How’s it going my darlings? Not good, I can imagine. This morning is depressing as hell. I tapped out of the weekend on on the football blogging front as I had a leaving do which got out of hand.
However, I did take the Chelsea game in on my own in a Bermondsey pub.
You could see what the manager was trying to do. Beat Chelsea with fast incisive play. He opted for Theo, Sanchez and Rambo up top with Ozil and Cazorla feeding the machine.
Didn’t really work out though.
I just don’t feel there’s enough quality in our side. We’re a good version of a Wenger post 2004 team, but we’re still not where we need to be if we have ambitions of titles and European cups.
Wenger said this a couple of weeks ago…
“Buying and selling is one way to strengthen your team but that’s not the only way,”
… possibly with that smug look he does when he’s thinks he’s being smart before he realises a win at home to Stoke isn’t a good barometer for success over as season.
The point I want to raise here is one that I used to make all the time. If buying players isn’t the only way to improve a team, what is?
I get all the preparation things, I get the coaches and I get the reduction of injuries. But look. Simply put. The only improvement method Wenger hasn’t tried over the last ten years is building a squad with enough quality players.
Defensive Midfielder & Striker:
I mean, once again, you don’t have to be a fucking economist or a football addict who watched 70,000 games a month to see that our squad lacked a striker and a defensive midfielder. Coquelin is now out of the Spurs game and we’re left with Arteta. A pitiful thought 3 years ago. Right now, I’m positively shiting my pants at the idea of our main man being out for longer than a week.
I don’t get it. It was so predictable that Coquelin wasn’t going to be able to play all the games, because, you know, he’s a human being that gets fatigued. Why wouldn’t the manager recognise he doesn’t have the resources to deal with a worst case scenario? I mean, even if you were rooting for Jack Wilshere adopting his England role for us, he’s a car crash with injuries as well.
Then onto the striker. Look, I get it must have been tough out there. So what… give up? With £220m cash reserves? I mean, how stupid does that now look? I don’t mean to get into a very premature debate, but United took a big punt on a player Wenger was also in for and he looks exceptional. Powerful, hungry, composed and raw… point is, they could afford a risk, so they took one. Southampton look better equipped up front that we do.
The inaction is passed off by many Arsenal fans as the football equivalent of the intellectual high ground.
‘I won’t be drawn into the crudeness of exorbitant expenditure’
Which is so fucking ridiculous it makes my blood boil. The reason we’ll never win the league under Wenger is because he refuses to accept that having the best squad wins you the league.
Alex is right as well. Wenger HATES losing. He doesn’t sleep. He gets into the office at 4am. He watches the games back over and over again. But why? I mean, he’s not absorbing what’s happening. He’s not learning off the back of it. Which kind of renders his expertise, well, a bit redundant. Because he can’t be that expert if he can’t see the glaringly obvious.
What a total shit bag. Nasty piece of work. A real handful. A real scuzzbag. But look. He’s what you need. You can’t demand leaders that fit the typically middle class stereotypes we have at the club. You need bastards. You need your Keowns. You need your Gabriels.
Sure, what Gabriel did was stupid. But damn, did I love him a bit for it. Standing up for his team mate against a bully. Refusing the backdown. Losing his shit. Haven’t seen that in years. I loved it. He needs to get a bit more street smart. But that fight is what you demand.
Compare his attitude to the ‘I’m off to play a nice game of football and have some ice cream after, mum’ attitude of Theo. Well, there you have the difference at the highest level.
Costa riled us. He beat us. He was the winner. I hate that we succumbed to it. But look, that’s what you call craft. The winning magic.
Also, pretty shabby that Oscar was leading the communications to Gabriel.
‘Oh mate, the ref said you’re a c*nt and he saw Diego whatsapping dick pics to your mum’
My disappointment was the lack of reaction from the team. It’s the middle class vibe that runs through the core of who we are. A bunch of nice boys. Where’s the fight? Where’s the ‘not today Chelsea’? Where’s the leadership and backbone a PV04 or a TA06 would bring to the table?
It wasn’t there. We kind of accepted our fate. And that was disappointing. We don’t have that little something extra when we need it.
A few were apoplectic that I could possible take umbrage at the manager after the game. But for me, if you’re looking at this result in isolation, you’re missing the bigger picture.
Wenger has never beaten Mourinho in a competitive game in over 10 years. That’s shameful. It shows that our man can’t adapt to the new world that’s in front of him. Tony Pulis took Mourinho out twice last year. This isn’t a resource thing, it’s a total shambles.
Wenger was responsible for that side. He was responsible for keeping the faith with two good strikers. He is responsible for not giving that side the fire and the grit they need to win. The buck stops with him because he controls it all.
Things went against us. They go against all big teams. The response wasn’t there.
This season is going the way they all go. A bit of hope, dashed, when you realise the man at the top just doesn’t care about winning to the level you need to in the modern game.
A depressing thought.
The update in our approach is welcome, but you kind of feel the extra 20% is going to have to come from someone else if we want to see the glory years return to our great club.