Where to start eh people?
Firstly yesterday was depressing in the extreme, secondly it’s transfer deadline day… to Arsenal fans what Christmas Day is to a Muslim child in London. Everyone else is out there unwrapping gifts and we’re sitting there being told, ‘it’s not our thing’…
Anyway, the folly of Arsene kicked into gear nice and early yesterday when he announced our line up which boasted a wide playing Ozil with Yaya Sanogo as our main striking outlet. It was going to be a tough afternoon in the final third.
Sanchez put us one up when he sniffed out a duffed Sanogo pass Schmeichel failed to deal with. The Chilean drove a low shot home from close range.
Down the other end, Koscielny who had previously been knocked out was allowed back onto the pitch, which to me and all the guys in the bar seemed crazy considering the press focus on concussion in the game. Turned out he wasn’t fit to play. He didn’t seem to have the where with all to focus on the one man he was tracking which allowed Leicester to head home. I don’t mean the pick on Szeceney, but his positioning was terrible.
We huffed and puffed but we couldn’t make anything happen against a resilient Leicester defence. 1 goal a piece felt like a fair result.
Key points for Arsenal:
He’s a number 10, he was in the press stating that’s his favoured position, so why are we playing him out wide where he has almost zero impact. He looks like a fish up a tree, truly woeful. He’s not interested at the best of times, he certainly didn’t enjoy it yesterday. Why won’t Arsene try Rosicky or Joel Campbell there instead? Those two really are on the shit list. The absurdity of playing him outwide is that if that was the plan, why didn’t Wenger buy Cesc as a number ten and flog the fading Cazorla?
He’s a very raw kid who has unfairly been thrown into the cauldron of Arsenal’s depleted strike force. He’s not good enough right now. He’s not good enough for the league right now. Why are we allowing him to cut his teeth in our first team? I mean, I can’t even see where the finished product is going here. His technique is questionable, his touch is heavy, his passing is woeful and his ability to read the game is so off the pace. He’s not even strong.
Yaya in our starting 11 is both laughable and negligent. Things got so bad in the pub I was in, that Liverpool and Spurs fans were singing to keep him on the pitch. The craziest thing about it is we have Joel Campbell who has three seasons of two leagues, a World Cup and the champions league. Why isn’t he being given a shot?
Now, here is where you really get an insight into Wenger’s ‘stubborn to the point of reckless’ behaviour. Against Everton last week, Sanchez had an average first half in his first Premier League game as a striker. Wenger yanked him at half time. A pretty serious move that can be demotivating.
This week, Sanogo absolutely stinks out the place to the point you feel for him. Wenger doesn’t change a thing. He doesn’t just keep things steady for a bit then yank him… he waits into the 74th minute. Where is the consistency Arsene? Absolute madness. That game was crying out for some pace and directness. Wenger sat on his hands and allowed Leicester to taste the finish line.
Aaron Ramsey was very poor yesterday, he had almost zero impact on the game, his passing was off and played like he had things on his mind. Odd to drop Jack Wilshere after he had such a positive game midweek. Flamini was also poor, really not found that form from early last season. It’s a struggle out there when your main men aren’t firing on all cylinders. Alarming part is that Aaron and Flamini don’t have World Cup fatigue to blame.
As the post yesterday highlighted, Pearson has a plan and he works to the strengths of his squad. If Leicester had more quality in the final third, they probably would have beaten us. They played some very good football at times, their Argentinian striker had the better of our back 4 on numerous occasions. A real worry, because they’re a budget side showing more ingenuity than us.
Again, total disregard for the planning process. If you’re lining up against slow fullbacks, gut instinct would tell you they loading the front line with pace, particularly the wide areas, would be a simple but effective tactic. We don’t even do the basics. Where is the vision for our play? What is Wenger trying to achieve?
I couldn’t tell you. I can look at most sides and see roughly what their coach is trying to achieve. I watched Liverpool before the game, now, I know I’ve a bit of a hardon for Rodgers, but I think he’s a talent. You can see exactly what he’s trying to achieve on the pitch and you can see what he’s trying to build with those players. Power and pace all over the park. Smart set up. Intricate passing systems. Sure, it’s not perfect, but you can see where his plan is going. Mourinho comes in, year one he has a clear out, year two he makes his moves. Two genius signings in Cesc and Costa. He’s built out the rest of the squad with top quality and he’s sold well.
What is our plan? We’ve bought a wide man to compliment our forward line. What else? It’s replacing rather than building. A pal I was with yesterday asked the last time we signed a beast of a player. I couldn’t think. Maybe the actual beast (Baptista). It’s quite incredible to think a man who rakes in £8m a can go into a season with no real plan.
What’s crazy is that we’ve needed a striker for 2 years. We’ve known since last Monday that Giroud is a write off until January. We don’t move for Remy until two days ago, then we pull out and let Chelsea have him? Honestly, what’s going on? Wenger knows he needs a striker and he’s dithering. Arsenal fans can snort at Remy all they want, but ultimately, he’s ten times the player Sanogo is. It’s not like strikers haven’t moved this summer. Diego Costa was £32m on an activation clause, Manzukic moved to Atletico Madrid, Immobile went to Dortmund and Mario Ballotelli moved to Liverpool. Utter madness we’ve let the whole summer pass us by… now we’ve got to pray that there are some desperate clubs willing to let goal scoring talent go at a time when you can’t replace.
FALCAO WHY ARE WE NOT TRYING FOR ONE OF THE BEST STRIKERS IN THE WORLD
… and don’t you dare say money. The biggest clubs find the money to succeed.
Transfer Deadline Day:
Good news is that we are working away at transfers, so we’re not totally cold today. It’ll be a big ask for Dick Law to pull anything off at this time, but he’s trying. However, once again, we’re reacting to a bad result rather than going into a season well equipped to succeed. It’s a massive failing of Arsene, but let’s face it, he’s an old man playing a young mans game, he’s never going to pick it up. What should happen is our CEO should have stepped in and forced some action. He’s let the manager run a shit show again. We’re heading into another season under equipped and he’s allowed that to happen. It’s weak self-serving management all over the club.
… and don’t be arrogant enough to think our top 4 place is secured forever. There’s only so many summers you can piss around and let the competition get better before your complacency catches up with you.
We have a disgusting run of fixtures coming up that could see us in a world of shite if we continue this poor run of form. Manchester City after the international break could be a disaster, Dortmund away is always going to be tough, Villa away will be hard, Southampton are always tough followed by Spurs, Galatasaray capped off with Chelsea.
We look a long way off being ready to take on these games…
Another season with a double helping of more of the same. It’s so boring. But fingers crossed, it’s transfer deadline day, where then magic happens…
P.S. All the below confirmed… no strikers this summer?
Liverpool – Mario / Lambert
United – Falcao
Chelsea – Costa / Remy
If I get any good info later today, there will more posts…