If he had a pound for every time he was criticized, Arsene Wenger would be richer than Manchester City! Pun aside, Wenger does evoke strong reaction from his naysayers every time he says or does something.
The latest to join the bandwagon is the former Manchester United defender Gary Neville. The feisty defender fought many battles on the pitch with Wenger’s players during his playing days and features as the Sky Sports pundit these days.
After the Gunners were held for a goalless draw with Liverpool at the Emirates, Neville was quick to question Wenger’s tactics. He was quick to point out that the inability of Wenger to add a proper defensive midfielder will bite him in the final calculation.
The defensive disarray of the team almost hit the side hard. Had it not been for the heroics of Petr Cech, Wenger would have been hit with another home loss. After innumerable talks on how a good start will help his side mount a serious title challenge, Wenger would have been under pressure had they lost.
Though there is a serious urge to support the statements of Neville, deep down his attack sounds more about scoring brownie points. He may be right about the signings lacking character but to attribute the entire thing down to arrogance is, to be fair, a little arrogant.
The naivety on the part of the Frenchman is to think that his squad can build up and measure the way his ‘invincibles’ did. The character and strength of Patrick Vieira is the huge difference with the current squad and this probably explains the deep down reason for Neville’s jibe.
The questions that pop up keep pointing to the inability of signing the right players. It is only half the story told. Strangely enough it is a combination of many factors that extended the limited success period for the past decade.
Wenger’s squad struggled with physical presence at teams like Stoke that try to throw caution out of the window. Not scaling up to expectations is a common theme but Wenger has to cop up his share of the failure for not making the right decisions. Do you want to call him arrogant for not signing the right players? You choose your words but honestly the word ‘arrogance’ is a little too strong for this.
Can’t you say anything nice about him for a change?