Well, that was a thud back down to earth. Arsenal are shit. Take me back to lockdown.
Our first game back was a nightmare, but so very, very Arsenal.
2 injured players inside 20mins, check.
Unforced error leading to goal, check.
Sending off, check.
Away loss in the Premier League, check.
Insipid performance, check.
It really was all there, about as familiar as an unchanged pair of pants you’ve been wearing for 7 years.
I think what a lot of people are missing is that behind the scenes, Arsenal is still an absolute shit show.
Mesut Ozil was dropped, again. He has a bad attitude and he’s already managed to fall foul of Arteta’s rules.
Auba played like a lost sheep, is that because we haven’t offered him a new deal?
David Luiz, if I can read the tea leaves, didn’t play because he’s had his contract pulled (wonder what took Raul from being favourable to that deal, to reneging). He was subbed on for an injured Mari and he played like a player worried about what he’d be doing in 13 days time.
#AFC | Anybody else wish he was clearer in his message?
I’m even more confused than I was before. So many ways you can interpret that… pic.twitter.com/IdD8c7QaLU
— Harry Symeou (@HarrySymeou) June 17, 2020
“I said to the players after the game, nobody needs to speak (to the media), it’s me, I have to show my face.”
“I want to stay, the coach knows, the coach wants me to stay. We are waiting for the decisions.”
This is one of the worries I had about post-covid football. The market is fucked. He’s a luxury now. His contract has basically expired and he’s not focused because THE POOR MAN CAN’T FEED HIS FERRARI HABIT.
Everyone is VERY worried about Pepe not starting. From what I understand, there are challenges there. If he was pulling up trees, do you really think he’d sit on the bench?
Players are picked on what they deliver in training.
Mesut Ozil was dropped, so Joe Willock stepped in and offered nothing. That said, Arsenal haven’t won an away game in the Premier league since 2015. Might as well give Willock a go, even if he did stink out the place.
As a side snippet, the club have been training Saka in lots of different positions, he’s been great everywhere, but the hot talk is that he’s been VERY good as a number 10.
Anyway, back to it. Not a very good starting 11. Lots of promise, not a lot of ability to deliver right now.
The reality so many seem to forget is that City are Champions, they had a fully fit and rested squad to choose from, we haven’t won away in the league in 25 games. Even on a good day, we’d have likely been beaten. Today, we had a bad day, even without injuries, we were still going to lose that game bar a shithousery miracle.
Our squad lacks most things. We aren’t bullies, there’s not a lot of athleticism, and we’re short on experience. The absolute kicker for me is that there was nothing in that performance. Absolutely nothing. Could have been Emery, Wenger or Freddie.
There’s a lot of room to grow, but that’s going to be hard when there are so many fires going on with the squad dynamics, contracts, and the general unrest in the game at the moment.
This season won’t be 9 more games of that. We’ll win some, we’ll put in performances, but we have to eat a big spoonful of reality… this season is a write-off, and it tastes like cat puke.
That doesn’t mean you need to douse yourself in petrol and set yourself on fire in front of The Tollington.
Mikel Arteta is a great coach. He’s doing the right things behind the scenes. He’s holding players to high standards, he’s working out who can cut it next season, he’s modernising the club and he’s slowly but surely trying to fix the culture of mediocrity. He’s going to work out just fine, I can take the Ls right now, but know this, longterm, if you’re calling him a bum… you are wrong and I will come for you with your own words late at night when you least suspect it.
We have VERY talented young players. They might not be ready to blow up now, but they will do. With the right senior players supporting them, good coaching, and good life choices, they could be very special. Put Chelsea’s kids in with our seniors and they’d be shit too. The future of Arsenal is local, young and elite. City doesn’t change that.
We’re still being run badly, that’s what many don’t understand. The David Luiz stuff sparks a little bit of intrigue. Two weeks ago, his agent said the deal was close, why are we not there now? Do we think head office is paying attention to the games that are going on with Raul’s squad of feeders? There’s a chance on that.
Edu and Raul are not running a tight ship. It’s harsh on the Brazilian, so maybe I’ll leave him alone, but Raul has not delivered. He’s spent bad money on suspect players, he’s snuggled up on the super-agent comfort blanket, and he continues to let money walk out the door (Rambo, Welbeck, Auba). It’s not good enough. Josh might be absent, but if there’s one thing I know about billionaires, they don’t like to look like faaaaacking mugs. I think Josh looks like a fucking mug at the moment. Raul needs to shape up or he should be shipped out.
If, if, if… the club can get smart about building a proper football club, then we might see some positives moving forward.
Edu talking to The Athletic about data and being smart with player purchases sounds like a reaction to the poor press he’s been getting lately. We know he can find better players than Soares because he let the club buy Martinelli. We know we have great scouts because Cagigao recommended him. We don’t have to be shit at transfers, we really don’t. Edu needs to detach himself from Raul and do his job properly this summer.
Arsenal will hit the bottom at some point, my hope is that we get it done sharpish so this summer isn’t another unmitigated disaster. We need a rebuild, no more transition bullshit. We need exec leadership to think about the club first. We need everyone to buy into the coach and give him the best possible platform to succeed with this batch of kids that could be really, really good.
We need to move on from the Arsene nightmare and stop running towards like irrelevance like we want to be 90s Liverpool for the rest of time.
… but first, we need to move on from City and win this weekend. Yesterday was a terrible performance. Everything went against us. We didn’t show up. That needs a response. We simply don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves.
On that note, I bid you farewell. x