Friday, 29 April 2011

Arsene's frustrations shouldn't hide we need signings | Wilshere's summer trip on

Morning Gooners.

Another Bank Holiday here in the UK today because a man is marrying a woman! Great for me because it means another day off work. Arsene Wenger held his pre-match press conference yesterday and there was a lot to be discussed.

The early team news is quite good. Everyone apart from Abou Diaby, Lukasz Fabianski and Thomas Vermaelen will be available for Sunday. And taking of the Belgium central defender, he came through 90 minutes of reserve team football last night as Neil Banfield's side drew 0-0 with Manchester United.

With four games left to play the manager said his team would give everything to the final moment of the season and wouldn't give up on the title until it was mathematically impossible to win. Whilst Wenger conceded Manchester United are in the driving seat and it was theirs to lose, he did admit to having frustrations about how the season has panned out.

He said:
"This is our most frustrating season because if you look at all the numbers, it is the closest we have been.
"Just look at the last week or so; we could have had nine points quite easily against Liverpool, Tottenham and Bolton. In the end we finished with two.
"We feel more frustrated than ever because we are closer than ever to winning this league. Of all the trophies, the most important above all for me is the Premier League and this year we had the quality to win it."
From watching the press conference on Arsenal TV Online, I genuinely believe the manager thinks that it was some real bad luck which cost us the chance of winning something this season. And after what happened in the Carling Cup final, with that freak incident which led to Birmingham's second goal, you can kind of understand his logic.

The sending off of Robin van Persie in the Champions  League tie with Barcelona also had a huge effect on us as well.

But for me, you cannot say bad luck or wrong decisions have cost us in the league. We've not been good enough at home and that's the only reason why we won't win the title this season.

I really hope that the manager sees this because changes are needed in the summer. We cannot accept it is just bad luck that we don't win trophies. We have to look beyond that to the root cause of it. And perhaps the manager is finally coming to the realisation that some of these players are not mentally tough enough to cope with the pressure.

He said:
"After the Carling Cup, we continued to be absolutely spot on with our attitude but we missed a bit of that subconscious belief that makes you win.
"And that frustrates you because you know that it is there and you want to fight against it."
I'm not sure you can teach players to believe more. The manager is keen to take as much of the pressure and expectation away from the players, even going so far as not requiring them to wear suits to the Carling Cup final because the club want a final to feel like any other game.

Personally I think it is time the players were given more responsibility for their performances on the pitch and I don't think it would be a bad thing if the manager was a little bit more hard on them. Theo Walcott admitted in his interview with the Sunday Telegraph that Wenger takes them to task behind closed doors, but perhaps that criticism needs to be heard in public as well.

One thing is for certain, changes need to be made in the summer and I'm sure that Wenger knows this deep down.

The manager was asked whether Arsenal were prepared to sell Cesc Fabregas this summer and the Frenchman said what you'd expect him to say: "We want to keep our best players."

He did not however answer the question directly. There will be plenty of time over the summer to speculate over the future of the captain, but considering what happened last summer, if Wenger wants to keep the Spaniard at the club, there won't be any transfer for Cesc.

Wenger was also asked about the vile chants hurled at him and whether they had any effect on him. He joked that he was immune to them. However that doesn't make it right for opposition supporters to be allowed to get away with it.

It was great to see earlier this week in the Daily Mirror Oliver Holt write about this issue. Not only did he write about it, but it was the main subject of his column in the newspaper, read by several million people and not hid away in an internet column. Personally I think it is time we stood up to these chants. They have no place in football. And it is for the Football Association and the police to take action.

The Sun report England under-21 manager Stuart Pearce is set to include Jack Wilshere in his provisional 40 man squad for this summers Euro under-21 championships.

The club have announced the line up for this summer's Emirates Cup. The teams who will compete with Arsenal for the cup are: New York Red Bulls, Paris Saint-Germain and Club Atl├ętico Boca Juniors.

Fancy some further reading? There is a very reasoned and rational response to the season so far over at the Beautiful Groan.

Finally, the Arsenal Supporters Trust have written to chief executive Ivan Gazidis about the much talked about rise in season ticket prices for next season. I am totally behind their campaign on this subject and will outline why in a post later today.

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