By Eros, Arsenal Analysis resident season ticket holder at the Emirates
I always knew that football fans are miserable creatures but I always hopped that they had some kind of common sense! Well I was wrong.
The reaction to our recent loss of form from both bloggers and the Emirates crowd has been utterly ridiculous!
At the Emirates especially you can cut the tension with a knife. If an early goal does not come, the crowd starts to get restless which I think negatively affects the performance of this young team.
Also individual players are being singled out for unfair and unreasonable criticism,lately Ade and before Diaby.
Large sections of the crowd encourage the team to shoot at every opportunity! How can you have a shot at goal when 5 defenders block the way?
We started the season in hope, rather than expectation, of challenging for major honours after selling our captain and most influential player to Barca, been ridiculed by the media and all the football experts.
We proved them wrong, spend most of the season in pole position and barring the indifferent form of the last few weeks the team has been performing fantastically well.
But as often happens in football when everything seem rosy, we hit a rough patch, we let standards drop a little, lady luck deserts us for a while and nothing goes our way not even referee decisions.
But instead of support we give the team grief. As soon as a little blip comes along everyone, inclusive of a lot of bloggers and the comments therein, is judgemental, anxious and critical. Above all everyone is a coach.
Hands up who would have snapped my hand off if I offered at the beginning of the season second place three points behind Manchester United with eight games to go.
Add to that a Quarter Final in the Champions League against Liverpool and probably the most exciting five weeks of football in memory coming up! How can anyone not be excited?
I know we are not playing well right now and we have gifted a hatful of points that we probably should not have, but it was hardly unexpected!
We have been plagued by injuries – not an excuse just a simple fact – and we have played the most games out of any team in the league so it was logical to expect some fatigue to set in at some point.
The good thing is that some key players are returning to fitness. Van Persie got some minutes under his belt and Rosicky is close – not too close but close - according to Wenger.
A while back I wrote a piece on Adebayor criticizing some aspects of his play, and if I remember correctly I said that if he does not sort his first touch and distribution out he will not have a long term future in this team, especially with the progress Bendtner is making.
I still believe that what I said is true, however the criticism I have both read and heard about him is unfair!
He has scored 19 league goals this season and has been reliable when RVP was injured, when Edy was finding his feet, when Bendtner and Walcott were not ready to start any league games!
He has had more partners than almost anyother front player in the League and has often been asked to lead the line on his own!
I don’t think that you can ask any more of him this season. Somebody else needs to put his hand up and start scoring some goals.
I’ve read some reports that he‘s gone lazy imitating Henry too much! Where did that come from? The only reason his work rate has dropped slightly is because we are coming up to the end of a long gruelling season!
So in short give him a break, you all know that if he gets a goal he can go on a crazy run again and get us close in both the league and the CL.
A lot of people have been disappointed with his progress this year; I am one of them, however to criticize the guy beggars belief! He has been extremely unlucky with injuries and constantly gets played out of position.
You cannot expect someone to get in the team and instantly be sharp.
He was awful in the game against Villa, but got a chance against Milan and significantly improved. Unfortunately he got injured again.
Let’s hope he can stop getting all this niggles and can finally fulfil his potential.
In the meantime be patient! Especially the guy sitting on block 100 I think row 17, calling him: “a waste of space”, “not fit to wear the shirt” or “sell him”. This does neither him or you any favours mate!
And finally the ultimate sacrilege. There where calls against Arsene Wenger.
That he is too comfortable in his job, that he is not a true winner, that we should get Mourinho, that if we don’t win anything this year then numbers will start falling, that he has taken us as far as he can, time for a change….
We heard everything this week!!!
Well you all know that none of the above is true. Wenger has just overseen a huge transition from Highbury to the Emirates, using only limited resources, losing his captain and best player without the team losing its competitive edge!
The financial future of the team is, because of him, forever secure. At the same time he has competed against the Abramovic billions, Manure’s aggressive transfer policy and new American owners throwing money at Liverpool.
He has kept both his players and the fans focused on the football in times of uncertainty in the boardroom, when it could have easily disintegrated into a Liverpool type of situation.
Is all the above not enough for the last three years? Throw in there a CL final in Paris, the most talented young midfield player in the world and some of the most exciting youngsters on the Arsenal books.
Vela, Pedro, Traore, Randal, Gibbs, Bartley, Barazite, Merida, Nordveit Walcott, Denilson, Bendtner are some of the players coming out of the Arsenal academy!
The man has been a loyal servant to the club and in most gooners minds he can stay as long as he wants.
Please don’t post idiotic comments about him as you are giving all of us a bad name.
The team has looked mentally fatigued over the last few weeks and that I think has affected the fluent pass and move game we usually play. The good think is that in the next few weeks mental fatigue will not come in it.
As in Milan all the players will relish the challenge to show exactly how good they are! Especially Cesc who has a lot of unfinished business against Fat Frank!
I always had a feeling that we would beat Chelsea at the Bridge! I’m hopping Grant will leave Anelka on the bench and play Drogba up front on his own!
I know Chelsea have been unbeaten in donkey’s years but I just have a gut feeling about Sunday! As I said the previous time I posted, the title will be won or lost at Old Trafford! That game is too close to call but by no means are we out of it already!
As for the CL, as funny as this sounds given our draw its now more difficult to win than the premier league as it’s more than likely that we will have English opposition all the way to the final.
I believe we will squeeze past pool, but whether we can go through both Chelsea and United I’m not sure. Hopefully we’ll get to see a repeat of the 06 final, where we faced Barcelona, but as you all know it’s a knock out competition and a bad game means you are out.
I believe that we have a good chance of winning something this year but it won’t be the end of the world if we don’t!
This is only the start for this team which will only get better! It could well be the start of Wenger's most successful tenure!
The truly exciting times are still in front of us.
PS: If anyone has a couple of spare tickets for the Sunday game can they please send me an e mail to Arsenal Analysis (you will find the address on the right hand side of the page). I will be most grateful!