Saturday, 18 February 2012

End Of An Era

What can I say that I haven't said already in the last few weeks?

First of all, let me just say, Arsene Wenger is an Arsenal legend. He has done fantastically at Arsenal, winning several trophies, making world class players and supplying great philosophies and ways at Arsenal, including beautiful football and proud principals.

But his era is over. It's come to an end. Arsenal are now receeding and declining under him, and we are seeing rival teams over- take us in the league now, most recently the most dreaded team of all. But we're also suffering the same old things season after season, caused and not solved by Wenger. We still suffer with defensive vulnerabilities, both tactically and in terms of personel, as we have done for years. We still haven't won anything for seven years now, which has been a period where our once great manager has gradually shown that it is time to move on.

Today's showing at Sunderland was even worse than the AC Milan performance on Wednesday night in my opinion. Atleast there, the team seemed to have a better attitude and had the excuse of coming up against a top team. Today there was very little fight and the fact that we'd just played this team a week ago at the same venue made our performance and game plan all the more embarassing.

I did an article on Friday saying how we needed to keep it tight, not get caught on the counter- attack and make sure we didn't lose. But we didn't. We didn't adapt our game to cope with their pitch or their defensive tactics where they flood the midfield and force us out wide.

This links to how we play like a Spanish side. We play out from the back EVERY goal kick now. Why? Do we think we're Barcelona? You can't afford to play all tippy- tappy all the time in this country, especially away from home. That's been proved over recent seasons, teams are too physical and 'in your face'.  It doesn't work, we haven't got the players for it with the techincal quality for it like teams like Barcelona do. We get a goal kick and play it short to players like Mertesacker and Djourou, even under pressure from players marking them! Near their own goal! It's footballing suicide! That's where Milan's first goal came from on Wednesday and we just invite pressure by doing it, especially on a dodgy pitch. That's just one of many tactics that Wenger is costing us with. The rest are more a case of lack of tactics and adapting our fluid game for different situations like Milan away and Sunderland away. That's something I talked more about in my last post, so I don't want to repeat myself too much. But it's mainly the lack of caution, the lack of defensive solidity and the limited and increasingly poor approach to transfers that he's costing the club with nowadays.

Another issue is the lack of quality players. We were clammering for signings in the summer, nevermind in January, when we were practically at Wenger's knees for new signings . We lost Clichy, Fabregas and Nasri in the summer. We replaced them with Andre Santos, Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun. It just wasn't good enough. We needed to add anyway, but what he's really done with replacing Fabregas is replace him from within the club in Ramsey. Arteta's playing a different role to Fabregas, it's Ramsey who's taken over the 'Fabregas' role. Ramsey isn't fit to lace Fabregas' boots to be honest. He's a good player with the potential to get better, but he's not good enough to be the focal point and the main creator in the Arsenal midfield. He's just a 'good' player, not good enough for Arsenal if they have any ambitions of getting back to the summit of the league.

It infuriates me that all we did in January was sign Henry for 6 weeks on loan. Henry did a good job, but he needed to be joined by other players that were going to be able to be around for longer than 5 minutes. It's been blindingly obvious that we need a striker to help out Van Persie, especially incase he gets injured, because as we've said so many times, we're stuffed if he gets injured. We need another centre half, because you need four to be successful, espceially with our injury record. We also need a left back who can stay fit for longer than the time it takes to eat a Creme Egg, because we haven't replaced Clichy properly. We haven't replaced any of the big players that left last summer, and that is, quite frankly, scandalous. We need to replace Wenger with a manager that will do this and put the other wrongs right at the club, finally. I will do another article in the coming days about what I think we need, because we have too many average players in our squad and it's needs to improve if our decline isn't going to increase over the coming months and years.

It's time to move on from this disjointed sonnet that is Arsene Wenger and Arsenal football club.

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