Arsenal were no doubt dissapointing during this years Emirates cup and after their 1-1 draw with New York Red Bulls, following a 2-2 draw with Boca Juniors, some parts of the crowd felt it neccessary to boo the team off the pitch.
The frustration of these fans is understandable as they are seeing their beloved team make the same mistakes that they did last season. Fantastic in spells going forward but with a soft and unreliable defense. In the first match, the Boca side looked below average for much of the game and Arsenal looked very comfortable, strolling to victory. Then the introduction of Sebastian Squillaci led to the predictable capitulation of Arsenal’s backline. The first goal was a direct result of Squilaci losing the ball and the second was an equally embarrasing defensive error from the unreliable Johan Djourou.
Against New York it was a similar story. Arsenal looked comfortable but failure to clear their lines and a catalogue of defensive errors caused an unfortunate own own goal from youngster Kyle Bartley.
It’s happened time and time again that Arsenal have failed to hold onto a lead and the need for a central defender now seems greater than ever.
However, despite understanding the fan’s frustrations I cannot condone their behaviour at the final whistle. Boo’ing a pre season friendly is bad enough but to boo a friendly match in which your team fielded an experimental side featuring the likes of Benik Afobe and Bartley himself borders on the ridiculous.
The match is meaningless, basically a glorified training session in which players can gain their match fitness and sharpness in preparation for the new season. It’s always nice to win these games and see good performances but as long as the flaws raised in these games are stamped out before the start of the season then it is not an issue.
Maybe the booing simply sends out a message though. To the board, the managment and the players. If the fans are so passionate about winning a meaningless friendly game, they are showing clear restlessness that they are not going to stand for another trophyless campaign. It is still obvious that Arsenal need some experience and steel, probably in the form of a defensive partner for Thomas Vermaelen. The fans want to win and they are letting Wenger know that unless he addresses the glaring floors in his squad he may be on borrowed time.
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