William Gallas has bemoaned Arsenal’s lack of experience, blaming that for our Champions League exit. He said:
We lacked experience. You can’t concede a penalty 30 seconds after equalising.
As it was Kolo Toure, probably the most experienced outfield player besides Gallas, who gave away the penalty it seems a bit of a strange comment to make. I don’t think you need experience to know you don’t give a penalty away 30 seconds after scoring, from the time you start playing the game you know the period after you score is when you need to concentrate most. But still, no doubt the captain has some words to lift the team ahead of Sunday’s game against United, a game that does mean something no matter what happened against Liverpool.
Nobody expected much from us at the start of the season and we’ve overachieved, that’s true. Now it will be hard to bounce back. Morale is low.
Inspiring stuff from the captain there. No ‘We’ll pick ourselves up because we have an important game on Sunday’. No ‘It hurts but we’ll keep on trying our best’. Nope, a resigned Gallas says it’s going to be hard and he’s making it harder with statements like that. I don’t want to pick on Gallas by any means but his leadership qualities, or lack of, beg questions. It’s down to Adebayor and Kolo Toure to rally the troops.
You don’t need to tell a fan how much defeat hurts, you don’t need to tell us morale is low, that it’s going to be hard. In a footballer’s short career he’ll experience some highs and some lows but a fan experiences a lifetime of them. And generally more lows than highs. Certainly true as an Arsenal fan! Yes, that’s what makes the good times that bit more special but honestly I’d expect more from the captain of the club at this stage. Maybe he’s ‘just being honest’, that’s just the way William Gallas talks, but it sounds to me like he’s given up. Sunday is going to be hard but if the captain is going there resigned to wallow in the misery of Tuesday night then it’s going to be even harder.
Nigel Winterburn talks Arsenal. He’s right about the trophy thing though, you just feel the longer we go without winning something the more pressure there’s going to be on the manager and the players. Which is normal of course. At the moment it feels like we’re pushing a snowball uphill, nearly getting to the top and just sliding back down a bit. If we can reach the top then we can push the snowball down the hill, crushing villages and small towns and farms along the way. I wish we could crush some villages.
Looking at the news stories this morning they’re full of headlines about how Wenger is under pressure, how Wenger should have bought this, how Wenger should have done that. It’s the usual cack from people with the benefit of hindsight. I’m not really interested in what he should have done or who he should have bought, to be honest. We all have our own opinion on that, on the squad, the lack of this, that or the other but going on and on about it now isn’t going to fucking change anything, is it?
I’m not suggesting Arsene is exempt from criticism, far from it, but we still have something to play for this season. The manager made his decisions about his squad and that’s that. We have a big game on Sunday and that’s what we should be focussing on. Not the tedious Championship Manager shite you can’t help but read everywhere you go. Let’s buy this bloke and that bloke and sell these 7 players and bring in 10 players blah blah blah blah fuck off.
Hopefully today we’ll get some news on Mathieu Flamini’s injury. I’d imagine, given how quickly he was taken off against Liverpool the other night, that he’s a serious doubt for Sunday. His energy and aggression will be missed badly if that’s the case. United were able to rest players last night as they dicked all over a Roma side that couldn’t really be arsed trying. I have to say for a Champions League quarter-final it was a shocking display from the Italians – they quite obviously didn’t give a shit about getting a result. Most odd.
Anyway, we’ll get some early team news and stuff for tomorrow’s blog and Arsecast. For more on the Liverpool game, if you can stomach it, you can listen to myself and Mugsmasher later on in this week’s OleOle.com podcast – it should be live later this afternoon.
Right then, more tomorrow. Have fun.