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The Agony of Watching Arsenal

Watching the Gunners play this season has been pure agony. Gone are the free flowing attacking displays. What we have now we saw yesterday against Middlesbrough, a tortured and flawed performance from a team flirting with mediocrity.

You don’t see Arsenal players smile anymore, well … they do if they happen to score. Most of the time they scowl at each other, they argue and they glare. It’s obvious there is no chemistry on the field and it has to be the same way in the locker room. Who’s to blame? Gallas, van Persie, Adebayor, Bendtner, Eboue are the names one suspects could be to blame, but I don’t know. All I know is that you see it. It is palpable and Wenger hasn’t purged the problem.

Looking at the squad this year you see players not stepping up and performing to their potential. Prior to this season I told my mates that this season would be a great year if Walcott, van Persie, Bendtner, Diaby, Eboue, Rosicky, Song, Djourou and Denilson all stepped up their games. Only Walcott and Djourou have stepped up their games significantly, Denilson a little. The rest have yet to convince me that they are improving.

Looking at the squad one see’s that there are problems everywhere, but particularly in midfield. Our defence is suspect, but playing behind a weak midfield just magnifies their problems. Our forwards are okay, but a weak midfield doesn’t provide enough support or service. Ironically the team is filled with midfielders, but they are not tough enough, or too young, or don’t play the position we need.

In goal Almunia is adequate. He’ll win you a couple of games a season but no more. Yesterday’s performance saw him inexplicably not catching an easy cross and leaving Sagna with a throw-in near the corner. On several corners he looked vulnerable and he didn’t always appear to be communicating with the defence. He did make a fine save off Downing, but you wonder whether Fabianski would be better if he had a run of games in goal.

Our fullbacks are not playing like the Premier League all stars they’re supposed to be. Sagna has not been healthy this year and he isn’t the threat he was last season coming forward. I seldom see him make a good cross, but I’m hoping he’ll get healthier and better by the new year. Clichy is probably our best player right now, yet he’s afflicted with making one or two gaffes every game, most of them turning out to be fatal. He’s looking like he’s taking Senderos’s place in the mistake department. Yet he plays with conviction, has undeniable talent and is our most significant threat on the left.

In the middle Gallas and Toure have both been suspect. Gallas has made some critical mistakes, yet he’s too valuable to bench. Silvestre has played better than I thought he would in the middle, but it’s still not what we need. At least Djourou has started playing well and against Boro he was one of the few who had a decent game.

In the midfield yesterday we had four central midfielders and no width. It was telling that Wenger didn’t even want to bring on Eboue on the right. Diaby had another poor game. Once again he was stuck out on the left where he doesn’t play well and once again he didn’t deliver. What is his best position? Maybe just to play the fifth midfielder when we play with just one striker. I don’t know. Denilson was on the right and though he tries hard he is no outside threat. He cannot play the holding role either and against Porto he showed that he cannot run the offence either. Song is our best defensive midfielder, but he had a terrible game passing today. He just seems a little slow and doesn’t play that well with Cesc. Will Wenger buy a new holding midfielder? I hope so. Fabregas played a little better today than he has as of late, but he is still not the Fabregas he was last season. One of these midfielders needs to become a scoring threat, but today only Diaby had a couple of chances.

Our squad lacks a genuine winger at the moment and the prospect of us playing until March with Nasri and Eboue on the flanks makes me fearful. Nasri is not the hardiest player and Eboue is Eboue. Ramsey is not the winger as advertised, preferring to play inside and Wilshere is just too young (as is Barazite, whose loan spell at Derby ends at the end of the month). The team needs a player who can trouble fullbacks and who can cross the ball from the baselines.

Up front Adebayor and van Persie show flashes, Bendtner shows his colourful boots, and Vela shows potential. Fans are salivating with anticipation of Eduardo’s return, all in the hope that he’ll change our fortunes up front. Van Persie frustrates me the most because when he’s hot and on his game we become a much better team. Unfortunately this has happened much too rarely. Adebayor doesn’t run as hard as he did last year and he constantly glares at the others when they don’t pass the ball to him. It’s an offence that has sputtered as of late, not scoring as frequently as they did in the first 12 games of the season.

The most frustrating part of all is that this team is likely to play brilliantly next week against Liverpool and then stub their toe against Villa or Portsmouth. On their day they can produce good football and play with passion. However too often they play as they did against Boro, Portsmouth, or Wigan. I’ve almost lost all hope this season and Wenger needs to make major changes to save the season.

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jack
jack
12 years ago

we should have kept aliadiere he is ten times the player bentdner is

Fabregas' Dad
Fabregas' Dad
12 years ago

I actually think Adebayor was our best player yesterday alongside Fabregas and I think he’ll improve as the season goes on. But I just can’t understand why Wenger plays with four central midfielderse, it makes absolutely no fucking sense whatsoever and it would be better for us to recall Traoré or play Vela on the left I don’t think Song’s good enough to play in midfield for us. He could become a good centre-back but he’s too slow to play in our midfield and his technique and passing aren’t up to scratch. I think Denilson has great potential thought and… Read more »

Brett
Brett
12 years ago

superb mate!
i agree totally with everythin u have said!

D-daGooner
12 years ago

Fabragas Dad is SPOT ON!!! This season is already a write off!!!!, some HARD DECISIONS need to be made between now & the end of the season as if we don’t qualify for the Champions League we ain’t gonna be able to buy ANYONE!!!!! We need to FINALLY dust off the cheque book coz we still got a effin stadium (fantastic stadium) to pay for & no Champions League makes that all the more difficult. Badly in need of some decent wingers, Babels not happy at Liverpool, why not take him, he’s direct & can play on the left/right, we… Read more »

Edward
Edward
12 years ago

As disappointing as the result was against Boro and as frustrating as this season has been, can you imagine what Cesc was thinking when you watch the Barca – Real Madrid match later that day? My guess is that it would have been something along the lines of: “what the fuck am I doing on this sorry fucking side? I might not even qualify for the CL next season …I hope Xavi leaves Barca soon. Maybe I can take his spot in their midfield. I the Classico was an impressive sporting spectacle. Unless of course, you were a gooner taking… Read more »

ah
ah
12 years ago

edward fuck off then

eie
eie
12 years ago

fans have to wake up and smell the coffee, we are now at the level of villa,everton,boro and all the other mid table teams. sure we can get a result against the other top 4 teams but that has always been the case,two seasons ago we finished top in the mini league of top 4 teams but finished 19 points behind manure. Last year we were in contention upto the birmingham game then we fell apart in the league and champions league. This season we have lost flamini,hleb,diara,silva,senderos,traore,and eudardo and rosicky. We have bought Nasri and Ramsay and we are… Read more »

Damian
Damian
12 years ago

Saying he wont is like me saying i wont buy a Ferrari it implies i have a choice he has no money those players that he let go were not bought by any top club they are not top class & at the time almost all teams were buying out of money earned.That midfield is pathetic Wenger let them play! play Van P wide if no other choice he looks better there 4 Holland anyway.Diaby ,Song,Eboue & Denilson BRILLIANT!!!!!!

Damian
Damian
12 years ago

He was only ever trying 4 top 4 + & Cl last 8 + same as the last 3 years he has no money until the end of 2009 if he did Flamini & Hleb would be still here he hasn,t been let down they try hard their not good enough u lot have no idea u blame Gallas cause he can,t do the job of 3 covering the mistakes of an inadequate midfield see if he goes to Wigan ill bet anyone a CL team buys him

Edward
Edward
12 years ago

@ah: this fucking mess is alright with you then? AW trying to spin that the Boro result was one we should be pleased with is fine by you? That dropping out of our CL position is good enough – daft twat.

spaz
spaz
12 years ago

liverpool vs arsenal: next weekend. on your current form, and this isnt me being biased, i cant see you getting a result. yes, i know man u and chelsea both fell in your path, both deservedly (arguably) but liverpool are a whole different kind of beast. remember stoke, and how they stifled you for an entire game? thats what we will do to you, and more. we will make sure van persie, fabregas, espacially denilson and song have no space to work. we will strangle you until you concede and concede. your best change is through the performace of adebayour,… Read more »

D-daGooner
12 years ago

Spaz I hope we beat the shit out of you scouse gitz. Got a lot of talk but it won’t last. We should definately be able to raise our game for the likes of you lot!!!! Typical Liverpool all fuckin talk before a ball has been kicked. Piss off this site!!!

spaz
spaz
12 years ago

hi d-daGooner. actually i just say it how i see it, and i like this site because it gives good news on arsenal who i also follow a little since my mates a gooner fan and showed me the site, so why would i piss off?
and i have munch more confidence that liverpool can take the game to big teams like arsenal then little one like villa or hull, say. weve done it before.

http://soccerfanbase.com

great great article. I still do not believe the season is over for us but I will have wenger to blame if he fails to buy us at least 1 defender and a midfielder doing the january transfer widow. I don’t see any change in Fabregas’ game so far, he is like he was last season. The only difference is he has no one helping him in the midfield. He is only fabrepass and can not do the work of flamster and fabrepass at the same time. I believe he will be the fabrepass we all know as soon as… Read more »

Sam
Sam
12 years ago

Hey,
Thanks for the great article. I totally agree with you. Something is different with Arsenal this season. I really don’t feel safe with Almunia in goal, anything can happen with him…

Having said that, I don’t think Arsenal are out of the title race just yet. Chelsea and Liverpool are drawing a lot of games and I’m sure Arsenal will have the chance to catch up!

Go on you goonneersss.

Macgyver
12 years ago

They lack of champions mentality. they only think of doing better, but you must have mentality of we can win more.

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