The stage was set. A mediocre performance 5 days earlier that saw Arsenal torn a new one at Wembley. A team bereft of confidence and ideas with the players doing very good impressions of a Chuckle Brothers and Keystone Cops collaboration. Players who don’t seem to respond to the Gaffa anymore. A team hell-bent on inducing stress for many Arsenal fans faint of heart. Fans who didn’t know which Arsenal would turn up or whether they would have to do the “fire drill” exit at half-time. Hell, we even had the dreaded voodoo blue making an appearance on the night with the pitch markings.
I was trying to think when Arsenal last won a game convincingly. That thought was however interrupted with my sympathy for YW and the number of times he has had to write match reviews when there was nothing to review. Arséne would, of course, insist that his players have the usual flotsam – mental strength, character, belief – you know the garden variety spiel about ingredients of success. The last three matches would force a head scratch if any of Wenger’s ingredients were used to describe the abject performances.
Can Anyone Left at Arsenal Switch Off The Lights
What is there to say about last night’s game. Two Silva’s and a Sane have a bit of a nursery rhyme thing going on; if it wasn’t for the fact that they were City players. Absolutely clinical, ruthless and no-nonsense approach to killing an opponent in a flash. Of course, it didn’t help that Mustafi, Koscielny and Bellarin were turned inside-out and had no idea how quickly the ball moved from one City player to the back of Peter Cech’s net. These are defenders we expect more from, but in fairness, the signs were always there. Only that lesser teams haven’t been more clinical and ruthless.
I got thinking, is there anyone left in the Arsenal hierarchy who care about the pride of the club? Anyone to keep the lights on? We are so bereft of leadership, confidence, ideas, commitment and hunger, especially on the pitch. We huffed and puffed with a shot on target here, a cut-back from the byline there, but to what end? Our players don’t even have the confidence to score penalties. That’s not even counting the shooting opportunities Arsenal had that the players preferred to try to walk into the goal.
Missing: Arsenal Playmaker, late 20’s and on 300k a week
Seen him anyone? He hasn’t turned up in recent big matches. It’s certainly not unreasonable to expect him to turn up; or for our club record signing not to miss penalties or sitters 2 yards from goal. Any tactician would have told Wenger that the City central defenders are not that blessed with pace, and Aubameyang has the pace, nous and skill to run beyond them. Yet we keep the same crap, different day tactical train. Yet again, we didn’t move the ball quick enough allowing City to hunt in packs and get back into defensive positions.
Several times last night, our players misplaced passes and immediately dropped their heads; the more logical option is to close down or get back into defensive mode. City had the ability to transition defence into attack at frightening speed. One minute, Arsenal have a shot on target aimed straight at Ederson’s throat; and 6 seconds later Sergio Aguero is hitting Cech’s side netting. It was galling to find ourselves chasing shadows as City managed the game brilliantly. They let us have the ball in less dangerous areas; they slowed the game down when it needed to, and they showed they were capable of attacking at will.
We’re Most Definitely In Boiling Frog Mode
You’ve heard of the boiling frog syndrome. Throw one in a pot of hot water, and it will jump out immediately. Put a frog in cold water and slow burn the pot to boiling point. The frog will get so comfortable it won’t even notice the rising temperature or its imminent death. That’s what happens when you get fat, lazy and complacent.
The Arsenal board and manager have got fat, lazy and complacent and rightfully, the natives are restless. They’ve been at the same ‘ole same ‘ole, it’s hard for them to tell the wood from the trees. Clearly, this has filtered down to players.
I’m finding it really hard to indulge in this mediocrity destined for the long grass in mid-table. We don’t have a right to win every single game; but the least we can expect and demand is that while on our payroll, the manager and his players actually turn up for work. In football, that means applying yourself to the level expected, working as a cohesive unit and not dropping your head down with every sucker punch. While we’re at it, we can cut out the silly individual mistakes that lead to goals, or for a change, being more clinical in front of goal.
It really is time for profound change. I’m not supportive of Wenger being sacked mid-season – like Stan will ever do that. Let him finish the season and give him the dignity and honour to get a golden handshake or a soft landing. He has been a good servant of the club and will be remembered for his impact in shaping the Arsenal that we love. But there cometh a time when the club is bigger than any one individual.
Try and enjoy the weekend. I know it depends on which Arsenal turns up at the AMEX on Sunday.