RvP: Truth or Treachery?
Every year it goes wrong in an identical way and that is frustrating. When you look at results in the last years, Arsenal shouldn’t be talking about winning the League because too many times that has gone wrong.
Where to begin with Robin van Persie‘s comments? Criticism of van Persie is already emerging; speaking as he has is deemed disloyal. Treacherous, even. Keep it quiet Robin, keep it in the dressing room, lad.
But is it betrayal to air his opinions? Is the denial of problems the real disloyalty, failing to admit them prevents a solution.
They do not sit well with many because they suggest that lessons are not learned by the squad or management. Indeed they suggest something is very wrong at Arsenal. To err is human. To make the same mistakes, season after season is unprofessional and that is unforgivable.
Solutions are not necessarily straightforward.
Arguably, van Persie is part of the problem. His injury record is second to everyone in recent seasons. Wenger is criticised for his training techniques, the stressful nature of them perceived as taking its toll. The Dutchman’s injuries tend to be as a result of contact rather than muscular. Others are muscular with no contact. A picture is easy to paint depending on your viewpoint, evidence can be found for each argument.
Sign players, sufficient quantity and quality to cover the injuries and dip in form, so the mantra goes. But space exists only for 25 senior professionals. How do you overcome the failures of last season when the malaise hit the whole squad?
It is not feasible or practical to have three world-class players for each position. Even having that many good players for those positions presents numerous difficulties. How to maintain match fitness for that large a squad? Continuity of selection is necessary for consistency on the pitch which limits the amount of games that some will play. Will a player of a certain quality be satisfied with a support role? Surely a quality you want is desire, there is not much if players are happy to sit on the bench.
van Persie identifies the defeat to Birmingham as the moment that mentally the team crumbled,
Even now, it’s still unbelievable we didn’t win the Carling Cup as that was the breakthrough moment, showing everyone we could win a cup and create a belief within the team. When I talk about that it still hurts. It was so stupid and I ask myself ‘how did that come about?’
A moment of madness preceded by eighty-nine minutes of under-performance, below the level expected of Arsenal.
The timing of his comments could be considered poor. Nasri, Clichy and Cesc are all being eyed lasciviously by rivals, domestic and foreign. Denilson and Bendtner wanting away but no-one particularly interested. A fifth of the first team squad going, nobody certain of arriving. A club in crisis? Not quite, mild disarray might be a better fit. Most definitely a club that has lost control of the PR.
Does it mean that Wenger has lost the dressing room? The compound effect of comments by senior players can be construed that way if you so wish. Personally I don’t think that anyone respects the manager any less than the day they signed for the club. Maybe some of the awe has gone but that happens with maturity.
What the comments show is the frustration at last season, a desire to win trophies. Too often the squad has been accused of lacking this. When it manifests in the summer, it is deemed wrong. Translating that desire into actions on the pitch is the players responsibility. Giving them the support necessary in squad signings is up to the manager.
Posted on June 11, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 205 Comments.