As if Arsenal didn’t seem like it was in enough disarray on the football pitch this weekend, we now find out just how much disarray away from the cameras there is, with the news filtering out that the real reason Alexis wasn’t playing was because of a training ground bust up last week.
We’re a laughing stock right now. Except none of us are finding any of what we hear funny. Quite the opposite in fact. It’s depressing. We have an Arsenal PR machine going in to full throttle to throw a player under the bus by leaking news of this story to the press, a star player who clearly wants out, a team who look like they couldn’t organise themselves if their lives depended on it, overseen by a manager who is cutting a forlorn and more clueless figure than we’ve ever noticed.
Something is going terribly wrong at Arsenal and most of us have absolutely no idea what it is.
If Alexis is becoming petty and argumentative, you don’t bench him, you leave him out altogether. Then you tell the world that it’s an internal matter and give him a rollicking. He doesn’t want to sign a new deal? Fine, give your all until the end of the season and we see how much we can get from PSG for you, but until then keep your head down and keep scoring goals.
What Arsène did was to make himself look stupid by naming him as a sub. A halfway house of sort of discipline, but not really, because he brought him on at halftime anyway. All it did was lead to more questions about his own management and after the gamble backfired he has more fans hoping for his exit than ever before. Then the club leak this sort of story and we’re supposed to have some kind of understanding?
Well I’m sorry, but I’m not biting, and I’m even less impressed at the way this is all being handled. It is just another example of the rudderless ship we’re all watching as it slowly drifts out to sea without anybody thinking to weigh anchor. Or even fit a new rudder. Everything feels like it’s unravelling on Arsène’s watch and he’s spent so much of his historical goodwill capital, that all that’s happening is people are getting more frustrated with the manager.
Normally when a player becomes disruptive the instinct is to chastise said player and push him to the sides. Certainly from a fans perspective we would side with the club in 99% of the situations. Look at what happens with van Persie. It doesn’t matter that he was miles ahead of anyone at Arsenal as our best player, the second he came out in public against the club we all turned on him. But in the instance of Sanchez we’re seeing fans completely behind Alexis. Probably because we know that he will be as frustrated as some of us at the pampered and mollycoddled Arsenal players who are just going through the motions at this stage in the season. When the going has gotten tough, they have retreated to their comfortable lives and probably aren’t asking themselves any questions whatsoever about how they can fight their way out of this current funk.
So yes, I can probably see that Alexis might have said something similar to what we’ve all been saying to each other about the lack of fight in this team whilst on the training ground, which led to Arsène siding with the rest of the squad and going down this useless halfway house of keeping Alexis on the bench and bringing him on at halftime. Which helped absolutely nobody by not playing him from the start or keeping him out of the squad altogether.
It’s just another example of why change in the management is needed in the summer. There needs to be a sweeping clear of some of the institutions that have been holding Arsenal back of late and we need to move forward with the future of the club in another mans hands.
I am coming to terms with the fact we’ve lost Alexis after this season. But what I don’t want to come to terms with is the fact that we might have Arsène for another two.
There really is little else to talk about today. Arsène will speak to the press at some stage and try to convince us that he can turn stone in to gold in the shape of a victory over Bayern, but we’ve all seen this team, so we know that it’s as likely as I am to win the lottery.
So I’ll say my goodbyes for another Monday and catch you all tomorrow for a pointless preview of a nothing game, in which once again, we’re playing for pride.