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Arsenal: Fallen Phoenix

When it rains, how it does pour…

As this writer recently said, November has been a very troublesome month. And with 8 days left to go, who’s to say it will not get any worse? After all the previously documented malaises that have hit Arsenal, the removal of Gallas as captain will perhaps hit hardest. The more reports that come out, the more intrigue and epiphanies are created. From Gallas’s revelations of a feud between Theo and Robin van Persie, to multiple incidents between captain and Nasri, to the all-round lack of respect or familiarity between players and captain, it is beginning to become quite clear just what has gone on behind the scenes.

This team, compared with the one of last year, lacks the togetherness and spirit that title-competing teams require. Suddenly, their closely-coddled egoes go from meshing perfectly to fracturing unmercilessly. A team previously having perfect chemistry now suddenly is divided. And almost all of it relates to Gallas in some fashion.

Presently, there are more than enough articles and opinions discussing Gallas’s actions, but hardly any focus on the repercussions that these past events will cause. Wenger’s decision to remove him as captain, be it temporarily or permanently, sounds like a man who has had his stubborness rudely awakened. For once, Wenger has made a drastic and difficult decision that will spring forth a new era, be it positive or negative.

From these past ups and downs, new lessons are being taught to our young players. They have gone from challenging for the title last year, to winning against Man U and then losing to Aston Villa. Now, their memories will be tainted with the responsibility of electing a new captain.

This group of Arsenal players are arrogant. Their style of play dictates them to do so. They play with the desire to humiliate their opponents. Two goals up means party tricks time. They are highly-paid and have a confidence, naive perhaps, in their skills (see Samir Nasri). However, this team is not unmanageable. A team that was so close to winning the title last year is suddenly in turmoil with their future in doubt. How fine the line between orgasmic overachievement and flat-out failure. Yet, a team of such confidence like last year does not suddenly lose all credentials for success in the space of three months. From these past events, Wenger will fashion a new team. It will not be a process of rebuilding, so much as one of modification.

The pieces are there. Fabregas, as short of form as he has been, will find his feet again. As Fabregas goes, so goes Arsenal. Robin van Persie, as selfish and arrogant a player as he is, is a goal and assist waiting to happen. He is the unpredictable breed of player that every title-winning team requires. Seventy-five percent of the defence is there, all that is needed is to find the correct long-term partner for Djourou, the heir-apparent to Sol Campbell’s as-yet unreplaced role. In Adebayor, you have a world-class target man who opens up space for players like Nasri, Ramsey, Denilson, Walcott, and soon, Wilshere, to exploit. Throw in the promise of Vela, Gibbs, Randall, Simpson, Bendtner, and the numerous other young prospects, and a vast majority of a high-octane, up-tempo passing team is there. All that Arsenal lack is an adequate defensive midfielder to truly free Cesc and let him find his form, and the right leader for this team.

In Gallas, they had an old-school captain. His game and attitude are based on different ideals. These young charges simply have little in common with him. While Gallas most likely bigs himself up by claiming most do not have the right amount of determination and fight, the truth is that this team gain motivation from something else. Their game is based on arrogance, not the safety-first play of Gallas. Although most fans would not mind the legendary back five, the truth is that these players are nor neither will ever be that kind of a team. They will gain their motivation by playing with style and panache, something that has been lacking because of the in-house fighting. How can a playing style which relies on such perfect chemistry not be affected when so many players have disputes? It is simple human nature. Whenever Wenger sorts out his house, then a new team will be born.

Do not underestimate the flexibility he now has. Whenever the captain is gone, all other roles and superiorities also go. No one is assured of anything now. Wenger has a petri dish of possibilities simply waiting to be cultured by his eye for talent. He will closely examine the squad and see exactly who fits where. Mark my words, he will buy someone big this winter. As I have stated before, Wenger’s next title-winning team will be born out of the ashes of the current calamity. He will find his true leaders and add or drop whenever he seems fit. After taking the big decision to drop Gallas, he will now have the bit between his teeth to re-hash a splintered squad. And when this current period of apparent crisis is over, however long it may be, there will be a new Arsenal team. For Wenger, the time to make the drastic decisions has become now, and he knows that.

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rexes
rexes
11 years ago

i raise a jug to that!

Whoops
Whoops
11 years ago

I agree come on Gooners support the team.

Walter
Walter
11 years ago

Like the phenix, Arsenal will rise out of his ashes.

today was a bad result with a team without 5 regular players (I don’t include Gallas) like Cesc, Walcott, Sagna, Toure en Adebayor so they never played like this and only a horrible error lead to the decisive first goal.

We will be back. Maybe not this year, but have faith.

The Brain
11 years ago

Yeah lets raise a jug but that flippin jug is bitter at the moment. Good players in the team but overall not good enough with our play.

fin
fin
11 years ago

tryin to think of 1 young player wenger has brought through the youth system at arsenal . cant be fabregas has he was barcelona. all he has done is steal the best young talent from other clubs . very few of them even make it in a wenger team. u cant make it on talent alone . unfortunitley this wenger team may have the talent but the will never win anything because u need the others , like guts , character, grit , heart and work ethic non of which this girly boy lot have

homes
homes
11 years ago

i agree this should prompt a change in direction,
a midfielder and a CB and this team will be smooth as baileys

Rob91
Rob91
11 years ago

Finally a article with some optimism in it!

Arsenal will be great again, we’re closer than people think.

m.coys
m.coys
11 years ago

yeh,like a cleanex in some fagash hahaha….you will win something.maybe not this year,maybe not next etc blah

Kristovich
11 years ago

Arseanl til i die regardless of what happens. I know the lads will come good!! Come on Ade & Van, find your scoring boots & lash us home a few!!

chris
chris
11 years ago

im fed up with it always being next year and next year..every year our team gets younger and wenger brings in more and more crap (song and denilson)..how can a club go from such mighty highs (2004) to complete failure 4 years later

chris
chris
11 years ago

…i still support the team of course…i reckon someone will be on the end of a heavy arsenal lashing sometime soon, kiev anyone?

arsenal1
arsenal1
11 years ago

I agree with this. Lets support this team!

m.coys
m.coys
11 years ago

wot, to go with the heavy lashup?

The Brain
11 years ago

I actually expected more backlash from fans. This cannot be accepted like this. We have class but we need to turn that into trophies quick otherwise what’s the point. I’m always sticking up for the Gunners and even now I think we are still in it but 5 defeats. It’s unacceptable.

blazingooner
blazingooner
11 years ago

m.coys, go wank off to some other blog

excellent article, very positive and optimist, cheers!

supergunner07
supergunner07
11 years ago

Gavin Hoyte’s touch was awful, we didnt cross the ball enough, we played thru the middle too much like many games this year. We need to vary our play when teams clog the middle against us. BUT Arsenal For Life even though i am furious

dan
dan
11 years ago

The youth experiment is in shambles. The club is headed in the wrong direction. If you can’t see that now, you never will.

supergunner07
supergunner07
11 years ago

Dan, i dont see it, like you see it & i am not blind, check my previous comment. Unfortunately, among our fans now include glory hunting ones and brainless ones as well.

toure tribe underboss
toure tribe underboss
11 years ago

give ade another pay rise an tell him play even when he is tired or injured

James
James
11 years ago

I like the sentiment, but in all fairness how long has everyone just been saying these young players will come good, the vast majority of them won’t ever be world class or anything like it. Wenger’s experiment has failed and it’s time he realised it ortherwise you really have to start to question him and his future. Every single Arsenal fan knew what we needed tthis summer and Wenger did nothing about it, its just plain ridiculous.

supergunner07
supergunner07
11 years ago

toure tribe, Ade is so important to us, our fans dont realise. He is Emile Heskey with goals, for me he is one of 2 [him & Drogba] best forward [not striker] in the world as well offering goals. All other forwards in the world either dont score enough or they dont have pace to play on the shoulder.

Also people dont realise but as a our main passer get the ball, his movement off-the-ball is brilliant, hopefully with Edu coming back RVP will need to fix up is awful attitude and zero work-rate.

70's gooner
70's gooner
11 years ago

Suppose your rose tinted specs (or complete lack of knowledge of football) make you also think that Bendtner is a quality player. Anyone, and i mean anyone, who has ever played football at any level must realise that he is useless.

dan
dan
11 years ago

Supergunner0, you don’t see it, period.

fin
fin
11 years ago

heskey is 10 times the player ade badplayer will ever be

Hadley
Hadley
11 years ago

You call this a crisis?? This is nothing…. Ian Selley Steve Morrow John Jensen David Hillier Chris Kiwamya Martin Keown in central midfield Kevin Campbell Eddie McGoldrick This my friends, is the team we were watching before Wenger came to Arsenal. I suspect most of you whingers attacking Wenger don’t even know who I’m talking about and who probably only jumped on board the Gunners ship since Wenger brought his brand of football to the club. To those who are critisising the players for lack of toughness etc – how tough do you have to be to sit and home… Read more »

dan
dan
11 years ago

Hadley, relax, not all of us like the mid-table as much as you.

solomon
11 years ago

yeah i agree wiv ‘hadley’s comments’ u guyz av clearly forgoten d wenger years to even raise d question of sackin wenger seems like treason to me even doh we lost a couple of games how do u tink relegated teams feel like even doh dey loose all d time dey neva disown der team or der manager so plz all u ‘judas gunners fans’ av faith coz i knw somtn gud wil happen tru dis ruff patch we’r in consider it az a trial our tribulations n jubilations will come soon, gunners for life,arsene knowz n fabregas for captain… Read more »

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