There are two ways we can behave over the next 6 months.
1.Entrenched in our views on where the football club is going and MISERABLE.
2.Positive about some of the basics that are in place and trust the plan for the summer is more January than last summer.
Too many Arsenal fans are taking direction one and it was embarrassing reading yesterday.
‘We’re gonna get spanked by 6’
If you spent the entire pre-game chat talking about how we were going to get spanked by miracle-man-Tuchel, you have absolutely no right to be bitching post-game about the performance and WIN.
Chelsea is the form team in Europe right now. That is proved out with form, that is proved out by big big results, that is proved out by the fact they are in the FA Cup final and the Champions League final. They even beat Manchester City at the weekend.
For large swathes of this season, we’ve been bad. But one real positive is we’re usually pretty decent at the planning part for games against top teams.
Yesterday, Arteta delivered a tactical masterclass and beat Chelsea the only way this squad is capable of doing so… pure shit-housery.
Was it pretty? No.
Was it effective? Absolutely.
We scored a goal because we pressured Chelsea at the back. It was a fluke, but you can’t deny goals from errors we forced aren’t part of the deal.
Then we clung on for dear life and defended like our lives depended on it despite there being nothing on the game for us that anyone cares about (get fucked with the Europa Conference).
It was a long way from protagonist football, but we have to be honest with ourselves, we are where we are in the table, and that’s because we lack the quality to go away to Chelsea for a game of tika-taka.
Arsenal hasn’t won at Stamford Bridge for a decade. That’s a big result. You take whatever you can get.
What you can’t do is sit there and whine about beating big teams in big games. It’s truly embarrassing stuff to see. Who do these fans think they are?
This season hasn’t been great, but thinking yourself above big wins isn’t on I’m afraid.
Let’s also rev up some red meat for the WE HAVEN’T IMPROVED crew.
That’s the table since Christmas day. Important if you are looking for signs that we can finish higher than 8th next season. 22 games of form indicate that we are tracking in the right direction, even if there have been some grim moments.
Third best defence in the league all season. Defensively, we’re much better. We’d be even better if we cut out the massive dumb errors. That will come as we upgrade players.
Attacking wise, we’ve been absolutely awful all season. What can we bank on here? Well, this summer, there will be upgrades all over the place. We won’t have a central midfield this bad next season. We’ll likely add someone who can deliver NOW numbers in attack. The young players are already chalking up more decisive moments and they will get better and better. Auba won’t give us a 10 goal season next year (hopefully). We’ll bin players that have been badly broken by the Arsenal machine over the last decade, mental baggage is a thing and there’s a group of seniors that need to go.
Also look at where we can make up the 9 points for the top 4 next season, because yes, there are only 9 points in it. Zero points against Wolves. Zero points against Aston Villa. Zero points against Everton. One point against Burnley. One point against Palace. Get a better midfield, start the season with creators, and move the fine margins our way and we start taking deep block teams down.
Our job next season is top 4. Since Christmas, we’ve only been outclassed by Liverpool and City. I’m not sure we’re a million miles away from anyone in the chasing pack.
Arteta needs to pick things up. He’s extremely sensitive in the media at the moment and he’s struggling with the pressure. He needs to step up and address the issues he’s helping to make worse. Did you see the Athletic ran with my keeper coach issues and Bernd Leno looking to leave? Move on that issue. The keepers have been dreadful this season. Everyone at the club knows the reasons and it makes Arteta look like a jobs for the boys manager. There needs to more self-reflection from Arteta. He’s not a rockstar, he can’t do it all by himself, and he really needs to build more know-how around him this summer. Vinai cannot allow Arteta to entrench power, he needs to clip his wings and get him back to basics.
Arsenal also needs to think about what the fuck they are doing with football leadership. Edu’s contacts game looks like it’s getting a seeing to. The scouts are being found via a headhunter service, which is excellent news, and stops him stocking the club with his mates. His disaster physio, Brazilian Bruno Mazziotti, looks like he might see the exit door despite Edu being a protector of him. The Athletic reckons Willian, Xhaka, and Bellerin will be exited. I told you months ago that was why Hector has been benched. This is all good news, the Willian stories are almost too good to be true. Again, a mate of Edu, a super agent deal from hell, one of many that should be sounding a huge fucking siren heading into another summer of big investment.
There’s clearly a deep affection between Arteta and the kids, roll with that. Old players being unhappy is telling and obvious. They don’t want to be part of a long-term rebuild at a late stage of their careers. That isn’t a jab at Arteta, it’s a BIG FAT TRUTH about Arsenal. We need to build back smart. Young kids like being coached with future proof methods. They’re getting big chances at a big club. Build on that. Grow a squad for the Champions League… and make sure that when that top 4 position lands, we have a team of 25-year-olds ready to explode. Don’t keep on accepting your captain trudging off like a brat, it’s not good for anyone.
This is a post that is glass half full, and I honestly do not care what anyone thinks about that because I cannot live in football misery for the next 6 months. If we put together a full season of how we’ve played since Christmas, we’ll be in the mix for top 4 come the end of the season. That’s what the plan is, that’s what the club is working towards, I am confident there cannot possibly be a start to the season as bad as the last.
What do YOU think?
See you in the comments.