Lack Of Confidence & Desire Holds Back Talent
The disappointment of the recent results was almost indescribable. A season which promised much has petered out, without a fight amid acrimony with supporters turning on the players who are underperforming. Even those not in the team are being drawn in with stinging criticism, presumably because they were not on the pitch at White Hart Lane or the DW Stadium.
The performances were not acceptable and yet not entirely unsurprising. Exiting the Champions League at the Camp Nou had a debilitating effect on confidence, especially with a lead being surrendered so quickly. It is this confidence that Arsenal need to rediscover and quickly for the next two games should be wins but in this run of form, the certainty with which that can be stated has dropped considerably.
Losing is not as surprising as it seems though. We only have to look at last season to see how the team reacted to exiting the Champions League (1 – 4 v Chelsea, followed by 0 – 0 at Old Trafford) to see that the immediacy of the next match, no matter their importance. The desire to be a champion comes from within the players, it cannot be taught. Wenger has found that some of that desire is missing from certain players.
Work rate can compensate for deficiencies in ability; reverse those and there is no excuse. Had the performances been ‘valiant’, defeat might be easier to swallow but neither was a glorious failure. It is this which has moved the manager to apoplexies by his standards, not criticising individually but collectively, albeit with one or two exempted from his words.
That it was his oldest and his least experienced players on Sunday who were singled out for praise is telling. Campbell has been there and won medals; Eastmond wants a starting place. That may have been the spur from them but what of the others? None are inexperienced, for the most part they had represented their countries on a regular basis. The squad talks well in the media but when they were called upon, their actions did not match their words, leaving a hollowness to proclamations that they want to win.
Some do. Some will but there are a number who will not do so with Arsenal. It is the nature of football that players come and go, some staying longer than others. Wenger has already hinted that there will be new arrivals although doubts are expressed as to whether or not the manager will actually do this. He is not short of advice on whom is better; every player whose contract is expiring this summer is being linked now, some genuinely of interest to this blogger but for the most part, regurgitation of ghosts of summer past. Others have presumed to know how much the transfer budget is and are doing the math for Arsène, working out where to spend his money which I am sure he appreciates.
Collectively, this is possibly the most talented squad that Arsene has produced. It is not mentally the strongest though and the extra which this quality brings to the pitch has been exposed in recent weeks. This summer sees Arsene needing to bring some of that to the club.
Posted on April 20, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 276 Comments.