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A Rant From The Heart

A Rant From The Heart

Normally I would allow myself to cool down after the game before commenting on the performance.

I have just arrived back from a pub full of celebrating fans of other clubs having seen Arsenal humiliated by a side that surely cannot cling on to its Premiership status this season. As you can imagine I am not in the best of moods.

Questions have been filling my head since I first took my seat in front of the big screen. Thank goodness (how restrained can I be?) we had visitors today which prevented me from making the trip. What a shame they left for their own journey north enabling me to take in the full horror of our display.

Before we had kicked off I could not believe we had left Fabregas on the bench when we had no Hleb, the only other vaguely creative resource being Rosicky who was forced to fill the hole on the right side of midfield. I know he needs to rest sometime, but in fairness before the start I was convinced this was not the day to do it. Bert as usual tried to extend himself to be the main man in the centre, but Flamini and Baptista is not a force made in heaven.

There was obviously a second effect to Fab's absence. Aliadiere had to play up front. This guy deserves the opportunity to prove himself somewhere, but we already knew it should not be at Arsenal. I wish him well when he is surely shipped out for any sort of fee in January, but I do not want to see us experiment with him in an Arsenal shirt again.

The game plan has been seen many times before. It's cold, we are in the north against a side that will battle and compete for everything, and it's a late kick-off. We knew what the result would be, didn't we?

Now consider that a side of honest, but limited, journeymen found itself without a goalkeeper for the last quarter of the game against a side bidding to get within eight points of Chelsea. How on earth did we lose?

In fairness we lost because two of our most consistent performers chose one moment to share a rare dip from their high standards. Kolo and Jens will cop the flak for the abject performance by their team-mates.

How many touches do Baptista and Van Persie need in front of goal when clear opportunities present themselves? How can a player of the obvious quality of Clichy trap a ball further than he can kick it?

I'm so pleased this year is over and the transfer window is about to open. Some of the deadwood can be cleared out, and hopefully a couple of fresh faces can be added to liven up the mix. Wengerball mark three will be a success, I'm sure, but this temporary derailment needs to be halted now.

Arsenal's new year resolution must be 'never again will we be outfought and embarrassed by a side who have just one quality, sheer hard work. Never again will we suffer a Bolton, a Manchester City, a Sheffield United, a West Bromwich Albion, just because we were out-muscled'.

Many thanks to Dave (aka Goonerholic) for that. I thoroughly agree with what he has to say.

Don't forget to catch Goonerholic's daily ramblings Goonerholic


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Nick Simmonett
Date:Saturday December 30 2006
Time: 8:42PM

Comments

0
I think dave is spot on with what he says there. He said to me that it may have been typed while he was a little too angry with the team but I disagree. Spot on.
simmy8_2000
30/12/2006 20:57:00
0
Ha dthe match on r5 on my way back from a game. Inconsistency was never a thing for the Arsenal, appears more common this season, especially away from home.
SeasideEssexXile
30/12/2006 21:16:00
0
The most disturbing thing for me was the lack of quality. I cant remember a decent passing move, Generally we string at least 4-5 together a game but not today. I suggested today would be a true test of our squad depth and unfortunatley some of the 2nd string did not perform. Hoyte is hanging on to his Arsenal shirt by the skin of his teeth now Lauren is back, Flamini really must start to impose himself on games more, u can see Aliadiere has potential and to be fair to the boy he puts in 100% but he needs a move to freshen himself up. I still would not buy in the window as I feel the squad is there for us to crack on, we just need to pull together as a club (management, players and fans) and get ourselves right mentally for these types of games! Never again must we perform to a level as bad as what we all just witnessed.
iceman10
30/12/2006 21:22:00
0
Iceman10, we can't be delusional anymore mate, that side is not good enough. We don't have enough depth as a team such that injuries to key players leave us looking like a team of amateurs not title hopefuls. We were outplayed in every way by Sheffield and that their goalkeeper for the last 20 minutes was an outfield player just added insult to injury. There was no passion whatsoever, no hunger, no belief. Not a single player in yellow bar Fabregas looked as if he wanted it. We need serious investment. A striker is absolutely essential and we need to tighten up the defence. That game was absolutely shambolic! That team out there was not the Arsenal I know.
Keplaz
30/12/2006 21:42:00
0
I accept what you are saying Keplaz, but I disagree. We have strength in depth, but what we cannot afford is to rest our key playmaker when so many others are legitimately missing. Leaving out Fabregas today meant that Rosicky and Baptista had to play unfamiliar roles. Aliadiere had to play up front because the man who should have been there was trying to be a winger. I'm usually a staunch defender of 'Arsene knows', but at Fulham, and again today, he cocked up with his selections. This must never happen again.
northwilts
30/12/2006 21:47:00
0
im *****ed off but i just cant get myself to lambast the team after i was praising them so heavily last week againt blackburn, any team would struggle to play with that many injuries and in a swamp of mud, but still, absoloutley shocking performence nonetheless, tomas really dissapointed me today and baptista, meh
hazzagooner
30/12/2006 22:54:00
0
Baptista and Aliadiere were given a rare opportunity to prove themselves with what stuff they're made of. Unfortunately, they didn't do much or anything unique to convince AW. It's disheartening to lose this game in that manner!
SWPACIFIC
30/12/2006 23:10:00
0
OMG, I can't believe he played aliadiere again. After that portsmouth performance i was sure he wasn't goin to play again. And did u see how much better arsenal played, possesion wise, when hoyte came off. I really hope i don't see him play again either. We have Lauren back, i don't care if he doesn't have match practice, he can't be any worse than hoyte. Why does Wenger always play crap players against crap teams, doesn't he know we need to win those games as well??
thenry009
30/12/2006 23:32:00
0
Stay in your little Premiership bubble Gunners!!! Today you were out fought and out played by the mighty Blades!!! We deserved it plain and simple. Keep your overpayed spoilt little brats like Van Persie, heart won through today! A little payback for 1999!!!!!!!!!!!
Blade1889
30/12/2006 23:42:00
0
to add to this multitude of constructive criticism, I will concur that Wenger's selection and formation was poor, Van Persie and Hoyte horrible, the only ones trying were Gilberto, Cesc and somewhat Clichy, the rest were just... well most of you said it. Again RvP and Justin Hoyte to me were the worst 2, however, their performances were just as bad in the games against Blackburn and Watford (bar the RvP's winner), still in those 2 games Arsenal won and no one really cared. This time it was too obvious. I would not blame Baptista just yet, he played completely out of position although he could have first-timed the two opportunities that were there for the taking. Aliadiere, what can I say... in first 15 mins, when the ball was actually passed to him looked really hungry and dangerous, later on it just became worse and worse. Kolo and Lehmann were made to look less than average by Nade (?!). Rosicky had a very very poor game his first touch and passing was as bad as Flamini's - overall we deserved nothing. Most of the 50/50s were won by the opponent, most of the aerials as well and we looked clueless when going forward. As someone said, our 2nd string is definitely not good enough or too young (since our 1st team's average is 23), or both - and we may need our 1st teamers back SOON or some fresh blood.
G4L
30/12/2006 23:47:00
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