Spirit, Signings, Ambition and Disappointment | Gooner Talk

5
Apr

Spirit, Signings, Ambition and Disappointment


Written by Red Detective

34 Comments  

I have decided to write this article to examine where Arsenal have fallen away this season. Let me start by saying one thing. Arsene Wenger is a superb coach and there are very few who are his equal in the world. The purpose of this debate is to prompt discussion, to interest people in why things have slipped from a quadruple to a very unlikely solitary trophy of the league title. I have no interest in contributing to any agenda some may have of building an insurmountable level of pressure onto his shoulders to the extent he is unable to do his job, which is already very hard.

The fact is that I am just like the majority of people reading this page. I am a devoted Arsenal fan who wants to his club to be the best. Not one of the best – I want us to be right at the top of the tree. And so I say this to the loyalists to Wenger who are determined to prevent these examinations of errors by the boss: Wenger is fallible. He is human. He has made mistakes and Arsenal are not winning trophies. Trust me, if we do not discuss these matters and face facts Arsenal are never going to really be winners. Blocking debate blocks progress. It blocks ambition, it sanitizes your hopes and creates an environment where poor cheap signings are the norm.

People booed the team off the pitch against Blackburn. We drew 4-4 with Newcastle having been 4-0 up at half time. 4-0 up! 10 men or no 10 men. The players, surely all well aware of the importance to fans how much Arsenal fans would want to win against Tottenham lost 3-2 at HOME having been 2-0 up. Can we honestly say Arsenal are going out fighting and giving everything? No I do not think you can. Have Arsenal lost their way due to; injuries, factors out of their hands, the fantastic form of their rivals? In certain area’s of the season – maybe. Regardless of the promise of the players on the cusp of the first team, I cannot see how the club hierarchy can sell this as being worthy of the increased ticket prices. For the price of a season ticket I want to see players setting the stadium on fire! With the profits the club makes I want decent signings. I would never suggest Arsenal could or should buy the likes of Torres. I aam talking about the kind of buy that invigorates a squad, as Arshavin was 2 years ago. That sort of signing has been all too rare.

The ‘make do’ arrangement of not being completely ruthless with players who are not good enough is just not what you need when you want to be the best. Squillaci could be a superb defender in a slower league. He should play in Italy. In the Premier league, Arsenal needed to get Gary Cahill. Yes, he would have been more expensive and probably commanded higher wages but those are the things big clubs with ambition do to win trophies. They do not settle for an available player.

How long have Arsenal needed a new goalkeeper? I know Wenger tried for Reina but I cannot believe for a second he genuinely foresaw a) Liverpool selling. Szczesny is going to be a superb goalkeeper. He at the moment is a very good goalkeeper, not yet superb. He needs to be brought into the team carefully and managed well. Needless to say at the start of the season he was not the answer he now seems to be. Therefore at the start of the season, having failed with Schwarzer and Reina transfers we once again made do.

I can handle losing to a better team, but I cannot stand seeing heads go down and the culture of feeling sorry for yourself. I was gutted when Wenger said after the Carling Cup Final all the players sat in silence. I could have handled the unfortunate defeat had I heard a player come out and say that the leaders of the squad had spoken, shouted, had stepped up. In that changing room our modern Tony Adams should have said ‘Taste that pain lads. I hope it hurts. I hope we never forget it and agree never to allow to let anyone do that again.’

The chance to win the title can hardly have been better for us this year than ever before, and yet the manner of the choke has been hard to stomach. Manchester United dealt with injuries (I am not saying we have not), a transfer request from Rooney, and disputes with the FA. Chelsea had a terrible start and Torres has still not scored. Manchester City is in a transitional season after revitalizing their squad over the last year or so. These teams will not stand still in the summer. They will target established world class internationals. Only this week United have been linked with the likes of Wesley Sneijder and Ashley Young. Project Liverpool and Tottenham are both gathering apace and these two as well will go after big players.

Have the current squad lost the crowd? All I know is this: I don’t want to change the manager. ; I want the manager to change I know he can change because he made the concession of playing stronger Carling Cup teams in the earlier rounds, a good example he can adapt. It really is time for a significant investment in a quality centre-back, a hard man in midfield and goalscorer. Cahill, Daniele De Rossi and Alvaro Negredo would suit me fine. I do not know better than Wenger obviously but an idiot with any level of football brains can understand you need a balance and leaders to drag teams over the line.

The squad needs improving because you have to accept Van Persie, Walcott and Fabregas (if he stays) are all to a large degree injury prone. It is not complicated but it may be expensive. Stadium to pay for an obvious get out for the naysayers but you won’t fill the stadium with increasing prices without the investment.

By the way for all Arsenal chat, transfer news and the odd bit about my career as a Police Officer follow me on Twitter @Detective82. All tweets, feedback, views welcome.


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GunnerX
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GunnerX

Thing is, I’m no longer convinced Arsene can change direction, or improve what appears to be a limited tactical knowledge. Constantly playing players out-of-position is not playing to strengths, and our obsession with passing appears to be hindering other parts of the game, like having a shot on goal. Arsene has stated that he prefers to work on strengths so I do wonder what happens to the weaknesses.

Darren Phillips
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Darren Phillips

I never correspond on forums like this but felt compelled after reading a mature and considered viewpoint. In my opinion and I am just a regular fan not a fanatic, the team needs leadership and that is not Fabregas. Lets take £40m and part on good terms. We need a world class keeper, centre half and a Rottweiler in midfield. A balance of youth and experience, and skill and aggression is required. Simple, think I should be a prem manager! 🙂

Gooner89
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Gooner89

Great article & so so true. I think the penny is finally dropping with lots of the fans – It’s attitude & a winning mentality we lack from our players. Give me a good player with a great attitude over a great player with a couldnt care less attitude.
When I heard the MANU HT score on Saturday – I & no doubt many of you knew they would come back. Why? – because MANU have that attitude that we lack. Sad but true!

marcus
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marcus

All I know is something has to change. What is dispiriting is that this season we improved greatly, we’ve actually done very well this season overall. We improved our defense, we beat Chelsea & Barca, we were the only team not just in England but in all of Europe still in 4 competitions as late as late February. Arsene actually managed rotation quite well to deal with injuries-we’ve actually had a comparatively better season injury-wise than the last 3 or 4 seasons. But not even such a good season could stop the same, exact, seasonal capitulation/collapse in the spring that… Read more »

steve
Guest
steve

we are like a sunday morning team who’s the best player make him capt in case he leaves, the best captains are not the best players ta frank mac great capts,
even dawson at the shitheads is a good capt with some arsehole

GunnerMKD
Guest
GunnerMKD

it just occured to me where our main problem have been lying. NOT GETTING PATRICK VIEIRA! last january we had a chance to sign him,and trust me,if we did so, everythinf would`ve been different. he wouldn`t be able to play every game,he could`ve been used as a sub, but the important thing is HE IS A LEADER! first, he would`ve give fabregas some advices, insert his leadership inside him, teach him how to approach players, how to motivate him etc. second, he would`ve teached denilson to tackle and be more aggresive, not shit like he normally is. third,players are losing… Read more »

dan
Guest
dan

wenger can’t and won’t change. time to say good bye and move on. there is too much to change, the buying of players, playing style, focus on defense, formation, new back room staff. you are basically asking him to cahnge everything he stands for. NEVER going to happen. time to move on.

dan
Guest
dan

people are too scared of change which is ridiculous, that’s part of life. i really don’t think a new manager would get any less out of this group of players. wenger get’s the bare minimum out of them and no more. that squad is a top four squad, better than liverpools and just better than spurs. i don’t think finishing 3rd or 4th which is where we will end up is any great achievement at all given the squad of internationals that we have..

Nikon
Guest
Nikon

I like the players you mention realistic targets apart from de rossi i really dont think he has improved since he has was 22 plus we have good cms song fab wilshere ramsey? but i think we need a hard type in there only if scotty parker was younger or maybe get flamini back lol

Bob
Guest
Bob

The truth is Wenger WILL NOT CHANGE.He has his project and will stick to it .We need to sign experience (28-29 year olds) Get an English spine(Cahill and Parker).But Wenger wont do it.He will continue to sign French players and 17-18 year olds.And we will continue to be trophyless.We lost everything when David Dein was sacked from the board.Wenger is none a dictator with no one at the club to tell him he is wrong

Dangerous
Guest
Dangerous

I love wenger and believe he has moved us forward years, without him we would still be at highury now, and of course we wouldn’t have the great memories such as the invincibles… That said if he doesn’t clear out the dead wood this summer and bring in some top quality, then he’s let himself, the fans and the club down. I would like to see an English spine to the side, Cahill/Jones/Baines?/Parker they are all gettable players, I also think we need to seriously practice shooting outside the box, some efforts are woeful and are mostly executed because of… Read more »

Rock
Guest
Rock

Agree with most comments on here, we’re in desperate need of players who care deeply for the club and care deeply for winning. The problem is too many of our players are french lads who’s dreams are to play for barca and real madrid, they think theyre too big for Arsenal. Look at barca with 8 spanish players in their team. We need more Wilsheres. Agree with the above poster about baines and cahill, parker would definately make a difference because seriously Alex Song is just terrible. I don’t know whether Wenger asks him to hold his position or what,… Read more »

Rock
Guest
Rock

Another thing, the only Arsenal player who seems to ever have a shot is Arshavin. They need to realise they need to shoot and play with a bit more force and penetration if they are to score. No drive at all. Van Persie can’t play up top on his own, not a chance. Playing 4-5-1 with him makes no sense as he has no pace to get in behind anyone. David Villa in that role is perfect. Theo in that role would be a lot more beneficial. Play Van Persie off him. Ala Bergkamp/Henry. Forget it, Wenger’s not going to… Read more »

salisenal
Guest
salisenal

Baba wenger pls offload some & sign experienced players.

Steve
Guest
Steve

A very well written summary that I would find it hard to disgree with. I think that this year more than any, we lack the tem spirit often bred when things go against us. I just don’t get the feeling that the whole team is working for each other. There is a lack of creativity from most players and the fragility of RvP, Cesc and Diaby (yes he can be creative, if only for France), we lack the ability to make something happen. More than ever I’m frustrated at the same old laborious approach that doesn’t work against well organised… Read more »

StillKingKolo
Guest
StillKingKolo

A well written article. I actually don’t think you can totally blame the players for this. This project Wenger has been running has not given the young players the chance to see real experience at the very top of the game. Their talent takes them close but then they need something else to compete against great sides or when the going gets tough. You can’t learn it if no-one in the squad has ever done it before. How is Gibbs going to become a better left back? Which centre half is going to show him where to be, bollock him,… Read more »

ak47
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ak47

great art. i think the silence in the dressing room says alot for me. each to their own but dam. gunnermkd makes a good point. im not inclined to believe pundits but many times ive heard them say cesc is not a talker, he leads by example. so if there is any truth in that then i think that could be the catalyst for the problem. whether its a fixable problem may be down to barca? if he doesnt go then i dont think he will for now. but if he stays should he be captain? now i dont wanna… Read more »

jason
Guest
jason

the only that needs to change is, the support!

Its a graveyard there at emirates. No sound, no passion from the home fans.

U cant really blame the players for having lack of passion then!!!

Delap
Guest
Delap

For me…
I would get Scott Parker because he has great leadershiP!!!!

Edwin Edward
Guest
Edwin Edward

u av well spoken bt evn wenger hmslf is stubborn he acts like d arrognt dictator he called uefa u knew wat we lost being patient wit baptista,now wit almunia,squillci,roscky,denlsn,etc he mst change his transfer policy if d fans must align wit him he’s a top top manager no doubt

Iversen
Guest
Iversen

i agree with most, but jason, your right. insteadof cheering or singing when they score. there should also be sound when they are struggling.

Foxy
Guest
Foxy

To all gooners Now is not the time to question Wenger and his boys’ ways right at the tail-end of the season. Agree with Jason totally. Its probably the fans who should shut up and do their bit…lose some voice and get your vocal chords damaged by eating chillies to conjure fire!! And bloody boo the opponents! Cant hear a thing and its not like the highbury days of old anymore… You pay thousands of quid for season tickets but you dont want to hurt your throat….morons & wimps!!! There should be an open-letter by Le Boss & FAbregas to… Read more »

marcus
Guest
marcus

Yeah that’s right – it’s the fans’ fault that our attack is inefficient, it’s the fans’ fault that Wenger substitutes our best player, it’s the fans’ fault that our players collapse every spring, it’s the fans’ fault that our defenders & keepers make comedy errors, it’s the fans’ fault that we concede the most goals to set pieces in the league, it’s the fans’ fault that our players can’t be motivated enuf to fight like hell to keep the team in contention for the league in a game against a very poor team with a mediocre manager. It’s all the… Read more »

arsefan
Guest
arsefan

i couldnt agree more
spot on mate

GunnerMKD
Guest
GunnerMKD

@jason: yes, thats right, but really, can you blame them? they pay thousends of pounds, expect a good, world class signing and all they get is a fucking squill and almunia in goal! i`m sure they feel depressed BEFORE the games because they lose faith in the football club. yes, i did have your attitude not long ago, and yes, i do see the crowd getting alive 2 or 3 times in the whole HOME games, but what can you do… it is very easy for me, i live abroad, far far far away from london and if i only… Read more »

GoonerBG
Guest
GoonerBG

I think that lack of support on Emarates is one of the problem. Its shame that every game about 40th and 85th minutes the stadium became half empty. When thing not going so well almost everybody look down and just do nothing. The away support is different thing. They are magnificent but the local support on the stadium is terrible. Im abroad fan and have a couple times on Emarates and a some games away games in Europe. The difference of the support is HUGE. Maybe the majority of the true gooners cant afford the ticket prizes and this is… Read more »

Foxy
Guest
Foxy

Finding faults is easy init? Sack Wenger at the beginning of next season will be justified coz he was stubborn to spend on players, did not have plan Bs and Cs etc… But is there really a perfect footballer out there who will never commit a ‘comedy error’? At 30M quid? What are the guarantees? Arsenal at the current rate are conceding goals relatively similar to MAnU or Chelsea. We did not score enough goals at the Emirates, and thus thats the difference. Question is that our forwards are not clinical are they?…So sell them please!! Is there a point… Read more »

jack
Guest
jack

@ rock ‘Alex song is just terrible’ is that a misprint? the best defensive midfielder in england this season is terrible or do you just not know anything about football

jason
Guest
jason

yup.

I still remember there was this match played this season at home. Not so sure who the oppenent was, but the game was tied in 2nd half till rosicky took a shot which he nearly scored (just a few inches off the post).

The home crowd got up and sang so loudly, and in my heart i said ‘we are going to win this match due to the support, and true enough, we did!’

Rock
Guest
Rock

@ JACK, Alex Song “the best defensive midfielder in england this season”… lol seriously words like that need no reply. But for your benefit I will venture one anyway as you simply are clueless. As I said Alex Song never holds his position, always trying to get in on the action going forward which always leaves our defence exposed. Not only that, he stops Jack Wilshere from going forward and as we all know he can do far more damage. He gives away needless fouls, even when on a yellow card which shows he isn’t the most intelligent either. He’s… Read more »

wen_detta
Guest
wen_detta

we only have 1 song my friends..that what is called a tactic..maybe sometimes he get too over with it but he still one of the the best given his age..maybe you forgot the goals he had scored..some of it was unexpected & magnificent..

goonergerry
Guest
goonergerry

There is no sign that Wenger feels the need for change-he says the defence is better than ManUs-because we have conceded marginally fewer goals so far this season-he makes that statement despite United comfortably beating us at OT recently and in the knowledge that United have not conceded an away goal in the CL this season and they have just gone away to Chelsea and won 1-0. The Board don’t feel the need for change-they back Wenger 100%. One or two possibly 3 players and Cesc may leave in the summer-but they will be replaced with kids or cheap French-nothing… Read more »

Special1
Guest
Special1

Well written facts. Points well made, but Wenger is the wisest coach in the world so he will never listen. Thank you very much. Atleast we will refer to your article by the end of next season after Wenger shall have fallen short of doing anything you mentioned – which is exactly the same opinion shared by the millions Arsenal fans arround the globe. Finally, I don’t know what Wenger refers to as project when it is not about signing top quality keeper, center defenders, strong defensive midfielder an aggressive forward, and winning trophies for fans and club. May is… Read more »

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