Milan Defeat Thrown Spotlight on Poverty of Wenger Squad?
By Boris Mellor
February 16 2012
This was probably the worst ever defeat for Arsenal in the CL, its not a matter of the statistical enormity of the defeat, after all 8-0 wouldn’t have been unreasonable. No it’s not the matter of the margin of the defeat, but of the poverty of the performance. AC Milan played well, and they cut the Arsenal team apart again and again. Through the midfield like a knife through butter, and round the back of the defence like burglar bill.
But at the end of the first half Arsenal had created almost nothing, whilst the Milan attack got behind the central defenders again, a little less haste and they might have scored more. Arsenal didn’t really start to play until they were 3-0 down, and then RvP had a few decent shots which their keeper saved with celebrations as if he had won the cup.
Henry’s farewell became a Grimm fairytale
Even Henry and the Ox could do nothing to turn it, there was to be no fairytale ending this time, true the team played a little better in the last 30 minutes, but it was too little too late.
Invincibles to Invisibles
Every Arsenal fan must be asking themselves how much of a benchmark is this for judging the quality of Wenger’s squad? In 2003 Arsenal beat Inter Milan 5-1 at the San Siro, a few years later they beat AC Milan 2-0. Can anyone imagine this squad conjuring up that kind of result? Perhaps if you have been drinking meths you might. What a week to give up glue sniffing.
The moment I saw the midfield line up I realised this was the white flag of surrender, Walcott, Ramsey and Rosicky, I bet the sight of them caused Milan players to soil their Beckham designer underwear. They didn’t let me down they hardly produced an assist between them. What a week to give up pot.
Then you look at the defence Koscielny and Vermaelen, not bad you might say, but what if one of them is injured and Djourou has to come on? And was playing at left back since the New Year the best training that Vermaelen could have had for this game. I got the feeling he was rusty in the position, didn’t quite get it right. Before the match I predicted Gibbs would be off after 31 minutes, how wrong I was, he lasted until the 66th minute. What a week to give up crack.
We now had a centre pairing of Song and Djourou, the new pairing managed a clean sheet for 13 minutes. It was no week to give up heroin.
Our lone striker, was unable to get a clear shot at goal until after the match was over. The fact that Arsenal had to depend on a 34 year old invincible to try and turn the game, a player who will fly straight home tonight whilst Chamakh and Park, who are non-existent on the pitch, remain at the club. It’s a good job I gave up alcohol five years ago, but what a week to give up smoking.
Who’s to blame?
Some suggest we shouldn’t let the players off the hook, very true, and by that logic they say the manager is not to blame. Now that’s an interesting idea, a man paid £7million a year allows his team to play like that is not to blame. The problem with Wenger is that he, for most of the time, lets his players off the hook. There is an ethos that anything will do, substandard players are kept in the squad in the same way I can't bear to throw out old books I have read. Too many substandard players are protected, some fans think that these players hang around out of charity and good will, no they don’t, in fact they get very high wages. They pour out their devotion to Wenger at every opportunity, and so would you if you got paid £50K a week for being mediocre.
Due to the rottenness of Chelsea and Liverpool, Arsenal are, incredibly lucky to be challenging for 4th, it may stay like that for the rest of the season, I wouldn’t count on it, but even if they do to my mind this defeat highlights that this squad is not a patch on the Invincibles, or even the team that beat Barcelona. Anyone who thinks that a midfield of Ramsey and Rosicky is better than Fabregas and Nasri should book an appointment now to see their doctor.
The defensive display today, and at Man U demonstrates that Wenger doesn’t know how to teach defence. Unfortunately today’s result is not a one off but is an indicator that worse may be yet to come. What a week to give up Coke.
If we look at what happened last year after we lost by the one goal in the Carling Cup, Christ knows what getting spanked by four in the San Siro is going to do to the rest of the season, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for the non-existent mental strength (let alone players with fight and the ability to make things happen) to turn up.
After all, the evidence of the past seven years is of gradual decline punctuated with managerial platitudes, the odd false dawn, and replacements who simply aren't good enough.
I think we should brace ourselves for a long spell in the wilderness.
It si but that is a heartbreaking choice for many and understandably so.
More than anything about what I believe its quite apparent the Board has done and deceived many of us about doing, I despise that they have shown such contempt for such wonderfully loyal supporters. At best they take every one of us for granted and at worst they willfully take advantage of our loyalty to get away with disrespecting it even further as long as they can for as much as they can.
Even those supporters who willfully ignore the reality because they don't want to believe our Board would stoop to such behavior deserve better even if they will never say so themselves from this Club and those who run it for such stalwart support from each of them even if it may not be best for the Club (in a manner) right now.
I hate how their lies and deceptions and their betrayl leads us to such horrible unfair and painful choices as loyal supporters who love our club here and now more than any of them ever did.
the main problem is the midfield. the defence that started last night would be fine is verm & gibbs had been match sharp. an attacking 3 of RVP, Ox and Walcott is also ok (I know we played 1 up front yesterday).
but in midfield we offer nothing in the final third. The main 2 players in last year's side who could unlock a defence, creating chances from normal play and producing something a bit different were Cesc and Nasri.
The likes of Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky are all average - they will just end up passing the ball from side to side like we did last night. Even my missus spotted this!
When Jack comes back it will improve but he's not really an attacking midfielder, more of an "MC" in champ manager terms.
We sold our creative players and haven't adequately replaced them. Thats the difference between now and last year.
The defence has actually improved! Last night not included.
Bottom line - comes down to need to make transfer profits every year. Stan Kroenke, Gazidis and Wenger's fault. Wenger for not being willing to spend and the other 2 for not giving a fu*k about anything but the underlying profitability of the club.
I recorded the game and stayed away from all social media for 4 hours yesterday brimming with excitement. I cracked a can of suds, pulled my chair close to the tv and proceeded to watch utter garbage for 80 minutes ( turned it off after the pen).
I was thoroughly embarrassed yesterday. We deserve to be playing in the Championship, not the Champions League.
Threally scary thing is the sole goal threat we showed last night was through Robin ValPersie. Now if as the team leves suggests whether we manage fourth or not he decides he'd rather be at a club whose ambition is not increasing the value of its shares above anything else, given how our wage structure and trasnfer policy eliminates the possibility of signing a replacement of truly similar quality where will be then - and after that as well?
Padre I have to disagree with your analysis of the reason for the performance, I do not go along with the idea that the players are not good enough, they just did not put in the effort, for me its the clearest reason why Wenger has to go, just like the run in last season after the CC final, our manager was unable to get the team to put in real effort, and effort is the one thing that we should be guranteed, no matter who we play or in what competition,
The players are either too comfortable in the knowledge that their place is secure due to AW hierarchy of selection or they simply have lost faith in his selections and tactics, his refusal to play anything other than 4-2-3-1 no matter who the opposition and more tellingly no matter who the 11 is we field.
I watched Barca on tuesday, and the one big difference between their performance and ours was not the fact they had messi, Cesc etc, but that they worked their @#$%& off all over the pitch, it was a treat to see every player from the least talented of them to the world's best work damn hard all game long.
*Signing Ozil is a signing Bergkamp type moment for Arsenal. It changes things utterly.*
So let me guess if the players we trying we'd be top of the league now, and looking at the treble? On my. If the players were trying our trophy hual since 2006 would match that from 1998-2005? And who was it who getting that extra effort out of those players anyway since that's all we lack apparently now?
Eduardiop just anbother case where your logic doesn't survive the first test question its posed.
I see Numpthyhead you are at it again, trying to put words in others mouths, but I will not explain where you have jumped to conclusions as I'm sure you would do your usual WUM stuff when a post does not suit you and claim it was not answered at all or something was ignored and of course you will embolden a word here or there to try and make it look like you are making some worthy point, lets not forget the real coup de grace, its all a board conspiracy, even usmanov is in on it,
*Signing Ozil is a signing Bergkamp type moment for Arsenal. It changes things utterly.*
Not Usmanov, I think he was drawn into buying in which icreased the share value by David Dein. I think the Board realized that
A) having a worse alternative in the minds of gooners than Stan Kroenke would ease supporter resistance to selling to Mr. Kroenke as it clearly did.
that having two potential buyers would drive the share value further meaning even if they sold to Mr Kroenke for less than Mr. Usmanov was offering they still would be selling for more to the man they were going to sell to along than if No one had bought Mr. Dein's shares
and C) If in the worst case scenario for the Board Mr. Kroenke walked away they still had a buyer at the ready. How they would have spun that then who knows.
frankly the only odd thing about that game was the fact that the score was 4:0. how did milan manage not to pummel us..
if asene was a man of honour he knows what to do but i am beginning to believe that he is not. that whoel fiasco is a shame.. i always knew henry joining us on loan was a mega mistake. what a way to taint his time at arsenal.. he certainly didn't belong to that show of shame.
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