I couldn’t possibly award anybody associated with Arsenal Football Club any form of recognition, let alone player of the week, which becomes a growingly impossible task with each humiliation.
Where to begin? I guess I’ll try to search for that bright spark in our dismal season, and go to Alexis Sanchez for comfort. He scored in midweek and on Saturday continued to show us that he is the one of our very, very few players’ with the current mentality and passion to come near that red and white shirt. Even our beloved Ramsey is stumbling towards his old swamp. It’s undeniable now that something grim is growing in the Arsenal camp, and it is no longer fan hysteria: something is seriously wrong with Arsenal. It’s been that way for many years, and even the shine of the FA Cup was nothing more than a distracting light shone by Wenger and Co. to blind everybody to the deficiencies and failures of the people who hold the greatest responsibility at the club. Wenger knows he’s ruined himself into a point of no return. He’s well aware that going out on an FA Cup high has well and truly flown past, and he’s well aware that the only path he can take is the heavily flawed and ego-orientated one he’s lead us on from the start. He will not change. And the only way Arsenal can change and re-take their dominance is for a forced change, sooner rather than later. We are on the brink of collapsing to mediocrity in the same way Liverpool did a few years back. Maybe we need to. Maybe we should let go and fall into the abyss. Maybe then, somebody new will come in, save us, and then drag us back to the top. Champions League looks threatened this year (and I’m hardly bothered anymore – Champions League means nothing if Arsenal are to continue in this way, it’s pointless and a waste of everybody’s time), and if we fail to cement our place for another record breaking year we may very well not see it for a while. And I say record-breaking year for all the wrong reasons. Fourth spot means very little if you’re thrashed by Stoke on the way there. And we haven’t even hit our or annual 7-0 collapse yet. And with Liverpool on the brink it’s only a matter of time before Arsenal, once again, provide the springboard for another team’s success. Team’s love to play Arsenal. You can see it every week. Our wounds are completely exposed and every team is relishing the opportunity to exploit the same and neglected weaknesses.
Which brings me nicely to the literal horror show; incorporating the ugly truth of Arsenal and the deformities of Stoke – and Charlie Adam.
Conceding in less than thirty seconds is a perfect way to announce to the travelling fans that they’re in for an absolute car-crash of a performance and that they may as well start sighing now because they already know how it plays out. Oh, look! They’ve scored again. Oh, my God, I want to hide away and cry. But wait! Santi has scored. Then Ramsey! No, wait, it’s still a festering mess.
Sanchez was assaulted by one of the aforementioned deformities, but where were the Arsenal players? Vieira and Keown would have been straight in there, head’s colliding and spit flying, sticking up for their teammates. Cazorla and Giroud were probably crying in the corner of the pitch. It’s such a hopeless lack of fight and desire in the team as a whole. And when I think of a current Arsenal player who shows any sign of fight when somebody turns the heat up, it’s Jack Wilshere. Yes, he sometimes resembles a boy in a playground fight, but at least he shows he cares, he wears his heart on his sleeve. Where is everybody else? Probably touching up their hair.
I’m not encouraging Arsenal to be a nasty and unpleasant team. But aggression, one way or another, is needed to be a winner. There has to be that desire to win by any means necessary. Collectively, Arsenal don’t have a single little bit of this desire, neither manager, nor player, nor board.
We are in an embarrassing drunken state and we are going absolutely nowhere.