Now that all my passion for Arsenal has been beaten out of me, I’ve turned my attention to watching other Premier League clubs and matches. That started last season, but when quality football is your remit there’s very little worth watching in the PL. Maybe I should switch to Spanish football.
Last week I stuck up for Brendan Rodgers, citing his improvement and Liverpool’s improvement, only for him to embarrass me by losing 3-0 at home to West Ham, who’d put in one of the most pathetic performances I’ve ever seen in the PL against Bournemouth the week before.
Phillipe Coutinho’s sending off was ridiculous, but it will be hard to defend Rodgers if this type of performance occurs again. Liverpool have been loyal to him – and rightly so, but with Jurgen Klopp waiting in the wings the Welshman must know that unless he secures Champions League football his days are numbered.
Arsenal created virtually nothing against Newcastle. Despite their opponents going down to 10 men in the 16th minute, the Gunners needed another jammy own goal to win. Theo Walcott started the game up front, demonstrating that Wenger does not trust Olivier Giroud.
But Walcott is a laughable striker who doesn’t have a clue how to lead the line. When teams play deep he’s practically useless. Walcott lacks belief in his own ability, and rightly so - as Chris Waddle once said, he has no footballing brain. If challenging for major trophies is the expectation, then both strikers are sadly inadequate - and that's not the only problem, but we won't go into it.
Man Utd and Swansea was the best game of the weekend - the only one I saw where both teams played pretty good football with high levels of possession. But United collapsed in the space of five minutes because the players could not adapt after Garry Monk made a simple tactical change. It proves that Louis Van Gaal still has a lot to educate his players about. They’re gelling, but the ‘team mind’ is absent.
Chelsea lost at home to Crystal Palace. No complaints from Mourinho this time, as he rounded on his players. The manager acted last week with the signing of Pedro, and he’s going to have to act in some way again. Someone needs to be made an example of – take your pick. The defence has collapsed without the ageing John Terry’s leadership, and too many players have downed tools, just like Man City did after they’d won the league.
Last season, Chelsea had the title won by October, this season it looks like Man City have the title won after four games. That may seem crazy to suggest, but if you can provide me with a sane reason to believe otherwise I’ll be glad to hear it.
The transfer window closes tomorrow evening at 6pm. This ‘event’ is the only hope left for numerous clubs to prove how serious they are about addressing their weaknesses and challenging Manchester City for the title, but it will be a big struggle for all involved.
Arsenal will be on the market, circling like a vulture for some superstar that’s become surplus to requirements. That’s Wenger’s big vision for the future.
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