Thursday 19 January 2012

Two step forwards, one step back

We started the season appallingly, no doubt a big reason for this was the late transfer deals which meant that it took us a fair few weeks to get into gear, and those in the know seem to agree that the board were far more to blame for this than our manager.  We recovered well with an excellent run of results in the league, but the last few weeks have seen this form slip, evidenced by the recent collapses against Swansea and Fulham.

There are many reasons for this recent collapse and many different people have many different opinions.  Certainly it would be foolish to deny that injuries, poor refereeing and bad luck have had a part.  In my opinion though, our squad has been on the decline for several years now and this has culminated in our poor start and recent run, the last minute activity in the transfer window was a sticky plaster, admittedly it was a start, but major surgery is still needed on our squad, and it will take time and patience for this to be carried out and an effective solution reached.

We have amassed a lot of mediocre dross in our squad.  It is easy to list a lot of highly paid players who have never delivered for the club for a variety of reasons, some of the players have just been unlucky with injuries, others have just been bad buys because they are not of Arsenal class, but overall I feel that several years of shoddy cheap signings have had a massive negative effect on our squad and consequently results, it will take months and years to put this right, it cannot be done overnight, no matter who is in charge of the club.

Almunia is not good enough, Fabianski is not Arsenal class, Gibbs cannot stay fit for more than 2 weeks, Squillaci is a poor player, Djourou is no more than a squad player at best, Diaby is persistently injured, Denilson is not Arsenal class, Rosicky has never delivered, Arshavin has been average for many months, Chamakh has no confidence and is not up to it, Vela is not the right sort, Bendtner is not good enough, why has Park not played? Probably because he's not up to it as well.  Think how much money is going on these under performing players' wages.

We have way over ten players who are not delivering anything like what is needed, no wonder our squad has been found wanting when a few injuries bite and the fixtures come thick and fast.  The signings of Per, Mikel, Santos and Bennayoun were needed, but the amount of work needed to be done on our failing squad is huge.  We are desperately short in certain areas, we lack fight and bite in midfield especially, we lack forwards and full backs, there is little time left to remedy these issues with the transfer window shortly, it is also very hard to get the top quality players in mid season.

If anyone is to blame for this then it is the board from what I've heard.  Arsene has not been backed as he should have been and there has not been the driving force pushing things through from boardroom level, as was the case when Dein was at the club.  I still think Arsene is the man to restructure the squad, the problem is that I have significant doubts as to whether he will get the support from the board that he so badly needs to do this tough job.  The mediocrity needs to be ditched, we need to show ambition, and if we can reinvest these wasted wages in some top quality talent, we may just be able to become a major force again, then we can convince the likes of RVP and Song to stay.  If things don't change then I honestly could not blame RVP for wanting out and it pains me to admit that, it really does.


Anonymous said...

make you right mate. I believe the anti Usmanov feeling is softening due to the lack of ambition from the Hill Wood Kronke Gazidis axis. They claim to be guardians of our club- bollocks, otherwise they would not have orchestrated this shallow mediocrity.
Wenger knows how to construct a great team and has done so before twice- if he is not getting backing then we, the fanbase have to turn on the board and not the manager to give him the support to engender more backing. I have a sad feeling that this will all end badly for Arsenal, nothing terminal but a situation that plunges us into years of mediocrity. There is CLEARLY no ambition at our club. We were all LIED to about The Emirates being built to make us a bigger and more competitive club,it is clear to all that what they meant was the stadia would make us a bigger and more profitable business. This is what happens when 'non football' corporates are running our club.

Unknown said...

I have no problem with the Arsenal Business Model. I have a problem with the number of mediocre players we have on our books. Bendtner, Chamakh, Denilson, Almunia, Fabianski, Vela are just not good enough.

Benayoun & Park- I'm not convinced.

Arshavin is played out of position and doesn't look like he wants to be at Arsenal.

Gibbs, Rosicky & Diaby are too injury prone- shame really.

Theo is one dimensional and will never be anything more than a speedster. I really Hope I'm wrong.

Wenger really needs to change our formation from game to game to accommodate certain players and to suit the challenge. Playing 4-3-3 when 4-3-1-2 or 4-4-2 could be better is nonsense. It's only when we are losing, with 15 minutes to go that he switches formation.

Honestly, the only Arsenal players who could grace top European teams are RVP, Vermaelen, Sagna, Song, Koscielny & Wilshere.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but it is also just as much Wenger's fault as the boards.

The board doesn't train the players. The board doesn't pick substitutions. The board doesn't stick with the same tactics when it is clear that they aren't working. The board doesn't stick by injury prone or under performing players year after year.

And Wenger gets £6 million a year for his troubles - the highest paid manager in football.

Sorry, but for me, they are two sides of the same coin.

Anonymous said...

The board only want to make profit.
They do not care about the club or its fans.
This has been clear since the sale of the club.
Take the money and run!!!

Anonymous said...

as arsenal fans we're all too quiet. we should all stand firm and root out kroenke. wenger i must admit at times makes decision that are questionable but i think he has the backing of a figure like david dein to help him then arsenal maybe able to move forward. as fans we should let the board know how we feel, every agm meeting is the same questions unanswered and us fans get the brush off.

Danish Gooner said...

For the love of God,stop blaming the board,Wenger is the man in charge having wasted more then 200 mil on talentless youth and bought cheap no good rubbish like The squid,rosicky,Park,chamakh etc.He havnt made a decent transfer since television were in black and white.He is the culprit and the only culprit.He gets 7 mil a year for serving the biggest bunch of washed up losers Arsenal football club has ever seen.