Yesterday we chalked up another defeat this season and once again, for god knows how many times in the last ten years, we were defeated away from home to a top six team. Quite frankly it was all a little too predictable and having not watched the game I’m not surprised in the slightest.
I am a little weary about it all now. I could have – if i’d forced the issue with my family yesterday – sat down and watched the game, but I thought about it and concluded that it would only make me more wound up, more irritated and ruin the rest of my day. That’s what Arsenal are away from home to the big teams these days – a weekend spoiler.
But having not watched the game and only followed the results I can safely say that I don’t feel as narked this morning as I would have done. I just feel, well, wearied by it all. Arsenal under modern day Wenger make me wearied.
He wasn’t helped by injuries to Mertesacker, problems with Holding and Debuchy note quite ready in his mind, meaning he was forced to play Coquelin out of position. Playing Coquelin in his natural position is bad enough, so to have him at the heart of your defence is a worrying prospect. Especially against the best team in the league.
But by the sounds of it, it wasn’t just Coquelin that didn’t exactly perform, because most of the players once again showed that they just aren’t up for it. Particularly Alexis and quite why Arsene thought that dropping Lacazette to give the Chilean a central role is beyond me, especially as it sounds like he had one of the stinkier performances in the team. And then when Lacazette comes on to score it only makes Arsene’s decisions even the more baffling.
But then again this season so far feels like it’s been a series of one baffling decision after each other. Starting with not having players ready for the first game of the season, then having players playing out of position so you can placate a player who had already decided to leave, then putting in laboured performances against average teams away from home, now to this capitulation against the best team in the league. It’s all felt a little too boring and that is all adding up to put me off Arsenal at the moment. Or at least find excuses not to bother when there are big family occasions. Call me a fake fan, call me a fair-weather supporter if you like, but the predictability of games like yesterday are what are putting me off. Not because the team are losing.
Did anyone truly believe this collective of players, being managed by this man who said the best way to beat City on their own patch is to attack them, were going to cause an upset? I certainly didn’t. I generally don’t when we play away from home. The fact we all celebrated the Chelski draw away from home as some kind of super performance pretty much sums up where we are at right now: we’re a second tier level of a club. We don’t dine at the top table in the Premier League any more and we don’t have the squad or first team of players capable of winning games like this.
And you have to say that is once again a symptom of the man at the helm. Arsene is presiding over a sinking vessel. He’s allowing a gradual decline and unfortunately for us all it is as predictable as the setting of the sun each day.
There are fewer and fewer exciting times to be had as an Arsenal fan these days. I don’t go in to games like yesterday with hope. Not even hope of an upset because we simply don’t do upsets. We do predictability quite well though. We’re plenty good at that.
People are worried about what happens if Wenger goes with some of our star players, but I’m getting to the stage where a complete reboot with many of the players doesn’t really sound that bad of an idea either, because this current crop are also contributing to the predictability. Losing Ozil, Alexis, but replacing with three or four players who fit in an actual system, under a new manager, who looks like he has an identity and a plane. That’s something that I could definitely get behind and get excited about. Even if it took a while to get the team playing a certain way. Even if we had to be patient to develop a new team identity. I’d definitely be up for that. I’m ready for a change because i’m ready for something different. Anything different.
Are you ready for it? Are you up for Arsenal to move to the next part of its history? Are you ready for something different? A change of identity. A change of philosophy, or the way we set up, of the way the players play. Are you willing to see the superstars depart to be replaced with players who are more about the sum of the parts rather than the swanky bits that stick out. Because that’s what we are at the moment. We’re like a Bang & Olufsen speaker system in a battered old Vauxhall Nova, that has bald tires and the engine is on the blink. And I don’t know about you, but I fancy getting in an Audi, where everything purrs a little more.
Anyway, I’m rambling, about cars and all sorts of non-Arsenal related metaphors. Probably because it’s more fun than actually watching and talking about The Arsenal these days.