Beware of Arsenal Supporters: Why You Should be Cautious
Pity and be warned of the bandwagon, hipster, Arsenal fan who before the start the 2015-16 Barclay's Premier League season, decided, sometime around July, along with certain sectors of the media, the slingers of sensationalism, that this season the team from North London were title contenders.
Be weary of the same so-called fan who after a rough opening start to the campaign derided Arsene Wenger for sitting on his mountains of money, labeling him the miser of Strasbourg, the scrooge from London Colney, for failing to bring in an outfield player.
Take caution when in the midst of salacious, duplicitous, 'supporters' who have been calling for Wenger's head after what, in fairness, have been very soft performances in Europe.
Most of all, question the flip-floppers, the writers of digital mumbo-jumbo, who this morning paint Dial Square with the brush of title contenders, 'if they can play like that, they can win the title,' mutter the despot charlatans of the blogosphere, only just days after saying the team is crap and the manager must resign.
True Arsenal supporters are behind the team, and the manager, when they are not playing the best football on planet earth and beating Manchester United 3-0. Questions about the lack of a backup DCM are fair. Concerns about the team's early lack of conversion in front of goal is not unjust. Discussion about who should lead the line, and if a better player becomes available should he be bought, like Petr Cech was, is all well and good.
Tar and feathering the manager and the players in the early jogs of a marathon is the behavior of observers with no real understanding of the beautiful game, and no real eye for for football. Yes, Arsenal have been too naive in the Champions League, they have failed to read the blueprint, the scouting report on themselves, and from the perspective of their opponents. The cavalier approach against 'weaker' teams, wherein the player's believe their inherent quality will win the day against the lesser-known names on the backs of their opponents jerseys is doomed to fail.
Teams across the continent are too well-drilled and organized these days for Arsenal to just show up, football, and win.
Arsene Wenger has begun taking a different approach to his tactics against the top four in England, with success against both Manchester teams the last two seasons, and if criticism can be directed at the manager, it's in this arena. Why won't he sit deep and strike on the counter in Europe? Perhaps Wenger's self-assuraedness in the technical qualities of his players winning the day is killing his team on the biggest stage. The game with Bayern Munich will be all the more fascinating because of this, ego verse pragmatism..
Arsenal still enjoy, and set out to, dominate possession, however they are continuing to develop that deeper line of engagement that absorbs pressure and then strikes in transition through the vision of Mesut Ozil, and the speed of Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott. It's an approach that will continue to get better, and is already better, with Cech in goal, organizing a disciplined regiment in the back, a style of play he grew so accustomed to at Chelsea.
Wenger has also taken the gloves off with Ozil a bit. Unlike last year, The Professor is not as afraid to substitute his record signing. Ozil is clearly having the best season of his Arsenal career, surging up the league assist leader table, where he would surely be top, save for the early-going troubles of his teammates. Ozil's passing is sublime and this could be the season that he finally ascends and inherits the rights to Dennis Bergkamp's throne. We appear to be witnessing the second coming.
Nemo is the new Iceman at the Emirates.
Which makes it even more refreshing to see that Wenger is willing to substitute Ozil when he has given all he can give, when the tank is empty, the manager recognizes, and is unfazed, by the forlorn looks of disappointment that envelop the German if he is subbed before the final whistle. That is one of the small tell-tale signs that this season the Professor means business.
Wenger seems more wiling to put the result ahead of a handshake with his creator.
If only the so-called Arsenal 'fans' had one iota of Wenger's commitment to the badge...