Firstly to those who think I only write when The Arsenal lose – I didn’t have time to write anything post the West Ham game. I thought we were terrific (bar their goal and a couple of Nolan chances he should have taken) and again had this strange optimistic feeling that this squad could be something special. The best squad in the Emirates years.
And therein lies my problem, being optimistic. I am a realist. I’m scared to be upset when The Arsenal lose because I’ve hyped them and myself up.
The realist in me knows that if you have Mannone or Fabianski anywhere near our first team, we won’t be title challengers. I also don’t think that Chesney is good enough. His character is but his skills aren’t. When you have had David Seaman, anyone else is inferior. The Arsenal should have a world class goalkeeper, not just international class.
The Mannone gaff was poor. Yes it was a shot (v Norwich) that bounced in front of him, but any goalkeeper knows not to parry it back into the danger area.
It takes some doing for Arsenal to make Norwich look good on not just one, not just two, but on the last three occasions. I can count on one hand the times we have gone in and out of an international break in good form/shape.
Last season we played Norwich away we had RVP to get us out of jail. Where I think this squad is actually better than last season’s, we really don’t have a big player to get us out of jail now, a la Dzeko for Man City. This worries me.
Without someone to get us out of jail, our whole team has to be playing at 100% – the way we play is heavily reliant on all 10 outfield players playing well. Against Norwich I can say that maybe two players played well, that is about it. Without a big player, expected result, defeat.
Is it complacency, international fatigue, or we simply aren’t good enough? Probably a mix of all three.
Complacency? – In the Emirates years how many times have we seen lower half EPL teams take points off us? too many. This team needs to be up for every game whether it is Utd, City or Norwich. This fault lies firmly at Wenger’s feet. He is the one to motivate (or not) the players.
As for international fatigue – here is the price we pay for having a whole squad of international ‘class’. Didn’t seem to affect Chelsea, Utd or City. True, it doesn’t help that teams like Norwich have 2 weeks rest and togetherness, but they aren’t one of the biggest teams in Europe.
We aren’t good enough? – I don’t think we are, but it won’t stop me screaming and shouting in the vain hope that maybe we could be.
Schalke and QPR won’t be shaking in their boots at the moment.