February 21, 2012
Martin @ thegoonblog.com
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It is quite conceivable that two poor performances in the next week could land us on the brink of a Champions League exit and out of the only trophy we have a real chance of winning, the FA Cup.
Well here we are. We face an almost impossible task at the Emirates against Milan and lost on the road to Sunderland in the FA Cup.
Now, losing? It happens. The thing that really gets on my nerves is that we have been outfought twice, in Milan we just sat off them, let them play and were being stretched by a Milan team who lets be honest, are not a patch on their former teams. We were smashed, as Andy Gray would undoubtedly put it.
Arteta bottled it, Aaron Ramsey was dire, van Persie was isolated and Thomas Vermaelen was worryingly exposed.. he caught whatever bug Squillaci brought to the club and infected Djourou with.
There was no tactical leadership from the manager, we didn’t even try and stop Milan playing as they do, we didn’t try to disrupt them – it was a bit like entering a boxing ring with sponge gloves and having your hands tied behind your back at the same time, utterly toothless, utterly unacceptable.
The fact that the squad has been allowed to deteriorate to this level is worrying, a CEO who seems about as authoritative as a rabbit in headlights – Ivan Gazidis is nothing but a cardboard cut-out CEO. The powers that be have abused the talents and intelligence that Arsene Wenger has for their own benefit, they used his principles and talents to bring about this self-sustainable model that they have cashed in on, in the process they have given Arsene Wenger enough rope to hang himself with – we are left with aged tactics, misplaced power, misplaced confidence.
This isn’t a time to promote scapegoats, its a time to change the way things are going on in our club. Sacking Wenger would get us nowhere right now – though I don’t see him being here next season, through his own free will. For years he has taken flack on behalf of the board because he believed he was doing the right thing.. you just have to wonder whether deep down he realises he has shot himself in the foot. He has his principles, he also has a great deal of pride – has he got all that much to gain at Arsenal anymore?
The mentality at the club is all wrong right now, but everyone must be focused on the number one target: getting fourth place.
Sadly, I think that target will be occupied by the new breed’s mentality: profit – at any cost.
The thing is, I don’t know how this mess is going to be fixed, there are far more questions than answers and each possible solution just leaves more questions to be answered. If the manager went who’s to say we have people competent enough to appoint the correct successor? Could you really say ‘yes’ with any conviction?
We just have to hope now that we have enough left in the tank to get fourth, enough desire, belief and yes, you guessed it, mental strength.
It starts with Spurs.