The Swansea defeat was reminiscent of the terrible sandstorm that appeared in a scene in Mission Impossible 4 where Tom Cruise chased the villain but it ended after Cobalt had escaped on a truck. Out of the blue, the sandstorm appeared from nowhere and it overwhelmed everyone in the city.
Arsenal is a club that’s badly injured in almost every part of its body. With the exception of Robin van Persie, the forwards are misfiring, the defense has been decimated with unfortunate injuries and certain players have been below par all season long.
Speaking of misfiring forwards, Theo Walcott produced his best season in Arsenal colors in the last campaign where he smashed in 13 goals and laid a couple of assists for van Persie in particular, but he has failed to build on it this term.
He was instrumental in Arsenal’s Champions League play-off adventure with two goals against Udinese but he failed to score a home Premier League goal in 2011. The goal he scored against Chelsea brought a lot of plaudits his way but his performances have plummeted into mediocrity in recent games.
Walcott said that he’ll to get some more goals but he won’t be that bothered about his goal scoring input if the team is winning. There’s also the issue of Walcott’s contract situation because he’ll be in the same situation with Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy at the end of the season.
There are whispers emanating that Walcott is requesting for £85,000 per week but some wonder whether the pacey Englishman deserves such a large outlay on a weekly basis. It’s true that he hasn’t really lit up the Emirates this year but Walcott is a very potent weapon for Arsenal.
You don’t need any soothsayer to tell you that he’s among the Usain Bolts of world football and he has a pretty decent crossing ability. He’s mainly lacking in his decision making in the final third but we also have to remember that he’s a young lad that can only get better with time.
Alex Song arrived from SC Bastia in 2006 and it took a loan spell at Charlton and more playing time to unleash the beast we see week in week out. If Wenger bought a new holding midfielder after the loss of Gilberto, Lass Diarra and Mathieu Flamini, I wonder if the gem called Song would have been unraveled.
I hope Wenger sits Walcott and van Persie down to give them fat salaries to extend their stay in the club because these are two of Arsenal’s best players and the club cannot afford to let them out of its grasp if it wants to show its ambition.
The Guardian reported that Arsenal is keen to sign van Persie’s five year old son Shaqueel into its youth ranks. The club can sign his pet dinosaur as the new Gunnersaurus for all I care.
At the start of every season, every club chairman sets targets and expectations for the season ahead and they give the manager every backing he needs to see them happen. Chairmen of promoted clubs like Swansea City, Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers probably set the target of staying in the league for another season.
The chairmen of the first two clubs in the aforementioned list are basking in euphoria following their teams performances while the chairman of QPR had to go to extreme measures to relieve Neil Warnock off his job in his bid to save the club from relegation. Mark “Sparky” Hughes has been given the task to invoke the spirit of his Blackburn and Fulham days to save the club and many will hope that his Manchester City match drawing spirit won’t be summoned.
In a club like Arsenal, the fans already have a hunch of the expectations set by the Board. Play around with youngsters in the Carling Cup, win the FA Cup, go as high as possible in the Champions League and qualify for the Champions League next season via a top four finish.
Arsene Wenger didn’t really “play” that much in the Carling Cup but his team was ousted by Manchester City. He has booked a FA Cup 4th round date with Aston Villa and a Champions League knockout round date with AC Milan.
Arsenal is in a precarious position in the Premier League and is presently four points behind Chelsea. This clearly means that a bad result against Manchester United will see the Gunners lose more ground but the chairman has stated that not qualifying for the Champions League won’t be a disaster:
“From a financial point of view, not qualifying for the Champions League is quite a blow.”
“We have been planning for not qualifying every year, so it is not a disaster, but it would be nice if we could.”
I guess the fans will have to gear themselves up for some Thursday night Europa League football next season.
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