He’s consistently game in game out been our best player this season. He is relentless in his work rate and is a complete animal on the pitch but in my opinion, similar to what Gerrard said about Suarez last season, based on this current team and where we are as a club Sanchez is too good for Arsenal.
Anderlecht is not just one game that we can easily brush under the carpet like we do with the likes of a draw with a Leicester or a Hull and the plain reason is that we have (again) a brilliant opportunity to qualify top of our Champions League group against a completely out of sorts Galatasaray, an Anderlecht side where we have blown a 3 goal lead, and a Dortmund side that have won only 2 games from 11 in the Bundesliga and sit second bottom. This was our last season in my opinion where we had an easier passage than perhaps what we can expect (if we qualify) next season and beyond the new seeding rules of league winners etc, and we can be assured that won’t be us.
I have always been a clear believer in the boss and the building of the stadium for future development etc etc but it seems like it was a dream when we had a team of Henry, Pires, Bergkamp, Ljungberg, Vieira all in the same side and I could continue.
One by one in my opinion they all lost a belief in the club, which eventually made Henry, who was probably the last of those to leave to Barcelona where he was proved right to do so to go and win the Champions League and titles. This then followed on with Fabregas who went and did similar and also RVP who went and won the title with Utd. I don’t doubt that Suarez wanted to come to Arsenal last year but I see that more because he wanted out of Liverpool and probably would have joined the dog and duck if they paid him the right money and these deluded scousers think otherwise that he was always edging to a dream move to Barcelona. In a way we should be happy that he didn’t join us as he’d (like Sanchez) have been way to good for this current crop and I don’t mean the individual class of the players I mean the club as a collection of what it currently stands for.
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He would have soon realised that his future, if he wants to win things, lies elsewhere.
Last night obviously makes this post slightly more raw than perhaps it truly is, but you can see that by a mile this fella is currently on a different level to the rest of the side. We have a left back playing at centre half (and playing well), but what can Sanchez really be thinking of that? Ramsey looks a shadow of the player who was scoring regularly last season and cropping up with winning FA cup goals. It could be injury and taking time to get back in but he looks off and even Wenger eluded to it too. Ozil looks like a moody lazy teenager from Harry Enfield, and a huge chunk of our team are injured.
Then I also think that Sanchez must be evaluating how good a manager Wenger is these days. Yes sure he’d have heard all the good stuff from Fabregas and anyone else whom in our hay day had played for the club but currently we are not that same Club (I don’t say team) that we once were. We have evolved into something that in my opinion came so far away from a sport and into a business and where fourth place became a trophy as long as we’d qualified for the Champions League and generated the revenue required to keep the board happy.
Now when we have money and are able to spend regardless of who we buy it is difficult to generate a winning mentality into a club where it had been lacking for sometime. I am not saying that it’s all Wenger’s doing as it clearly isn’t but I feel that he is even having to adapt to the fact that we might again be competitive and that now fourth place is not good enough for the loyal overpriced ticket paying fans that have stood by the club for the last decade… its not good enough at all.
Its ok for us to pay our 40-70 quid per game and have our views yet still turn up the following week but when you are at the pinnacle of your career and have to prove to the rest of Europe that you are a winner after being released by a club like Barcelona, would Arsenal in its current state be the place you’d want that to be to build a platform? I’d say no.
We can hate all we like about Fabregas now at Chelsea who will probably go and win the title this season, or Nasri at City or RVP at UTD but these sides are winners. You only need to look at the reaction from the Man Utd board after their past woeful season and yes ok they are struggling a bit this year but you can see that the mentality of them being winners has never gone and they are doing all the can to get it back. Yet somewhere in the last 9 years we have lost it and in my opinion beating Hull after extra time in an FA Cup final when beiing 2- nil down hasn’t really changed my mindset, and we have never chased keeping our club a winner like they have, no where close.
Last night from a 3 goal lead made me think of the days under George Graham. A game that stood out to me was the 1994 European Cup Winners Cup Final against Parma in Copenhagen. Parma were a very classy outfit with the likes of Tomas Brolin in their side who was at the top of his career at the time. Graham was a man who built his teams from the back and regardless of his playing style was successful because of it. Arsenal went ahead through Alan Smith and its where the song 1-nil to the Arsenal originated. As for the rest of that game we knew Parma were going to bombard our goal and if they scored we knew that at least they had to work for it. In the end they didn’t and Arsenal won the cup. If we were to score another it would have been through a break or luck but in no way were we going to chase another goal. As far as Graham was concerned we’d won and if they wanted to stop that we were not going to make their job easier.
Now I am not saying that Wenger needs to adopt all of Graham’s tactical displays but sometimes you need to realise that when you are ahead (especially by 3) that it may be time to shut up shop. We showed this in patches last season and during the 2012/13 season run-in.
Wenger after last nights game had this to say:
The end result is very disappointing. We had bad luck because the first goal is offside, we had bad concentration because we thought the job was done, we had fatigue and didn’t win the challenges any more.
I think overall we were poor defensively from the first to last minute. When they came back to 3-2, you want to secure yourself the game and we were maybe not cautious enough and went for number four. I wasn’t ever completely sure we weren’t in danger because the whole game we didn’t defend well. You have to be realistic as well – they are a good side.
I read this and I think is he serious? We have a side that has no defence, we have a side that is 3- nil up at home, we have a side that is managed by ‘YOU’. It should be you who dictates what the players should be doing and how they are playing… am I right? It seems like he has found every other excuse rather than saying this:
”what I would like to say is I am sorry for my lack of defensive cover in the transfer window and I only have myself to blame as I knew 2 senior players in Sagna and Vermaelen were leaving for months and I failed to bring in sufficient cover, as this was an area were already short in. Also I’d like to say I am sorry to the fans who pay the highest in Europe to watch a game that we are 3-nil up in tonight and I have given the green light for us to continue to chase and try and win a game that is already won”
That’s what I want him to say. It wouldn’t change the result but half the problem is self awareness and all he seems to speak about is the belief that the side has and how everything has been through luck or coincidence.
I can assure you its not. There may be belief in the players but unfortunately the club gives off a completely different aura now that is hard to shake and we are not this powerhouse of England that we were not so long ago.
It’s only a matter of time until the likes of Sanchez, Ozil, Walcott, Ramsey and Wilshere realise that if they want to be legends of the game which generally means winning things they have to leave, and I can assure you there will be plenty of clubs that will take any of those off our hands in the blink of an instance.
Onwards and Upwards.