In 2013, Arsenal were virtually unstoppable. From January 2013 until the end of the season, our form was the best in the league – it was title-winning form. From August until Christmas, it was similarly good, albeit it with a couple of blips (mainly in Manchester). But since the new year, and especially February and March, our form has been awful.
From the last 6 games, we are 11th in the form table. Liverpool are top with 6 wins from 6 and have 18 points from those games (which is championship-winning form) while Arsenal have dropped 10 points, only getting 8 from a possible 18.
Only if we could combine the start of this season with the end of last eh? Combine those two half seasons and we’d be league winners.
If our form was as good as Liverpool’s, we’d be 4 points clear at the top of the Premier League.
But the fact is, Arsene Wenger has lost the dressing room.
There’s rumours that Arsene has already told the players that he’s leaving at the end of the season and it wouldn’t surprise me as the players have basically given up. Yes, we’ve had injury problems but we still get to field 11 professional footballers and in recent games that literally haven’t turned up. I mean our reserve or youth sides would have given a better account of themselves against Chelsea and definitely wouldn’t have lost 6-0 like the first team did.
Even against Swansea we were limp. Arsene has lost the dressing room – either because he’s already told the players he’s off in the summer or just because the players who have played for him for so long have lost faith in the manager.
Just look at the last few seasons. Samir Nasri and Robin Van Persie left so that could win things, and that they did. Would Cesc Fabregas have left if we were winning Premier League titles? And we know Adebayor and Clichy went for the money but having trophy-less season after trophy-less season probably helped them jump ship. All of those players played under Arsene for at least 5 seasons and what do they have to show for it? Nothing, except a nice bank balance.
So it’s hardly surprising the current squad have given up. Bacary Sagna, one of our most consistent players has obviously given up. If he had any faith that Arsene’s methods would bring success then he would have signed a new deal years ago. He joined Arsenal in 2007 and has seen team-mates Cesc Fabregas, Alex Song, Robin Van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri and even Kolo Toure all leave and win major honours. So he’s obviously sitting there thinking what the hell is going on at Arsenal? This is obviously a club who have no ambition of winnings things and are happy to settle for 4th place in the league.
And it’s not surprising that players such as Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla, Mesut Özil, Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny has lost form – they’ve given up as well. Nothing about Arsene Wenger or Arsenal suggests we are genuine title challengers, or even close to winning a major trophy.
The FA Cup may provide better performances and it would be unbelievable, even for Arsene Wenger, to somehow lose against Wigan in the semi-finals or mess up the final. Jose Mourinho was widely slated for calling Arsene a “specialist in failure” but it’s hard to argue against that. How else could you explain performances from the players like the ones at Anfield and Stamford Bridge. Arsene Wenger has obviously lost the dressing room.
His rhetoric doesn’t work any more. There’s only so many seasons players and the fans can believe what he says. The performances from the players had dipped so dramatically because they don’t believe any more. Being top of the league gave the players belief but when they needed their manager to instil some fight and determination he was found lacking.
I’m not being funny, but I give more fight (possibly too much to be fair) when I play football on a Sunday. I hate to lose and people who know me know that I always want to win. It comes out when I play and the other players know it. The Arsenal players are so comfortable and devoid of belief that it’s almost unbelievable.
Flamini aside, half of the players don’t look like they’re bothered anymore.