What can be said this morning that hasn’t already been said repeatedly of late? I almost don’t want to bother writing today’s blog. The analysis will sound alarmingly familiar and my tone will be as weary as an Arsenal fan could feel this morning.
I’m tired of this. I’m tired of seeing this Arsenal team under this manager go through the same mistakes, have the same level of ineptitude about it, look physically and mentally ill-prepared, be set up incorrectly, not pick the best team available and more than anything, not have any ideas when staring down another defeat.
The selection was kamikazee yesterday. We needed pace, purpose and drive, we got ponderous, pedestrian and drivel. Monreal for Gibbs meant less pace against Mane. Coquelin and Xhaka meant a midfield parting like the Red Sea. Giroud and the Ox out wide meant less pace and attack on the counter without the ball. And on the bench a guy who sat there not really knowing what to do with himself meant we had a commander-in-chief who was clueless with what to do once we were behind.
This team is rotting. It’s slowly decomposing like an old apple that has been sat in the fruit bowl for too long. It needs to be binned. It’s time for some new apples.
The decision to leave Alexis out was bizarre. Arsène knew that Liverpool could be got at with pace, yet choose a Giroud who never really looked like he was going to threaten their leaky back five. How on earth can you justify a decision like that?
The fact that we instantly looked better when Alexis was on the pitch makes Arsène’s decision making all the more baffling. With every passing week what he does is baffling.
It’s time to start boxing things up people. We have to move on from this and we have to hope the manager realises this too. He has to go. And he has to see this too. He has no ideas and his team has no fight in them. He had two weeks to prepare for this game. Two weeks to come up with a game plan and two weeks to realise what Liverpool were good at. His plan of playing in a formation designed to counter was the right one, but the players he picked to start the game were the wrong ones.
Can somebody please take Francis Coquelin somewhere and lock him away so that Arsène can’t keep picking him? We’ve had a midfield two that have looked better in the last few weeks by playing the Ox centrally, so why change it?
I thought Iwobi at number 10 could work. It didn’t. The kid is going to be run in to the ground by Wenger because we don’t have any other options. Scratch that – we do have options – we just don’t have a manager who uses those options. Lucas Perez anyone? Not at number 10, but the guy should have been ahead in the queue two months ago, yet Iwobi remains one that Arsène calls on, no matter how poorly he’s playing.
Giroud did nothing of note. Yet started ahead of Alexis, who is clearly now making his farewell appearances because he won’t want to play with some of these players who have no fight. I don’t blame him. If I was playing with some of these lot, with this manager, I’d be moving on pretty sharpish.
The Ox looked like the player we saw playing wide at the beginning of the season. A little lost. Why he was shunted out wide again is beyond me.
Xhaka is also going backwards. He needs someone beside him. Not that pathetic excuse for a defensive midfielder.
The back four are in tatters. Cech is becoming one of those ‘keepers who doesn’t make world class saves to keep you in games. I don’t think he did anything particularly wrong yesterday, but he doesn’t save you points like he did in his prime at Chelski, which is what we saw glimpses of last season.
I have no idea what has happened to Koscielny and Mustafi. Both look utterly clueless at the moment.
Hector made a couple of good runs forward, but defensively he also leaves me nervous.
So overall this is a pretty bleak time to be an Arsenal fan. The players look like they have no idea how to execute the managers plan – assuming he sends them out with one – and there is no real identity in this team. What are we? What sort of football do we play right now? I’ll be dammed if I know.
There’s no point going on about a change of manager. I’m preaching to the converted. The whole world wants it now. Roll on the summer. Maybe we get some closure and can start feeling excited again.
Welbeck’s goal was good. There, that’s your positivity, and it’s all I’ve got.
Catch you tomorrow.