When your fantasy team has more points in a head to head league than the supposed ‘big team’ you support, it really is the time to panic.
Panic it seems, has avoided Arsenal all these years for a simple reason. It is the same reason which has held this club together from the inside, but not in the good way, not recently at least. This cause is the very same one which also makes sure that no one really knows what happens behind the scenes and you can never actually figure out where the root of the blame lies. In doing so, the raison d’être becomes the centre figure for attraction of the criticism and all sorts of negative feelings from the fans and media. And just to be clear, it’s not that it isn’t earned, it’s just that is not all that is wrong with this club at the moment.
Arsenal FC currently hosts a huge amount of bodies that do not seem to want to be there anymore. From everyone in the starting lineup to the backroom staff at the Emirates, it feels like Arsène Wenger is taking shots for any and everyone involved in this one for the critics’ glory of a season. What transpired at the Selhurst Park last night should really be the nail in the coffin for not just the French manager alone, but a fair amount of his current squad and then some.
READ MORE: The General’s budget picks for Gameweek 33
You see, if the situation beckons where Gabriel is looking like your best defender on the pitch, you know there is a huge problem at the back. In what looked to be his best tribute to Nicklas Bendtner, Hector Bellerin made sure to come good on my point that he has lost the plot at right back. Missing critical chances and challenges were his highlights and being bullied consistently was him keeping up to the pace with his teammates. While I saw the Eagles pick on the Gunners players one by one, a simple thought crossed my mind regarding the man sitting next to Wenger in the dugout. Just what exactly is the purpose of Steve Bould? Because if someone was to say he was adding to their defensive preparations, I’d probably laugh my gut out. This is the same man who was in a defence tighter than a metal seal and stronger than a wall in front of their goal. So either he has no influence over the defensive tactics of this side or these defenders are dumb as anyone to not be listening to when a proper centre half is talking.
It has been a long time since these defeats stopped surprising fans and it has now become expected for Arsenal to struggle vs teams that can properly bully them off the pitch and then play football better than them. Crystal Palace did exactly that and stuck true to their game plan which got them the three points vs Chelsea a week ago. And yet, for all the technology in the world to having read and analyzed their plans, Arsenal’s men (supposedly) did not look for a second they had one to counter it with. Whether it is just Wenger’s belief that he can play his way to victory no matter the game, or a simple arrogance over supposed ‘lesser’ sides, who knows. The one thing we do know is that, last night really was not a football match between sides of the same division. For one, a Premier League side would not admit defeat straight away after having found out that the other side, “wanted it more”.
READ MORE: Guardiola quizzed over Sanchez rumours
That comes straight from Arsenal’s stand in captain, Theo Walcott last night, saying, “it wasn’t Arsenal, Palace just wanted it more. You could sense that from the kick-off“. Thank you Theo, but we really didn’t need you to tell us. What we did need was for a man wearing the Captain’s armband to show a little more than the speck of respect for the jersey and club which made you who you are today. And in the spirit of doing more, Jamie Carragher’s words do more justice to what Arsenal fans want to convey to the likes of Walcott right now:
His opening comment is, ‘That’s not Arsenal’. That is Arsenal. That’s four on the bounce. He’s speaking like that’s a one-off. This has been a performance that we see year in, year out from Arsenal. Exactly the same, nothing changes. “And listen, we’re happy, we like a player coming out on TV. But this thing about, ‘Well done for coming on and being honest’… shut up talking about what happened after the game. “And he’s saying from kick-off, ‘We knew straight away they were more up for it’. How can that possibly be? And ‘This is not Arsenal’? It is Arsenal. It is. Ten years of it, 15 years of it. Of the same things year in, year out. Don’t tell me – show me!”
The thing about a rant like that is that it will make you panic in your bones if you really care about the club. And that is what this team and the entire football management needs right now. A little panic is overdue at Arsenal FC and they need it for one simple and desperate outcome: change.
Again, this is not just about the alteration in management in the dugout, but instead a complete rethinking and remake of what sort of players they put out weekly. Forget the Top 4, the FA Cup and the club position at the end of the season for now. What really needs to be the focus of any true Arsenal fan is bringing about a change in the root of this club, if they have to survive this 13 years in the making pitfall Arsenal are in.
Panic, people. And let the players feel the need for it.