Arsenal’s 0-3 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday brought most people back down to earth following the amazing 9 minute spell which saw the Gunners end a nine-match barren run to win 3-1 at West Ham. It also highlighted just how bad things are. As many of the older generation reflect on how current day is close the bad times of the 1980s it is worth thinking, how the fuck did it get to this?
Unai Emery was finally sacked on 29th November after 18 months in charge. Just after an international break following a dismal showing at Leicester. We are entering the 3rd week since his dismissal and yet the club’s insipid and disgraceful handling of the situation is bordering on embarrassing. Freddie Ljungberg has been asking for extra coaches, as current Academy Manager Per Mertesacker and goalkeeping coach Sal Bibbo are the only ones assisting Freddie right now.
Raul, Edu and Vinai have hung Freddie out to dry with this, letting poor performances and poor results continue and yet giving no clarity on who the mew manager will be or what the plan is going forward.
It absolutely screams of a lack of planning and it is symptomatic ofCh just how far we have fallen under the tenure of Stan Kroenke. The spineless board have let far too much go in recent years. Not sacking Arsene Wenger in 2014 or 2016. Not spending any money during the 2015 transfer window. And the final nail in the coffin when Silent Stan took full control of the club last year and shareholders had to give up something which made them fall in love with Arsenal FC.
One defining moment for me, amongst many, was during the 2017 AGM when Chips Keswick, who suffered the humiliation of a large number of shareholders voting against him being re-elected as chairman, when asked a question said “if you have a problem with that then you should write in about” and I also remember him being booed heavily in when he appeared on the big screen at Arsene Wenger’s last home game.
The fact that Kroenke (who had hardly said a word during that AGM) chose to re-elect a man who once said he preferred horse racing to football for Arsenal and the fans tells you everything you need to know about how pathetic this board is.
It is damning how poor Arsenal are now, none more epitomised in Kevin De Bruyne’s post match comments: “We saw from them in the videos that the attackers try to press up. But when we pass the front four they don’t help the Arsenal defence. They always stay with four up front, except Martinelli who comes a little bit more, so we always get like spaces somewhere over the pitch and I think it is really difficult for the six defenders to control that, because obviously you can come from everywhere on the pitch”. The complete lack of desire and passion shown by the team today shows that the job is massive, if it wasn’t already. Are Arsenal going to become another Leeds? Nottingham Forest? A big club which fades out and due to extortionate wage bill cannot retain revenue to sustain it.
It is painful to see Freddie being hung out to dry. He is a man loved by the fans, a true legend of the club. He has called endlessly for more help coaching wise, the club still let him carry on despite rough performances and results in pretty much all of the games since Emery’s departure. Many players do not seem to care, shown none more so by Mesut Ozil who casually strolled off the pitch when substituted for Emile Smith Rowe, and then kicked his gloves in the air before taking to the bench.
This is a crucial period for Arsenal. 9th in the league. 5 wins all season and a 7th defeat before Christmas. The lack of planning from Raul Sanllehi and the operations team is majorly alarming. But remember, Josh said “be excited.”
The Arsenal I grew up to love and adore is being ripped out of me.
Occasional writer who follows the Arsenal home and away. Dennis is our greatest ever.