Arsenal had a second chance to make a first impression in Europe and yet again we failed. Work and traffic combined to ensure I watched only the last 15 minutes of the game and I don’t think I will invest time to seek it out and relive the terrible experience.
I tried to follow the game on radio but commentaries around here are really poor to be honest. You either have to deal with a perpetually shouting Murphy on Brilla 88.9FM (no one really has time to deal with someone shouting after a hard day’s work) or you listen to the guys on Naija Info 99.3, to be honest they are quite fair, however, how I can’t deal with a live game commentary show where people call in. I don’t understand it, I am watching a football game, and rather than listen to commentary on the TV, I listen to radio and then pick up my phone and call a radio show to talk about the game? Anyone who does that in my opinion is not worth listening to. Never makes sense to me.
What doesn’t make sense also is how results have gone this season, at every important hurdle we have a chance to make an impression, we fail.
1st game of the season – Loss
1st Champions League game of the season – Loss
1st game against top four side – Loss
Opportunity to register champions league points at home – Loss
The Capital one game against Spurs was the only result this season we have really enjoyed and for a team of Arsenal’s stature, to be in the position we are in the Champions League is really poor. A Gooner tweeted yesterday after the game stating Arsenal as a football club was underachieving and those thoughts went with me to bed. Are we underachieving or rather our position and results so far are just a reflection of the quality and amount of investments we make?
Our unwillingness to pay the going rate for players across Europe means we are behind the likes of City, Chelsea and United in domestic competitions and increased revenue for EPL clubs means they can attract the quality needed to make life hard for us. Wenger’s is averse to spending for the sake of spending hence his preference for developing his squad and looking for internal solutions to Arsenal’s problems. To be honest, with or without investment, the quality of players we have should comfortably beat Zagreb and Olympiakos and if we have failed at these hurdles the blame lies solely at the managers desk.
His responses yesterday to questions asked about his recent team selections reflected anger and the expectation is that he translates that anger on the training ground to the players he fielded.
I make the decisions and selections for the team and I’m responsible for it. I know many things that you don’t know and that you ignore. You cannot select a team by using a poll and getting everyone’s opinion before the game.
You can’t argue with that statement, in truth, as much as like to assume we know everything and have all the information about the players, Wenger knows things about his team that we do not know and might never know except someone writes a book and also he cannot select a team based on who the fans would like to see. However, he is paid and very well at that to make the investments (internally or externally) that would make whichever team he decides to select to represent Arsenal Football Club the best possible team to win every football game. Has he done that?
Seeing all the goals yesterday and I think Ospina certainly should have done better for the second and third. It was Wenger’s decision to field him so he is solely responsible for the outcome we saw on the pitch. I assumed the decision to play Ospina against Dinamo Zagreb was due to the supposed quality of the opposition we were facing and to ensure he was match fit should we ever need him to replace Cech.
The fact he featured yesterday, gives me the impression that part of the deal for Ospina to stay was he would feature in all cup games. Else how do you explain resting your sole summer purchase in the position were you felt you needed improvement in a must win game. The manager’s response when the question was poised to him was:
That is a simple thing. David Ospina played 19 games last season and kept 14 clean sheets and last week he had a fantastic game. No keeper is mistake free, it could have happened to Petr Cech as well.
Can you really argue with those stats? Stats never lie they say, however anyone that works with data will always tell you , you can always compartmentalize anything you want using data . If the manager felt Ospina is that trusted, why did he make the investment in Cech? Was Woijiech that bad for a second choice keeper? There is a reason he signed Cech and that reason must have included nights like yesterday.
Arsene and Arsenal have failed yet again, and our future in Europe looks bleak. You always get the impression, the team is ready to take the next step, that readiness as is does not seem to translate to any real action to make that step forward. Hopefully, we remedy this pain with a win against United. Have a good day friends.
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