Season Opener – Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland at the our home.. the Emirates stadium. Oh dear…. Sit down and take a deep breath Gunners. The following is more of a short rant than an article. Ready?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME Arsenal?!! We’ve started Day 1 of the season with already 2 points behind any team that wins let alone the other elite clubs. If we want to challenge, a draw at home for a season opener is not good enough even if it is against a Martin O’Neill side. The players are not at fault, they were just not well prepared. Here are my thoughts-
- The Board decide to make more cash via marketing and send the team to Asia for a tour. Wenger accepts or has to accept and has to make a last minute friendly with Cologne to actually get some match time for the players both old and new to the club.
- There can be no excuses made by the club that the new players need to gel because frankly the new comers did their bit quite well for their debuts. And apart from Arteta and Gervinho, the other players looked jaded and lacklustre.
- Looking from a player’s perspective, how would any player feel when one of their good mates and dressing room favorite Alex Song, who arguably was a top player for the club with experience … shows up for training and then is asked to say his goodbyes and board a flight to Barcelona for a medical. This despite the fact that the club wants to sell him even though he stated he was quite happy to stay. Oh and this after selling our top marquee player to our bitter rivals a few days ago.
- Now we get to the fans perspective, we were all delighted that we signed Podolski, Giroud and the best signing amongst all clubs this year would be Santi Cazorla. That gave us an illusion of ‘lessons learnt’. But come the start of the season, we lose our top two players Robin Van Nistelrooy (This name stands) and Alex Song. In my opinion Song is a greater loss in terms of the development capital we have lost having raised him for 7 years.
Add the fact that even the other club players and managers are baffled by our sales at the last minute. The fact that there wasn’t a thought given about selling Song is just dumbfounding. I personally find myself feeling at both ends of the spectrum which I’ve noticed even amongst the celebrity Gunners. Sometimes the extreme- baffled and filled with anguish like Piers Morgan is (quite understandably). And sometimes highly tranquil and unflustered like Dara O’Briain (probably because we feel desensitized to this charade after all these years). What the club calls for “balancing the books” is merely an emasculation of the football values of the club. We cannot look at Man City or elsewhere and say they are all about the money, Why? Because they still deliver on the pitch and make it happen for and with the players. As for us- We are fed with the pretence that we are puritans of football, but what we seem to be are a ruthless business club making a quick buck. The boos at the end of the match said it all. Forgive me, I must now retire this weekend by going to Youtube and looking at videos of the Ol’ Les Invincibles days. Seems a long time ago, oh wait, judging by the 240p video quality… it has been.