Arsene, you used all your lifelines, you are now on your own
Written by Chris on May 6, 2009 17:15
All the optimism, all the confidence, all the believe we had yesterday faded away after only 11 minutes although if we analyse this season, the way we crashed out of the F.A. Cup and Champions League clearly sums up a season of frustration and disappointment.
Analysing the game, yesterday, was not easy and I apologise again for not providing the usual full time report and ratings. Almost 24 hours later, I’m trying to analyse it and all I can say is that the first couple of minutes showed that the lads meant business, the supporters meant business, and everything was going according to plan. Until the slip. As much as we love Gibbs, as much as we think he’ll become a great as left-back, we have to admit that when he slipped, all the hard work of a season slipped with him. The second goal was just the final nail in the coffin to completely kill all our hopes of reaching the final.
Unfortunately there was no reaction after that and we are now left with comments such as “We are 11 men, they are 11 children” by a certain Patrick Evra, sad to read, but how can you blame him after papers were all saying how Walcott would ease past him last week?
Even the most optimistic supporter will raise an eyebrow or two after yesterday
For a good part of the season, I was an isolated voice in a choir of optimistic comments. Game after game, I was seeing this team not perform, with players going out there almost uninterested but of course I was getting some stick for pinpointing what was going on, with many saying “wait for the injured ones to be back” or “just wait, Wenger knows what he is doing”.
Go support Chelsea, some said. Go support Spurs, others added.
Seriously, I so much wanted to be wrong but it was not hard to understand what the end-of-season had in store for us, simply because Wenger didn’t put himself in having options to choose from, he insisted and insisted with the same players and the same formations. He’s very stubborn, our boss, enough to say that the squad he has is good enough and no signings will be made next summer. Strangely enough, he admitted experience is needed after the United game, but how a whole season doesn’t make you realise that but one single game does is beyond me.
Too blind to see or just not wanting to see?
How many times we’ve seen wins – such as those against Manchester or Chelsea – cancel out pathetic defeats or draws? The 3-0 away defeat against Manchester City was a day to forget for all of us yet that was cancelled out by the win away at Chelsea, a game which mind you, we should have lost, had it not been for Lampard missing a glorious opportunity and Robin not flagged offside.
That’s the summary of our season, heads hidden in the sand to deny problems, massive problems, rather than trying to actually do something about it. Had it not been for Arshavin, I’m not sure we would be fourth in the table. Actually, I’m not sure we would be fourth had it not been for Villa’s minutes of madness against Stoke City. Signs that things were not looking good were there from the early stages of the season but very little was done to try and prevent the end-of-season we just witnessed.
As supporters, I think, just think, we need answers
All of us, disappointed or not with this season, will love Arsenal forever, that’s a fact, but we need to know when the “day we will dominate” will arrive. Was it supposed to be this season or is it the next one? Or the one after that? For years, we’ve seen Wenger working with the youngsters, hoping that one day they will be experienced and united enough to go and dominate but seriously, when will that happen? It’s not easy to see other teams developing in what they are today with the Arsenal always stuck on the same block, it’s not, it hurts. We’ve seen improvements, especially last season, but one step forward and two backwards is not the way forward. After all, four years without winning are four years without winning.
Fair enough, the title is about him so I should spare a word or two on our boss. Well there are many things I cannot understand about this man, such as why fuming at UEFA’s decision not to allow Arshavin to play in the Champions League and then keep him on the bench in the F.A. Cup semi-final. Is he a genius? Yes, just look at the Carling Cup and last week’s game against Portsmouth but just like any genius some of the decisions he takes are somewhat bizarre.
If only he was less proud and less stubborn, he would be perfect. Is he on his own? Is he the one to blame for this season’s fiasco? Maybe. If a ship sinks, it’s not necessary the captain’s fault just as it’s not necessary the manager’s fault if a football team fails to deliver. But, remember, it is Wenger who decides who to buy and who to sell and it’s he who makes the formation, some of which were plain wrong during the season. To be completely honest, I don’t like the term “to blame”, it’s like having a problem and finding the easy way out of it by pointing your finger against someone. Let’s just say he is now facing a problem – ahead of next season – which needs an intelligent solution.
What’s for sure is that we will not turn into a big-spending club, into a Man City, so Wenger is the right man for the job, he’s perfect for the philosophy of this club. But again, less proud and less stubborn would be a huge improvement.
Again, considering the way we crashed out of the F.A. Cup and Champions League, a fix is required. I’m no longer sure where and no longer sure how, but I’m afraid the likes of Adebayor and Diaby have to be sold. It’s never easy to ask for an Arsenal player to be sold but sometimes it has to happen if improvements are to be seen.
Not sure about you, but from today, I’m looking forward to next season, hoping to see a signing or two, hoping to see more of the youngsters who really impressed in the Carling Cup and hoping not to see this season’s mistakes repeated. A final note goes to Kieran Gibbs who will surely be devastated for what happened although I’m more than sure those around him will give him the needed support, the same support they provided to Eboue when he was booed by his own “supporters”. And also, as I just read it, to Suleiman Alphonso Omondi from Kenya who “hanged himself” following the defeat. It’s just a game, let’s not forget that.
Rant’s over. If you want to comment, feel free to do it, but do it nicely as for the first time this season, I’m not in the mood to be patient with flaming or use of threatening language. After all, we’re on the same boat here.