A couple of days on and I’m still pretty raw about the Manchester United loss. Reading around the blogs, there’s not a groundswell of anger, more a deflated feeling of acceptance, like when you look at the weather forecast and realise global warming has done nothing for those Mediterranean winters you were promised.
F*ck you Al Gore.
One of the more worrying issues that came out of our loss to United was Wenger’s excuse regarding the poor United pitch. This was an ill-advised statement and I’ve been wondering what ramifications it has for the culture we have at the club?
@Jack_Wilshere haha to be honest the pitch was shocking! Wanted to stop us playing!
Now, I don’t expect young Jack to slate the playing staff at the club, but he seems to be pretty nonchalant about churning out the same line as the manager. Simple fact is, we weren’t good enough on so many more levels than just the pitch. Arsene making excuses about the grass merely masks the truth. That’s ok if he’s giving the players a rollicking at training but from what I understand, he doesn’t.
You can’t have a culture of excuse making at a football club. You need a winners mentality to flow through everyone. Jack coming out with that little pearler on twitter leads me to believe that he’s not looking closer to home. If he’s not, what makes anyone think the rest of players are?
Chesney was in the Evening Standard yesterday, goading lucky United. Denilson will no doubt be on Arsenal.com later telling the world how we’re ready to win the league and Theo Walcott will be telling us how he likes to go to the cinema and watch films in the front row to make his eyes go funny (Bless).
The coach needs to start driving some spark into our players. You can see on the pitch that we’re too nice. He needs to drop non-performers this weekend and he needs to start creating a fear in the dressing room that if you’re not good enough, you’ll go.
Telling your squad you’re not going to buy in January served no purpose whatsoever. Where is this incentive to up your game if you know the coach isn’t going to put pressure on your place?
Let’s talk about some stats from the United game that should be flagged at the training ground.
- Clichy pass success rate 64% (56 total passes)
- Sagna pass success rate 65% (81 total passes)
- Chesney pass success rate 43% (35 total passes)
- Song successful tackles 1 (Out of a total of 3 attempted)
- Chamakh successful tackles 5 (Out of a total of 13 attempted)
- Arshavin successful tackles 5 (Out of a total of 5 attempted)
- Chamakh successful shots 1 (Out of a total of 2 attempted)
Just for the full backs, here are the stats from the Spurs game
- A.Cole pass success rate 86% (51 total passes)
- Sagna pass success rate 94% (32 total passes)
- A.Ekkotu pass success rate 73% (51 total passes)
- Sagna pass success rate 67% (46 total passes)
Our full backs have been flagged as being inadequate for a long time. Did United pressurise them as a tactic?
I think Sagna is generally fine, what he lacks in flair, he makes up for in defending. However, I’m not so sure with Gael these days. How loyal can you be? He’s costing us in games on a regular basis now, he shows no sign of getting his head together… maybe it’s time to bring in new blood or hope that Gibbs will fix?
Talking of Gibbs and super injured players, where are we getting these days with loyalty to them? When was the last time sticking it out with a crock paid off? Marc Overmars and Kanu put their problems behind them back in the day and gave us some good service, Bobby P put his hard times behind him for at least a season and did well, but lately, we haven’t been getting the same luck.
We waited the best part of 2 years for the return of Rosicky. We could have gone out and purchased a glut of attacking talent in the meantime, but we didn’t. Now he’s back and fit, he’s 29 and like before his injury, he really isn’t putting in the barnstorming performances we expected after we saw him score that goal against America in the world cup. He has rarely imposed himself on a game, rarely scored a winner and he hasn’t found the net since January.
Was that two years of rehabilitation well spent?
Now we’re on the topic, we might as well talk about Robin ‘I’m ok for the World Cup’ Van Persie. He spent the whole season out, comes back fit as a fiddle for the world cup, picks up a customary injury on his return, gets back to fitness and now he looks lost. He’s apparently upset because he’s no longer first choice, but Wenger is so confused with what to do with him, he’s resorted to sticking him as a deep-lying Paul Scholes-esque playmaker.
Have the club finally realised they’re not getting value for money out of these crocks?
Will they realise that Diaby has been the biggest disappointment since Lapland in the New Forest?
Again, fit for the world cup, but comes back and he doesn’t fancy it. He was last spotted on the bench when we spanked Shaktar on the 19th October, since then, he’s been more elusive than Julian Assange (Fight the good fight Julian!).
- 2005 – 15
- 2006 – 13
- 2007 – 16
- 2008 – 25
- 2009 – 34
- 2010 – 6
Above are appearance stats for Abou. When do you stop, analyse and decide this player is never going to be a man you can depend on?
Wenger needs to be more ruthless in his approach to injured players. Chamakh might not be the world’s greatest striker, he might not have the talent Robin does, but he’s there, every week, trying his heart out and he hasn’t let us down yet.
What’s worth more, him in the team week in week out, or Robin for the odd 25 games?
In other news, @Greggooner told me that a number of Premiership clubs are looking at Inter’s fullback Santon. He’s fast, energetic and he’s 6ft1. There were big hopes for him at Inter but he’s fallen down the pecking order under Rafa. He’s 19 years old and worth £8.5million, so obviously, we can’t rule him out in the January transfer window. I think the fact he can play both sides has appeal, so we’ll see where this one goes!
Right, I’ll catch you all in the comments section!
Have a ripping day, it’s nearly Christmas!
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