Three Things We Learned after Nottingham Forest beat Arsenal

Alan Alger's regular series Three Things We Learned following Arsenal losing at Forest

Three Things We Learned after Nottingham Forest beat Arsenal

Nottingham Forest 1-0 Arsenal at the City Ground. CREDIT: @laythy29

Read Gooner Fanzine print writer Alan Alger and his regular post-match series: Three Things We Learned

Players can’t be given the option to pick and choose…

One look across any social media site would have shown the players that true Gooners have taken a very firm stance in defending them from many accusations, most of those including variations on the bottling theme.

In private I’m sure most of us are very disappointed with the way the season has petered out. The squad and manager should have been ruthless enough to meet any new expectations with maximum effort and they have fallen short. Injuries have certainly impacted us, but not to the extent to enable excuses for a handful of statistical anomalies that have made even the most loyal fans question what they are seeing.

Failing to beat a Southampton side (across two matches) that have gone down with such a low points total is up there with a slightly ropey home defensive record.

On top of that we have dropped more points against relegation threatened clubs than any of the teams around us, including yesterday’s defeat and the defeat at Everton. On top of the inexplicable capitulation at West Ham when we thought ‘job done’ too early.

As our young players add experience they must add the required ruthlessness.

Saka should be sent on a long holiday after the whistle v Wolves…

This has been a favourite subject of mine in recent columns - and I’ll still caveat it by saying the club must have decent medical advice - but why oh why is the manager running Bukayo Saka into the ground? Especially as the title is now out of reach. Yes he’s a vitally important player for us, but that stature should afford him more protection to be used sparingly. His form has been abysmal in recent weeks and must be down to fatigue. Get him onto a plane straight after the lap of appreciation next week,

Mikel Arteta might not have the right people around him…

Some might say it was an eminently sensible decision for Mikel Arteta to try some new things in what was essentially a dead-rubber at the City Ground.

I’ve even seen some Gooners suggest that he was making two essential points with his line-up and tactics in this game.

The first being a reminder to the Arsenal board that the squad rebuild is only half done, especially in terms of depth. The second being a very clear message to certain players that they are no longer of use to the club.

On the second point I think I admire the required ruthlessness in shuffling personnel but, along with the first point, it could have been made in a more private setting.

We’re a club that are paying an absolutely huge price - and probably still paying it - for allowing a manager to have too much of a free rein and influence in high-level decision making.

Arteta is still dealing with some of those problems but the tasks in his in-tray have now switched.

He won’t get everything right, no manager does, but I’m wondering if Edu and Josh Kroenke have the required distance from their friendship (seen when things are going well) with Mikel to just tug his arm if things aren’t going as swimmingly.

We can’t get into a situation where one bad decision leads to another, especially in this all-important of summers.

NEW! Subscribe to our weekly Gooner Fanzine newsletter for all the latest news, views, and videos from the intelligent voice of Arsenal supporters since 1987.

Please note that we will not share your email address with any 3rd parties.

Article Rating

Leave a comment

Sign-in with your Online Gooner forum login to add your comment. If you do not have a login register here.