With only one win in our last seven games, and that being against Leyton Orient, all gooners have been really down in the dumps lately. The fear factor that we once had, has completely gone now, and it seems every team we come up against these days believes they can take points off us. Its Blackpool next at Bloomfield Road, and anything less than a win there would surely be viewed as a disaster. But with the Seasiders sitting just one point above the relegation places, they are going to be a tricky nut to crack, as they are fighting for their Premier League lives.
Arsene Wenger is a man under pressure right now, as in the last six weeks, he has seen his team go out of three cup competitions, and draw three consecutive league games, against clubs we should be beating. So if Ian Holloway was to get the better of him on Sunday, where do we go from there?. Almost doesn’t bare thinking about, but you can understand why I have some worries. One thing is for sure though, every manager that we face from now on will have no trouble motivating their players to play Arsenal. They know we are “on the ropes” and very vulnerable home or away, so if our lads are feeling sorry for themselves, then perhaps the darkest days are still to come.
I was a “glass half full” kind of guy up until the Blackburn game last Saturday. But after watching that game, and seeing our players body language on the pitch when the final whistle went, my glass is now empty. I think that the confidence and belief we had shown before the Carling Cup Final, is a very distant memory, and getting that back is going to prove impossible for the duration of this season. We have some very tough games coming up after Blackpool, and if we aren’t careful, we could end up finishing in fourth place, which would be terrible. The least we deserve from this campaign is an automatic Champions League spot, so lets hope we can win a few games ugly, to make sure this happens.
Speculation over Arsene Wenger’s future isn’t going to go away anytime soon, and hearing about the scuffle at the Emirates between pro Wenger and anti Wenger fans last Saturday makes it even worse. I can’t help but feel that our manager should come out and speak publicly about this issue, as ignoring it won’t make it go away. Like I said in my last article, if Wenger isn’t prepared to spend big this summer on top quality players, then he should leave. I want to hear him say that he is changing his philosophy, as this one has clearly failed, and that he WILL improve our squad GREATLY for next seasons title challenge. If he can’t make that guarantee, then the board should seriously start looking for managers to replace him, as if things don’t change dramatically next season, then the minor scuffle that took place between Arsenal supporters after the Blackburn game might get a `lot more serious.
I don’t know about anybody else, but in recent years I have felt like the guy who never gets invited to the party when the transfer window opens. You hear all the rumours of players that might be going to all of our main rivals, for big money, and their managers coming out and saying that they are looking to strengthen their squads. Then a journalist asks our manager what his plans are, and he just says that he is happy with the squad that he has. The best we have heard from Wenger in a transfer window in recent times is that he “might” sign one player. He seems so lazy when it comes to doing any business, and for the sake of 1 or 2 million extra pounds, he would rather walk away from a deal, than fix the obvious weaknesses within our team. You only have to look at the Mark Schwarzer transfer that never happened. Why he didn’t just pay what Fulham were asking completely baffles me. We would probably be sitting at the top of the league right now if that deal had gone through, especially when you look at some of our goalkeeping howlers this season. But instead of splashing the cash on guys that can help us out THIS season, he will spend 3.5 million (ironically the fee Fulham were asking for Schwarzer) on an unproven Brazilian hot head called Wellington Silva, who “could” be an Arsenal star of the FUTURE. Doesn’t make sense.
The news that we are on the brink of signing the young Charlton defender Carl Jenkinson, and that we are trying to poach yet another player from Barcelona’s academy, FV tells me that Wenger isn’t ready to change his flawed philosophy just yet. This has been greeted with the obvious reaction from the anti Wenger brigade, who are literally at the end of their tether now with the Arsenal legend. I’m starting to think that Arsene simply doesn’t care about the fans that question him, and he only listens to the fans who treat him as a God. He also comes across now as someone so obsessed with the future, that he forgets about the present. Why won’t anybody on the Arsenal board tell this man to stop being so stubborn, and bring in some world class players?. Think of the morale boost, both the players and the fans would have in anticipation of next season, if we finally brought in some star names. It would also convince Fabregas and Nasri that Arsenal CAN challenge for major honours, so they will want to stay for another year. We all know that there is a ton of money in the transfer kitty for new additions, and all gooners WILL NOT accept another summer of penny pinching.
In closing, I just want to state that I am not against us signing players for the future, as this is a crucial part of any football club. My issue is that we aren’t getting the balance right between youth and experience. Arsene Wenger will argue that his current players will be better off next season, after having another year together. He will say that his players will learn from experiences this season, and put things right next time around. I would argue, that this generation of Arsenal players is too used to falling at the final hurdle in competitions, and that fresh blood is the only answer to our problems. New players, new mindset. Simples.