For the first time this season, Arsenal have been defeated twice in a row. With that disappointment, this is the 1,546th time Arsenal supporters are ready to call it quits on Arsene Wenger’s tenure at the club.
As I’ve frustratingly scrolled through Twitter, the percentage of #WengerOut to #InWengerWeTrust is about 98% to 2%. Which in all fairness, is understandable, but damn, incredible how belief and confidence quickly turns to hatred in the footy world.
Let’s take a few steps back and look at this from a high level perspective.
Will Two Poor Results Dictate The Season?
After a seven goal defeat on opening day against Liverpool, you could hear Arsenal supporters all over the world saying; same sh*t, new year. As I sat in a small cafe in northern Portugal to watch that match, I felt dejected and frustrated after the final whistle. There I was, on vacation, and basically that entire day went to sh*t. No chance I’d be able to enjoy anything I did that day.
Their second fixture away to the champions would give them a chance to bounce back. Again, I frantically looked for a place to watch the match while on vacation. I managed to watch the first half, but then had to leave.
Two successive weeks while on vacation, and my day was ruined.
From then on, it’s been happy times, at least for the most part.
Thirteen victories and five draws after the Leicester match had Arsenal supporters believing this could be the season. Their EFL Cup elimination at home could have been avoided, but there was a sense of who cares. Arsenal was out to battle for bigger and better things, right?
Three successive victories had them back on track. And, although two less than impressive performances in November now had Arsenal chasing Chelsea at the top, the belief and confidence was still there.
Drawing Bayern Munich on Monday seems to have been the trigger to the unraveling. Since then, it’s all gone to sh*t!
An average performance at Goodison Park saw Arsenal lose just their second Premier League match this season. Even though they didn’t play their best, they did enough to not lose, and could make an argument for a late penalty call.
But, we pick ourselves up and carry on.
Some thought taking on City shortly after that defeat against Everton was a great opportunity to bounce back. You’d imagine that given the grit and fight they’ve shown all season, they’d be able to handle things against a City team who has been struggling.
Theo’s goal had me cheering very loud. I heard the missus from the other room; settle down over there!
What a start to the match. I guess this was the best fixture to bounce back… So I thought.
Arsenal’s first half wasn’t anything amazing, but they dug in and got it done. They now just needed to do the same in the second half, show they have the mentality, and possibly grab a second goal on a counter-attack.
Instead, that game plan changed when Sane scored an early goal in the second half, and he was offside. Not sure what I was more frustrated about. Arsenal’s poor defending to start the half, or the linesman who failed to raise his flag. Raise the damn flag!
At this point, I must say all my confidence and hope went out the window.
Arsene Wenger was clearly afraid to make a change, while City were all over Arsenal. They were pouring it on, and you just knew that Arsenal was more likely to concede two more, than they were to score one.
Sure enough, the second arrived. It was essentially all over from there. And don’t give me that crap about their second goal being offside. Yea, David Silva is in an offside position, but he in no way affects the outcome of the play. If he ran across Cech before the ball getting to him, then yes, but that wasn’t the case. Clean goal, no excuses.
Le Prof quickly went into reactive mode, as is the usual. Unfortunately, it was too late.
Two straight losses sucks, but, it’s far from the end. Are we going to win the Premier League? It’s going to be very difficult, but we already knew that. But, does anyone think Chelsea will keep this pace all the way through? Does anyone think this inconsistent City team won’t drop points from now until the end? Yes, Arsenal may drop points as well, but, let’s not let two poor results define the season, seeing as it’s only December.
From now until we take on Chelsea at the Bridge, Arsenal have a run of seven favorable fixtures. I’d be willing to bet that if Arsenal wins seven straight, supporters will be praising them again. We’re talking about seven very winnable fixtures. So, instead of making a judgement before Boxing Day, how about we wait to see how things look at the end of January to assess the situation?!
#WengerOut Will Get Us Nowhere
This has been a hot topic for years now, yet the outcome is continuously the same. Arsene Wenger sure as hell isnt going to get sacked, but he’s more than likely done after this season.
Time and time again, Le Prof fails to impress a certain group of supporters. The squad then goes on a decent run, and the #WengerOut crew disappears into the night.
That has been the case this season, but after two consecutive defeats this week, they’re back.
In full voice, they took to social media and Arsenal Fan TV. Wenger is the worst, he’s lost the plot, he needs to step down, etc.
We all know that’s not going to happen. Do I think he’s run his course? Absolutely. But, this guy has been so loyal to the club and his principles, he’s desperately wishing to go out on a high. At least, bring back a Premier Leeague title before walking away.
He’s stubborn, we all know this, and lately, it’s becoming more obvious. It’s like sitting at the blackjack table trying to chase that big hand you just lost. Trying real hard to get it back, but while you just won back $700, the next hand you lose $1,000. Two steps forward, three steps back.
I’ve always been one to defend him. Everything he’s done for the club, he sticks to what he believes in, and agree with me or not, he’s helped put Arsenal on the map.
Your banners clearly don’t bother him, or even Silent Stan. So, instead of wasting your money on a new banner, how about you stick with the damn team. Two tough losses in December don’t make or break the season. Arsene Wenger was a genious and had finally put together a great squad according to most prior to the Everton match.
Now, he’s all of a sudden the worst ever, and needs to leave now.
Some people shouldn’t be allowed to share their reactions until they’ve had at least 24-hours to cool off and think about what they are about to say.
He’s here until the end of the season at least, so get behind the manager and the players. Your bitching and moaning doesn’t make anything better.
How Do They Get Back On Track?
This part could be easier than some would expect, but it will take a collective effort.
Arsenal will host West Brom on Boxing Day in what must be three points. Not only three points, but whomever features in that match better run their damn socks off. The supporters deserve a positive bounce back after these two losses.
In the month of January, Arsenal host Palace, Burnley and Watford. On their travels, they take on Bournemouth and Swansea, with an FA Cup meeting away to Preston in there.
With a favorable schedule, some of the others in the top six will play against eachother. That means an opportunity to gain some ground. But, that only becomes relevant if Arsenal can do their part.
That means Arsene Wenger needs to stop being reactive, and instead, needs to be pro-active. This obsession with being afraid to make a change is annoying. If the team is struggling in the 50th minute, make a damn change. None of this waiting until the 65-70th minute. Think outside the box a little Arsene. We know you’re capable of that.
Mesut Ozil is going to need to either show up, or shut up. You want to be paid £250k per week? Fine, prove you deserve it. None of this I play one great match and then disappear when the team needs him.
Him and Alexis are the two best in the squad, therefore, the rest of the players will look to them to be the difference makers. While Alexis continues to make the difference, Mesut’s attitude when it’s not going well is terrible. Against City, Arsenal would have been better off playing with ten men. He could not do anything right. Lost the ball cheaply, and he didn’t work for the team. Meanwhile, Alexis loses the ball, he uses every damn ounce of energy to get it back.
Recovering the team mentally may be tricky, but they will know their schedule is favorable for the next month. Go out there and put together a good run. This disappointment has come later than most would have expected. Therefore, instead of sinking back into the usual Arsenal, how about you prove that that’s not the case.
Seven straight victories coming up, then, it’s in their own hands against Chelsea.