With a quick look back over the shoulder at the Newcastle and Udinese games, it feels something of a small miracle that we have made a half decent start to the season. However, it is somewhat laughable to see Carl Jenkinson being put forward as the club's spokesman on the two clean sheets earned this season so far. I mean, the poor lad has only just made his debut in the deepest of water and frankly, it wasn't hard to see that he will take some time to make the jump between Division 1 and Champions League football !!
In fact, the second half against Udinese was really quite shocking. The fact that sicknotes Gibbs and Djourou are already crocked comes as no surprise whatsoever and only underlines the massive gamble that Wenger is taking by putting so much faith in these players.
Similarly, the abject performance of Chamakh makes it very hard to understand why Wenger has not invested more faith in Bendnnnnter. I know he is not everyone's cup of tea but Wenger's insistence on playing Nicky B on the wing for the last 3 seasons is just bizarre. Plus what is the point of putting him on the bench on Tuesday if Wenger had no intention of using him? I don't think he even warmed up at half time.
Suddenly, the six years of craziness that Eboue gave us looks like it could be missed. If that lunatic had ever managed to locate his pea brain and plug it in, then he could have been a great player. Certainly, I don't know many other Arsenal players who have played at such a variety of positions - right back, right wing and even centre midfield in the early days post Flamini and pre-Song. Defensive liability for sure, but Eboue was something of a Champions league specialist.
So having scrapped past Udinese, we now have the TV glare firmly in our faces on Saturday morning and whilst I will be at the ground, those unfortunate of you who will be forced to see Redknapp, Souness etc demonstrating their early on-set of brain death in why Sky calls "expert analysis", the build-up to the game will be at least 45 mins of Arsenal and Wenger bashing.
And whilst the moronic Redknapp and Souness are ex-Liverpool and so utterly biased, I for one take some small comfort in the fact that Wenger has not gone out and spent his vast piggy bank on the utter drivel that is Carroll and Henderson. £55m for those two unproven players is staggeringly shocking. Just stupidly unbelievable. Yes, you might be able to say that Downing, Enrique and Adams are better signings, and I would have to agree, but I suggest you ignore those three and just concentrate on how shite Carroll and Henderson are and then say £55m to yourself a lot. It will make yourself feel better. I promise.
In the meantime, its probably better not to think what the Arsenal team will look like on Saturday, let alone the bench. However, everyone under the age of 40 and/or 17 stone who are going to the game should probably take along their boots, just in case. Including the girls.
Why didn't Arshavin play on tuesday?
"However, everyone ... going to the game should probably take along their boots"
You know, as a fan protest to get Wenger to spend some money that would be really funny, and it wouldn't get down on the rest of the team.
A couple of thousand fans showing up with football boots and "I'm Available Arsene on a Free" signs...
Right then. Let's do it !!
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The early team news from Arsenal.com is not good. Gibbs is out, Djorou and Rosicky are doubtful.
I don't want to think about it.
Players performed admirably today given the circumstances, though we lost. I hold no frustration with them.
In fact, I feel sympathy for them. They're not given a platform to win because of the state of the squad, the tactics employed, and the refusal of our manager to bring in proven quality.
There is only one person to blame for the situation Arsenal is in. And that is undeniably and incontestably, Arsene Wenger.
He lost the plot after the move to Ashburton Grove. His plan to develop youth, though admirable, was blinkered since he didn't want to fortify that youth with experienced players.
And his personality flaw, whereby he digs his heels in when anyone contests his opinion, has let him, and us, down.
I would have accepted two barren seasons following his plan before requiring him to alter his philosophy or be sacked. Possibly three, if it appeared that we were heading in the right direction.
It is dereliction of duty by our board to have allowed him to persist this long with no alterations. You can argue that we didn't have money in the early years after the move. But I would contend that Mr. Wenger would not have spent it if we did.
Clearly we have money now and he refuses to spend it, aside from unproven young players that are merely potential stars. No pedigree to base the cost on.
I want Mr. Wenger gone, and have for 3 seasons now. I understand his passion is for seeing potential and developing it. Well, that is not conducive to a title challenging club like Arsenal.
If that is his desire, then he can be our under-18 side coach. But we need a manager who knows how to mix a few talented youth players with players that have a mix of silky skills and grit.
And we need a manager whose only remit is to manage the squad, not govern the finances as well. It's too much responsibility. Even for a great man like Arsene Wenger.
I admire him and admonish him the same. He is an amazing and talented man. But he has blind spots and has taken on/been saddled with too much responsibility and power.
Time to reduce his role or depart with him.
Rhino - I think I am largely with you. Todays game was a great advert for the sort of talent that AW can bring through, but its miles short of trophy winners. Frimpong, despite the red card, looks a quality player for the future. Miguel was terrific. Jenkinson started nervously but got better and better.
However, What really worried me were just how bad some of the more experienced players were. Arshavin and Walcott in particular were dreadful I thought. I could say that RVP did not have much service, but that should not avoid the point that he did precious little with what possession he did have. I think we have wasted a lot of time and money on Arshavin. Theo might be able to salvage it, but probably not. He is still a headless chicken.
So this season is practically over already. I have a bad feeling about Udinese away and it virtually goes without saying that we will lose at Old Trafford next weekend.
Ted, for me, I think we need to go 4-4-2, or 4-4-1-1 if you like.
Didn't we change the formation to 4-3-3 to build around Cesc? He's gone now. And I don't think we'll bring in another like him.
RVP should not be the tip of the spear. I feel he would be better in the hole. Get a player like Benzema (doesn't have to be Benzema) to play up top. Someone quick but with enough physical presence to hold off defenders and not be out muscled.
Then a couple of wingers that are quick enough to get onto balls over the top, but tricky enough to beat their defenders. And ones that can cross too!
Wilshere and Song in the middle. Ramsey can rotate in with them. Defensively, we still need a LB and CB. Wouldn't mind a CB that can also fill in at DM.
There I go playing Championship Manager :)
P.S. How good was Vermaelen today?? He's a beast.
Right then. Let's do it !!
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