Good morning Insiders the sickness hasn’t passed so lets just get stuck in.
The Big Issues:
PGL: Well there is only one isn’t there… It was all about 4-4-2. 4 goals for us, 4 goals for them, and 2 points dropped. I’m not sure what the solution is right now. What I do know is there has been a lack of consistency in team selection that really does suggest AW doesn’t know his best eleven. Diaby was awesome against Fener then we don’t see him, Song played well against the Hammers then we don’t see him. The reaction has been furious and maybe rightly so but I don’t agree with the amount of blame being laid at Gallas’ door. He is not responsible for a total lapse of concentration. We are lacking experience in the middle of the park, which is putting us under significant pressure at the back. Fabregas and Denilson works going forward but it does not work as a defensive unit. We need to find a stop-gap solution then, come January, bring in Yaya.
Arsenehollis: Naivety. Lucklessness, quality, and verve also loom large. However you make your own fortune and positivism after Wednesday can’t be found through the gloom. Whilst we may have conceded 4 goals on long shots after bashing the spuds about the first two were Almunia’s sense of shame, third was Gael who doesn’t make small errors or get away with them, fourth was it all encompassed – a deflected last second shot bouncing back off the post straight to the opposition, but we should have killed the game long ago. Where were any of the 4 central midfielders on the pitch as Jenas and Modric shot? Why did Wenger make conservative substitutions whilst the team continued to play expansive football that kept gifting the ball back to Tottenham ever quicker? We were better than the spuds, much better, but again we showed our youth in squandering 2 important points and the fans joy. That was a body blow of a result in every sense and hard to stomach.
Arsenehollis: For an hour on Wednesday we slaughtered the spuds, from Bentley’s goal through to Jenas’s; so why did it all evaporate so very morosely? We defended set pieces well, always looked solid in the air and every goal they scored had a speculative aspect to it. Ironically both CB’s also scored from dead balls. We bossed the midfield after the opening stages, when s**rs closed us down with the desperation that only relegation strugglers can muster. Denilson getting the start showed us something about how Wenger rates the young Brazilian, I personally thought he did very well. Ade, onside all game, and RVP each scored and played well. We showed a lack of calm in not closing the game out better, killing time and keeping possession, rather than going for a fifth goal with the same limp conviction we defended with at the end. Still, this showed that the problems are not as obvious and readily identifiable as some seem to think, the problems against s**rs were all mental rather than due to personnel or talent issues – this we might just have to wait patiently for the kids to develop.
PGL: We all came on here yesterday and blamed anyone we could. AW blamed the fact we stopped attacking. Well Arsene you took off Theo & RVP what did you expect? In other seasons it would have beeen Grimandi or Parlour or Gilberto coming on. That is what steadied the ship, experience. Song, Eboue and Diaby just didn’t do it Wednesday night. 89 minutes does not win you football matches. We need a player who can lead the midfield through to the 93rd 94th minutes. For the first time, I think January can’t come quick enough for AW and the rumoured £4 million gap between us and Alonso now seems to have cost us far far more.
Performance of the week
PGL: 89 minutes in I could have picked 6 of 7 of our boys. After 94 minutes I can’t think of any. So this week I’m giving my ‘Performance of the Week’ retrospectively to Tony Adam for just about any game he played for us.
Arsenehollis: I’m not sure anyone deserves special praise, or praise at all just yet, the game on Wednesday felt like a bereavement.
Arsene Quote of the Week:
“The maturity will improve with intelligence. I think my players are intelligent and they will learn from their mistakes. In life you must make the maximum with what you have. In a game like tonight we did not get the result that was available, we must think ‘how did that happen?’ and ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”
PGL: I hate to point out the obvious Arsene but they haven’t learned from last season. We haven’t learned from Hull, Fulham or Sunderland. It’s up to you to show them how to deal with these things, its up to you to find the right midfield formula. We lack experience because we shipped out most of ours during the summer and it wasn’t replaced.
Love the Legend:
AH: I think a random nomination for Paul Davis seems appropriate this week. A true Gooner legend. If only Denilson had emulated him by chinning Bentley and his ridiculous haircut back to the Blitz all our midfield questions would have ceased for a good decade – the boy would be undropable… just as soon as his ban ended.
Give the Friday Finger
Arsenehollis: Any Spud you can find or mash.
PGL: Ah I’m giving myself the finger this week. I deserve it. How could I have let a Spud on the here Wednesday. I’m sorry Insiders. PGL fu*ked up.
Arsenehollis: For Arsene Wenger’s idealism. Encapsulated in our vapid capitulation at the end of Wednesday’s game was the fact that this team is bred to play the game just how God dreamt it to be. Yep, Arsene understands that there is more to be had than simple trophies, there is glory. Let me ask, where does the fixation for trophies come from? Is it that Derrick two cubicles over started supporting manure two years ago (as ever the official story has it dated to a bad patch in 1958 or 1983) and has been giving you stick? Is it just ‘the point’ or ‘the reason’ we play the game? The fixation goes beyond it simply being enjoyable, the vitriol and demands go beyond something so wholesome. I think some people just want it for its own sake. Arsene has nobler ambitions, he knows that true champions, those that linger in folklore and affectionate memories, contain within a purist streak.
PGL: I’m thankful that United will arrive at the Emirates Saturday week. It gives us a chance to bury Wednesday. We need a big game, a big performance and a big result. 3 points is a must. I’m also thank ful that Wenger seems to have admitted to himself that we need to bring in experience in January. The experiment isn’t working.
Be a TGIFer!
PGL : Remember folks if you fancy joining me and Arsenhollis for a Friday morning rant, just send a mail to [email protected] and you can be a TGIFer too!
Thank Gooner it’s Friday.