Arteta Can’t Bring My Arsenal Back by Dan Smith
I said there would be a cruel destiny if Vieira won on his return to Arsenal.
While that was seconds away from happening, the irony of the image of our ex-captain dropping to his knees, while our players jumped into the crowd to celebrate an equaliser wasn’t lost on me.
Here was a club legend who knows all about the ethos of the Gunners, the standard the badge once had.
Here he was disappointed with a 2-2 draw.
His players crestfallen over a point.
In his post-match interview, he spoke about being delighted that his players were angry in the dressing room, not patting themselves on the back for getting a result at the Emirates.
That’s because he’s a winner.
That’s the standard he’s set for himself when a player, and now for his squad.
When he was captain of the Arsenal, he wouldn’t have dared jump into the crowd to celebrate a 2-2 draw at home with Crystal Palace.
That’s because a Tony Adams, Lee Dixon, Keown, etc, had taught him the values of the club. If he wouldn’t tolerate that as a skipper he wouldn’t as manager.
Just say that out loud.
Arsenal in 2021 have fallen so low that their players now celebrate a 2-2 draw at home to Palace!
If that’s not final proof of our regression and how far we have fallen since Mr Wenger left, I don’t know what is?
That’s why Monday night was a pivotal moment for me.
I like Arteta and want him to succeed, I think he’s a nice guy who has love for the club.
Yet I sat watching and was overtaken by an acceptance that this just isn’t working.
It wasn’t at 1-1 or 2-1 down I felt this. It actually was in my head when we were 1-0 up.
I can tell you that others at the Emirates felt the same way.
To be 1-0 up at home and have a stadium so quiet and anxious takes some doing.
Quite simply the majority in attendance were bored. Bored because this wasn’t the Arsenal they recognised, grew up with, the one they identified with.
While I acknowledge we have been fielding the youngest 11 this season and therefore inconsistencies should be expected, we are not playing this way because of youth.
Look on the touchline and you could see Arteta after half an hour gesturing for players to retreat. Instead of wanting to add to his lead he cared more about protecting it.
It’s not our DNA.
Nor is at half time replacing an attacker player for a DM.
When Palace went 2-1 up, you no longer had the confidence that Arsenal would make lots of chances. That used to be guaranteed, that nothing else, we would make chances.
Our manager doesn’t seem to trust Martinelli, only bringing him on for 10 minutes, while he refuses to start Laca with Auba because Laca will be playing elsewhere this time next year.
The irony is that it’s the striker who isn’t extending his contract who showed the most leadership when he tried to encourage the crowd to find their voice.
Of course, the reason the atmosphere was so poor was they had been given nothing to cheer about.
I can’t relate to a sportsperson and am not trying to judge the adrenaline you must get for scoring in front of thousands of people while rescuing your team.
So, while I might understand a player with limited minutes happy to prove a point to employers who don’t value him, the whole team?
Our keeper ran the length of the pitch to jump into the crowd. Say that out loud, our keeper is running the length of the pitch to join in jumping into a crowd because of 2-2 draw at home to Palace!
In comparison when Laca got a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw with the Saints he barely managed a smile. That was when Uni Emery was in charge, even he had set a standard where dropping points at home was deemed disappointing.
Now we have fans calling 0-0 draws with Brighton positive and players celebrating 2-2 draws with Palace by jumping into the stands.
A section of our fan base that tolerates this is either in denial or actually believing what they are watching is okay.
That’s why players think 2-2 draws are now okay – because from top to bottom the ambition is so low.
No one is telling the players any different.
A Keown, Dixon, Parlour, Henry, etc would be having a word with players in training saying, ‘The Arsenal don’t celebrate 2-2 draws with Palace’.
Yet we don’t have those leaders.
An owner with zero ambition and a manager who is ordering players to try and protect leads.
After the Brighton game I read we were making progress, it was a good result, we were on the right path, that players would rather join us then Barcelona, etc.
On Twitter fans were saying pundits were too harsh on us at the start of the season.
We had lost to Brentford and conceded 5 at City!
What were the likes of SkySports meant to say?
Before Monday’s kick off some fans were saying how we could be back in the top 4 by next Friday night.
I read a Gooner say that players would now choose us over Barcelona!
I assume that’s due to their financial issues, but to suggest we are more attractive than a team who still won silverware last season and still play in the Champions League. Even with financial uncertainty Barca will win La Liga before we win a Premier League.
And let’s be honest, any Gooner making silly comments like that looks foolish when players are jumping into crowds because of a 2-2 draw that has kept us in the bottom half of the table.
If that were Spurs, Chelsea, etc celebrating a draw that moves them up to 12th we would mock them, correct?
We should be embarrassed by being 12th after 8 fixtures. We should be questioning how this has been allowed to happen.
How, that instead of using Brighton and Palace as a chance to close the gap on the top 4, why does now everyone seem so satisfied with 2 points.
We left Highbury for this.
We forced out Arsene Wenger for this?
Wasn’t it Arteta who said Arsenal not being in Europe was not acceptable?
Now no one seems to even question how we are no longer contenders for even the top 6.
We need someone to say ‘enough’ now.
A man barking players to stay behind the ball at home to Palace, a man who settles for draws at Brighton, a man who only brings on Martinelli in the 80th minute, that’s not a man who will get our Arsenal back.
Be Kind in The Comments