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Out of three of the four competitions already, what does Arsenal do now?

By Tony Attwood

If the question above were posed as “What SHOULD Arsenal do now” rather than as it is written, the answer would undoubtedly be very complicated.  But Arsenal commentators on football don’t do complicated – they like simple, easy solutions.   And therein lies another problem.

For the problem with simple solutions to complex problems is that they rarely work.  Yet they can look and sound very appealing when presented and can quickly rally support.   The media will thus always go for the simple solution, but then, being the media, when it doesn’t work, will forget it, until the next simple solution comes along.

Thus it was with the “Wenger out” approach to Arsenal which some fans and the media adopted across 2016/17 and 2017/18.   That was about as simple a solution as one could get, but it rather ignored many of the issues surrounding the club and its owner.

Now, with the situation this year looking much the same as the situation at this stage of last season, some commentators appear to be waiting for the next simple solution to come along.    Last night some adopted a “get rid of Xhaka” approach, not for the first time, and once again we are taken into a simplistic “analysis” (I use the word lightly) which is unlikely to make that much difference to Arsenal in the long run.

Indeed in a flashback to the old days There was even a comment made here recently that Arsenal get more injuries than other clubs, although I have yet to see the blame be put on Arsenal’s current manager for that – although it could easily happen soon.

But clearly the search is on for another simple explanation as to why Arsenal are not in the top four, and why once again we are out of the FA Cup at the first time of asking.

Injuries are not helping of course, especially when a number of them appear in the same part of the team at the same time.   Sokratis, Koscielny, Bellerin, Holding… that is a pretty good group of defensive players, all now out of action; but this is what happens to all clubs at different times, and the manager’s job is to find ways of working around it.

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that even now commentators whose commentary is based on simplistic analysis to complex problems fail to see their own analysis failing.  Take this one from the Star about Arsenal, “They have gone in to this stadium to generate money and compete with the top teams in this league and to go into this window and only getting loans is just, I mean it is just ridiculous.”

No, Arsenal went into the new stadium when the notion of mega-money running football was only just starting to emerge, and before the board of directors betrayed the fundamental notion of Arsenal when the club moved to Highbury, as a club owned by thousands of people, not just one person.

Still at least we had a little laugh recently as Mauricio Pochettino defended his lack of trophy type objects at Tottenham Hotspur by utilising Arsenal’s song “You won the league in black and white”.

He then said that the single biggest factor stopping Tottenham winning a trophy was the move out of the old White Hart Lane stadium to Wembley, and then, what one might call a bit of a cock up on the building front.

“Tottenham, no history of winning,” Mr Pochettino announced, with a speech that seemed rather in contrast to the standard line one hears from the club. “Our glory, I watch the video about the glory, it’s with Nicholson. It’s black and white and I watch it nearly every week. To create again that feeling you need time. Four years, five years, that’s nothing in the history of the club.”

And maybe that is true.  But unfortunately just as a single simple solution is always sought by supporters to complex issues, so a single simple explanation is always sought at the problem in the first place.

For the media, and those Arsenal supporters they led (rather like the Pied Piper of Hamelin leading the rats) there is one simple solution: get rid of the manager.  Now that has been achieved and instant glory has not followed, they have another problem.   So do they pick another simplistic notion and say that is to blame (like Tottenham’s Pochettino blaming the club’s celebration of his ancient history as a reason for his failure to win the league) or do they for the first time ever admit that such problems are complex, and that simplistic single item solutions simply don’t work?

I very much suspect the former.  More simplistic notions, which will whip up a frenzy among some supporters, but actually make no odds to Arsenal’s future.

I do very much hope I am wrong, and that somewhere within Arsenal there is a long term solution that addresses the multiple difficulties the club is facing, but as yet I am not seeing the signs.

 

25 comments to Out of three of the four competitions already, what does Arsenal do now?

  • Pat

    Like you, Tony, I was just remembering all the talk about our injury record in previous seasons and how it contributed to the negativity that forced Arsene Wenger out. To be consistent, Arsenal Supporters Trust and the rest should start a similar campaign now.

    I am sad that we are out of the Cup. All I have to comfort myself is the memory of two victory parades.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Wenger out wasn’t the solution. That is for sure. As we have always said.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Didn’t the media and many fans line up to say Emery needs several transfer windows?
    Wonder what’s changed with them?

  • Gord

    OT: Recovery from injury

    NPR references some recent research on muscle recovery form loss of muscle mass.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/01/25/688838589/muscles-may-preserve-a-shortcut-to-restore-lost-strength

    Probably has some influence on recover of players like Koscielny and Bellerin (on the mens team, other on the womens team).

  • Gord

    OT: Some musing about Brexit

    Article is in two parts, first part is generic handwaving. The second part is specific to plans for a team in Ireland.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/soccer/brexit-is-coming-and-english-football-had-better-be-ready-1.3770631

  • Whilst we may not have more injuries than other teams in general, we certainly seem to have more that are long term ones.

    We have 3 out now for the rest of the season, and most likely for part of next as well, with Welbeck, it is the second time.

    However, are not many of these injuries usually caused by tackles from opposing players, rather than anything that one can blame the manager or his staff for.

    Can it be said that the aggressive attitude of some managers and the inability or unwillingness of referees to protect our players from assault more likely to be the reason?

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Arsenal could get over their inconsistencies in games winning results delivering to the club to start getting and delivering games win results on the very long basis to the club which if it is done consistently in season campaigns, could see Arsenal win the Premier League title and the UCL on the near regular basis as from next season. But this can only be attained if the club will come out from the inadequate financial predicament is hitting the club has now got close to near acute level which has restricted the club from signing many world class players in their number they ought to have signed last summer and should be signing this winter windows. This has somewhat led to Arsenal having the weaker first team squad currently on ground at the club in comparison to the ones obtainable at their rivals 4 big PL club sides of: Many City. Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea. And even to some extend now at Tottenham Hs. And the lack of to be fortunate to have the first team squad manager at Arsenal in the past 13 seasons who can truly take the club to the next level to win the PL and the UCL titles on the near regular basis is compounding the problem of the lack of winning the 2 priced titles at Arsenal. For which the lack of having this kind of 2 big priced titles winning manager at the club has led to the lack of attainment by Arsenal to win these 2 most priced titles of the PL and the UCL have plagued the club since 2005-2018 football seasons competition campaigns and even beyond in the case of the UCL during which Arsenal can only boast of winning only the FA Cup thrice. But have been missing out on the wins of the PL title, the UCL, the Carabao Cup and of recent the ELC for 13 past consecutive seasons and over that Arsenal have competed in the 4 competitions to win any of the 4 titles that were on offer which they ought should have won during the 13 consecutive past seasons and over that are under review.

    Yesterday’s night was a frustrating night for us Gooners all over the world as us watched Arsenal characteristically collapsed to the superiority of Man Utd counter attacking football in the game and their clinical goal scoring takings prowess in the match that overpowered the inferior Emery’s Arsenal game playing starting XI and his game playing tactics in the match which saw Arsenal fell 1-3 at home to Man Utd in an FA Cup 4th round match. This defeat suffered to Arsenal by Man Utd yesterday night came on the backdrop of Arsenal beating Chelsea ln a PL big game at the Ems last Saturday has exposed the inefficiency in Unai Emery’s managed Arsenal team capacity in the match to thus have us Gooners doubting if he can oversee the Gunners to be playing with consistent big performances to be winning games consistently in the PL as from their Cardiff game at the Ems in the PL on Tuesday night and onwards that will lead to Arsenal to get a top four place finish for the club and win the Europa League Cup this season which are the 2 titles now left for Arsenal to pursue and win them. Although, the top four place finish is not officially acknowledged by us Gooners as a title but unofficially acknowledged as one now. Moreso, as Arsenal are desperately chasing to finish in the top four place this season.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Arsenal could get over their inconsistencies in games winning results delivering to the club to start getting and delivering games win results on the very long lerm basis to the club which if it is done consistently in the season campaigns, could see Arsenal win the Premier League title and the UCL on the near regular level basis as from next season. But this can only be attained if the club will come out from the inadequate financial predicament that has the club hit by average financing that has now got close to near acute financing level. Thus, restricting the club from signing many world class players in their number they ought to have signed in last summer window and should be signing this winter window too. This has somewhat led to Arsenal having the weaker first team squad currently on ground at the club in comparison to the stronger ones obtainable at their rivals 4 big PL club sides of: Man City. Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea. And even to some extend now at Tottenham Hs. And the lack of to be fortunate to have the kind of first team squad manager at Arsenal in the past 13 seasons who can truly take the club to the next level to win the PL and the UCL titles on the near regular level basis is compounding the problem of the lack of winning the 2 most priced titles of the PL and the UCL at Arsenal. For which the lack of having this kind of 2 most priced titles winning manager at the club has led to the lack of attainment by Arsenal to win these 2 most priced titles of the PL and the UCL has plagued the club since 2005-2018 football seasons competition campaigns and even beyond in the case of the UCL as Arsenal can only boast of winning only the FA Cup thrice. But have been missing out on the PL title, the UCL, the Carabao Cup and of recent the ELC wins for the 13 past consecutive seasons and over that Arsenal have competed in these 4 competitions to win any of the 4 titles that were on offer which they ought should have won during the 13 consecutive past seasons and over that are under review.

    Yesterday’s night was a frustrating night for us Gooners all over the world as us watched Arsenal characteristically collapsed to the superiority of Man Utd counter attacking football in the game and their clinical goal scoring takings prowess finishing in the match which had the inferior Emery’s Arsenal game plan and wrong big game playing starting XI and his game playing tactics in the match overwhelmed and overpowered which saw Arsenal fell 1-3 at home to Man Utd in an FA Cup 4th round match. This defeat suffered to Arsenal by Man Utd last night came on the backdrop of Arsenal beating Chelsea ln a PL big game at the Ems last Saturday has exposed the inefficiency in Unai Emery’s man management capacity to manage a big club of Arsenal FC size in matches and deliver titles to the club. But his glaring failure to manage Arsenal to get past Man Utd last night has have us Gooners to start doubting if he can oversee the Gunners to be playing with consistent big performances in games and be winning them on the consistent basis in the PL as from the Arsenal home match against Cardiff City at the Ems in the PL on Tuesday night and onwards that will lead to Arsenal to get a top four place finish for the club and win the Europa League Cup this season which are the 2 titles now left for Arsenal to pursue and win them. Although, the top four place finish is not officially acknowledged by us Gooners as a title but unofficially acknowledged as one now. Moreso, as Arsenal are desperately chasing to finish in the top four place this season.

  • Pat

    I wasn’t blaming the manager for the injuries – just as I didn’t blame Arsene Wenger for them. All I meant was, to be consistent, the WOBs would have to say the same things about Unai Emery they said about him.

    I just miss Arsene Wenger, I can’t help it. I especially miss his comments on Arsenal.com and his press conferences.

  • Menace

    It is time Arsenal appointed a liason officer to deal with officiating. The consistent injuries Arsenal have is their making. It is for the club to address the FA & its lapdog the PGMOL regarding the poor setup and the unacceptable level of officiating. It will also keep the coach safe from punishment everytime communication is made between club and FA.

    Untill this has been addressed, it is useless to support an honest club in this era of technology & corruption by biased media.

    The funding of the FA and the abuse of taxpayers money seems to have been laundered by the media appearing to be unimportant. Yet there are those who get hounded for a few pennies by the tax authorities. The corporations that evade billions of tax have had very little punishment. The likes of BHS & the use of non domiciled tax evasion with full access to benefits such as protection by our defence forces is an absolute farce.

    Ownership of a UK based enterprise must be a liability on the owner of UK taxes.

  • nick

    Dear me .Reading some of the posts by the UA and Arsene Wenger faithful on here leads me to believe that you want Emery to fail to try and prove a point.We are only half way through the season and with only one transfer window do you honestly expect to be back where we belong so early??Look at Peps first season with City and Klopps with Liverpool.They werent exactly pulling up trees .It taked time and that what Emery should get.It was time for a new manager now legs get behind him as the UA banner states and lets stop blaming the refs ,you sound like that halfwit Menace..Mind you his numbness does make me chuckle..

  • Menace

    In my capacity as a peace corps worker, I must point out ‘It taked time’ is incorrect English. The word ‘chuckle’ has an Indian root. 😉

    Sorry mother ‘I taked’ the michael out of the devil.

  • Mikey

    “out of the FA Cup at the first time of asking”……..I must be getting old, my memory keeps suggesting we beat Blackpool at the “first time of asking”!!!

  • Nick.

    I think that you are including me amongst the posters to whom you refer.

    Of course, I very much want UE to succeed, even though the style of football upon which he is basing himself is not one that I am used to or prefer.

    I am prepared to accept that that is the way the game is going.

    However, my concern is the fact that the problems seem to have got worse, even allowing for the awful bad luck in so many injuries to our defence.

    AW had similar problems and yet took us to the CL final and top 4 in the league.

    You cannot compare his situation with that of Pep and Klopp, because both of them had substantial sums at their disposal in order to buy replacements to fit into their scheme of things.

    UE does not have that and, in order to succeed, will have to rely, in the main, on what we have, not what we might be able to get.

    That is why his rejection of Ramsey and ostracisation of Ozil is so strange and concerning. It seems that what is EU’s vision is the only thing that is important, not the benefit of the team.

    Sending Chambers out on loan and then not bringing him back when we were short staffed at the back seems short-sighted.

    Add to that the constant chopping and changing at the back and then playing Zhaka as a centre back, which then destroyed the great relationship he had built up with the Tereira, has led to instability and lack of cohesion.

    Then there is Guendouzi who seems to be almost the first name on the team list, when all we see is a lot of running around, but not much else.

    Those who supported AW were heavily criticised for not criticising him, yet, when we do so with UE, we are doing something wrong.

    I am saying that I am not impressed with what I have seen so far and am concerned for the immediate future.

    If it is simply the storm before the calm, then that is fine, but remove Ramsey and Ozil from the team and one has to ask, where the chances are going to come from?

  • Gord

    OT: Mauricio Pochettino’s side looks to keep silverware dream alive with FA Cup fourth round win at Selhurst Park

    When I looked over the EPL oficials for the various FA Cup games this round, CPal v Spuds looked to have officials which were harder on Home sides more than Away.

    I guess they were just told to tilt the game the other way, and so the Spuds are keeping their dreams of avoiding a trophy going. They have the only cards, they missed a penalty and there is less than 5 minutes left. Not what I was expecting.

    Spuds crying for another penalty, nothing. Four minutes of time added on. Hopefully the stadium has lots of milk for them to cry in.

  • nick

    Sorry jjgsol if you thought i infurred you.It wasnt meant about you but the likes of Walter ,Tony, menace and the rest of the untold hierarchy who vermantly support Wenger no matter what.And Menace i applaud you for noticing my grammar mistake as it proves that you can actually see and comment on something other than referrees mistakes

  • Menace

    I am indeed honoured by your applause nick. I have excellent observation skills, that is why I see officiating bias.

  • nick

    But your problem is menace you havent got a clue about football and have certainly not played the game.But you carry on spouting your waffle because you are the special one.

  • Nick,

    I think you still misunderstand me.

    I also vehemently supported AW and although I did so, like, I am sure like the others you mentioned, I also felt that the time was correct for a change.

    I thought that the succession would have been taken care of behind the scenes before it happened, but the disgraceful conduct of so many parties last season meant that the club decided it had to be done then, without the proper preparation and consideration.

    My doubts are as to whether UE was the right choice and those doubts remain.

    Can I say one other thing, in that I stopped going to what I thought was an excellent blog, because some of the participants thought it was appropriate and, no doubt, clever to insult others who said something they did not agree with.

    I came here where everyone respects the views of others and there are no insults.

    Can I, respectfully, ask that you honour that and refrain from insulting colleagues who you do not agree with. Thanks.

    I would not like to give up this blog as well.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @jigsol I agree with your sentiments about supporters attacking supporters. Not needed not wanted. We can disagree without being mean to each other. Instead, let’s poke fun at that lot up Seven Sisters who crashed out of two cup competitions this week all the while their manager bemoaned their lack of winning history since Bill Nicholson.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Does this joke reminds you of anyone ?

    ‘ I felt very sorry for the hypnotist I saw perform last night.
    He hypnotised seven guys , and then accidentally dropped the microphone on his foot and yelled ,” Fuck me !”
    What happened next will haunt me for the rest of my life.’

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sorry …remind you ..

  • Dom

    nick,
    as far as I’m concerned, we as ‘fans’destroyed the confidence of our players and lost a top manager out of sheer stupidity.
    We are now, as we deserve at our level with regard to our players,our manager and our expectations….mediocre. Live with it

  • nick

    Dom .what a stupid comment you have just posted.Has to be up there with Menaces garbage.

  • Dom

    Well done nick,
    You certainly do not disappoint…the only valid, sensible and reasoned view on Arsenal available on this site, is your own it would seem. I stated MY view and have not claimed that it needs to be endorsed by anyone else.You do come over as a rather numb character yourself.