Tuesday, December 25, 2012

An Arsenal fan's Christmas wish to Santa

     Dear Santa, I'd been quite a decent boy for the past 11 months. Do not roll your eyes thinking "Here we go again," and bear with me here for a tad while as I have paid my dues as an Arsenal fan and deserve your attention for the length of this entry. It's not fair that only 7 year-old kids can get Christmas presents from you and not me.

     First thing's first, dear Santa, I would like to wake up to the sight of The TARDIS on Christmas morning in my room. Sure it's a powerful machine so I'm fine with you just lending it to me for an hour or so ( according to your time progression and not mines. And surprisingly, it didn't happen. D: ). I am going to make sure that Gervinho does not miss his penalty in the past AFCON!

     Next, could you please give Arsenal FC the funds for a decent defensive minded midfielder? Or at least give Arteta some physical presence and bite in the middle of midfield. I must admit Arteta is currently doing a great job in the role that is new to him but God forbid he gets injured in February, we're only left with Coquelin and Diaby! I don't think Wenger quite trust Coquelin yet as he's not even featured against lesser teams and Diaby will just crumble into pie crumbs whenever the air particles around him start to get naughty.

     Interestingly, Arteta is indeed playing an alarmingly large amount of matches thus far. Even the once indestructible Verminator succumbed to injury so what's stopping Arteta from ending up on the treatment table sooner rather than later? Guess we should also change Vermaelen's nickname to Verminator-who-is-indestructible-bar-once-or-twice-last-season?

     And not to mention the notoriously (proud?) record of injuries plaguing Arsenal players of seasons past, surely even a gambler like Wenger will not take this unnecessarily HUGE risk with all the pressure in the world that is currently mounting, just waiting to explode with his next wrong move?

     But I'm not at all surprised if he's all jacked up with adrenaline and testosterone tempting fate for the next 6 months. Nothing surprises me anymore as an Arsenal fan.

     Dear Santa, if you don't like the idea of giving out free money, could you give Bouldy some sort of voice during the team's training sessions? At least make it possible for him and Wenger to be able to work together for the sake of the club. Have you seen our "Zonal Marking" when defending corners?

     Could it be that it was Bould's idea but with Wenger's execution, on how to defend a set piece? :D Sarcasm inserted there if you were oblivious.

     Maybe Wenger is getting his weekly dose of testosterone and adrenaline by watching this Arsenal side defend corners? Meaning that it is inevitable that he will entice les seins amples de chance de dame for the next 6 months? Sacrebleu! :D

     I know that most Arsenal fans are clamouring for a new striker. I agree with them but to a certain degree. Great sides are built on a solid foundation. Ever since The Invincibles our defense were gradually weakening and long nights were spent on me hoping and dreaming that our defense would one day be as well drilled during Mourinho's tenure at Chelsea; a well oiled, uncompromising, no-nonsense impenetrable machine.

     Personally I'm hoping that Steve Bould could (would) revolutionize Arsenal's defence this season, which is the case based on the first 3 clean sheets at the start of the season, and thus releasing Wenger and giving him more room to maneuver in January. But with the current clash of egos between the two that is not yet solved, alas, wishful thinking at it's best yet again!

     Dear Santa, this will be the last thing that I want from you in this list. There seems to be an apparent divide between the anti-Wenger "revolutionary" mob and the pompous AKB brigade.

     I am clear with my stand that we should see how January pans out transfer wise. If things are still the same, with the problems associating with Arsenal right now evident for everyone to see bar Wenger, I guess sadly that it's time for him to go AT THE END OF THE SEASON. 

     But one thing that I'm intrigued with with the anti-Wenger mob is that things are cooling down since the 3 consecutive wins we managed to chalk up on the board. I'm not questioning their allegiance or where their loyalty lies but maybe these lot should not only shout when the team is drawing or losing games?

     It's getting annoying and yes, I'm referring to you Piers Morgan.

     And don't get me started with the colouful vocabulary these guys are using. In hindsight maybe these lot should keep their "radical" opinions to themselves? They're making a fool out of themselves. And they got nothing nice to say even when the team is winning!

     And those from the AKB brigade, don't blindly go support the man only because you lot owe him based on his past contributions. Did we survive life post-Adams, post-Viera, post-Henry, and recently post-v.Persie? Yes, yes, yes and we are about to. But God bless most of these from the AKB brigade for not acting like those from the anti-Wenger mob.

     Sure we can have different opinions but that does not justify one's actions to be all rude and creative with the language.

     Last time I checked victoria concordia crescit is very much an Arsenal thing.

     Bickering around with vulgarity could not possibly result in harmony.

     You can't be divided to achieve victory.

     Maybe, just maybe, my Christmas wish from you Santa, after all, is only Victory Through Harmony because that's what makes Arsenal tick. :)

Merry Christmas everyone. Have a blessed and happy festive season ahead.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Arsenal Conundrum: The Curious Case of Arsene Wenger

Before you lot starts reading, please adhere to these ground-rules on which I have based myself upon while writing this particular entry before passing judgement, verdicts, and conclusions.

First and foremost, I am only a fan of Arsenal FC. I do not claim to be better than anyone with these writings and ideas. (Arsene Wenger and players of Arsenal FC, drop it)

Secondly, I write in English because I feel a whole lot comfortable getting my ideas through clearly if compared to writing in Bahasa Melayu. I am not showing off. (Malaysian patriots with inferiority/superiority complex, drop it.)

And lastly, I pride myself on being sensible and backing myself up with data and research before voicing out ideas/opinions especially regarding Arsenal FC. (Malaysian fans making conclusions based on feelings and sentiments, drop it)

Moving on.

Currently there's a myriad of problems plaguing our beloved Arsenal FC. My attempt here is to try to dissect the few huge ones which (I think) are the possible main roots to our current slump. I do not guarantee solutions for these problems, I just want people to ponder and use common sense before making themselves a "Fool of a Took" on the Internet. (Pardon the LOTR quote, haha)

They'll be a series of entries regarding the aforementioned subject because to tackle all in one entry is not practical as it will be too long and I do not want to make it dreary and painful.

Now off we go the the biggest question ever posed to Arsenal fans next to how I met your mother;

Monsieur Arsene Wenger, should he stay or should he go?

Those advocating his removal and are licking their lips with anticipation with every bad results coming in, hold your horses.

Those from the AKB(Arsene Knows Best) brigade, get off your high horses.

I used to be a staunch supporter of Arsene Wenger; thought that he's irreplaceable, untouchable. Immortal, the Vito Corleone of Arsenal FC. The Master Yoda of North London. All of this were due to his past accomplishments. And this particular entry shall not dwell on his past exploits to justify his place as current Arsenal FC manager with all the bad things that are associating with us right now.

What frustrates me the most is there is no plan B while attacking other than our efforts to try to emulate Barcalite. Even when there is the occasional try to lump/cross the ball into the penalty area, it's only academic if there's no one bursting their lungs or at least make some effort to try to get at the end of those crosses. And don't get me started with the quality of the crosses. There is little to no off-the-ball movements from our attacking players.

I am really hoping that Wenger changed his ways since the day that Fabregas told everyone how he only learned about tactics after moving to Barcelona. I would like to believe that we improved defensively only from open play because we're the 3rd meanest defense in the league. Maybe that was down to some great early season work by Bouldy. You're somehow deluded if you think our zonal-marking during set plays is working.

And why is he keen on playing players out of position? During the recent Bradford City league cup match, we had a German striker playing on the left wing, an Ivorian winger-cum-striker playing up front, and a Welsh central midfielder playing on the right wing. And not to mention a certain Russian playmaker who had a blazing Euro finals playing off the strikers, was not even in the reckoning 4 years down the road. Your guesses are as good as mines. 

January will be monumental to us not only for this but also next season. This will give a glimpse on how much backing Arsene Wenger have from the BOD. I am resigned into seeing Walcott leaving us in January but if it's to another Premier League team, I am not sure if they'll be any from the AKB brigade left to get behind Wenger till the end of the season.

I am not getting my hopes too high up in January because past experiences taught me that expectations will only lead to disappointments. But I'm sensing that this time around, it could be different because the Wenger Out-O-Meter is off the scale. If the BOD are serious about keeping Wenger then things could be different. That or maybe I'm just bipolar. Haha.

I will acknowledge the fact that Cazorla, Podolski, and Giroud needs time to acclimatise to the hustles of the English game. But with the former 2 starting against lowly Bradford City(no disrespect to The Bantams), being full fledged internationals and ended up losing shows a problem of effort and not talent. Keep in mind that the value of the Bradford City squad was only a measly 7.5k English Pounds if compared to their more illustrious multi-million counterparts. So again I reiterate that your guesses are as good as mines.

But if you're saying that monetary problems are the source to the current on-field conundrums, tell that to David Moyes and how his Everton side is on top of us in the league at the moment.

I will acknowledge the fact that Wenger got his hands tied behind his back when it comes to funds being available for him to spend. Although Arsenal Supporters' Trust (AST) and Swiss Ramble reported that there is indeed a sizable transfer kitty for Wenger to strengthen the squad (especially after the recent departure of Fabregas, Nasri, Song, and v.Persie), nobody knows why he never bought adequate replacements because the jury is still out on Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud.

BOD, time to clean your slates perhaps?

I genuinely believe that Arsene Wenger loves Arsenal with all his heart. He is a man of class and loyalty. He always honour his past contracts. To blame Wenger alone on the downfalls of the club is ignorant. But to say that he plays no part whatsoever in the current predicaments we found ourselves in is blind innocence verging on embarrassment.

So what are the solutions you ask? I for one am never going to ask Wenger to quit right now in the middle of the season. I don't believe that it will bring any good if Sparky is the only available manager right now. And the possibilities of a particular former Spurs manager managing The Arsenal is a really really REALLY bitter pill that is hard to swallow. And for them/other managers to come with so little money available to spend is next to impossible. I want our next manager to have a preseason's worth of preparation to get his ideas through to the players.

Again BOD, time to clean your slates perhaps?

Fans sitting on different sides(or on top) of the fence should recognise these facts before playing Devil's advocate. I sincerely do hope that this entry made you took everything into consideration with your now newly found stance regarding Arsene Wenger.

Well one thing's for sure, I will be the first one to get my hands on his autobiography when it is finally released. Only by then all Arsenal fans are given permission to make a legitimate claim regarding their views on this great man. 

And here's a quote before signing off,

The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.” 
― William ShakespeareJulius Caesar

Oh and the perfect song to make things more dramatic with or without Arsene Wenger. Haha
Thank you for reading, hope that I did not bore you to death with my writings.