that Liverpool hit their peak.

He was a great, great footballer and the team he played in during the late 70s and early 80s, alongside the likes of Hansen, Mark Lawrenson, Phil Thompson and Graeme Souness, still loom large as the outstanding side of the modern era.

For Arsenal to achieve true greatness, they need to prove themselves in the years to come. With youth on their side, I see no reason why they cannot go on to better things, but the true test will be whether they win European honours and claim back-to-back league titles for the first time in their history.

Only after a sustained period of supremacy, like Liverpool's domination of the 80s, can one talk of a genuine power shift in the game. In 1988, Liverpool were approaching the end of their reign and the era of Manchester United was about to begin. The challenge for Wenger's side is to match that.
interesting stuff...Lineker's right, only after a sustained period of supremacy can Arsenal be compared with United or Liverpool of the 90s and 80s. But he is also right that they have youth on their side, they have strength in the right areas and in Henry, they have, arguably, the best player in the world. I think arsenal's defence is as good as United's was during the 90s, perhaps better, but definitely not as good as Liverpools, simply because there is no one comparable to Hansen in the Arsenal team or the British game in general. Sad but true.
 

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Xtratime's Head of Humour 2007
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Discussion Starter #11
Re: Re: the record breakers???? better than Liverpool ????

Fred Elliot said:
interesting stuff...Lineker's right, only after a sustained period of supremacy can Arsenal be compared with United or Liverpool of the 90s and 80s. But he is also right that they have youth on their side, they have strength in the right areas and in Henry, they have, arguably, the best player in the world. I think arsenal's defence is as good as United's was during the 90s, perhaps better, but definitely not as good as Liverpools, simply because there is no one comparable to Hansen in the Arsenal team or the British game in general. Sad but true.
yes maybe the 1984 Liverpool side was the best for sheer quality throughout,i know Scousers go on about their great 1988/89 team but i always thought they were great in attack but they had a fair few ordinary players in that team. ;)

or maybe the 1978 team,was that the side that conceded 16 goals in 42 games or something stupid,with a spine of Hansen,Souness,Dalglish and good strong players in all positions.;)

still i prefer this Arsenal team to look at even if they are not 'great',the football has changed now,in them days players used to stay in their own countries a lot more,plus with all the teams from Italy and Spain in the CL it is harder to win now IMO.

United of 1994 should be in with a shout as well,they were an attacking masterpiece,didn't they once win 26 straight matches in League and Cup with no draws? :eek: :eek: :eek:
 
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