Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Sack Arsene Wenger now? It's unthinkable in this of all weeks

Morning Gooners.

It's been a while, hasn't it? Unfortunately events away from Arsenal have been keeping me from blogging. But I hope things have now settled down a little, I can get back into a normal routine again.

One of the things I haven't been able to do in the last ten days is watch Arsenal too much. I only saw highlights of of Premier League win at the Stadium of Light and passing glimpses of the FA Cup match. However I did make the trip to Milan - my first experience of the San Siro no less - and what a result that was.

We've not been in the best of form since Christmas, it's clear for all to see with our results. It's made watching Arsenal painful. I've personally not enjoyed watching our team this season at times this season. Yes, the wins like the 5-3 at Chelsea make up for some of the many, many downs. But we've been so inconsistent you never know which Gunners team will turn up.

Something in Milan didn't feel right from the off - the selection of Tomas Rosicky. And I felt this when I first saw the team for the Carling Cup final, almost 12 months ago. I love Rosicky - when he's on form and pulling the strings it's a joy to watch. But that version of the Czech international hasn't been around consistently since before his injury.

At the San Siro, it felt the wrong call. Yes, he should provide more defensive cover in the space in front of the returning Kieran Gibbs than perhaps Alex Oxlade Chamberlain would. But one of the issues with playing Rosicky/Arshavin/Benayoun on the left is that they all like to drift inside and reduce the width we need to stretch our opponents game.

Personally I would have liked to have seen Arsene Wenger throw caution to the wind and have started with The Ox, who seems to be our only in form player at the moment. This was an average team playing - as much as I hate to say it - an average Arsenal team. But on paper we should have had the players to beat them.

The moments that Theo Walcott did get chance to run at them, he scared the Italian defence. But these were few and far between and if Theo thinks these are the type of performances which are going to see him awarded a new big money contract then he's very much deluded.

The defeat was very hard to take because it was easily avoidable. We made schoolboy errors. We couldn't even do the basics. Wojceich Szczesny still can't on many occasions find a team mate with a long kick up field. He said on Twitter last season he'd work on his distribution - it seems he's not got on very well with that side of his game. And if we cannot retain possession with our goalkeeper finding an outfield player, we might as well give the ball straight back to the opposition and let them take pot shots at goal.

There isn't much right at the club at this point in time. The game we really needed to win was the one last Saturday in the FA Cup. Our only real viable chance of silverware this season. But again, it seems we couldn't get ourselves up for that one.

As the results don't go our way, there is mounting pressure on Arsene Wenger. It is laughable that within hours of the defeat at the Stadium of Light, the Mail on Sunday were reporting that the club's board were lining up Pep Guardiola to replace the Frenchman. Quite why they think that Guardiola would want the Arsenal gig or that the board - who don't have any power or inclination to move Wenger on - would wield the axe now is anyone's guess.

I've seen other blogs and fans call for Wenger to go. I won't be one of them. I see little point in jumping on a bandwagon heading into one of the most important periods of our season - especially with the north London derby coming up this Sunday.

Perhaps the manager's position needs to be addressed in the Summer. But at the moment I feel everyone who loves Arsenal needs to get behind the team. They need us to be their 12th man. No time more than now do we need to be united in one voice, backing this team. Sunday's going to be tough enough as it is because our neighbours are having their best season ever, while we are having our worst for some considerable time (however they're only ten points ahead of us).

These Arsenal players are the ones who need our support. We may not like them all - a post last night about Alex Song has some interesting comments attached to it. But all these players deserve to be supported by us when they are wearing the red and white of our club.

Sunday is a massive game for us. It's the chance for these players to show what they are all about. They need to get us out of our seats. They need to put in a shift which shows they are giving 100 per cent. But as supporters we need to be there to provide them with the backing they deserve.

These players have let us down in recent weeks. In one of the most important games of the season, we need them to show that they care, that they want it as much as we do. The north London derby isn't just any game - it's one we want to win and win with pride. Let's hope that the real Arsenal turn up.

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