Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool: Poor management lets down great youngsters
Sunday, 21st Aug 2011 16:46
Thomas Vermaelen and Emmanuel Frimpong gave two of the best performances we have seen from any Arsenal player in 2011 but it wasn't enough.
A sending off for Frimpong gave a largely unimpressive Liverpool side the advantage and suddenly our very inexperienced defence was too exposed. We did not have the quality to maintain possession higher up the pitch and we could not provide any service for the front three who were all completely anonymous and we had no one on the bench who could change the game. Oxlade Chamberlain and Myiachi didn't even warm up and Wenger obviously did not think they are ready for the first team. This proves that we need a different approach to transfers than we have seen so far this summer.
The state of the Arsenal squad is a direct consequence of Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis' inability to complete transfers for established players. We have no difficulty in bringing in young players who we can add 'value' to but we do not seem to be prepared to take a financial hit and sign a player who may have very little sell on value but who will bring something to the squad straight away. The problems were obvious when Wenger was forced to play Samir Nasri who has had a very public falling out with the fans and appeared to have all but left the club. His performance proved what a good professional he is and it was pleasing to see his best moments were well received by the fans, but the fact that he is on the verge of leaving is much more worrying than Fabregas' departure.
It was inevitable that Cesc would leave and we all understood the reasons but we should be able to keep hold of Nasri who is one of the best players in the Premier League. The youngsters we have coming through are undoubtedly great prospects, as some of them proved yesterday but they shouldn't be relied upon and should be able to bed into the first team without the pressure that is currently suffocating the club. We have lost two first team regulars in Fabregas and Clichy and haven't replaced them. We may well lose Nasri and no Arsenal fan would expect him to be replaced either if the current approach is anything to go by. The only player that we have brought in that is ready for the first team is Gervinho and that is not enough.
Wenger keeps reaffirming his desire to bring in players who are better than what he has already but he doesn't need to do that. Thomas Vermaelen has proved already that he is one of the best centre backs in the world and it would be very hard to find anyone better than him, let alone someone better than him who is available. We need a centre back who is a proven top level performer and there are those players around. Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka are players that would allow Wenger to play the promising Miquel in the Carling Cup and gradually build his confidence in the first team. Instead he was thrown into a huge game after the injury to Koscielny and faced an onslaught from a top class Liverpool attack after we went down to ten men . Eventually the pressure told and he was involved in an unlucky own goal that could have long term consequences for his confidence.
Emmanuel Frimpong had a brilliant game but proved his inexperience when he picked up a second booking which effectively cost us the game. He will now be suspended and suddenly we have no candidates to play in his position at Old Trafford next week. Again, Song and Frimpong are both good players, someone better than them would be nice but they don't have to be better, they just have to be able to be relied upon, they need to be established professionals. We have better youngsters than any of the other big clubs, our academy is working very well and we are able to bring in some of the best young players in the world. This is obviously a huge positive and one of the main reasons Arsene Wenger is still our manager. However, that is not the only part of running a football club, we need to bring players in and they should have been brought in well before August. We are now in a ridiculous situation and the wrong result on Wednesday could throw the whole club into turmoil. We have the resources to remedy the problem and on paper we should be in a very strong position but we are not capitalising on the things that we do well and face the very real prospect of being left behind.
We can only hope that these superb youngsters are given some more experience to play with before we become an academy for clubs who are willing to spend their resources.
Photo: Action Images
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