Sunday, 18 April 2010

it's grim up North

I spent today having afternoon Tea at The Wolseley ('ooh, very lah dee da' I hear you say) prior to going I watched the first half hour of today's game and Sky+d the rest. I successfully managed to maintain a communication blackout as I sipped my Darjeeling.On my return, full up on Scones, Battenburg and Cucumber sandwiches I sat and watched the denouement of the fixture.

This is no time for knee jerk reactions (although I know who I would like to kick, and that would involve jerking my knee) or suicide, it's more a question of frustration at the short comings that we all know about and that the Manager ignores and chooses to carry on regardless with. Let's not talk about the penalty that should have been or a Wigan wonder goal or 'these things happen' or Arsenal being out of the title race with just three games to go or indeed about the injury list. Let's talk about something I mentioned at the start of the year; Squad poverty.

The Arsenal squad should be able to absorb injuries, but it clearly cannot. The last few League games have crystallised where the problems are.

Fabianski comes in a makes a terrible howler that cost's a goal (sound familiar?). If we had a first choice keeper of any quality then this error by the second choice would not have been as costly,as in all probability that quality keeper would not have already cost us points. Also Wenger's thinking that among your squad of keepers you don't need an experienced one among them is foolhardy at best; Goalkeeping situation at the club-not good enough.
Conceding a late equaliser at a crucial time of the season-not good enough.
3 out of 15 players competing in a local derby during a must win game-not good enough.
Throwing away a 2 goal lead against a relegation threatened team-not good enough.
The insufficient level of maturity among the squad (due to Arsene)-not good enough.
Failure to invest in the small number of proven players that would make a difference-not good enough.
Recent Results (okay Barca are a good team)
Birmingham 1 Arsenal 1
Arsenal 2 Barcelona 2
Arsenal 1 Wolves 0
Barcelona 4 Arsenal 1
Spurs 2 Arsenal 1
Wigan 3 Arsenal 2
-Not good enough
Actually the list goes on and on! from letting players leave the club too soon to adopting a style of play that results in a negative deficit of shots on target.

A 3-2 defeat at Wigan can happen to the best of teams so hysteria is inappropriate when it's just one of those things. But this goes deeper, so deep in fact that it's a bit of a downer to think about it. Is mediocrity the legacy of the Emirates and Wenger's philosophy undertaken in 2006? We all know that as poor as Man Utd and Chelsea have been this season they have destroyed us and are clearly better, and the club have almost fallen into the trap of accepting this.

If, as looks likely, we finish third (yes I know, you wonder!?) then no one can complain about league position reflecting the merits of the club. If the club views that, as a major achievement and a sign that things aren't so bad, I would seriously worry about the path we will be taking next season.

This has all put a bit of a downer on today.

Lovely Battenburg though!

It's Grim up North London

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