WTTGT Writer: Nicholas Charles
After watching the highlights of yet another embarrassing defeat (the Blackburn game), I sit and wonder what has happened to my beloved team. In the last two away games we have conceded a staggering 12 goals in what has been the worst start to a season that I can remember. Regardless of the fact that a few decisions went against us during the game, such as Yakubu’s offside goal and the late penalty that Walcott should have been given, we cannot hide from the fact that defensively we were awful.
We had four individuals playing at the back with no evidence of communication, solidarity or some sort of leadership. It also obvious that we lacked confidence throughout the team and even when we were winning 2-1. I just knew that if we didn’t score a third goal we were vulnerable because we are so frail at the back. Unfortunately I was right. Last season we conceded over 50% of our goals from set-pieces and this season we actually look worse.
What has disappointed me so much this season is not the poor start we have had, not the mauling we got at Old Trafford but how far backward we have gone over the last three years – even though we are probably the most financially stable club in the world. Questions need to be answered within Arsenal but they never will be because we are such an enclosed and secretive football club. I only wish for once that someone would come out and tell us what we already know.
‘This year our ambitions are to finish fourth in the league, qualify for the Champions League, have a good run in the knockout competitions and remain a profitable business by spending well within our tight budget,’ is a quote that I crave from Mr. Wenger.
All I ask for is just a little bit of honesty. After all, doesn’t our transfer policy for the last six years reflect exactly what I have stated above? I can understand why we didn’t spend money after we built our stadium but our debts are now well under control and we have substantial cash reserves. In fact, I agree with the financial prudence that our football club followed but it has simply gone too far. This was supposed to be the year where we were finally going to invest in the squad. Even Mr “stubborn” Wenger said that he was going to be very active in the transfer market.
So where did it go wrong and why did we leave it to the last day to make our signings?
Yes! we did buy players in the end but our squad should have been finalised by at lest four weeks before the season kicked off. Just look at the way Man United have started this season. Is it a coincidence that they purchased their players way in advance of the start of the season – De Gea, Ashley Young and Phil Jones? We stuttered in the transfer market, delayed far too long with the sales of Nasri and Fabregas and ended up purchasing players who were probably not our first choice – Arteta, Ju Young Park, Yossi Benayoun, Andre Santos and Per Mertesaker.
The result? Our worst start to a season in 53 years!
I hope I am wrong and we end up having a great season but I really think that unless RVP and TV stay fit for a large part of the season, especially given JW’s injury, we are going to desperately struggle to finish in the Europa League let alone the Champions League.
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