Having come under intense criticism over his ineptitude or unwillingness to bring the needed top players to Arsenal, in addition to his continued disinterest towards tactical flexibility, Arsene Wenger must be a hugely worried man. However, it would be lunacy to question Wenger’s integrity, as the Frenchman will always be a part of the Arsenal folklore and, rational or not, should know what he is doing. Personally, when he analyses how Arsenal have fared so far, will Wenger be satisfied?
His touchline shoving of long term nemesis, Mourinho, when Arsenal visited Stamford Bridge earlier this season, was a result of the unbearable frustration that must be haunting Wenger. It was an act of insinuation that Wenger, inwardly, wants to do well and make Arsenal into a title-winning team once again. The Frenchman has, however, failed to acknowledge his unsuccessful tactics, and do something about it.
Arsenal’s monumental comeback draw against Everton was a result of Wenger’s diligent substitutions that affected proceedings positively for the North Londoners. Prior to that away draw at Goodison Park, the Gunners had got off to an optimistic start to the season, which saw them win the FA Community Shield against Manchester City and get off to winning start in the Premier League against Crystal Palace, and come away with a clean sheet in the first leg of their Champions League playoff tie against Besiktas. So, in many ways, you can imagine Wenger’s mindset at the time that might have helped him stay composed and bring about a positive change for Arsenal.
Since that terrific result however, Arsenal have gone back into hiding, and although Wenger has been culpable for the Gunners’ failures, some of the marquee names — exclusive of Alexis Sanchez — have failed to turn up for Arsenal in the most crucial of times. That’s where some pundits and Arsenal’s supporters have been pernickety of Wenger who can’t play for the 11 players he puts out on a given day.
Wenger, on his 65th birthday, has probably lost his Midas touch that made him a hero, and might still be amidst some Arsenal supporters. Comparatively, Arsenal’s results haven’t been different, in a good sense, for quite a few seasons now. And it’s only logical that Wenger will be feeling the pinch. However, don’t rule out a backlash from Arsene Wenger, even before this season culminates, who forever will be a great manager in the history of the game.