What is the one ‘not-so-impressive’ attribute of Wenger, as a manager? by SE
Arsene Wenger wouldn’t have endured this much of longevity as Arsenal manager had he not been consistent and, magnificent, in his own way. He has instilled an eccentric brand of football, both at Highbury and the Emirates, and is one of the reasons why Arsenal remains a highly attractive team to watch. The Frenchman does get slated from time-to-time for his timid, insipid tactics in those marquee games, which – in recent seasons – have found Arsenal wanting. However, it shouldn’t be held as an indictment against the Frenchman’s amiable personality and a prolific Footballing philosophy.
But, if I had one thing to suggest to Wenger – regarding the one ‘not-so-impressive’ attribute of his – what would it be?
Every manager has his own dogmatic style of affecting a game. Be it with the way he sets his team up before kickoff; or mid-way through the game, once they have assimilated their opponents’ intentions and tactical nous.
The world cup game in Brazil could be a perfect example to illustrate my point, here: In the match between Spain and Netherlands, Van Gaal had setup his Dutch side in the 3-4-1-2 system, and relied solely on counter-attacking against a Spain side known to favor tiki-taka, over any other Footballing philosophy. In the aftermath of the game, which was won by the Netherlands, the Dutchman did proclaim that it was a tactical shift he ‘had’ to make, to keep Holland in the game against their superior opponents. And, had it not been for Van Persie, the former Arsenal striker, who scored the equalizer on the stroke of Half-Time, Van Gaal said that he would have reverted back to his favored 4-3-3 system.
So every manager has a way of affecting the game; sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn’t, but Wenger needs to be a lot more proactive than what he has demonstrated in recent times.
Wenger’s reluctance to make ‘substitutions’
The other day against Leicester, Arsenal didn’t look menacing, despite spending more time with the ball. Ozil wasn’t at his incisive best and, clearly, wasn’t relishing the role he was given on the evening. Drifted in time and time again, which made it easy for Leicester’s defence to maintain shape and deal with the odd menacing ball, here and there.
At that moment, I’d have wanted to see someone with blistering pace running at a relatively slow Konchesky, playing at Left-Back for the Foxes. Ozil did play the entirety of 90 minutes but, it was only after Oxlade-Chamberlain’s introduction into the game that Arsenal posed a bigger threat to Leicester’s goal, as they went in search of a last gasp winner. The Englishman was introduced only in the 77th minute of the game – played as the Right-Winger – and had very little time to conjure up a winning goal for the North Londoners.
Bottom Line is that Wenger, if he anticipates the game drifting away from Arsenal’s grasp, has to make ‘substitutions’, to affect it positively. He is generally reluctant to make substitutions, which, in a desperate situation, doesn’t endear Arsenal anything enviable.
It is Wenger’s reluctance to make ‘substitutions’ – even when Arsenal aren’t at their most effective of times – that doesn’t quite appeal to me.