I normally hate capital letters being used to show shouting or a raised tone of voice. That title isn’t so much shouting, more bellowing through a mega-phone.
It’s hard to know who is at fault for yesterdays pitiful and frankly disgusting result and performance, the players – certainly. The manager, probably.
Don’t you think it gets annoying when you really sick up for a player, time and time again but are eventually let down? Showing your support even though there are fans just waiting to get stuck into that opinion and declare the player the next Ali Dia before listening to a bit of reason, or at least the other perspective.
One player is Emmanuel Eboue. I still remember the sound of those boo’s a couple of seasons back. It was out of order but understandable at the same time, looking at it now he is playing even worse than he was back then but at least he used to display effort and actually try. This time a lack of effort is certainly a factor in his performances and the same can be said for more than a few members of that team out there last night. There is not just an overwhelming feeling of being let down but also anger due to the team not learning their lessons.
How many times has attitude been an issue in the past 12 months? Far too many. Once is too many, but if it occurs you can shrug it off and hope the players learn, but for a team that is supposed to be one of the most intelligent about they learn remarkably little. They are, it seems, just plain thick.
Nicklas Bendtner and Andrey Arshavin didn’t have the best of games either, and that is an understatement. Bendtner had no supply, but didn’t make up for it in work-rate and Arshavin is having a massive crisis of confidence and it is quite sad to see. He is a player capable of the extraordinary but he has to have the confidence to try it, to put it simply it just looks like he has no faith in his ability right now. I hope it returns but there are no signs it will. He did declare at the start of the season that he was in woeful form and his stats to this day beg to differ with that, his performances however back it up no end. He is homesick, I know that, but I do wonder if a change in body language would just pacify the fans just that little bit more. In yesterdays game it did look to me like he worked that little bit harder than usual and early in the second half looked a threat until he got within shooting distance, and that is where you could see the doubt. His reaction was that of a man who simply wanted the ground to swallow him up.
It is down to the manager and the other players/captains/leaders to gee him up, make him feel better and put their faith in him. Where are these eleven captains on the pitch that Wenger talks about? I ain’t seeing them, where is the captain putting an arm around his shoulder and telling him to believe in the ability that got him to this level anyway? That isn’t having a go at Cesc, its more aimed at the manager actually. Arshavin looks lost, unhappy and doubting his ability to play with the 10 team-mates he has on the pitch, he needs support and it looks like he is getting none at all.
I am a great believer in the manager instilling a mentality into a team. The mentality of this team is shocking. Big time charlies who have not got many achievements between them at all yet all have it made for them. They go to training and everything is laid out for them, they go back inside and their dinner is cooked for them, they don’t have to clear up the footballs, cones and goals they have used. They are like royalty. This breeds complacency and its down to the manager to cut that out, stamp it out and kill it before it spreads, it is like a virus. The Arsenal strain of complacency is a virulent, strain of the worst kind. The couple that seem unaffected are not enough.
In a conversation I had recently we wandered onto how footballers are spoiled and it was heartening to know that in his first training session Ryo Myiachi went round and collected all the cones, footballs etc. How nice is it to know that somewhere in that training complex lies a youngster with his feet on the ground? It shouldn’t damn well be like that, there shouldn’t be upstarts who haven’t kicked a first-team ball poncing about in McClaren F1′s, pink boots and acting the next big star – it is everything that is wrong with the game, and this team, and its attitude.
Despite not liking Sir Alex Ferguson much, but respecting the man immensely, one thing that is so noticeable about every single one of his teams is the mentality they have. They are rarely complacent and nearly always get the job done. This Arsenal team are the exact opposite and I’m sorry but a lot of that must come down to Arsene Wenger and him not imposing it on his training staff (to pass onto the youngsters) and his team.
What is worrying for me is the lack of money being spent to supplement the squad, I am not calling for big signings or us to go toe to toe with Man City, I simply want to know where all the profit is going. It really is a matter that is starting to rankle with me because one of the main benefits of the stadium move was to put us on the financial footing to challenge the big guns when it comes to cash. Ok, Chelsea and City have come to town since then but there has been scant investment compared to the profit made and that worries me a hell of a lot.
There is so much to play for this season, yet if the players wanted it that bad they could put so much more into it. The managers pleas of tiredness are a total and utter kop-out. These are athletes and if they were tired from a similar performance at the weekend they shouldn’t have been played at all. You know what Arsene? Why don’t you actually use substitutes to try and change the game back into your favour, recognise the situation developing before it happens and make a change to prevent the worst? Simple management, a bit like the simple mistakes that this side seem to make in every game and fail to learn from. It runs throughout the whole club.
United have a worse team than us this season, yet sit unbeaten. That isn’t through chance or luck, it is down to the mentality, not taking their position for granted and always giving 100%. This team, man for man, are superior, however the bit between the ears is lacking – and not just a little – it is a mile off where it needs to be.
Even last season after a game like this you could be confident we would turn over Ipswich at home after being a goal down in the first leg. Last season we went to Porto and got beaten, I knew we would turn it around and we did. This time however I am not so sure. Defeats to West Brom and Newcastle saw to that. This is the Carling Cup we are talking about, the bottom side in the Championship.
Something is wrong, very wrong and this post has been in the making for some time. The fans reaction to the players was particularly strong according to some eye-witness accounts. The players came over to applaud the fans (something you don’t tend to see all that often) and there were V signs flicked and backs turned. Apparently the fans were all to quick to get onto the players after small mistakes but these are the fans that travel countless miles every season to see the team. They put the effort in and why isn’t it reciprocated? Last season the players treated them to the mother of all capitulations at Wigan where the players had a laugh when Silvestre scored. They weren’t laughing 30 odd minutes later.
Something just seems rotten. The attitude stinks and the man that is paid £5 million a year has to sort it out, and fast. If a player needs ditching, fine, but performances like that are going to change opinions and the more of them there are, the more drastic the changes of opinion will be.
Arsene et.al. You have been warned.