So Arsenal are 10 points off the pace, we’ve managed to pick up 5 defeats already this season… oh and we are 1 point ahead of Hull.
This situation we find ourselves in is simply not good enough for a club like Arsenal.
I don’t care how close the kids are, I don’t care how much money we make or how fantastic our new stadium is… I care about results, some section have forgotten about that but in fairness, we’ve been spun into thinking that having a good business model and acting ethically out weighs competing on the pitch. Our Chairman told us it isn’t all about trophies, that statement was echoed by the manager… hold the back page a minute… if management are thinking that way, is it a surprise the players are?
I demand my team competes for trophies every year… If you don’t subscribe to those values, why do you support a team in a competition… why buy the most expensive ticket in football? I can’t imagine there was a period when Arsenal fans were happy with average?
Sadly we’ve not been competing for the best part of 4 years. We had a good year last year, but that squad was too light to last the pace… then we lost some key members of that small squad of players, Wenger didn’t deem it necessary to replace them and we are where we are now as a result of that.
This is clearly the worst crop of players we’ve ever had under Arsene Wenger… and I’m not talking about ability, I’m talking about the attitude balance. We’ve been lumbered with a Captain who clearly had mental problems at his old club, we’ve got a star striker who thinks it is ok to head butt a team mate during a game and we’ve got a whole host of other players who just aren’t up to top 4 standards… and you know what summed it all up for me? Nik Bendtner turning up in Pink boots.
For me it just shows a complete lack of respect for the team and the fans… I know you probably think I am going off on a tangent here… but there are certain things you don’t do in football when your team is playing shite… wearing Pink boots is one of them. Let me explain…
It smacks of arrogance that a 21 year old player thinks he is talented enough to make Pink boots look good. It also shows that as a player, he is more concerned about how he looks rather than how he plays. Why else would you wear something that so obviously spits in the face of convention? It’s a completely egotistical thing to do in my eyes… when your team is on a downer, you tell your sponsor to piss off when they ask you to market their new fairy boots, especially when you’ve been playing poorly. Those boots were a complete joke and they summed up our performance yesterday.
This was the line-up:
Hoyte Silvestre JD Clichy
Diaby Song Denilson Nasri
I thought that was a poor selection and I said so in the comments.
Firstly, Diaby has problems breaking into the team because of Cesc… even though he has looked a lot more threatening over the last few weeks. So why not pair him with Denilson? When has Diaby ever shown any sort of ability out wide? A stupid decision in my eyes.
Secondly… Why was Song even playing? I always try and defend players because I want to believe they have something and I hate to write people off. However, if I was an insurance claims specialist… I’d take one look at the wreckage that is Song’s ability and assume there must have been some sort of horrific accident… I’d write Song off and pay Arsenal the sum of his value before the accident (About £27). There is just no hope… no chance of reworking him into a player that can wear the red and white of Arsenal.
I’ve got a good mind contact Phil Woolas (Labour Immigration Minister: email@example.com) and ask how the hell Song was granted a work permit on the basis of exceptional talent. Especially as Wenger has gone on record saying we couldn’t sign a 19 year old RONALDINHO due to permit issues!
I’m sorry, but Song is a walking calamity and he has been since he arrived. The very fact that he is in the first team squad should tell you how low Wenger has let his standards drop since the introduction of ‘Project Youth’.
Back to team selection.
If you move Diaby into the middle… why not stick Rambo in at right midfield? At least he has the ability to play there… at least he has energy and creative flair. He is flying at the moment and has the confidence and ability to change a game… if he tired after an hour (A 17 year old athlete should not tire after 2 games in 4 days), sub him and bring Jack on for 30 mins. Wenger seems to be insistent on sticking round pegs in square holes and it is not working.
As for the striking combo… well… what the hell has Nik done to justify a start? He has been beyond dreadful this season and my patience is wearing thin with him. Rolling onto the pitch with his fairy boots clearly put him into character as he played like Tinkerbell, it was embarrassing. Matt Le Tissier was really quite riled by the arrogance of Nik wearing those boots… he said something like,
‘You simply don’t wear boots like that until you have done something in the game.’
I make him totally right. He hasn’t done anything for the club this season and I am at odds to why Wenger didn’t pick Carlos Vela? At least Carlos looks interested in scoring goals. When he came on late he wanted the ball to his feet and he wasn’t afraid to pull the trigger… unlike the sluggish Dane who is so low on confidence he is scared to shoot.
I thought the team looked rudderless and utterly unimaginative. They played with all the attacking flair of a Sam Allardyce team. RvP was woeful and looked completely detached from the team… he is like the odd piece in the jigsaw… no one seems to be able to read him and to be honest, I don’t know what his game is all about?
Samir Nasri was anonymous and a bit lazy. He just seems to wander around the pitch doing a great job of doing naff all. There is a real lack of productivity in his game when he is off his game. At least Hleb would run his socks off and create openings… Nasri doesn’t have that game yet… but what can you expect after 3 months?
Almunia was back to his dreadful worst. He was lobbed for Robinho’s goal when perhaps he should have been off his line a bit quicker and he was also lucky to get away with spilling a tame shot in the second half.
I think my biggest worry of the day was Clichy. He has gone from being Mr Reliable to Corporal fuck up in the space of 6 months. His mistimed clearance led to the first City goal… but to be honest, it was coming and we all knew it.
‘We lacked the maturity to deal with being in a dominant situation’
I don’t remember being in a dominant postion and If we lacked maturity, whose fault is that? Excuses like that aren’t acceptable anymore… you had all summer to rectify a lack of maturity.
So, enough moaning… onto the solutions.
Well, there really is only one… and that is play the Carling Cup stars. If your first team can’t cut it and your reserve team can… there is only one option. Ship out the under performers and replace them with on form young pretenders who are hungry to take their places.
Bring in Rambo, bring in Jack and bring in Vela. It’s not a top 4 solution, but I’m afraid due to our piss poor strategy this summer… it’s the only solution.
Long term, it is clear what Arsene has to do. He must return to doing what he has a proven track record of doing. He has to go out and purchase £30million worth of ‘nearly world class’ talent. He needs to sign them in January, get them settled and then see where he is in the summer. We need at least three or four 25 year old internationals with Champions league experience. We need a Keita in midfield, a proper winger and a centre back that strikes fear into not only the opposition… but his team mates.
I don’t want to hear that these players don’t exist, because the world is a pretty huge place and we are supposed to have the best scouting network around. Go out and ask about De Rossi, Arshavin or Chillieni… go and raid Madrid’s subs bench… ask Inter whether they’d let Adriano go and maybe help him reinvigorate his flagging career. I’m not saying those players are the answer… just that their are players out there, because everyone else seems to be finding them.
Wenger should do what he does best… make nearly players world class. Give up on Project youth, it’s a dead duck. Only the best players deserve a chance at Arsenal FC.
One more point I’d like to make… players should be judged on ability, not on their date of birth. Flogging players who have hit 30 is poor management. Would we be in the same situation if Gilberto had stayed this summer? I doubt it. He was still a world class player when you sold him and he would have made a great captain.
Arsene… we’re asking you to return to your old ways, because watching this team collapse in front of our eyes is sickening and if you continue to stubbornly pursue your dream… things will only end in one way. I do not want you sacked, but I do want to see a change in club policies. This can only happen by employing a new CEO. The task shouldn’t take over a year and it shouldn’t be decided by Wenger. He shouldn’t even have a say on it and I hope that is the case. Selecting your own boss is a bit counter productive. We want someone to kick the club on… not agree with everything Emperor Wenger dictates.
I’ll leave you with a Wenger quote.
‘In a big club you have to go through these periods, and how we deal with it will shape our future.’
UEFA Cup football, sub standard players and empty seats were never part of the future… and I hope you are the man to keep it that way.
Happy Sunday Grovers… at least all 4 of our rivals dropped 2 points!