It is high time for a really serious look at our club which lets be honest is definitely in crisis.
With just 11 games left in what is after all the main event of the season, and not much more that a couple of months to go, what position do we find ourselves in?
The shit, basically!
All the doubts and worries that we all had before the start of the season with Arsene failure to strengthen the midfield appear to have come home to roost.
Thank the good lord for the Sunday’s results, for if the Spuds had won and the Villa had held on to their two-goal lead, we would have been looking at a torrid week ahead – in fact I don’t think I would have dared venture out of the front door!
As it is, we still cling to a slim chance of Champions League football next year and we now should at least be confident of entry into the Europa Cup, or whatever the UAFA Cup is to be called next season.
Had the results gone the other way, we could have been looking at the real possibility of no European football next year at all. If the Spuds won, there would only have been fifth position to qualify, and with the way we are currently playing and the way Everton keep getting results, we could easily have been caught by them.
So why has this season gone so horribly wrong? Is the blame solely Arsene’s?
Perhaps this would be an oversimplification of what, I believe, are a number of related problems that have led to our teams demise.
Lets start at the top.
I am sure that I am not the only Arsenal fan who was very, very perturbed when David Dein got ousted from the board. Whatever the rights or wrongs of the internal politics, there was no doubt that Dein was a dedicated Arsenal supporter and did a lot to help Arsene build three great sides He was a key influence in bringing the likes of Bergkamp, Vieira, Overmars, Henry, Pires and Campbell to Arsenal. Whatever the reasons for his sacking, he should definitely have been replaced quickly.
He wasn’t, and we can only blame the board of Directors for that. Furthermore, whatever the politics involved, we now find ourselves with an American and an odious, ManUre supporting fat Russian with his dirty hands all over our beloved club.
This would be more acceptable if on the playing side we were enjoying success. Alas the opposite is true. We must also blame the board for allowing Arsene to carry through his policy on promoting youth and not replacing key players, completely unopposed. Even the greatest leaders need a team of strong management around them and all Arsene has had since things have been going wrong is the old stalwart Pat Rice. Now I’m sure we all love Pat for his red blood, but is he strong enough to be a number 2? Does he ever question his leader’s decisions? It seems odd that a number two at a major club like Arsenal never speaks to the media nor is ever quoted in the press.
As for team tactics and coaching, I suggest that we have got this badly wrong as well. There was surely no one who wasn’t surprised that we failed to replace Flamini, Diarra and Gilberto with a hard tackling international midfielder even before the season began. We were linked with plenty of players as usual, and were close to signing Alonso – but surely it was a Barry, Senna or Inler we desperately needed. But without the Dein effect, it was no surprise that all we managed was a painfully long drawn out purchase of Nasri and even more tedious purchase of Arshavin in January. I discount the other buys of Ramsey, Biscoff and Coquelin as they can only be for the future and what can you say about the signing of Silvestre – other than how bizarre?
The point is that whilst it is lovely to have both these great players on board, you wouldn’t expect them to be able to shine in their first year with us. And they are hardly the type of player we were – and still are – desperate for.
I really feel for Denilson who suddenly, from being only a regular in the Carling Cup last year, has been made to play in every game this season. He is only 21 for goodness sake. He will be completely burnt out before May – the signs were there for all to see on Saturday.
Nasri’s best position is in central midfield just behind the striker/s.
Arshavin’s best position is in central midfield just behind the striker/s.
Fabregas’s best position is in central midfield just behind the striker/s.
Diaby’s best position is in central midfield just behind the striker/s
Ramsey’s best position is in central midfield just behind the striker/s.
Wilshire’s best position is in midfield just behind the striker/s.
That’s 6 players who are best in one position! Crazy!
We only have one striker who is a clinical finisher – Eduardo.
We only have one genuine wide man – Walcott (I am still not sure where Vela’s best position actually is.)
We have a gifted young wide left midfielder (Gibbs) who is made to play at left back. We have another gifted young wide left midfielder who was made to play at left back (Traore) who has been put out on loan.
If you were to sit down and plan what sort of players a Premiership team needs to get to the top you could never come up with such a hotchpotch of players who are made to play out of their natural positions.
Most of this campaign we have seen the same old problems – slow from defence to attack and as soon as we near the opposition penalty area we stop and pass the ball sideways with no incision, no pace, and hardly any shots.
We cant win the ball in the air in midfield and we cant take a throw in without giving it straight back to the opposition.
I watched Eboue’s contribution in the Spuds game again the other day and in the 36 minutes he was on the pitch he made just one successful pass and made absolutely no tackles whatsoever!
Coaching – crap!
Hells bells that’s enough for now – I wont write any more as I’m depressing myself too much.
Fingers crossed it will all change against the Baggies.
But for heavens sake come on Arsene and come on Arsenal – grab that lifeline!