This weeks’ Guest Post comes from a friend of mine, who I have known for 6 or 7 years now. He has avidly supported Arsenal for well over 25 years, and seen some terrific players, as well as the unbeaten season around 10 years ago. Now, 8+ years without a trophy, and after countless maulings’ from Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton, he has seen enough of Wenger. A top piece from a top man, a must read for any fan!
You’re a Premier League manager of one of the biggest clubs in the world and you have not won a trophy for 8 years. Your current form makes for uncomfortable reading. You have conceded 30 goals away from home including some devastating defeats to Liverpool (5:1), Manchester City (6:3), Chelsea 6:0 and Everton (3:0). You have yet again failed to progress past the 1st knockout stage of the Champions League and have been labelled ‘a specialist in failure’. You sign one of the best midfielders in the world and turn him into half the player he was for Real Madrid. Week in week out you remain defiant and play players who are not performing and repeat the same tactics against every opposition you are faced with. As an Arsenal fan of 30 years I am ashamed to admit that I can no longer watch Arsenal FC. Some might say that I am not a ‘real’ fan but I assure you I am and I can also assure you that I am not the only Arsenal fan who has turned off their television this season. In this article I am going to lay all the cards on the table and tell you why I think our club is not performing to the level they should be and why all the blame should be directed at Arsene Wenger.
I know it sounds like an obvious choice but I’ll start with Giroud. No matter how many times I have watched him play, he has never entertained me with a moment of genius, made my jaw drop with a goal worthy of Henry or Bergkamp or even completely convinced me 100% that he should be our first choice striker. He is clumsy, tactically unaware and his record in front of goal speaks for itself. 97 shots and 13 goals, 7.46% of his shots end up in the net. Surly Arsene Wenger is aware of this? Surly his in depth critical analyses of his squad would enable him to identify this shocking statistic? Obviously not as he keeps playing him EVERY week.
Ozil has been agonisingly average since his high profile move to the Emerites. I observed him at Real Madrid last season and he was brilliant. He would boss the midfield, twist, turn, trick, assist, score goals and more importantly ‘smile’ when he was playing. He must be kicking himself for leaving his famous white shirt behind. Personally I think Ozil is having to adjust his mind to normality. He is now surrounded by good players who are not world class and his morale has taken a beating. What must he be thinking when he sits at home and watch’s his club being destroyed 6:0 on his managers 1000th game. Ozil’s problem is morale and it is the manager’s job to change that.
Wenger enforces a strong work ethic amongst his players and every one of them gives it their all, but it’s not all about stamina, aggression and belief. To get a team playing as unit in all areas of the pitch it requires careful planning and good tactics. Tactics that should change to challenge every opposition. Wenger’s problem is that he is too stubborn and will not alter his vision of how he wants his team to play football. Sir Alex Ferguson never started a game with the same players/tactics/formation as the previous week. It’s as if he doesn’t know how to match a team player to player or counter his opponent’s ideas.
Today’s result was no exception. If you’re playing Everton away from home you need to stop the threat down the wings and defeat Lukaku down the middle. So what does Wenger do? He puts out the same team, the same formation and the same tactics as the previous 4 games. Congratulations to Martinez today, he had at least 8 years to plan for this game as Arsene Wengers tactics are as old as the bible. I can guarantee you that all Martinez did was go home, put on a video of Arsenal being annihilated by Chelsea, poured himself a glass of wine and started taking notes safe in the knowledge that Wenger would play the same team, the same tactics. Job done.
Arsene Wenger has had opportunities to bring in some top quality players over the years but his personal unrealistic beliefs stood in the way. ‘We want to find the right player for the club’, ‘I believe we have a squad capable of winning the league’. Words spoken from someone who obviously can’t comprehend realism. Our squad is full of ‘good’ players but I’m ashamed to say not one of them is world class. Ramsey is certainly getting there and Wilshire has his moments but neither could be considered as ‘world class’. Let’s look at some of the players who Arsene has literally let walk out the door:
- Sami Nasri
- Csec Fabregas
- Robin Van Persie
- Thierry Henry
- Alex Song
- Kolo Toure
- Gael Clichy
- Ashley Cole
- Alexander Hleb
ALL of which have gone onto win trophies for their respected clubs. I have always believed that there must be a fundamental reason why these players wanted to abandon our club and move on. Arsene Wenger is weak and gives into a player that’s unhappy. If I was in his position I would force them to stay and play out their contract. If Brendon Rogers is capable of physiologically averting Suarez’s interest in other clubs then why isn’t a manager of 20+ years able to do the same thing? Can you imagine if Arsenal would have held onto this high profile list of world class players?
Arsene Wenger is a clever man but too often has he displayed moments of pure stupidity. I don’t want Wenger out because I want glory and trophies, I want him out because he frustrates me. He is an aging man lost in a stubborn cloud of failure and his resistance to the truth will undoubtedly be his undoing. Let us all move on, hire Jürgen Klopp and use the foundations Wenger has laid out to progress into a new era of Arsenal football club because quite frankly, I’m bored of failure.