Saturday, 17 September 2011

Gervinho speaks out -Arshavin handed new role? -Wenger defends Kroenke

Morning Gooners.

Ahhh. I hate early kick offs with a passion and today Arsene Wenger must lift his players for the 12.45pm start with Blackburn at Ewood Park. I find the players are normally half asleep until the second half. It's like they've just woken up two hours before as have the crowds for these games.

I don't envy the Away Support who left London on the official coaches at 6am. But I'm sure they'll give the boys their full backing, fueled on a few swift pints before hand.

There has been no further update with regards the team from the manager's official interview with Arsenal Player. So we're none the wiser as to the involvement of Aaron Ramsey and Tomas Rosicky. From the murmurings from the members of the press at Wenger's Friday press conference, there seems to have been a steer that Andrey Arshavin will start in the role behind Robin van Persie. The "Cesc" role if you like.

It would be a major shake up of the team to have the Russian come inside from the flank to play this role. And it's one many Gooners have suggested Arshavin would be accustomed to and one I would find interesting to see him perform.

With Arshavin more central to the play, Gervinho would continue on the left and the Ivorian has spoken to The Sun about joining the club and he's also defended Arsene Wenger.
"Playing for Arsenal is a dream come true for me. I never expected to become an Arsenal player this early in my career."
He added:
"Critics and criticism are part of the game and I've not been affected by it. 
"But people should remember Arsene is the one who has brought the club to its current level, he's the one who has helped make its great history."
I'm sure Gervinho knows that Arsenal have a great history dating back to 1886, what with it being our 125th anniversary this season. But he's correct in pointing out that our most successful period in recent history has been under Arsene Wenger. And in a society when one defeat is an instant crisis, it's good that Gervinho hasn't been caught up in the mass hysteria which has surrounded our August form. We've got some kind fixtures coming up and if we don't build on the Swansea win and Dortmund draw then it's time to worry about where our season is going.

One of the other interesting points which has come out of the interview is that Gervinho had a real desire to join Arsenal - even given our recent trophy drought. This is a good sign for us. Considering how worrying many people are that we can't attract the best players, it is good to hear that Gervinho wanted to join us. We are still an attractive proposition to some excellent players.

And whilst we're not able to pay the wages of the top teams in Europe because of our poor commercial revenue, having the desire to pull on the red and white of Arsenal and play under Arsene Wenger is still a major pull of attracting new players.

Arsene Wenger has said that we have to consider September the start of the season because of how badly things went for us in August, aside from the Udinese fixtures.

The manager said:
"It starts again because we have taken five players. How long does the cycle take? In the modern society zero days. 
"We were a team on the up and that was not rewarded last year because we were a bit hungry to go for all four trophies. 
"The basic quality was there and we were certainly very close to winning last year. But now we've been were hit by major departures that were not planned so we had to review a little bit. 
"There's a difficult balancing act between starting a new cycle and fulfilling the fans expectations. 
"But we want our fans to be happy, we want to win trophies and we will give absolutely everything to do it."
We are aware of the departures of Fabregas and Nasri and the problems they have caused to our team stability. How we need to give this team time to build up its confidence again. And I think the mindset has changed among Gooners. Perhaps it was the reality check of the Manchester United game, but I think we're all pulling in one direction now and that's behind the team.

There can't be any additions to the squad until January and I feel at the ground there seems to be more effort in to making our presence felt. It has been noticable that the atmosphere has changed and more and more Gooners are becoming vocal in their support. And that's not before time.

I think we've had five years to become accustomed to the Grove and now we want to ensure the team plays as well at home as it does on the road. And I think at times last season there was too much negativity around the ground which didn't help the players perform. That appears to have gone and now we're all backing the boys.

Maybe the expectation levels have been lowered, but that's not a bad thing in my eyes. We can't compete financially with the Manchester clubs and Chelsea. Until we can we perhaps shouldn't be setting our sights on winning the league. However that's not an excuse for the team not to have a very good try.

Perhaps some help from off the pitch is what's needed. More focus on gaining some bigger contracts from our commercial team? Or perhaps what our goals are as set out by the man who has control of the club?

And since becoming our majority shareholder and not yet uttering one word to us, Stan Kroenke has been defended by the manager.

He said of the American:
"I feel he leaves us to do the job, he will certainly speak out at some stage."
It would be good to hear from him before the AGM. I think he'll find otherwise he's in for a rocky ride.

I'll post my team preview a bit later.

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