So, two days have passed and I'm still not quite over the performance of the team against Swansea. It's quite apparent, that despite getting outsmarted on more than one occasion the manager still has no interest in making any sort of notable changes to the way he sets up his team. I mean at a very base level there are a few things I'd have liked to have seen. The first one is most certainly putting players where they need to be played.
Aaron Ramsey, love him or hate him, is not a player who plays well out wide left. I've no doubt he puts his all in, he's a hard worker. However, I'd guess that even he would tell you he doesn't favour playing wide left. Now, I might be wrong here (I really might be), but I'm pretty sure Cazorla has played wide left for Malaga and I think he's done the same for Spain. Now, why not try him there for Arsenal. He hasn't been majorly effective in the middle for a few games of late, but Rambo is almost never effective out wide. Wouldn't it be an interesting experiment? It'd give a bit of balance to the front three. Having someone who can control the ball, run with it and make an incisive pass.
On Cazorla, he's only just come over to England, he looks tired at the moment and it appears to be affecting his performances. Again, why is he being taken all over the country and flogged to death in our midfield. Why was he taken to Bradford in the Carling Cup, shouldn't we be giving him a bit of rest when the club really shouldn't need to play a super powerful first team?
What does this come down to? Trust...
Wenger starts every season and says that our squad is so bustling with top quality talent, he doesn't need to make an entry into the transfer market. We're now in January, how many times have our key players been rested? I've seen nothing of Coquelin this season. I've seen nothing of Rosicky, a player who was top quality last season. How about Andrey Arshavin? Totally frozen out despite being more than capable of deputising for Cazorla. What about Frimpong? If he's that useless, why did we give him a squad number? Same with JD and Chamakh.
Rafa Benitez was in a press conference the other day champing his squad rotation policy. He was saying that he analyses reams of data on his players to work out who is playing with the most efficiency, who has the best fitness and who is mentally in the right state. He makes small changes every week according to the data which should mean he has players who are ready to fight for the cause every week. We don't do that at Arsenal. We put the same people in every week because we have to. Never mind the physical fatigue, what about the mental side of the game? You know what it's like when you have to work 13 hour days for two weeks, you might love what you do, but the whole thing becomes tedious. You start to dread going in to work. It's the same for footballers. That is so obvious to see when you see some of the wretched performances put on show. We don't treat the players like people, we treat them like robots.
If anyone still carries the notion that Arsene Wenger is man ahead of the times, just look at how we set up every week. Look at how tired our players always look. Look at how flat out of ideas everyone is.
We have a whole squad of players Wenger doesn't trust, which means we over play the ones he does... which generally results in an injury somewhere along the line.
On the injury front, you have to give it to the medical team. It's a minor miracle we have a fully fit squad in January. That said. If he doesn't start resting players, a full squad won't last long.
Arsene Wenger plays the game well. He knows that Stan Kroenke doesn't really care about what the club achieve on the pitch providing his asset appreciates. I've been told that the people in power at Arsenal are fully aware of the deficiencies our manager boasts. Why wouldn't they be? They read all the press around the club. They see how others operate. But they know there's a power vacuum at the club. Wenger holds far too much weight. His silly one man crusade against the big bad beasts of capitalism will go on as long as he produces a profit every year. Even when he drops out of the top 4, he's stored up enough profit points to ensure he gets another crack at the whip. That's not only with Stan, that's with the press as well.
Mourinho sums it up well...
“Yes I would love to have that stability at a club.
“But at the same time I think for my mentality I also need the pressure to succeed. And if no one imposes that pressure on me then I would impose that pressure on myself.
“The pressure to win things.
“Yes it’s possible to be one or two seasons building for the future and not being at the level to win things.
“But no longer, because my mentality is I always need the pressure of winning things. Maybe it could happen soon for Arsenal.
“They play good football and produce good players.
“And they’re always buying players in every transfer window so surely sooner or later they should do something, should win something.”
There's not pressure because we have an owner who doesn't care about winning and we have a manager who has winning as a low priority.
Things won't change until he changes. Or goes. I know which one is more likely to happen. I think two more years at the most before he leaves. I'd be surprised if he signed up to four more years of criticism. I don't think he'd be able to take it.
Fans are already talking about boycotting the Swansea game. I don't think that'll happen. What people say on Twitter rarely translates into offline action. Personally, I don't agree with match day protests. It's not the players fault the manager is antiquated. I pay for my ticket because I have unconditional love for my club. I can't just abandon it when things aren't going my way.
I think what rankles me about ideas like that, is the only way Stan Kroenke will listen is if he's hit in the pocket. Fans not going to the games is one of the few ways he'll ever hear the message. I won't partake though. We're not Newcastle fans. That's not to say I'd critique anyone who did want to take part. If you are going to do something like that... then call a spade a spade... you're protesting against Arsene Wenger and his employment at the club. Don't sugar coat it around greed in the game or the direction of the club. That's not the board. That's Arsene Wenger.
In other news, the vibe is still strong at the training camp that Theo is going to sign on for another long term contract and all the David Villa talk is real. I don't know whether it'll end in something permanent, but it's certainly not a red herring for something else.
In other news, The Mirror has us linked to Eduardo Vargas. This was a rumour made up on Twitter. Just goes to show you how much bullsh*t goes into producing newspapers. The other story of the day is around Lucas Biglia, again, seems nothing more than agent talk.
Finally, these pictures might be utter nonsense, but apparently they might not be... via @NwankwoKanu1981