A Saturday evening with no X Factor

By David Swaden

https://i0.wp.com/l2.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/5NHedMQayKdfNtiOYAKGIg--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Zmk9aW5zZXQ7aD0zMTc7cT04NTt3PTQ0OQ--/http://media.zenfs.com/en_GB/Sports/Press_Association_Images/14929590.jpg?resize=325%2C226I’ve been wondering when I was going to have to write my first scathing piece about the team this season.

Whilst I was gutted by Chelsea, I felt it was unfair to empty both barrels after a game that could have gone either way. But after a weak, ineffective, complacent, lazy, spineless performance in Norfolk (the list could go on but I’m sure you all have your favourites), now is the time to have a good old sound off about Wenger’s woefuls.

It really had it all didnt it? Uncertain defending, goalkeeping howlers, blind dribbling, air shots, Andrei Arshavin. This was a game that will no doubt live short in the memory, but should be retained by the coaching staff as a reminder of quite how bad we can be when we put our minds to it.

If we’re honest with ourselves, this has been coming. As I mentioned in my last iteration, there has been a worrying lack of intensity about the team for a few weeks now. We were found out against Chelsea in a game that could have gone either way, we struggled past Olympiakos and then, no doubt with international fatigue playing a part, we succumbed to a resolute Norwich team in the most infuriating fashion.

The way we seemed to accept our fate was surely the most worrying and disheartening thing about it. It isn’t like we could even rue missed chances which would have made it all so different. Where was a player to seize the game by the scruff of the neck? Why were there no shots of the manager on the edge of his technical area screaming at the players to up the tempo? Why was Vermaelen not talking more as the captain? There was, quite simply, no X factor whatsoever.

Even our most mercurial of talents struggled to find their feet. An important observation from the match was that as good as Cazorla is, he is only one man. Time and time again, his great work was let down by others. Gervinho has probably just played himself onto the bench for a period, such was his wastefulness and hesitation, Santos looked shaky and Giroud, whilst I am determined to like him and see the positives, isn’t half making it difficult!

On the keeper, that is the difference between a top international and his understudies I’m afraid, and perhaps this is a timely reality check for those who had already written off Sir Ches. I’ve nothing against Mannone, but last year our Pole in Goal was immense.

The one thing I would do is question the wisdom of risking Szczesny against Southampton and putting him out for over a month, but you know what they say about hindsight. But fear not medical team, I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt on the Ox and just put that injury to bad luck, not poor preparation.

So all in all a desperately disappointing day for the Gunners. Credit must go to Norwich who fought like warriors, just as they said they would in midweek, so we had been warned. For us, on a day where any chance of the title possibly ended, I want to end with my title. Despite all the poor performances out there, a real X factor contribution may have swung the tide in our favour. Chelsea found theirs yesterday in Juan Mata, who took a 50-50 game by the horns and tamed it majestically.

If the Santi Cazorla of Upton Park fame had fared similar against the Blues or yesterday, we could have been looking at very different results. But the same player cant always be the “Special One”. That is what overwhelmed the Saints earlier in the season, there were just too many star turns to cope with. Yesterday, once Cazorla was shut down, there was no-one to take the reins. Maybe, just maybe, another potential match-winner was sitting on our bench yesterday after more than a year out.

After that 2/3 out of 10 display, he cannot return too soon.

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17 thoughts on “A Saturday evening with no X Factor

  1. Giroud cannot get his passes right, he cannot score the easiest of goals, he cannot beat his man. I wonder was he ever even good enough for montpellier? And how he even scored those 23 goals that he did i’ll never ever know.

    We need a more mobile striker in january, someone like bojan krjic or adrian lopez or even eduardo. Giroud needs to improve coz right now he’s just not ready to lead the line! at arsenal!

    1. Anyday Giroud than; dribble himself Gervinho; ,who won,t pass the ball until he,s dribbled’
      the same defender three four,or five times in typical African style ?

      1. Giroud for me is not good enough to be our week in week out striker. Not that he is shit but im just saying we need more options coz right now we lack options/plan B when the game is going against us.

        Another top striker till giroud comes good. That is all!

  2. You have the nerve to question girouds talent?
    A player that already proved himself on a European scale last year !

    What have Ramsy, Gibbs, jenkinson, Wilshire and the Ox done exactly !?
    Over rated useless English/ welsh garbage rejects that Wenger keeps to please FA and English fans !!
    Players no one would dare buy cos of how crap and over rated they are.
    Average on a good day and useless on most days.

    Look at the talent and skill of Spanish/ German and French players on arsenal recently and you see why the above crap English/ welsh garbage have cost arsenal 7 dry seasons !!

    So before you talk about giroud or whatever, try justifying why Ramsy is allowed near a ball.
    Welsh garbage that never plays well yet everyone claps cos all love his pathetic welsh origin.

    It’s English/ welsh failed youth that will destroy arsenal and hopefully bring about Arsene’s resignation !!

    1. 100 % right Ramsey was rubbish,not suprising even being the Welsh captain cannot hide his inadequacies at Arsenal,so the only reason he plays regularly ,just like Walcott,Oxlade-Chamberlain and soon Wilshere is because the ludicrous English FA demand their darling
      English players play as often as possible?

  3. We surely don’t know how to win. If anyone watched 10-man €iteh he should get it. 70 minutes to win to €iteh’s 10

    1. @ josh God Blessed You .. we don’t know how to win and no fighting spirit .. Ramsy , Gervinho and Giroud is out of it yesterday .. Wenger should look for more mobile player and someone who can dribble like lopez ..

  4. We are not efficient enough and we are not consistent.Above all, we cannot keep a clean sheet.If we concede, we are likely to lose the match but if we do not concede, we are likely to win a match.The worse thing is that we have proven that out good start to the season was a fluke,specially defensive-wise.

  5. The reason for our poor performance yesterday can be attributed to one young man, Ramsey. As soon as I see his name on the start sheet I know we’re in trouble. If you analyse our results with him starting, a pattern emerges. The lad stifles the midfield. A majority of his passes go square or backwards and any forward passes are often wasted. He has his uses, I rate him as a ‘ hold what you’ve got’ type player to shore up the defence once we have our noses in front. He simply does not have the quickness of thought to be creative.

    1. Ramsey like his English counterpart Wilshere is rubbish and overrated so why are both pla
      uers rate so highly amongst Arsenal fans,i have no idea ,but it,s the same with Wenger who
      clearly has lost his mind and cannot take Arsenal any further than third place in the EPL or even bring the CL trophy to the club for the first ever,the only likely solution,get rid of Wen
      ger now and allow a new manager to bring fresh ideas and tactics to Arsenal,we wait patie
      ntly for the board to make the fateful decision,come what may?

  6. I said this earlier, when we drew the first two games, there is no reason to be optimistic about this arsenal team. Yes, we will have amazing performances that will get hopes high. We might even close the gap to the league leaders whatever team it may be, but rest assured, our arsenal will always do what they r best at, DISAPPOINT US WITH THEIR HOPELESSNESS.

  7. David Swaden and the bunch of whiny, gloomy-doomers posting on this crap blog are so ready to write off the entire season based on 1 bad performance and a so-called ¨mediocre¨ start to our season and yet call themselves Arsenal supporters? The blogger arsene wenger has it right….how can you call yourselves fans…true fans accept defeat, even a listless one like Saturday’s with aplomb and calmness. There are still 28 games left……we will get better and more cohesive…our inconsistencies will get ironed out eventually.

    1) Our season and the potential to win a title or trophy are far from over,
    2) EVERY team has games like this,including the leaders and their cohorts,
    3) No team should be underestimated, they can all cause upsets as we saw last season,
    4) AFC are not divinely protected from losing, nor are they divinely destined to win every game, they didn’t deserve to win yesterday, they DID deserve EVERY win this season!

    If you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen you plastic fanboys…..or pick up the Arsenal standard and keep supporting your Club through thick and thin….to do otherwise is worthy of losers!

  8. Wee Donald –

    Thanks for your comments but I suspect you’ve written your response based on what you wanted to glean from my article, and the comments below it, rather than what I have actually said.

    At no point have I “written off” our season. Incidentally, I have consistently predicted a top 4 finish with a cup this season and do not see any reason to change this right now.

    If you believe that fans are not entitled to express disappointment with a very poor and lethargic performance, then that is where you and I differ.

    If the people that the club pays, led by our vice-captain, are able to say “we werent good enough today” (I assure you worse would have been said behind closed doors) then why cant the people who pay the club simply say, “we werent good enough” today too?

    I ask for just one thing from any Arsenal team on a football field, spirit, and I did not see that on Saturday.

    If you read my other posts, you will note that I am invariably calm and usually lighthearted in my reflections. If anything, I usually get slated for being an optomist. I am not here to rant or moan, I am here to analyse and reflect.

    As I say, these are lighthearted reviews, aimed at taking the edge off a bit. Judging by your response, I would suggest that it is yourself who is taking things anything but calmly.

    There are plenty of bloggers who slate the team and call for the manager’s head at times like these. Your points would have more resonance in response to them.

    As I said, I suspect you have let the rather stronger views in the comments (they are entitled to those opinions) colour your perception of what I have actually written.

    All the best


  9. Dave,
    There comes a point in every Gooner’s journey where they may say that enough is enough. I am not, ny my post, intending to question any fan’s right to complain about a poor performance like we saw on Saturday. I am however tired of the knee-jerk reactions and hyperbole of our fair-weather fanboys that inevitably accompany the slightest setback on the Arsenal’s march to silverware and titles.
    How does such negativism and pessimism help advance the Arsenal’s cause? What is the point of such excessive and exaggerated predictions of doom and disaster boradcast over the net by so-called ¨true¨ Gooners? Does this pervading desire to demean and denigrate our team in public translate into the booing , by a small disaffected minority at the Emirates directed against the team, some players and occasionally the manager?
    I will not likely ever have the opportunity to see Arsenal in person so I find it hard to acce^pt the constant sniping and bitterness that accompany the slightest faltering of our beloved Arsenal, by those who have the priviledge to attend the Emirates or away games and enjoy the Football that AFC usually play.

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