Monday, August 29, 2016

Sport: Arsenal, the Unravelling

So, the Gunners now have a win under their belts, and the seemingly disastrous transfer window now shows some glimmers of hope, with help form la Liga (and the Spanish economy).


Forgive this writer for not jumping and cheering. Underneth the sighs of relief, there is that feeling of "same crap, different season"

Another opening day. Another loss. Comprehensively beaten 4-3 by a marauding Liverpool side that included a familiar bane to Gunners in the form of Sadio Mane. Then on to a drab, scoreless stalemate at Champions Leceister City that might well have had a different result had a penalty been awarded for Bellerin's "professional" foul late in the game.

The truth is, Arsenal, for its seeming upswing, in in the throes of a long unravelling that is especially painful for fans. Season after season, the team underachieves, losing games that it ought to win, and i n some cases embarrassingly so.

And things are about to get worse. Old Wenger nemesis Jose Mourinho has taken the reins at Manchester united, while his bitter rival Pep Guardiola (who some had as a potential Wenger successor) is settling in for the sheiks at Manchester City. a massive Manchester Derby looms in about two weeks. Italian maestro Antonio Conte is leading a revitalized Chelsea squad untethered from the toxic relationship with Mourinho that torpedoed their title defense last season.

And Arsenal? Still plodding along with a manager stuck in the past, and propped up by a Board too busy milking the cash cow that the club has become.

Has Wenger been great for Arsenal? Without doubt. And the club has clearly benefitted form his tenure, both i n the footballing and the financial sense.

But Wenger has been making a string of inexcusable tactical errors ove the past few seasons. The most egregious being against Liverpool i nthe season past; Wenger, with a 3-2 lead and minutes left to play, he inserts Arteta into a game that we ought o have taken full points form; Arteta almost immediately gets caught out, allowing Joe Allen to run on to the loose ball and slot past a helpless Cech. And the less said about the Champions league tie against Barcelona, the better.

its easy to call for a manager's head i n the Premier League; money's being sprayed left right and centre like water treatment on a grass pitch, but it should be clear to even the most hardened loyalists that the end of the Wenger era is at hand.

to the Board: do it now, when there's less pain and there can - unlike the departure of Pellegrini at City - be some dignity; a proper farewell.

let's not let the team disintegrate before we do something

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