Posted on April 13, 2017 by ADMIN

Has Wenger failed to rebuild Arsenal’s spine?

Wenger Munich unhappyThings could not get much worse for Arsenal’s long-serving supremo, Arsene Wenger, after he watched his side limp to a 3-0 away defeat to a Crystal Palace side that were still fighting for their Premier League survival.

The loss leaves Wenger’s position hanging by a thread, with a top-four finish now looking increasingly unlikely. Nevertheless, the club confirmed the morning after the Palace horror show that there would be no formal announcement on the Frenchman’s long-term future until the end of the campaign.

Certainly in seasons gone by, Arsenal would not have been priced at 11/2 in the Premier League betting with the likes of bet365 to finish in the top four in early April; but this year, it’s looking like the Europa League is the best they can hope to salvage from this dismal term.

Former Gunners fans’ favourite, Mathieu Flamini, found himself on the opposite side of the pitch to his old Arsenal teammates, coming off the bench to help Palace see out their surprisingly comprehensive victory at Selhurst Park. The French holding midfielder could not hide his sadness during the post-match chatter, having spent two great spells with the Gunners.

“It is painful to watch what is happening at the moment because I am still an Arsenal fan,” Flamini told the Evening Standard.

Flamini was arguably part of the Gunners’ last successful squad during his first spell at the club between 2004 and 2008, when Wenger’s men reached the Champions League final for the first time in 2006, losing 2-1 to Barcelona.

To many outsiders looking in, Arsene Wenger has criminally failed to rebuild the spine of the team that earnt the nickname ‘The Invincibles’ following an unbeaten Premier League campaign and a European run culminating in coming within 90 minutes of Champions League glory.

Too often Wenger has sought cheaper foreign imports and blooded inexperienced academy prospects in critical positions throughout the spine of the Arsenal side. It took Wenger more than five seasons to end the persistence with Manuel Almunia and Wojciech Szcezesny as the Gunners’ first-choice keepers, both of whom lacked the presence and nous to marshal a creaking back four.

Similarly, within that back four, Wenger has experimented all too often with bargain basement French imports: namely Sebastien Squillaci, Pascal Cygan and an ageing Mikael Silvestre – all of whom could not hold a candle to the watertight defences of yesteryear including Kolo Toure, Sol Campbell, Tony Adams and Steve Bould.

During Arsenal’s undoubted success in the early-to-mid 2000s, Wenger also relied on a solid and dynamic core in the middle of the park. Patrick Vieira remains one of the Gunners’ most iconic midfielders of all time, but it’s still mystifying that Wenger has not yet adequately replaced Vieira more than a decade since his departure.

In fact, when you consider the embarrassment of riches Wenger has had going forward in recent years, it’s unsurprising that many Arsenal fans have torn their hair out in frustration at his inability to invest heavily in two or three defensively-minded marquee signings. These would indefinitely provide a better platform for the likes of Sanchez, Walcott, Ozil and Giroud to cut apart Premier League defences at will.

16 thoughts on “Has Wenger failed to rebuild Arsenal’s spine?

  1. dutchy

    Yes he did fail, obviously..
    In other news.. how about getting Marc Overmars as a director of football, coming from Ajax next season.. best rumour i heard in a loooong time!! This guy is just as good in his current job as he was a winger. Real eye for talent!

    1. Fatboy Gooney

      Oh so you haven’t heard about the £300,000 a week that’s been offered to Sanchez to stay then?

        1. dutchy

          Of course, I will believe every positive rumour at the moment. I also know 99% of rumours in football are bullsh*t. But I just want to dream again, maybe I should stop smoking then 😉

  2. Fatboy Gooney

    Yes, of course he has failed to rebuild our spine,
    But what did you expect from a spineless,specialist in failure?? ??

    By the way, We are way past needing a new spine, since our rear end has been torn a new one, over and over again this season.?

  3. DayR97

    He never focused on the spine of the team. He’s got his vision and that’s that….. Old fool that he is.

    Out –

    Wenger – Mentally Gone with the Wind, Inept, Seems to be intent on poisoning everything before sailing of into the sunset with £8M a year in his pocket….

    Ospina – Like him, but he wants to be No.1. £6M

    Gibbs – I like him, but injuries and Wenger mean its best for his career to move on….
    Monreal – Over the hill; start gibbs and promote Bola. £6M
    Gabriel – Never been up to par; prefer to see Chambers given a chance at CB. £5M
    Per – Past it and never really been up to the standard. (Likable character though). £3M
    Debuchy – Unfortunate with Injuries, time to go. £3M
    Jenkinson – Big love for a fellow Harlow man but regular time should be his aim. £4M

    Ramsey – Greatest conman ever! To be where he is… Utter Joke, Pathetic, Awful. £8M
    Xhaka – a couple of long passes, don’t make up for a mental issue…

    Walcott – Done okay-ish this year, apart from the odd goal here/there he does nothing else. £18M

    Promote –

    Szczesny – If he’ll accept a fight with Cech (he’d probably win it). If not; Martinez.

    Bola – Been doing really well at Notts County (looks above the standard there). 2nd Choice.
    Holding – to third/fourth choice behind Chambers, Kos and Mustafi.

    Wilshere – PLEASE STAY FIT! I believe he could be the best player we have behind Sanchez.
    Nelson – Unbelievable player, needs to be given a chance soon or will bugger off (See Wilock situation).

    I didn’t mention buys because it’s Wenger……

  4. planner

    When I watched Madrid VS Bayern yesterday I realised that arsenal team are bunch of a disgrace players including Sanchez (the media should stop hyping him, he is a one season wonder and didn’t even did what van persi did). Look at how Marcelo trapped Robben, and looked at how Casemiro kept intercepting the ball at midfield. Casemiro was injured since first half but he stayed on and endured till the end. How about Koscielny? just a small knock he’s out of the game, this is bcs he is mentally loses. Bayern are not what the media hype them to be if a team can confront them without fear, they are capable of making mistakes and can quickly get red card. Their attackers are cheaters as they can dive, their midfielders can make foul, but Arsenal refused to capitalised on that. They won us 5-1 in and out and its still paining me. Madrid have really shamed the media yesterday and they have exposed Bayern’s strengths. Nuer to me is the greatest keeper I’ve ever seen. He’s the one keeping Bayern.

    Arsenal players need to learn how to play under pressure. I nearly wept when I saw casemiro kept playing yesterday. This is something that would never happened in arsenal. Too many negative minds. The team needs only players who are determined for success.


    Wenger lost it when he started believing in so called British core, Chamberlain, Walcott,Rsmsey,Chambers,Jerkison,Welbeck et all, to me an average English player lacks soccer brain and brawn, had Wenger invested half of what he used to buy the so called British core players mentioned above in players from mostly France, am cock sure we wouldn’t be in this predicament.

  6. ThirdManJW

    Of course Wenger has ignored the spine. What baffles me more than anything though, is why cannot Wenger tell the difference between quality players and average/rubbish players anymore?

    If Wenger had never worked with WC players before, I could maybe understand it, but he used to manage the likes of Bergkamp, Henry, Adams, Cole, Lehmann, RVP, Cesc, Pires, etc. Wenger knows what quality looks like, so why does he have never ending faith in average/rubbish players? Even the likes of Jenkinson and Sanogo are unbelievably, still Arsenal players, and on very good wages to boot! It’s ridiculous!

    It was so frustrating having the likes of Nasri, Cesc, and RVP, but not having the finances to build a team around them. But what’s even more frustrating, is that the finances have been in place over the last four years for Wenger to build around the likes of Koscielny, Ozil, Santi, and Sanchez, but he decided not to.

    Wenger honestly believes that loyalty is more important than actual ability.

  7. The troll formerly known as robin vanpayslip

    Wenger would have to have a spine himself before he could build a team with one.

    The once great is a dithering fool nowadays.

  8. Janssen

    I have to somewhat disagree and stand up for Wenger on this topic.

    In the last window he spend a small fortune on his spine. Adding Mustafi and Xhaka. That can hardly be called a poor effort on rebuilding the spine. Add to that (by luck) Sanchez’s temporay switch to central striker and you have pretty new spine.

    The problem is that Wenger no longer has a great nose for talent and still goes for the complicated options.

    Mustafi has been poor after a good start but I am not sure if there were better choices available and Wenger wrote a big chack to get him.

    Xhaka was a weird gamble that misfired (for now). There were two more obvious choices that were PL proven and have had better seasons in Kante and Wanayama.

    Finally when Wenger got pissed with Sanche he moved him to the left wing were Wenger himself admitted last season Sanchez is too predictable and easier to defend against.

    Does it make sense to anyone to move your best striker, Sanchez, to his weakest position of left wing? The everyone complains about Sanchez’s production dropping. I am convinced had we started Sanchez in the nr 9 slot he would lead the PL in scoring. But once again Wenger goes for the mind boggling “solutions”.

    Wenger doesn’t know his best starting 11, Wenger doesn’t know what it takes to win the PL, Wenger can’t see the simple “low risk” solutions if they hit him in the face, Wenger can’t identify or fix presistent team problems (set piece defending etc), but he did try to rebuild his spine this last window. He just got it wrong and the new players didn’t hit the ground running.

    Don’t give this man anymore money to invest in this squad. Save it for the new manager even it means no investment for 3 years. Wenger will waste the momeny.

    1. The troll formerly known as robin vanpayslip

      You make some very good points but i have to disagree with you on one. He shouldn’t have had to rebuild the spine this past summer window. There was the window where he is my signed Cech. And had he have done better then it would have meant more ‘bedding in’ time for the spine of the team.

      Xhaka and Mustafi are very good players. The issue is that they are having to acclimate in key positions at the same time and that is killing the team at the minute. Wenger could have prevented planned but he has been on his high horse for too long.

      1. Janssen

        I agree that it was insane only to by Cech two summers ago. I still think he should have bought Lacazette two summers ago and Wanayama.

  9. Onochie

    What Wenger couldn’t build in over TEN years,this funny board still wants to give him Two more years. Wenger should quit football,am sure a lot of companies would be interested in Him all over the world to make maximum profit for them,not a football club

  10. Break-on-through

    He tried adding the defensive component but it didn’t come off. Coquelin Xhaka and Elneny, fans wanted effort in that area and finally we seen some. I hope Xhaka can come good but you’d have to worry that he’s gonna be one of those expensive flops which just never came off.

    I think the only reason why I believe he’ll turn it around is because of how much we spent on him, Arsenal don’t spend allot but you’d imagine them knowing their stuff when we’re talking about those sums.

    Xhaka has shown in some games that he can be a big player, not shown it nearly enough though because I think he has maybe only five games at best out of allot of games. Cazorla got injured of course and I think Wenger must have thought we could get by with Ozil pulling the strings and with Elneny Xhaka making do until a return. But Ozil is not a guy you rely on when you are up against it.

    The defensive side never panned out either, they got wrong, but I hope it’s not a complete write off in Xhaka’s case. But if that is what they’re wondering at Arsenal, well then we just need to get as much of the money back as we can and aim higher or smarter this next time.

  11. Eddie Dandy

    WENGER HAS FAILED FULL STOP. He needs to go now and if the Board had a Spine they would sack him now.

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