In Pedro’s absence, I thought I’d struggle for content this week but that absolute shit show of a performance has provided me with plenty. So let’s get started…
Maybe it’s the fact we’re 7 games in and yet to produce a half decent performance, maybe it’s the fact our club captain is our worst player, or maybe it’s the fact I’ve drunk 1/2 bottle of wine and am penning this post on the train ride home but this season is already turning out to be a rum prospect.
We can say goodbye to the league and champions league now. No way, not a chance. We might put together some sort of a run in either of the domestic cups and hell we might even win one of them. But then what are we left with? Not much progress that’s what.
The most difficult thing about being an Arsenal fan – and there are many difficult things – is that gnawing, pervading sense of ‘what if’. Always 2 or 3 signings away from a title challenge, always a poor refereeing performance away from the result we deserve, always an injury away from glory.
At least when you support a team like Crystal Palace you can manage your expectations; you know your place in the football hierarchy and you learn to accept the highs and lows. But when you know your club has the resources and ability to compete with Bayern Munich, and yet can’t build a squad to sustain any type of domestic or European challenge what hope is there?
The performance last night was embarrassing. There is no shame in losing away at Dortmund. But to play so abysmally, to have a team so demotivated, to have a captain and midfield anchor who fails to provide cover and to see the same mistakes repeated again and again and again, should not be tolerated from a man who earns £8 million a year.
I’m failing to find a positive from that performance other than the fact that Hector Bellerin didn’t get mauled. The fact he was one of our better players is testament to how woeful we were.
Jack Wilshere, who has played well recently, resurrected his World Cup form. Ramsey resurrected his form from 3 years ago when he was nearly sold to Fulham. Alexis was shocking, Podolski pointless, SZCZ put in epic levels of Almunia and I’m struggling to think of things to say about Mesut Özil. This guy is a World Cup superstar playing like a Sunday league player. Would any other manager have tolerated his woeful performances and tried to play him into form when you have Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rosicky more than capable of filling in?
The fact is all these players are fabulous players. I wouldn’t sell any one of them. There is one man who motivates them, who gives them tactical instruction and who changes things when plan A isn’t working.
That man is the manager.
Everyone knows Le Grove is not pro Arsene Wenger. But anyone who can, in all earnestness, continue to look on at these performances, these farcical transfer windows and injury crises and still not find fault with the guy who yields all the power at the club is not being ignorant, they’re being disingenuous.
Sure we don’t know everything that goes on behind the scenes. You can try and blame the fans for creating a negative atmosphere (anyone who says that has clearly never watched live football). You can produce statistics to show that Danny Welbeck has fewer ‘turnovers’ than Radmael Falcao. And you can continue to say that ‘you said we should’ve signed Ashley Young therefore you can’t criticise the manager’ but the fact is, the ONLY way this is going to get better is when Arsene leaves.
He’s been a great servant of the club, the best, but he is not the guy to lead it to future glory.
We may recover. We will put together a good run in the league and we will qualify from our group in the champions league, there will be better days ahead this season. But I do not hold out hope of reaching the promised land again until something significant changes at the top.
@aldo_doel over and out.
p.s. As this was ostensibly a match report, I better do some kind of player ratings…
Szcz – Almunia
Bellerin – Still alive
Kos – Dental Floss
Mertesacker – Training Cone
Arteta – Every Michael Bay film ever made condensed int0 70 minutes
Wilshere – Get up
Ramsey – As bad as Richard Dawkins on twitter
Ozil – Who is this and what have you done with the real Mesut?
Alexis – John Bishop
Welbeck – A touch of the Chamakhs