It is strange how different people react to the same events. Yesterday we had a tricky away fixture against an in form Sunderland side who have a new manager, we lost 2-0 but it was a very tight game, and genuinely could have gone either way. We had the better of the first half, but Sunderland took the lead with a fortunate deflected goal from a speculative Kieran Richardson shot from the edge of the box. Much as we had that little bit of fortune with our recent 2-1 win st Sunderland, we didn't get it yesterday and ended up going down 2-0.
I am not claiming we were brilliant or terrible, but many lazy people seem to think our 2-1 win was brilliant and our 2-0 defeat was terrible, the truth is that there wasn't a great deal of difference in the performances, and that lazy shoddy journalists react to scorelines and not the actual performances. I try not to do this, and maybe in the process I will annoy some people, but frankly I think these people need to take a bit of time to consider their reactions, before sensationally jumping to the easy tabloid conclusions.
We are not good enough, I know this, but also we are nowhere near as bad as some people are currently claiming, we still have a shout for 4th spot in the PL and we need to get behind the manager and players to give ourselves the best chance of achieving this. The problems we have are complex and multi-factorial, they need addressing in a calm, reasoned and intelligent manner, not in a knee-jerk fashion without a sense of perspective.
The manager is not blame free, I could not argue this, some of his tactical decisions and substitutions have been highly questionable to say the least, for example Theo Walcott's substitute role up front yesterday was not a good idea. However to me it is clear that the problems at our club extend right to the very top of the hierarchy, the manager has taken a lot of blame that the board should have been taking in recent years, there is no doubt to those in the know that several key board members have not been pulling their weight in keeping Arsenal Football Club at the top of the game.
The squad's quality has been slowly and steadily depleted in recent years, the main reason of this has been the move to the Emirates and the consequent financial implications. The lack of investment in players of sufficient quality and the acquisition of too much mediocrity has left the manager hamstrung, especially in the context of a remarkably unfortunate run of injuries to key players.
Those at the top of Arsenal Football Club need to stand up and be counted now, there has been a lack of leadership and drive from the boardroom for far too long, it appears that some people have become too complacent and the need to properly invest in the club's future has been ignored, the consequences of this penny pinching short termism are now all too evident on the pitch. It is the likes of the highly paid Ivan Gazidis who need to start earning their wage and bonus by leading the club out of this mess.
I am sure I will be flamed by a certain brand of brain dead reactionary, the kind that loves to lazily call for the manager's head and ignore the real crux of the problems we have at the heart of the club. So be it, I can take it, I just feel our manager deserves a lot more respect than he is getting from certain quarters, criticism is fine, but do it with respect and some manners, this man has given so much for our club and he must be respected for this.