Monday, 16 January 2012

Swansea Expose Arsenal Shortcomings - Champions League Now Mission Impossible?

Evening all,

It has taken me quite some time to recover from the debacle of yesterday and to be perfectly honest I cannot honestly say I am completely over the result. My emotions have ranged from angry to upset and from indignant to depressed.

I would like to say that this was a complete shock to me but in truth I half expected it. I genuinely felt that this would be a struggle and it turned out that way. It wasn’t as though the game was one where we deserved anything out of it. We can begrudge decisions all we want but we just weren’t good enough by any measure.

We were awful on the night and got exactly what we deserved. Whilst I was angry, I was shocked to see vast numbers of people calling for the firing of Arsene Wenger. Whilst I don’t think he should be impervious to criticism the sheer ridiculousness of the comments does not warrant further discussion.

I do however feel that we are still very much a work in progress and there is lots and lots to do, perhaps more than we thought. It was clear that the team needed strengthening well before this second dip in form; people have been calling for this for the entire season but the need was masked to some extent by the run of form we were on.

The result and performance should come as no surprise to anyone who has been watching us over the past few weeks as we have struggled in all the games we have played in over the last 3 weeks+. We have scraped some results which have been important but have struggled to really stamp our authority on any game since the win at Wigan at the beginning of December. Ironically, our best performance came in the away defeat to Man City which sums up our performances recently.

In our last six premiership games we have lost three, drawn one and won two. The mathematicians amongst you have probably worked out that is only 7 points from a possible 18. This, against opposition we would be expecting to beat except from Man City so let’s say 7 points from 15. We dropped 8 points against Wolves, Fulham and Swansea. Those 8 points would place us firmly in the top four, only 2 points behind Tottenham and four behind City.

Clearly this has cost us dearly in our race to secure Champions League but how much has it cost us and are we going to be able to get to the invaluable fourth spot this season? I, for the first time this season am having doubts and can honestly see us struggling for the rest of the season unless something is done about it and quickly. The worst thing is; I know we are not going to do anything about it. I don’t know if it stubbornness or if it is a case of something we do not know about but we have money so going for a player that can change games is inexcusable. We needed the player before Fabregas and Nasri left and whilst I feel we have replaced Nasri, Fabregas’ replacement has essentially been Ramsey. Whilst I like him and I think he has great potential, judging by recent performances it seems like too much too soon for the lad.

So we need a replacement for one of the best players in the world and another world class attacking option. We have the way but surprisingly not the will. I understand reluctance to spend in January but I think the reluctance will cost us more in the long term due to the size of the stakes.

Of course we have half the world’s defenders out and arguably our best midfielder to come back so things will most certainly improve but to have lost 7 games at this stage of the season it is clear that it will take something special to secure Champions League football.

Without Champions League football we have seen how Liverpool have struggled to get back to a position I am sure all their fans rightfully think they should hold. And that is with significant investment.

I shall leave you with that sad and depressing thought.

Good day to you!


1 comment:

  1. Looking at the game against Swansea made me realize that we are lacking in all departments. There is a lot of dead-wood in the team who should be sold to make room for new ones. Players like Rosicky, Walcott, Ramsey, Squillaci, Diaby, Arshavin, Djourou, and Chamakh are just a few of the players who should be replaced. Whenever a player gets seriously injured at Arsenal, he is never the same when he returns (eg Eduardo). Ramsey and Rosicky are much lesser players than they were before their injuries. Arshavin and Chamakh have lost all confidence and whenever they get playing time it gets even worse so much so that I can’t imagine why they get (especially Arshavin) so much playing time. Walcott is highly over-rated and the only thing he has going for him is his pace. Squillaci is just horrible and it’s beyond me that he actually gets playing time on occasion. Chamberlain who from what I have seen thus far appears to be a much better and consistent than player than both Walcott and Arshavin and should be getting much more playing time. If these players remain at Arsenal then there is no way that we are going to be able to compete for a top 4 spot much less win the league and with displays like that against Swansea, then there is no way that we are getting past AC Milan in the Champions League. Wenger needs to show more ambition and stop making excuses for incompetence and inconsistencies otherwise more of our star players are going to leave.