PGL: Morning folks. Well it’s a week I’m not sorry to see the end of. The worst I can remember as a Gooner in a long long time. Our defeat against Villa was heart breaking for all sorts of reasons, primarily, the fact we played 90 minutes of heartless football… something that I didn’t think I’d ever say about our club. We gave up 3 points without even a whimper. As expected it’s been a passion-charged week on the Insider so lets get stuck in with our weekly round-up.
AH: Consistent inconsistency without a doubt. If this trend continues consistently then in 9 days time we will be 6 points off the leaders with an identical buzz to 9 days ago.
I’m looking forward to this season more than ever, it has barely begun and yet anything and nothing seem possible. Every game feels like a cup tie and we must expect to fight in each game. I remember when all games were like this and we sung at 0-0.
PGL: I remain firmly on board the Wenger bus but things have got to change. I was sickened by William Gallas’ comments yesterday, and though he has been playing a lot better in recent weeks, this time he has let the club, Wenger, his team-mates and us down. I have been patient with Wild Bill and even understood some of his previous outbursts, even Birmingham was forgivable given the emotion wrapped up in the day but this I’m afraid is the straw that broke the camels back. I know many of you will argue that his considerable talents are needed right now but personally I’d be happier if he wasn’t even in the squad for the City game.
FTK: Yeah guys, but you know what is really sickening about this outburst? It’s like I described in my blog, Gallas does a pre-match routine which involves a huddle and him ranting at the players. Now excuse me, but there are only so many “Once more into the breech dear friends, or let us close up the hole with our valiant dead” speeches that can be given pre match, so this is mainly for show. I said that the sensible speech should have been given in the dressing room. So this “we need soldiers, and we must be warriors is ok, even his criticism of comfortable overpaid youth is a good line, but he should have said this behind close doors to Arsene Wenger. Then to go on and create press speculation about a player who told him to “piss off” is unforgiveable. I am speculating that it was Ade-ego-bayor, but surely there is a mechanism where dissent on the field is dealt with, or is Arsene Wenger such a poor man manager? Even if Gallas had a point, he has publicly turned it into a typical French farce, where he is the one left running around the bedroom without his trousers on!
AH: Also what’s with our fans? I have Spurs supporting mates, none of whom abused there own team like some of ‘us’ – used very loosely – have. Neither have they said anything as bad about our boys. I am still yet to hear a single person, I invite response to this, who has made any practical or forward looking suggestion for where we go from here. Yet at the same time feeling that things really aren’t that bad generates crude abuse. Please, someone let me know what next if not more of the same. (Just saying “spend” doesn’t count)
PGL: What has caught my eye this week is not so much the content but the volume of people coming on here to voice their grievances. It seemed at times we were on the verge of a Gooner civil war. Now this time last week myself and Arsenhollis we’re walking around with our tail feathers in the air telling all that Wenger is still the top cock in the hen house and we got the usual Insider level of response. This week, world and its dog have been on here rubbing our noses in it. So what does that say… Some Arsenal fans are only passionate and vocal in defeat? Please tell me that conclusion is wrong.
AH: To be honest PGL this week on insider seems pretty incoherent to me. There are those who simply bemoan the state of the club. Again, this seems futile, if perhaps cathartic, in the absence of a proposal for the future. Wenger is under constant attack, yet even those who call him a clown say they want him to stay – an odd position.
It appears that continuing to show loyalty to the team and manager is tantamount to being part of the problem and as such is regularly greeted with very juvenile abuse. As ever, when the high strung and reactionary get going very little that is written is read, or at least understood, and every position gets twisted to fit some pre-existing imagined scheme of themes, camps, or loyalties.
I would draw on two of our editors favourite themes: family and constructive criticism. Please let’s try not to abuse our club (or each other?), but rather aim for purposeful responses to circumstances and situation.
FTK: What is the saying? Divided we fall… This club needs a period of doing things the Arsenal way, i.e traditional silence, from all quarters. (Apart from the supporters in the stadium of course.) I would like the fans to start to accept that if we continue moaning week in week out, then it will start to get the players. My advice is that if you have a ticket to come to the Champions League game next Tuesday, if you intend shouting “Rubbish” or moaning loudly when a pass is misplaced, do me a favour eh, DON’T COME, because quite frankly at times like this, if you cannot close ranks and support this great club, YOU ARE NOT WANTED! I don’t care if my stance upsets quite a few, “I’ve paid for my ticket, so I expect a victory, Gooner” Now we are under attack from every quarter and this club needs it’s real supporters more than ever.
“There is no rational explanation”
AH: Partly it worries me that the manager can say this; for one so pilloried for double speak it was a shockingly frank admission. I hope he figures it out. Whatever else you could see it hurt him more than anyone. I couldn’t help but think maybe this was all getting too much when I saw Arsene’s expression afterwards; he looked shattered, utterly drained.
If the end is nearing ask yourself what that man’s legacy will be and how history will remember him. Whatever happens this season there is one of the greatest men our club or English football has ever seen. A pioneer, history maker, and gentleman throughout. Even if you think he is not up to the job anymore, a valid opinion, the abuse thrown his way from Arsenal fans is a disgrace – who is the clown there?
PGL: Unfortunately there is a rational explanation. Gallas’ admissions of in-fighting in the squad, our in ability to fight tooth and nail for every point on offer and the fact that our squad is currently poorer than that of last season… Full of promise, yes, but for now short on the qualities needed to mount a serious PL challenge. I have had an unshakable belief that Wenger will buy a central midfield player in January and will correct the current situation. I re-read a pre-season review I had put away (in the hope this would be a season worth collecting such things!) and came across words I didn’t agree with at the time “for Arsene Wenger’s young charges this may still be a year too soon.” I’m beginning to ag ree.
It’s well documented that our team of scouts watch a player 40-50 times before we make a purchase. I truly believe when Flamini told Wenger he was departing there simply was no back up plan and no time to find what we needed at a price we could afford.
FTK: Wenger will buy in the transfer window, he has to replace Walcott for starters, oh and forget the Palmeiras Brazilian striker Lenny Fernandes Coelho, our new resident Spanish speaking contributor Vic Crescit says that Lenny has NO chance of getting a work permit to play in England anytime soon. I still dream of David Villa who I see knocked in another goal against Chile midweek. Well it is far too gloomy to speak of Wenger’s demise. We sound like Scum fans FFS! The great man will honour his contract, but after this start to the season, I think that he will walk away in 2011, and just like I said about how Cesc Fabregas must feel, who would blame him?
AH: I guess Almunia, but maybe we should suspend this one for a week?
PGL: Done deal duder. All I can actually say is the best performance we witness this week was by Aston Villa.
FTK: Shock horror lads, have you really been so demoralised? With out a doubt the performance of the week goes to the RedAction boys of Block 6 of the Emirates stadium, who carried on singing for their team, when all the disenchanted Gooners and plastics had left the stadium, leaving the hard core to sing until the boys had left the field. The booing was a disgrace. We need as fans to give the right signals, to have so many empty seats with five minutes to go was pathetic. Could 2 goals have been scored in two minutes with the right support? but then we will never know.
PGL: William Gallas, you’re a tw*t. You have dragged our club through the mud of tabloid back pages yet again I don’t know if I will ever forgive you. FTK do you remember during the Nasri affair we both talked about this is not the way Arsenal do business? Well the way Billy is conducting himself is certainly not the Arsenal Way either… Can you imagine any of the great leaders we’re had going to the press to bitch about the club? No matey, neither can I. Gallas you disgust me. F*ck you.
FTK: Yeah PGL, The Arsenal way is with dignity and behind closed doors. There is no way that Tony Adams, Paddy Vieira or Thierry Henry would have made such statements. Billy Gallas has given the anti-Arsenal media a great “Gunners in Crisis” story for the weekend. The last thing that Arsene Wenger needs is to spend time talking about divided dressing rooms. Ok even if he was right, This was not the Arsenal way of doing it. Why is this so important? Because it helps the opposition if they think that we are divided. I call for him to be stripped of the Captaincy, and put Fabregas in his place.
AH: No, no FTK and PGL. I’m taking the high road this week; lots of loyalty, unwavering support and no abuse. Oh, actually maybe that Muppet ref from the weekend and his cone head.
AH: For the Arsenal, plain and simple that’s why we are here. The boys in the shirts deserve as much loyalty form us as we expect of them, I doubt they got it this week.
PGL: I’m thankful that there is enough of us around who remember what it was like to see Adams lead out our team. They say a Captain is the managers eyes on the field but he’s also supposed to be our, the fans, heart and desire, on the field and off it. That’s what Tony was and that’s what Paddy was after him. I’m thankful that I remember what a true leader is and that I know what’s expected of a player who wears the Arsenal captains armband.
FTK: You know what? I am going to thank all of those Insiders that came on the site and left comments on all of our blogs and participated in the many discussions, It made for some stimulating debate and sometimes it got a bit fiery, but hell… we are all Insider Gooners here together. One big family, I love you all!
PGL: Be a TGIFer!