Nine years ago Swansea were bottom of the table of league football. Rock soild bottom. Next stop non-league oblivion. Yesterday they were flying high and should be rightly proud of themselves for turning the Arsenal over in royal fashion. They displayed hunger, desire, fight and unity in abundance and deserved the victory.
Nine years ago Arsenal were on a different planet to Swansea with a squad packed with talented players hugry for success with the right mental attitude and flare to match their fighting spirit. Yesterday, were were, frankly, gutless. We can’t overlook the dodgy penalty but I had the feeling they would have won anyway. Put simply we were not, and are not, good enough. There is no mystery to it. The manager won’t spend the necessary money to assemble a squad good enough to challenge for major honours.
A measure of our ambition is that we as supporters – and we had a great turnout yesterday with a lot of old faces who I met at half-time – are having to make do with the race for top four. Just not good enough.
It’s January, right? You know, the month when we can bring in players to the club in what is known as the transfer window. So, AW takes one look at the missing players from our ranks and says to himself, “Sod that. Spend a few quid on some replacements? I’d rather have a young, gifted but inexperienced player in a position he is unfamiliar with than draft in a recognised top-notch defender. Christ we read enough about the amazing scouting network. Scouts. More like sodding girl guides. I’m talking about the supposedly right-footed central defedner Miquel here – a lad AW deemed fit to play as a left-back. Astounding.
Djourou is, well, Djourou, the BFG looked injured from the start and indeed had to go off and Kos looks less convincing and more edgy without TV5 next to him. AW criticised the defence but he picked them.
Arshavin in front of Oxo Kid? Enough said. Ramsey had a mare, Walcott, apart form his goal, was ineffective, we missed the guile of Arteta and struggled to make a lasting impact yet scored twice. It comes to something when we miss the skills of an ageing midfielder (would he get in the starting line-up at City, Utd, Riot Rovers, Chelsea or the bindippers?) brought in from Everton to replace one of the best players in the world, now happily plying his trade for the best team in the world. Dare anyone blame Cesc now for his decision to leave north London?
Poor old Yossi Benayoun found it hard to adjust to the pace probably because he has largely had to make do with coming off the bench, as opposed to starting. Yossi – a player I admire but remember is on loan from a second-rate London club with a few quid.
Arsenal Football Club. London’s biggest club without a doubt. One of the world’s great sporting instituions. And we LOAN player from Chelsea. That is isolation is a scandal. LOAN? And that only came about because of the 8-2 embarrassment at Man U.
And don’t even get me started on the Thierry Henry circus. Talking of circuses, AW continues to do his cause no good and the calls grow louder for a new ringmaster. The project, experiment, whatever you like to call it, is flawed. It doesn’t work. Spend. Some. Money. Arsene! Now!