As you might imagine, the Stoke defeat is still firmly sticking in the throat of many. Losing is one thing, it happens, but when the display is so toothless and inept at a time it needed to be anything but, you can understand why the folks out there are so angry.
Anger and frustration are understandable. When that transfers into hatred and bile, and our fans take to bickering amongst one another, I find it’s a good idea to step away from it all. Why waste your time with people who seem more eager to point you towards the supposed failings of others than they do with supporting their team? It’s a waste of time, folks.
Focus amongst my peers and collaborators has been on the fixture with Everton at the weekend. Rightly, most see the FA Cup as our most ‘winnable’ competition. Much of the debate surrounds what sort of team should be fielded for that game. Some out there believe Arsenal should concentrate on the domestic match and rotate for the following trip to Bayern Munich. Whilst it’s difficult to dispute the merits of leaving key figures out of a Champions League fixture almost certainly untenable, I struggle with the concept of doing so.
Is writing that game off essentially giving up? Granted, it’s a task bordering on impossible, but there is a chance. After all, we won at the Allianz Arena last year. In my opinion the focus correctly shouldn’t be on either, but both. I would like to see Arsenal travel to Germany and have a go, not field a weak team and exit the Champions League with a whimper.
Another talking point is the striking option for the two games. I’m certain many of you will disagree, but I would opt to play Sanogo in both fixtures. Since his… shall we say… ‘discretions’, Olivier Giroud hasn’t looked altogether at the races. His head appears elsewhere, most notably at Stoke when he appeared yards of the pace and unusually bullied by the opposition.
I’m not trying to make a case here for Sanogo being the better player, just maybe the better option at the moment. He is young and untested, but has shown enough in his two starts to make me believe it’s not too big a risk. Perhaps the unpredictable nature of his play and the fact he is relatively unknown might work in our favour.
Lastly, the summer. With Sagna now looking increasingly unlikely to sign a new deal and Vermaelen’s lack of first team opportunities looking certain to unsure he moves on, there could be a large overhaul in the summer. Lukas Podolski too could be shown the door as I’m convinced there is a rift between him and Arsene, of sorts.
With that in mind, I thought I’d cut today’s post short and leave it open to all you lovely folks reading. Use the comments below to give me a list of you incomings and outgoings for the summer. I shall look forward to reading some.
That’s all for today. Check my podcasting appearance with the lovely fellas from Suburban Gooners if you’ve an urge to hear more of my Bristolian tones.
I shall return with more tomorrow. As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.