So here we are mid-February licking our wounds once again after being dumped out of two cup competitions in the space of four days. Sound familiar for the past four years?
After being embarrassed in Milan, Arsenal had the chance to restore some pride in the FA Cup when they visited the Stadium of Light, a place where they had won a week ago in the league. I don’t want to go through the match, as all of you would have seen it, but what was very alarming from the match is that it seemed the players had lost confidence in the manger and were no longer playing for him. It seemed the players would rather be at home collecting their hefty wages rather than be fighting it out for the Arsenal cause.
Players like Turner, Richardson and Cattermole, who earn a combined wage as Diaby, played with passion and commitment, which was sadly lacking from their more illustrious opponents. Over 4000 Arsenal fans travelled in the bitter cold to watch their team and were let down yet again. Another poor decision from Arsene Wenger was the team he set up which was strikingly similar to the one which got spanked at Milan. Our offensive problems are just as glaring as our defensive ones. Poor old Aaron Ramsey looks knackered and out of his depth, a player who was on loan twice last season at Championship clubs and suddenly is expected to fill in the void left by Fabregas.
With Sunderland playing with two banks of four when we had the ball, why didn’t Wenger play Andrey Arshavin behind Robin van Persie? A player who is capable of producing something, or at least play Marouane Chamakh up top with Van Persie behind him, who is a decent target man and would’ve given the Sunderland defenders a different kind of problem. Instead Wenger brings on Theo Walcott and plays him up front, who ends up having five touches the entire game, but what do I know, I haven’t worked half a day in football!
It’s the same old mistakes being repeated over and over again that is making this frustrating. A squad lacking depth and quality, looking absolutely knackered by February, very poor tactically, players lacking effort and schoolboy errors being made all over the pitch. These are the same things which are being repeated every season and it has been overseen by Wenger every time, and what is most alarming is that he seems incapable of finding a solution.
Make no bones about it, next week’s north London derby will be the most important game in Wenger‘s 15 year reign. God forbid, if he loses that he may not last to the end of the season!
Does Stan Kroenke even know the terrible week Arsenal have had? He and Ivan Gazidis may be very comfortable in their fourth place Champions League revenue, but with fan unrest gaining momentum every week they will have to wake up and smell the coffee eventually.
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