Woah. That was quite a spanking we took there.
I knew we’d take a beating. It was on the cards. You can’t lose that many players with a squad like ours and expect to come away unscathed. I mean, we expected to lose that.
… and that’s what I was thinking.
Then I started to reassess what I was telling myself, I started to question why I was bending over in my mind. Why do we all assume that when we play Bayern Munich away; or any major team, we’re going to lose heavily. I mean, what the fucking fuck was that last night? I honestly watched the game and felt like we were playing with ten men who’d been asked to fill in after a marathon.
This is not a cheap squad. This is not a group of players assembled for a pittance. This is a wage bill that’s touching £200m and we’re getting taken out 5-1 away from home in the group stages?
That’s not acceptable. But as Arsenal fans, we search for ways for it to be acceptable.
I can handle a loss. I can’t handle the consistent maulings we take when things aren’t going well. Bayern are great, don’t get me wrong, but we had our fair share of chances to begin with. Put it this way, they weren’t exactly Barcelona, were they? Ozil had a goal disallowed, Giroud spooned a pretty good chance over the bar, we found ourselves in some nice positions in front of goal.
We should have a second team squad capable of more than that sort of embarrassing showing. It’s not like Bayern have been out spanking £400m on players each summer. It’s not like anything they do as a club is beyond our reach.
I don’t want to bag on players here, but I’m going to.
Joel Campbell. Arsene Wenger has been trying to get rid of him for the best part of what, the whole time he’s been with us? He’s woefully inadequate and he’ll never amount to anything. He’s only playing for us because he’s lucked out because of our appalling injury issues.
The rest of the backline was pretty shoddy as well. I mean, Gabriel pulling a horrendous offside trap letting in Lewa in. Per Mertesacker looking very much like he’s hit the tipping point John Terry has hit. Debuchy seems to have had some sort of footballing breakdown. He’s shellshocked, hearing voices, a total mess right now.
Giroud lumbering about up front, dropping in with a goal when it doesn’t mean anything.
Sanchez and Ozil disappointing because they need ticking players to make them look great.
I mean, it was a grizzly performance from a group of players who knew what was coming.
‘Knew it was coming’… again, another major issue with this squad. Where is the fight?
It highlights how far we are away from the elite of Europe. It shows how important that first team 11 is. It shows how ill-prepared we’ve been this summer.
As fans, we’re too willing to sit there and say, ‘shit, they are the better team’… but look, why are we saying that? Why isn’t our team that good? We have a mountain of cash, we have a team based in London, we play great football and we have the most stable managerial situation in world football. There’s no excuse as to why we’re not good enough. Well, there is I guess, there’s the excuse that the manager didn’t build when everyone else did.
Arsene Wenger just isn’t good enough at the elite level. It’s easy to sit there and go, ‘YOU’RE BEING KNEE JERK’, but the reality is I’m not. Look at how calm Bayern were after our ‘shock’ win over them. It was almost laughable how nonplussed they were. Because they knew. I have this conversation every season. Knee jerk is not repeating yourself for 8 years. Arsene Wenger consistently takes hammerings off bigger sides. He consistently goes into the season with a squad that’s not fit for purpose, but… he always gives you a glimmer of hope.
We’ve lost 3 out of our last 4 Champions League games. We’ve not made it past the last 16 for 4 years, this will be our 5th (heaven forbid we finish 3rd). Half a decade of substandard failure in the Champions League and these have been the years we’ve had money! Your second string; when you’re in the Champions League as regularly as we are and you’re a club of Arsenal’s side, should be able to muster a respectable scoreline.
Other things that really grate me. We’re 3-0 down at half time. The game is fucking dead. Yet the manager keeps all his star players on. When he does make a change, he goes for Gibbs on 59… on for Joel Campbell. I mean, what sort of dimness allows you to make that sort of decision? Where is the forward planning? What about Ozil, who is having a stinker? What about Sanchez who looks shot to pieces playing an absolute shocker? What about the 31 year old Santi. A player we seem to absolutely brutalise with game time? The next two subs he makes are on 87 and 89.
… and then our injury pile up will get worse and we’ll all be like, ‘well, it’s bad luck, right?’
NO. It’s just obvious. Look at how Sanchez is playing. Look at his schedule. Look at his frustration. Rest him. Look at Santi and how much work he’s putting in. Look at what happens EVERY YEAR WITH INJURIES.
So here it is. A defensive nightmare. Tired players. Injuries stacking up higher than HR complaints against Jose. A major loss and likely exit from the Champions League. An exit from the League Cup. I mean, as a friend said yesterday… ‘we’ve seen this film before.’
Here’s the thing, I wish someone would say to Arsene Wenger.
‘You can’t defy the laws of football.’
You need a great squad. You need to respect the fitness of your players and you need to understand fatigue. You need to prepare properly. You need to have players capable of playing to instruction. We’re clearly not nailing those items. So we can dream, but realistically, we know how it’s likely to end…
A win against Spurs on Sunday will quell the angst. Well, I say that, but after a tanking like that, you just don’t know what’s going to happen now. We’ve been on a good run, but that result could cut deep. Tired legs, tired minds and 90 minutes of that atmosphere ringing around in your head.
Things are going nicely in the league, but we’re now into black November and problems are mounting up.
How will we cope? The door is wide open in the league… and that’s the only hope Wenger has now of making this season look like a decent one.
However, that gut feeling you have right now about our chances domestically, it’s rarely wrong. Nights like last night don’t happen to Champions. They really don’t.
P.S. IMPORTANT PLEASE READ:
One of my best pals got the cancer all clear yesterday. I’m telling you because she was 34 and perfectly healthy prior. Her biggest problem was that doctors took 4 months to take her seriously. The only reason she’s alive today is her persistence in getting checked for something she knew was wrong.
Her thing is this…
1) Check yourself. Early diagnosis saves lives. Average life expectancy for someone who takes cancer symptoms to ER is 2 months. This is especially important for guys, YOU CAN’T WALK OFF A TUMOUR.
2) Be pushy. Most people know when something is up. You only have one life, don’t let it be cut short because you accepted not being seen. Doctors and nurses are just as fallible as you are, but probably twice as overworked. PUSH THEM. My friends was advised to take a herbal treatment and told to potter on… when she has the most aggressive form of breast cancer about.
CHECK YOURSELF >>> MAKE YOUR PARTNERS DO THE SAME >>> DON’T BE A SAD STATISTIC!
BIG LOVE xxx