I’m writing this in advance of Arsenal’s Europa league semi-final 1st leg against Valencia, the prospect of which makes me anxious and uneasy. There’s a heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach and an air of inevitability which I’m trying to dismiss. In the aftermath of the Gunners dramatic implosion, it’s not Emery that fans should be questioning, they should be asking key questions about our players.
How and why is there no passion or pride evident ?
Even with the opportunity of the Champions league within touching distance, the available players have been unable to motivate themselves sufficiently, to play to the required standard, which would guarantee an appearance on one of the biggest stages in World football.
Where has the spirit Arsenal showed at the Emirates against Spurs gone ?
Where is the artistry and creativity gone ?
Arsenal at the moment, look completely dysfunctional with a ragbag side of highly paid, low enders and ineffective individuals.
We now expect them to overturn three rancid performances and play like the Arsenal of old by rolling over Valencia and if by some miracle, Emery pulls this side through to the final, it will be the performance of his career.
The rot has set in and quite how, the team dust themselves off and produce the goods is beyond me at the moment.
I want to believe but, I’m not seeing anything that inspires or any individual player that has played with the desire of Ramsey in his final season.
How embarrassing, that the perennially broken Welshman, who is leaving to go to Juventus, has outperformed the entire squad.
Various explanations have been put forward to explain Arsenal’s ineptitude including physical and mental fatigue.
Ok, let’s consider this bullshit for a moment.
It’s not like every Arsenal player played a part in the World Cup. So, if physical and mental fatigue is the case, surely other teams would be suffering more ?
If it’s down to the volume of games, then Manchester City and Liverpool would be losing left, right and centre. If you suppose it’s down to a lengthy European campaign, then Liverpool would not be in the Champions League semi final or battling for the premiership.
It’s also been suggested by a great many that Unai Emery’s limited English is responsible in some way but I’m dismissing this as a form of clutching at straws. Yes, his English isn’t polished but I’m sure he’ll achieve the same levels of excellence as his local rival down the road.
If it were a problem, I’m sure someone at the Emirates would have noticed before now and anyway, it didn’t appear to impede him when Arsenal went on a 22 match unbeaten run.
Another piece of nice yet wayward thinking.
So why have Arsenal become so bad, so quickly ?
Simple enough, the players in general were never good enough because they struggled with a similar squad last season. They’ve become complacent and have developed a lack of ambition and no amount of speculation or investigation is going to solve that particular riddle in a hurry.
The depth of the squad is incredibly thin and only the next few transfer windows will sort that out.
The best of the worst will have to stay for another 12 to 18 months, simply because Emery can’t replace all the players he needs to.
Let me come to the Emirates in the summer to deliver P45’s and home truths.
What needs to happen in the break is that we need a decent level of investment to reshape this side and the arrivals need to be better than fucking Denis Suarez.
Someone needs a poke in the eye for that embarrassing mess and they should be forced to pay back the £2m into the Arsenal coffers.
The biggest problem that Arsenal face in the summer is a cohesive transfer team that chase down the targets and close the deals before the transfer window goes into its final stages.
It needs to be headed by a director of football and I don’t really care who that is at the moment, as long as they can deliver results. Emery also needs to reshuffle the back room staff and my first act would be to get a competent assistant manager who isn’t Steve Bould.
There’s no room for sentiment now the Frenchman has left and the current coach will have to become ruthless to shape this new Arsenal.
Up to five additions are needed including a new left back, central defender, two wingers and a creative midfielder. Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli, 17, and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Christopher Nkunku, 21, are already said to be done deals.
Djene Dakonam. Harry Maguire, Kieran Tierney and Kurt Zouma are said to be candidates for a defensive role, whilst Dennis Praet is also in Emery’s wanted list.
It’s ok buying players but, they will need the right attitude to make a success of their Arsenal careers, they need to be assertive and show intensity and desire. They need to battle and scrap for points by matching teams with a degree of physicality.
They need leaders and communicators to join up the dots. Arsenal players simply don’t communicate and are too passive and polite. Who can forget the face of a screaming Martin Keown.
The angry and shouty Tony Adams, like a rum sodden general in the heat of battle or the pained expressions of Cesc Fabregas or Patrick Vieira, barking and organising the troops into empty pockets of space on the pitch.
This is what Emery needs, this is what supporters want and what Arsenal football club deserve.
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