Arsenal 3-3 Fulham: Hugs for Schwarzer, head-in-hands for Arteta
First of all; apologies for the late post.
I’ll begin with what I consider to be the one postive note of yesterday’s match – Olivier Giroud. Our big Frenchman is gradually looking like a real threat to opposition defences, and with the right service, he’s going to score goals. He was excellent yesterday, and one of the few who showed anything like genuine desire and commitment. There looks to be a decent partnership blossoming between him and Theo.
The rest of them? Well, it’s pointless to be too critical, as I’d only be re-treading a path that’s long since been worn. What started off looking like it would be a routine and comfortable victory at 2-0 quickly descended into another farce of epic proportions. Even with the scoreline in our favour, you could see there was very little belief in the team that it would stay that way. Worst of all, there was lethargy in place of the professionalism to close the game down. We shouldn’t be salvaging draws at home against opposition we’re expected to comfortably dispatch, especially when we have a comfortable lead.
We could have won it in the dying moments had Mikel Arteta tucked away his spot-kick, but it was an extremely bad decision to award a penalty in the first place, and a win wouldn’t have helped to paper over any of the cracks. There are evident problems at Arsenal, and there doesn’t appear any solutions on the horizon.
It’s easy to blame Arsene Wenger. I agree totally that the accountability for performances rests solely on his shoulders. However, some of the players aren’t helping him – a lot of them are capable of far better. Lukas Podolski has lost some of the verve and energy that filled his early performances, and he’s started to whinge about playing on the left – something I find odd as he regularly plays that role for Germany. Since receiving the captaincy, Thomas Vermaelen’s level of performance has dropped drastically.
Whilst I couldn’t blame Wenger for the failings of established players from whom we expect better, his perseverance with certain squad members is baffling. Vito Mannone shouldn’t be anywhere near our first team. The injuries to Fabianski and Szczsney were impossible to predict, but we needed a keeper in the summer, and he didn’t get one. That’s a mistake he has committed time and time again, and we seem to pay for it every season when then injuries do kick in – you need only look to last January’s full-back debacle for evidence.
I’m not one of the people calling for the manager’s head, but I’m not an apologist who believes he can do no wrong. Selling our captain to Manchester United was a colossal blunder, and Robin’s departure has exposed just how much we lack a talisman in the current Arsenal team. Was it Wenger’s decision to sell him? He must of had a say in the matter. Gazidis claimed he was sold for “footballing reasons” – I’d love to hear exactly what those were, because I can’t think of any.
Results like yesterday have plagued us for years now. Players like Robin and Cesc have left for greener pastures for years now. Each season begins with false hope and quickly drops into anger and despair. Each season we look weaker than the last. Arsene Wenger is a man I worship, a man I hold as one of the club’s greatest – if not the greatest. However, I’m starting to think his best years may be behind him, and the club needs a fresh approach and some fresh ideas. Even the greatest have to stop sometime, and I prefer ours not to leave a tainted legacy behind him.
That’s all for today, folks.
The comments await your thoughts and reaction to the game. Let me know a few.
Thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.