Last night was an important game. It had the potential to breath life into our flagging season. It had potential to derail it even further. Away against one of the top teams in the Championship should be easy, but we didn’t make it so. Despite Hull heavily rotating themselves, which made the our difficulty beating all the more baffling.
I didn’t catch much of the game, so I’ll just go on the things I do know.
Firstly, we’re suffering hard with injuries. Wenger still hasn’t mastered the art of rotation, but the deeper problem is he hasn’t mastered the art of squad building. One injury and we’re relying on one player to save us, or we’re looking at band aid options. Last night, more nightmare issue swere poured on our season as Per Mertesacker took a head bash, Gabriel dropped out with another muscular injury and Aaron Ramsey hobbled off with a hamstring explosion.
My issue here is that those injuries are all unnecessary… we shouldn’t be playing FA Cup replays against Hull. We should also have a squad with enough quality in depth to handle that sort of game.
I thought an interesting snippet after the game was the London Colney crisis talk the players held. Who ran the meeting? Per, Rosicky, Arteta and Cech. Two of those senior players are non-entities on the playing side. Shows the issues we have with senior figures at the club.
Anyway, major problems with no Aaron for the rest of the season. Big issues at the back, though Chambers is an able deputy even if he is a bit green.
The performance wasn’t great regardless of the pep talk. The scoreline was majorly flattering and Theo’s performance flattered to deceive. Arsenal haven’t really played that much great football this season, so we have to take the results as they come, but it’s still worrying how bad we can be even when faced with weak opposition.
Final point is the banner. Arsenal fans unfurled a banner that’s been doing the round for about 3 three years.
‘Thanks for the memories, Arsene’
I don’t know where I stand on this thing. For me, it’s grabbing attention of an issue that is pretty f*cking obvious to everyone. My main problem with acts of defiance like this is the conversation focuses on the banner, rather than the message.
You then get into a respect row and we all start talking about poor old Wenger and the abuse he gets like he’s a doddery old pensioner… not a dictator on £8m a year turning in shoddy performances every year with no one there to keep him in check. I guess the issue is that things never change, fans get desperate because they can’t stand the malaise and the absolute theft of a living Wenger is putting in.
But what will change? Nothing. Most Arsenal fans aren’t arsed about protesting. We won’t incite change because we’re not into that sort of thing. We’re not really united on anything bar our disdain for cold weather and expensive hotdogs. So the shit show that is the Wenger party will roll on.
It’s pretty boring. But we’re in footballing purgatory and there’s pretty much nothing we can do to change that. Wenger is about as selfless as Donald Trump. The only way you’ll wrench him from power is kicking and screaming. It’s a real shame, but if you intoxicate someone with that much power, this is what you get.
Self awareness is such an important trait. Shame our manager doesn’t have that, despite his embarrassing protestations that he does.
Anyway, Watford in the next round of the cup. Let’s hope it’s a more solid performance than the one last night, because flattering score lines is not something I want to be writing about at this stage of the season.
Finally, we can end on some good bad news. The Premier League has agreed to drop the price of away tickets to a capped £30. It’s not the £20 fans had hoped for, but it’s not too bad. Arsenal opposed the cap apparently, but it’s been pushed through. You can kind of understand it a little bit, we went out of our way to build a ground to make us better off financially… then the league cap it.
… but, when we built the ground, we didn’t now mega TV money was coming. It’s a bit greedy, but hey, Stan is a bit greedy. So there you are.
Anyway, well done to AISA, The AST and Black Scarf.