Arsenal continued their dreary rollercoaster ride of averageness at Southampton. A 1-1 draw away at a team we often struggle against isn’t a disaster on the face of it, but it’s more lost points in the fight for top 4, and yet another nail in the coffin of an Arsene Wenger who just can’t seem to shake this squad into a mindset of winnertivity.
When the game is exciting and has a lot riding on it, you can be sure the players will turn up even if the result isn’t quite what you want. When the game is a little less tantalising, you just don’t know what Arsenal you’re going to stumble upon.
Arsene Wenger gave a cryptic comment about the early goals issue.
“I felt that the Man United game played a bit of a part in the heads of our defenders,”
“They were again a bit apprehensive to start well. That’s why sometimes it’s not too good to talk about a problem because you create an even a bigger one.”
However he dealt with the issue, it didn’t pay off. Going down to a stray Per Mertesacker pass that Charlie Austin made the most of was not an ideal start. It seemed strange that Arsene is having such trouble forcing focus early in games, especially away from home.
Arsenal did find their stride in eventually, but didn’t make possession count right until the end when Olivier Giroud came on and guided a lovely Sanchez cross into the far corner.
1-1 given the context of the game is a nice point, but in the grand scheme of our chase for top 4, it doesn’t look good.
It’s becoming hard to passionately analyse Arsenal. The manager simply isn’t up to the levels he needs to be, and I don’t think he has a very good understanding of how to address decade old problems. If your issue is leaking goals early, it feels like a fairly simply issue to address. I don’t understand how a team of such good professionals can be so disorganised and clueless. Well, I do, the manager isn’t very good at preparation, and since the knowledge of the Invincibles has left the club, a team who could self-manage, he’s never been able to implement strong discipline.
Trouble is, there’s nothing we can do about this. We have a very good starting 11 that has unpredictable focus. We’ll win some games, string a group of results together, and be in striking distance of top 4 all season. What we won’t have is any hope of doing something spectacular.
There is no argument for Wenger staying at Arsenal anymore. The question is now, how long do we have to wait?
The only thing keeping me interested in the club is the excitement going on behind the scenes. Those moves are a recognition that we need to be better, and those moves are a statement of intent for the future, but also, those names are more fuel for the fire come the end of the season when Wenger is reviewed.
Things will be up and down all year, but at least there’s a future being prepared for that moment when Wenger is finally moved on.
I’m bored with the project. Give me something new. Make watching Arsenal exciting again.