If you've never seen Liar Liar, you should...it'll make the reference in the title make far more sense. But to save you time, Fletcher Reed (played by Jim Carrey) is a lawyer jinxed by his son when his birthday wish comes true that he cannot tell a lie. So, after taking a case where it's seemingly impossible to win without the ability to fib, he goes into the bathroom and begins to kick his own ass with reckless abandon. The court bailiff finds him, brings him back into the court room, and just when the judge is about to rule in his favor for a continuance on the case, he asks Reed if he can continue...given that he cannot lie, he says yes he can and thus he obliterated himself for no reason at all - well my fellow Gooners, we're Fletcher Reed.
Why are we Mr. Reed? Because we're the one's currently in the proverbial bathroom trying our best to beat the ever loving stuffing out of ourselves emotionally in the hopes that we'll be able to cope...and just when we think we stopped caring, our devotion and love of the club brings us right back to the inevitable conclusion that no matter how hard this is going to get this season, we just are never able to look away. We can't lie to ourselves, we just have to deal with come what may, figuratively and literally.
It's now come to the point, ladies and gentlemen, that when everyone under the sun (including former Arsenal players, former players who played against Wenger and every pundit imaginable as well as every armchair manager there ever was, is, and ever will be) is saying precisely the same things that once began as only a small enclave of the Arsenal faithful some seasons ago, it may just have to be time to admit you've been mucking it all up for years.
|Not even Arsene Wenger's best OG impersonation is good enough...fail sauce all around...|
"Chelsea and Arsenal seem miles apart - and that's because Jose Mourinho identified what he needed. His team now look unstoppable as a result." - Jamie Carragher
"Arsenal have lost more points from a winning position than any other Premier League team this season."To be honest, it's probably a little ironic that it took Jamie (insert expletive) Carragher to reaffirm a point that so many of us have been making for quite sometime now. The difference between Wenger and basically every other "world class" manager you'll run across, is that those managers know how to identify squad weaknesses and bring in the reinforcements to shore up the problem. Chelsea needed a world class striker as well as a replacement for the outgoing Frank Lampard - in steps Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas and yes, now they are looking unstoppable...but it's not just Mourinho who is able to do this.
For the last few seasons, Jurgen Klopp has lost his best players at Dortmund - Shinji Kagawa shipped off to United three seasons back, and in the last two summers both Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski did the dirty on BvB and went to rival and Bavarian war machine Bayern Munich...but Klopp always did what was necessary. To replace Lewandowski he bought the capable pair of Ciro Immobile and Adrian Ramos...to replace Gotze he turned to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrik Mkhitaryan - lose quality, replace it with quality...a trend you see all over the footballing world, but no no...not at Arsenal.
Now, why is this relevant? To be honest, you already know...don't you. Thomas Vermaelen left to sunny Spain to join the worlds premier Dracula impersonator at Barcelona and he was never PROPERLY replaced (a fact that is now costing us in copious amounts). Robin van Persie was disgracefully allowed to go to United; he was never replaced. Gilberto Silva left the club, he was never properly replaced - these three personnel losses and their lack of a replacement have and will continue to haunt the club...if only Wenger would put aside his pet projects and do what is best for the club in the now instead of trying to relive 1999 and comb the globe for the worlds best and brightest to come in the future - a fact that has YET to pay off for the club in god knows how long.
Have you guessed yet that I am trying beyond all super human efforts to avoid speaking directly about the Swansea result? That's because I nearly went all Bellevue earlier today and almost lost my cool to the point of no return - my own personal Department of Defense nearly pressed THAT red button to which armageddon would ensue. What is there left to say that so many haven't said by the time this reaches you via laptop, desktop or smart phone - we were shockingly poor...and as usual, it didn't have to be that way...it's all so avoidable...it's always so avoidable.
To be fair, I was fine with the side, and then I saw that Nacho bloody Monreal was at center-back yet again, this time having the esteemed pleasure of dealing with either Wilfried Bony, Bafetimbi Gomis, or both at the same time (let's not even discuss what would have happened if Gary Monk had the testicular fortitude to play with both up front instead of the lone target man) - anyone that follows me on Twitter or Facebook would have seen my reaction at that realization, and low and behold, unwanted vindication in the form of Monreal's woefully pathetic attempt to challenge Jefferson Montero's cross into the area that saw Gomis head home the winner before the 80th minute. If there ever was further evidence that Monreal should be no where near the center of defense again, it was that horrifying moment...an attempted leap into the air that would make even the most non-athletic fourth grader feel like he's got a chance to make it as the an olympic medal recipient in the high-jump.
|Surely a distant relative of Monreal...surely...|
Speaking of Chambers, he was absolutely roasted by Montero on our right flank from start to finish, and when he was eventually booked, he became that much more of a juicy target for the Ecuadorian jet-fighter with Chambers rendered basically useless at that point. Has Wenger forgotten that we are in possession of a natural right-back that is faster than Theo Walcott? Just what exactly does Hector Bellerin have to do to get into the XI, get some experience under his belt and let Chambers shine in the middle like he did in the early stages of the season? Yes Bellerin is young and yes he is inexperienced, but he'll only gain experience by playing, and while he's not Mathieu Debuchy, the after-burners that have taken up residence in his rear access panel means that he never would have been strung up by his ankles in the same fashion that Chambers was...and Chambers is by no means lacking pace mind you.
Worst of all, is even if Bellerin did not get the nod from the off, once it was blatantly obvious to all that Chambers was a late afternoon lunch for Montero, why was he not brought on to shore up the problem? Any manager worth his salt would have seen that issue and rectified it with the utmost haste before it turned into disaster...you know, the kind of disaster that saw Montero skin Chambers for the umpteenth time and put in that cross to Gomis for the winner. Pure and simple, the inclusion of Monreal and the exclusion of Bellerin spelled disaster before the match even began...truth-bombs for the lot of you.
Because we all love a good truth-bomb, especially Sean, I'll do my best 8th Air Force impression and drop a few more - first, why in gods name did Wenger not make changes before we went 2-1 down? Right after our goal, you just HAD to know that Swansea would look to exploit the blatant weaknesses we were in possession of, so where were the changes? Why wait till 10minutes from time to give players little to no chance of making any impact whatsoever? They'll barely get three touches in ten minutes, and one of the biggest issues for quite sometime is Le Prof's inability to read the ebb and flow of a match and recognize exactly what we need to fix to avoid losing out on a result.
Second truth-bomb; Steve Bould is clearly simmering something fierce under his skin sitting next to Wenger on the touchline. A second in command behind the manager, with a brilliant defensive pedigree, would never allow the shocking issues we have at the back to continue, unless it's been Wenger that refuses to heed his word and listen to his counsel. When was the last time you saw Bould and Wenger discuss matters? When was the last time Bould even smiled? Remember the rapport that Wenger and Rice had? Constant communication, Rice would get up and belt out orders and they would laugh/cry/throw water bottles when necessary - there is a clear and present issue between Wenger and his number two, and it's obvious.
|Go on, Bouldy...hold back no longer...|
Finally, the coup de grace, we have 17 points from our first 11 league matches. If you extrapolate those numbers out over the course of a 38-match campaign, we'll register a shade under 59 points on the season - not only is that not good enough for top four, but that's potentially not even good enough for top six or even top seven. Unless major improvement comes by way of a massive unbeaten run (where draws are not the preferred method of loss prevention), this could finally be the year that Wenger's entire kingdom that has been built on our top four trophy comes crashing down harder than a Jenga tower at a college dorm party.
As I sit here transcribing this, I shutter to think what United may potentially do to us after the international break. Wayne Rooney may not be in form, but he's still well capable on his day - as for Robin van Toolbag, Angel Di Maria, Juan Mata, Daley Blind and the rest of United's non-defenders...well, it could be a pasting if they are on song that day and we fail to threaten their own issues with their defensive lines. Louis van Gaal may currently be a failure at Old Trafford, but nothing would help that club find some sort of morale like a win over us amidst their current struggles...we should all pray that everyone comes back healthy and fit, that's the first battle we have to win before we even line up against the Red Devils.
All in all, at the end of the day, this is just not good enough. For a final telling moment, if you have not been glued to Arsenal Fan TV for any significant portion of time, please do so. For a while, the fans that came on in the segments were well and truly divided - many kept faith, many wanted change and Wenger out...but now, well, you'd be hard pressed to find any positive fan come on at all - there's nothing better than a decent sounding board anyway, right?
Bottom line, we're unhappy...many of us are unhappy...change is needed, in so many ways that I have not even gone into in this piece but I am almost sure to as time presses on. But as my friend Laura said to me earlier, she's done getting angry about the sad state of affairs...she's just gone numb to it all - when that happens, that's probably the worst realization of all, and if a die-hard supporter for as long as Laura has been can feel numb about this mess, then perhaps everyone should sit up and ask themselves why.
(P.S. don't forget to read Sean's piece that was released earlier this morning in case you may have missed it...rest assured, he's not happy either)