It’s not often I’m lost for words, but I was yesterday.
I spent some time in a bar with Alfred (podcast Swede) on Sunday and I said I thought we might lose yesterday. I pointed out in my prematch post that all the ‘it’s brightening up, guvnor’ nonsense after West Ham really was geared around Arsenal beating a pony team that’s been on its summer holidays since November.
The real Arsenal showed up yesterday. The one that cannot deal with teams that boast physical power and at least an iota of organisation. Once again this season, we were hustled in midfield. We have no answers for an aggressive press and what made the Palace approach interesting is they knew where to steal the ball from us, letting us play deep with it, cutting our angles and making it hard for us to break the lines.
Think about this… we conceded 17 chances to 28% possession. If you break that. They had the ball for 25.2 minutes (less because I’m taking a literal percentage of 90mins) of the game and managed to make a chance every 88 seconds. What does that tell you about Arsenal football club right now? It tells you there are deep systemic problems with the approach to football in 2017, and worse, it tells you the players don’t have an ounce of respect for the manager or his vision for the club moving forward.
Arsene Wenger takes warriors and churns them into chumps. There’s an in-ground saying when a new player comes to Arsenal and has a shot within his first 5 minutes…
‘Wenger will beat that out of him in no time’
Wenger now beats the fight out of them. He beats their will to win. He literally destroys anything that makes these guys want to win. He likes nice boys who will accept the status quo. He likes socialist actors who believe in equality, rather than the disgusting Wall Street tyrants you need hustling every second to ensure all the spoils are theirs.
Mesut Ozil is a World Cup winner, he’s created more chances in the league than anyone since he joined. He has more assists than anyone in the league since he arrived. Now he looks a wreck on the pitch. Bored, frustrated and unsure how to carry the team. Alexis Sanchez, a total warrior, lost to a manager who cares more about securing a weaker brief than he does fixing basic problems. Xhaka looks like a great conductor, but he’s overseeing 4 construction workers playing makeshift instruments on their lunch break. Our centre backs are a mess. Bellerin, though I felt was unfairly criticised yesterday, has regressed to junior levels. Emi Martinez is probably out of his depth, our 2 other keepers are a shambles, Petr Cech is no longer reliable after conceding more than 20% of his total career goals under Wenger.
Wenger is overseeing a farce. He’s made the whole season about him and his decision. What’s laughable is that no one wants him to sign, he’s playing hard to get in a prison cell of two… himself and Stan K. This is a leader starving his people to make the absolute point that he is indeed a demigod in North London. Wenger doesn’t care about results now, if anything, he seems to actively revelling in punishing the fans with…
‘YOU SEE NOW FOOLS. CAN YOU FEEL WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE AVERAGE’
Yes Arsene, we can. But we have felt this for years. What we’re seeing now isn’t the a one of after years of glory. What we’re seeing now is what happens when you call average > success and don’t stop the rot when it begins. We’re 8 years into the slow decapitation of a once powerful institution. Arsenal are a giant sea turtle with a plastic beer ring stuck around its neck, the plastic has been cutting for years, and the pain has been there… but now it’s deadly. Wenger has positioned the beer ring as a fashion accessory to be admired. Now the folly of that view is over, gangrene has settled in, and dark days are upon us.
Don’t let Wenger con you into thinking this is the blip. Dropping our of the CL at the last 16 7 years in a row is not a blip. Being meshed out absolute wallopings season after season by a whole array of clubs is not a blip. The top 4 has been a mirage to keep the weak minded focused on things other than the decay. Now we’re in freefall, and this my friends is the best possible outcome.
When you know a populist leader is going to win an election, the best you can hope for is that they don’t win a majority. You need to hope that the margin by which they gain power is as slim as possible. That’s what we’re dealing with right now. Wenger isn’t signing on because he doesn’t have a mandate for power right now. I believe he was waiting to clock up 9 points before City to announce he was staying. That plan is now dead, he’s going to delay again.
Here’s the interesting part, the next few weeks could culminate in a very nasty home ground episode. We play Boro’ away next, they’ll be tough because they have such a solid defence. Then we go on a horrible run.
City in the cup is likely to be a loss, Arsenal under pressure against a good team only ends in one scenario for me. Then we have a home game vs Leicester which doesn’t look good, then it’s Spurs away which is looking like a loss, and then the nightmare… Jose Mourinho at home. We could be on our 3rd straight defeat. Out of the CL race, out of the FA Cup, witnessing the worst performance under Wenger ever.
Those two home games will be a chance for the fans to actually voice their anger. That’s our chance to tell Ivan and Stan this carry on has gone on too far. That’s our chance to let Arsene know the majority no longer sit with him.
What we want out of this is simple. Actual change that goes with the contract. See you later Gerry Peyton, Boro Piromac, Tony Colbert and Steve Rowley. Hello Director of Football and welcome to the job of reworking our squad and backroom team without Arsene Wenger pulling the strings. Welcome to new coaches, with an equal spread of power, responsibility and accountability. Welcome Arsene, to a more democratic setup that weakens your grip on the club so at the end of your tenure… your switch out is as breezy as a Chelsea managerial sacking.
So look, this isn’t going to be a fun few weeks… but I can assure you, the nuclear end to our season that we’re witnessing is the best one, because a weak Wenger, with no leverage, with no moronic fans singing his name… is one who is going to have to suck up a new world order that doesn’t have him front and centre.
Think about this, our home fans are going to have to outsing the away fans who will be ironically singing – ‘One Arsene Wenger’
By the time mid-May comes round, Wenger be throwing anyone he can under the bus to cling to power, and that’s literally the only outcome that can move the needle next year, because as was shown again today, our club is rotten and all Wenger’s work in preserving himself over the last 8 years, has come back to bite him harder than he thought possible.
Let’s hope Ivan starts building consensus with Stan so this doesn’t get too messy.
We’re recording the pod tonight, we’ll be reading out the most thoughtful comments… so be sensible and be nice to each other.
P.S. This was from @TheEisaAli