Saturday 12 March 2016

Judge Arsenal at the end of the season

It's really strange that I appear to be a Wenger apologist lately, as that is something I'm not. I recognise that the Arsenal manager has his shortcomings, as don't we all, but I also think it is only fair to judge him at the end of the season rather than before.

To say Wenger has lost it, before he has, is to be guilty of a knee-jerk reaction. Everyone knows progress can be two steps forward and one step backwards. However, every time there is one step backwards, fans call for the boss's head. That reaction is the height of idiocy.

Then again, we all have our opinions and there's nothing wrong with that. Personally, I think Coquelin's red card at Spurs may be a blessing in disguise for Arsenal, especially if it forces Wenger to consider other options in midfield. I'd consider being more defensive by playing Flamini alongside Elneny or Chambers in central midfield.

Meanwhile, it's difficult to see an injury to Aaron Ramsey as a positive, but has he really been a goal threat this season? Has Rambo been a provider of chances? Obviously, he has been to some extent, but not to the level of Ozil.

My view is Ozil could provide even more chances if he is protected by a couple of tough, sensible and mobile central midfielders. I know Flamini's not everyone's cup of tea, but he's reliable, makes few mistakes (except against Barcelona), is a good organiser and a winner.

I'd probably play Chambers alongside Flamini, as the England youngster seems to have regained his confidence and deserves an extended run in the team.

After the four goals at Hull, I was surprised to see that Arsenal fans are still describing Giroud as 'average' and Walcott as even worse than that. I really cannot understand how people can persist in under-rating players in a team they claim to be supporting. These same fans sing 'Super Tom', when they see Rosicky warming up before he tweaks another muscle. Meanwhile, when Walcott scored a hat-trick against Croatia for England, some Arsenal fans said he was lucky! Talk about favouritism!

Nevertheless, I'm not sure I'd persist with Walcott next season. Much depends on how he finishes this one. Is he going to be utilised as a striker or a winger? Is Walcott going to be happy with playing on the wing predominantly? In fact, there are more questions than answers. That's why Arsenal fans are best waiting until the end of the season before making up their minds about players and the management. Only then will it be fair to judge the team's success or failure. Only then will the watching world know which team or teams have choked on the final hurdle of their respective league campaigns.

Sent from my iPhone

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