Veteran's View - We lost 5-0 to Stoke in '71

By Samuel Mowbray

 

If you think Saturday was bad you should know that we lost 5-0 to Stoke in the first double year.

 

I am not saying that history will repeat itself. I am just saying that we don't necessarily have to run off the nearest cliff..... yet!

 

But there are worrying signs. And this no doubt is Arsene's biggest test in his twelve years. If 'Arsene knows', then now is the time that he will truly show it. Then we will really know that he really knows!

 

There was something profoundly odd about the Spurs game. We weren't very good - and they, B*ntley aside, were poor.

 

Arsene clearly didn't 'know' about B*ntley because, even though he was profoundly up for it, he was a class apart. And it pains me to write that. B*ntley would be a good player to have in our current situation.

 

Adebayour was poor. He ran the line ineffectively. Why wasn't he up for it, against 'his' team, after he had won us the game at West Ham?

 

We celebrated for far too long after the goals. That's why there were four minutes - and the shambles of those minutes made for the most painful exit from Emirates I have ever experienced.

 

Be passionate - but be professional.

 

I wasn't at Stoke - but given Wenger's post-match comments about them deserving to win, then I can only imagine his comments today were deliberate in loading Saturday's with deep irony.

 

Whatever got into RVP's little head? Clearly not the maxim: be passionate but be professional!

 

And, yes, the tackles on Adebayour and Walcott are disgraceful - and I am surprised not more has been made of them in the press.........They are disgraceful.

 

So. We reach a - maybe the - real moment in Arsene's managerial life.

 

Does he now not regret matching the Scousers' demands for Alonso? In my view we would not be in the state we are if Arsene had just shelled out £3 million more...

 

Does Arsene know?

 

If he believes in youth so much, then now is the moment he gives them their chance - it probably has to be given the injuries.

 

These are two big games this week - and it may just be that history finally catches up with him.

 

There are no true replacements to key places - and particularly Flamini. He failed not just to purchase a powerful central defender - but to ever really develop a player in that position. (Was loaning out Senderos, rather than selling him, an act to save face?)

 

He must get into Adebayour's mind. He has to convey to Nasri the nature of his role in the blood-and-thunder of premiership games.

 

He must come to terms that Denilson is not the answer. He has to sort out the defence - both short-term and long-term.

 

And his failure to have cover given the extent of the injuries - which can never be an excuse for a manager of a top four club.

 

Maybe this will be the week that youth propels us to another dawn.

 

Ramsey scoring the winner on Saturday... you never know....!!

 

This is the week, as I say, that we will know if 'Arsene knows'.