I try never to write right (see what I did there?) after a game, why let elation, rage or misery cloud your judgement? Rather I’d take a day or two to let my thoughts sediment, let the emotions simmer down and try to adopt a more pragmatic perspective….. and it usually makes quiet a difference, I tend to think more clearly and I’m able to articulate better rather than spew out some pointless vituperative prose that ends up being the literary equivalent of manure…
Going by that logic, I have let a few days pass before I address THAT match in Milan and its consequences. But the frustrations in the aftermath of the match have turned out to be like one of those niggling injuries that I’m just unable to shake off (Pun intended).
The spanking was painful..no doubt…But pinning the blame on a single player or strategy is folly, the defence was woeful, no excuses but why didn’t the rest of the track back, allowing Milan to carve through the mid-field and make marauding runs through our back was the first error, and after Boateng’s screamer, things just went downhill…Shoulders drooped, confidence plummeted and desperation set in and not the right kind, not the urgency to hold the ball and establish rhythm with possession, it was akin to panic which led to further disarray and the opposition sensed the weakness and the rest was…. well you know
Im not going to speak further on the happenings on the field, the match has been dissected and analysed too many times already like one of those much maligned corpses in medical schools. The events have been discussed and revised by numerous creatures of higher footballing acumen than myself so I not really going to bother doing that.
The more important question is where does that leave us? Where do we go from here?
Last time I spoke about winning and the ingredients for a good team, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on that subject and I’ve come up with two or three broad scenarios or categories or whatever you want to call it:
The first is a team that relies on talent, pure talent, talent so spectacular that they merely grind other teams to dust on a consistent basis and waltz to glory; ala Barca, Real Madrid and to a lesser extent BVB.
The second is a team that has talent, not the kind mentioned in the previous category but bare minimum talent(for a big club) which is combined with a belief an innate self –confidence, a desire to win and a never say die attitude. This is personified by United, a few talented players all right but each and every one in the squad believes that it’s their god-given right to win every match no matter the circumstance or the opposition. It’s the reason that even utterly ridiculous clowns will come up with a performance when their stars. It’s that special something that the Gum-chewing-knight has instilled in his troops.
The present Arsenal has no-where enough talent to fall into the first category, what with dung like Chamakh, fading has-beens like Rosicky & Arshavin and sick-bay addicts like Diaby. What we NEED is new signings but clearly that’s not going to happen with Wenger being told to feed on table scraps and left-over’s. Arsene is clearly not the kind of coach who instils self belief in his players or killer instinct. His methods involve putting player and the team in situations which brings their innate talent to the forefront and creates super-stars. The chief flaw in this system is the ‘talent’. In today’s financially bloated footballing world, talent cost money and not few wads of cash and a hot-dog like in the old days that you could pay a ‘small club’ for their players; it costs big bucks, cheques with obscene number of zeroes!!!! This is obviously something that Arsene doesn’t seem to have access to. The fact that other clubs just send their scouts to tail AFC’s scouts to pick up players that our club is targeting by simply offering more to their parent clubs is not making things any easier. Mata is merely one among the many.
Oh.. Sunderland scores… I just died a little on the inside.
The chief stake holder’s stuck-up silence and refusal to share his ideas or vision for the club is disconcerting, he seems happy to sit back and watch the money pile up. Does he realize that this probably one of the last seasons that the KSE can invest in the club and its players before the FFP kicks in? Or does he look at the Arsenal and just see a giant mint?! A resource to be sucked dry until it’s worth nothing; his passive fence-sitting is almost akin to asset stripping.
A theory is that Arsene is merely waiting for the FFP rules to kick in by 2014, which will leave many of competitors high and dry with very to spend on player which Arsenal will have a rather large stash just waiting to be used…. It sounds pretty darn solid, provided we even survive and by survive I mean stay in the top four and secure a place to the European competition. As it will be a crucial factor in attracting the right kind of talent to the club.
The plan itself sounds mildly convincing assuming that we manage to scrape the top 4, BUT…..
I wonder if Arsene’s plan is far to reliant on the Financial Fair Play rules being bullet-proof which they obviously are not. just as Man-city proved with that gigantic naming rights deal (sourced from one of Mansour’s buddies), what is going to stop that eccentric Russian from pumping half a billion into Chelsea under the pretext of under-wear sponsor, all he has to do is slap “Millhouse LLC” on every player’s tighty whities and everything is fine and dandy. Arsene voiced his dissent about the deal and raised question regarding the loop-holes that could be exploited but it was merely a minor blip that meant next to nothing.
As we hurtle to yet another soul-crushing defeat and the inevitable exit from another tournament….. I wonder, if we are staring down the proverbial barrel.
Another one goes in…..Its an own goal…… Isn’t that lovely