The current trend at Arsenal seems to be a childish hyping up and rating of players who are set to leave us. The only explanation I can think of is because it is Arsene Wenger no longer fancies the players, so suddenly certain fans start rating him highly. After all, they can not bring themselves to agree with Arsene Wenger.
In the polar opposite direction, and a good place to start this blog, is deadwood.
For years we have moaned about certain players being deadwood. Surplus to requirements. Not fit to wear the shirt. Confused as to why Wenger signed them. More confused as to why they were kept and played so often. And in many of the cases, the criticism was justifiable.
But it seems as soon as we come to decide to move on these players, people start moaning. They never got their chance they complain, even though they were also moaning every time they got their chance.
I have always called it The Michael Carrick Affect – a syndrome caused by rating a player because he is not playing, and the less he plays, the better he gets. Both for England and Manchester United, Carrick got better when he was not playing, to the point where during one absence, people were labelling the average midfielder as world class.
A first example of this happening at Arsenal was with Joel Campbell, and the infamous get out whilst you can Joel at an away game against Swansea.
At the time, Joel Campbell was the poster boy for those that hate everything about Wenger. He was not getting game time, and they demanded that he should. By not playing, he was getting better. They were ignoring the fact that he was average, they felt he should be in the first team.
A few years on from that, people are still saying Campbell never got his chance at Arsenal. Yet in 2015, he played 30 games for the club, scoring 4 goals, and proved that he was not good enough. Interestingly, in the same season, Theo Walcott, a man fans love to have, scored 7 goals in 21 games. Always baffles me when fans rate a player above another player just to suit an agenda.
Even now, people are calling for Joel Campbell to return to Arsenal. This is a player who started just 7 games for Sporting Lisbon in the Portuguese League.
Joel Campbell is not good enough.
Lukas Podolski is another who many labelled as not good enough but as soon as he was loaned out to Inter Milan, the tide of opinion changed. He is now in Japanese football and people are still moaning that he should be at Arsenal.
Labelled as deadwood for many years, Wojciech Szczesny suddenly became everyone’s favourite goal keeper when he joined Juventus as their number 2. Suddenly everyone loved the Pole, who they had spent the last 4 years criticising.
I really did not understand the love in with Wojciech Szczesny.
Lucas Perez is another whose stock has risen dramatically purely because he is not fancied. I see people saying he was not given a chance last season. Yet he was simply not as good as players who started ahead of him.
People act like Lucas Perez was a superstar because he scored a hat trick against Basel, a brace against Nottingham Forest and miss hit a cross which went in against Sutton. OK, he scored a great goal against Bournemouth, but that is one goal, in 21 games.
The joke with Perez is when we signed him, we were competing with the likes of West Ham and Everton for his signature. People commented if he was any good, other top sides would be chasing him. 12 months on, he is being linked with a move away from Arsenal to either Everton or West Ham, and everyone is saying how great a player he is – even though other big sides are not interested.
Another is Calum chambers. 12 months ago it was he has been a flop, we would be lucky to get back half of what we paid for him. Now that we are attracting bids for more than what we paid for him, people are saying we are crazy to sell him.
I have even seen people complain that the very average Mohamad Elneny has not been given a chance.
This situation just highlights the agenda driven opinion of some fans. Arsene Wenger could go and buy Lee Trundle, and those fans would moan we were signing an old, overweight player who is clearly not good enough. But in a year, after he plays just 4 games and we sell him, they would say he was a great player who was never given his chance.
Be consistent in your opinion. Players we are clearing out this summer are just not good enough. Question why we signed them in the first place – criticise Wenger for wasting money on them – but do not question why we are selling them, just as a stick to beat Wenger with.