Fresh faces show improvement, but change is firmly needed. by KM
We won a game! Congratulations! It’s a rare event at Arsenal these days! I mean we win a game, time for a new contract Arsene! Believe it or not, we played the same formation! We played the same players too! Those that faced Barcelona.
We played exactly the way we always do, but what was the difference? On one hand we played an Everton side, who beside an FA cup semi-final have had a difficult season. They lost from 2:0 up against West ham and their defense is really struggling, with Stones likely to leave and no real replacement for Distin, with Jagielka far from his international level of 5 years ago.
Aynway though, if we had put in the same commitment against Swansea and United we’d still have a shout of the title. This win aligns with Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Per Mertesacker all not starting with only Giroud entering to prove why he is on the bench!
Coincidence? I don’t think so. Those 4 players have lived a happy life off Arsenal for too long and need to leave in the summer. I’m sad we didn’t see Campbell again, who is another player making it to the squad thanks to injuries and doing better than the regular starters, but sadly Wenger just doesn’t like him, but truth is even Iwobi made Walcott look like a bench warmer.
You see, we are so reluctant to buy players, when it’s obvious some are not good enough, that even the academy lads outperform them. Other examples? Hector Bellerin in place of Debuchy, who’s just terrible. The lack of a DM to such a fact that Coquelin comes in and we immediately win against City.
Now Iwobi, who can at least stop the ball, put in a pass and even score a lovely goal from a solo run! He and Welbeck really made our attack look fresh. Oh last but not least, Elneny who looks miles better than Ramsey!
That’s five or six players, that make some of the old faces at Arsenal who’ve been here for ages, look like the average players they are. This is half a squad of average players being regularly kept in the first team. You cannot tell me we can’t buy anyone better if the academy lads can improve on what we have already!
The players I mentioned look like they have a purpose, even if it’s just to prove themselves. Our away game at Barcelona was miles better in terms of going forward than was our first. Spurs was another better performance with Elneny being introduced. But it’s too little too late. Fergie said that Leicester will win it with 3 games to spare and it looks all the more valid of a statement.
Despite the new faces, we suffered from the same old mistakes. We finished the game with 6 defenders, practically inviting Everton over. Why not put Campbell and Walcott on and put some fear of counters? We tried this against Liverpool and it cost us the win. Juventus played counter and went up 2:0 and in the second half their will to roll over cost them their place in the Champions league.
Another bad managerial decision was not to sub Ospina. They guy was really struggling and that was another reason to invite them to our box. A corner almost ended up in our net, because Ospina couldn’t move. If it got to 2:1 we go into a slide of negativity that never ends well.
Since we won the game nobody will remember though. But it was a warning sign and Arsene’s job is to see those signs and make sure they don’t lead into serious damage. The signs were there in all the recent games we lost, we just failed to identify them.
Finally I’m not sure about Gabriel but I agree with the decision to replace Mertesacker. If we keep asking the same question of a player 3 seasons in a row, the truth is he’s never given a definitive answer thus needs to be replaced. Also I think that constant rotations of your CB will never result in stability, thus good or bad for now it’s Gabriel for me.
People may call me negative or an AOB, but I refuse to accept we’ve turned a corner by one win. We still repeat so many of the things that have lead to this constant failure and the promises that are surely coming this summer are just a tool to renew season tickets.
Until we change our game style, formation, players that are not good enough, spending policy so that we buy in all the positions we need, not just one, buy players with characters, driven by success with lots of titles behind them, change our ambition to titles, not fourth, reduce immense ticket prices, stop being a business rather than a football club, introduce younger members to the board or unbelievably somehow change the manager, I will not be convinced.