Morning Grovers, I have to smash through this post quickly today, so no interrupting my mad flow.
First up, Arsene Wenger had a bit of a nightmare in the press conference yesterday. His first clanger was when he suggested the current player might be more committed than Big T and TH.
“These players care as much [as the likes of Adams, Henry], maybe even more.”
Ouch. Arsene, the only players with commitment levels on those levels are Jack Wilshere, Jack Wilshere and Jack Wilshere. Don’t give me they care the same as two of our greatest servants, because it’s quite clear they don’t. Thierry Henry might have acted like a princess on occasions, but the man cared for the club deeply and put his all in even during the darker days. Tony Adams… well… jeez… he has a statue outside the stadium. Nobody complained about that happening. Why? Because the man bled Arsenal in every game. 100% commitment to the cause, immense pride to wear the shirt and a drive so determined, we’d be lucky to see it again.
People say that Arsene was pushed into a corner with that question… perhaps he should have just ignored it? Or turned it on its head? I mean, the guy is a bit long in the tooth to get drawn into making ridiculously inflammatory comments that upset the fans. No sooner had he said that, he was slamming the players commitment in the big games…
“You want to win your big games and turn up with a committed attitude,”
“Last year we could win big games and on Sunday you come out of the game and think ‘what is happening?’ They want to do well and are focused, but maybe a bit too respectful in the big games with other teams.’
What the hell does ‘too respectful’ mean? That’s a cop out. Since when does playing with no heart equate to too much respect? Those boys don’t show enough respect for the shirt they’re wearing and the job they’re supposed to be doing. Anyway, you said two minutes ago they were as committed if not more than Tony Adams and Thierry Henry? What happened? Those guys turned up for the big games.
This next quote is the one that really gets me…
“It was a fantastic opportunity this season,”
“To catch Manchester United is out of sight at the moment. We have to get closer to the people in front of us before we can think that. United is far, but there is no untouchable team in the country.”
Firstly, it was only last week that he admitted to Amy Lawrence he knew he was giving the title to United when he sold them Robin Van Persie. Blame the players all you want, but giving the second best team in the country your best striker, then blaming the players for not catching them is a bit rich. I understand why we sold him to the only team who bid for him, but actually, the second mistake was assuming you could replace him on a budget. If you sell the best striker in the world, you need to replace him with someone who has the ingredients to be world class. That, or bring in world class. Which is expensive, but you wouldn’t have gone far wrong with Cavani, Demba Ba (£7.5m is outrageously cheap) or even someone like Lewandowski.
The point is, we finished a million miles away from the top last year, sold our two best performers, bought in a few potentially good players… and expected to make up a 20 point gap? What planet does Arsene live on where he thinks he can constantly defy the laws of the transfer market by buying cheap players to replace top, top quality. Sure, you can get away with it sometimes, but you can’t pull off miracles every summer. United finished level points with City, then went out and spent £50million. Bayern finished second and remedied that by spending £70million. How arrogant do you have to be to finish third and think you can catch the teams ahead turning in a transfer surplus?
If anyone is at fault for the shocking season we’ve had, it’s Arsene.
Tonight, we’re in trouble again. Coquelin and Arteta both miss the game through injury. There are also late fitness tests for Podolski, Chamberlain… and you guessed it…ABOU DIABY.
I mean honestly, what a joke. Two games back from injury and we’re already talking about him being out or needing a rest. Wenger knew this could happen, in fact, he didn’t just know, it was a straight up guarantee, yet he’s still not done anything about replacing him? He’s talking about Diame, which is positive, but I feel he’s only looking at him because he’s available for £3.5m (and the unsettle him). It’s price tags before usefulness everytime with Arsene Wenger. Fellaini is available for £22million. Arguably, a far better player who is in much better form. Why aren’t we looking at him? Why aren’t we knocking down the doors of every major club that has financial difficulties in Europe and seeing what we can muster up? Sevilla are in massive trouble, Valencia have defaulted on a loan… that can’t be the last of the clubs dying on their ass. What about the Italian league? What about the Dutch league? This lack of action when Europe is suffering the rainiest year of all time is truly illuminating.
Yesterday’s scouting mission wasn’t about those guys being right… it was about an amateur spending 10 minutes on the internet and identifying a 27 year old capped Spanish striker who has bagged 96 goals in 4 seasons currently playing for a club that is being bankrolled by a local council. It was finding an Argentinian international midfielder with caps who can control games, pass the ball and get stuck in. I’m not a paid scout, but I can name plenty of players we could pick off. What is our scouting network doing? Why have they returned zero this month? It’s startling. Our manager says he hasn’t been shown anyone who can improve our squad.
Are you joking?
It took a number of years to get to this point, but finally, the curtain of excused have been ripped down. What’s left? An Arsene Wenger totally exposed. He has money, the players are available… and he’s still not making moves. Do people think this has been the first year he’s had cash available? I hope not. He’s had funds available for at least 4 seasons now, it’s only this year it’s become obvious that he’s banked £200m without reinvesting in the squad. Now he’s in trouble, but Stan owes him credit points, so we might have to suffer another 18months of this.
Anyway, let’s hope Arsenal magic up three points so we don’t lose sight of Spurs this evening.