The preemptive post-mortem of the Wenger regime continues apace across the internet, with the ‘story’ getting as much coverage on reputable news sites as it is on Arsenal blogs. A plethora of former players, from Bergkamp to Winterburn, and Petit and Vieira have been having their say since the Milan game, most bemoaning a lack of leadership and inadequate contributions from the senior players. Even Samir Nasri has taken to writing supportive tweets and giving advice, which given the events of last summer seems an irony too far.
The Arsenal Supporters Trust had the perfect timing for their scheduled meeting, with results and fan disgruntlement leading to a record attendance and coverage in print, online and on the radio. Supporter’s trust spokesman Tim Payton must have been quivering in excitement, like one of the Beershorn Brethren from Cold Comfort Farm. That said, they have been as thorough as ever. A few write-ups below.
A Letter to Arsenal News Review (Much better than Myles Palmer’s cycle of repetitive negativity)
As conveniently timed as the AST meeting, there is a meeting of the Arsenal board this week. Despite all the criticism, the club owner appears happy enough with the status quo. We shall see.
Much of the press is also reporting the shocking story that Arsenal are trying to renew Van Persie’s contract. Shock horror. All reports are far to vague, dull and full of pointless speculation to link to.
Despite endless conversations about cashflow, debt consolidation and sponsorship, its easy to forget that all this is secondary to the team’s performance. Indeed, the player’s form over the next 3 months may also render many financial questions irrelevant. In an attempt to play some of his under-performing squad players into form, Wenger gave the likes of Arshavin, Chamakh, Park and Benayoun a run out in tonight’s reserve game. It’s extremely rare for first-teamers to play for the reserves at Arsenal, unless they are returning from lengthy injuries, so it is an indication of the manager trying something different. One can only imagine how the Norwich second string felt seeing that lot line up against them. The senior players certainly made a difference. Good to see Jenkinson on his way back too.
In other news, on loan midfielder Henri Lansbury kept a 2nd half clean sheet as an emergency goalkeeper for West Ham . I like Lansbury. I think he’s got balls and drive, and could be a technically superior but not as tough Ray Parlour. The manager seems unconvinced, but I would be rather upset if he was sold. Speaking of Loanees, Kyle Bartley may return to Arsenal following Glasgow Rangers journey into administration. Equally he may not. Nobody knows it seems.
Tonight Napoli (a few places below Milan in the table) beat Chelsea three-one. No great surprise as Napoli made Man City look average, and Chelsea are not great at present. Annoyingly for Arsenal fans, Chelsea’s goal was from Juan Mata, who was a signed and sealed Arsenal player until some vague legal cock up and a £7m signing on fee from the bank of Abramovich. All English teams out before the quarter-finals perhaps? Not all about the money after all, it appears.
One good story is the massively overdue FA initiative against homophobia in football. Lets hope they manage to achieve what has been done in other sports such as cricket.
Ending on a humorous note, injured midfield psycho Emmanual Frimpong and smug media whore Piers Morgan have been having a lover’s tiff on twitter.