Has Arsene gone mad?

On Sunday, Arsene played a bit of a crazy formation with Bendtner on the left wing and Nasri up front. Sometimes I wonder if he is just messing around a little and will sort it all out soon or sometimes think he may just be a little blinded by what he sees in training. Why on earth Bendtner played on the left of midfield on Sunday is anybodies guess.

The weird thing is that Arsene still talks about winning the league. Heck, we couldn't even beat Hull at home, but somehow we're going to win the league? We've lost Rosicky, Walcott and Cesc for pretty much the whole season but somehow we're going to win the league? Arsene even says that we will dominate the league?!?!?

“I’m convinced that we are on the right track. We are not missing 10 per cent, we are missing one or two per cent. We can get that one or two per cent easily and then we can dominate the league.

“I’m disappointed that the team is not getting the praise or the respect it deserves at the moment, but we have to keep going. We will keep going with this spirit and we will turn people around. Getting that final per cent or two is down to being a bit more relaxed and composed when the situation calls for it. My hopes and aims for 2009 are to support this team. I believe strongly in this team and if they get the support I think they will be rewarded in 2009 because they deserve it.

“They have talent and I’m sure they will be rewarded.”

I think it’s a little far fetched to talk about dominating the league when we’re already 10 points behind and teams like United, Chelsea, Liverpool and even Villa ahead of us whom all look like they will win their next game.

So after my letter to Arsene, the main thing we’re all looking for this Christmas / New Years is some new players.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a huge fan of Arsene Wenger. But I need him to realise that he’s got to invest in a squad which needs investing in it. I think he is interested in signing some people as he said in his programme notes that he needs a creative midfielder. I suggest he needs a winger. I suggest he also needs a better striker than Bendtner – but of course, he has both in Carlos Vela, but for some reason he refuses to play him much!

Where we really need to strengthen at the moment is the defensive midfield position and the wide positions. Without Rosicky and Walcott we really don’t have any wide players.

Almunia spoke about our season too and said:

“The main thing is to look for our identity, our way, our character that gave this club all their titles and trophies. For whatever reason we lost our way, our character and the way we play on the pitch. We need to re-find our spirit and our desire to win games.”

And that’s a very interesting point – “we lost our way” – could sum up the season. Almunia will be our captain from now until maybe the end of the season as Cesc is injured. It’s kind of strange, but it seems like the captaincy has just fallen on Almunia. I don’t think he thought he would be captain when the season ended last year.

Okay guys, that’s me for today. I’m on a 10pm flight to Dubai to spend NYE in the sun, the awesome JAT will be blogging for me tomorrow and I’ll have a tropical blog on Thursday…

Speak soon!]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Good points Dev. I think he remembers our infamous 12 point overhaul from before xmas to win the league in recent years, but I think everyone here knows our squad isn't good enough for that given the strength of the opposition we face. Its almost like he doesn't see the league getting better around us.

    Fingers crossed although I've just read on SSN that Arshavin is in Juve for a medical so I guess that nips it in the bud if its true.]]>

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[I know, Dev. That's exactly what every fan thinks! Maybe Wenger's reason for doing so is because he feels maybe the squad need that extra bit of motivation- maybe by telling them that it's still possible, it may make them give that little bit extra in each match, maybe. Maybe he feels that if he buys one or two players in January, and with a bit of luck, we could still win it- and the thing is, we could- well, it's still mathematically possible- all we need is the others to slip up- whether that happens, well, you never know! lol. But I think he doesn't want the situation whereby come the end of the season, it turns out that the rest did slip up, and only if we'd put that little bit extra in the rest of our games, we could have had a decent chance. At this point in time, based on our performance, we all know it's impossible, but with football, you just never know. Just as how when a striker has a shot on target, he's always told to follow it up cos the keeper might spill it and he may be able to score, I guess Wenger's trying to let the players know that if they play their cards right (and if Wenger plays his own cards right to!), anything could happen! Ok, maybe not necessarily dominate the league, cos well, it's a bit too late for that! I think it would be wrong to approach the rest of the season with the attitude that it's over, cos well, it isn't. We've let 2-goal leads slip in two games because we thought the match was over before the final whistle blew and ended up dropping points. Maybe if we changed our attitude to that of the teams that we ended up drawing against that it's not over until it's really over, maybe we'd end up with better results.
    I'm sure Wenger knows that the way we are right now, with the squad we've got, we're not winning jack, but if the players think we've still got a chance, we'd end up not scrapping for fourth place with Villa, even though we end up finishing fourth...
    I never understand what Wenger does and sometimes I do think he's crazy, but I guess positivity doesnt hurt (ok, maybe sometimes!), but as long as he doesn't suger-coat the truth when he does his team-talks or whatever, maybe our form may get better. It doesn't seem to be working yet, but there's still a few months left in the season...
    But I do hope he honestly does not believe we can 'dominate the league' in our present stage cos then, I'm sure we'll all agree that he's definitely lost it!

    I think Almunia's right that we lost our way, our identity. I'm sure no one can deny that we've not been playing like Arsenal for quite a while. If we can get back to what makes us Arsenal, and with Mr Positivity behind us (plus a few more players in January), we could have a decent run in the league and build upon that for next season. But first things first, a few signings in January is a must!]]>

  • Debs

    Oooh, that’s quite long! lol. Hope it makes sense though cos I didn’t review it…

  • RF

    < ![CDATA[All I can do is just wait and Watch .
    ps. Would love see a Transfer NOW !]]>

  • ny

    I dont know why you blame wenger for deploying Bendtner on the wings.He was the best winger in that game

  • Fabrez!

    < ![CDATA[Nice 1 Arsene...i think he's gone mad...aka a case of super optimisim! Last year Arsenal were getting their plaudits when they were top of the league in the 1st part of the season altho there were doubts initally bcuz we were Henry-less. Last year Arsenal earned respect from everybody until Febuary of course. Now Arsene just wants everyone to give them crazy credit they have not yet earned to be honest. I mean, nothing is wrong if he calls for more support from Arsenal fans but he can't be calling for everybody to just automatically respect the squad for things they aren't proving on pitch so far this season. If he was talking about respecting potential, Arsenal would have the world of respect. Altho i think there are ppl that target and really unecessarily hate on Arsenal, it's up 2 the boys to produce on the pitch to shut them up. I think Arsene is just worried as well about the negative influence of the media and if the guys aren't mentally strong enuff to dal with that...tough! Arsenal are my side to the bitter end but we need to get it together and get more results like that 1 we got against Pompey when our back is against the wall.
    And credit to Almunia...i think he justifies the things he says bcuz even tho he aint the best keeper ever, he always seems to give his all and he's highly motivated,,,and gives credit where it is due and is critical when he shud b...i don't think he's gonna b a bad captain 4 the rest of the season...but we'll see.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    Toure is off then! I did think it was strange he hadn’t played alongside Gallas much recently and he’s given an interview in which he says he has fallen out with Gallas because of his behaviour. If he does leave I’ll be very sad to see him go. :(

  • Fabrez!

    What’s that Kieran? Where’s he off to??

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    Nowhere concrete, but SSN are running a story this morning about an interview he gave and he wants out because he doesn’t want to be in the same team as Gallas – I wonder if thats the player Gallas talked about!?

  • Fabrez!

    Hmm…weird…i don’t see Kolo as the guy that wud say stuff like that…unless it is he’s really on his way out. Guess we’ll see really soon! What do u think about Arteta filling Cesc’s role? SSN just mentioned it…i guess Everton wouldn’t mind the money seein their financial situation…hmm…just speculation 4 now i guess

  • Fabrez!

    And the guy Gallas talked about was really young tho…so i don’t it’s him…

  • gun5

    < ![CDATA[Over the past twelve months Andrei Arshavin has become a big name in European football. He has undoubted talent and announced his intention of leaving Zenit St. Petersburg of Russia.

    The price bandied about for Andrei Arshavin is £20m, extortionate for a player who is unproven outside of Russia. £10m would be worth a risk but probably a risk worth taking.

    Arsenal have been linked with a move for him since the summer and while I agree that a player of his ability would be welcome at Arsenal there could be someone a little closer to home, who I believe would be better value too!

    For me Mikel Arteta would be a perfect signing for Arsenal and I'm sure he would cost a lot less than £20m!

    In Arsene Wenger's programme notes for Sunday’s match against Portsmouth he admitted Arsenal might need a creative spark due to the injuries Fabregas, Walcott and Rosicky have suffered.

    Arshavin and Arteta are players who can provide that spark but Arteta has something that Arshavin doesn't possess. Premiership experience.

    Arteta wouldn't need time to settle in at Arsenal. He has played in the Premiership since 2005 and Arsenal need players who can make an impact now. He is used to the league and I'd argue that Arshavin, despite his talent, would need at least six months to acclimatise to Premiership football.

    Mikel Arteta is very versatile and that would appeal to Arsene Wenger, who as we all know, loves to play players out of position. Able to play anywhere across the midfield, Arteta would be
    a vital player for anyone to have.

    We could use him in the middle of the park to provide cover for Cesc's absence and when Cesc returns he can quite easily play on either side of midfield where he has excelled for Everton.

    I think he would relish a move to Arsenal. Without sounding disrespectful to Everton, it would help his chances of international football too. He would be playing in the Champions League regularly and that always gets the eye of a national coach.

    I read that Everton are in need of money and David Moyes needs to sell before he can buy. I wonder if Wenger could put in an offer that just maybe too good to refuse.]]>

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[Rumour mill's in overdrive, big time! Bust-up between Gallas and Toure? I swear Toure said recently on ATVO that he'd like to continue his partnership with Gallas?
    Arteta's decent actually- he's versatile- Wenger's type, he's experienced in the PL, and seems like the kind of player would give his 110% and I don't think he's throw a hissy if he didn't play all the time when Fab gets back- sounds good though. He's also good at free kicks, can play centrally or on the wings, and to top it all, he apparently can speak French!]]>

  • Fabrez!

    That’s what i thought Debs! Kolo did indeed say he thinks that he & Willaim have what it takes to pair well in the CB positions. Ah well…and Arteta talking french? That’s probably Arsene’s dream player! lol

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Arteta is a mint player! But I disagree about him not being unhappy when Cesc returns. If he's leaving first team football in the premiership he will expect first team football in the premiership, not a subs place. He's got four months to cement his place alongside cesc though if he does come.

    I think that would be a great partnership actually.]]>

  • Debs

    Yeah Kieran, he may not end up on the bench, but if for whatever reason Wenger decides to not play him or sub him for the odd game or so, as long as he’s playing often enough, he’d not whine and will still give 110%, that’s what I mean- he’s not got overly massive ego for a PL player. Yeah, it’d be a good partnership with Cesc, and Cesc will be playing alongside with someone with experience, which has been one of our criticisms this season…

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[you don't mean alongside Cesc in the center of midfield do you ?

    i think Arteta is more of a winger, who can play centrally, like Nasri, or even Rosicky.

    i can't see him coming, as much as i'd like him to. now that his name's been mentioned, Wenger'll be 50% less likely to go for him, plus i think he costs around 20 mil pounds, being one of Everton's best players - they won't let him go, specially because they have a lack of strikers at the moment.

    if he does come, i can see him making Right Midfield his home base.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog Kieran Delaney

    < ![CDATA[Debs, I see what you're saying, I think I agree but I think he would get restless sooner rather than laters.

    Hill Wood has made a public statement saying he has turned down Toure's transfer request so something is definately happening.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[I thought the Daily Star had reported that bit about Toure and Hill-Wood denying it. I thought it was just a rumor. Is it true ?

    If it is then it shows that all isn't well in the camp. I'd rather see the long serving Toure stay and Gallas sold or loaned out for the rest of the season or exchanged with another proper defender. With him going we'd still have another has-been frenchman in the team - Silvestre - who we need to get rid of eventually. Hopefully sooner rather than later.]]>

  • die hard arsenal fan

    I am exhausted by my teams performance it ranges form the quite sublime to the inexplicable but I am Arsenal through and through. I may not agree with everything Arsene does but look at the choice of managers out there There is no one better to be with us listen to his name even Arsene how close to Arsenal this is. No team can stay on top forever even in American Basketball (Celtics) sometime transition takes longer than fans can hope for but at least we are not in Administration we are still in the Premiership and our academy is second to none. Go Arsenal best wishes Mr Wenger even though you do infuriate me at times. Mr Wenger is Mr Arsenal not a money grabbing manager like a certain Hughes. So long may he reign Arsene.

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kieran delaney

    < ![CDATA[

    I thought the Daily Star had reported that bit about Toure and Hill-Wood denying it. I thought it was just a rumor. Is it true ?

    Hill-Wood was on SSN saying he’s denied Kolo’s transfer request so he’s definately made one. Let’s hope its dies there and Kolo doesn’t try to force it!]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Hill Wood also mentioned that Toure was under contract. Is there a loophole or a way out for Toure even while he is under contract ?

    I've just read on the Arsenal website that Havard Nordveit (CB) is back with us after his loan spell at Salamanca. If we don't buy, is it likely we use him occasionally in the first team ?]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kieran delaney

    < ![CDATA[Toure can only speak to other clubs within 18 months of the end of his contract - i don't know how long he has left. Either way if the club didn't agree to sell him he'd have to see the remainder of his contract out.

    I don't know much about Nordvelt actually he's one of the few players I've not seen in the reserves. Googled him and he seems to have made a positvie impact whilst on loan though.]]>