Arsenal 2-2 Hull City; I'm depressed, where's my beer...

You a way I envy Sean.  Our match recap writer extraordinaire is unable to put forth his abilities for us all, so I've been called in to do so in his stead.  Naturally, my style is a little different, so I will try to mold this rant into an informed one to the best of my ability.

Let me lay out a few particulars for you for a minute.  The league campaign is now 8 matches old (a shade over 20% complete), we now have a record of 2-5-1, have only taken 11 points out of a possible 24 and are already 11 points off league leaders Chelsea - this is (correct me if I am wrong) our worst start to the Premier League ever.  We have scored 13, allowed 11, and if both Swansea City and Liverpool take the full three point haul tomorrow, we drop down to 8th - yes, it's still early days, but this is never acceptable...ever.

The scene's on Twitter during and after the match...either in opposition or in defense of Arsene Wenger - sad state of affairs...but hey, thanks Henry Fonda for the humor
Out of the first four home matches, we've only taken three points once, so in a way I am not surprised that we were LUCKY to draw today.  Truth be told, it was a brilliant display from Alexis Sanchez that salvaged the single point capture.  An individual finish from a tight angle in the first half (that was quickly cancelled out by Mo Diame) and then a beautiful solo run in stoppage time that supplied the assist to Welbeck's late equalizer after Abel Hernandez gave Hull the lead early in the second half.

Apart from the Chilean spark-plug, the rest of the side were...well, just average at best, but in truth we were quite poor on the day yet again.  Has it really occurred to anyone that apart from our performances against Villa and Galatasaray, we have not been inspiring, or good...right now, we are just average..and it's painful.

The nature of my distraught tone is not rooted to the ground...things can change and history suggests they will, but isn't that part of the problem?  Does anyone else feel like this season, along with all the other recent seasons, feels like groundhog day?  In case anyone has forgotten, our previous meeting against Hull was an FA cup final back in May that so nearly ended in defeat - a horrendous first half from us was only made to be forgotten because Hull switched off and we realized we had to start actually playing football.

Despite Hull being an average side never being more capable of mounting anything but a mid-table challenge at best, they have vastly improve their side this summer (on paper at the very least), and in Steve Bruce they have a very experienced and capable manager who has faced off against Arsene Wenger numerous, how in the world can anyone be shocked that we struggled today to be honest?  Time and time again, no matter who we play against, we don't change our tactics, but against a Hull side who are physical (especially in the middle of the park), or own rendition of tiki-taka was always going to have a tough time despite us being at the Emirates.

Does anyone really care to try to refute the above?  The man could literally write a pamphlet on how to be deemed insane by definition,  but still lauded at the time same (image courtesy of the inter-webs)
Truth be told, as anyone who wants to be honest with themselves will admit, we are just too predictable, and sides like Hull (and, well, anyone else) are more than happy to sit deep and ask us to break them down before they spring on the counter and hit us faster than Gerd von Rundstedt blitzed France and the Low-Countries.  This match played out in all too predicable and familiar fashion, and while our back-four was patchwork given the inclusion of Nacho Monreal at center-back and the capable but inexperienced Hector Bellerin at right-back, Hull's new look team was always going to ask a thing or two of us behind our lines as well.

To offer further synopsis of the days events, i'll pay a bit of homage to Sean and produce some bullet points to finalize the summary;

  • Apart from Sanchez, we were awful - yes, that has to be re-stated for a second time.
  • Jack Wilshere needs to grow up, and fast; thought he should have won a free-kick, was not given the call, and then not only did he get booked for a foolish foul, but he hurt himself in the process - he'll never be better than a good player who is versatile but does not belong in the XI.
  • Wenger still refuses to let our players off the leash and let us play in any other fashion than an uninspired tiki-taka knock off.
  • Per Mertesacker is 26 feet tall, experienced, and still somehow is inconsistent with his positioning and poor in the air - does my head in how he got beat by Hernandez for Hull's second.
  • Danny Welbeck has shown that he can finish when it matters most, and while he was not good on the day, he came up with the match-tying goal late on when Olivier Giroud could well have fluffed it over the bar in the same scenario - the Frenchman and his perfectly quaffed Charles De Gaulle hair could well find themselves on the bench a lot once they return to the first-team.
  • With Soton inspired under Ronald Koeman, United hitting some sort of form, and City and Chelsea on track to blow the table away, this could be our toughest fight for fourth yet...never mind the fact a "big club" should never target anything but the best finish possible.
While I always TRY to not make it about Wenger, these days, it's hard to avoid the topic truthfully.  Once again, my friends Lawrence and Laura lead the line with their sentiments on the matter;
"2-2 vs hull--welbeck last 90th min equaliser---wenger/some fans will BANG on about hulls 1st goal BUT the BIGGER picture is that we almost lost vs hull, we have 2 wins in 8 games--wengers poor transfer policy. a shareholder asked him at the AGM about "why he didnt buy a CH"---HE REFUSED TO ANSWER THE QUESTION----city/chelski will fin in the top two...i thought we were fighting for 3rd and 4th, Now im not too sure...wenger will be full of bullshite EXCUSES why we didnt win today but what he really needs to do is LOOK IN THE F***ING MIRROR !!!! deluded senile old fool !!!" - Lawrence (it was on his Facebook, excuse the grammar, the language and what not haha)
"We have good players but they're unprepared. issue is coaching, always has been. we spend money, with the same results. AW is the problem!" - Laura (Gooner for well over forty years)
Now, just to make it clear that I am not the only passionate fan that has had his/her fill of the Alsatian philosopher, it's not to say that we aren't thankful, because we are...but this has just got to stop, doesn't it?  Yes, the players were completely uninspired, lacked real fight, lacked preparedness and were tactically found out far too easily, and none of that can possibly be ignored, but let me pose this question; Is it not the job of a general to lead his troops? To deploy tactics that will win the day on the field?  To counter his enemies strengths and exploit their weaknesses?  To train his troops to be the best at what they do, to be efficient, ruthless and to get the job done under any and all circumstances? But most of all, is it not the job of the BEST generals to be tactically flexible to ensure victory?  If that is the case, then why does Wenger refuse to do any of the above?

Hey...hey Arsene, listen up - “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
Today was not about our lack of further signings in the summer, because today was easily winnable despite being thin at the back and despite not buying a world class holding midfielder - the real issue today was the same as so many others...we didn't truly fight to win, and truthfully, that falls on the manager.  If Wenger cannot get us to play at our very best and inspire us to be at a level we all know we can hit when our schedule has now "become easier" (even though there are never any easy matches in the Premier League, despite Southampton thumping Sunderland 8-0 today), then what hope do we truly have now?

Sure, you can absolutely valiantly stand on the notion that we are not fully fit right now and that when everyone comes back we will be better off...that is all very true indeed.  However, one must certainly consider the following; what does having a fully fit and strong side on paper mean when the best cannot be extracted from those players?  Having top players is only part of the equation that leads to the answer that is silverware - good players are needed, but so is depth in quality, so is man-management, so is inspiration and motivation, so is proper training and much of that do we truly, truly have?  And what's more, is if the manager is not inspiring you, you have to inspire yourselves to do do better, so in truth, the players are also at fault for the performance, but players also look to their manager for guidance and motivation.

When push comes to shove, at the end of it all, there are many reasons why we failed to win today - Wenger is not the only one, but yes he is one of them, and he certainly was the most prominent in the, in closing, I will leave you all with this...
Simple as...end of...we all love what you've done, but it's time to step down off the framework you provided and allow someone younger and more inspired to build upon in further...