A quick, almost arbitrary post as I poke my nose back into cyberspace.
All that can be said is that those were two distressing lessons in reality for a team just…not ready for any type of elite-level football.
3-1 against Man Utd, before a 4-1 thumping (regardless of the bright start) at home to Chelsea can only have woken up those on the inner-rings of Arsenal’s heirachy.
Make no mistake, there is no way Wenger cannot see that this side needs re-inforcements.
He will say things in public like ‘I believe in my team’, but that is just good man-management so as not to trample on already sattered confidences.
‘Abject sorrow’ is the only way I can describe Arsene Wenger’s facial expression against United. More of the same against Chelsea.
Contrast this back to that horrible thumping we got in the Champions League against Bayern Munich in Germany, in the 04/05 season.
3-1 read the score, and Wenger was furious.
Here were experienced, splendid players, plying their trade for the Gunners, having won the league undefeated the season prior.
And he was livid. Furious. Angry.
Not ‘destroyed’, like the picture his face painted in the last two games.
If an angry expression has anything to do with wrong tactics, wrong attitude – yet with supposedly the right players – a ‘destroyed’ expression only hints at one thing for me.
Some home truths have hit home.
Bloggers like the enthusiastic Le Grove, myself and others have said that this team can go places if extended upon by adding experienced players into the mix.
Denilson and Song (I used to throw Diaby in there as well, but now I don’t know anyone who believes in him anymore) could learn so much from a Lorik Cana. Look at the affect Andrey Arshavin had on this side, playing in a position we did not really need to boost.
Wenger knows these truths. What he says in the press does not have to be what he means. Just because he is avoiding expensive signings does not mean he will not buy. And it does not rule out quality (Sagna and Eduardo spring to mind, as do so many of the stars he made).
Calls for Wenger’s resignation are as premature as much as they have no contingency. There are no well-known managers that could really replace him, yet. He may be the cause of the problem, but he may be the only one to lead us out of it. Perhaps he could be digging us deeper still, but he must be given the chance.
He has earned that much, at least.
Decrying other fans as ‘immature glory hunters who can jump ship to Chelsea’, or, the older chant “AKBs get out” is not the way to go. Some fans may be younger/older and others more patient/impatient, but we’re all in this together.
But supporting Arsenal is also about supporting its values (and this is not some lesson in silly nothingness – just look at Chelsea the other night), and one value enshrined around here is stability.
Manchester United showed Ferguson a lot of faith before everything started to click into gear in the early nineties, and it’s reaped riches. Arsenal must do the same.
So lets all take a read from the little book of calm and play it cool. The season’s timely end is near, and with it comes frustration, dissapointment and a time to reflect.
PS: I return to regular writing in June. Expect a sparse assortment of thoughts between now and then.