Arsenal Is Broken. Who Will Fix It?

Arsenal 1 – 2 Brighton & Hove Albion

I don’t know what to say. I have the feeling that whatever we do it doesn’t come out right. The team gave its best, we created chances, we defended good but it seems like we need so many chances to score and teams score every chance against us. I am lost for words…

Hector Bellerin on the state of Arsenal

Not for one moment do I believe “the team gave its best”, Hector. No, not by a long shot.

Freddie said the players were “scared”, “very short on confidence” and they “didn’t show up in the first half”. A damning indictment of the squad, as well as underlining his inexperience in coaching. He can’t give them confidence but if they are “scared” and don’t “show up”, that’s down to him. He prepares the team.

As I say, it is his inexperience as a coach which leaves those as issues and demands the club appoint someone who has been in this kind of situation before. In the future, there’s no reason why Ljungberg cannot be a good first-team coach. Right now, Arsenal don’t have the luxury of time.

The players cannot cope with the pressure and when the captain is openly berating youngsters for playing a short pass at the wrong time and place, you know there are no leaders in the squad. This squad could not hold a ‘clear the air’ team meeting; nobody can handle the home truths which need telling.

Then again, Freddie took time to criticise the crowd which is a brave thing to do. Crowds shouldn’t be nervous because the poor little lambs on the pitch feel the pressure. He stopped short of saying they can’t cope with it but we know that’s what he meant.

Bigger Problems

The problems at Arsenal are clear to all. On the pitch, on the touchline, in the offices, in the boardroom and in the absentee owners who turn up like they are some sort of sporting experts but who in reality are chancers running everything on a fag packet and several pints.

We’re told by the habitual leaks to the press that The Muppet Show is taking its’ time to make the right appointment as manager. That’s code for procrastination: they want Freddie to succeed not for the good of Arsenal but to ingratiate themselves with fans by appointing a hero.

They want Freddie to succeed because it takes the decision away from them. ‘He did well, we had to give him a chance; it’s not our fault it didn’t work out, you wanted him’; anyone but them making decisions.

But most of all, they want Freddie to succeed because they are cheapskates. They don’t want experience because that experience will cost money. That experience won’t be cheap to hire in wages or release fees.

Most importantly, they don’t want experience because that experience knows football better than they do and will subject them to scrutiny and highlight their inexperience and incompetence. They don’t want experience because everyone will know they are over-promoted chancers.

We all know the problems on the pitch stem from a badly constructed squad but that badly constructed squad stems from poor leadership. Nobody reined Arsene in until it was too late. Nobody has reined Raul in and now it’s too late.

Not one person sat down in the summer, identified weaknesses and acted on them. Instead, they bought a calamitous centre-half, an unknown striker and panicked. They had to buy a big-name player because the natives were restless.

Beat The Market? They Couldn’t Beat An Egg

Instead, they bought a big-money player with no concept of how he fitted into the team because they had no concept of the team.

The coach’s philosophy was shot to pieces and needed a radical overhaul but nobody pulled him to one side to tell him that. Nobody managed the manager because nobody is managing the manager’s manager. It’s a carte-blanche to do what he wants and to fill his boots whilst he’s at it.

Now, we’re paying the price for mismanagement from the sidelines up. A board which has no power serves no purpose. Owners who used us as security and cannot sell because it means paying off loans elsewhere early and profits disappearing in redemption fees.

Arsenal Football Club is broken, from top to bottom and the responsibility for that lays squarely with Enos Stanley Kroenke and Josh Kroenke. Sporting moguls, we’re told. Sporting moggies seems more fitting.

Everyone knew that replacing Arsène would be a tough job but The Muppet Show has handled it so badly that they make the Manchester United board competent and forward-thinking.

It is time for them to stop sitting on their hands. Arsenal Football Club needs someone to stand up and take control with purpose driving them not the contents of their pockets.

Arsenal Football Club is broken. Who will fix it?

’til Tomorrow.

77 thoughts on “Arsenal Is Broken. Who Will Fix It?

  1. YW says:

    The absence of the word ‘Good’ before that is duly noted.

  2. AFC1967 says:

    Never thought it was even possible to think this, let alone put it out there.

    We are sleep walking into relegation.

    get Sam in until the end of season. Before I get shot down in flames (and yes I cannot believe myself this is a good idea) lets look at facts:

    we are in freefall

    the season isn’t over, no reason we shouldn’t be winning Europa and FA cup

    we are conceding 2 goals per game

    Forget XXXball, forget the Arsenal way. The house IS on fire

  3. Stu says:

    Morning,
    We need someone with big cahoonas. Someone who has been there, done it, knows what is needed in the PL, can handle big players, can handle inexperienced youth and, most importantly, can challenge the club owners. I never thought I’d say this when Wenger was leaving, but we need a manager with that experience and skills now. We don’t need an untried manager.

    We need Benitez. He is the only sensible choice to turn this shitstorm around. Might not be long term, but turn it around and create stability over this season and next. Then the younger long term successor – whoever that may be – can be appointed.

  4. Dukey says:

    Love the pic Yogi I could change my avatar to that one, it sums us up nicely. We are well and truly in the shit.

  5. Ian says:

    They need to get a grip quick. I really can’t see us gaining too many points over the next 7/8 fixtures. The reality of this situation is that unless we get something sorted on the pitch pretty soon then we will be battling relegation come the end of January.

    Its not only that we have failed to beat Wolves, Palace, Southampton, Brighton, Sheffield Utd and Norwich its the fact that we have been outplayed and probably deserved to lose each one!!!

    Heaven help us when we play someone in the top half – a 4th place finish!!! – we will be lucky if we can get 4th from bottom….

  6. Stu says:

    Dukey:
    Love the pic Yogi I could change my avatar to that one, it sums us up nicely. We are well and truly in the shit.

    Dukey, I’ve always wondered how to change the avatar. Care to enlighten those of us who are in the dark?

    Many thanks!

  7. Fell says:

    Morning and TY Yogi, the picture says it all.
    I read somewhere not sure where but player wise now we are the lost boys club.

    Someone make it stop!..please

  8. Dukey says:

    Stu,

    You will need to log in or set up a gravatar account. It’s easy to do but I’ve forgot what the site is.

    Yogi will tell us??

  9. andy1886 says:

    Dukey,

    That’s right Dukey, it’s gravatar.com. Once you’ve signed up and selected an image you may have to clear your cache before it updates on this site.

  10. Noon Gunner says:

    andy1886,

    ‘clear your cache’ immediately brings to mind an image of Kroenke & Son clearing out with the AFC family silver under cover of darkness once we’re relegated.

    I will now meditate to dissolve that image…

  11. andy1886 says:

    Spot on today YW. Totally agree that our senior leadership team are completely lacking in understanding the game and I doubt that they could pick either a decent manager or player if their lives depended on it. You can see why they let Wenger run the show, they hid behind his coat tails and took the easy money. Now they have to stand up and be counted they have been found out for what they were – frauds.

    I have to agree we cannot afford a risky appointment. Not Big Sam (God no!), but in the short term Rafa would stabilise the ship and Brendan would probably do well until ‘Pool came calling in a few years time. An untried man would be a potential disaster, the players need leadership and direction because they can’t provide their own.

  12. andy1886 says:

    Noon Gunner,

    By all accounts their NFL adventure could well result in them having a fire sale amongst their other ‘assets’. You’d think that investing in the best possible manager would be the obvious solution but these pound shop billionaires think short term like slum landlords.

  13. Michael says:

    I mentioned Rafa a while ago, the Chinese league finished on the 30th November. Why don’t they try and get him even if its short term? Who would be better, thats available?

  14. Stu says:

    andy1886:
    Dukey,

    That’s right Dukey, it’s gravatar.com.Once you’ve signed up and selected an image you may have to clear your cache before it updates on this site.

    Thanks Andy and Dukey, much appreciated!

  15. Randy Thomsett says:

    We were third two months ago. I don’t recall us being broken then.

    Hire a Manager and give him the players that he wants, not the players that you know you can get through your agent mates. At least give the Manager a chance to impart his philosophy with players that he knows can function within that philosophy. I don’t think that Emery ever had that chance. I’m far from convinced that this particular structure is suited to the PL.

    Only Manure have a similar structure and they’re as shit as we are.

  16. Welsh Corgi says:

    Morning,

    Well, there’s a silver lining to all things even though how repulsive they may be.

    Imagine if we were relegated. The loss of value, fees, contracts etc. We’d be a much less pleasing holding for the Kroenkes. Maybe even to the point where they consider selling?

  17. andy1886 says:

    Michael,

    I believe he signed a 2.5 year contract so still has 2 years to go. Rumour has it that compensation would be even higher than what we’d have to pay Leicester for Rodgers.

  18. C says:

    Here’s a question for you lot: Allegri has declared he will not take a job until the summer, so would you lot ride the season out with Freddie if we coud get Allegri in the summer?

  19. YW says:

    No, C.

    If he doesn’t want the job now, he isn’t taking it in the summer either.

  20. Dukey says:

    C:
    Here’s a question for you lot:Allegri has declared he will not take a job until the summer, so would you lot ride the season out with Freddie if we coud get Allegri in the summer?

    Maybe, I’m sure Allegri would get us promoted at the first attempt!

  21. C says:

    Can we please stop playing Sokaritis?! I mean between the COMPLETELY stupid and unnecessary tackle at the end of the1st half to the complete breakdown for the goal (Lee Dixon broke it down basically saying Sokaritis made a couple mistakes that were completely unnecessary)…..I have grown completely tired of seeing him in a shirt.

  22. C says:

    Dukey,

    He would get us promoted and ger rid of Sokaritis, so it would be worth it!

  23. Noon Gunner says:

    A sense of entitlement – long a core part of the rot at Arsenal, and something I’ve sensed over the past 8 or so seasons when watching us against teams below us in the league table. The sense that, by being The Arsenal and – at the individual player level – by having been bought and selected to play for the club of Bergkamp, Henry, the Invincibles, we will do just fine. Proof has been in the looks of puzzlement on players’ faces when we’ve lost. Not anger and ‘Never again!’ but ‘How could that happen to Us? To ME?’

    And the entitlement works upwards too. As YW and others are pointing out, the Kroenkes thought they were buying blue chip stock, and with it an entitlement to steady growth in their investment’s value. It will be fascinating to see how they respond to this looming precipice in the club’s value – its Leeds scenario. My guess is they have no personal experience of the kind of sustained hunger a competitive football club has to have if it’s to win. As Welsh Corgi says above, they might just look to sell if this season doesn’t come good.

    I assume Aliko Dangote is watching all this very closely and will time his move carefully. His business interests have all been in the ‘real world’, not investment holdings.

  24. Woolwich Freddie says:

    YW, your headline sums it all up; and I wish I had the answer!

    We don’t have until the Summer; we will be down by then. As much as I want shot of the owners, that’s the hard way to do it. Oh, and if we get another shot at fan share, let’s take it, eh? They don’t even seem to realize how much relegation would damage their investment; perhaps they’ve been told it will never happen. Someone should roll the “what happened to Leeds” reel.

    RE: suggestions: I always thought Rafa was a good manager who was held back by his caution, which probably makes him a good choice for two years. After a period of stability a younger, cheaper manager would have a better shot.
    To Sam: no, a thousand times, no, although I support the notion of appointing a pragmatist, maybe we can find one who is more competent and less of a dickhead. We only just dodged the very expensive Jose-shaped bullet in our own foot.

  25. Woolwich Freddie says:

    I’m really struck by how lack of investment by the club (going back before the Kroenkes) has probably cost it money. Not so many seasons ago, our problems could all have been fixed with a decent CB and DM (not even the most expensive purchases at the time). Then we would only hire a mid-price that didn’t come with a shopping list. Now we hope we can pay green coach wages to fix the whole mess. Surely it was easier to buy two defensive players and still be in the Champions League?

  26. Bill says:

    Great review yogi

    I think we as fans over react in both directions. We go over board when the team or individual players do well and get overly down on the team when we struggle. Remember how many of us thought that Dani Ceballos was going to be the answer to our prayers in his first PL season after he had a great game in the second week of the season. After the the league cup against Liverpool how maany thought we had great talent. Both were clear over reactions. On the other hand there is no way we will be involved in a relegation fight. This run of bad form will turn around at some point

  27. YW says:

    C

    Pay to buy a manager’s contract out. Give the unemployed manager the invite for an interview. If he declines, our interest in him ends.

    What managers say and do, however, are frequently two different things.

  28. Bill says:

    I would argue the Dani Ceballos excitement after game 2 was in of the top 10 of over reactions of the last 10 years.

  29. C says:

    YW,

    That’s true but I doubt that happens. With that said, I’m not 100% convinced that things aren’t happening in the background now that Edu has settled in. Lest we forget that he only took over late in the summer so I think things will happen before or right after the winter window.

    Remember, there was talk that Mourinho was learning German and was set to take the Bayern job and 2 weeks later he takes over for Spuds and NOBODY saw that coming.

  30. Buckagh says:

    C,

    Its got to be a timely appointment
    For me it’s Benitez if we can get him
    C
    Do you realise what relagation would mean to this club it could set it back for a decade

  31. Bill says:

    I think we have to accept this squad is not top 4 in terms of talent. It’s not about managerial tactics or language skills. After Auba and laca there isn’t that much talent. However we are not a relegation level team. We are a Europa league level squad which is mentally in a bad place and stuck in a terrible run of form. Form tends to even out over the course of a 38 game season. I believe we are scheduled for a run of good form at some point which will take us into the semifinals of Europa league and will drag is back into a Europa league spot in the league which is where we belong based on the talent level in this squad.

  32. Bill says:

    I can guarantee when we do hit our run of good form we will hear a lot of talk about how the problem was 100% about the manager and if we would have fired Emery after last season we would be in the top 4 this season which is rubbish IMO.

  33. Ras says:

    Good Afternoon YW . If decisions are not made to arrest this continual demise We are going to go the way of Leeds and Villa. Period.

    How this Club has managed to amass 3 Central defenders whom are absolutely gob shite (Mustafi, Socrates and Luiz) shows how badly managed the Club has been for the last few years.

  34. C says:

    Buckagh,

    Benetiz, I’m just not sure to be honest. If we are going for a manager like that, should Ancelotti get sacked I would grab him immediately.

    I completely understand what relegation would mean not just for the club but the Gooners everywhere. With that said, no way we get relegated.

  35. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Not only is Freddie out of his depth but he has yet to work out how to pick a team.

    If you are going to play Ozil it has to be in the no10 position. Ozil and Auba on the wings was tragic. Auba was burning up so much energy in our half I almost forgot he was a striker.

    Having decided to play Ozil why was Willock no10? Why not Tierney? Kola is not the answer and needs to go along with the Chuckle Brothers of Luiz and Sokratis. Surely our worst pairing since Luzhny and Stepanovs, who in comparison were actually ok. Bellerin looks like he has lost a yard of pace. Let’s hope its just fitness.

    I would play Holding and Chambers with Lucas and Matty G in midfield. Xhaka has to go, how is he still in the team? We need wide players so Martinelli and Pepe should start. Martinelli is one of very few bright spots and I thought Pepe looked a bit better yesterday. Straws clutched.

    This ignores the bigger issue of the slow death of a great club. A fish rots from the head and we all know who was responsible. Dein, Wenger, Gazidis, Kroenkes, now Raul, all fleecing the club while managing decline. Well the wheels have finally fallen off.

    Unless something changes soon we could well be in the mire. We were outplayed yesterday. By Brighton. At home. I feel for Leno.

    Dark days for us. It has been a long time coming….

  36. Slarien says:

    Benitez was worse at Newcastle than Steve Bruce is now, if we are in the business of pinching managers, aiming for those prima donna’s on 10-30 mil contracts is not likely to work, the idea of the Leipzig manger, or even Nuno Espirito or the Sheffield manger seem like good choices.

  37. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Bill,

    You keep saying that there is not much talent but less than Brighton, Palace, Wolves or Norwich?

    I agree that this is an unbalanced squad but to say there is no talent beyond Auba and Laca is simply not true.

    Matty G has bags of talent just can’t a midfield on his own yet. Martinell is a freak, an unbelievable talent. His movement is incredible – pressing, finds space in the box and can even track his man from midfield. I think Holding has talent and Leno has been excellent. I would like to see Lucas in his best position. I like to think that Pepe has talent as does Saka. Tierney looks good also. I am not a fan but you cannot say that Ozil does not have talent, although I agree with you that he is in massive decline.

    We are not winning anything with this squad but we should not be getting outplayed at home by Brighton either. Coaching plays a huge part as does the raw material with what the coach has to work. Its hardly gold but better than no wins in 9.

  38. Woolwich Freddie says:

    Bill,

    I think the excitement about Ceballos, which I shared, was fueled by the fact that he is clearly a player of superior technical ability who was also displaying tenacity to retain the ball in midfield. He didn’t sustain this much beyond his home debut but who would in this team?

  39. C says:

    The one thing that this team and squad needs is confidence plain and simple. You look and when things are going good in the match yesterday, there were signs but the moment it went wrong, the confidence was drained. I do feel that a hige part of that is the fact that we defended poorly and because of that, you are seeing our wingers tracking ALL they way back and at times even Lacazette to the point that when we do break, its slow.

    I think the one thing that Mourinho has done, is that he has basically said, ” Back 6, you form a base and don’t bomb forward. FB’s, when one goes, the other stays but that midfield base and CB’s, you sit and defend and recycle. Front 4, you attack and drop as needed.” That is what I want to see at Arsenal. Hell even if that means going with Luiz and Torriera as a base with a back 4 of Bellerin/Chambers/Holding(though he has struggled)/Tierney and with a front 4 of Aubameyang/Pepe/Lacazette/Ozil.

    We can’t defend, so no need to sit back and try to counter, we are shit at it.

  40. Woolwich Freddie says:

    C,

    I still find Pepe impossible to judge. He’s always looked lively and willing to take people on whilst looking completely unintegrated into the team and missing his end product from the previous season. My gut says he could still be a player but a way has to be found to get him playing with those around him and gradually build his confidence, otherwise the youngsters knocking on the door will keep him on the bench.

  41. Alex Ice Cream says:

    C,

    Yes, all that dropping so deep does is invite pressure that we subsequently struggle to deal with.

    Confidence is so low people just meekly follow their opponents and are afraid to make a tackle. There is no organisation so positionally we are nowhere and we also lack athleticism and therefore lack the ability to recover.

    In short, its a fucking mess that has been brewing since the end of the 2008 season on the pitch and since $atan starting buying shares in 2007.

  42. Pete the Thirst says:

    Well it’s pretty obvious after last night that Freddie hasn’t a clue what he is doing. Deferring to the ‘big players’ was a massive mistake.

    Liam Brady last night repeated what we’ve been saying for a long time: Ozil, Xhaka & Luiz shouldn’t be anywhere near the side.

  43. consolsbob says:

    A decade of steady decline is coming home to roost.

    No leadership in that time, no accountability, no plan. Nothing. Hubris.

    This has been a disaster waiting to happen. A perfect storm.

    Young coach, impotent Board, ignorant Executives, absentee owners, clapped out or weak players, a smattering of disillusioned talent and an alienated fanbase.

    I have no idea how we get out of this. None. New owners seem to offer the best hope.

  44. Pete the Thirst says:

    I like your confidence Bill. Although, the longer we don’t appoint a new manager the higher the chance we will drift into territory unchartered since the mid 1970s. Unusually there has been no new-manager bounce with Freddie.

    Southampton, Norwich and Brighton will be in a relegation battle. I think we were lucky to get 2 draws from those games.

    Bill:

    I think we as fans over react in both directions….. On the other hand there is no way we will be involved in a relegation fight. This run of bad form will turn around at some point

  45. andy1886 says:

    @ C,

    Luiz got hammered for the winner but if you re-watch it he had two players to mark right in front of our goal. I think I saw Sokratis in the background ambling back into the penalty area just as the header went in. Useless.

  46. Blue Yonder says:

    I think Arsenal will bounce back. Probably against one of the better teams (I know, right now, they’re all better teams.) Also, I’m not writing Freddie off just yet. He, of all people, would have known that things wouldn’t miraculously change simply by Emery’s dismissal. His team selections suggest he is giving them all enough rope to hang themselves – hence the appearances of all the players we know are useless.
    Each player needs to take stock of what he can do to change things: if it is to be, it is up to me. Though that’s what people in the real world do, I’m not sure what those in the un-real world (sports) do.

  47. C says:

    Woolwich Freddie,

    The talent is undeniable for sure; I think its just he is still integrating into the team and the players around him. WE all want that Lacazaette/Aubameyang/Pepe front 3 because the potential is there and they all fit, what didn’t help him was the tactics and style of play in the early parts of this season. He is still very young himself (23 or 24 yrs old), and he is shown he can beat any defender in the PL; think a goal or assist from the run of play would do him a world of good.

    With that said, he has never shied away from either the attacking or defending parts and I still have faith in him to come good.

  48. C says:

    andy1886,

    I have been banging the drop Sokaritis drum since last season. Luiz (even from myself) took a beating for that goal but it was PURELY down to Sokaritis going walk-a-bout. Between that and the absolutely STUPID and UNNECESSARY tackle right before the half to pick up the yellow; nope, wouldn’t mind seeing him feature quite regularly on the bench. People praise the tough tackling that he does, but he causes more problems then he solves.

    If you haven’t read or heard Dixon kill Sokaritis for the goal, goal take a read.

  49. C says:

    Alex Ice Cream,

    Dropping deep just doesn’t help anybody at all.

    I lost count how many times Aubameyang and Lacazette are tracking back and standing next to Torriera yesterday; that should never be unless defending a set piece.

  50. Alex Ice Cream says:

    consolsbob,

    Its amazing to think that we were here on this very blog over 10 years ago voicing concerns about the direction in which the club was heading. This was even before the Wenger Out momentum begun.

    I am struggling to believe that we are talking about relegation and that those concerns of a decade ago have been allowed to morph into this crisis.

    A rudderless ship will run aground eventually; perhaps the real surprise is that it took so long.

  51. Steve says:

    What is happening is painful. It was self inflicted. The idea of blaming everyone is lazy reasoning. We had a stable club that was in Champions League for about 20years. We said it was not good enough. Communicating our displeasure in decent ways was not enough. We embarked on unorthodox means. Harsh criticism that had no basis on point of fact from many sites. Abuse and recriminations not seen in modern times,AFTV etc. Everything was thrown including the kitchen sink. Everyone confidence was drained. It can’t be just the players. Without the additions this summer, we did fairly well last seasons. As a result of unending criticism, confidence flew out of the window. Now everyone can beat us. Even fans of other clubs were shocked at our actions and utterances. Not many coaches want to be in charge of our team with the kind of fans we have and our bloggers. We will have to ‘enjoy’ this for some time. We caused it. Now we blame everyone but ourselves.

  52. Paulie Walnuts says:

    It’s the defensive issues that are killing us. Whoever authorised the Pepe deal when we were bereft at the back needs to collect their P45.

    The Luiz signing was the bog standard lazy deal which smacked of anything will do.

    We have spent on defenders & defensive midfielders over the past few seasons but spent badly. Add that to coaches who indulged under performers & you get the current poo cocktail which is stinking out the place.

  53. consolsbob says:

    Alex Ice Cream,

    Indeed, Alex.

    We are always chasing our tails it seems. The club is perpetually one step behind where it needs to be.

  54. Bill says:

    Alex Ice cream.

    You mentioned Guendouzi, Martinelli, Saka and Pepe. I would suggest they all might have potential to be important players in the future, however, future potential does not help us now. 15 years of history proves that expecting U20 players to be important regular players for us now is not reasonable and to suggest they are part of a squad which is talented right now is not realistic . Pepe might be great someday but as of now he has not adapted to the PL and has not been effective so you can’t count him either. We need players who are really good right now and outside of Auba and Laca we don’t have any.

    The other thing we have to accept is that our players that we think have long term potential are far from being sure things. I agree that Martinelli has potential but so have about 100 players like him in the last 15 years and unfulfilled potential is much much more common then players living up to those high expectations.

  55. Bill says:

    I think its unfair to characterize Kronke as an absentee owner who does not care. We don’t want our owners involved in regular day to day running of the football side of the club. I agree completely they were passive and waited far too long to move on from Arsene but once they made the decision they had to completely rebuild our front office and they were aggressive with finding new people. The easy and safe decision would have been to hold on with Arsene and hope he could get us back into the top 4. It was never going to be easy to completely rebuild the brain trust and rebuild the squad which was clearly on a fast decline and some mistakes were inevitable on both fronts. The Kronke’s have also allowed the football people to spend money both when Arsene was here and since he has left. To suggest they simply don’t care about improving the club seems off target to me.

  56. JonJon says:

    yes
    conversations we had years ago are now coming to fruition.
    wenger stayed too long, KSE never should have come at all,gazidis was a clown. the gentlemans club at the top sold us down the river and lied to us.

    it was always going to be difficult replacing wenger but the rot started with him and theres a huge task at hand.

    im not panicking too much, but i do think at this stage the job is too big for a young coach or someone who has little or no experience – opportunity was there a few years ago to do it before we fell out of top 4 and pissed millions down the toilet but now? we need someone elite. someone whos been there and done it…

    a man to steady the ship..

    allegris elite and would sort it but theres alot of complications in hiring him.

    rafa is probably best bet at this point.

    theres still half a season to go – and too cups to play for…confidence is low but freddie needs to pick the best team in the best positions.

    xhaka and ozil have been the return of the prodigal sons – only to realise how shit we are with them both in the team.

    defence is bollox no matter who plays there so its pointless discussing who needs to play at the back

    leno picks himself – the only positive in all this shitshow is that theres an arguement we have the best gk in the league.

    pepe auba laca uptop with laca on the wing. play auba central

    we’re in a dogfight so pick the players in the engine room who will fight – torriere douzi and willock.

    and go for it. we cant defend so lets go for goals. best goalscorer has to play central

    back to basics, fight in midfield, get it out wide and get it in the box.

    ozil and xhaka have been shite for years theyve barely got an assist between them and midfield constantly gets overrun, they wont get better now and if laca wont play wing fuck him off as well and stick saka out there.

    back to basics. it will come, we’ll be alright…

  57. JonJon says:

    ian wright never played wing when were shit in the mid nineties.

    we’d fucked limpar and rocky off and had a midfield containing hillier and morrow ffs.

    we got through that shitshow because we played wrighty where we needed him to be. where he was best.

    nothing overcompliated, just basic..midfield was shite so defend like fuck, bypass the midfield and get it to wrighty.

    hang in there until a new gaffer arrived with a plan.

    same principal now.. just cant defend for shit, so forget it..battle for it in the middle and get it to the main guy- whos not going to score stood out wide, weve got a winger, so use him.

    hang in there until a new gaffer comes along with a plan.

  58. consolsbob says:

    JonJon,

    All fair, jj. However, who is going to find and sanction the employment if this new ‘gaffer with a plan’?

    Not this set of monkeys.

  59. DALM says:

    ah well, good news, we have an election to think about – if you thought the arsenal world was bad, imagine the country run by Boris and co

  60. G4E says:

    The Owners of this club are that cause of all Evils….Not the players, not the Manager(s), no the Fans.

    They were so complacent, they thought it’s a good investment, but never really knew or understood what it means to own a club like Arsenal.

    They let things rot for ages, they accepted a very low par on the field because the club is making money……To them, that’s all the success they know and understand. If you’re making money everything is Alright.

    We will never be a big club again, not on the field anyways. We may be big in assets but not in pride, not any more.

    Until this Owner is out of this club, this is who we will be…..A Mid-Table club at best.

    The players see that the owner accepts Mediocre, so why not show up for your day job, do the Mediocre thing and get paid the big bucks in the process?

    Maybe relegation would be good for us so we can get rid of the owner?
    I don’t know if that even works.

    I’ve lost all confidence that this Owner really cares about anything else as long as the return on investment is still working for him.

    Lovers and Fans of this club must think of how to reduce the financial gain to a point where he has to sell….Otherwise, expect this to be the new Arsenal…Competing not to get relegated.

  61. YW says:

    There will be later, Dukey. Not quite sure if it’ll be today or tomorrow early in the morning.

  62. C says:

    JonJon,

    I am in FULL agreement with you on Leno. I have heard quite a few talking heads saying he is “Ok” because of the goals against, but they clearly haven’t been paying attention. He has been superb in keeping us actually in matches and the goals he haz actually conceded, he nor any GK would have saved them.

    Not just his shot stopping but his command of the box and distribution as well.

  63. C says:

    Dear Freddie,

    If your listening, please go with this starting XI:

    Leno
    Bellerin—-Chambers—–Luiz—–Tierney
    —–Torriera—–Guendouzi
    Pepe————Ozil————-Aubameyang
    Lacazette

  64. Spike says:

    C,

    Oh the bounce I thought would occur when Fred replaced Emery never materialised. Yet.

    Everton instantly responded to a change in coach, United have improved and the hammers will beat us on monday.

    It doesn’t seem to matter what line up Fred chooses, were stuck in a rut and serve up second rate, garbage.

    Mid table mediocrity is a pipe dream!! 😀

  65. Spike says:

    G4E,

    A good staer would be no one buying any food, drink and merchandise during match days.

    Followed by not buying tickets for cup games and games where match tickets go on sale.

    I wouldn’t expect season ticket holders to stop renewing. Unless things get really bad, like relegation bad.

  66. MikeSA says:

    I am also baffled as to why Lacazette plays central and Abmeyang gets shifted out to the wing.

    Both of them started out as wingers but Aubmeyang is the better predator in the box.

    Personally I saw progress in the last game.

    Yes, we still had all the bad habits on display, but there were moments where we clicked and played like we haven’t seen for quite some time.

    I think the renting of clothes and tearing out of hair is way over the top.

    When Lungberg started with the u23’s he had a few horror shows then they settled in and got going.

    Henry also said it would take time to sort this out, so in my opinion two games and around 3 training sessions is not going to produce miracles, some patience is required.

    We do have a good squad. The constant chatter that this one or that one is shit or past their prime is not necessarily accurate or helpful imo.

    I thought the usual punch bags, namely Xhaka, Luiz, and Ozil all had fairly decent games. If you didn’t see Ozil defending deep and running back several times then you really need to go back and look again.

    One of the favorites, Willock, had a shit game, but that’s no reason to declare him shit and want him shipped out, that sort of hysteria is ridiculous, but so is a lot of the other ranting and raving.

    From what I’ve heard, Lungberg is a very good coach, so to my mind it’s time to not panic and let this run its course, no savior on a white stallion is going to be riding in to save us, so we need to hang in and get going with what we’ve got.

    As far as defending goes, it’s about maintanng shape and getting protection from the midfield, none of which is happening. This will come with decent coaching and tactics, but it isn’t going to happen overnight. Our CB options are fine, in fact they’re better than most, we just need them to be coached, more disciplined than they have been, and protected by the midfield more.

    We also need creativity to provide opportunity for our front line.

    Without the creative link they might as well just pack out deck chairs and a picnic basket.

    I never want to see a back 3 again, it disconnects our play because we then become mundane in the middle of the pitch.

    My team selection would be:

    —————Leno—————–
    Bellerin—–Sokratis—Luiz——-Kolasinac
    ————–Torierra——-Xhaka—-
    Pep————-Ozil————Martinelli
    —————Aubmeyang———–

  67. Bill says:

    MikeSA

    We are not as bad as we have been playing. The idea that we are going to have a relegation fight is way over the top. However, we don’t have the talent to be a top 4 team. We are a Europa league level team which has hit a really bad run of form. Form will usually even out over the course of the season no matter who is the manager and I suspect we have a run of good form at some point and we will probably finish the year in 5th or 6th place.

  68. Bill says:

    I just looked at the table. Liverpool and Man City are definitely top 4 and I suspect Leicester will find a way in hold on to their top 4 spot. That leaves Chelsea, Man U, Spurs fighting for 4th, 5th and 6th place with us on the outside looking in. Wolves are also a threat to finish in the top 6. Climbing back into 6th place may be a real stretch this season unless at least 2 of those teams above us implode.

  69. Bill says:

    May be I am being over optimistic but I think we will find a way to make it to the Europa League next year.

  70. Bill says:

    I thought we might have learned our lesson from the debates near the end of the Wenger era. Individual players have to take responsibility for their own form. Blaming the players struggles on a lack of coaching may be the answer we hope to hear but when the underperformance has been consistent and prolonged, blaming coaching is very likely the wrong answer.

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