Tuesday, 02 February 10
The defeat to Manure on Sunday is still fresh in all of our minds and it was a defeat that was very hard to take. I genuinely that at the start of the season that Manure would struggle with the diver but they produced a performance that I hoped they didn't have in them any more and thoroughly deserved their 3-1 win. Of course it wasn't helped by some of our team putting in abject performances and even though it's blatantly obvious to all but the most biased of fans to see the manager will almost surely keep faith with them at Stamford Bridge next Sunday. There comes a stage where the good of the team has to come before the good of individual players and the current pecking order has to be broken. The situation with Almunia has got so bad that the fans are turning on him and he needs to develop another "chest infection" for his own good and the good of the team too. Since he was mysteriously struck down by the Emirates sniper/ninja against Everton Denilson has been awful but he continues to be a first choice and in my opinion he wasn't much better beforehand. He gives the ball away too often and his tackling and awareness on the pitch are just not good enough. The left back slot is a real worry as Clichy's form was poor before his injury and he has come back in even worse form. Manure targetted him on Sunday and got a lot of joy from it but the only other option is Traore and he is even worse at the moment.
I would love to ask the boss if we have a specialist defensive coach and if so does he work on the players positioning with them. Our full backs seem to give opposing wide players far too much space when they receive the ball and the left backs in particular are completely devoid of confidence. When it comes to going forward our full backs seem to be incapable of crossing the ball properly and more often than not their attempts leave us groaning in disbelief. When we are chasing a game like on Sunday all defensive discipline seems to go out the window as players push forward with little or no regard for what is happening behind them. Our defenders need to be reminded that their first concern is to defend and if they won't do that they have to be told to do it. We have being winning games recently because we have scored so many goals but when those goals dry up our defensive frailties are laid bare for all to see.
Can the boss honestly say that he thinks the squad is so good that we didn't need to bring a couple of players in during the transfer window. The recent injury scare to Vermaelen showed how short we are in some positions and even with the addition of Campbell nothing is solved for the long term. We have the money from the transfers of Toure and he who shall remain nameless available to spend and if I remember correctly we had money to spend before that anyway. Surely with £40million plus to spend we could have found a striker to lead the line for us during the month of January. I know Bendtner is back from injury but he wasn't exactly setting the world on fire before that injury and I don't think he has the touch needed to play the game we are playing at the moment. We may be the top scorers in the league but with the amount of goals we concede we need to score even more than we are at the moment. The form of our captain is almost carrying the team single handedly in some games and the big worry has to be that he will get fed up with what he sees around him and decide to jump ship in the summer.
As fans can we honestly say that no matter who the opposition is that we think Arsenal will beat them when we take the field. We never know what team is going to take the field - will it be the one that is switched on or not I mean as it's always easy to predict the starting 11. If we were fully confident in our team we would feel unbeatable against the poorer teams in the league but only on rare occasions this season have we turned on the style for the full 90 minutes. I'm not trying to be overly pessimistic after 1 defeat but the manager said that this would be our season and things are teetering on the edge at the moment in the league and the way we are defending the Champions league is only a pipe dream. Money is tight for fans and they have to choose how to spend their limited income in hard times. It's difficult to see the club turning over such a profit and not investing it in the team while the fans are making sacrifices just to watch them play every week. If this season peters out ahead of it's time there could be a genuine problem with selling tickets for next season. We have some fantastic players and it's up to the coaching staff to instill the passion, desire and playing style in them that will allow them to reach their full potential. If that means that some players who aren't good enough have to go by the wayside well so be it. We all want the same thing and if the fans can see the team's failings then so can the manager. He has a week on the training ground to work with the players and if they can put in a performance that we can be proud of on Sunday then us fans can be very forgiving. I really hope that the real Arsenal turn up at Stamford Bridge and if they do I will be happy whether we win lose or draw.
In other news Chesney has extended his loan spell at Brentford until the end of the season and not a lot else is happening out there so I'll leave it there until tomorrow.
Here's a little bit of how good Cesc is.
And to finish today's title track from The Smiths. I would love to ask the manager a few questions about exactly how certain things are done on the training ground.
See You Tomorrow.