Where do we go from here? What can we do to raise spirits? We travel to Munich trailing 3-1, after being outclassed by a display worthy of Champions League winners. But, there we glimpses of just how fragile Munich can be and why Arsene Wenger still defends his players to the death, with flashes of excellence.
I believe the only way forward is with Wenger. I do not however, believe that he is exempt from criticism. I think his substitution of Lukas Podolski was baffling, as he looked our most dangerous player having already bagged one goal and threatening down the left hand side more often than not. Aaron Ramsey had a storming game from my perspective, but did look tired when he was substituted for Thomas Rosicky. Rosicky and Giroud were linked together via the formers cross-pitch pass to Walcott being whipped into a dangerous area and with his first touch, the latter launched a half volley into an unaware Neuer and the ball ricocheted away. We started brightly too, with Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott almost linking up after a quick move down the right hand side. There were tiny positives to take from last nights game if, like me, you’re trying to salvage some happy thoughts on the game. Bacary Sagna played well, winning everything in the air and for the most part breaking down play extremely well. Laurent Koscielny also proved his worth yet again, while as mentioned previously; Aaron Ramsey had a great game, chasing down every ball and starting attacks from the middle of midfield, while drifting wide also.
The fact is, without Arsene Wenger, we wouldn’t be the team we are today. This is the man that moulded English Football into the technical minefield that it is today. Everything from players diets to the sublime football that we are renowned for has come from his mind. Wenger has taken us to the dizzy heights of the Champions League Final (which is a different blog entry for a different time in itself), gone a whole season unbeaten and won double, doubles. The criticism of Wenger is completely over the top and anyone who follows me on Twitter will know that I back him 100%. To get this kind of abuse from his OWN fans, is sickening. We mock Chelsea fans for booing Rafa Benitez, yet we bombard out own manager with flags, hash-tags and stickers demanded he be removed. I have no issue with people voicing their opinions and would love to converse with anyone who doesn’t agree with my point of view. But so far, no-one who wants Wenger out has the slightest idea what to do when he has gone. They have no answer as to what manager realistically would want to manage Arsenal. Even if we got Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho or your dream manager, who’s to say that the board would release funds for transfers? Or that their tactics would work, the players would want to play for them. And for anyone questioning whether or not Wenger is still committed to this club, look into his eyes when the third goal went in.
Without doubt, the best moment of the night was after the game. I don’t want to suck up to anyone, but Jack Wilshere is just what we need. With tears in his eyes, he came out alone and took the flack for the display. When asked about the criticism of Arsene Wenger and the pressure he was under, Jack responded with ‘It has nothing to do with the manager, if he picks us it’s up to us to perform.’. This wasn’t the captain taking responsibility, although many including myself subscribe to the ideology of Jack being our captain fulltime – this was the boy who loves Arsenal Football Club more than life itself. The really sad thing is, I wouldn’t blame him for leaving us in a few years time; he deserves medals, trophies, accolades and plaudits galore. I just hope and pray, that he gets all of those during a very long and very successful career at The Emirates.
Any comments, responses or feedback welcome – tweet me @RyArsenal