Wenger in bold. Myself in italics. Let's go.
Dear Arsenal Supporter,
Arnie! Long time, no hear from. How's things? Saturday, right? Crazy.
We played with a good spirit on Saturday and we certainly put the effort in. But we lacked some sharpness and fluency and that made us less dangerous in the final third.
I missed our spirit and effort. It's won us so many titles over the last few years. Thank goodness it's back. We did lack sharpness and fluency though, that's for sure. After Cazorla's bullet, we really didn't generate much in the way of chances. We haven't sold anyone recently that would have something to do with that, though. No one I can remember, anyway.
We did create a few chances but we couldn't convert them, and Sunderland defended very well throughout the whole game. When you play a team like that you have to be sharp enough to make the difference, otherwise it becomes very difficult.
Here's where you try to tell me that they didn't come to play, they came to defend and try to nick a point from a usually difficult road fixture without actually saying that. But rest assured, you're being very complimentary about their effort and spirit, because we all know that's what matters in football. Effort and spirit.
Our balance wasn't quite right up front because we maybe one more creative player to improve our accuracy in the final third. There was not a lot of space left to our strikers, so everything had to be created from our midfield.
Oh, the balance wasn't right up front, that's what that was? I just thought it was a striker bought from a team who got relegated from the Bundesliga last year and an unknown quantity from France (because that's worked out for us ONCE in the past, but not recently). I don't think anyone breathing air thinks that Podolski, Giroud, Chamakh and Bendtner scare anyone in contention in the Prem (assuming no one comes in for the self-proclaimed Best Striker In The World).
It is a missed opportunity, of course, and it is always frustrating when you have so much possession and only get a point. You have to accept that you will have to settle for draws at different points of the season, but you don't want to start with one in the first game.
Last year started with a draw at Newcastle, followed by a loss to Liverpool. The year before that started with a draw against Liverpool. It's not like this is new, a slipping down start to a campaign. I know it's tough to build a squad when captains are constantly being sold off (four out of the last five). Sunderland did finish 13th last year, though. I'm just saying.
Our three new signings made their debuts and they all contributed. It's difficult not to be pleased with Santi Cazorla because he played Wednesday night for Spain in Puerto Rico and all our chances were basically created by him.
I hate when you say things like "It's difficult not to be pleased with" someone. Are you happy with his play or not? I suppose you are, he was decent and he looks like he'll be something. But again, let's call a spade a spade. He looks to shoot more than I think you'll be comfortable with instead of creating chances for others. I know we are going to need goals from anyone who can score them, but I wonder if he'll fit in. We'll see, I suppose.
I feel that Lukas Podolski is not physically ready yet but he has the quality to do well, and Olivier Giroud showed he has a presence when he is on the pitch. Olivier had a great chance on his right foot and I think he had more time than he thought.
So he's "not physically ready" but you gave him sixty minutes anyway. I suppose you didn't have a choice, though, what with selling off 42% of last year's offense to the team just above you in the table (or "good business" as the English press lackeys of yours like to call it). Giroud has a presence on the pitch, that's good to know. Was his spirit and effort up to snuff? He IS good looking, as my sister mentioned to me on Saturday. There's that.
I never denied that Robin van Persie will be difficult to replace but when you are on the football pitch you don't think about the players who are not there. You try to make a good pass when you have the ball. We had an opportunity to play the ball against Sunderland but our overall passing was not quick enough.
I think about the players who are not there when you're on the pitch, Arnie. I do. It's what supporters do. They compare Podolski and Giroud to other former players and wonder if they'll even come close to matching their production. Of course YOU don't think about van Persie. It's probably pretty painful still, after you sat through all that missed injury time of his and then that monster year when he knew he wanted to leave and get a new contract. Oh, have you dealt with Theo, Arshavin and Bendtner yet? Figured out that Chamakh is rubbish? Our spirit and effort with passing wasn't quite good enough, is that what you're telling me? I'm confused. As usual.
Finally, as you know the Club has agreed terms to sell Alex Song to Barcelona. We did this because we have Jack Wilshere coming back, we have Abou Diaby back, we have Tomas Rosicky not far away and we will try to bring in another midfielder as well.
Oh, and you also had your media flacks do a hatchet job on Song as being unprofessional while he was in the air to Spain, you forgot to mention that. I'll let it slide, though. Wilshere isn't back until "maybe" October as mentioned on the broadcast on Saturday. It's August. That's quite some time for a "maybe". Diaby and Rosicky? Those two? It's like getting Xavi and Andres Iniesta on the pitch (or a reasonable facsimile). Let me just say this in terms I hope you understand. Getting ANYTHING from Diaby and Rosicky at this point is a gift. They are not going to be anything more than squad players for the rest of their lives. They aren't difference-makers. Cazorla is the first shot at a difference-maker in quite some time. Buy more like him, please. Oh, and sort out Theo, please. I can't take him leaving on a free next Summer.
Thanks for your support.
You're welcome, mate. I'm always here for you. Enjoy Stoke City this weekend, I hear it's lovely this time of year.