We are in entertainment, The ground work is to win, but that is not enough. You need the ambition to give more. To go deeper into what the game can give people. To get something more than just the individual expression of the player, but the collective expression of the team: to transform it into art. You can say it’s naive, but you need to give something special to people to get them out of their hard daily life. I just wanted them to sit in their seat and think, ‘Unbelievable!’
I read that, a statement from Arsenal Wenger: Invincible, and thought about what is more important to football fans, winning or being entertained? Both of course is perfection but very few teams can achieve that. Certainly not through an entire season. Even Arsenal’s Invincible season had it flaws because matches were drawn. As good as Liverpool might have been against us and a few other teams this season, they have weaknesses which West Ham were able to exploit. Some of Fergie’s teams were considered to be the best at the time, never went a season unbeaten left alone undefeated, yet the Premier League was nowhere near as hard as it is today. Yet does anyone think Utd fans were bothered at the end of their treble winning season? No, of course not.
I asked myself and now I’m asking you guys, what is more important to you, winning or being entertained?
Entertainment comes in different ways I think. There’s the slick, quick and free flowing attacking game which is easy on the eye and we all love to see that I’m sure but does watching a smart, organised defensive display – pragmatic football, give you the same feeling of satisfaction? I don’t mean 50 odd minutes of mad panic in defence by the way.
A fine balance is what I’m sure most managers strive for but it’s something Mikel Arteta is a distance away from achieving and I don’t think he will until the club sign a couple more players. In my opinion there seems to be a gap between defence and midfield and another gap between midfield and our striker. Arsenal either seem to attack or defend with not enough control in midfield or of midfield. We can offer up internal solutions because we all love to do that but in reality, if those options were real solutions, wouldn’t Mikel Arteta be using the players already?
Similarly, if Mikel Arteta thought Eddie Nketiah, Flo Balogun or Gabriel Martinelli were going to be more productive up front than Aubameyang, surely one of them would be playing instead of our captain? I’m sure we all want to see Martinelli on the pitch, I know I do but I do wonder if that’s because of how he was when he first arrived but since his injury, has struggled to replicate. Now it’s catch 22 because in order to find form he needs game time but if he doesn’t make the most of the chances he does get, then he’s not going to force Arteta to drop Aubameyang. The same rule applies to any player who isn’t playing regularly. Martin Odegaard can’t break into this team at the moment yet I think he’s a player who has the ability to hold the ball better than most and we’ve seen he has an eye for a pass. Which brings me back to our captain, who unless the ball is played perfectly into his path, doesn’t really scrap for a ball in the box. Actually, he doesn’t really scrap at all. Lacazette does though, Martinelli and Nketiah probably would too. Which is probably why you/me want to see someone different to what/who isn’t working. Sometimes though, the solutions cannot come from within and I think that’s the case in both Arsenal’s midfield and striker situation.
Lastly, there’s an interview with Richard Garlick on Arsenal.com, it’s interesting. Hopefully he’s well prepared for the January transfer window.
See you in the comments.