If you are a passionate Arsenal fan like me, then today you will be in pain. I am talking serious pain and frustration. Before our very eyes the Red and White pride of North London is deteriorating into a paler shade of pink. Arsene Wenger’s players seem devoid of ideas and it will take a calm genius to pull us through this period of inconsistency. This is a time to be patient as it will take until the end of the season for us to discover the real solution and answer to this mess. If ever we needed evidence that some players that really do not care, or are not good enough to play the brand of football that we used to be associated with, then last night was full of examples.
From the front then…
I have already said in earlier blogs that Niklas Bendtner will never become an Arsenal striker of any merit. That view was strengthened by the awful display of the Dane. He gave away the ball and lacked any ability to get into goal scoring positions, even allowing for the poor midfield support. He had an opportunity over several games to make a name for himself, but to become a potent goalscorer seems years away at the moment.
People have criticised me for not being harsher with Carlos Vela, well I refuse to criticise a player who gave 90 minutes of his all to try and lift his apathetic colleagues. In midfield Aaron Ramsey tried hard, Denilson was good in the first half then became invisible. Song had a howler of a game, he lacked pace and most importantly confirmed that Arsene Wenger is right. Song cannot play the pivotal role of holding midfielder as he lacks the stamina.
Abou Diaby lacked discipline and didn’t know who to pass the ball to, as no-one appeared to want to make runs. I reserve my harshest criticism for the back four. I told you all that Eboue would play, as Wenger always defies the Boo boys at Arsenal, Eboue looked overweight, and so unfit , that it was a disgrace. Who is the fitness coach at the Arsenal? More to the point, who is the defensive coach? If zonal marking at a corner means turning your back to the ball and shadowing a striker, then this is worse than a joke. We have seen Senderos do it against Liverpool, and Niklas Bendtner do it in another game that escapes recall at the moment. All it does is enable the striker to make a quick sidestep and gain space for a free header. William Gallas may as well not have been on the pitch, and Silvestre was too slow for the left back position. We never held onto the ball, we never wanted to run for our colleagues. In short this Arsenal team was composed of too many players who couldn’t care less.
We could see the players of the future, from the diminuitive Jack Wilshere to the tenacious Aaron Ramsey. These players want to play for The Arsenal. It showed. There are no more excuses that can be given. What players to replace the ones that we have at the moment? Craig Bellamy of West Ham for the left wing, Obafemi Martins of Newcastle United for point man, and Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid for central defence. Bring in Veloso or Inler at holding midfield, and lets move on. However we all know that these requests will not be heeded. I was criticised heavily in the summer for wanting David Villa. A player who wanted to come to the Arsenal, but we lacked the money needed to make the transfer. The seeds of this current malaise were sown in the summer, and the over reliance upon very young players. The amount of dissent within the supporters is at an all time high. We are all suffering pain….
Why? Simply put, Arsene Wenger is totally convinced that he has the players to do the job but the evidence is that he cannot motivate them with his brand of softly spoken Wenger psychology and his mistaken belief that a single leader as captain is not a priority, then on top of having a squad weaker than last year, we are left with too many players in a complacent comfort zone. Where playing for the Arsenal is just playing for another club. The January transfer window is the only opportunity to save our reputation and revive some semblance of pride. We are inconsistent and divided as a club. Yet, within the squad at the Emirates we have the players who can rescue us, if only Wenger would put them altogether upon the pitch at the same time…
Fabregas the King.