Let's touch on something different here at Gerry's reviews. As an Arsenal fan I have been optimistic for the team at the worst of times, an yet I feel I have betrayed myself for even considering such optimism. All I ever wanted was to convince myself of the positivity within the current squad. The act of team spirit was witnessed on October 30th when Jason Roberts made our defence look like a back four of that guy from the cheese string add, you know, the cheese string? anyway it was a Capital cup match with nervous giggles. We fought back with Reading fighting even stronger. Sure, we had a weak team, (Arsene's philosophy, sigh). I mean any team with Chamakh leading the fore front is far from threatening, however even he scored two goals trying desperately to convince us he isn't the depressed camel he makes out to be! A fine tally of strikes concluded a 7-5 victory. "It may be one of my greatest victories during my time here," said Wenger.
It's about making a statement: Arsenal Vs Manchester United. It had the potential to be a bold game and at times, regarding Van Persie's move, it was quite predictable. However, somewere in the back of my mind I felt like the team had to go out there and prove to the fans that Arsene Wenger isn't crazy and that we have the potential to at least pretend Van Persie was never there. Sadly the potential is not in the team, as it rarely was when Robin was there. The result on Saturday didn't prove much while the play and some of the the managers decisions where absolutely laughable. Arsene's stubbornness is a factor we as Arsenal fans have grown to accept, however the line-up on Saturday was far from acceptable.
Take Theo Walcott and all this talk about extending his contract. I was quite reluctant to see that happen myself, but seeing Walcott play against Reading I figured we are gonna need this guy. Arsene had every opportunity to repay Theo's contribution by starting him against United but he didn't. Instead he played Ramsey, who to my knowledge is more comfortable in centre midfield no?. We needed pace against such a skilled Ferguson creation and we didn't have it. The only bit of pace we had was sitting on the bench. Don't get me wrong, Ramsey is coming on (slowly) but not quick enough to jump Theo.
Achilles heel: Just when we thought the whole Steve Bould jibe was coming on, an unlikely individual had a serious dose of laxy-daisy; Thomas Vermaelen. However we can accept a bad game from him once in a blue moon, it was the sight of Andre Santos that really had me asking questions. No doubt if Kieran Gibbs was available he would have played; a lad with pace for days. Instead we had Santos, and again we watched as a better choice looked on from the bench, Carl Jenkinson. So what was the result of Andre's input? zilch! The over-weighted Brazilian will be having nightmares for weeks about Antonio Valencia. The experience is there, however the knowledge of position, track-back and basic defending isn't. I am beginning to wonder whether this lad was ever a defender.
If amateur defence wasn't enough, we were asked to put our trust in strikers Olivier Giroud and club flop Lukas Podolski, who to be quite frank the German International was anonymous all game. Are these not questions that we need to nail down? I mean Arsene Wenger, giving his and Arsenals history against united, chose to play the wrong players, and not for the first time.
A bitter pill to swallow: Let's go cliche on this one. Written in the stars, and so it was as Van Persie came home to break our hearts. (Like they weren't already broke...Robin, it hurts.). From the off, two minutes to be precise, it was destined to happen and the "Traitor" deserves it! It was never a problem who or how United would score, but the response we would give back. Minor additions such as Jack Wilshere was a joy to watch however he was always going to be a liability, and damaged our hopes he sure did. Reflecting back to team selection, Wilshere should have still been on the bench while Ramsey takes his position while Walcott takes Ramsey's. Simple and probably more affective. Oh, and we would maybe have Wilshere available for a steady 90 minutes against Fulham this weekend.
So what are the repercussions of Wenger's decisions? another player down and out for stupidity, and a more damaged and even more unpredictable presence of strikers. I can't help but touch on Marouane Chamakh; a guy that I would have expected to go out on loan instead of Nicklas Bendtner. However, he didn't and what he did do was guide us through what would have been a show case of embarrassment and serious Wenger backlash if we lost against Reading. Wenger talks of a confidence boost for the Moroccan striker so why didn't he at least consider him ahead of Giroud on Saturday? I mean Giroud is hardly coming off great goal form, and to be fair, Chamakh is. It is quite logical and the fans want to see goals. It seems it is about proving a point from Wenger. He wants the fans to believe in our latest additions, such as the signing of Giroud, Santos and Podolski. Surely a change of form means a change of player? Hence the depressed camel. (Sorry Chamakh). When Wenger seen the distraught faces in the Arsenal stand he poured more salt into the wounds by bringing on Arshavin "here here"!
We have seen before, one man can't win us trophies. Hats off to Santi Carzola, who in truth has so far show cased what Arsenal football club is supposed to be about. Unfortunately for him, he will be used to full extent and taking advantage of. Why? well, he continues play to his abilities and looks like the only one mind-set on scoring. I hope that is not the case, however he is one of very few midfield play makers that will be used in and out until the guy gets injured.
What now? Strive on potential and continue to believe in the current squad. We have no choice. Manchester United was never going to be an easy game, so we need to regroup. However the choice of players from Arsene Wenger is crucial. Heck why not answer Theo's question by actually sticking him up front? see how it goes. At the moment we have every right to rotate strikers because Giroud, at the moment, is unreliable. I think we can all trust he will get there, but it is now we want the points because Manchester is running miles and we would like the title!
There have already been ramifications from Wenger and his silly choice of tactics, and last year's 8-2 is just the tip of the ice-berg in fact a tease on what our conclusion could be if we don't show desire against Fulham and so on. If a revival of belief is needed, we should buy in January. We need to show we are here to compete. It is no good Wenger telling us about the future. The future is now. We need to grab it before we are once again asking questions in next summers tabloids.
COME ON THE GUNNERS!
The Video below sums up the stupidity and utter shambles of some of our players. why don't you just shove "a dagger through my heart" Santos"?