Van Persie Relates To The Fans’ Frustation

I was reading an article on the Arsenal Website in which RvP talks about the Tottenham game and how the saves from Gomes made a difference. Towards the end he said a couple of lines that are the perfect summary of this season.

Definitely, if you look at last year, no one really expected this. But when you are this close you really want to win it. When you don’t do that it is frustrating.

I’m convinced most rational fans will completely agree with that statement. It has to do with the way expectations from this squad have changed over the course of the season and to fail once it seems that the title is genuinely achievable is the most frustrating experience. So near yet so far!

If we look back to the beginning of the season, almost everyone wrote us off. We weren’t supposed to be in the Champions League places according to the “experts”. No strength-in-depth and all that nonsensical punditry.

No one can deny that Arsenal have made significant improvements and the strength-in-depth of this team cannot be matched by the other top teams in England. Should Arsene have factored in our injury problems and should we have more cover is a different issue and a relevant one.

Similarly, there is a clear problem with a certain type of opposition. Our recent results against strong defensive teams with clinical counter attacking abilities are sufficient proof of a particular frailty in this squad. Barcelona are in a different league and have previously defeated United and Chelsea in Europe so I’m deliberately ignoring the performance against the reigning champions of everything.

At the same time the improvements we’ve made and the victories achieved away to the likes of Stoke cannot be forgotten or denigrated. I think most Arsenal fans are sensible enough to see how well this squad has developed and know that we are on the cusp of greatness.

If we put aside our problems with some individual players (all of us have some we don’t like) and just think about the points we’ve dropped, we can see there were some games where we should have picked up the points even with the players that we had. In effect, even without a single change to the squad, we could have been in pole position but for some minor, yet ultimately, season defining mistakes.

I know the temptation is to point the finger at a position and say if that particular position had a better player we’d have won. Trust me, it’s easy to argue either way and the opinion vs opinion battle just defeats the whole purpose of rational discussion.

I’m not trying to defend any player, that’s the reason I’m talking in general terms. And I’m definitely not claiming we don’t need improvements to the squad. We most certainly do. The point is we could have and should have won with the squad that we have. And that’s the reason I can understand why Arsene believes in the squad and his approach in spite of so much criticism. We are much closer to the top than most experts and some Arsenal bloggers would have us believe.

The issue is that with the present squad we needed a near perfect season from everyone. Proper additions to the squad would mean that we could afford to have a couple of players out of form, a few out injured, and still look favourites. I’ll do a detailed autopsy of the season in the summer.

Right now it’s a difficult time for everyone. Most of our players have fought hard this season but will end it without a medal. The fans have played their part but the wait continues. Arsene, I’ve no doubt, feels just as bad as any fan or player.

Let’s play this season out as best as we can. We have all summer to find the cause of death and set things right.

20 Responses to Van Persie Relates To The Fans’ Frustation

  1. Good day to all gunner out there,its a pity that despite all the efforts of both fans and players,we’re still going to experience a trophyless season again!pls Wenger should try and sign at least 4 quality players(especially goalkeeper)to solve this occurrence of cupless season for the sake of we the fans and play,otherwise he should resigned his post as our great club coach.gunner for life

  2. Jason says:

    any idea if this story is true

    it says Arsenal have already signed Rodallega and N’Zogbia for 22 million and they have already had their medical and signed personal terms with the club.
    If this is true then I do think its to replace Eduardo and Traore who are in my view leaving this summer

    • desigunner says:

      I don’t have any “sources” so can’t really comment on the veracity of the story.

      From a purely footballing point of view, it doesn’t make any sense to me that we would spend 22 Mil on N’Zogbia and Rodallega. And if we do then there will have to be at least 2 or 3 more signings in the summer.

  3. Durban_gun says:

    We are the only top 4 club whose GK is NOT INTERNATIONAL CLASS ! HIS NOT EVEN SECOND OR THIRD CHOICE FOR SPAIN !! FFS BOLTON HAS FINLANDS NO.1 . SECONDLY WE NEED AN OUT AND OUT WINGER WHOSE TRICKY QUICK HAS GOOD DECISION MAKING SKILLS AND CAN PUT A DESCENT CROSS IN that is all we need taking into consideration dat djourou will be fit and chamak signs on a free

  4. Toyin says:

    Yes… If asene is nt going to sign he shld sign as our grt club manager….

  5. leo says:

    After the spurs beating i hope wenger has realised that a GOOD goalkeeper can win matches

    • Maddy says:

      You mean like how Almunia kept us in the game against Barca or saved that penalty against West Ham?

      If your yardstick for a ‘good goalkeeper’ is Heurelho Gomes, you need a mental check up. Gomes’ fuck ups from earlier make Almunia look like Gigi Buffon from Germany 2006

  6. Willy Young says:

    I suspect there could be significant change and a lot of fringe players need to be assessed as to whether they are good enough

    those under review

    Traore ( why so many left backs Pedro returns too)

    A lot of not good enough in there plus Clownumia

  7. Yomi says:

    I think arsenal need a better goal keeper the fact that he save a penalty against westham doesnt mean he’s a goog gk, he was even off the line when he made that save. Arsene should make 4 signings gk( akinfeev neuer ochoa frey ), CB(uncountable), winger and CF( chamakh dzeko suarez pazzini)

  8. Durban_Gun says:

    Gomes is a much better keeper den almunia and its only his 2nd season . I admit he was crap wen spurs first signed him coz he was still adapting but now he looks CLASS ! almunia would have NEVER SAVED VAN PERSIES FREE KICK !! AND HE WOULD NEVER HAVE WON US THE FULHAM AWAY GAME LIKE MINONE DID ALMUNIA IS INCOMPETENT HE LITTERALY THREW AWAY THE POINTS AT BIRMINGHAM WAT A CUNT WE SHOULD SIGN JASKELINEN OR KRIS KIRKLAND OR CUDACINI

  9. Hong_gunner says:

    The problems are a lot complex, yet simple in their own way. Everyone keeps talking about a radical change in the squad, but this is football, and we aren’t man city(money-wise). Though i believe wenger will go for a balanced spending, 3-4 players in within £25m or so, and a few players will inevitably leave. But where our main priority lies is in the back room staff. The physio and medical team has been jeopardised ever since Gary Lewis left. And it aint no coincidence that we’ve had problems dealing with/preventing injuries ever since Gary’s nephew took charge of the medical team. Thats where our FIRST SIGNING OF THE SUMMER is going to be, a new physio. Birmingham’s physio has been well renowned recently, but is he acquirable? If Kroenke does take control, i believe David Dein will be back. No matter the man’s personal stuff, the man loves Arsenal. There’s a lot of time to look at the players who we could get in, and Wenger knows it all too better.

    • desigunner says:

      I agree, we need a top class Physio. I don’t have anything against Colin Lewin but there seems to be a co-relation of increase in injuries and the departure of Gary. We could also use some set-piece specialists and definitely a defence coach.

  10. Gtr gooner says:

    Lets just play our best in our remaining matches and think about future. Wenger has enough time to think about summer signings with world cup also looming. Although i would prefer english players signings coz of UEFA rule

  11. Arsenal fan says:

    Great Article, and we need a centre back and a goalie at least to make me feel confident of arsenal winning next season.

  12. Nischit says:

    I don’t see how Arsene Wenger could have factored our injuries in. I agree that the injury to RVP was to be expected, so we should’ve signed another striker as cover, but I don’t see how he could’ve factored in the injuries to ramsey, arshavin, fabregas, Djourrou, Gallas, Gibbs……The list goes on. We cannot have a 30 man first team squad like chelsea, we simply can’t afford it.

    I really think that this arsenal squad requires just a striker, defender ( 2 if gallas and sol leave ), and maybe a goalkeeper. Almunia isn’t the worst keeper out there as many people make him out to be, but he definitely isn’t the best either. He seems to have lost a bit of confidence this season, because he was pretty good last season. Eduardo also seems the same. It seems like a guy who came to the club as the ultimate finisher, has lost his touch in front of goal. I haven’t lost faith in him either. I think if he can find some confidence with a really good pre season, we’ll have the pre-injury eduardo back and that would be great news.

    • desigunner says:

      Rosicky and Eduardo were both doubts before the season and their initial recurrences confirmed that. Wenger, with his experience, should have anticipated they won’t be completely fit and in full form from the word go.

      Nasri was out in pre-season and so was Djourou. Was Walcott ready at the start of the season?

      Van Persie has never had a full season so far. Arshavin hadn’t played a full season in England and isn’t really a fitness person.

      Cesc gets kicked in every game.

      Arsene hasn’t given Vela many chances even when he has been around. Vela missed a lot of pre-season too. He didn’t use him at WHL either even when we were lacking the cutting edge.

      I think there was enough reason to get extra cover. Whole season we’ve played with just about enough players and lacked the buffer to give someone a breather. Ultimately, its caught up with us.

      • Nischit says:

        The question is how many players can we have in our squad? Does that mean we get rid of rosicky and eduardo? And replace them with who? I for one would keep rosicky. While he isn’t a consistent game breaker like rvp, or cesc, when he plays alongside these guys, he offers a lot.

        All I’m saying is we probably need one more world class player to complete the squad. The likes of nasri, bendtner, walcott, rosicky and song carried the team through our recent winning streak by digging deep. There’s no way wenger can predict that Nasri, Djourou and Walcott wouldn’t start the season or get injured in pre season. We had a 25 man squad, and I’m pretty sure thats all we can afford. We aren’t bankrolled by an oil baron and we cannot afford 30 internationals.

        I think Arsene Wenger doesn’t start with too many teenagers now as there’s a difference in giving cesc opportunities 5 yrs ago and giving vela opportunities 5 yrs ago. 5 yrs ago, cesc was the only player below 23 in the starting lineup. Today, almost all our players seem to be below 25. I can see the growth in the squad clearly.

        The best thing that wenger could do with the squad is not lose a single player, atleast the extremely important ones like nasri, cesc, rvp, gallas, eboue, song, denilson, diaby, rosicky, ramsey, bendtner.. keep the core of the squad intact, and add a world class striker/creative player. Don’t forget, we probably have Wilshere joining the squad next term.

        Although there’s the world cup this summer and i fear the worst.

      • desigunner says:

        The size of the squad is limited, I agree with that but there are ways of working around that.

        For instance, if we were not sure how Eduardo will recover we could have sent him out on loan and got a striker in on loan or bought one in the summer itself. Similarly, he could have been more decisive about Senderos and brought in a player who could play CB/DM.

        That’s just two examples.

        Wenger couldn’t have predicted Nasri, Djourou and Walcott will get injured in the pre-season but the transfer window was still open when they did get injured.

        I’m convinced Arsene could have done better than what he did. It’s not a criticism. In hindsight it’s easier but you’ve to acknowledge the mistakes, that’s the only way to improve and even the great man can improve.

      • Nischit says:

        I don’t understand how arsene could’ve predicted eduardo’s complete loss of confidence and loaned him out. Its been reported that Arsene didn’t sign Chamakh because of Eduardo’s fitness. Now he assumed that eduardo just lacked match fitness. Thinking that he lost complete faith in his ability and that he lost the ability to finish( hopefully temporarily) would have required some unbelievable insight.

        He brought in Sol. Ok he didn’t bring a replacement DM for song, but I don’t see many players available.

        Ok he did have time to bring in new players in the transfer window, but what when Nasri, Djourou, and Walcott do get fit? Do we get rid of them? or the players we brought in? I’m assuming we cant bring in players of their quality on loan.
        Also, I think Arsene expected a little more of senderos at the start of the season and he failed to deliver. Which is why he signed sol in january.

        I honestly think Arsene’s only mistake was not drilling the players enough like Guardiola does about the importance of winning the ball back. Either that, or these players are too used to premier league clubs throwing the ball long and back into the keeper’s hands.

        All I’m trying to say is..this cant keep happening. we’ve had a freakishly large number of injuries this season. The only important players who haven’t been injured for a long duration( > a month) in my memory are vermaelen, song, diaby, sagna, eboue, eduardo. Signing players may have won us silverware this season, but it would’ve robbed us of the space to look around this summer and invest in a player who is truly worth his place in the squad. A player who will bring something special to the arsenal, not a stop gap measure to win the epl. And of course, there is no guarantee that another player would have performed better than the ones we already have. Thats why I trust Arsene Wenger’s decision not to sign. I feel his ability to judge a player is exceptional. Sometimes some players offer a lot to certain teams, but maybe not the same to another team. I really believe Arsene would’ve signed a player if he thought he would add something to the squad, as I’m sure he isn’t a fool, and he knows that we did need some reinforcements. I just think he didn’t find the right player. I’m just glad he didn’t gamble on the club’s finances on a player who MAY have added something to the squad

  13. desigunner says:

    Eduardo came back from injury late last season and then he had the whole pre-season.

    On the one hand we say Arsene is a good judge of players and on the other we say he could never see Eduardo wasn’t anywhere close to his best in spite of watching him every day for such a long time?

    Sol came in January. That meant Gallas and Vermaelen played non-stop in the first half. Impact – both out at crunch time. Moreover, Sol isn’t fit enough to play two games in three days and definitely can’t play DM! Impact – further shortage of players at the business end of the season.

    Injuries was a big excuse last season. When you’ve just had a bad season due to injuries AND have some players who are extremely injury prone (RvP, Walcott, Eduardo, Rosicky) AND you’ve had a couple of major injuries before the season has even started AND you’ve guys like Senderos and Vela whom you just don’t play (Could have rotated earlier in the season but didn’t, implying he didn’t have enough confidence in these players) – then there are some serious questions that need to be asked about the composition of the squad.

    There is a fine line between being prudent and in being over cautious and suicidal. We can never be sure one way or the other unless Arsene comes out and gives his own analysis.

    I can see enough minor contradictions in his decision making and that makes me believe that he could have done a lot better in the market last summer.

    This doesn’t mean that he’s a fool or that his judgment isn’t good. These decisions are complex and I feel Wenger has erred on the side of caution a little too much.

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