I Just Can’t Listen To Arsene Wenger Anymore

Before all the ‘Arsene Knows’ brigade jump aboard and have a go I do realise what the great man has done for the club, of course I do. He is the most successful manager in Arsenal’s history. He has transformed us into an mediocre side into one of the biggest four teams in the Premier League.

But some of things he comes out with are so ridiculous.

I’m not sure who his PR man is, but he’s not doing a very good job.

Arsene has come out and said he doesn’t know why he’s under pressure to buy a £40 million player.

Who the hell has actually said they want Arsene to spend that on a single player?

He said:

“It is not one player who makes a difference. It is up to us as a team to show personality, strength and belief. If we can find one more, we will do it, if not we will not limit our ambitions because of it.

“I do not know why we are always under pressure to buy £30m or £40m players.

“I am under pressure to buy good players – it is as simple as that. And good players are not always necessarily linked with the price.”

Talk about getting all defensive.

I’m sorry Arsene. We’re so sorry for putting you under so much pressure to buy a £40 million player. Because obviously the rumours of Messi and Kaka joining Arsenal won’t go away.

And talking about the team showing personality, strength and belief – I failed to see any of those things against Fulham at the weekend and the first match against FC Twente. Along with our paper-thin squad, we don’t have any desire on the pitch.

Am I the only one who thinks that a central midfield of Emmanuel Eboue and Denilson isn’t good enough to challenge for honours? Am I the only one who realises injuries are part of the game? Last January was a glaring example of how close the title was – just another player (no, not at £40 million) with a bit of experience would of helped.

I don’t want Robinho, I don’t want Ronaldo.

I just want half decent replacements for the players that have left, and Arsene can do that without breaking the bank. I don’t have specific examples, but with a scouting structure as good as Arsenal’s he should be able to pick out a few players. We’ve lost Gilberto, Lehmann, Hleb, Flamini, Diarra, Hoyte and Senderos, and the only player of quality that’s been brought in is Nasri, who is still very young.

And if you can’t get decent replacements, then why let them go!

You don’t have to be a genius to see it doesn’t add up.

I also don’t get the signing of light-bulb head. Arsene talks about bringing in experience yet he releases Gilberto, who has been there and done that. This is a player who won the World Cup and is a fantastic professional.

Let me say this though: I hope I am completely wrong.

I hope Arsenal fight for all the major honours and Arsene Wenger has the last laugh. I hope I look like a complete idiot as the season comes to a close. I hope come May I get put in my place, and get a torrent of abuse because I couldn’t see the forthcoming success. Unfortunately all the antics over the summer and the performances this season haven’t given me much confidence for the campaign ahead. And the signings of Silvestre and Bischoff just scream of desperation but Arsene will tell us all that “this season, we have the same numbers as last year”.

So that makes it okay then.

It doesn’t matter if the ‘numbers’ brought in are crocks and can’t even play for us. What the hell is going on?

The only saving grace tonight is that McClaren is completely shite at qualifying for major tournaments.

I’m going for a lie down.

The Demise Of Arsenal Football Club?

A bit extreme? Maybe. Then again maybe not.

People will accuse me of jumping on the bandwagon after defeat at Fulham yesterday but since the summer there has been a general unrest amongst Arsenal fans.

But if anything I should have written this years ago. At least then it would have been more prophetic.

We lose experienced Premier League players such as Flamini, Hleb, Gilberto and Diarra, and apart from Samir Nasri the arrivals to replace them are hardly going to excite the fans.

We’ve brought Mikael Silvestre (£750k), Amaury Bischoff (Free) and Aaron Ramsey (£5m) – one of which is a 17 year old and the other two have big injury problems hanging over them. Our squad also contains Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky and Robin Van Persie who spend more time on the treatment table than on the pitch.

You can harp on about the state of the squad once we get our injured players back but it seems like Diaby and Rosicky are destined to never get a decent run in the side. And the purchase of Silvestre and Bischoff has most Arsenal fans scratching their heads – are we so desperate for players that we have to resort to injury-prone personnel?

Would Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool ever do that?

The fact is that since the invincibles season, we’ve become a selling club. Probably because of the Emirates Stadium. I mean look at Wenger – he’s waiting for the last week of the transfer window so we can get cut-priced players! We have no money, despite what crap you hear from Arsenal.
Just think of Arsenal as an Ajax Amsterdam.

People ask why didn’t Arsene strengthen the squad last January so we could push on with our title challenge? It’s because he’s got no money to do so. Remember Wenger had no problem forking out around £12 million for Reyes in 2004 to reinforce an already awesome squad. We were spoilt for choice that season. This was a squad that had a midfield choice of Wiltord, Ljungberg, Vieira, Edu, Gilberto, Pires, Reyes and Parlour. Players full of experience, power and excellent technical ability. At the weekend against Fulham we had Denilson and Eboue in central midfield. How on earth did things get so bad?

Since 2004 another trend that’s begun is the fortunes of departing players. We used to say that players leaving the club were going to see out their careers but is that really the case these days? Patrick Vieira left for Italy and he’s won the Italian league. Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb have joined AC Milan and Barcelona – two of Europe’s real superpowers. Thierry Henry is at Barcelona too, and even Jose Antonio Reyes joined Real Madrid when he left. Wiltord went to Lyon and won a couple of French titles, and Ashley Cole is at Chelsea.

Hardly terrible destinations for those players are they?

I hate to say it but those players have got more chance of winning honours at their new clubs then they would do at Arsenal. And that is heart-breaking to even say.

And we haven’t even talked about Emmanuel Adebayor who wanted to leave the club in the summer. We keep hearing Arsene talking about how we should get off Adebayor’s back after the summer but that just reeks of desperate damage-limitation.

Things look to get worse before they will get better. And maybe that is the whole point.

Arsene’s policy on youngsters is obviously driven by the lack of funds at the club. Before the financial constraints he didn’t have a problem bringing in experienced players like Emmanuel Petit, Marc Overmars, Giles Grimandi, Nwankwo Kanu, Sol Campbell, Gilberto Silva – the list goes on.

The fact is Arsenal will have to go through a few more seasons without silverware before they can even consider challenging for honours. And the problem is you’re playing a dangerous game, because even when we are ready to compete in the transfer market again to buy quality players attracting the very top players is going to be difficult since titles speak volumes. Who is going to want to join a football club which has been trophy-less for years?

Arsene knows we’re in no state to challenge for the Premier League.

He’ll never say it in public, but he knows we’re miles off. That’s why he hasn’t spent anything! Why waste valuable money on buying players when we’re never going to win the title. Wenger is playing the waiting game and will only spend the money when he truly believes we can challenge for the biggest honours. But is that going to be in one, two or three years time?

That’s the big question.

And don’t even get me started on Gareth Barry. He is not the solution to our problems and has to be one of the most overrated players in the Premier League. On the state of the squad this season we need at least 3 or 4 experienced players to even think about challenging for the league, but we all know that’s never going to happen.

Is This The Kind Of Thing We Should Expect This Season? (w/ Player & Manager Ratings)

Fulham (1) – (0) Arsenal
Craven Cottage, London

What can you say about that? Arsenal just didn’t turn up – and make no bones about it, Fulham were nothing special this afternoon.

It was agonising to watch.

You can only hide the cracks for so long and Eboue and Denilson in central midfield is just pathetic when you think of a club of Arsenal’s stature. We lost 3 games last season and still didn’t win the league, so losing a game so early in the season really is a bitter pill to swallow.

There are so many issues which will once again come up among Arsenal fans. Is Arsene the right man to take Arsenal forward? Why haven’t we added to a squad which is so obviously threatbare? Why did we let go of Gilberto when we so badly need him? The questions go on and on.

Only the most optimistic Arsenal fan would think we could win the league this season.

I’ve always been hopeful of this season, and like most of you believe in Arsene Wenger. But when you see a performance like this so early on in the campaign you can’t help but feel depressed. We’ve brought in Silvestre (who funnily enough is injured until mid September) and we’re waiting on a new midfielder.

The problem is Arsenal need more than one extra player.

Today at Fulham, a slow start was taken advantage of and the home side took the lead on 21 minutes. Literally seconds before, Nasri setup Arsenal’s best chance of the game which Van Persie blasted wide. A defining moment in the match – you can get away with substandard performances if you get the three points but this afternoon we weren’t at the races at all.

For the goal, captain William Gallas let Hangeland go to easily score from 4 yards out. A shocking bit of defending and no doubt he’ll be blaming his teammates for that mistake.

Arsene will blame the international week as usual, but the squad is his responsibilty and our central midfield was a nightmare. I wouldn’t expect Wigan to field a midfield like that nevermind Arsenal Football Club. The hub of the team wasn’t there and the last time I’ve seen Arsenal pass so badly and perform so poorly was against Sheffield United away a couple of seasons ago.

We laughed about Manchester United being a one man team after they only drew with Newcastle without Ronaldo last week but without Fabregas we are ten times worse. We are weak. We coped when the little spaniard was out for a few games last season but at this moment at time we just can’t go on.

Arsenal stuggled last season with injuries at important times in the campaign and you would think that would give Arsene a wake up call. Obviously that hasn’t happened and we already trail Liverpool by 3 points only a week into the season.

A lot more questions than answers after this performance and result.

Player & Manager Ratings

Manuel Almunia: 7/10
Apart from the goal and the chance from Zamora, didn’t have anything to do. Couldn’t be blamed for the goal since his defence left him completely exposed.

Bacary Sagna: 7/10
Once again gave everything for the team. Never stopped running up and down the flank and couldn’t have given any more. Delivered a fantastic cross for Adebayor’s header which hit the post. Let down by the poor performance from the majority in red today.

Kolo Toure: 7/10
Was hardly exposed and coped well this afternoon. Made an excellent recovery tackle on Zamora in the first half which could have been costly.

William Gallas: 4/10
Talks the talk but disappointed again today. Let Hangeland go for the first goal with virtually a free shot at goal from 4 yards out. Needs to take more responsibility as captain but I only ever see him having a go at the younger players. Learnt from last season? I don’t think so.

Gael Clichy: 7/10
Full of running again and put in some good crosses and made some important tackles. Like Sagna was playing as a winger in the second half.

Theo Walcott: 6/10
Looked bright at times but wasn’t given much service. Needs to be more confident and take on defenders with his pace. Replaced by Bendtner on 62 minutes.

Denilson: 5/10
Very poor in the middle. Gave the ball away far too many times and couldn’t get his game going at all. Struggled alongside Eboue and couldn’t impose himself on the game.

Emmanuel Eboue: 6/10
Asked to play in the middle which shows how desperate we are numbers-wise this season. Did okay considering he’s playing out of position but times are bad when Eboue is in central midfield. Why on earth did we let go of Gilberto?

Samir Nasri: 6/10
Suffered from the teams overall poor performance. Looked bright in spells taking on a few players but had nothing to target. Too many times had the ball but no-one would show for him.

Robin Van Persie: 5/10
Another player who couldn’t get into the game. Involved in the defining moment of the game when he missed a golden opportunity to give Arsenal the lead. Moments later Fulham scored and you know the rest. Had several decent freekick positions but failed to test the goalkeeper once.

Emmanuel Adebayor: 6/10
Tried to get involved more in the second half but with no service struggled to be any sort of threat. Had a decent header hit the post in the first half but ineffective after that.

Arsene Wenger: 5/10
Will point to the international break as the reason we dropped points but the fact is Arsenal’s squad is so thin. Emmanuel Eboue in central midfield? Times are desperate and we all know Fabregas is out injured but the thought of Cesc playing alongside either Eboue or Denilson sends shivers down my spine. The performance was terrible and Gallas is not a leader – sometimes I think he’s just at Arsenal to pick up his wages.