For the first time in a number of years, we head to West Ham in the role of party poopers. We’re four points from the bottom three with a win for tonight’s hosts joining us on 19 points. Goal difference keeps us above them unless we lose by four. Stop squirming uneasily; not even we’re that crap.
Despite our hopes of wholesale changes, Freddie is relying on experience, in his own words, which means more tomfoolery in the centre of defence from Sokratis and Sideshow Bob. Holding isn’t featuring as he recovers from injury and it seems Calum Chambers is Mr Utility on the bench. Unless Hec isn’t fit, then he’s the carefree right-back.
Look, Freddie’s thrown us a curveball or two with his team selections to no avail in terms of changing the club around. Duncan Ferguson wrought an immediate response from his Everton team on Saturday but the Arsenal players have given Freddie nothing but a flatulent reaction.
It’s shameful; completely shameful. This group of players ought to be embarrassed by their contributions. There’s no sign of that, however. It’s Radio Silence from Arsenal which as was rightly pointed out yesterday means that the stories in the press are how they have scant regard for Freddie and his ability.
It has more to do with the players not caring about Arsenal Football Club. To them, it’s a paypacket and one they have never earned.
At this point, I’d probably start with my hopes on how we’ll play and what we need to do to win. This picture says it all:
Yes, we need the ghost of John Belushi to save us.
Anyways, here’s hoping to three points.
There will be some interesting observers at the match. Marcelino, the poor man’s Emery, is reportedly in London to take in the game. Everyone seems jolly convinced that a man who won the Segunda Division in 2005-06 and Copa Del Rey in 2018-19 is the answer.
I must be out of touch with how good he is as a manager to not be overwhelmed by our interest in the man.
News we’re considering Niko Kovac is similarly underwhelming. Winning domestic trophies with Bayern is the same as winning them with PSG; when you don’t, that’s a more telling assessment of your managerial skills. Kovac did win them but was making a pig’s ear of this season. He didn’t last.
Rafa Benitez is in the Sky studio as part of their Monday Night Football so it will be amusing to watch him squirm uncomfortably when asked about being linked with the Arsenal job. Or smirk knowingly because he met with Raul earlier.
Raul won’t be pushing for a manager with the experience of the likes of a Benitez, Ancelotti and Allegri. These are guys who know what they want and won’t be fooled by him. They won’t be puppets.
It’s fairly obvious there is a power-grab going on at the club with board sidelined and prevented from adding football experience to their ranks. Irrespective of whether you like O’Leary or not, that move was blocked to stop people questioning those running the club on a day-to-day basis.
The wait for a new boss goes on with points poured down the drain. Every year, an unsuspecting club is pulled into the relegation battle. By the looks of things, this year is our year.
Emery Wanted What?
According to The Man Formerly Known As Ornstein of the BBC, Unai Emery didn’t want David Luiz or Nicolas Pepe last summer. He had loftier ambitions: Harry Maguire, Wilfried Zaha and Thomas Partey.
At least Kieran Tierney can feel wanted but going from Maguire to Sideshow Bob is one hell of a comedown. Surely there were players in between that we could have chosen?
I get that Partey was deemed too expensive but some of that could have been offset by selling Xhaka and/or Torreira.
Money is a recurring theme with Arsenal every year and is rearing its’ head in the hunt for the new manager. Benitez is apparently too expensive to release from his contract and Rodgers definitely is.
Hence the Poundland solutions of Kovac, Marcelino and Arteta. The latter won’t cost anywhere near as much to release from his contract as a proper manager.
I have serious misgivings about his appointment as Arsenal boss. He has acquired excellent experience as Pep’s second-in-command but his lack of first-hand experience of managing a team will always be a concern.
Mind you, failure is inevitable in football management. The sack is coming; it’s just a case of when, not if.
But those are issues for another day. Tonight, it’s West Ham and three much-needed points up for grabs.
Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.