Well, if you want to put a positive spin on that, you could say that we’ve never really entered the hope phase this season. Arsenal have conceded 16 goals in 11 games. We’ve lost 4 times. We’re 12 points off top. We’re sitting in 6th in November.
The title race is over before we’ve even had time to dream it might be on the cards.
Does that make it any easier to swallow? Not really. It shows that once again the fans were right and the owners are still massively off the pace on the topic of how a modern football club should function. Our board are weak. Our CEO is a puppet, and weak. Our manager is a belligerent old fool who should have quit 5 years ago.
We are a club going nowhere but backward.
Wenger has a cover story though, and it’s a fair one, though I think slightly disingenuous if we’re honest. The game was ruined by two poor decisions a season after the same game was ruined by two poor decisions.
The first howler was a penalty given when Monreal fairly shielded the ball from Raheem Sterling. It was an appalling decision and one that Arsenal almost never get. Obviously, the penalty was going to go in, and Aguero was going to score it.
The second one was even harder to stomach because Lacazette had pulled a goal back for us. David Silva was slipped into the box by KDB, he looked around at the lino because he knew he was offside, our defence and midfield threw their arms up, Silva passed to Jesus who finished from 6 yards. Poor discipline from professional players who should know to play to the whistle, not their hopes. But still, it was offside, it shouldn’t have stood.
Playing City is hard. There aren’t many teams on the planet who would take points away at The Etihad this season. You really can’t have poor refs giving away #FAKEgoals. It’s absolutely ridiculous we’re in 2017 and I’m still debating the need for video replays. Who is enjoying that result? Who thinks karma will work its magic for us at some point? It’s a nonsense. We need the VAR (Virtual Assistant Ref they have in the Bundesliga) over here next season. It’s criminal that this particular result can’t speak for itself. The context of it is we were robbed.
The reality of it is different. Manchester City had many gears, and they switched off at 60minutes, presumably to conserve energy. I highly doubt there was any situation where we came out of that game not losing. Out of 27 games against top 6 teams, we’ve only won twice. Arsenal had some moments, but we were largely average in the final third and we really struggled to maintain a solid shape at the back. Kolasinac was poor and he’s giving me the same jitters Mustafi was at this point last season.
We did well for the opening 17minutes. I thought we pressed smartly, boxing City into the corners as they tried to play out, overloading them well. Problem is, as soon as we conceded on 18minutes, our heads dropped and we stopped defending as a unit.
Our game plan wasn’t helped by the insane decision to play Coquelin as a centre back. Last season Wenger was crowing that he’d just unearthed a £50m defender for £2m, asking us to accept his scouting genius can be delivered at bargain rates. This week, he’s putting his least talented midfielder in ahead of him. Sad fact here, Coq was the worst player for on-the-ball composure out of the whole back 5. A really bizarre decision and a damning slight on Rob Holding.
Wenger also opted for Alexis Sanchez. Can I see the logic? Damn right I can. On paper, with no context or common sense. He’s a £90m striker who on his day, is a far superior talent to Lacazette. However, the reality is Alexis is behaving like a c*nt behind the scenes, he doesn’t give a fu*k about the wellbeing of the squad, and Wenger was expecting him to perform against a team who have been offering him an escape route and a double your money contract.
That. Is. Mad.
How was that ever going to pan out? He put in an abomination of a performance, losing the ball 15 times. He did more for City’s counter-attacking than he’s done for us all season. It was an unabashed treasonous showing. The FA should take him to task for conspiracy or unsporting behavior. What the hell was Wenger thinking in keeping him at the club past June? Who were the muppets saying that was a big club chess play? He’s not even delivering goals, he’s offering Chamberlain levels of shite in front of goal. I’d prefer to see Eddie out there.
… and for the life of me please don’t play that ‘HE WAS THA ONLY WUN SHOWIN PAHUN OUT THERE’ because that’s false. He played for himself, and he looked like a fu*cking brat.
Ozil at least had a go in stages. He still infuriates me. Watching his total lack of intensity for his defensive duties makes me want to cry into a pillow with an Invincibles DVD playing softly in the background. Same with Aaron Ramsey, at the highest level, he just doesn’t cut it. A good player, not a great one. I love this xG rating people bandy around. When Bendtner was missing chances, he was just a donkey. Ramsey is doing the same and he’s some sort of genius waiting to break into world class. Give it up people. He’s 27 in December, 3 seasons younger than Cesc.
But look, here’s the thing. It doesn’t matter who we chop out or chop in. This is Arsene Wenger’s mess. He’s an average manager that will do enough to convince Stan K he’s not a bad manager. We’ll be in and around the top 4 come what May. It won’t get that bad. Which is a shame, because that’ll keep him here for another year or 10. Wenger is the specialist in doing just enough.
His team don’t believe in themselves. His methods don’t translate on the pitch. His grip on the club is slowly alienating the passion the fans have for their days out.
I am indifferent to yesterday. It was expected. Bland. With no hope of it changing in the short term.
Roll on Spurs…