The Gooner - Issue 218
means outstanding when compared to the likes of Walcott and Arshavin, who are often much maligned by the media and fans.
My point is straight-forward. The Arsenal squad is individually one of the best in around. Almost any club would have Szczeny, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Sagna, Wilshere, Ramsey, Song, Arteta, Walcott, Van Persie, and maybe now even Oxlade-Chamberlain. Others would certainly take Benayoun, Chamakh and Arshavin too. We have used the departures of Fabregas and Nasri as a giant scapegoat to mask the deficiencies elsewhere and a total lack of organisation and strategy. We performed very well on occasions without them last year, and often without the likes of Van Persie or Vermaelen too. Our plight evolves from a failure to toughen up mentally, to ignore criticism, to take responsibility on an individual basis, and a perpetual state of denial of any wrong-doing that permeates through the club from the boardroom to the bench. In essence, all the problems are in the minds of those who wear the shirt, and also those who make the decisions off the field. You might even think to include the mental condition of the fans, too, which has certainly taken a bashing.
As is the case with all football clubs, regardless of their level of competition, mental and behavioural issues stem from the top, and flow downwards. In other words, the club’s mentality, ambition and attitude stem from that of the board and the management. So long as these figures at Arsenal are paid so handsomely to deny any wrong-doing, responsibility and the possibility that they have made a mistake or two over the last few years, the performances on the pitch will continue to frustrate and remain abject. The players have almost become brainwashed into believing that
We have used the departures of Fabregas and Nasri as a giant scapegoat to mask the deficiencies elsewhere and a total lack of organisation and strategy by turning up and doing things ‘the Arsenal way’ they will become winners. This is obviously not the case. They instead appear frightened, tense, and therefore error-prone. The nervous actor is the most likely to fluff his lines. And nerves come from feeling insecure and out of your comfort zone.
I believe that Wenger and the board’s inability to own up to mistakes, and their consistent propaganda-like statements that Arsenal are winners and wonderful, leaves the players feeling less responsible for their actions. It’s one thing to protect them, but being in such denial as to the club’s flaws and lack of cuttingedge makes it highly unlikely that they will improve. Everything is swept under the carpet, there is a lack of shared responsibility, and as a result, nothing changes. You cannot challenge problems unless you are able to admit they exist and face them. If Arsène Wenger would only admit how his squad might improve, they might just do that. Instead, he onlinegooner.com 5