No Darius this morning so let’s get cracking as a hectic Arsenal week draws to a close.
Who am I kidding? It has been quieter than the summer months between the end of the old season and the start of the new. It says it all when an Board announcement at an unspecified time about an unspecified event that is ‘good news’ but not about takeovers, shareholdings, Lady Nina or David Dein, is the highlight of the week.
Anything to keep from talking about the draw against Blackburn. Rather than look back, looking ahead ought to be the order of the day. No utterances from the players this week which is just as well as their statements about what they hope will be the outcome and what they are determined to achieve, have been at odds with reality in recent performances.
The adage about ‘actions speaking louder than words’ has never been more appropriate.
It will be a diminished Arsenal side which takes the pitch on Sunday. Alex Song has not recovered from his knee-knack, which he is obviously feigning such is his lack of desire. Apparently.
Meanwhile Theo Walcott has reniggled his ankle-knack and seems likely to miss out on his stick of rock. Business as usual so far. Perhaps Arsène will bring a ray of joy to this darkened world at his press conference this afternoon.
He might need to. Harsh words have no doubt been exchanged about recent performances. It seems a long time ago when Sunday’s opponents were routed at The Emirates. The expected relegation fight has now engulfed Blackpool and it is going to be tough for them to win it.
They are helped by the paucity of talent at some of the other clubs around them and in the longer run, a team which emerges from the Championship and stays up by playing football in a proper manner can only be good for the game as a whole.
If West Brom could do the same, so much the better, particularly if it is at the expense of their neanderthal neighbours.
If the players need motivation (and at this stage of the season with a major trophy up for grabs, they shouldn’t), they can be inspired by criticism levelled at them by Paul Merson. According to Merson,
They have got no chance. I was really bullish about them five weeks ago but now you have to question them. They have just dropped too many easy points. I think it’s all down to (a lack of) winning mentality.
So a moment of truth has emerged. The players will probably choose to ignore him – understandably in some cases as ex-pros tend to be the harshest critics, forgetting their own individual and collective failings – some will probably not even have heard of him. There will be an element of the support were Merson’s words resonates, demanding that Wenger spend to solve the issues.
That will not happen, yet. It cannot happen, yet. And with two months – more or less – of the season remaining, why are people even wondering about the next campaign? This one has not finished and should not be given up on. The inconsistency of all sides in the title race cannot be ignored just because of consecutive draws.
Hope remains. Yes, the outcome is reliant upon United dropping points but they are far from invincible. Arsenal must regain their form and confidence, quickly, if they are to capitalise on any slips.