I wrote this report having not watched the game, but then I rewatched and I didn’t need to change much.
You’re either in the, WE MUST WIN ALL THE GAMES BECAUSE BRITISH JOURNO’S WHO LIKE MOURINHO CELEBRATE THAT HE LIKES TO WIN IT ALL
Or, you’re in the pragmatist group that points to the fact we now have less games, and that’s a good thing all things considered.
Here are my thoughts.
IT’S GOING GREAT GUV
It’s usually this point of the year we’re playing averagely and fans harp on about how many compeitions we’re in… then it all goes to shite. We drop out of the League Cup, fall to 4th in the league and finish 2nd in our CL group. All these things are happening again, so I can understand why the fans are in a, ‘we’ve been here before’ rut right now.
The League Cup is for the also-rans
Yep, it is. Put your, ‘but we should aim to win everything’ cap back in the box. We’re already at a massive disadvantage to Liverpool and Chelsea because of our CL commitments, the last thing we need is a whole bunch of additional games. The League Cup is about testing the strength of your backup players. It’s about injecting some freshness into bored legs. It’s about hoping you’ll see players fight hard for you.
Onto my next point…
I think the biggest beef Arsenal fans have here is that the players Wenger put out didn’t seem to want it that badly. It was almost an imposition on some players. Funny enough, players not fancying Southampton was a massive last year when certain players took offence at being sent to St Mary’s over Christmas. Same thing last night, except it was the indignity of playing the League Cup with the kids.
Huge anger directed towards Aaron Ramsey. In his defence, I don’t think #10 is his position and I think that he probably knows it’s a bit like Theo being given a bone as a lone striker. I mean, give him a run in the side, but don’t play him in a role that should be reserved for Iwobi when Ozil is absent. That’s car crash to start with.
Still can’t defend him against having a bad attitude on the pitch. But, like Jack Wilshere, you can sense the tension Rambo has with the manager. Always played out of position, which affects how fans judge performance, which affects how he performs. However, under Pep G, or any other of the new breed of managers, if you don’t play like there’s a gun to your head when you’re a pro, you need to be spanked with a wet stick and made to train in the river for 2 weeks.
Wenger isn’t the best at getting the most out of his players. He’s no Conte or Klopp, and that’s been an issue for years. Is it the makeup of his players? Is it the way he instructs? I don’t know, but it’s an issue. Fans should never leave a ground feeling like the players mailed it in. They did last night.
It’s hard to fathom why Wenger does the things he does. At home, against Southampton, why is he opting for Coquelin and Elneney (who had the shits?)? Coquelin plays well with only one player and that’s Santi. But why are we opting for such a dull midfield? Do we not have a super star in reserve we can play next to one of those two who could inject a bit of life into the game? Wenger really doesn’t think much when it comes to what exactly he’s setting up. I’d have dropped Iwobi into 10, Ramsey into 8 and played him next to Coq (or a fit Elneney), then stuck someone fast in Iwobi’s place. Some say that Ramsey prefers to play as a 10, my view is he’s not really suited to that role at Arsenal level, nor does he have any chance over the next 3 years in making that position his. So why not stick him in a position he can own?
Things to learn from Southampton
They have a production line of kids to die for. How do they do it? Are we anywhere near that level after investing heavily in our kids? Someone needs to take that blueprint and work out how we can replicate it. OR HIRE THEIR LEADER.
Also another point I bang on about all the time is rotation and how it can benefit the squad physically and mentally. Puel has used an unreal amount of players this season and it clearly pays dividends. Good form in all 3 competitions they’re in and a set of players all ready to hit the ground running when called upon.
Compared to our backup team? Night and day blud…
The season either slips into the same old, or it takes a turn for the better. We’ll see what happens at West Ham at the weekend. A massive game, especially after an embarrassing loss at home. Let’s pray the rested 11 put in a performance and let’s pray Wenger doesn’t panic and put Coquelin straight back in the midfield as an insurance policy.
Onwards and hopefully upwards!