My opinion ? The problem is Wenger. by Tom Friend
Too long at Arsenal:
I find it alarming that Wenger’s ego is tolerated for so many years. Wenger has all character trades of a man who believes he doesn’t need any advice and the results are bad… really bad…
While teams like Liverpool and Everton are developing under modern managers, Arsenal has to make up with a guy who still wants to play like it’s 2004.
Wenger does not do tactics. He is playing his style (god know what that actually is) The big teams never have a problem because they know that Wenger always plays the same way for 80 minutes and then starts to bring on new players. Too little, too late, too often. He does not look at what he can do with the players he has. He just wants to do his thing and then every player will be converted accordingly. Result: No need to change tactics before the game. First try 80 minutes of the same stuff and then maybe start to make changes.
Wenger thinks he knows more than the others. He has the world’s top number 10 but he decides to play him least effective. He wants to buy Marco Reus just to convert him into a striker. Next thing is he will buy Hummels as Winger, let’s Sanchez play as defender and Wilshere will become goalie.
But this is not a big surprise. There is a reason why big companies regularly change the top guy. If someone becomes so strong within an organization then you won’t find anyone opposing his ideas. Even more everyone keeps agreeing all the time, which leads that person to believe even stronger that he knows it all. This also manifests itself in the fact that for years Wenger is holding on to Wilshere. Truth be told I don’t see Madrid, Barcelona, Munich or Chelsea trying hard to get hold of the super talented Wilshere. Maybe because he is good but he is not great. Instead the guy keeps on smoking. If someone cannot quit smoking then it’s clear for everyone how bad this person is in terms of motivation. Smoking is not a drug like alcohol. A pro footballer who does not take care of the only asset he has to take care of (his body) does not deserve a place in a top team anyways, but for sure should be sold if he is nonperforming far too often. But… Wenger knows better…
The moment he bought Ozil Wenger missed out on making things clear for everyone in the team. He kept players like Wilshere with number 10 on his back, still believes in Carzola and thinks Podolski can win the title for Arsenal. He should have stood up and said we bought this guy Ozil and now we will build our team around this guy. If you don’t like it then please go. If you pay that amount of money then people have to live with the fact that not everybody can be the boss. Even at the very top Bale is not the boss at Madrid, it’s Ronaldo – and Neymar has to serve Messi. That’s the way it is.
The moment he bought Podolski he outed himself again as some kind of weirdo. No top team in Germany wanted Podolski at that time. Even in the national team he only gets a chance if there is really no other choice.
Wenger plays Carzola and Wilshere together, while at the same time telling them he wants to see more of them. Problem is that both of the players have this “I take things into my own hands” mentality. How often is the whole team forced to rush back because one of them lost the ball while the team is standing high inside the opponents side. I know people at Arsenal love Carzola and Wilshere but let’s be honest, while they are dribbling 5 times successful they lose the ball 10 times. Their way of playing is destabilizing for keeping possession of the ball for longer periods of time.
Wenger should sell Ozil or sell Wilshere. Cazorla has to be sworn into a supporting role and not as someone who permanently runs towards goal without giving any thought about the rest of the team. Ramsey does that 100 times better. I cannot count how often an Arsenal player is running towards Ozil without any plan or idea just to pass the ball to him even he is in a position where he cannot make any play. There is nobody making runs. Instead Ramsey Cazorla and Wilshere will just try to run with the ball. That’s so old style football. It’s not the players faults, it’s simply poor management. There is nobody who explains to the guys how to play together. I saw Xabi Alonso playing his first game for Munich. So relaxed. Everyone in this team has his duty and performs accordingly. Alonso fit in like he played already for years in Munich. Arsenal on the other side looked like a scared bunch of sheep running all over the place. Just embarrassing.
Frustrating the players:
When Ozil played in the world cup, Germany Coach Low stood up and said “I am playing Ozil different because Reus is out injured and Ozil is doing exactly what I expect him to do”. Not so Wenger. He doesn’t say anything and leaves the player out in the cold. Even worse every weekend he has to tell the press that Ozil will improve. Two weeks ago Wenger said that Sanchez is not 100 % there and his confidence will come. It’s like he wakes up in the morning and thinks what he can do to undermine a player’s confidence. Ah and let’s go to the press and tell them my player doesn’t have full confidence. This is pure madness.
Wenger’s opponent at Chelsea would have stood up and said everything is fine and people have no idea what they are talking about.
If players are attacked by the press, Wenger’s ego is so big that he does not say anything or 10 days later. That’s not leadership that’s simply poor.
Did nobody notice that every player that comes to Arsenal starts non-performing after 6 months of Wenger treatment?
If you compare the play of Man City, Liverpool or Chelsea with Arsenal you will see that Arsenal players are always playing the ball too short. That’s why Ramsey & Co often have to slide towards the ball in the very last moment to recover it. That’s also why there are so many injuries at Arsenal. This weekend I saw it again… and now without Giroud I already hold my breath.. not because of a chance to score a goal… it’s because I wonder if Ramsey will stand up after the hard tackle he need to make in order to get save a poor pass.
The play without the ball is getting poorer and poorer because there seems to be no effective practice. If Arsenal would be trained by Guardiola for 4 weeks the passing would be spot on. If you let the ball run fast enough you don’t even have a player near you. Arsenal at the moment does the opposite. Most of the passes are played towards players who are already marked before the pass is made. You really underestimate the EPL if you think your opponents would be so bad that they could not handle such a situation.
Now, all of this can be seen by every player who is evaluating a move to Arsenal. Why on earth should a top player join Arsenal when he can see what Wenger does to his players?
Also it’s better to cash in on Ozil because he does not make a difference for Arsenal playing in the wrong position. It’s frustrating to watch, frustrating for the player and frustrating for the other players and most of all it does not help anyone.
The best is to go on with Wilshere, Giroud and Co and just make up with the 4th place as season target. Stop thinking Arsenal could be a top team. Not with Arsene “poisoning” Wenger.
Maybe all of this is just not true, but then ask yourself: If Wenger could be replaced by Klopp tomorrow – would you say no?