Liverpool Review: Pathetic.

Liverpool 4 – 0 Arsenal

“If you look across the world of football, you don’t find better candidates than Arsène Wenger.”

I’m leaving Ivan Gazidis’ words hanging there, just while I pick a hole or two hundred in everything surrounding yesterday’s performance.

I genuinely don’t know where to start. I’ve seen some bloody awful Arsenal squads. Every manager has them and Arsène is no exception. I’ve never seen such a talented set of players care less, be so embarrassed to wear the Arsenal shirt and utterly unwilling to play for their manager. They all claim to love him but at any other club, their efforts would get Wenger sacked.

Or resigning through pride. He’d be rewarded with a nice pay-off, with Stan’s blessing. But he’d be gone. Instead, floundering in the sand, we’re left with two more years of Arsène’s unique brand of mismanagement in the Premier League.

The FA Cups are nice, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate them but seeing this kind of listless, heartless, brainless performance year after year underlines we need a change at the top. It isn’t a dick-slapping contest of ‘I told you so’; this is about wanting what’s best for Arsenal Football Club.

And what’s best for Arsenal Football Club is not what’s best for Arsène Wenger. If I could, I’d place this as the result of Arsène’s behaviour last season. The indecision over his future created a ripple effect with players deciding they could take their time over their futures with impunity.

But come on, his team selections have been perverse for years. Last weekend, two left backs in the central defensive trio left him unimpressed. Today, the club’s record signing was left on the bench for a player who tries hard.

Ahem, It’s Not Just The Manager You Know

Now, let’s also get one thing absolutely straight. As much as I am livid with the manager, the sh*tshow those players turned in at Anfield was unacceptable. I don’t buy this ‘Ox is rubbish’ narrative which emerged as the current saga unfolded. But if he wants to turn in that kind of display, sell him tomorrow. It’s obvious his heart isn’t in it; get shot of him this week.

Alexis and Mesut Özil? Love you both, you’re great players but don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out. If that’s the effort we going to get, guys, you’re not worth the money. You can put any combination of players into mix but they aren’t putting the effort in.

We will lose games, I get that; been there, done that, got the t-shirt. We don’t have a divine right to win games or trophies but no matter what, we have a right to expect players to play for the club every time they pull on the shirt. I will say this now: not one player who was on the pitch yesterday can put their hand on their heart and say they gave their all.

What an absolute disgrace.

“From the first to the last minute we weren’t technically or physically at the level to compete.”

Arsène, at his curtailed press conference yesterday. Erm, Arsène, that’s your job. Prepare your players ready for each match. Get them to peak for the 90 minutes. If you don’t do that, what the f*ck are you doing?

Arsène, your legacy is disappearing in quicksand. Let’s be honest, we’re not far off the point where the Invincibles will be as relevant to modern football as the three-in-a-row titles in the 1930s. Fantastic achievements but something which makes Arsenal a great club.

Good Old Arsenal, We’re What To Say That Name?

We’ve got two weeks off on the back of the worst kind of performance. It’s going to be painful. I am heartily sick and tired of trying to find positives out of the mess Wenger and Gazidis created. More importantly, I have no confidence in the manager or CEO to solve the problems. Their time has passed.

We’re in the last week of the transfer window and Gary Neville’s searing comment encapsulates the problem: put the squad up for sale and very few will end up at better clubs. Most of them will end up at better run clubs but not better clubs when they are well run.

Hand on heart, answer this: are any irreplaceable? The answer is no. Alexis can go, he’ll score loads wherever he ends up. Mustafi? Good player, a fit Vermaelen at times but World Cup winners aren’t ten a-plenty. We’ve got three in our squad and we still turn out that crap.

We’ve got a double Copa America winner, two Euro 2016 runner-up medalists, and a Champions League winner as well. And we still turn out that crap.

What an absolute shambles of mismanagement. No wonder we still turn out that crap.

We’ve got midfielders who don’t know their role in the side, the right playing on the left, the left in the middle and the middle not knowing whether it is coming or it is going. The US military term for this has entered the lexicon of everyday language: clusterf*ck.

Money For Old Dopes

And still we reward the manager with a new contract and bend over so the players reap even more rewards for abject performances. £200k per week for not caring? Get over it; you’re not worth the money if you don’t care. The same for £400k, £300k, £100k, £50k. Players who were promising are shot of confidence but it’s always the fans fault. “Oh, you create a negative atmosphere”; sorry, Wenger admitted he was the root cause of the squad problems last year. He’s the same this year as well.

Eight months ago, we went to Anfield and the performance was utterly rubbish, off the back of bizarre team selections. It took three months to recover then; how long before we recover this time?

’til Tomorrow.

221 thoughts on “Liverpool Review: Pathetic.

  1. Bill,

    I don’t go back and watch massive amounts of game film on players but I do watch quite a bit of futbol on the weekends not just the PL but Europa, CL, and all the major leagues and not just a match or two but quite a number of them on the weekends then if I do find a player I like or think does well I will go and look him up through reports and watch other matches involving his club. Then should I find out about a player, and see other players I will get interested in the club especially the youth and youth systems like Lyon who is a regular factory of good quality players that like to play attractive futbol.

  2. Limestonegunner,

    I do sneak a few youtube clips in from time to time but mainly for specific positions like strikers ;-). Funny enough, you can get a feel if a striker is a natural finisher or well a player like Welbeck.

  3. C

    You can get an idea about the most eye catching part of a players skill set by watching a game or 2 and a few u-tube clips but you can also get fooled. If you watch a game where Danny Welbeck scores a goal and then watch a u-tube compilation and read a couple articles about his pace and power you would get the idea that he is going to be the next great striker.

  4. The fact that Arsene was prepared to play the Ox was very revealing. How many coaches would do that? But Arsene thought that if he sucked up to the Ox and made him feel loved he would change his mind about going elsewhere. Weak and very deluded.

  5. Can’t blame the players one bit. Wenger should have left two seasons ago and we would have been the league champions then. In Spite of tremendous efforts from the fans, Wenger isn’t leaving.

    Losing the CL spot should have been the final stroke but he comes back with FA Cup success. So what should one do to get rid of him???? It’s upto the players now to dislodge him . Week in and week out they should give such “don’t care” performance and finally we will be rid off him. Guys we can’t have him any longer with his uni-dimensional tactical skills. The oppositions are much stronger for the players alone to “figure it out” on the pitch. You should respect the opposition and don’t just send our players with the command “charge”, that’s plain suicide.

  6. how I wish arsenal can be relegated this season so kroenke may sell the club and Wenger can fuck off….the club has no plans and is in total shambles….why would Sanchez stay???

  7. So the Ox is off and good luck to him. On a personal level I hope he can fulfill some of the promise he has shown at Arsenal, he seems like an OK sort.

    He seems to exemplify Arsenal’s problems at the moment – other than ‘Wenger Out’ which can’t come soon enough. The squad is bloated with overpayed youngsters who won’t go and ply their trade elsewhere for fear of having to work harder and be paid less. I am pretty certain too that being an Arsenal player in the pubs an clubs still has more of an allure than Stoke, although that has long since ceased with the great players.

    Well we have managed to dodge that bullet with the Ox. 180k per week was a noose around his neck and ours, while we grimly screwed the team to try and fit him in or justify his wages, I am fine with Chelsea paying that bill.

  8. I know Wenger is a stubborn man who has his own views about how the club should be run, but how can he continue to feel comfortable with the level of unrest there is already this season? So many are now calling for his head, or saying that there has to be major changes at the club. Ian Wright, who is first off a passionate Gooner, is calling for Wenger to leave. Doesn’t that make Wenger rethink his decisions, even if just for a minute? Isn’t he disquieted by so many loyal followers of the club calling on him to go?

  9. Wavey,

    Given all the evidence I’d say that it will just make him dig his heels in. As for Wrighty you’ll recall that he and Wenger fell out last season when Wrighty suggested that he thought that Wenger has had enough and would leave.

    He’ll never leave of his own volition.

  10. At any other club, under any other owner, a manager responsible for a shambles such as Sunday’s would have already left the club.

    I’ve said it before and Oliver Cromwell said it before me: You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately…..Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

  11. Orson Kaert,

    At any other club you would have at least heard about any inquest behind the scenes. The performances of pretty much every player on the pitch have to be questioned because they clearly are not playing for the manager at the moment. But the decision making in terms of the team he put out on the day has to be making someone higher up wonder what is going on. They may not be football fans, but anyone must wonder why you don’t play your brand new striker, especially when you have broken the club’s transfer record to bring him in. Players were played out of position in what almost looks like deliberate sabotage and the midfield pairing was predictably an open door to the opposition. Any other owner would surely be hauling the manager in to explain what the fuck is going on?

  12. Speaking for millions of fans of the Arsenal Football Club world wide, it is imperative at this junction and not fortuitous, to change the manager of Arsenal football Club due to the following reasons:
    A well established pattern of finishing in the top four clubs of the English Premier League ( which by and large is a victory by averages on a scale of being better than the rest) failed last season.
    The marquee players have shown no intention to sign a new contract that would ensure the sporting success of Arsenal Football Club: ‘Alexis Sanchez & Mesut Ozil’; This is due to their personal belief that the actions of the current manager is inimical to the sporting objectives of professional football players. This trend has been prevalent, it started with Robert Pires in 2006, Thierry Henry, Lassana Diarra, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Emmanuel Adebayor, Oguzhan Ozyakup, Thomas Vermaelen, Alexander Hleb, and Robin Van Persie, just to mention a few. Some left to win trophies, others left in the belief that the manager was not genuinely intent on competing to win the league by strengthening weak areas, while some were irked at the manager’s idiosyncrasies, favoritism and they left.
    It is fact that the manager made mistakes in the past, refusing to give players above 30 a new contract, this was the case with Kanu Nwankwo and several players over the years. At the moment there is no real philosophy behind what the manager does, a good mature player like Lucas Perez of Spain, was overlooked by the manager, while a player still learning his trade, Alex Iwobi was given game time in a league where consistency is key to winning, and that was a familiar failing that cost us points last season.
    The failure to recruit a defensive midfielder with brute strength and skill over a period of 10 years, since Patrick Vieira was sold to Juventus football Club. This fact has undermined Arsenal’s performance over several seasons, with pundits and analysts wondering why the obvious solution to Arsenal’s midfield weakness, the missing piece to solve the puzzle, was never addressed sufficiently. The player brought in as replacement, was Abou Diaby, a man whose playing career was checkered with injury and in his early days, he was often placed on the left wing instead of playing through the middle. He should have been replaced to maintain a consistent title challenge.
    The fantasy of placing square pegs in round holes and expecting a miraculous win or result, the defense for the first and second matches this season are a case in point.
    Wrong tactical substitutions as observed in the recent match against Stoke City and Liverpool
    The manager’s inability to employ tactical coaching methods, which end in stagnation of players and devaluation of their sell-on value, the evidence this season is that we do not have a player that can command a hefty transfer fee in this season of increased television rights revenue and with the exception of Alexis Sanchez, none of our players from this squad is valued above 50 million pounds.
    The resistance of the manager to allow the appointment of a director of football to oversee matters that pertain to players contracts, scouting in line with the club’s philosophy and ambition, and transfer’s negotiation.
    The continual feeble slump in matches against top teams across the continent of Europe, resulting in a 10-2 aggregate loss to Bayern Munchen (a recurring affair over 3 seasons in the UEFA Champion’s League) and a 7-3 aggregate loss to Liverpool last season.
    The lack of professional excellence in performances and the docile encouragement of mediocrity by the manager culminating in a large number of squad players earning their pay, without featuring in competitive matches.
    The damming indictment of the manager’s loss of coaching ability as evidenced by his inability to deliver a premier league title since the 2003-2004 title win. The stadium building burden myth has since been shattered by Leicester City, who won the league with a lower budget, virtually average players who achieved stardom by dint of hard work and tactical astuteness.
    The inexplicable sale of certain good players this season, while average players remain. Wojciech Szczęsny was sold to Juventus, Gabriel Paulista was sold to Valencia. Unwanted players like Carl Jenkinson, Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers,Joel Campbell and other ostracized members of the squad remain on the pay roll.
    The manager’s resolve to play an unbalanced team resulted in a recent death of a fan (http://dailypost.ng/2017/08/26/wife-man-died-arsenal-loss-stoke-city-opens/). This is the first reported case this season, not to mention thousand of supporters across the world with medical conditions, placed at risk of falling into complications when the team they love so well, plays a familiar feeble mediocre game of football.
    A fellow manager summed up the career of our current manager as a specialist in failure. He went on to win the Europa league last season. If the fans of Arsenal Football Club are not given a change that is in the best long term interest of the fans and the club, more protests will follow, creating a toxic atmosphere for the fans, manager and the players. Arsene Wenger is not bigger than Arsenal Football Club. Arsenal Football Club deserves to be the best club in England and in Europe with the funds available, the fan base and the structure in place.
    Sadly fans do not trust the manager to deliver trophies anymore. We have waited patiently with each contract renewal and the promise of trophies, while stumbling at this stage of the league competition inspires no confidence. If we fail to act, there will be cliques in the squad and players will undermine the manager as observed in the loss to Liverpool.
    There are managers who can inspire this squad who seem too comfortable with their non-performance whilst living on princely wages paid by the club.
    It is time for a change and the fans will continues to express their displeasure in many more ways to the management until they realize that the reign of the manager is stale and the fans are feeling cheated by the owner for allowing mediocrity to fester in the name of continuity. Long service awards are not incentives for mediocrity and failure.
    Football as a sport is about winning and when the manager cannot inspire a squad of players to perform at their best or to even compete, then it is a tragedy that needs to be resolved urgently before further decline in performances, fortunes and revenues. Be warned that fans are watching and they will cut their financial commitment to their dear club, if only to show that they will not be ignored, by the club whose primary purpose is to provide sporting entertainment.
    Victoria Concordia Crescit

  13. andy1886,

    Perhaps he’s decided its all a bit of a laugh and he wants to see how far he can push it. He probably thought they would never give him a new deal after last season’s shambles. If they sack him they will have to pay up his contract, so he’s trying to see what he has to do to get the sack. The next game is after the transfer deadline, so he can almost do what he wants with the players left. If Ox is going how about Walcott at RWB? I was going to say Joel Campbell on the left as WB as well, but that wouldn’t be that bad an idea as cover. When he played for Real Betis he was well known for dropping back to help out his defence. Kolasinac would obviously be first choice for any sane man, but I’m now thinking the line up at the back will be Walcott, Kos, Nacho, Sead and Hector.

  14. Preview of a campaign, for which I will be enlisting your support and that of all lovers of Arsenal to say yes to a change of the manager and by the power of numbers to bring about a change in the way the owner misrepresents the club.

  15. Wavey,

    You do have to wonder what on earth is the mentality behind his decisions and his comments. I certainly believe that he wants to ‘punish’ in some way people he believes are disloyal. And I believe that if it damages the football club that isn’t going to stop him. He really believes that he alone created the modern Arsenal. Hubris.

  16. Carlos:
    Can’t blame the players one bit. Wenger should have left two seasons ago and we would have been the league champions then.

    I don’t think the players are exactly blameless in this…. IMO they’re as culpable as Wenger.

  17. “Manchester City have made an offer involving cash and winger Raheem Sterling in an attempt to land Alexis Sanchez this summer, according to reports.”

    The new Theo? Why would we want another one?

  18. lari03,

    Whilst I agree with your sentiment, I have to say some of your statements are just plain wrong. I think you’ll find that we had a certain Gilberto as our defensive midfielder for a while and Adebayor didn’t leave out of any desire to win things, he was an out and out mercenary. His subsequent career has shown that.
    I also think its a bit far fetched to lay the blame for the death of a supporter at Wenger’s feet. Maybe the guy was agitated by what he saw happening on the screen, but he would have had some kind of problem already, even if it was undetected.
    Some of what you say would provide the basis for an excellent open letter though.

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