Where does one even start?
At the stories (unsubstantiated of course, after all, it is The Sun) that Alex Iwobi decided to see if he could improve his form by partying until the early hours of the morning before the FA Cup game against Forest this weekend?
At the noises that City are now knocking on Arsenal’s doors to take Alexis away from us for a paltry £20million-odd?
At the rumours that we’re selling Coquelin for an equally paltry £10million abroad. I’m no fan of him but that money for a player with a three and a half years left on his contract is tuppence in this market. Renato Sanches went for £8.5million in a frigging loan fee for Christ’s sake!
But it’s ok, because we’re going after Johnny Evans for a probably ridiculous high fee, to solve our defensive woes.
I haven’t even touched on the fact that we could be a month away from exit in the League Cup and staring at a Europa League run as the only thing to keep this season alive.
Arsenal are a car crash right now. Nothing makes sense, we don’t appear to have any planning or vision, the players are doing what they want, the manager doesn’t seem to have the answers any more and the fans are having to suck this all up and deal with it.
Now, I’ll admit that things change quickly in Football and in one months time we could be looking at a cup final, still in European competition, picking up a few points in the league and who knows maybe even a decent signing or two. But as an outsider looking in on Arsenal right now, it’s hard to see the positives if I’m honest.
This feels very bleak at the moment. Normally I write my headline after I’ve written my blog because I don’t always know what I’m going to say, but today it seemed quite easy, because we look like a total mess.
We turned down the chance to go after Evans in the summer because he was possibly over priced. But desperation could see us going for him now. We turned down £60million for Alexis but desperation could see us get less than half of that less than six months after rebuffing City. We wanted to offload Chambers in the summer but then changed our minds because presumably Arsène was given a nudge as to the sheer volume of work that could be needed the following summer if we went full-on fire sale.
Yet here we are, a pretty poor halfway point in the season, and it’s all transpiring exactly as some of us feared. And the real Arsenal fans aren’t happy about this. We’re all pretty depressed in fact.
Arsène was quoted in the papers yesterday that there would be business this January. Well no sh*t Sherlock; because we didn’t do enough last summer and didn’t get important decisions answered, we’re staring down the bottom of a pretty scary barrel.
Riddle me this, friends: given Arsène’s regime have found it difficult to get players over the line each summer for the last few years, how on earth will they cope if/when:
- Özil leaves on a free
- Alexis leaves
- Coquelin is shipped out
- Theo is gone
- Ramsey has one year left on his contract
- Big Per retires
- Ospina is gone
- Koscielny can’t play more than half of a season due to his Achilles
- Bellerin fancies his Barcelona move
- Kolasinac isn’t in the managers long term plans
- Welbeck rejects a deal and so the club start to negotiate
- Giroud wants out due to lack of playing time
- Ainsley and his Mum want bumper deals for a contract renewal
Some of these are speculative, I know, but they are all stories we’ve heard and they could all feasibly be happening on the next six months. So yes, Arsène, we know damn well you’ll be active in January because you’ve suddenly realised that there aren’t enough hours and days in the summer – a summer of a World Cup no less – in which to give this squad the reboot it needs through new blood.
But the new blood will only do so much when given the same coaching staff and management to work with. So we could overhaul this entire team and with Arsène still in charge we still get the same results. So maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe we should just throw this season, bank the cash, wait for a new man and give him a real life actual war chest?
The thing is, I don’t really want that to happen. I don’t give a monkeys about the people in charge as long as Arsenal are winning. But we’re not. And we’re not even looking like we’re progressing. We’re regressing and it’s patently clear for all to see.
The wheels aren’t coming off, they’ve been kicked off, look like they’re rolling down the hill, on fire, with a manic-looking Wenger chasing after them shouting “everything’s ok! I’ve got this all under control!”
Football fans love to laugh at others misfortune. We’ve been there and done it too. But when you’re on the receiving end it isn’t fun. And we’ve been on the receiving end for a while now.
But hey, on the plus side, I’m starting to appreciate other things outside of the football world that I used to immerse myself in. I’d recommend it and if you don’t have it take up another hobby. I’d recommend collecting thimbles. The Management has a lovely collection from across the globe that she’s amassed in the last 25 years.
Catch you all tomorrow for a match preview.