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Arsenal's shambles of a season ends on Saturday if they lose to Sunderland, says Jeff Stelling.Back to story
This write up is spot on. I so much thank this writer as someone needs to tell it to Arsene and the management of Arsenal to the face. May God keep you for voicing the truth. It is left for then to react or loose RVP and some ambitious ones.
Posted 18:18 16th February 2012
Jeff, hindsight is 20/20 now isn't it? It is too easy to pick out errors after the fact. The simple fact is that Arsenal are a huge club with a lot of talented players in the ranks. Are we still a few players short? Yes, without question, but are we going the way of Liverpool? Hell no. Fortunes ebb and flow. We are struggling right now, but next season we will be back amongst the top teams and clubs such as Spurs and Newcastle will be back where they belong (outside the top 4). I think that we can all agree that this season has been an anomaly; Newcastle in the CL...Barcelona losing by 10 points in La Liga... do you really see this happening again in your life time?
Posted 17:24 16th February 2012
Not sure what you missed Jeff but Arsenal have been a selling club since they moved stadium and every other team that's sold their best players have been relegated. For what he's had to spend, Wenger is still doing a remarkable job. Parker is over 30 and captained a team relegated last season and Cahill was at the foot of the table with Bolton, so can't see how they would turn Arsenal around? Wenger is coveted by all the World's top teams for a reason.
Posted 16:50 16th February 2012
What a shambles last night..Its time AW left or the board should sack him but they won't do that because they ain't got any back bone....
Posted 16:47 16th February 2012
Yes Arsenal are in decline but Milan are no way as bad as you're making out. Kevin Prince Boateng was very young when he was in the premiership and didn't get much chance to shine. Robinho is still a very good player in the right system and absolutely did 'make it' in the premier league. To say he wasn't good enough is absurd. He didn't last because he didn't work hard enough off the ball and wouldn't track back, which was a requirement by management despite not being Robinho's strength. As a skillful forward, he is only best utilised as an attacking player to make something happen. Some English people are so disrespectful of foreign league and teams. Thiago Silva and Mexes would both walk into most European sides.
Posted 16:20 16th February 2012
Now I am a Spurs fan but this isn't a message of gloating glee. I saw the game last night and Milan weren't spectacular and Arsenal were poor to say the least. Okay, the pitch was in a terrbile state but it has to be said that Arsenal were soundly beaten by a fairly average Milan side. They defended poorly and offered little in terms of invention and fluidity going forward - the hallmarks of all Arsenal teams over the past 10 years. I do believe that Arsenal are currently on the slide and can quite easily see that, if come the end of the season some serious commitments are made by Arsenal to arrest their current decline then RVP will be on his way out the door. Not only will this weaken the team in the immediate future it will also send out negative signals for the future prospects of the club. It is a dangerous spiral to fall into. With the competition at the top of the league now, with City and Liverpool flush with cash, United being United and with Spurs on the rise it may be the case that Arsenal will only be a top 6 of top 7 side over the next few years. Momentum is shifting away from Arsenal and Chelsea and I think in terms of elite european football they are going to have to fight very hard to stay at the top of the game over the coming seasons.
Posted 16:13 16th February 2012
Jeff understand where you and the football panel are ref Arsenal as every week is the same comments of disbelief which 90% of Arsenal fans agree with but what can anyone do.?.we all agree Arsene is the right manager for the club as he makes the club money every year & he brings players through..etc..and that David Dein should be back at the club and Steve Bould should be on the coaching staff we hear that all the time to no avail..and the players he has trusted like Theo,Arshavin,djourou,diaby, and even Song who should be getting a grip and lead by there actions, But all Arsenal fans want to see currently is a commitement to play for the shirt as the pride has gone from the team & with everyone calling for a leader weekly, well we need a team of leaders now and each individual should be looking at themselves in the mirror after every game as every week they take there wages and should ask themselves are they giving enough to the team & to the fan's and importanty are they doing the managers faith in them any justice as if there is any doubt they should look again in the mirror and realise who will buy a heartless wannabe living of others, the fans who get the money together every week to go & watch a team with no passion is wrong life is hard enough & you are meant to be our enjoyment our reason to work to see our passion...and this is not acceptable to any football fan in the country .. so my plea to Arsenal is to the players man - up or leave...Lets not talk about the good old English Arsenal Gentlemen club lets talk about the Pride of the 'Arsenal' and get players in that suit.. create a solid backbone first Arsene give up on the players who havent got youre commitement or heart for the club let them go.And lets see some passion & pride like the old days but nurture the youth of Ox,yeanaris,coquelin,ramsey,frimpong,afobe & witshire.. with Defoe,alonso & jagelkia..but it wont happen..so again where does it stop.?
Posted 15:26 16th February 2012
Even as someone who doesnt support Arsenal, i find it sad that a team that was (literally) unbeatable in the not-too-distant past has fallen into such decline. I feel really sorry for the fans having to pay extortionate prices to watch their team at the emirates, and for what? A team that has not been improved for a few years but plays 'good' football.
Posted 14:45 16th February 2012
Such a good article and unfortunately true. Wenger should be reading this, he should be reading all the comments on this. Things have to drastically change and I am not talking about Wenger... If he was to leave who would replace him? Who would 'fill' his shoes? The answer is in the board, they need to insist Wenger buys in the summer. He needs to invest in some quality players. Last night was a joke, our season has been a joke and things need to change. Van Persie will go and we will be a mid-table club!! Not the Arsenal we have all come to love.
Posted 14:42 16th February 2012
"Park Chu-Young and Marouane Chamakh didn't even travel to Italy, which shows what sort of purchases they've been!" Do you not have to pay money to make a purchase?
Posted 14:26 16th February 2012
Hi Jeff, I agree with all you have said. Arsenal lost the plot when teams worked out that their great passing game could be affected by close and aggresive marking. Its noticeable that Arsene Venger is always shocked when a player of his gets a heavy tackle and the players see it as an affront to their status when an opposing player gets stuck in to them (Within the rules of the game). I feel, Atrsenal adapted to the European way quickest but have not realised that it takes more than a team of great passers; it also takes aggression and some of the uglier aspects of our game. Wenger is a great manager but I think he's had his day at Arsenal. He's done really well and should pas the job on to someone else. Hope we are in the hat for the next round of the FA Cup on Saturday night. Just like to say; Gillette Soccer Saturday, is the best show on any TV channel, bar none. The mixture of pundits and their attitude and wit is priceless.
Posted 14:11 16th February 2012
Absolutely right. It's a very harsh assessment of Arsenal, but it's the truth. Why does Arsene Wenger continuously fail to recognise what is lacking ? I know he inherited great defenders at Arsenal, but he is intelligent enough to see it. Is it because the Arsenal board don't want to take any risks with money, or is it just stubbornness on Wengers part ? Arsenal have always played some of the best football in the League, but there is no fight, no guts to the team. You never believe that they can win a game without conceding, and when they go behind you worry. As a Man Utd fan, I can honestly say that the best years of the Premier League were when we were battling with Arsenal for the title. Is hasn't been the same without them.
Posted 13:52 16th February 2012
I think Wenger needs to rethink his style of play. There is an over-emphasis on ball possession resulting in so many square passes that lead to nowhere. We had 54% of it and socked in 4 goals. Most teams now know you have to apply a little pressure on Arsenal to halt any forward progress in their game. Faced with one opponent in front of them, most Arsenal players will retreat back giving the opponents time to re-group.
Posted 13:48 16th February 2012
Absoloutely right Jeff, couldn't agree with you more! Arsene had a chance to add strength in the team and chose not to. We can't rely on Wilshere either we should of got someone who is older, mature to infuse the team with passion and one with experience. Ramsey, Arteta and Walcott were below average and I guess with no competition in the team, players become complacent and lazy and that is what they were last night... lazy! Aweful, aweful performance last night.
Posted 13:45 16th February 2012
Not an Arsenal fan but I can give an un-biassed opinion. Arsenal are in grave danger of becoming the modern version of Liverpool. Arsenal have a rich history, but their history, like Liverpool's is becoming older as every year passes by and that will stop top talents from coming to the club. Just look at the last 5 captains for Arsenal FC. Vieira? Left because he felt Arsenal were stagnating. Henry? Wanted the Champions League. Fabregas? Wanted to win a medal in general, even if it was the marshmellow cup! Now it is V. Persie's turn. Make no mistake, if he goes, what will Arsenal have left? They don't have 3 or 4 world class players like they did in the past. They only have ONE. Walcott has barely improved over the past couple of years. If anything, his game has gone backwards and this is especially true when you compare him to Chamberlaine. Vermaelan hasn't been 100% fit since his injury last year, Mertesacker is far too slow for the pace of English football and Arteta is just a stop gap. The summer of 2012 will be the most important in Arsenal's history. If they don't make the CL then make no mistake, V. Persie will leave. You're kidding yourselves if you think he will stay just because he has a house and kids, every footballer has one of those! He has yet to win a big trophy and if Barca, Madrid, or maybe even another PL team team comes in for him he'll jump at the chance. He's at the peak of his powers and he doesn't want to waste it at a team and manager in decline. If V. Persie goes, and I think he will, Arsenal are in grave danger of becoming nothing but history. Spurs are playing in the same way Arsenal were 5 or 6 years agoand are miles ahead of them as a team - nothing hurts more than that. Wenger needs to wake up because his team and his philosphy has failed.
Posted 13:44 16th February 2012
How can you call Koscielny not good enough and then say what a signing cahill would have been? Koscielny has been one of the best center halfs in the league for about a year now.
Posted 13:37 16th February 2012
Geoff, whilst I agree with the majority of your points. I would like to stress that never in a million years would I pick Gary Cahill over Laurent Koscielny who has been Arsenal's best and most consistant defender this season in particular. I am surprised and disappointed by your comment.
Posted 13:26 16th February 2012
We were awful last night and got what we deserved. The main reason was that we didn't close them down. Not that we didn't do it enough we just didn't do it at all. Walcott has got to buck his ideas up big time. When will he learn that he has to put in a shift? He was absent all night last night but if you are going to have an off game at least track back. It's what's expected of you and the bare minimum. Last night was painful. The only 2 things we have to hold on to are that AC Milan threw away a similar lead against Deportivo a few years back and the other is that there are few sides that could come back from this and i beleive we are one of them.
Posted 13:11 16th February 2012
very good article!!! wenger needs to realize hes failing..he needs to be real , his policy work only in ideal world...
Posted 13:10 16th February 2012
Absolutely agree with what Jeff is saying about Arsenal. They were a complete shambles last night. They had lost the game, before they even got onto the pitch. Milan are not the greatest side in the world, but you would not have guessed that by the way they dismantled arsenal. Players like Robinho, Kevin Price Boeating didn't even make it in this country. So Arsenal will now go 7 years without winning anything. For a club like Arsenal, that is simply not good enough
Posted 13:09 16th February 2012