Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hopeless: Man U - Arsenal

I can't even bare to watch. This game was effectively over when Arsenal took the field without Thomas Vermaelen in the center of defense. Once again, Arsenal's defense looks like the kind of make-shift unit Wenger used to employ in nearly meaningless Carling Cup ties. But this is a Premier League match against the Champions. Meanwhile, Arsenal would be lucky to have any player on Man U's bench starting today. As for Arsenal's bench, sides in lower league divisions have players with more quality and experience.

Through injury and attrition, this is by far the weakest Arsenal side since long before Wenger took the helm. He can bemoan the injuries, the long foreseeable losses of Fabregas and Nasri, and the inflated prices that other teams are paying for top quality players on the transfer market. The present situation may be a worst-case scenario, but it's one that could have been avoided with more pro-active management.

I hasten to add, this is not an argument to get rid of Wenger. He is a great coach and team manager. But it is past time for him to give up his quixotic quest to compete against better manned teams based on an obsolete conception that football should be subject to some kind of moral economy. Arsenal can either pay the prevailing wages and be competitive or become a permanent fixture in the middle of the table, alongside clubs like Bolton and Everton.

UPDATE: Final Score: Man U 8 - Arsenal 2. My understanding is that the final score flattered the Gunners. Hopefully, this beat down will finally lift the scales from some eyes at the Emirates Stadium.

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