FTK Blog: Keep the faith or divided we will fall...

Arsene Wenger must feel quite isolated at the moment, such is the breadth of criticism coming at him from all corners of the football world. The most disappointing aspect of the defeat on Sunday at the Bridge was the sheer predictability of it. Do not get me wrong I am a Wenger loyalist, but as I have said in earlier blogs the reasons for our very poor form of late is the absence of strength in key areas. The early goal scoring from all areas of the team has contributed to this complacency demonstrated by Arsene Wenger, for it is his team, his selections and without doubt it is he who must shoulder the blame for the run of poor results. It is he who must explain why the players that he has so much belief in are unable to deliver the results at the moment.
His reliance on certain players like Denilson and Almunia, I find frankly bewildering.  When the team selection changes, it increases the pressure upon those coming in to deliver. It is almost as though he is waiting for the tide to turn in a King Cannute fashion. He seems to be expressing more and more anger and frustration on the touch line. He is constantly in the face of the fourth official complaining about this decision or that. To be honest I am not happy to see this behaviour from our manager. It again sends the wrong messages out to the players. That being to blame everyone else except ourselves. I am not taking sides with the poison words of Michael Ballack from Chelsea either. His definition of winning is essentially cheating. shirt pulling, obstruction, denied penalty claims, diving. Chelsea are masters of these black arts.
Arsenal have the moral high ground in terms of prudence in managing our finances, and the desire to play total football. We have succeeded largely through the leadership of Arsene Wenger in the former. The club will have even more revenues from the newly announced Overseas TV deal. Which will give Premiership teams around £50 million a year. The challenge is to prevent most of that increase going into the players bank accounts. To prevent that, at least one Premiership club must fail, preferably two. So step up Portsmouth and West Ham and do us all a favour by going under. Harsh, but the future of Premier league football cannot now depend on the leadership of Arsene Wenger in particular and Arsenal Football Club in general.
On the field however, one could argue that Arsene Wenger has failed to learn the lessons that someone of his pedigree should have responded to. The injury to van Persie, the loss of confidence of Almunia, and the total lack of decent set plays or defensive routines were there for all to see. This is not just about the loss of van Persie as good as he is. Arsenal’s style of play must now come under scrutiny. I believe that our current poor form is because of the lack of a decent goalkeeper. The total inability to be able to keep a clean sheet is of concern. I have said repeatedly that success begins at the back. A goalkeeper should have been the first buy. To see the performances from Shay Given for Manchester City just rubs salt into the wounds. I can only hope that Arsene Wenger is able to find us what we need.
Ever since “Mad” Jens Lehmann left The Arsenal, we have lacked that immense “presence” in goal. Go back to our successful seasons, and you will find that defensively we were better than now and all of them had a goalkeeper of some stature and presence. David Seaman must wonder what we as a club have done to deserve Almunia.  Without a decent Keeper, the back four become jittery and unbalanced. I have utterly no confidence in the player off the field, imagine what must be going through the stomachs of our defenders. We are two buys away from major success now that Song has staked his claim for the holding midfielder. I have written off this season and want to support this team to ensure that they make at least  third place in the Premier league. Let us learn from these experiences, and make the most of them in preparation for beating everyone including Manchester United and Chelsea next season!Until Arsene Wenger finally accepts the evidence of what we as Arsenal fans can all see with our own eyes, and makes the appropriate changes let us read what he has to say about our recent defeats.
According to Arsčne Wenger, Arsenal were still feeling the effects of their Champions League defeat against Manchester United when they lost to the same opponents last weekend.
“I believe we gave Man United too much freedom to play,” he said.
“We have to be tight in our marking. If you look at the game, we started quite well and had all the early chances with Arshavin. Then, boom, goal.
“Then we started to doubt a little bit and that is where we were insecure because maybe the Man United trauma of the Champions League is what I questioned after the game. Is what happened to us last year in the Champions League still in our mind?
“I believe Man United is maybe a bit in our heads. [Losing 4-1 to] Chelsea last year at home was an accident because we had just gone out of the Champions League and we had a really bad look because we could have been 3-0 up and suddenly it is 3-0 for them. I don’t think we had a bad performance against Chelsea last year.” 
“I am completely happy with our performance and the spirit we have shown. For me, as much as we didn’t turn up against Manchester United, today we had the expected performance. We were still a bit uncertain at the start of the game. When you went into it we were completely dominant. That’s how I explain that we conceded the first corner. Incidentally I would like to check if before the corner it was a free-kick for Chelsea, I would like to see that.
At his media press conference today. Arsene appeared quite angry and was very outspoken. The media came in for a tongue lashing. He rounded upon with some relish. Eyes widening with purpose, he unleashed his onslaught. He threatened the media with silence as he accused them of placing unfair emphasis upon small phrases during his press conferences. He was deeply unhappy about that. He pointed out that we have 39 points to play for.
He pointed out that we have to prove Arsenal’s doubters wrong. The impact of the series of fixtures has created a false impression of the team. The problems have been defensive. He admitted that Bendtner was not completely fit at the moment.
He refused to write off his team and accepted that Arsenal are not out of the title race. We must continue to fight!
… Keep The Faith Gooners as hard as it is at the moment, or divided we will fall.

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