Good evening fellow Gooners,
I ju...st wasn't a....b...le to wr..i..te a match re..port on the West Brom game. (Luckily Iron Man was at hand to give his thoughts here)
That sentence was far more fluid than my stream of the game the other night. Even though it was incredibly frustrating, I (kinda stupidly) stuck through it and 'watched' the whole game. I am sure I missed about 50% of the game through buffering and that is probably not an exaggeration.
It certainly wasn't pretty, even those with crystal clear streams will I'm sure say the same but the main thing, the only thing given our injury and fixture list, is that we progressed to the next round.
If you were expecting a fluent attacking display then you would have left disappointed. Bendtner is far from match sharp, and our two wide attackers are both young and inexperienced.
We should (fingers crossed) have a deeper squad come the time Chelsea roll into town so I expect to see more of a second team look about it rather than so many under 21s.
We have a few players on the way back which is great news, especially when you look at our fixture list. The level of opposition increases so it will be very important to get key players such as Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta back up to speed.
The talk of today is of Stan Kroenke and his interview, I am sure it has been covered to death so I won't go through all of it. I do want to pick out his commitment to Arsene Wenger which I am sure a section of the fan base will not be happy with.
Personally I look forward to the day when Arsene Wenger pens a new deal. This is the first time we've had stability on the pitch for a while now and the results are no coincidence.
Many Gooners have been frustrated in recent years, I can understand that frustration and when it came to players leaving, I have had my share of frustration also. But I do believe that team stability is not just about the players but perhaps even more so with the manager.
As the transfer window went on, more and more people were calling for the head of the manager. The thinking, it seems is that if the manager cannot spend the money then we should get someone else who will. Personally I find that view rather simplistic.
We can largely agree that our current squad, minus the depth issue in some areas is very good right? Can we agree that we all like the personnel we have? We have a hungry group of players who have worn their hearts on their sleeves and dragged themselves above our neighbours last season when it looked all but over. That form has carried over to this season minus Anthony Taylor's Aston Villa result.
I could be generalising but it seems to me that football fans on the whole tend to have a very short term view when it comes to their club. A defeat and the world is caving in, victory and the title is ours. The perfect example of this came across my path after the West Brom penalty shoot out. When Gnabry missed his penalty and James Morrison put West Brom 3-1 ahead someone tweeted '3-1 Morrison #WengerOut'
When we had won the shootout, I tweeted him if he still wanted the manager to be sacked and his response was no but had we lost on penalties then yes because he wants a trophy.
I find that all pretty remarkable to be honest. Forget the fact that we had lost once since White Hart Lane last season, forget the fact that we currently sit top of the league but losing a game in our least important competition is reason to sack the manager. Not only that but winning is enough to allow him the privilege to continue.
Luckily the Arsenal management have a slightly longer view than 120 minutes of football. Imagine if football fans were the one's making decisions, face it we'd be in the toilet right now with Loric Cana* as Arsenal captain.
Those who follow me on Twitter and had there timelines clogged up last night, I apologise for repeating myself but I wanted to go into a bit more detail on the following.
Towards the end of the transfer window when we hadn't signed anyone but Yaya Sanogo, a few Arsenal fans had the opinion that Arsene Wenger should be sacked for someone who wasn't afraid to spend money. Funnily enough David Moyes has often been the go to man when some have discussed Arsene's potential replacement in the past.
Here is the thing, buying and selling players is one part of squad building, in some cases a very important part but I really believe that a huge part of squad building at Arsenal has been overlooked by some of our fans.
Buying Mesut Özil was fantastic for us but that was easy compared to the rest of the work that had to go into building our squad. Ramsey didn't turn up at Arsenal as the player he is today, neither did Theo Walcott. Kieran Gibbs was a youthful left winger, now he is one of the brightest left backs in the country. Szczesny was a kid plucked from Poland, Koscielny played for a lower level French team, Carl Jenkinson an Arsenal supporter bought from Charlton and I could go on. We are quick to point out the Chamakh's and Park's of this world so let us give credit where it is due.
Arsene Wenger has used all his experience to help build the current squad we have. The British, French, German and Spanish dynamic is no accident. The ages of the likes of Wilshere, Ramsey, Gibbs, Chamberlain, Jenkinson, Walcott and more are no accident. It looks like the choice of characters are also no accident.
It has taken time to craft and mould the squad into what it is today and the manager should be given more credit for the excellent work he has done. Certainly more credit than casting him aside for potentially losing a penalty shootout.
Many people including the AST feel that Arsene should be judged at the end of the season before considering to offer a new contract but do we really need to wait until then to see what is right in front of our eyes? Do you think the evolving squad members like Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs think that a change of manager would be a good thing to move us forward? I seriously doubt it. What about Mesut Özil? Maybe he wants to play under the 2013 version of Owen Coyle. I seriously doubt it.
The financial shackles have been lifted from the club and even if Arsene wants to be picky when it comes to bringing in the players he wants, I personally think he and only he deserves the chance to complete the job with this squad. I hope he signs a new contract as soon as possible not because I am a 'AKB' whatever that actually means but because I think Arsene Wenger is bang smack in the middle of sculpting a terrific squad. A squad that has several levels of improvement to come (as seen in Ramsey) should they stay together and given the fact that we have many young players, who in English football has a better record at improving youngsters?
Yup, I'm all for a new deal for the manager. Well unless we don't pick up all three points tomorrow of course.
* A group of Arsenal supporters had convinced themselves that Loric Cana was a player that Arsenal should buy. Words like a no-brainer were thrown around. Turns out that using YouTube to rate players isn't the best method of assessing a player.