[By our readers] Car-Crash Football
Written by Renzo on January 14, 2009 18:00
Hello from sunny Sri Lanka.
Indian satellite teevee finally showed the Bolton game yesterday just after lunch, and for the first hour I was struggling not to slip into an unplanned siesta. We got there in the end, but it’s a worry when we have to play all four strikers at the same time in order to get a single goal. Yes Adebayor, in case you forgot, one of those strikers is you. Roll on the Russian.
While this may possibly not be our most impressive season to date, the good news is that everyone else seems intent on ballsing it up too. This week Liverpool played like they were still hungover from New Year’s Eve, while Chelsea went one better and played like they were still drunk.
Let’s face it, with some of our performances we’re lucky not to be lower than fifth right now, and still in touch with second place. Aston Villa are probably not good enough to stay in front of us. None of the other top four teams have really found their stride, everyone’s taking points off everyone else, and from Everton downwards in the table it’s absolute carnage. Five points separate Fulham in 9th and Stoke in 17th. This season is a motorway pile-up, but if we stay on the hard shoulder and put our foot down we might yet come out of it relatively unscathed.
The big debate for me regarding Arsenal is whether we really are facing a shortage of talent in the squad, or whether circumstances and events happening off the field have affected our performances. The first view is pretty pessimistic, the second more optimistic, so I tend to swing between the two depending on how well my day is going. If the milk’s off then that’s it – I’m praying for a new back four…
It’s the players!
On the evidence of the thousands of posts and comments out there in the Goonerverse of Arsenal blogs, I’m guessing most of you will agree with this position. Everyone seems to have somewhere between one and seven players that they currently love to hate. It’s hard to disagree with the conclusions that we should have strengthened before the season got underway, and that some of the new generation are not yet living up to expectations. And yet…
It’s everything else!
Tinkering to find evasive team balance; the failed experiment of the Gallas captaincy; bizarre and mysterious injuries; tropical illnesses; players unsettled by transfer talk over the summer; dearth of talent in the transfer market; key players losing form; lack of confidence; ripple effect of ice-cream treachery; Vic Akers’ use of non-biological washing powder on kit; signal failure, leaves on the line, passenger under train at Seven Sisters.
It boils down to whether you think the flaws in our current game are down to a lack of form or a lack of class. If it’s the former, the only remedy is shrewd management. If it’s the latter, the only remedy is the chequebook.
Luckily for us we have a shrewd manager with a chequebook (albeit a dusty one), so we should pull through. I’m confident we can steer our way out of this pile-up – as long as we put our foot down right about now.