Certainly the board and manager have combined in recent years to inadequately invest in our squad to keep that core of experienced top drawer talent at the club. For a variety of complex reasons we have lost too many top players and we have brought in too many average players, both young and not so young.
There have been tactical problems, the way we play our 4-3-3 system continues to be a cause of our own pain in my opinion, we frequently lack enough players doing the job of defending for the team, sometimes playing 4 or 5 out and out attacking players. Lee Dixon's comments on this week's Arsecast echo my long standing sentiment that we are just not good enough defensively as a team, without the ball we are not good enough. This defensive weakness is more down to not having the right players in the squad than anything tactical for me, we just lack the all round beasts that we used to have, the Petits/Vieiras/Gilbertos, the kind of players who can get up and down while competing for every single loose ball.
The board clearly have major issues, we seem to lack footballing nous and this is having its effects in terms of negotiating/finalising the right transfers for the club. It does appear that new personnel are needed in this regard, while a lot of money is being paid in salaries and bonuses to people who do not appear to be cutting the mustard. The concern is that those with power at the club are perfectly happy with the current Status Quo, we shall simply have to watch this space to uncover the answer to this.
"Whether it’s blind support of the manager or furious contempt, it’s pathetic. "
Tim Stillman's column is well worth a read from earlier in the week on Arseblog and the quote above is one I agree with wholeheartedly. Some people are always moaning and always criticising, take the recent departure of the lazy Arshavin for example. Arshavin was booed and nailed by the very same people who now claim it is an error to let him go to loan on Zenit for the rest of the season, these hypocrites want it both ways, they sum up the idiocy of some of our own support. Things are not right, who would argue with this, but there is a way of pointing this out with respect, intelligence and consistency.
It is onto the enemy on Sunday, they are having a great season no doubt and this has been helped by their lack of injuries and lack of Champions League football. Their dishonest hypocritical manager 'Arry Redknapp has been stirring ahead of Sunday's game by rambling on about the abuse dished out to the money grabbing Emmanuel Adebayor, funny that the 'absolute filth' routinely dished out to our manager by the Spuds supporters is never mentioned by this vacuous wheeler dealer. It is just pathetic that our biased sporting media regularly allow the likes of Redknapp and Ferguson a free shot with their disingenuous propaganda.
As regards the football on Sunday, we shall to need to be on the top of our game, especially with the useless and seemingly far from objective Mike Dean in charge, backed up by the equally useless Dowd. The way in which match officials are selected is in need of a radical overhaul, the PGMO's system is hidden from our view and potentially corrupt, the mainstream media's complete inability to point this out shows just how systemic the bias has become. Match fixing could well be going on right under our noses, we simply don't know because the PGMO's workings are completely unknown and hidden.
Tottenham's big strength is their pace out wide and their attacking midfield, this will mean that whoever plays will need to help defend against these strengths, we shall need the Ox and Theo to track back and help out the full backs, this will be absolutely pivotal. The big call will be who to start with in central midfield, obviously Song and Arteta will be playing but who will join them? This has been a problem position for us in recent weeks, Ramsey's form has not been good and Rosicky has lacked an end product. I would probably edge for Rosicky as his recent form has been better. Come on you Gunners!