FTK Blog: “ Vengeance is a dish best served cold…”

Well now we can actually say that the quest for the title is over! I have taken time to compose my thoughts for this blog. I am extremely angry and ashamed of the performance put up against strugglers Wigan on Sunday. Arsenal were complacent and totally inept in the second half. They were not helped by an extraordinary decision by Arsene Wenger to take off Theo Walcott, which allowed the Wigan defence to push up 15 yards due to the lack of pace on the field from Bendtner. In my humble opinion this substitution error not only sealed our fate but compounded our complacency. Wigan overran the Gunners with sometimes only three at the back and SIX players in midfield and pushed forward in numbers. They knew that as long as they kept the ball in our half, they could get us to concede possession or set pieces. The best chance currently to score against this Arsenal team.
Losing a 2 goal lead in almost the same manner that we did against West Ham with comical goalkeeping is not only embarrassing but inept. Some of the players out there at Wigan played like softies. Diaby was pushed off the ball and Sagna played like a headless chicken. Fabianski was again just AWFUL, he was so indecisive at crosses and his judgement is clearly affected by his nerves from previous howlers. He lacks confidence and this game will have done him no favours. If he has the mental strength so often talked about by Wenger then the real Fabianski may emerge in due course. I actually do rate the fellow. Diaby? Very talented going forward, but can’t defend for toffee. In fact, without Rosicky we looked all out of shape. We cannot defend when we do not have the ball, and opposition players can make runs off the ball with impunity, safe in the knowledge that they will not be tracked by a covering midfielder whose gaze will be transfixed by the GPS bearing of the ball. Our midfielders are hypnotised by the ball’s position that I wonder if they are also wearing blinkers?
But please forget about sacking Arsene Wenger, that reaction is as futile as it is foolish. My worry is that the more dissent we hear from Arsenal fans, the more likely we are to have Usmanov exploit classic divide and rule tactics and bid for the club whilst the supporters are in disarray. I bet that are some of you out there who are thinking… Even having Usmanov’s millions will be better than this surely?
We have to keep our focus, and rebuild. Fans must not desert our Club. You are Gooners  ‘til you die no?
The person who should be resigning after that performance is our defensive coach. What ever he gets paid is an absolute waste of money. Some of these players are the best of their generation technically. But their football intelligence when they have not got the ball leaves something to be desired. This requires good coaching. The position of players when they do not have the ball, suggest to me that not even time is spent IN THE CLASSROOM teaching them football tactics. The other thing lacking is work ethic. Some of these players refuse to work their hearts out. They refuse to put pressure on the ball, and as for fighting to get back possession? Forget it. We need another experienced leader on the pitch like Sol Campbell, and that person needs to be in goal. Calm when needed and ruthlessly aggressive in the air. I said in a blog many months ago, that the language difficulties cannot help our defence either. English is spoken on the pitch, and in my opinion we need an English speaking goalkeeper!
Look, Arsene Wenger knows how badly we played believe me, and I am sure that some of those players who played today are in the last chance saloon. As for others in the squad?  I think that Almunia has played his last game for Arsenal In defensive midfield  we need cover for Alex Song which will probably come from the likes of Craig Eastmond who is developing very well.  In the attacking midfield department I fear that Fabregas will enjoy the World Cup with his Spanish colleagues too much and unless Arsene Wenger makes some serious buys, he could decide to go to Barcelona where he is guaranteed to win trophies. In fact keeping Fabregas is the key to success next season, and Arsene Wenger must be able to reassure him that others will be brought in to spread the winning mentality and desire to fight until the end. Will the likes of Denilson, Diaby and Eboue figure in Arsene’s plans? Who knows I think that Diaby is too good a potential player to let go, so that leaves Eboue or Denilson. I would keep Eboue. Fran Merida will almost certainly leave for Athletico Madrid if reports tonight are to be believed. Nasri and Rosicky are vital in terms of experience to our squad, and jack Wilshere should return from loan and figure prominently in starting lineups next season.
So which players should come in? What ever you read here or elsewhere, be assured that no one except Arsene Wenger and Gazidis know for sure. One certainty is that Chamakh will come to Arsenal on a free transfer leaving  money to be spent trying to attract the exciting prospect Eden Hazard who would be a wonderful attacking option.  Defensively there is talk of Bundesliga star Jerome Boateng whose 6ft 3ins will provide good cover to our defensive line. I do not think that we should keep Gallas, he will be injury prone and has too much baggage. The pairing of Vermaelen and Boateng would be a mouth watering prospect. Silvestre will depart in my view leaving Johan Djourou as a possible CB covering option. And finally yes, Arsene will buy a keeper, currently the best on offer from the point of view of home grown options is Man City’s Joe Hart. A very talented 23 yr old. He is much better than Fabianski in my opinion, the problem is that he would not want to be number two at Arsenal.
So let us all concentrate on the facts… We need 77 points to be assured of third place that must be a priority. There after the clear out must begin and then we must wait for the conclusion of the Wiorld Cup to see which players remain free of injury. Big transfer deals are unlikely to be struck before the World Cup as agents hope that their prospects will shine and push up the size of their commission, but if we can secure targets before, then we will avoid the Nasri saga of the last World Cup. We are not so far from making that break through. We need more focus, more desire to win and a return to high paced pressuring ruthless football that will once again terrify defences that we face. Get a good goalkeeper and we WILL win the title. So lets all calm down. Bite your tongue, breathe in deeply and ignore all the anti Arsenal jibes that will follow this week. We must slaughterAdebayor’s Man City next weekend and end our season on a high against Fulham. Lets make the Arsenal hating media eat their words next season by remembering the saying “ Vengeance is a dish best served cold…”

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