By Walter Broeckx
After the bad result on Saturday we get the same old comments from time to time on Untold and you can read them on other social network sites about Arsenal.
People blame Wenger for losing the game, for not having bought enough, for playing with the handbrake one, for every thing.
Now if we look at buying first. If we look at who was not available for this game we have Sczesny, Fabianski. Our numer 1 and 2 goalkeepers. We have Sagna our first choice right back for many seasons now. We had Koscielny out, last season named as our best defender. We had Gibbs out; one of this seasons revelations for me.
In midfield we didn’t have Diaby and Rosicky. Diaby has shown his class earlier on in this season and his first injury came when playing for France. And anyone who doubts Rosicky hasn’t seen football in the past 10 years. I might remind you that Rosicky got a small injury at the end of last season and then his national team turned him in to a complete wreck. You can also count Frimpong in if you want.
And of course Jack Wilshere. But it was clear from the start of the game that only if we would have a comfortable lead we would use him.
And in attack we didn’t have Walcott who was the victim of yet another international injury. A bit the Robin Van Persie story one could say. And according to the stats Walcott is the player with the most goal/assists for Arsenal this season.
Now if I still can count correct these are 9 players(I didn’t count Jack in and the link can give you some insight) who were not available before the start of the game. And apart from Gibbs and Frimpong all are full internationals for their country.
Ah but Wenger should have foreseen this and should have bought more players. Okay what kind of players? Because they must be good so they must be full internationals. If you know any names of full internationals who want to join Arsenal to come and sit on the bench be my guest but I don’t think you will find that many.
You cannot have 3 full teams of internationals at your disposal. Have you heard of the 25 squad rule? So the players who were left had to play. In fact the inclusion of Jack and Gnabry on the bench should have made the alarm bells ringing. A player who is not match fit on the bench is not a good sign. And a 17 year old on the bench who has never played in the PL is a sign of two things. One: that we are short of players (just look at the list and you understand). Two: that he must have some talent and hopefully will be given a chance in the next weeks.
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So the players on the field who all had been playing two games for their country had to deliver the goods. And some looked tired. Is it a wonder that the two players who looked best were Arteta and Jenkinson? Both who had been at Arsenal in the past 2 weeks.
Another thing I read is that Wenger is responsible for us playing with the handbrake on. Is there really anyone out there who thinks that Wenger starts his game talk with saying: Now look guys today we will play with the handbrake on. Those things just happen. I think that not being fresh enough or running out of steam will have more to do with playing with the handbrake on than the manager saying so. And I am willing to bet a few £ on the fact that Wenger will not tell his players to take it easy before the game.
And if you point at that they say: but he is the one that should motivate the players more. You can motivate the players all you want but if the players don’t have the legs to run there is nothing you can do. Expect rotate the team. But then we come back to the missing players. And to the 25 man squad. Take 9 men away from the 25 squad and you have 16 left. So the tired players have to play.
But this is typical Arsenal (and of course Arsène Wenger) for Arsenal to play with the handbrake on they say. He can’t fix it so he has to go. I say this is typical for ANY football club. Or do you really think that it only happens at Arsenal?
Do you really think all other teams play for the full 100% in each game? Let me tell you I really doubt it. Do you really think that when we beat Southampton with 6-1 they played for the full 100%? Maybe they did but it wasn’t good enough to stop us. But we can assume that they had a bad day at the office that day. Just as we had last Saturday.
Except that we call it playing with the handbrake on. Maybe because we know we can be better. Maybe because we expect Arsenal to play better. Yes we have such days. But other teams also have those days. But then we don’t notice it. And we don’t care. But believe me it happens to all the teams every now and then. Even without injuries. Even without having 9 players out.
It just can happen on any day and maybe most when you don’t expect it to happen. That is why football is so popular. Because some things are unpredictable.
And as one of our oldest readers just told us the other day: this is typical for Arsenal in fact. Having a bad day against a team that has never won a game in the season. He has been following Arsenal for a longer period than I am alive. I think he has been a Gooner for twice the years that I have been following Arsenal and when he says it is something that happened all the time during his time as a Gooner who am I to contradict him.
So it just was another game in the history of our football club. A bad game and a bad result. But nothing is sure in football and in our existence on earth. Saying it only happens to Arsenal is ridiculous. I don’t like it when it happens and I was very upset with it. But that is the way it is. And who knows maybe next game the boys will be up to it, fit for the game and give us a magnificent game of football.
Remember this is football, this is Arsenal. Anything can happen.
By the way: Happy birthday Arsène.
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