Gossip to start with and that surrounds Bacary Sagna. News in the papers today suggest that the club have offered him £60,000 a week and a year extension to his current contract. To which he has apparently said thanks, but no thanks. His current deal ends in the summer of 2014 so no doubt he will be sold off next summer.
If we believe The Sun newspaper, Wenger wants Thierry Henry to join us this winter and stay until the end of the season. I doubt this has anything to do with what he can do on the pitch, I strongly suspect it’s about what he can do off it, especially in the changing rooms.
Finally, Wenger plans to ‘recall’ Joel Campbell next month to help solve our shortage or strikers. I can’t believe this is true for one minute. He hasn’t even got a work permit has he?
Onto today’s main post:
Some believe William Gallas was a ‘cry baby’ for sulking after the infamous 2-2 draw at St Andrews Stadium on Saturday 23 February 2008. The media slated him for his behaviour as a foreign captain who was not in the same league as the stalwart Terry. Interesting enough Arsene responded by saying Gallas was misunderstood and that he felt we could have cemented our position as champions and that the opportunity had been missed.
We all know what happened that day and how our season ended.
Since then Arsene Wenger or Arsenal have not been the same and even our trademark ‘total football’ style of play has been in decline to the point where even Swansea (no disrespect there) have outplayed us on two consecutive seasons in our own backyard. Had it not been for the lucky goal from Arshavin and the strength and tenacity of Frimpong in midfield last season we would not have picked up our first win of the season against them.
Those who watch other teams in the league are aware of the craftiness of Swansea and would not have underestimated the Swans at all. Additionally, those who are knowledgeable of Michael Laudrup’s managerial ability and philosophy from Getafe and Mallorca in Spain are not surprised Swansea are doing better than Brendan Rodgers’s Liverpool.
Well I was one of the rather unfortunate ones to watch the match in the comfort of my own home. Knowing how it feels like to be kitted out with your Arsenal top and scarf standing on Victoria Station when all eyes are on you after a bad loss and you know what even the Portsmouth fans are thinking. I have to say I have every sympathy for those loyal fans who brave this weather to go and watch a team who are obviously in serious decline like ours.
The performance last weekend was another addition to a catalogue of woeful performances we have put in as a team since pre-season. Interesting enough the players who rescued us on the Far East tour last summer are not in the first team. They are away on loan and are showing their class albeit at the reserves level or in the lower leagues.
The performances are that bad that I am not going to bore readers with any details of the match, because what really matters was that we lost a match at home. Worryingly, this was the first time we had conceded a goal in the dying minutes of an EPL match this season. After every shock defeat to the Arsenal I receive texts or calls from a few of my true Arsenal supporter friends to tell me they are not going to renew their season tickets the following year.
These are the same guys who arrange their family holidays to the Far East to coincide with the clubs tour in Asia. However, this time round, I feel like my friends actually mean what they are saying. The surprising thing is that most fans are not angry anymore but are becoming resentful of being spun a lie by everyone associated with the club.
The phrase on most people’s lips is that Arsene has to go. However, strangely enough the pundits and ex-players of the club who previously were the first to call for Wenger’s head are now changing their focus unto the board’s direction. Do these former players and pundits know something the ordinary fan on the street is not being told?
Another interesting point which should not go unmentioned, is that even foreign based pundits, not normally known to be kind to our club or Arsene for that matter, are all saying how sorry they feel for Wenger and how his loyalty to the club is going to end up tarnishing his great reputation as one of the very best managers ever in elite football. Most have publicly stated Wenger has been too soft but loyal to the board to the extent that they expect him to be able to walk on water now and also turn a Stepanovs to a Franz Beckenbauer.
So what is going to be done by both the board and the coaching team including scouts to deploy an emergency parachute to soften the blow that is about to happen? No one outside of Arsenal truly knows what is happening to this legendary club but what we all know is that something has to change and if it doesn’t happen fast enough, someone’s investment will be taking a huge hit when fans contribution and TV revenue start to decline.
I am not a marketing guru, however, common sense tells me the board cannot expect to be breaking into the Far East with this most static form and brand of football.
The January transfer window is fast approaching and an excuse such as ‘we could not find a super, super quality player’ to improve a declining team is not going to hold much water any longer. What troubles me apart from Wenger’s record in the coming window is that, last August he stated we could make purchases in December if we had to.
If a manager of his ilk is not aware the window does not open in December then we should not expect much from Arsene. On the other hand that comment was made before our latest Stan’s sponsorship deal was signed.
There are bargains all across France and Spain and even some Bundesliga teams are trying to sort out their bank balances in the immediate future by selling their most valuable players if they can.
Maybe it’s the part of the Mayan Calendar interpretation commoners like myself were not privy to. I guess I have to take a leaf out of Peter Hill-Wood and Stan’s books and start to save some last minute money before the New Year.
It’s a perfect excuse reason not to buy any presents for loved ones this Christmas.
Have a good day and stay safe.
Written By TsGH.