Someone needs to stand up and be counted

The weekend is upon us once again and that means a match for Arsenal Football Club. After such a long period of having games every 3 – 4 days, it seems weird not to watching Arsenal for almost a week now. Being out of 3 other competitions does that to you. For us now, there is only the league and even that seem to be so distant.

A lot of fans has given up on the and Paul Merson is no different. This is not to say that Merson now no longer supports Arsenal or that he has a hidden agenda. It’s just the matter of how the season panned out that frustrates each and every one of us. Being an Arsenal man, Merson shares our pain. The pain of seeing how good our team is and how the title is there for the taking and yet the team fails to deliver when mattered.

A week away from the spotlight and no distraction, I really hope Arsene Wenger sits his team down and spell out what is required of them for the rest of the season. Forget about the title. The pressure is never good for anyone and especially not this fragile team. The only thing required out of them from now until the end of the season is to simply go out on the field and give it their 110%.

I’m a firm believer that nothing comes without application. We can no longer walk onto the pitch and be guaranteed 3 points just because we have players of higher quality compared to the opposition. We cannot expect to pick up 3 points just by being on the pitch. It is about what we do on the pitch. Work ethics have to be drummed into the ears of each and every one of the players. Ethics that guarantee the players to work equally as hard against the better teams as when they face the weaker teams.

I always look back at that Chelsea game at the Grove this season. For me that is the best example of how good our team is. The way we never allow a single player in blue, time on the ball. The way we chased and harried them until we get possession back. The way every player were busting their gut to be first to the ball and never shirk from any tackles.

I never understood why the team that we have now, are not playing that way game in game out. It’s about the mentality the players as much as it it tactical. These players need to game for every match and not just the ones against the big boys. I shudder to think of the outcome should we play like that against the likes of Sunderland or Blackburn. We’ll be so far ahead by half time that the game would be over in a canter.

I understand that no player can sustain their high level of performance for an entire season of league football, Jack Wilshere apart. Other than Samir Nasri early season, Robin Van Persie and Theo Walcott from December onwards; I can’t remember any other player carrying the team on their shoulders. We cannot expect the same players to pull us through each time. We need the others to pick up the buck as well. Hopefully we’ll see a change on that front starting this Sunday.

More tomorrow.