This season has become a drag and even when it ends they’ll be no joy, because the likelihood is that Wenger will stay and we’ll have to go through another season of the same old story. We’ll get knocked out in the last 16 of the Champions League, we’ll have a little cup run, we’ll top the league until December, and then the players will drop away like flies, ravaged by injuries and self-pity.
It’s all well and good looking for positives in the Barcelona game, and there were positives and I’ll get to those in a minute, but the reality is we lost 5-1, taken apart by the best team in the world and they didn’t even hit top gear. It’s a season of failures, and it’d be arrogance for the club to ignore the problems. It’s all so boring. Going back to the positives… I think I’ll go for Alex Iwobi for player of the week, with Elneny a close second, but outside of that there isn’t much to shout about, the season is over.
But how about Iwobi though? He looks the real deal. A 19-year-old starting ahead of Theo on his Birthday is a damning reflection on the England forward, but I think we can all see that Walcott’s had his day. I’m not sure he’ll stay for next season, he certainly doesn’t look like a player fighting, although that can be said about 70% of the squad. Come summer I think It’ll just be Monreal holding the fort. Back to Iwobi, his performances are highly encouraging, unfazed at the Nou Camp, much like Jack Wilshere when he burst onto the scene. I love the confidence this kid plays with. He runs at players. He commits. He tries to make things happen. Surrounded by the greatest players of this generation, 19 years old, and he did not look out of place for a single moment. And I’ll be honest I only really tuned into the Barcelona game to see how he played out, and all in all it was a successful run out for the Nigerian. That one two he had with… Welbeck, I think, on the edge of the box was brilliant. He shows a level of composure that most of this current crop of players lack, and now it’s becoming clear why Wenger didn’t want him going out on loan. If he can play like that away to Barcelona then he can play every game until the end of the season. After all, there’s nothing left at stake, so we may as well give him a run of games so he’s nailed on to start next season full of experience. Another eye-catching attribute for a player so inexperienced at this level is his intelligent use of the ball, always releasing it at the right moment, always choosing the right pass. And yes, these are early days, but it all looks promising, and it’s something to get excited about in this travesty of a season.
Iwobi wasn’t the only player to impress in Spain. Elneny continues his rise as an integral player. The midfield flows better with him. He’s brought a lot of fresh attributes since his move from Basel. Then there’s his sublime finish for the equaliser. He’s been craving a goal like that since joining and he couldn’t have chosen a better game to announce himself properly. It’s a shame it was all in vain. He had a good game on Wednesday night and he had a good game against Watford, both soured by the end results. Like Iwobi, I would also like to see the Egyptian play until the end of the season, and on current merit he deserves it. Also, why did Flamini start on Wednesday? It seems like another slice of arrogance from a manager who really needs to call it time.