As the title of today’s blog states… the players have recently one by one, started publicly backing the manager…. and in all my years as an Arsenal fan, which is pretty much my whole entire life, I’ve nevere seen such a reaction to a season – especially not with Arsene Wenger. I don’t for one want to see the manager leave, of course, I don’t – up until the end of March, the team was challenging for the title – up until the Carling Cup final, the team were on a great run.
One loss, against Birmingham (who may actually be relegated this weekend) spiralled out of control to see us in the worst form under Arsene? Why? I ask… you may ask… and perhaps even Arsene has asked himself. Why? The reason for our loss? The reason for our decline? Well, I think our form is down to confidence and motivation rather than ability. There is no way on earth we’d be able to beat the likes of United, Chelsea and Barcelona if we didn’t have the ability. The problem is down to confidence.
You can see it in games – we start well and if we score, we get stronger but if we concede, we get weaker – and if we concede when we’re winning, we go mental to the point that we literally always lose or draw. Confidence within the squad and perhaps with each other is low and after the Birmingham game, it crumbled to unimaginable proportions. I believe it stems from the leadership from within the squad and that is linked to the lack of experience in the squad.
The current squad is young by most standards – and with the youth and lack of experience comes individual mistakes and plenty of them – and they breed. I’m not excusing the team with the whole lack of experience thing – but in reality, every year we excuse players because they are “learning their trade” – we forgive Walcott, Bendtner and Gibbs because they’re young – we understand that Djourou and Ramsey have come back from massive injuries. Yes, Chamakh and Koscielny are new and will make mistakes. The Carling Cup final was a mistake by keeper and defender – against Stoke, Djourou played the ball to the opposition striker… the list goes on.
Next season, we need to get rid of these excuses – no more 18 year olds in the squad next season. No more young prospects from the French league. No more golden oldies (Squillaci, Campbell, Lehmann etc)… none of this. In order to keep our nucleus of exciting players happy and keep Arsene challenging, we need experience – and players who can make the difference immediately.
The weird thing at the moment is the public backing from the manager…
“Everyone is 200 per cent behind him. He’s done a lot for the team, for the players and the club as well. So we just want to keep working hard and give our maximum….”
And just to put a frown on your face before I leave you…
…direct from the Arsenal.com site, a guide to who we could play when (sorry, if) we finish fourth….
- The five winners from the non-champion section of the Third Qualifying Round (expected to include Benfica, Dynamo Kyiv, Twente and Rubin Kazan)
- The fourth placed team from Spain (Villarreal)
- The fourth placed team from Italy (Udinese or Lazio)
- The third placed team from Germany (Bayern Munich)
- The third placed team from France (one from Marseilles, Lyon, Rennes, Sochaux and PSG)