Blackburn loss highlights Arsenal’s dumbing down on standards

As if having to travel to Blackburn on a bank holiday for a 5.00pm kick-off  wasn’t bad enough for the Arsenal fans. And then to witness such a lowly effort of football, well, it made writing about it pointless. What is there to say other than bollocks? I pondered, and then decided that the least I could do was try and put some sort of ramblings together, because if not I’d be no better than Arsenal’s performance yesterday: lazy! At the very least it will give you a place to let off some steam.
If anything, the game at Ewood Park did help me to understand a very important part of life: child birth! One day I guess I’ll be there at the bedside in the hospital unaware of the pain of child labour, but then I’ll think back to a run of Premier League games towards the end of the 2009/10 season, squeeze my partners hand gently while staring knowingly into her eyes and say, “it’s OK dear, I understand exactly how it feels, just one more push and it will all be over.”
That final push will be Fulham, and then this season shall be finally be finished. There can’t be a fan anywhere who wants to prolong it and when things finally come to a close next week the summer will become enjoyable and fun-filled. For the fans or for the Arsenal players? Both I guess, although Arsene Wenger’s team looked to have already begun their holidays, while many fans crawl in the front door late and then crawl even slower out of it heading for work in the morning.
Playing nonchalantly might be understandable if the players didn’t have something to prove. Since losing to Spurs, Arsenal were not pushing for the title and qualification for the Champions League was all but sealed. For a few though, it’s not as if their position in the team next season is guaranteed. So, with Wenger poised to get the chequebook out in the summer, you’d have thought certain players would be carrying out their duties with enough panache to fill the manager with utter confidence. None of this was present.
I thought, listen to Wenger and hear him out about poor decisions from the referee, but I couldn’t. We’ve heard it all season and there comes a time when blaming somebody else draws a sigh from even the most bias Gooner. There was no foul on Lukas Fabianksi for the winning Blackburn goal, just more readiness to reach the ball from Christopher Samba. Instead of being powerful the Pole flapped, and despite Samba’s huge frame the Arsenal players did little to push him off the keeper. It was a sign of Arsenal’s naivety and rather than deal with the situation themselves, the easy option was to wait for the referee’s whistle.
Perhaps Wenger is an easy touch. Or, maybe he isn’t and instead the players are completely deluded by their own ability which they see as enough to remain healthily in the pecking order at the Emirates. The likes of Diaby, Nasri, Sagna and Walcott have all had patchy seasons where we have witnessed their greatness in one game, only for it to be followed by their anonymity in the next. Either they are replaceable, or have the talent yet just seem content to show off on one day and see that as enough for a couple of weeks.
The likes of Rosicky, Denilson, Arshavin, Eboue and Eduardo all fall into that category. Tie those nine names together and you have some serious talent, yet sadly in the 21st Century Premiership it’s not enough to succeed. The elements that should be judged are desire, imagination and reliability and it would appear Wenger is over-marking on technique, congeniality and potential. Sadly at Blackburn, the feeling was as if the individual results for this campaign had already been leaked; everybody it seemed had achieved the C grade required to advance to next season.

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