The only real plus point of this season is that Birmingham have been relegated.
I thought I’d start the blog with something positive…. because from now on, it’s all down hill. Yesterday we drew to Fulham in a game which summed up our season. Good in midfield, effective in attack, but completely all over the place at the back and a little confused when it mattered. The line up yesterday was:
Sagna – Djourou – Vermaelen – Clichy
Diaby – Wilshere
Ramsey – Van Persie – Nasri
It was an interesting decision to play Ramsey on the right – perhaps Arsene was keen to give him as much time as possible, at the same time, keen to give Chamakh a starting role. I have been trying to push the 4-4-2 formation this season, as Van Persie should be given more of a free role and Chamakh is a player who can hold the ball up. Arsene kind of experimented with it in this game, although Van Persie did find himself often too deep and sometimes behind Wilshere and Diaby.
He did pop up when it mattered though and managed to score his 22nd goal of the season to equalise. We had conceded an early goal when Sidwell converted after some really bad defending and the ex-Gunner slid the ball past Szcznesy. Before that goal, we’d been on top and it was the symptom of our season. Gibbs and Djourou had nightmarish games to be honest and both have been in worryingly bad form for quite some time… something to note, that those two are the “home grown” players, whereas Sagna and the impressive Vermaelen were signings ready for action.
Fulham went ahead again when our defence completely mis-timed their jumps in tandem, with Zamora on hand to nod it past Szcznesy. Another defensive mistake. Walcott came on shortly afterwards and he scored a late winner, fine run and shot, after Zoltan Gera was sent off for a bad tackle on Vermaelen… It was a game that summed up our season – poor defending letting down the side and undermining our game.
Arsene found time to talk about transfers after the game and it was clear that it’s on his mind and on the fans mind too. Who we will get in. Who will make the difference.
We will try to do the right thing. I don’t know how much we have spent in recent years. We will try to buy the right players. The amount of money is not always linked with the quality of the player. We will spend the needed money but you first have to find the right players and then turn up with the money. If we find the right players we will spend the money.
I really do hope Arsene finds the right players. He has said previously that he hasn’t been able to find better players than we have got and I don’t buy it – there are better players – we need them. actually we need four of them, at minimum.
Arsene also spoke about Denilson and perhaps the assumption that he is going is not quite correct….
He wants to play. I have spoken to him already. We will see if he has opportunities or not. We have to face many comments but I have enough experience to know that the Club is in a strong position and we want to be stronger next year. Next year we will have the same opponents who will invest a lot of money. We have to make sure we climb up the table because I felt this year was the best chance for the last five or six years.
It’s a shame then, that we couldn’t take up the challenge.
Well, that’s that… the season has ended… it’s time for us to move on… Move on and perhaps pin our hopes next season on another teenager… Ryo Miyaichi…?
“I have only [heard] positive reports about him,” Wenger claimed. “He will be with us in pre-season. I think he is good enough, but if he is ready enough to have a place in our team, we will ask for a work permit and try to get him in. Everybody who went to watch him has been hugely impressed. Ryo is a character and a great football player. What I like about Ryo is that he has good timing with his runs, and understands when to go and where to go. That is something very important. He knows how to use his pace and he is an intelligent player. He is a boy who went straight from school football to professional football and straight away was the best player in Feyenoord.”
More tomorrow folks, more tomorrow.