FTK Blog: Relax! nobody died…

One of the truths of life is that the unexpected happens just when you don’t expect it. Ok semantics apart. I had already blogged about the failure to sign a new keeper after the transfer window shut and pointed out that we can only make do with what we have. The world and his mother have come out to publicly blame Arsene Wenger for failing to buy a new keeper. Let me say now, that you can only say that if you are possession of the FULL facts. We have almost every “arsenal” blog suggesting that Arsene was more interested in proclaiming the profits of the club rather than concentrating on managing his team.
WRONG!
Arsene had pointed out to his players that they must not become complacent after the Tottenham game. He pointed out that they play football and must not be taken for granted. He asked for focus and quality, but what he got in return was mediocrity by the spadeful. So for the first time that I can recall, Arsene Wenger publicly criticized his players in damning fashion and quite right too. For they are to blame NOT Arsene Wenger.
Before anyone calls me an AKB look at the starting lineup
Almunia
Clichy, Koscienly Squillaci Sagna
Song, Diaby
Arshavin Nasri Eboue
Chamakh
Are you seriously telling me that this lineup was not expected to beat West Bromich Albion? The majority of players failed to turn up and Nasri, Song and Chamakh apart the rest were complacent and played the BOGOF principle. Buy One pass and Give away One pass Free. It was like a charity. WBA were the poor outcasts in need of benevolence from the wealthy posh boys at the Grove.
The problem?
Yes, we needed a Goalkeeper, but the undermining of Almunia was self inflicted. The crowd sang his name when he saved the penalty, and jeered him when he unexpectedly glanced the ball into his own net with the kind of schoolboy error that good coaching should have prevented. Coming out half heartedly and not closing down the player was less than comical. In front of him the new centre backs were inexperienced and with Diaby’s mind elsewhere. They were pulled apart too easily. Song ventured forward and backwards trying to give leadership to the others, but the problem was nobody wanted to listen.
Eboue was too busy telling Chamakh how to be striker, Arshavin these days only ever turns up to play his thirty minutes which usually consist of a killer pass or assist or rarely a goal, so dropping him in the absence of Fabregas is suicidal. Sagna left his crossing boots at home and Squillaci seemed lost. The defensive unit ball-watched as WBA walked through with nicely timed runs from the large blindspots created when defensive players stand too square. Seeing only the ball and not the opponents to whom the ball could be passed.
The Solution?
Bring on Chelsea!
If you want to ditch this group of players and buy new ones, you can’t. if you want to put Fabianski in against Alex and John Terry, forget it. The only keeper that could possibly come in is Szczesny, but do you risk him in such a high pressured environment? We have to hope that Almunia does not put in a nightmare performance two games in a row, and that he comes to the fixture determined and focused. if we are to drop Almunia, it will take a very brave man to replace him against the might of Drogba and the aerial threat of Alex and Terry.
Do we risk a half fit Fabregas? YES
Do we risk a half fit Vermaelen? YES
That aside I would bring in Denilson and Jack Wilshere
My Lineup
Almunia
Clichy Koscienly Vermaelen Sagna
Song Denilson
Wilshere Fabregas Nasri
Chamakh
I will be slaughtered by those who think that I am stupid to drop Arshavin, but if we have Fabregas back, then Nasri more than makes up for his loss. Arshavin’s thirty minutes will not be enough against Chelsea and at least Chamakh will hold up the ball, and with Wilshere’s sublime attacking runs. We could do to Chelsea what Tevez did single handedly. Let’s remember that Chelsea can be beaten, as Man City demonstrated on Saturday. At the moment If we are to learn from our complacency, I’d rather that we lose and learn against West Brom rather than Chelsea, as psychologically taking points off the blue half of Fulham is one of the ways to ensure the title. Arsene Wenger quality as a manager is always to resurrect our hopes when everyone has written us off, including our own wobbly supporters. I am convinced that we will go to Stamford Bridge and win, through Arsene Wenger’s leadership.
In the final analysis, Arsene Wenger is being blamed for being too loyal to his keeper Almunia who is every bit as average as Mark Schwarzer, so why replace like with like? He did not sign a keeper this transfer window for reasons that NOBODY knows except the inner sanctum at the club. We couldn’t get Shay Given, or Pepe Reina. Let’s face reality, as I have already said in an earlier blog we cannot do anything now until January. Yes we have money, yes we made profits, but who was complacent? the players chosen or the man who chose them? Yes they need motivation, but the players still have to turn up. So please don’t shoot me for not blaming Arsene Wenger, I am acting like Arsene in blaming the players, however he was doing it more to protect Almunia by not allowing his keeper to be undermined further by being singled out. When Almunia looks in the mirror he will hurt and want to put things right. The weekend was bad yes, because we lost, but so did Chelsea and guess what, Man Utd dropped two point at Bolton! So perhaps it was not that bad after all. So as the Americans say,
“Relax! Nobody died…”

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