Too late to be learning lessons, Arsenal!

By Avenell Dave

Twitter is a fascinating conduit for gauging the mood of the people on a wide range of topics.

Reading the Arsenal fans moaning yesterday (understandably I guess), the same old questions were being asked:

  • Why didn’t Wenger sign a world class goalkeeper?
  • Are the centrebacks good enough?
  • Why can’t Arsene Wenger teach his team to defend rather than believing that all out attack will work against everyone?
  • Why do so many players not know what it means to wear the Arsenal shirt and not give their all in every game?
  • Is RvP a luxury Arsenal simply cannot rely on any more?
  • Why, after defeats against lowly opposition that we’re expected to beat (WBA) or title contenders (Ch*vski), do we always come away with the same “The team must learn from this” comments from either Wenger or a player, only for the same frailties to come through time and again?

It’s that last point that bugs the hell out of me.

I may not be professional-athlete-fit, but I would run my heart out to play for Arsenal, I would fight for every ball, I would shout at my team mates to make sure that they do their jobs properly.

Did Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Nigel Winterburn or even Patrick Vieira lead by patting their players on the back every game, regardless of whether they were trying or making mistakes?

It is so disheartening to read Bacary Sagna’s comments (http://bit.ly/dn65Ks ) today, however limp they seem.

The problem we have had is a collective one, for sure, and it makes life no easier when we have so many injuries to key players.

I suspect we would have created more than a couple of chances if we had had Cesc, which underlines how important he is to the team.

But Sagna and his counterpart on the left, Gael Clichy, have got to be more ruthless. They need to start watching videos of Stuart Pearce clattering into an opponent with a robust yet fair challenge at the start of a game. He was capable of bombing forward and getting in crosses but his first job was to defend and he did it well.

The number of goals we concede from crosses is totally unacceptable – C@shley Hole must rub his hands together knowing that in any game against his former team, he’s going to get one telling cross that leads to a goal.

How long does it take to learn that he has to be stopped?

To be honest, all the defenders need to know how to make tactical fouls, how to stop opponents by fair means or foul if it prevents a goal.

Even after Samir Nasri’s poor pass that put Laurent Koscielny in trouble, I was pleased the young Number 6 took out his opponent rather than step off him in the polite way Arsenal defenders have so often done.

Of course, letting Florent Malouda stand in the wall and Alex Song ducking out of the way (dye your hair black again Alex, you’ve been woeful since it went grey-blonde!) when his job was to block the ball, were schoolboy errors.

It’s so disheartening fearing that another season is going to come and go with no discernible improvement in the team and even more frustrating wondering what we can do about it.

I’ve said many times that I don’t blame Wenger, even if his choice of favoured players sometimes leaves me scratching my head, as does his refusal to buy players in positions where the team is crying out for quality and experience.

I get as frustrated with Le Boss as many of you on Twitter who wonder what is going on and why the deficiencies are not being addressed.

Can I name someone who would do a better job than Wenger? There are probably only one or two people on the planet who could do as well if not better with the resources and neither of them would join us.

The fact remains that this is turning into a frustrating period for Arsenal.

We have gone five years without a trophy and seem to be in a cycle of making the same mistakes followed by the same mistakes followed by sales of our most successful players and a constant feeling of transition and injury.

Whether or not this season will be one of triumph or another as nearly men, time will tell.

Arsenal have gone longer without a trophy in the past and it could be worse – we could be Liverpool.

The fact is, we the fans have no control over what happens off the field and no control over who is selected and who is not.

When Manu Eboue got abused a couple of years ago, Wenger didn’t sell him as some may have done.

The lesson, and something all Addicts have to remember, is that being an Arsenal fan is for life.

We are merely spectators and the only way we can hope to help the team is by singing our hearts out home and away and getting behind the team.

There’s no doubt they need us.