The wonderful singer-songwriter Johnny Nash, who died two weeks ago, had a hit in 1972 with the song ‘There are more questions than answers.’
That’s a pretty good way of describing our feelings about Arsenal right now, as RA demonstrates in today’s Post.
By the way, if you’re looking for a positive omen of how things might go from here, Johnny’s other big hit was “I can see clearly now.’
We have all been happy with Mikel and the way he is reshaping the team, and it is accepted that he has a big job to pull the team up closer to the top.
He has brought a feeling of contentment to many of us, and the progress at the end of last season and winning the FA Cup and the Community Shield as well as beating Citeh and ‘Pool added to that.
We have been pulled up short with recent results, and that is only to be expected as we had all hoped we would continue progressing this season.
It is also normal for the most reasonable fans to try and rationalise what has happened, with a mention of player injuries; player tiredness; unlucky results; poor refereeing; et sequentia.
And that is an adult way to ‘box’ disappointment, with an implied feeling these things can be changed in forthcoming games.
It is also OK to use this time of setback to open our eyes and assess what has also gone wrong.
I, for one, do not want to say “Oh, it will be OK – it’s just something that Mikel will sort out,” because that is the sort of rationalising that soon starts to unleash the more morose fans when things do not get resolved quickly, and it might swiftly lead to “Arteta was the wrong appointment …… etc”.
Rationalisation is normal, but there are things that are not easily explained, such as the choice of players for the team. For example; we have an injury with Holding, Luiz, gets a hammy but don’t worry, we can bring on Mustafi (who wants to leave) — and we seem to be slipping back into the same old, same old set up.
What has happened to homegrown Zach Medley, or Saliba or one of the number of promising youth players we have sent out on loan?
What has happened to our £72m winger, Pepe – crap buy, or still settling in?
Is it possible to play Lacazette alongside Aubmayang?
Should we persevere with other players in the team who were apparently on their way out, like Mustafi, Xhaka, Kola, but are now back in the fold, which I find ridiculous, personally?
Were we not promised, by inference, that more youth players would be brought into the team, like Nketiah and Saka? There are many more of them in the U23s, and these are players for the future and should be used while the rebuild goes on, rather than using players like the above who are just waiting to be sold or for their contracts to expire.
This is not just giving up – far from it – Mikel is the lynch pin at Arsenal, and in time will sort it out – but there short term solutions (mentioned above) and longer term solutions, and I am not happy with the former, and really would be much happier with the latter.