Sunday, April 13, 2008

I Don't Understand You Arsene...

Well how many times have we seen this happen lately? Take the advantage just to give it away and lose. It happened against Chelsea, Liverpool, and now United. I'll hopefully get time to do a match report later, although I am about to go coach my Under 7's team so that's the priority at the moment.

I really have one main concern about today though. It's not that we should sign no players, it's not that our defense can't keep goals out to save their lives, it's that I think maybe Arsene hurt the team today. As far as I know, and I have seen no story to go against this, Manuel Almunia is not hurt, he has not been killed, arrested, sick, or gotten into any fights with team mates or the manager today. So please, do tell me, why was Almunia not in the game today? Why would Wenger abandon the keeper that has played well for us all season in favor of a lunatic who has trashed the team and the manager all year?

I'm not saying Lehmann cost us the game. He had a decent game as far as I'm concerned. What my problem is is how is Almunia supposed to take this now? He's benched in favor of Lehmann who has trashed him all year, and I don't see a reason why. What's this going to do to his confidence? Arsene doesn't trust him in big games now? I just don't see the reason at all.

I think Arsene also made two more mistakes today. Starting Song at the back against United is suicide. I don't care how well he played at the African Cup of Nations, he is not who you should have in defense against United. Especially when he hasn't played in the first team in ages.

He also started Eboue again, over Walcott, who is clearly a much better option for us on the wing. I'm sick of seeing a waste of space on the pitch when our most electric player gets 20-30 minutes a game if he's lucky.

I know this is another rant but I'm really starting to wonder about Arsene. Let me know what you think.

Update: It appears that Almunia was indeed injured before the match yesterday so that would be the reason for starting Jens though. So I guess this turns into another Eboue rant.

18 comments:

Mike said...

I didn't think going with Jens over Almunia was so bad. I would hope that a professional in his 30's that has aspirations of being England's #1 keeper could deal with being replaced for one game. But who knows, I hear a lot about the fragile egos in football.

Now continuing to play Eboue over Walcott is just ridiculous...

ArseNole said...

I just question it because A: Jens hasn't played very much this year so he probably wasn't at his sharpest, and B: I just don't know what reason Wenger could have possibly given Almunia to explain why he couldn't play in a must win game after playing all year

jamesgillesp said...

to be honest i think you're rant is a bit off target.
Song did well today and probably better than Senderos would have fared against United's pace.
You don't know what has happened to Almunia so don't assume he has just been dropped like that, as Wenger has never acted like that before.
We played well today, we just make mistakes that don't let us keep a lead.

ArseNole said...

Ok, Song was not horrible, and neither was Lehmann as I mentioned. I also said that I didn't know the full circumstances surrounding the Almunia situation, I just said nothing at all had been reported. I'm just about sick of blowing leads though and I'm sure you can agree with that.

phatbastard said...

Here's what I don't understand...Sagna goes out, why is Eboue not playing right back with Toure in the middle. To me Eboue has been awful as a midfielder...he offers nothing on the attack...how many times does he get the ball at the corner of the penalty box, try and take a defender on and then give away possession. Something had to have happened though...biggest game of the year and you have Song in the lineup? Against maybe the most dangerous offensive team in football..certainly in England. I love Wenger...he's a genius and I'm a moron...I don't dispute that. But I don't get it. As for Theo...I think he likes to bring Walcott off the bench cause he's pretty much the only player we have (healthy anyway) that can change the flow of the game after the 60th minute...not saying I agree with not starting him...but I understand why he does it. I'd like to ask everyone who they think won't be back next year...I have my list of who I think won't be back (Lehmann, Gilberto, Bendtner, Hoyte)...and guys I think shouldn't be back (Eboue, Senderos, Eboue, Djourou, Eboue) and then guys I'm afraid will leave (Hleb and Flamini). Just wondering what everyone else is thinking?

ArseNole said...

Players I think are gone:

Flamini (hope I'm wrong but he's taking ages on a deal)

Lehmann (thank God)

Gilberto

and MAYBE Senderos

I don't see him leaving unless we sign another defender and since Arsene only wants to sign one player let's hope it's a winger

phatbastard said...

I gotta say I'm not convinced Arsene is only going to buy one experienced player this offseason...I read his comments on Arsenal.com...but he said this before the Man U game...and seriously what is going to say "Well uh at the end of the season I'm going to go out and buy some proper professional football players because the players we have here now aren't good enough and we need a major upgrade." I think he was trying to give his players some confidence and keep them focused on this season, rather then worrying about where they will be playing next year. I just don't understand what he could possibly think is going to change from this season to next without bringing in some new players especially on the wing and in the back 4. It would seem at the very very least we're going to bring in Ben Arfa. And if Silva leaves we'll need to add some depth in the middle (right?). And I also don't think you can count on getting full seasons out of Rosicky and Van Persie next year.

ArseNole said...

Believe me, if someone offers us the 7 million we paid for Rosicky we will sell him. As far as Ben Arfa, I'd love to have him but we can't think of him as a savior either. Remember he plays in the French League and they are nowhere near the Premiership. It usually takes foreigners (besides Sagna) time to adjust to the English game. And I don't know that Arsene would replace Gilberto. There are some very good potential reserves coming through that I think could take his spot and Diaby/Denilson would move into the backup holding role if Flamini stays. If Flamini leaves however...we'll definitely have to bring in a center mid

phatbastard said...

Good point about Denilson...I've completely forgotten about him...has he been injured, I haven't seen much of him in the past couple of months. And I agree Ben Afra isn's a savior...but after watching Eboue on the wing since January if he offers anything in the final third of the pitch he's going to be a huge upgrade (even if he is young). Keeping this dialogue going...I just have to wonder how long some of these younger players are going to be content to sit and watch...Hoyte must see the writing on the wall, and Bendtner seems to be a lonely guy in the lockeroom...I wonder if he might be ready to jump ship...especially with Carlos Vela (hopefully) coming into the fold. I also wonder if Djourou might be a possibility in midfield to replace Gilberto if/when he leaves?

ArseNole said...

Djourou is an interesting one. We've seen him play in the midfield before, I specifically remember him playing there in the final game of last year against Pompey. I don't know that his passing is up to scratch but maybe he'll get a chance in the final games? I'm sure Wenger knows whether Flamini is going or not and we'll probably get a big hint as to which way it is by which lineups he uses from here on out. Yes Denilson has been hurt a lot of the year. He's been one taking a lot of stick for not being good enough but he's only a year older than Walcott and I think he's a good player. Hoyte I think could leave but I think it would be a mistake. If we did manage to get rid of Eboue he becomes second choice right back and I think he's a decent back up. If he gets a first team opportunity somewhere though it wouldn't surprise me if he left. Bendtner I don't think really is interesting anybody right now. He's another young one though. People are losing confidence too fast in these players. Remember that players like Van Persie took some time to develop too :)

phatbastard said...

I agree about giving up to early on the young players...I think people were being especially harsh on Theo earlier in the year. With Bendtner I was wondering if Steve Bruce might be keen on getting him or maybe we can send him and $20 million to Ajax for Huntelaar (joking on that one). I'm excited about Denilson, Diaby and even the kids like Merida etc., but I have to wonder if they look at Cesc and even Flamini and wonder when they are going to get their chance in the middle...ala Diarra. Yet another question for you (sorry...I got no one to talk to about this stuff where I am)...do you think Arsene will deal with perceived character issues in the locker room of this club? Obviously I'm not sure how real this is, but based on what I've read in the media it would appear that Gallas isn't a well liked figure...on or off the pitch...just looking at the tantrum at St. Andrews and then some of the comments recently including one from himself that he doesn't have any friends on the team. You can also look at guys like Bendtner who has a dust up with Adebayor then scores an important goal and has no teammates come to congratulate him. Your thoughts? Is this all overblown?

ArseNole said...

no problem on the questions, i like all the feedback. To answer your question first about the locker room atmosphere. I think it is far more overblown than what it really is. As far as the Birmingham game goes with Gallas, I wrote about my opinion to his reaction here. While I don't think it was the appropriate behavior,we have to realize they are all human too and it had been tough times for us that day.
I also think the quote about him having friends was misleading. Haven't you played with people that you don't necessarily hang out with all the time? They don't have to be best mates to play well on it. I don't think it was really a big issue.

As far as Bendtner, I don't really know what to think. When he was on load at Birmingham, he was one of the big dogs there and I think he may not like being one of the fringe players here and figured he would light it up more. I do think he will be fine next season though as he gets more comfortable around everyone.

For the young players like Merida and Wilshere, they are only 17 and 16 years of age. Merida at least has already gotten his chances some in the Carling Cup and he will more next year. Cesc got his first team action at the same age in the same competition and if they are patient they will realize that Arsene will give them their chance. They just need to keep a level head, which is something that Diarra couldn't do.

phatbastard said...

good points all around...you've coaxed me off the ledge. Gonna be a very interesting summer this year. Having RVP healthy for a full season next year would solve a lot of problems! And who knows...maybe Real Madrid will go crazy an offer $100 million for Ronaldo...though I'd prefer to beat Man U with him! Cheers!

Mike said...

I hope to see Eboue and Gilberto gone next year.

Eboue really offers nothing positive. His temper has us perpetually on the verge of going down to 10 men, and the best he can do in attack is send a wild shot into the side net. He supposedly has more defensive skills so he can cover better than Theo, but I don't see it.

Gilberto had some good days for sure, but they are gone. All he did this season was give away free kicks.

A lot of people want to see Bendtner leave, but I really like him. At the least he seems durable.

Senderos I can deal with, as a backup! The problem is we always seem to get an injury and have to end up trotting him out there against a top side and that is just disaster.

And I could go for Real Madrid buying Ronaldo as well! LOL

phatbastard said...

You know I started this season as a big Bendtner fan...but over the past couple of months I've gotten a bit concerned watching him and Adebayor share the pitch...I have no idea how they get along off the pitch...on it they look like complete strangers to me. He does looks pretty great in the air for such a young striker though which is something I thought we really lacked last year.

So there is a consensus then...Eboue must go? and the Flamster must STAY!

Mike said...

I've liked Bendtner since the Blackburn game early in the year. Something about the energy he brought just won me over. But I can agree that if he and Ade can't get along something might have to be done.

Why does it have to be two productive players that have a feud? Why can't someone start a fight with Eboue? LOL

ArseNole said...

Yeah I think Eboue should shag Arsene's wife or something. That would get him sold or hopefully killed

phatbastard said...

So of course this morning I go to Sky Sports as I do every morning and see the following headlines...Ben Arfa happy to stay at Lyon...Bayern Hot for Flamini...and Hleb Wanted by Juve, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Super. Why no headlines like this...Milan desperate for Eboue, Willing to Overpay to get him....or...Benzema declares he's going to Arsenal or sitting out next year. Oh well. I know you can't get too worked up about these headlines. Just seems like kicking a fan base when they're down. Anyway...could be worse...at least we're not Chelsea...why the eff did that cunt Drogba pick the Arsenal match to wake up from his selfish stupor.