Arsenal doldrums: Still not enough wind in the sails

Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal

Another league game, another defeat. It’s hard to be positive when Arsenal’s season lurches from one reverse to another with such predictable regularity. We sit 15th, which is pretty much where we deserve to be, so post-match yesterday Wenger ruled out challenging for the title. It’s October 3rd.

To be fair, he’d sound like Comical Ali if he said anything otherwise, given that far from sniffing a tilt at the top, we are two points off the relegation zone. The only thing we are currently sniffing is the whiff of stagnation.

The overbearing feeling for me is that, while we played tidily enough in patches – bossed the midfield at times – and had plenty of possession, too much of it was without consequence and despite one or two decent chances, we never did enough to stretch Spurs’ defence for long periods. Our lack of incision, coupled (in the latter stages) with poor passing and chaotic defending, made things relatively easy in the end for Spurs, who could have scored more had it not been for the heroics of Wojciech Szczesny. Or put succinctly: We were not bad, but we were not good. We were decidedly average. At the moment we are decidedly average.

That our hosts have the upper hand on us, after a decade in the shadows, is hard enough to take (three wins in four derby games for them, now), but it would be easier to digest if against everyone else we were chugging along nicely. Instead we are stuck in win-a-few, lose-a-few limbo, against anyone and everyone, and have been since February.

A text from a Spurs-supporting friend of mine, who is not noted for his optimism, simply said “What on earth has happened to you?”

I wish I knew the answer.

I have never thought it’s down to the paucity of personnel. Taken individually, we still have fine footballers and a raft of excellent young ones coming in. Coquelin did well, Szczesny did well. Of course, we have some key injuries in the spine of the side (to which we can add Bacary Sagna, a bitter blow indeed).

This Arsenal side is a work in progress but right now we are not playing enough as a team, not playing for long enough with the right concentration, or always with enough drive, not doing some of the basics right.

Fix that and Wenger is a genius. But does he have any magic left in his magic hat?


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Scott Saunders

    “But does he have any magic left in his magic hat?”

    Are you serious? The hat has been empty for quite some time now… Obvious to all but a few.

  2. Scott Saunders

    “But does he have any magic left in his magic hat?”

    Are you serious?! The hat has been empty for quite some time now… Obvious to all but a few.

  3. East Lower

    That’s the worry of course. 

  4. Anonymous

    Agree with everything you say. At the moment all eyes are on Wenger to fix the issues. This in itself is an indictment of the lack of leaders in the squad, I cant see any of the players getting stuck in and showing a determination to turn things round. We show all the classic hallmarks of an average team; inconsistency, only one or two quality players, lack of team spirit, cant handle pressure, new players coming in and struggling to get to know the patterns of play etc etc etc. So far from the old Arsenal. So it is back to Wenger and the key question….can he fix things all by himself….and I am pretty certain the answer is NO. We were always going to have to lose Wenger one day, better he goes now in some ways while we are so totally average. Time for new ideas (other teams know our predictable style of play inside out by now), time for new leadership (get someone in who can build team unity and desire to be winners) and time to start to rebuild. I defy anybody to tell me Wenger is up to that. I JUST WANT MY OLD ARSENAL BACK !!!!!!

  5. Anonymous

    Totally right. At the end of last season there were so many saying he deserved the chance to put it right & I said over & over ….last season was Wenger’s last chance to win the league. Utd were the poorest winners Ferguson’s ever had. They were going to get stronger, Chelsea were going to come back, City were going to get bigger & bigger. It was there to be won. And because he relied again on the muppets like Diaby/Denilson/Almunia etc we threw it away. He will never, ever get a chance like that again…and I think last season has left such deep scars on the players, manager & indeed the fans that changes in playing personnel were never going to be enough…..
    I’ll ask the same question I asked last April/May – if we have a manager who is never going to win the league again then why is he still the manager ???

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