What more can I say this morning that I haven’t already said about this Arsenal team? How many times can I talk about the same frailties, the same mistakes, the same lack of ideas, the same lack of drive?
There is literally no other way to try to spin a story out of this repetitive torture us Arsenal fans are enduring. An injury-hit Arsenal team, devoid of some of its better players, went to an out-of-form and confidence shorn Bournemouth and proceeded to give them what this Arsenal team does best: confidence.
Yesterday was another pathetic example of a team who have no idea how to finish off an opponent. Tactically, technically, we are just so average and it is painfully clear to see.
Bournemouth chose to press Arsenal into mistakes but a team with half a brain on them could have manipulated the press so that it kept the opponent at arms length. This Arsenal team are incapable of that. This manager is incapable of setting up a team to counter an opposition. We are a total mess and I have no idea what the football identity is of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal any more.
We don’t play good, counter-attacking football, even though I think we have a good striker in Lacazette who could deliver that. There were plenty of instances yesterday in which you could see him make a run but it just felt like the players with the ball at their feet were incapable of delivering a simple ball in behind. It really is quite pathetic.
Petr Cech has had a good season so far but you can tell he’s on the wane.
Hector Bellerin got a good goal yesterday but in that defence any player can look shaky.
Shkodran Mustafi couldn’t complete a pass if his life depended on it yesterday.
Chambers and Holding are being thrown to the footballing lions because our set up from a midfield perspective is just invisible. Just look at the second goal as an example.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles isn’t a left back. The second MOnreal or Kolasinac are back can we please stop this and try him somewhere else?
Jack Wilshere is the only guy who looks like he’s trying to take a game by the scruff of the neck but right now he’s the only one, and with so many others out of form it is obvious that he’s fighting a loan battle.
Granit Xhaka. Ooh Granit Xhaka. Up until this point I’ve felt he’s a good player. He’s a player who can see a pass and who with the right person next to him could be very useful in our team. But here’s the thing: it feels to me like if it’s a choice between Xhaka and Wilshere right now for that creative, forward-looking player, you are never going to pick the Swiss. Wilshere is just offering so much more. If Ainsley Maitland-Niles is that player who will cover ground and win the ball back at the base of our midfield, for example, then you aren’t going to partner him with Xhaka when you can give Jack that cover and tell him to drive at teams. So for the first time since he signed I’m starting to think we’re better off without him in the team.
As for that complete lack of awareness on the second goal – don’t even get me started.
The persistence in Iwobi is embarrassing. The guy is infuriating and I counted at least three times in the first 25 minutes when he could have released the ball to a teammate but decided to hold on to it that little longer. Get him out of the team. Now. He’s being rewarded for poor form with minutes that he doesn’t deserve.
Or is it that there isn’t anybody else? Probably. After all, the club have butchered the situation with Alexis to the point in which he’s still at the club, eligible to play, but we leave him at home. An absolute car crash of a decision. You’ve also got Theo Walcott who seemingly has one foot out the door, yet we’re bringing him on with 15 minutes to go and expecting him to do something. Just to reiterate this one more time: Alex Iwobi appears to be getting into the Arsenal first team, because he’s one of the few players we have who isn’t leaving. Sod the fact that he’s playing appallingly, at least he isn’t clearing out his locker any time soon. What sort of a top flight professional football team behaves like this?
Arsenal. Arsenal do. This is an Arsenal club that is in such a mess and at any other team in the world with such a reputation, history, size, there would be changes. United pulled the trigger on Moyes before the end of his first season. Jose went from Chelski despite winning them the league the season before and despite the fact that their fans loved him. Liverpool dumped Brendan Rodgers when the season before he’d led them to second. ON each occasion there was underperformance, on each occasion a decision was swift.
At Arsenal? Not a chance. So instead the fans are treated to this slow death of a legacy and a painful drawing out of a season that has been in free-fall for some time. We have under performing players who aren’t really looking like they care at times, we have a team that doesn’t really look like it has any system about it. We have star players who rightly want out. And a manager who is powerless to do anything, paralysed by his own belligerence. He must see that this is a mess. But he’s tried everything so surely he must see that there’s one thing he hasn’t tried. Walking.
The club will never pull the trigger on Arsene. They will never put him out of his misery. So in their most spineless of acts they basically have to wait until Arsene takes the gun from them and pulls it himself. Or everything just stays as it is. It is pathetic. And cowardly.
But the worst thing of all is that I think Arsene won’t do it. He will think he can turn this sh*t-show around. I’m sure he has said countless times that if he felt he couldn’t take the club forward any more he would no longer be Arsenal manager. Well here’s the depressing truth to that statement; he obviously never thinks he could ever not take the club forward, even if we lost every game between now and the end of the season.
So this season will continue and it will continue this way. we’ll win some home games, lose away games, lose Alexis to strengthen a rival, maybe get the slight excitement in the shape of a new signing, but there isn’t really much that I think we will have to play for. I’d love to have faith that we can go deep into the Europa league but right now it doesn’t feel like we’ll get anywhere near any of the better teams in the competition. Perhaps the League Cup can be a sticking plaster of joy on a shambles of a season, but it will be just that: a sticking plaster.
It’s not much fun supporting Arsenal right now. But none of us have any real choice in the matter, do we?