Monday, 25 August 2008

Reading into the reaction

I'm not quite as angry as I was on Saturday, the rage has now become more a feeling of let down and disappointment, interestingly the Fulham goal has since been shown to have been offside. Some interesting words have been spoken since the Fulham game which do throw some light on what exactly went on. Emmanuel Adebayor had this to say:

"We saw that as soon as we don't play together, as soon as we don't put our spirit together, we can lose....We have to put more heart in, keep focused and play our football."

The question is why did we not play 'together', why was the spirit not there and why was there no heart in the performance? It was our second game of the season, there should not have been this obvious lack of motivation and desire. Losing is one thing, losing in that manner was not acceptable for many of us Arsenal fans. Even Arsene had to own up to the lacklustre nature of the team's performance, while he claimed that buying is not always the solution:

"I believe they wanted it a bit more than us in the first half, when you want to play at the top you must start the game with the right attitude and personality. Fulham started stronger and were sharper. The corner showed that we were not sharp enough. The mistake we made on the corner is not excusable."

“When you lose a game the solution is not always to buy”

As Goodplaya points out, we have a rather gaping chasm in the centre of our midfield, Flamini, Diarra and Gilberto have simply not been replaced. Buying is not always the solution, however in this situation it appears to be a very good solution.

This is most definitely the case if Song is to be deployed as a centre back, and not in centre midfield; personally I will be disappointed if this is the case, Song has the strength, drive and passing ability to be able to dominate games from the centre of midfield. I'm with Goodplaya who thinks that we need a more dominant and commanding centre back, someone who will take no prisoners, Gallas seems to be struggling at the moment.

Hopefully this defeat will be the kick up the arse that some of our players so badly needed, I hope we do not have to endure such a lacklustre performance again this season. It's easy to make the likes of Emmanuel Eboue the scapegoats, however in doing this we are simply living in denial, many of our bigger names were not at the races on Saturday, for example a certain Robin Van Persie. The summer has seen endless speculation about greedy footballers angling for pay rises, it's about bloody time that these men started to earn their salaries. I can take defeat, but I cannot take defeat without blood, sweat and tears.

PS it appears that big Phil Senderos is off to Milan for a year's loan, I can't help but feel sorry for big Phil who has been unfairly scapegoated at times; he's been a very consistent performer in my opinion, I certainly feel that many Gallas and Toure errors have been brushed under the carpet while big Phil has been relatively harshly treated. Is it really wise to be letting such a valuable squad player go with a gruelling season ahead, let's hope Silvestre can stay fit!


Si said...

Well, I'm still in a state of shock. I thought we looked very weak. If we play like that in Europe on Wednesday night, I fancy Twente giving us a bit of scare. That was shit, the team should be ashamed of themselves.
Good interview with Cesc in The Observer, if only the rest of the team had his attitude.

Obsinho said...

I think - and it hurts to say this - that Wenger no longer has what it takes to make the right decisions for the team on the pitch, given whatever it is that is restricting his judgement. Be it finances, the lack of an MD, discord with the board or whatever.

He is making decisions that we as football fans can see are wrong. We are not experts, we do not know the solutions, but we do know when things aren't right. And now is one of those times.

If Big Phil does get sent to Milan, I may just join in on Wednesday if anyone starts a "Wenger out" chant.

Obsinho said...

Senderos to Milan?

Moronic. Unless we sign an international quality centre back, and an international qulaity midfielder, Wenger has systematically weakened our squad and chances of building on last season.

His stated aim for this pre-season was to hold together the squad that got so close.

That was either a bare-faced lie, or Wenger is operating under extreme restrictions of some kind.

Ted said...

I'm not quite ready to join Obsinho with the "Wenger Out" chants, but thats mainly because we can't be sure that his hands have not been tied. "Sack the Board" may therefore be more appropriate.

I'm not happy that Big Phil is going to Milan. He made some high profile mistakes and got slaughtered for them. But he is our only "proper" centre back, who likes heading the ball and kicking his opponents. Good luck Phil.

Wenger has a week to save the season. I have no idea who he can sign to address these issues. Or, how about looking at what we have let go:

Anyone for Vieira, Edu, Pires, Gilberto, Flamini, Diarra, (Hleb).....

TheGreatOne said...

The defeat was more sad, than annoying! Our team did nothing, absolutely nothing! It's more worrying coz I saw what other teams are doing right now, playing some breath-taking football. Boro and ManCity yes! Chelsea, ManU and Pool are not far behind!

Waiting eagerly for that one transfer! :|

Obsinho said...

I don't want Wenger out, I just want answers.

A lot of people saw this coming - I wrote them off as 13 year-old Champ Man playing doom-mongers. I was wrong. My belief was that AW knew what he was doing. I was wrong.

I don't know why his judgement is so off at the moment. But it is, and that is a real danger to the club.

Unless the performance against Twente is a 10-fold improvement, and unless 1 signing is made that is not uder-whelming then I will not back the manager blindly anymore.

The team, the club and The Arsenal - always. But not Le Boss.

Ted said...

I posted on 12 August that Wenger had made his biggest gamble at Arsenal and that the knives would be out if he got this wrong.

You may not be asking for Wenger Out yet, but the point is that its only 26 August and its already a live question. Go and read the comments on Goodplaya. Its now on the forefront of a lot of peoples' thoughts.

For the first time in years I would like AW to go and do some proper short term spending that K-Man would approve of. Sign SWP and Barry for whatever it takes - £30m at least I would have thought.

It won't happen so don't expect it to. In fact, I think things are going to get worse before they get better. The away games against Blackburn and Bolton in September now look daunting. We could easily drop another 4 points over those two games.

Ted said...

It does also dawn on me that we are all masively over-reacting. Apart from Chelsea, no-one has impressed. In fact, scrub that, Chelsea were quite poor against Wigan.

ManUre were quite poor against Newcastle.

Liverpool have been poor against Boro and Sunderland but scraped to 6 points. The scousers say Alonso was cack against Boro.

Spurs have spent their usual £30m have have 0 points and got booed off at Shite Hart Lane after losing at home to Sunderland.

Aston Villa lost away to Stoke.

You get the picture...

We all know Arsenal have problems, but maybe we need to calm down....

Obsinho said...

But as you have been saying since the Baggies game, it is the quality of team performance that is worrying.

And from my point of view it is the timespan over which AW has been making "compormised" decisions that is worrying.

It is a recation to what we are seeing at our club, not a reaction at hat others are doing. I couldn't care what SPurs spend (but it does confuse me how they have the funds) as long as I know that the footballing decisions t Arsenal are being made by the right people for the right reasons. And I do not think they are at the moment.

Ted said...

We have had bad periods before and we will have bad periods again.

Who the fuck knows whats going on in the boardroom, or indeed in AW's head? I sure as hell don't, but when talking about compromised decisions, remember that AW has always sold players when the time and money was right and has never bought direct and expensive replacements. Nothing new is happening at the moment.

Has it crossed anyone's minds that Flamini is an arsehole who was given a good offer and should have stayed at the club. Likwise Hleb. Perhaps even likewise Gilberto? We simply don't know the truth.

All we do know is that we are all hurting at how Arsenal are playing and are hitting out at AW. Maybe we are the real kids?

Obsinho said...

You're a kid.

And you smell of off-milk.

You're not my friend anymore.

1979gooner said...

I think we do need to get a bit of perspective, however I do think there have been some poor decisions made in the last year which have rightly been questioned by many of us.

It's not just one defeat, it was the manner of the defeat, plus also we were rather poor in our other games.

For me the most worrying game was the Ajax game in pre-season. As soon as I saw the defending from Gallas there I was reminded of our biggest problem, our centre of defence.

We continue to concede far too many sloppy goals and Gallas does not look to be the answer to our problems, Toure hardly had a great season either last year.

Several recently decisions have bemused me recently:

-Gallas as captain

-big Phil gone

-lack of cover in centre midfield with Flamini and Gilberto going (don't count Diarra as he's a waste of space)

It has to be hept in perspective though as we do have some very good players and we will get better.

However there are some big problems that may well result in us underachieving this year.

Ted said...

I completely agree with you 1979. However, what was our realistic aim for this season? To win the league?
That was certainly my hope, but given that we have lost Flamini, Gilberto and Hleb, may be that was always going to be unrealistic.
I think 3rd/4th spot is now our realistic aim for this season, 2nd would be brilliant, even if Wenger spanks £30m this week.

1979gooner said...

Good question.

Third would be a result in my opinion.

I love Arsene and think he's done an amazing job, I just think there are a few signs that he's starting to lose the plot, maybe I'll turn out to be wrong, maybe not.

We seem to have a massive wage bill without having much experience in our squad, youth is a good thing, however overpaying unproven talent is not.

The Gallas signing and captaincy is looking more and more like a huge blunder. Selling Phil and playing Song at CB look to be blunders to me as well.

The lack of experience in midfield, especially in the centre and our physical frailty are big concerns, the premiership is a very physical league after all.

Maybe things will suddenlt turn around and we'll all be proven wrong, I just feel there are some worrying signs there now.

Even given this we should still manage third given our quality and Liverpool's lack of it.

However given our position a few years back and our increased financial incomings, we should be worrying Manu and Chelsea a bit more than we look like we will this year.

Obsinho said...

And there you have hit the nail on the head 1979 - our finances have got worse. We are told otherwise by the club (and by the accounts), but the club are spending less money.

However, Wenger has been remarkably forthright about imminent signings two or three times this summer. Each time this has not come true and he looks like a liar.

He very publicly said he would hold onto his squad. Again he appears a liar.

Something is up. Wenger is neither a liar, nor a fool but is being made to look like one. And i would like to know why, as it is de-stabilising the "club" (composed of players, fans, reputation, board and staff) with dangerous implications.

Ted said...

I agree all round. As I said this morning, its now looking like AW is on thin ice. What has been going at Arsenal in the last 6 months is a complete mystery.

I think you're right that either AW has lost the plot or the club's finances are much worse than we all thought. Its hard to see a middle ground.

1979gooner said...

I agree.

I think that it is more likely that the club's finances are not as solid as we have been led to believe.

However making Gallas captain is nothing to do with finances.

I'm sure Silvestre is on more than Senderos, this is not money.

Arsene may be losing the plot, it just can't be discounted that easily.

Again I hope I'm wrong, but you never know....

Si said...

the dough is tied up and we are fed the horse shit line that there is plenty of dough available for transfers. Well, there isn't is there, otherwise we would have bought a midfielder and a good goalkeeper.I'll miss Phil's enthusiam for the game, but not his glaring mistakes. even if Gallas and Toure's mistakes were not scrutinised as much as Phil's, there is one reason for that - he made a lot of fucking mistakes. Christ, on some days he could make Vivas look the bollocks.

Ted said...

Big Phil certainly knew when to pick his moments. He usually kept his best howlers back for the big games.

Kind of like the exact opposite of Steven Gerrard.