Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Arsenal: What Next

I haven't written anything about Arsenal since the defeat to United on Saturday as I was celebrating my 25th Wedding Anniversary and probably because I am finding it harder and harder to comprehend what is happening at the moment. The United game was so predictable it's scary with Arsenal dominating a poor team from the start, failing to take their chances and going behind to a shot that wasn't even on target. After that the immediate transition to abandoning any structure was all too predictable as the players pushed forward looking for an equaliser and gave up all defensive duties.

I'm not sure how it took United so long to add to their lead or how Angel di Maria didn't make it 3-0 either, but Arsenal got some late hope through Olivier Giroud's goal. With three minutes to try to get an equaliser all they did was pump high balls down the middle as they gave up on playing football. They never came close to that equaliser and there can't have been too many who thought they would get it.

The game should have been won in the first half hour when United came out devoid of confidence and with no real shape to their team. I can't remember seeing a United team who were so poorly prepared for a game against Arsenal since before the days of Old Whiskey Nose. Louis van Gaal may have a reputation for being a master tactician, but he didn't win the game by setting his team up the right way as United were given the points gift wrapped by Arsenal.

The miss from Jack Wilshere is one of the worst ones we will see all season and he was a lucky man not to be sent off after his run in with Marouane Fellaini. It was Fellaini who played a huge part in the opening United goal as he was offside when the cross came in and then pushed Kieran Gibbs into Wojciech Szczesny to create the chance. The resulting collision saw Szczsny go off and the hapless Gibbs put the ball into his own net as he swung at the ball from his position on the ground.

There's no point in going into what happened afterwards too much as we've seen it far too often with a team devoid of confidence doing all the wrong things all over the pitch. I use the term "team" loosely as they look more like a group of players who take the field together, but have very little semblance of an actual team and what that stands for. I can't understand how the manager allowed the players to abandon their defensive duties as they chased an equaliser and apparently neither could he after the game.

For Arsene Wenger to say he didn't know what they were doing is a joke as he is the man who is supposed to send them out there to play. He has to be able to affect the game from the sideline or he might as well stay at home and phone the subs in. If he cannot figure out where the players are going wrong game after game then somebody has to be found who can fathom it out and do something about it.

When push came to shove and the chips were down Arsenal were found wanting again and the manager was unable to change that again. The time for excuses is gone as the fans are fed up with collapse after collapse and performances not worthy of the players we have or the money that they are paid. If this team is going to go anywhere it has to change and change now or it's time for the boss to seriously consider his position at the club. 

Arsenal now have their lowest points total at this stage of the season since the formation of the Premier League. All of this is from one of the six wealthiest clubs in the world and it appears to be getting worse and not better. This isn't an old team in transition it's a team who won the FA Cup last season and led the league for longer than any other team. They should have built on that, but the failure to address the defensive frailties in the summer is now being shown up for the unforgivable mistake it was.

Arsenal have only won four of their 12 league games this season and the teams they have beaten are all currently in the bottom seven of the league. They have only played well once so far this season when they won 4-1 at home to Galatasaray and Galatasaray made it very easy for them that night. The players are there to perform far better than results suggest and those results have to improve or changes have to be made.

They're still strong favourites to progress from their Champions League group and are more than capable of making up the two point difference to fourth place. The thing is they have had the chance to put some real distance between themselves and United, Liverpool, Spurs and Everton as those clubs have struggled, but they have failed miserably to do so. They should be sitting comfortably in fourth place at worst right now with a five or six point gap to most of those teams, but they aren't due to their own inadequacies.

As Arsenal fans we have laughed at United this season and they are now two points ahead of us, we have laughed at Spurs and they are now level on points with us and we have laughed at Liverpool but they are only three points behind us no matter how bad they have been. We are becoming the laughing stock and soft touch of the Premier League and it has to stop now.

That's it for today.

See you tomorrow.


  1. Wenger responded to the Russian's criticizm by betting the gunners will finish in a strong position.I have heard all this before. And on paper the gunners shd have won the MU game with 80%possession and 23 shots. However goals win games.
    I am afraid the the fm is deluded if he thinks he can get past BD playing the same style.Take it from me if there is no balance between attack and defence,the gunners will lose.
    The manner of the MU loss is a replica of games between Arsenal and teams who play on the breakRemember the Hull game.The tigers shd have lost 8-1 but won 2-1.Until the fm realizes goals win games forget about the stats.

  2. It's not helped by not bringing in the players who might have helped to make the team a lot more balanced in the summer. We didn't lose to Hull though as a late Welbeck got us a point.

  3. Why don't wenger Olay Rosicky Poldalski Campbell United game would have been ideal for them after King Jack injury for sure I thought Rosicky will be in he would have created havoc for United Sanchez should have rested he flew in the night before Arsen is getting complacent that happens when u are one place too long And 4 years running Szczesny mistakes are not scrutinized

    1. I can only imagine he doesn't trust those 3 players because none of them seem to get a look in at all. As for Alexis he had to play when he's fit as he's almost a one man team at this stage.