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Written by Toby Moss on Monday, 03 December 2012 15:01

 

As a relatively young Gooner , Wenger has been the only ever present in my years of supporting Arsenal Football Club. He has seen chairmen, players, sponsors, assistant managers, even stadiums come and go, and it is evident that he has been a huge influence in all of the changes, and has possibly done more for Arsenal football club than any other individual.

As far as a typical Wenger season goes, 2012/13 has already achieved two of the three “givens”. We have qualified for knock out stages of the Champion’s League for the 13th year in a row, while reaching the quarter finals of the league cup for the 10th year in a row. The only box left to tick is both the most important and arguably the hardest, qualifying for the Champion’s League. I am sure none of you will have heard, given how little the media have chosen to mention it, but this is actually Wenger’s worst start to a season. Up until Saturday I was entirely sure that we would finish fourth and qualify in August for the Champion’s League, while now I might have to downgrade “entirely” to “fairly”.

The start to last season was equally abysmal, something happened and we seemed to remember how to play football. As much as I hate the “winning mentality” cliché it seemed to happen. By December last year, we had already beaten teams like Norwich, Stoke, Swansea and Sunderland, as we should have done. All of these teams we have dropped points to this season. Something seems different this season. While it is easy to say that Van Persie is what is missing, it is more than that. On Match of the Day, Vincent Kompany said that Arsenal were the toughest team that City have faced all season. It was encouraging, not only because it made ‘arry look like more of an illiterate moron than he is, but it showed that when we click, we are nothing short of phenomenal. The games that we have played well, (Liverpool, City, Southampton and large chunks of the Spurs game amongst others) we have looked like one of the best Arsenal sides in years. However, that is not the Arsenal side that we see week in week out. What is the most depressing thought is that we have had very few injuries for the majority of our poor games. While you could say Diaby looked good in our first few games, being so reliant on a player who has been injury plagued for years is foolish. It is also very easy to overestimate Diaby’s ability when he is not on the pitch to prove you wrong.

It is hard to see where the consistency will come from. The midfield trio of Arteta, Wilshere and Cazorla look incredibly deflated and overplayed. Ramsey has little to no confidence, Oxlade Chamberlain has not been at his best for most of this season, whether it is the overwhelming pressure of expectation or simple bad form it is hard to tell. It is far too early to genuinely look at starting either Coquelin or Eisfeld as replacements.  Rosicky is the only ray of hope that the midfield can try to cling on to, making the main three fight for positions and bring a little creative ease to Cazorla.

Perhaps what made the Swansea game worse is that a win would have taken us 2 points behind Chelsea in third. Their managerial trouble, Spurs’ flop record and the fact that West Brom are only really their by accident (I know they have played well this season, but not even the most optimistic Albion fan is expecting them to be there at the end of the season), we could have been in a promising position. It is not just the 3 points dropped, but the way in which we don’t look like we have the potential to capitalise on our run of easy games. We should have had a genuine chance to be 3rd by Christmas, if the team eventually does pick up and perform. While neither Spurs nor Chelsea have a particularly difficult December either, it is hard to see them taking all of the available points. It is by no means too late to achieve qualification; we need to start performing.

We need a spark, something to create a run of form that will push power through and keep us fighting for Champions League qualification and possibly more. From previous seasons, I genuinely believe this will happen. Where it will come from is hard to tell, we can’t realistically expect a new signing for at least 6 weeks, if at all, only Diaby and Rosicky are coming back from injuries, and our next big match for the fans to encourage the players is probably City in mid-January. All games before this the team will expect to win, as we were this weekend against Swansea. We simply cannot afford any more games like that. It seems easier said than done to just say, “win the easy matches and the form will come”.  Hopefully it will be Steve Bould’s rant at the players that will create an atmosphere that makes the players scared to lose. If not that then something will have to make us win our next few matches. We have to qualify for the Champion’s League, anything else would be a failure to what some people think are already too low expectations. That is what Arsenal do. It has to happen.

A small voice in my head keeps on popping up questioning it. “What about Liverpool and “the big four””, “Chelsea finished 6th last season” “this is Wenger’s worst start to a season” “if we can’t beat Swansea at home, who can we beat?” and other irritating truths I try not to listen to. This is where Wenger’s record comes into play. No matter how late or close he leaves it, he has always done it. Last season we did our best to cock it up at West Brom, but got there eventually. Admittedly this is probably the season at which he has looked most likely not to, but until Wenger gets to the point where we haven’t qualified, he deserves the faith and belief to think that he will do what he has always done.

 

Comments (10)

  • Tomo
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    Why is this in spurs in the news? There is no relevance to Tottenham, just a fan ranting about how rubbish you are? I already knew this
  • jd  - Those that keep the faith
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    I am really struggling to keep believing that we will make it. Last season we cut it pretty fine and got into the champions league by the skin of our teeth. It seems like every season we have tried to make it that little bit harder for ourselves just to see if we can make it. I think i judging how close we came to missing out last year and how much more difficult it will be now I am starting to doubt we are capable. It is such a shame because I almost feel that Wenger owes it to those of us that have always kept the faith in him and always tried to see the positives. For all those out there that have had doubts for years to finally be proven right and for us not to meet what as the article said were already somewhat low expectations would be too painful. I have always tried to defend wenger but if we miss out on champoins league football this year it will be nearly impossible. I can accept that with the way that other teams have massive ammounts of money that we will always struggle to challenge for the title but when teams like newcastle and swansea have shown what is manageable on their budgets it does make me wonder whether we should be performing better. One of the most pianful things for me to watch was not that we lost to swansea, that was bad enough, but the fact that we were toatally out played in the way thatwe used to outplay teams. that swansea used the perfect surface laid at the emitrates to allow arsenal to play their own attractive brand of football to make us look silly. We were beaten at our own game and unless we are talking barcalona I never expected this to happen to a Wenger team. What if he has lost his touch?
  • MeanLean
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    Tomo, how does it feel to have finished below a 'rubbish' team every season since Arsene Wenger's appointment?

    Good post Toby.
  • Bullers  - In response to your comment to Tomo
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    How does it feel to be the biggest feeder club in the world? The fact that every single one of your so called good players wants out must tell you something? You are the new west ham. How does that feel?

    I reckon you will do well to finish 8th if not the bottom half this season.

    And I think we can all recall the fact that the second capello left our season went awol.

    Was that to do with the skill of the gooners or Whinger?

    Me thinks not.

    Enjoy the chumpionship Mr. Laughs, you've only got a couple of seasons left up to then you will being playing prestigious likes of burnley and derby every week!!!

    Nice stadium though, shame it's so quiet except for all the booing!!!!!

    hah hah hah haaaah

    hah hah hah haaah!!!!!!!!!
  • Bullers  - oops
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    Nice and well thought out article though Toby, If only your football was as good.
  • MeanLean
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    Imagine being rubbish yet managing to tonk our neighbours 5-2 twice in a year haha that would be funny
  • AlphaT  - Arse-Poor-Vision
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    Ok Tonkin a 10 man team?! until Ade was sent off your team was looking at a spanking, I understand with your heads so far up Le Prof's arse it's clear you are starting to contract his poor vision too
  • 'desi'gner gooner  - in reply to bullers - talking of feeder clubs...
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    Look who sustains on our left overs and calls us a feeder club!!!

    For your kind information Bullers - William Gallas who has captained your tiny club quite a lot recently was sold by us....And that deluded soul called Adebayor used to play for us when his head was in the right place. Unfortunately stupid and tiny clubs like yours inflated his head beyond imagination and now he is busy benefiting us in spanking you 5-2....

    And yeah you mentioned our stadium - when are you going to find a half decent place for your own club???And finally stop visiting Arsenal blogs you wannabe....get busy with your own clubs blogs....oh I forgot your lot doesn't do stuff that requires using some brains and I guess tiny clubs don't have any decent blogs written about them anyways....So I pity you mate.
  • paspartu
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    haha desi great reply... all i have to say to these little spuds fans is that they can never ever look at any arsenal fan eye to eye and claim the things they claim from the safety and anonimity of the internet .. we have been f@#%#$g them senselss the last 50 years and more..they are our finest "customers" with 5-2 on the double , we always enjoy having them in our place so that we teach our children how to OWN tottenham ad infitum..

    that short slaphead levi has been investing for how many years now? 10 already? ...lol....keep walking...


    :lol: :lol:
  • paspartu
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    lmao at alpha tW@t ...mate twice now 5-2 ..shhhh..

    the thing is ..you "look " for a spanking...we deliver it !

    :wink:
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