Just as it is crazy to the point of giving the impression of being an alien from another planet, to seek Mr Wenger’s resignation because of one bad result at Bradford, so it is silly to consider that the crisis is confidence that has been engendered by some poor performances is over.
But the fact is that changing managers and spending so much money that you can’t qualify for the Champions League under FFP, is no guarantee of success – as Chelsea – only a little above us in the league – have shown.
And yet that is what some people who seem to live in a world of perpetual dark, seem to feel. Take this little post from another site, which was forwarded to me.
“George Graham would piss all over Wenger with this current lot. People have to realise that Wenger’s created a fuckin mess & we could be in the wilderness for a while. One thing is, he MUST NOT be allowed to buy one more player. Join me & get your arse down to the roundabout on boxing day.”
Well, fair enough I guess. 250 can get on the roundabout and be by and large ignored by the members of the press staggering into the press entrance opposite after a little too much imbibing beforehand, and be ignored by the somewhat more sober members of the public attending the match.
Bit of a problem with the logic of course. George Graham won the league twice, but in between, his favourite position was fourth as this table from the Arsenal History Site shows…
|Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other|
|1987/8||6th||6th (Nottm F)||Final (Luton)|
|1988/9||1st||3rd (WHU)||3rd (Liverpool)|
|1989/90||4th||4th (QPR)||4th (Oldham)||Charity Sh. Lost|
|1990/91||1st (2 points ded)||SF (Tottenham)||4th (Man U)|
|1991/2||4th||3rd (Wrexham)||3rd (Coventry)||Charity Sh drewEuro Cup 2nd|
|1993/4||4th||4th (Bolton)||4th (Villa)||Charity Sh drewCWC won|
|1994/5*||12th||3rd (Millwall)||4th (Sheff W)||CWC Final|
The interesting bits here are the defeats to Wrexham in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, and the 10th in the following season. I suppose one could also add losing the League Cup final to Luton was a bit of a downer. I know, I was there with Roger and Ian.
As for the bit about signing no more players, that presumably, if retrospective, would mean no Santi Cazorla and no Theo Walcott both signed by Mr Wenger.
And it wasn’t just that we won last night, it was the way that we won.
Mr Wenger, as always, was eloquent. “Our game is based on movement and technical quality and that demands freedom of initiative and, when you are in a crisis, that suffers sometimes,” But we have to go beyond that and focus on the way we play football. Have we been in crisis? It depends on what you mean by a crisis. If you call it being slaughtered by everybody, then we were in super-crisis.
“In any bad thing, there is a good thing and you discover who is strong and who can remain united. In our job, you have to be mentally strong. It is a test when you have been in a position like we were in.
“At 4-2, I saw your headlines coming. Fortunately, we scored a fifth goal. We were under a lot of tension before the game and at 4-0 we thought, subconsciously, it was done. We had a wobbly period and we became a bit uncertain. We lost our focus and we paid for it. But it was important to play our football.”
“We have gone through a period of restricted financial potential when we moved into the new stadium but we have gone over that and, hopefully, we can be a bit more convincing now.”
As for the game, Wilshere improves every time I watch him, Santi Cazorla who has not been everything he could be in every game, was the star playing in the role that Cesc used to be in, and Theo was great. As the chant said about Theo, “sign him up sign him up sign him up”.
But there was more good news. Oxlade-C is not the complete player yet but each game he gets a little bit closer.
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