Eight

Down the years, and not just the Sky years, Old Trafford has played host to some real battles between the team it plays home to and the Arsenal – yesterday was less a battle and more an annihilation.

We knew we were heading North with a threadbare squad due to injuries, suspension and lack of investment. We knew that our chances of victory were minuscule at best and we knew that we were most likely set for an uncomfortable afternoon. What we got was an utter farce that completely nails home the reality of farcical summer.

This was our third league game of the season and the side that we fielded looked more like a side you might play with three games to go and the league wrapped up. At times like that you can throw players in, three games in when you’ve yet to win a game or even score a goal you can’t. It is suicidal and pretty much inviting the oncoming slaughter.

I’m sure Wenger has mentioned the players we had missing and has suggested that he could never have foreseen it (I’ve neither seen or read anything post match) but we could all see it coming. We’ve been watching it creep up on us since last season, and as this summer has progressed and our already decimated squad has been dismantled and sold off without any form of proactive restructuring, reinvestment or reinforcement we’ve sat waiting for it all to hit us with the force of Hurricane Irene. Yesterday it did.

We had players out there yesterday that quite frankly shouldn’t have been, some of them, like Jenkinson & Coquelin, you can feel a slight sympathy for. They have been lead to slaughter by Wenger, the man who so often states a refusal to “Kill a players career” as he puts it. Well what the hell does he think this would have done for Jenks? The boy was torn apart yesterday and at points looked like he wanted to be anywhere other than playing for the club he has supported his whole life. He even got a blocking from Theo at one point, that bastion of hard work and relentless slugging.

Young Franny Coquelin was a dim light in a sea of darkness, he equipped himself well and has a bright future. It was telling that when he was withdrawn in the second half the score line was an acceptable 3-1.

Neither of those two lads should be anywhere near our first team this early in the season and in such a pivotal fixture. This was the current league Champions on their own home ground. A team that after winning the league for the third consecutive season saw where weaknases dieted in their side and went out and strengthened. They rebuilt like they have time and again. They did everything we have failed to do. They were without either of their first choice centre backs but had players with the ability to step in and seamlessly fill the void.

We sold our first choice left back this summer and the man cited as his replacement has an appalling history of injuries for one so young leaving us to field a player who has spent the last two seasons on loan and is now set to join QPR for the remainder of this season.

That sums up our club right now. Here we have a player who is clearly not considered to be good enough to play for us but rather than cast him off we sanction loan deals season after season, occasionally seeing him return to the club for a few games in which he demonstrates why he isn’t good enough for the club.

The situation at left back has nothing to do with the sale of players like Cesc & Nasri, we weren’t waiting for them to either naff off or nail their colours to the mask before getting a replacement for Clichy in. Yes it would be brilliant if Kieran Gibbs could come in and be our left back for the next ten years but the truth is he can’t and he won’t, his injury record alone tells you that yet those who run our club are so blinkered to these things that they make no attempt to improve the situation,

It’s like that across the board with our current squad, yes if our first choice eleven (whoever they are now) are all fit then it’s a decent team but we’re reliant on on a group made up of the perennially injured and a handful of teenagers – how did we come to that?

Ferguson demonstrated yesterday everything that our so called “Project Youth” should have delivered by now. A set of experienced players buoyed by a collection of exceptionally gifted youngsters, old heads and young harts.

We have two and a half days to rebuild our squad and save our season from total collapse. It’s not a case of bringing in one or two players, we need real depth in every position because we just do not have it. A centre half and a striker will bring nothing to the table, we honestly need at least five or six players with real experience and ability not promise. Is that likely to happen in such a short time frame, well the last three months suggest not. Which means that we could be in for a long and arduous season.

There is no point In hitting a panic button right now and removing Wenger, the is no one else who will come in and do a better job then he will this season with the players we have at our disposal. But I can’t see how the Frenchman’s reign can continue past the end of this season, he has taken us as far as he possibly could during his fifteen years and it should never be belittled nor forgotten but right now he is seemingly unable to stop the rot that is setting in.

Wenger isn’t alone in this, our board, directors & executives alike are just as much to blame. There is no one for any of them or the manager to be accountable to except the fans and so far this summer they have proved that they don’t listen to us because we have been the warning beacons. We have sounded the alarm to let them know that this storm was coming and they have seeming chosen to ignore it.

We as supporters deserve much better than that, especially fans like those who were at Old Trafford yesterday and sung their hearts and would out during the massacre taking place upon the pitch.

We don’t have a game now until we do face Swansea at home on September the 10th, by that time we will hopefully have a fully fit squad but the focus over the next two days has to be investing in that squad. Wenger often says that he will only add players who are better than what we have, well watch the video of yesterday’s debacle Arsene and then let us know how that isn’t possible.

Thanks for reading.

Paul.

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