Arsenal 1-1 Wigan | Papering over the cracks again

Arsenal gave themselves an excellent chance of ending their nine year trophy drought with victory over Wigan yesterday, showing good character to come back from a goal down and win the game on penalties.

And that’s the end of the plus points. Granted, winning the game is a major plus point, probably the biggest plus point you can get. But for me, the minus points that this scrappy game threw up far outweigh it.

If you’re only interested in the short term, it’s fantastic news that we’ve reached an FA Cup final and I hope you woke up this morning with a smile on your face and are looking forward to another Wembley date.

But if you also care about the future and whether this club is actually progressing under Wenger, then yesterday’s match would have made for alarming viewing. That Wenger couldn’t even come up with a gameplan to beat a Championship side who are, to a man, half as talented as the players he has at his disposal, is both depressing and embarrassing.

Calum McManaman apart, Wigan are a side bereft of genuine quality. Plucky, well organised and disciplined they maybe, but Arsenal should have had no trouble disposing of them. Unfortunately, after a bright opening 10 minutes when they were unlucky not to score after a refreshingly blistering start, Arsenal reverted to type and played the remaining 110 minutes at a pedestrian tempo. They awoke from their slumber with 10 minutes to go as the realisation finally set in that they had to raise their game and scored a fortunate equaliser as the tempo was briefly raised. But with a knackered Wigan there for the taking, Arsenal failed to take advantage and needed penalties to limp over the line. The proverb ‘If you can’t be good, be lucky’ was never more apt than today.

Fabianski saves a penaltySomebody needs to tell the players that they’ve won nothing yet. Doing a lap of honour and taking selfies after squeaking through to the final against crap opposition on a day they slipped to fifth in the league just didn’t sit right with me. I’m thoroughly convinced that Arsene cannot take this team any further, just as I was this time last year and the year before that. Seeing the raw, clumsy Sanogo toil against a Championship defence while £100m sits in the Arsenal vaults is an unfunny joke, but it epitomises this stagnating Wenger regime.

It may sound odd to be pessimistic the day we win a semi final, but coming through that shootout was merely papering over the cracks. I can see it, the media can see it and so can an ever increasing number of Gooners, especially those who booed when Podolski came off instead of the hopeless Sanogo.

I just hope Wenger can finally see it too.

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  1. HantsGooner

    Cant u just enjoy the moment? Were the Chavs bothered that they were outplayed in both legs of their CL semi with Barca then outplayed in the final by Bayern an had to scrap a win on pens? No they rightly celebrated win the bloody thing.
    Get of yr soapbox leave the worrying about the future of our club to those with the power to do anything about it, writing negative blogs doesn’t achieve anything other than giving others the chance to point to that negativity, an enjoy the fact that the team u support has reached the FA Cup final.
    Oh an one more thing back in 1971 we were 2-0 down in a semi to Stoke came back to draw then won the replay thats just as much squeaking through but no fans of the club slagged off Bertie Mee for doing it and the club hadnt won a trophy at that time for 18yrs

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    • Gooner Steve

      Like I said, if you’re only interested in the short term then I’m really pleased you enjoyed the moment and don’t want to think about the future of our club. How nice it must be to live with your head in the sand.

      For those of us not in denial who actually look at the bigger picture, yesterday was alarming and further proof that Wenger is no longer the right man for the job.

      I’d love to hear your views on the following:

      Wenger’s one-dimensional tactics
      Wenger’s inability to change a game
      Wenger’s reluctance to strengthen the squad
      Wenger’s blind loyalty to crocks like Diaby
      Wenger’s ridiculous wage structure
      Wenger’s refusal to ever utilise the January transfer window
      Wenger’s small, lop-sided squad with too many central midfielders, not enough strikers and only one player with pace that he trusts enough to play consistently (Walcott).
      The ridiculous injuries we pick up under Wenger that cannot be put down to bad luck anymore

      These are the reasons we haven’t won anything for so long and get battered every time we play a good team. These are the reasons I’m still concerned despite reaching the FA Cup final.

      You won’t reply because people like you don’t have the answers to the above questions, you just like to try and silence those of us whose eyes are open and raise genuine concerns about the club. I’m not being negative, I’m being realistic. More and more people are beginning to realise this and hopefully you will see it too one day.

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  2. Shanzu

    NO! You get off your big fat arse my friend and read the article correctly before you throw your toys out of your pram! YES we are delighted that we are in the final of the FA cup but our performance was dire and the players that Wenger has recently managed to assemble are not good enough to beat the likes of MC, MU, Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton and now Wigan (22 goals against)! You are a typical blinkered, naive and indoctrinated Wenger fan that only cares for today irrespective of results but we true fans CARE about the Club’s future and stand up to state our true disappointed feelings in how the club is technically managed. You say leave the future to those with the power to do anything about it, yes but it is apparent that they do not and will not so long as the money vaults continue to rise! We the supporters should continue to voice our concerns otherwise they will continue with the same blinkered ways! For me the way forward is for the club to reorganize its management structure so that it meets with the game’s modern technical approach. Our current methods and technical style our dated and every club (in all leagues!) knows how to beat us. WE NEED TO CHANGE. IT IS TIME!!

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  3. HantsGooner

    I will reply but only to point out that u like many others seem to long for the team to lose so u can shout from yr soapbox about sacking the manager l too feel the time for change is here an sorry to say Shanzu l not a Wenger fan lm a Arsenal fan who just wants to enjoy the fact we have reached a major final as for being blinkered lm not the one who wants to lay all the blame at the door of one man like you an the rest of the “in Arsene we rust” morons still at least l now know one more so called Arsenal fan site not to bother with in future so will leave u sat on yr fat arses congratulating each other on yr far superior football knowledge

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    • Gooner Steve

      So if you agree the time for change is here, why have a go at someone highlighting how poor we are? I said enjoy the moment – read the article again. But I also said the long term picture is bleak.

      You make it sound like I am being negative without reason, just because I want the manager gone, and then you agree he should go?!

      By the way, you not visiting again. Bothered.

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  4. Shanzu

    HantsGooner, don’t really care whether you read this blog ever again or not as by your own admission the number of Arsenal fan sites against Wenger are growing and people like you with your heads in the sand are slowly converting to the reality of where our beloved club is heading! As for your superior football knowledge comment, it really does not require that much to see what all the pundits, ex-gooner players and the media are saying! If indeed I had superior knowledge I would be more constructive with my comments and more critical!!

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  5. Danish Gooner

    If there ever is a lesson to be learned about The Wenger Regime it is the fact that he will never change and never ever own up.If we win the Fa cup he will sign that contract and continue his crazy ways in blooding Sanogo against top,top sides.We will keep getting embarrassed in big games because of tactical ineptitude and he will keep promisng the moon and delivering shit.Wenger is driven by his own mirror image and extreme stubbornness,he is an arrogant,dtubborn has been but expect more of the same for another 3 to 5 years.

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  6. Nico

    Well well well, arguing, bickering, happy, ecstatic, gloom and doom and sad, isn’t this football and what lots all about? I agree with every one – yes we should be happy and joyful at getting to a final at last together with shocked that we managed it with such a depleted wasted squad! Being at the game yesterday I wish I hadn’t having witnessed an embarrassing flat uninspiring pathetic performance. No confidence, no urgency, no one taking responsibility – however there are so many reasons:

    1. Wenger – no tactical understanding
    2. Wenger – refusal to spend the money he has worked hard over the last 7yrs to save
    3. Wenger – brining in shit players like Sanogo and even Giroud who for me are not quality strikers
    4. The board and Wenger for not having football ambitions
    5. Too many injuries – with the likes of Walcott, Wilshire, Ozil, Ramsey, now Rosicky our creativeness has gone and we are left with flat square passing pussies who are scared to go forward
    6. Coaching – there is something wrong in the way we train there must be as we are getting too many injuries every year – either that or the training ground pitches construction is incorrect – too firm or soft?
    7. Our squad in depth is not good enough. We need class experienced players
    8. Sanogo is shit!

    I am an Arsenal fan and although I am being negative I still support the team and club and I am delighted we are in a final and want to be positive now until the end of the season to raise morale and go out with winning the cup and coming fourth. not at all acceptable having been top of the league for so long to then end up scrapping for fourth however we are where we are and we can’t change that? What the club can do is change the philosophy of making decisions only with business in mind and they can change the manager to one with youthful ambition and drive. I love Wenegr for what he has done for the club and I really would love it for him to win the league one last time before he gracefully bows out however if the stubborn man can not change his ideology he never will 1 time to step aside with the FA cup leaving the club in a far far better shape then when he entered it. Lets stop moaning now and enjoy the rest of the season and hope for a happy moment when we lift the FA cup once again. It could be worst ……..look at the scum across the road!

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    • Shanzu

      Nico, you are just sitting on the fence!! How can you enjoy winning this cup knowing that Wenger with his stubborn ways (your comment above!) will still be around for the next 2/3 years? Win it yes but I am sure the way we play will be a massive effort against a Hull attacking side under no pressure. Yes of course we will support our club but albeit with sadness that our future is not in the hands of someone who can rebuild the squad and challenge for the future, Let us get our own club in order before we look at the scum across the road!!!!

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  7. Nico

    Stand ing on the fence you can see everything and I do want to enjoy something for a moment with out negativeness! I do know the problems we have and acknowledge that things must change – Wenger needs to leave yes however It would be good if it was done on a high, the club deserves that at least before we move forward that’s all.

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  8. Gooner Steve

    The best thing for the club would be finishing 4th, lifting the FA Cup and Wenger retiring at the end of the season.

    But until more people wake up to the fact that Wenger is holding us back and shout it from the rooftops (yes, even after a shambolic semi-final win) then there will never be enough pressure on him to resign and we can expect more of the same underachievement for another two years at least.

    That’s why I always highlight his flaws when he makes mistakes, because I want more people to see them too. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not because I simply love to moan and be negative!

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  9. Nico

    Yes Steven – I agree and I think we will win the FA cup plus finish 4th but not sure if he will leave after that. Like you I think we will suffer a further 2 years! I hope he does the right thing and leaves but don’t hold your breath!!

    Lets not moan and be negative on cup final day and just enjoy it forgetting all the woes for a few hours!

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