Drinking Poison and Wishing Your Enemy Dead by Toronto Arsenal
After Arsenal gave up a three goal lead against Anderlecht, Arsene Wenger looked furious and I did not see him shake his opponents hand before storming away. The look on his face was that of a man in pain and distress but what I cannot understand is what he expected. According to Nelson Mandela you cannot drink poison and expect your enemy to die.
When the whole world realized years ago that you cannot win the premier league or the champions league with a poor defense Arsene Wenger decided to defy logic. When at the beginning of the season supporters and analysts pointed out that our defense was too thin Arsene Wenger gave everyone the usual run around and the transfer window closed. The consequence of that unreasonable stubbornness and tactical myopia was what he witnessed from the dugout this evening – the surrender of a three-goal Arsenal. He got precisely what he deserved and I do not have any sympathy for him.
For a man so intelligent and with previous history of success to continue to stubbornly hold on to a tried and failed approach to team composition is beyond my comprehension. Why he believes that all the leading teams in Europe are wrong for having outstanding defensive midfielders is beyond comprehension. I am not sure what he is trying to prove. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid all invest in defensive midfielders capable of disrupting play. For Wenger he continues on the perilous path that he has travelled in the last decade and met with resounding failure. Jose Mourinho may have been disrespectful in calling him a specialist in failure but does Arsene Wenger’s behavior give anyone any reason to believe that he is not aiming for just that.
The problem with Arsenal as a football club goes beyond personnel. Tactical approach is a fundamental part of what ails the team. Arsene Wenger’s tactical evolution has atrophied and he is no longer capable of making the changes necessary to keep the team in contention. If he loves this team half as much as he has always stated it is time for his m to start thinking of setting the machinery in motion for a successor. Any more of rag-tag approach we are witnessing will result in further damage to his success of previous years. It is always better to leave when the ovation is loudest. For those who say we cannot find a better replacement I want them to realize that when the plane carrying Manchester United players crashed in Germany, painful as the event was, the club did not fold up. Arsenal will continue to exist long after Wenger is gone.
You cannot drink poison and wish your enemy dead. Wenger cannot fail or refuse to put the necessary defensive structures in place and hope that his opponents will fail or refuse to exploit it. The person who drank the poison is the one who dies from it. Not the enemy!