Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I'm Baaaack...Not Like You Care Anyway

Much like a player who's been injured and out of action for many months, it's been hard to get back into the thick of things right away after a prolonged period away from doing what you'd usually do on a daily basis with ease. Granted I wasn't in a car accident that saw me in a body bandage, with each limb hanging from slings on my bed, but I have been so busy over the past few months it became really hard to find the time to blog. Not that it really mattered anyway...since it seems I'm the Babu Bhatt of the Arsenal Blogosphere. This might just be a short entry today since I've got to break myself back into the habit of blogging.

Okay so where do I even begin?

The policy of this blog is to bring something different to the table from the rest of the other Arsenal blogs out there so for that reason I don't really feel like putting the season under a microscope and dissecting the hell outta it. We all know that the season's been a vast let down in terms of expectations and achievements. While there have been negatives in terms of how poorly we finished the table, given the position we found ourselves in before the massive implosion, there were definitely some positives.

1. Jack Wilshere's emergence was a joy to behold. he's played with maturity beyond his years and despite the many bad overall team performances we've seen from Arsenal this season, I don't know anyone who can honestly say they saw a bad performance from Jack. I mean he didn't win the PFA Young Player of the Year Award for nothing, did he?

2. Wojciech Szczesny: Six months ago practically all of us struggled to spell his name correctly but the young Pole has become such a mainstay in the first team now, we've all familiarised ourselves with all the Cs and Zs in his name. What's great too is that we had to pay nothing to sort out our goalkeeping troubles. Although he's had a few errors here and there he's shown so many signs of a promising future and that he'll be a world class keeper someday. The future looks bright for us between the sticks.

3. We're no longer a team that gets intimidated by big teams in big matches. That's definitely something we struggled with in the past but this season has seen us beat Chelsea and Manchester United and have one of the most memorable games in the Champions League this season which saw us beat Barcelona. The only problem now is that while we're beating the teams many see as the hardest to beat, we're stumbling over the ones that we'd normally consider the smaller ones. Something drastically needs to change about this over the summer as not only do we need more experienced and hungrier players but Arsene Wenger's approach to mentally preparing his team needs to be reworked for next season.

Another thing I want to get off my chest is that I see a lot of people online calling for Cesc Fabregas to be sold. The general consensus among people with this view is that he doesn't have the heart to play for us anymore and he's no longer committed to the cause. (This is where I roll my eyes)

If you're reading this and you're one of the many who share this view, how do you know whether or not his heart is in it? Have you ever even had a conversation with the man? How is it that you're able to tell, from your tv screen, how someone feels on the inside about something? If anything, all we can see from Cesc is his passion and love for Arsenal FC. This is the same guy that took and scored a penalty for us against Barcelona with a broken leg just to make sure we didn't exit the competition. This is the same guy who rushed himself back to fitness to face Barcelona again this season in the second leg at the Nou Camp. Sure his mistake led to their first goal, but I honestly don't think he would've made that error had he been at 100% fitness that day. Are you forgetting that this is the same guy whose cameos off the bench has saved our asses so many times with goals and assists, especially in cup competitions when we were down a goal or just seemed like we were never going to find the net at all?

Many of the people saying this seem to have very short memory about all he's done for the good of the club in the last 3 seasons. Cesc's love for Arsenal shouldn't even be in question. He may not be as vocal or as aggressive a captain as Tony Adams was but in terms of leading by example there is no doubt he's the right man to wear the armband. Furthermore, how can we complain every day that we need more experience in the team and that Wenger isn't signing experienced players then in the same breath call for Cesc to be sold? Remember, he's a European Championship and World Cup winner. No one in the team has more experience than he does. He's arguably our best player as well. Ignore the fact that this season hasn't been his best. That doesn't necessarily mean he's become a bad player overnight. All it means is that he's suffered for his talent.

He's hardly had time to get a proper rest and vacation in since 2007. In 2008 he had to go off and play in the Euros and played all the way to the finals. The following year he played in the Confederations Cup and a year later he played in the World Cup, and while you might say he didn't start all of Spain's games, he still had to go to training every day and didn't get time to go and relax on vacation and clear his mind and come back fresh for the next season. He had only two weeks to rest before he was back into preseason training for us. This is why he's also been so injury prone (are you reading this, Jack Wilshere?). For that reason, surely it requires a bit of understanding why he's experienced a dip in form lately.

Why would you say our team needs experience and then ask that we sell our best player? How much sense does that really make to you?

There's a whole lot more to be discussed but there's no need to try to get through it all right now. We have a whole summer of speculating and bitching and whinging to do so it can wait until I decide to post again. I promise, the wait won't be as long as the last time. For now lets just be thankful that this train wreck of a season is all over. Whether we're doomed to repeat it next season because Wenger's wallet is as tight as virginity remains to be seen.

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