Time to leave Mertesacker out
It's been a weekend from Hell for us Gooners. The absolute worst thing about losing to Tottenham is the idiots that follow them and the way they react to any of their rare wins over Arsenal. Being a shift worker I'm lucky that I don't get the Monday morning nonsense from any of the clowns that have too much to say. For anyone who has Spurs acquaintances it's been like a creeping death since Saturday afternoon. Being largely in-bred, poorly educated cretins, the Spurs fans are unable to win with any sense of humility (there are one or two who can enjoy their win without feeling the need to act like they've won the World Cup) and that's been the worst thing these last two days.
On the other side of that coin is the comedy gold that these fools can still provide. They never learn. So many have identified Saturday as a turning point. This is their year. There has been a "power shift" in North London. Arsenal are finished and Spurs are going to dominate. And therein, as it ever was, is their problem. All they are genuinely bothered about is Arsenal. And all the time their only interest is in beating Arsenal, or finishing above Arsenal, they will never be a success. While we get annoyed about being miles behind Chelsea and Manchester City, and pull our hair out about only finishing fourth every year, they couldn't really care less where they finish as long as it's above Arsenal. They'd be happy to finish 19th as long as they'd beaten Arsenal and seen us finish 20th. Imagine being like that. And then there's the Harry Kane phenomenon. I said on Friday that Koscielny would have to dominate him for Arsenal to win and he simply didn't get near him. But the Spurs fans have been producing pictures of him depicted as the Messiah. Again they never learn. I remember Juande Ramos being the Messiah. And when Glenn Hoddle came back he was the Messiah. In Kane's case they may well be right, however, as I've always known that Jesus is an Arsenal fan just like Harry Kane.
As for the game itself I have to confess I've seen only highlights as I was at work when the game was on. There can be no doubt, however, that Spurs deserved the win. It should have been far more comfortable for them. Quite simply Arsenal didn't play. From what I've seen, read and heard Monreal and Coquelin basically had to play them on their own. We got a goal through a fantastic finish by Ozil, but aside from that he wasn't in the game. The team selection was entirely wrong to my mind. Leaving out both Walcott and Rosicky was crazy. And then to take off Santi Cazorla and leave Ozil and Ramsey on the pitch was even worse. Ramsey needs to be dropped, regardless of the fact that Wilshere and Arteta and Oxlade-Chamberlain are out injured. Rosicky should come in and play in his place until Ramsey can learn that fancy flicks and f***ing about like you're Lionel Messi isn't going to work. I'm sick of seeing him give the ball away by trying to be clever all the time.
At the back we were left trailing in Spurs' wake. Koscielny couldn't get the better of Kane, and the way he lost him for the winner was criminal. But the real problem at the back, as he has been all season, is Mertesacker. As with Ramsey it's time for him to take a rest. We don't really know anything about Gabriel, but Mertesacker's failure to use his height, and his criminally weak heading ability, means the Brazilian ought to be given his chance sooner rather than later. Mertesacker is supposed to be the Captain in Arteta's absence but he is simply not leading anyone.
What really irks me about Saturday is that it seems the pressing game that had allowed us to play so well at Man City, and at home to Villa and Stoke, was gone. Did the players start to believe their own press? It wouldn't be the first time. In the last few weeks it had been as though the penny had finally dropped but the Arsenal squad of recent years has a habit of thinking they've turned a corner and switching off badly. Arsene says it worries him that we make the same mistakes late on in games, but it's his job to sort that kind of thing out. Perhaps a bit more cajoling from the touchline might wake a few of them up on occasion. They certainly all switched off for the winner on Saturday.
If there is a positive to find this morning then it's that we play again tomorrow evening against Leicester. The other results mean we must go on a winning run now to get in to those Champions League places. Two of the other sides challenging have no European football on the horizon, unlike us, so it's vital that we get points on the board. We had been on a decent run for four or five weeks before Saturday, we now need to produce a longer one.