Liverpool – New Start Required

Tonight sees the visit of Liverpool to the Grove. Whatever our personal feelings as Gooners this has to be a new start both on and off the field. We can’t afford to implode as a club. We need unity to get the best we can from the rest of our fixtures.
A win tonight and three points would right the Arsenal ship of state. A draw or a loss would mean the real danger of the wheels completely falling off our season. We’re already out of both domestic Cups and, barring real implosions at both Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford, out of realistic contention for the League title. With our current frailties as a team, both in team defending and in the necessary ruthlessness in turning possession into goals, although we’re still in the Champions League, winning that trophy doesn’t seem at all likely. We’ve got to go for it however, whilst battling for a minimum third place to set up another season in the Champions League next term without the need to enter at the play-off round stage in a World Cup year.
Our current form against really top teams is, to say the least, discouraging. I understand the frustration that is leading some Gooners to lash out and demand changes. Regular visitors to arsenalinsider.com will know that I’m not one of those who thinks supporters aren’t supporters unless they unquestioningly accept everything their club does on and off the field. Far from it. I do think though in the situation we find ourselves in at the moment, disappointing as it is for all us in the Gooner Nation, we need to all pull together. Us turning on the manager and team at the moment during matches would be self-destructive folly. We’re The Arsenal. Let’s all show some dignity.
That doesn’t mean we don’t want re-assurance that the clear frailties in our tactics and team psychology are being addressed. Likewise the gaps in the playing squad. Quietly, behind the scenes, the chief executive and the board need to be holding the manager to account. They need to work out a detailed plan to address our current weaknesses. We also need to address Arsčne Wenger’s future sooner rather than later as he’s approaching the end of his contract which expires in June 2011. There is an option for a further year, my view is the board and Wenger need to decide this summer whether they each want to continue what, for the most part, has been a beautiful friendship. 
Much as stability in the manager’s office is proven to work in terms of winning trophies, serious questions do need to be asked and answered. We simply can’t afford for that debate to detract from focus on our remaining fixtures however. Let’s all do our bit to cheer the team on tonight. We all have players who we’re disappointed with at the moment. We’re all frustrated by the lessons we appear incapable of learning despite repeated and painful reminders. To start spitting the dummy will do nothing to help our cause though. We all need to bear that in mind
Keep the faith!
Arsenal u akhbar!

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