It's the worst-kept secret in football: Arsenal operate without a competent goalkeeper. Almunia is very, very poor. His understudy is laughable- he makes a mistake in every game he plays.
Arsene Wenger deserves flak now. He deserved it when the transfer window shut with Arsenal still essentially keeperless (and there was SOME uproar) but many stored up their sense of rage, maybe in the blind hope that Almunia would somehow transform himself into Lev Yashin, or even just Mark Fucking Schwarzer.
At the same time, the problems run much, much deeper than the mere lack of a decent keeper. All of Arsenal's great flaws were simultaneously on show against West Brom. Some act as if signing a goalkeeper would solve it all- bullshit. Arsene Wenger, as Myles Palmer is fond of stating, does jot coach defence. If we were talking Brazil 1970, that may not be such a problem, but as I've been saying for a few long and often painfulk years now, this Arsenal team is not half as good as it thinks it is. They are an arrogant bunch despite having collectively achieved nothing, and their attitude often stinks, especially in home games against teams like West Brom, where they assume they just have to turn up.
Here was a performance that had all the negatives. Lethargic, lazy start. Lack of tempo. Shambolic ball-watching at the back, making Brom look like Barca. Ridiculous mistake from goalkeeper.
Injuries have also left the team looking toothless up top. Fabregas is vital now in terms of his goal tally as well as his penchant for running midfield- and with he and RVP absent, goals could become a problem. Chamakh has been impressive but does not look confident in front of goal. Arshavin remains an erratic enigma. Judging from his goals and the minute-by-minute report I read, Nasri was carrying the fight alone at times and deserves some credit.
What has become most irritating to me about this team's character deficit is the players' insistence on offering quotes every Groundhog Season testifying to how they've changed and matured. It's on the pitch they need to prove that- enough of the fucking soundbytes.
How must Cesc Fabregas feel? Another year of this?