Arshavin and Nasri formally request Walcott not start again.

Me: Groan. Sigh. Head in my hands.  Then handsup pleading skyward.  Playing Burnley and Fab walks off hurt.  But you know what, I don’t even want to complain about that.  No, watching us play Burnley, a team we really should dominate I can’t get over the absolute lack of balance in the team.  Arsene this is your fault.  It’s time, if Denilson can’t play, put in Merida.  And no more of this Song + Diaby.  And Arshavin and Nasri called, if Walcott starts again, they are going on strike.  As for Alumnia we’ve lost him altogether, so bring on Fabianski.

Watching the team today was like watching a pick up game. Where a bunch of talented players gather and hit the ball around, but a small group of friends that aren’t too talented, but have played together for years put down a lesson.  The talented players lack organization, the tactics are confused and the players all out of position.  The friend’s aren’t very good, but they play for each other and know each other’s strengths.  So they’re organized, balanced and focused.  Why? because organization, balance and focus beats talent.  The Arsenal lack all of these because the team is wrong wrong wrong.

Worse, this team is playing under Arsene’s command.  This means the talented pick up players don’t even want to play together they have to.  Watch when Walcott’s on the field with Nasri and Arshavin.  They visibly do not like playing with him anymore.

At some point they are going to stop passing to him.  They have to; they might as well just give the ball to the other team.  Arshavin won’t even speak to him anymore, let alone look at him on the pitch.  Nasri just looks disgusted anytime Walcott even gets near the ball.  Eventually Nasri’s going to fake an injury if he and Walcott are both starting just to avoid being on the pitch with him.  Playing with Walcott sucks the absolute life out their game.

It’s unfortunate too, when we have the talent we do.  Nasri, Arshavin and Fab are simply stunning.  Their creative game is at the absolute top of the world.  No other team in the EPL compares, not even chel$ki.  I love watching them play. You love watching them play.  Arsene loves to watch them play.  They love playing together.  Then mom (Arsene) makes them play with the kid nobody likes -Walcott.  He’s just not that good.  Every time he gets the ball Walcott, we all know what’s going to happen: quick movement, bad ball handling and a turnover.

I know the home-country fans are going to hate this.  But he’s overrated.  Walcott…can…not…dribble.  Against good teams, bad teams, fast teams, slow teams, domestic or foreign, Walcott is not good enough.  In fact, he’s so not good enough, I want him to play against the USA in the world cup because I think it’s in the US favor.  That’s how bad I think he is.  He had potential, but for whatever reason, he’s not reaching it at Arsenal and it’s time to move on.

I wonder what they say in the locker room to each other about him.  Seriously.  I can see Fab talking to el jefe in locker room:

Fab: por favor, jefe, no more.

AW: No.  This is your punishment for Barca’s talk.

Fab: but jefe, I said I did not want to go.

AW: I know, but it made me feel bad.  Now you must suffer.

Fab: pero Nasri, he cries himself to sleep when he plays with Walcott.

AW: Enough. The Monsieur has spoken.

As for Song and Diaby.  Have mercy.  The Song-Diaby experiment is an unmitigated disaster.  It’s almost Toure-Gallas part II.  Watching Song range forward, WAY too far forward and exposing the back makes my heart seize up.  Song does this less so when Denilson is there because Denilson holds him in check through his placement.  But when Diaby is there, cover your eyes and pray to the football gods.

We desperately need to fix this problem. We need that box-to-box midfielder.  We use Denilson right now, but he isn’t quite ready yet.  So when he’s out we’re even more exposed.  Holding aside a potential purchase (at this point I’m dying for at least Matuidi), it’s time to throw Merida in.  He has the skills and the fight and the talent is unquestioned, lets give him a chance to take the spot.  At least he knows the role and will play, even if he doesn’t like it.

Speaking of players that do NOT fit the bill.  Meet Manuel Alumnia.  Wow.  He should not start for the team. Ever. Again.  I’m not a big fan of switching goal keepers in the middle of the season.  Especially since we lost the Carling Cup as a way to keep developing some experience, but it’s time to put in Fabianski.  He’s young and needs more work, but his mistakes are because of a lack of fear and experience.  I can handle that.  Lack of fear and confidence can lead to overly aggressive play, but given that Alumnia plays like an ostrich -head in the dirt, blind to every cross, terrified of a back pass, inability to knock a ball out of play -it’s time to move on.  At least you get a rush when Fabianski makes a mistake -STAY IN THE BOX!  With Alumnia you just close your eyes and die a bit inside.  We have three fantastic goalkeepers we’re developing, it’s time to shift the ladder up.

Don’t worry senor Alumnia, this isn’t a hate piece.  I like your hair.  But for some reason, your confidence is shattered and it’s not likely you’ll get it back with the Arsenal.

So big clap of the hands to Burnley.  Injuries happen and Fab wasn’t hurt because Burnley was playing rugby.  Quite the contrary, they played the footy -solid skills, good tactics and strong organization.  Hats off to them, they did the game proud.  They tried to win.  Fab’s knock is just something that happens.  Unfortunately, it happened against Burnley a team we should even be playing.  But they played to their max and deserved the score line.  We didn’t.

-the student

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