A post from Tim @foreverheady stolen for the comments section without his permission
Leaving aside a couple of free kicks there is quite a similarity between Alexis’s goals this season and Aaron’s from last season. Someone clever would be able to do a video compilation of them both, no doubt, The main difference it seems to me is that by and large Aaron had Ozil playing alongside him and he was able to control the game in a way that we haven’t really seen this season. If Ozil returns to full fitness I suspect we will have an excellent second half of the season, irrespective of anyone else we might buy in January.
At the moment just about everyone who posts on Twitter is saying that Arsenal and Arsene (and they use those nouns interchangeably) lack ambition and won’t or can’t change. It seems to me that it is precisely the opposite of that. We are not doing brilliantly at the moment (and not as well as last year) partly because of terrible injury problems but mainly because we are in the process of trying to ambitiously change from being a fourth place club to a first place club. As any amateur golfer would know, trimming your handicap from 20 to 14 is very easy, 14 to 8 quite easy, 8 to 4 doable, 4 to scratch exceptionally difficult. Those early changes can be made by better management, greater organisation and a few tweaks here and there. The last change probably means a complete swing overhaul and a frustrating period when you seem to be getting worse rather than better. It is tempting then to go back to what you knew and were comfortable with and settle for being very nearly very good.
It will require fortitude and patience but the side will end up better if everyone sticks with the process. If, however, there is so much noise and discontent that the Arsenal board decide that they need to change course and go back to safety then we will never have a chance of challenging Chelsea, City or United. I am aware as I write this of how easily it would be for the likes of Le Grove of ACLF to pour scorn on the idea, and point simply to the need for a powerful defender and more pragmatic match day tactics. And, of course, they would be right to an extent, but I think what we’re trying to do is to play the kind of total football that saw Germany dismantle Brazil and go on to win the World Cup. So it seems to me that while it might be appropriate to criticise Arsenal and Arsene for all sorts of things (and heaven knows I do at times in my more private and frustrated moments) it is about as wrong as it is possible to be to say they lack ambition.
And some words of wisdom from the late great ZimPaul
“”One thing is the frustrated fan hurling cheap insults against any target, including Emmanuel, Aaron, Abou, Theo, Denilson, so many others, and always Wenger by default, to vent their infantile anger at not being at the “top table” of trophies for a rather short spell, without thought of incredible ambitions the club had already achieved, was in the process of achieving, and had set its sights on, and the calm, decent manner it was going about all this. Despicable and stupid.
Then what does one call the informed and erudite fan, who knowingly, willfully set out to manipulate malleable, weak minds with outright lies, selective lies, omission of facts, outrageous claims (often dressed up as modest, humble appeals for change and “end of an era”), manipulating and flinging about all manner of base emotions, with the objective to erode team and club morale, it’s achievements, and get Wenger out?
And then what does one call more influential individuals and journalists, pundits, ex-players, football establishment types, who conjured up and fabricated an entire anti-Wengerball culture, week in week out, appealing to Arsenal’s time-honoured (British) traditions and glories, and so set out and all but conspired to use their influence to destroy Arsenal’s achievements during a vulnerable period of building for the long term?”
When will we ever learn, when will ever learn ?