The morning after: Arsenal blogs react to the Wigan horror show

Ten minutes is what it took Wigan to carve up Arsenal but the squad seem to have thrown in the towel a while back.
The shifting tropes in this Arsenal season has gotten so bent out of shape.
A few weeks before Wenger was singing praises about the squad’s mental strength. Of late, he has been bemoaning the lack of cohesion and discipline. We now seem to have the mental fortitude of a kitten given warm milk.
Abou Diaby who was compared to Patrick Vieira by Wenger earlier in the season was particularly abject against Wigan. He looked like he had trouble getting out of the bed for the match. Arseblog calls him out for it.
” I normally try not to single out players but Abou Diaby drove me mental yesterday. Not too long ago he was putting in the kind of dynamic displays that made us all think we’d got a seriously good player on our hands. In recent weeks he’s been found wanting and his sloppy, lazy play encapsulated Arsenal’s performance. “
He was also equally scathing of Lukacz Fabianski, whose goalkeeping tenure is a highlight of endless gaffes. “The Pole has no business playing at this level right now.”
However, Arseblog while having doubts about Wenger, is not in the growing camp of disbelievers calling for his head.
A Cultured Left Foot questions Arsenal’s confidence.
“Three goals conceded in the final ten minutes is a clear signal that confidence is gone. That is Arsène’s biggest problem and one which is hardest to resolve.”
ACLF is a bit more charitable to Fabianski believing that eventually he might turn out to be a good goalkeeper but at this stage he is not ready to be number one.
He does not address Wenger’s future directly preferring to see the coach inject the maturity and cohesion needed to end the season on a positive note.
Goodplaya goes beyond the assignment of individual blame or the lack of discipline in the team. He questions Wenger’s killer instinct.
” And yet for the first time I harbour genuine doubts about where the winner in Wenger has gone. Where is his killer instinct? “
Goonerholic gets to the bottom of what is troubling this Arsenal squad: They lack belief in hard work. To get the basic parts of the game right and go beyond technical proficiency or being entertainers.
” If a unit is strong most individual mistakes are recoverable. And, frankly, if you’re concentrating sufficiently on your responsibilities then they’re less likely to happen at all. The problem with this team is that they believe they are the “great entertainers” the press build them up as. But if you don’t do the basic work, skill is pointless.”
Someone like Sol Campbell who has experience winning the Premiership gives him a unique insight into the hard work put into winning one. I believe Wenger should have also competed harder for Patrick Vieira. He has been good for City.
It does not have to be men with experience.
I saw Jack Wilshere in the Bolton match against Chelsea and the lad was there scrapping with men double his size and age. He was tireless and he dished out some pretty tough tackles and took some too. It’s why teams like Bolton are a nightmare. But Wilshere’s roll up the sleeves attitude is what Arsenal desperately needs.
The feeling running in my mind is that Arsenal which is always the team that is picked every year to drop out the top four now defines success by proving that wrong. It seems to be the team’s subconscious rationalization for not achieving more. Their raison d’etre. Wenger plays into it by his defensive attitude using code words like “discipline”, “cohesion”, and “cheap goals.” But games like Wigan feed that perception of vulnerability. And as one more season comes by, the critics will once again pick Arsenal to drop out. A vicious cycle but now one which might have some future legitimacy with City and Spurs now officially past “barking at the moon.”

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