Baring Chests, Raw Emotions
Thanks to Bluebob for the temporary solution to yesterday’s IT, if you’re reading this, well done Blue. If no-one is, well, you useless…
Under different circumstances, many jokes would be told of Arsène getting a Brazilian. Funnily enough, now does not feel like a time for jokes, even though it is probably the most productive and therapeutic outlet for the angst and anger pervading the Arsenal universe. There were enough of them on the pitch on Sunday…
No hiding from it, the absence of an internet connection at home was a source of distress not just for me but No.2 son who was sure that he was going to be a Club Penguin Special Agent, whatever one of those is. Maybe today will be a better day for both of us. It cannot be much worse for Arsène in footballing terms. I am sure he has done so but I cannot recall him welcoming an international break.
Whatever we may feel, the only reactions to Sunday’s humiliation that I cannot see any justification for are those that are personally abusive toward the manager, the players and fellow Arsenal supporters. I don’t understand it, never have, never will. Those who believe it to be the way forward, well, you’ve lost my interest in anything you have to say. The only reason I can see for these outbursts are (a) social inadequacies, (b) anger management issues, or (c), puberty has yet to arrive. Gentlemen, Ladies, Boys, Girls; grow up.
As for the rest, I understand the anger, the grief, the humiliation, the blasé dismissals of the result, the restraint, the ignominy, the primeval screams; everyone spent time on that spectrum of emotions. The result was an aberration. I tried them all, you fool no-one. It just hurts like hell, the humiliation, the anger, the capitulation, the shame. If only I could be sure that all of the squad felt that. They don’t.
I found no surprise that Traoré and Lansbury are reportedly on their way out of the club, short-term initially; longer term, well? No matter what either says, post-match laughter and smiling showed an absence of responsibility for the result, unprofessional to the point of amateur. No matter what length of time, even if there was none, was spent on the pitch, the squad at Old Trafford suffers collective responsibility for the performance and the abject capitulation.
I found the performance bewildering. Wenger blamed lack of recovery from Wednesday in part; how can that be? They should have been on a high, qualifying against outside expectations. Why would three days be insufficient recovery time, especially since at least four players did not participate? A player who cannot recover this early in the season from a midweek match is going to be worse than useless in February.
Eight players out? United had five. The three imbalance? All self-inflicted, suspensions for stupidity or over-exuberance. You choose which cap fits, I know what I believe. Late withdrawals? Sagna and Vermaelen not playing were harsh blows, not least because it meant Traoré was on the pitch. More so, Djourou was in defence, bereft of belief in himself defensively. But more so because it robbed the manager of options, choices.
But and this is where it comes in, ‘but’ always does. Had Arsène completed his summer transfer activity, some – not all – of Sunday’s problems might have been avoided. A defender with experience – not just Premier League – might have been able to make a difference. Replacing Cesc immediately – his departure was no surprise – might have resulted in young players not being thrown into the Lions Den. If, buts and maybe’s but all sticks with which the manager is being beaten.
It is impossible to say that anyone is exempt from criticism. We don’t know what is going on in the club, whether Wenger and the Board are differing in philosophy over spending or not, whether Stan has any, many or full input. It’s conjecture, nothing more. No matter what is going on, the appearance to outsiders is that of a machine which has developed faults, cogs worn down, the new and old abrading.
The final score is an aberration. Let’s not kid ourselves that Arsenal conceding eight is a regular occurrence. It has never been and never will be. Most people saw the defeat coming, no-one the scoreline. Anyone who says they did or that it has been coming, is a charlatan. The defeat less so, most of us hoped for something more but were geared up for a defeat. It is a rare feeling but the opponents, the referee, the squad travelling, it felt like the points were not coming home.
August has ended. Eight points and a whole lot of goals separate 17th place and top. September? Thirty days in which to reclaim the season. Not to close the deficit entirely but an inroad is required. Any wider and genuinely, I fear for the sanity of us all. Not because it is irretrievable but because the mercury might explode its’ casing with the collective high blood pressure.
The next two days are crucial. Signings in the right positions, of the right quality, will settle nerves to some extent. Yes, the argument will be about the delays in signing players – and I do genuinely feel that there are answers needed to explain these intense finishes to transfer windows – but if they come in, the ailments may not be instantly cured but there is a better chance of a long-term fix than currently exists.
Posted on August 30, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 769 Comments.