Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Couple of days after Arsenal humiliation

We have been through it. Season after season. It has now come to a stage where we remain inept during the humiliating 90 minutes, or should I say, 90 minutes of torture. These are the days we pray for no injury time and it's safe to say, even those prayers are not answered. 

27th August 2017 was one such day. Arsenal took on Liverpool at Anfield. To begin with, I wasn't hopeful of an Arsenal victory. At best, it could be a draw. I felt the only way we can win is if someone in this Arsenal team does an Arshavin (one time ever, that is) or if Liverpool does a Gerrard slip! Neither happened. As the game began, whatever little hope I had were raised when we started getting chances to convert. We didn't make use of those chances (how can we, when our best striker was sitting on the bench). Then came the humiliation, which I don't want to describe here for obvious reasons. 

Immediately after the game, I wrote these on my Twitter feed - 

Had I written this blog-post immediately after the game, it would've been a rant that I may stand to regret later. Better sense prevailed! 

Anyway, some amount of time has passed. I have regained a little bit of composure and courage, good enough to write this. What happened to this team? We were good at preseason. We strengthened our team by buying two players who were in their leagues team of the season. We strengthened our backroom staff and added what we thought was the missing pieces of the puzzle. We were (and still are) removing fringe players we don't need. Things were looking bright. Then what changed? I honestly cannot decipher. 

What looks apparent to me is that our defense now appears very premature. Yes, we still have Koscielny, but that's it. We sold Gabriel (a good squad player) and on the verge of losing Mustafi. Koscielny is not getting any younger and Mertesacker will retire at the end of this season. We are now left with only makeshift or young options like Monreal, Chambers, Holding and Kolasinac. Surely there's no plan here! Please Mr. Wenger, tell me there's a method to this madness. 

We are now left with 2 days in this transfer window to salvage what is already a lost season. Ox and Mustafi leaving will make our team even weaker. I will be shocked if Sanchez doesn't leave. That makes it 3 first-team players. If we don't replace them adequately, we are doomed (if not already). 

We have brought ourselves in a situation where we will either not buy and strengthen our squad or we stand a risk of making spot-buys who we will later regret having on our books. Anyway, what's gone is gone. Let's see if something can be salvaged this season. Else, I still stand by my tweet "I can't wait for next season to begin".

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