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Archive for September, 2011

Sacking Wenger isn’t the answer 13

Posted on September 20, 2011 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

Another game and another defeat, a common running theme running from February/March time.

Over the past few years we have endured many peaks and troughs, this one though is very worrying indeed. There have been questions asked of Wenger from sections of the support for a couple of years now, longer in some cases, but right now they are being asked genuinely and seriously – his sacking is being touted as one of the main cures for this horrible run we are currently on.

For many reasons I can’t see him being sacked; first of all he is far too valuable to the board, he is still in credit with them and it would be a little silly to pay him off and send him on his way with the money that he has saved them himself wouldn’t it? Sacking Wenger would also be the best way of making sure that we miss out on the top four come the end of the season. The time isn’t right.

From the outside it looks like he has just lost the players, lost their belief, trust and their faith in his philosophy. The state we are in is a culmination of many factors, one of them being the neglect he has given the defence over the past four years, time after time he has managed to wing it in this respect, he can do that no more.

How can he blame his players for not being good enough when he is the man who targeted them and brought them to the club? I don’t mean to say I told you so but just how many times have I said it’s less an issue of personnel than the system used, it needs a complete overhaul from a fresh face.

The question is, will Arsene do that? Will he swallow his pride, admit failure and go for another approach? He probably has to, he is fast running out of cards to play – a few years ago he held all the cards, right now even the very minimum guarantee under Arsene’s reign is looking in some quite substantial jeopardy.

Gut feeling says that this will be Arsene Wenger’s final season at Arsenal, it feels like the end of an era – tonight we face Shrewsbury in the Carling Cup and anything but a good win will be met with more depression and uproar, defeat is unthinkable. A win would be a start though, you can only have so many fresh starts but a win is a win is a win, nobody can take that away from you – no referees, not UEFA, and what we need is wins and plenty of them. Fast.


First steps on the road to Arsenal’s recovery 2

Posted on September 12, 2011 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

Arsenal only won 1-0 against Swansea. You wouldn’t say Arsenal only got three points against Swansea though, would you?

‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, that much is true, teams aren’t built over a two week period and a handful of training sessions either. That is what this Arsenal team is, it a new team with a modified style and approach – mentally, it is a new team too. Whilst it is obvious that a lot of creativity has been lost through departures this summer, and can never be directly replaced, that loss can be countered with a stronger mental approach, a slightly more physical and pacy style of play whilst still retaining the slick passing and movement with a very high level of technical ability that is the fulcrum of the modern Arsenal playing style.

Mikel Arteta brings superb close control to our midfield, a vast range of passing and a lot of hard work. He has quality, and more importantly qualities that fit into our midfield perfectly. This current team is far from being at full strength too, Alex Song is hardly the finest holding midfielder in the world but his presence is missed, as is Vermaelen’s.

It may just be worth being patient with this side, a different type of patience to what we have given over the previous six years, we weren’t rebuilding on this scale at that point in time, the circumstances are different and the club is probably in a worse place than it has been in well over a decade. 1-0 to Arsenal was a scoreline we sang songs about in the not to distant past – I don’t see anything wrong with a 1-0 victory; a win is a win. We haven’t seen many of them this year.

Don’t ask for too much too soon; those who expected us to spank Swansea obviously didn’t think of the previous game, the current situation and the fact that most of the team hadn’t even trained together as a group until the tail end of last week. The team will get better, the results will follow and Arsenal will be a force once again.

Arsenal have taken the first steps to recovery, the road will be a bumpy one – of that there is no doubt – the next test is in Germany against Dortmund, a massive test but one we can come through. Another win will do us the world of good.

Come on Arsenal.


Hit, after hit, after hit. We just have to fight back 5

Posted on September 08, 2011 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

Jack Wilshere has twice attempted to return to training, both times he has broken down. His next attempt at a return will be in three months time.

Thomas Vermaelen has had a tendon removed and will be absent for at least a month.

It seems that as soon as things start to look more positive for Arsenal, something else comes along to counter it, there is only one thing we can do and that is just to get on with it and come out the other side.

When was the last time we had a fully fit, on form core to our side? We didn’t for the duration of last season with the absence of Vermaelen, the season before that Cesc was plagued by injury problems despite being in unbelievable form, and before that? Well, someone was probably injured then, too.

I guess positivity could come from an unlikely source: Liverpool. Take it back 12 months and look at where they were, look at the feeling around that club now; positivity and excitement.

That said, come Saturday there will be a fair bit of excitement kicking around, I can’t wait to see the effect Arteta, Mertesacker and Santos are going to have – OK, it might take a while for them to bed in but new players always bring a bit of excitement. If Ramsey and Alex Chamberlain can reproduce their international form for us then there is every reason to be positive.

Come on Arsenal.

_ _ _

In my last blog I posted a link to an article of an interview with Tom Fox and Ivan Gazidis; I am skeptical of the job they are doing and their ‘five year plan’ – I appreciate that in business this kind of thing is the norm but Arsenal FC isn’t a normal business.

Where, I ask, is the money from the ticket price increases going? Is it really needed after making a quite substantial profit in the previous transfer window and also cutting the player wage bill quite substantially? Why punish the fans for the commercial ‘experts’ inability to generate revenue from their sector?

The incorporation of the ‘Arsenal Player’ into the membership (and subsequently higher prices) is a pretty aggressive move, almost force-feeding a new product to fans who would have been happy to continue paying the lower price for just the bog-standard membership.

I guess my point here is that I am very disappointed the fans are being bled for every penny they have, whilst progress through business partnerships has not been pursued with the vigour that many more commercially successful clubs have.

One of our biggest expenditures is the commercial department coming up with these money making ideas – Do they need to up their game?


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