The Guardian led with a story about the team meeting that happened with the Arsenal players after the cup final defeat last week.
The speech was delivered by one of the senior players in the Arsenal dressing room but he did not finish it. He was too choked up as he reflected on how such a talented squad had come to resemble a bunch of drifters. He said his children were asking him why Arsenal were so bad. That was the moment when the tears welled in his eyes.
Another Arsenal player stepped in. “We are a big club,” he said, tapping into the rallying cry theme. “But we need more help from the coaches.” That was when the damning judgment was articulated. It had actually been the motivation for the players to gather in the first place – without Arsène Wenger. “It’s not going to happen,” one of them said. “We need to find the answers ourselves.”
Not really a huge amount of detail.
A few things stuck out to me. Firstly it’s sad that anyone’s family is being bullied because Arsenal are pony. I mean, we’re average, but we’re not quite to the levels where bullying is acceptable.
Secondly, it’s quite staggering how weak it all reads. Arsene Wenger has built the perfect squad of players in that sense. No one has the guts to challenge the status quo (bar Jack), and when they have a team meeting, no one is shouting, it’s just all a big ball of emotions.
What were the tangible outtakes? What did the players take to the coach? What was the output?
Another fucking loss, that’s what.
Wenger ripped out all the players that gave him lip. Robin Van Persie used to scout and tap up players for him back in the day. Gael Clichy used to challenge him. Cesc was demanded more. All moved on while we’re happily served up 12 years of Theo Walcott.
I’ve written in the past about the interesting lack of curiosity the players have when it comes to sorting things out themselves. It’s clear a lot of them are here just for the easy ride, we’re a lifestyle club. If Koscielny was so upset about his kids getting ribbed for being average, he should have left when he was at the peak of his powers like Sanchez.
I do feel for the players, but at the same time, they’re all as much a part of this debacle as the manager. Chelsea’s players downed tools a season after winning the league in protest of Mourinho being an awful human. I can’t remember the exact issues of Bruce Rioch, but I’m pretty sure Ian Wright gave the club an ultimatum. Our best player who has more in-season mini breaks than Donald Trump, waited until January when we were 6th to sign a new deal. All about the money. Hardly elite thinking?
There’s a reason Wenger has kept coasters around for so long, they’ll never bite back. That’s why a lot of people want a Simeone type character back at the club. Bring someone in who can discipline the squad and rip out the weak parts. Build a foundation for the future. I don’t think we need that, but I understand the thinking.
That article made me emotion initially, but then it just felt like the exact sort of reaction you’d expect from a group of players who really aren’t interested in the project, or winning major trophies.
All the more reason for Wenger to go, all the more reason not to worry too much about which players leave this summer.
My big worry at the moment is this super bad run has happened far too early in the season. Wenger still has time to pull off a good run in the Europa League, and he still has the chance to make a nearly attempt at the top 4.
I hope the club can see beyond that. If I’m honest, the bravest thing our emotionally depleted players could do right now is down tools and let the season collapse even further. If we’re going to go out this season, let’s do it in a shameful bang and make it count this season. I’d take a year out Europe to fix our issues and bring back a bit of excitement to the club.
“I clearly am not very happy about what is going on,”
“I think that there probably ought to be a change of management.
“He has done fabulously well, it is just he has overstayed his welcome.
“I find it very sad because he was the great love of many and then it (overstaying his welcome) has destroyed it all.”
I remember him waffling on at the AGMs like the all-knowing wizard of Arsenal, snarking at fans upset with Wenger. Looks like this is his apology tour quote.
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