IN ARSENE, I RUST!!! by PV
Fellow Gooners, before you start reading this, I would like to make an appeal to you. There is no doubting that Arsene Wenger has achieved great things for our club and has made us proud of our team many times in the past decade and a half. This article is not a rant, its rather a constructive criticism of Wenger’s recent performances. I would hope even the diehard Wenger backers would give the whole piece a read before passing judgement and I hope you understand the frustration of a fan who has always pledged his undying loyalty to the football club.
Arsene Wenger is known to be one of the most stubborn men in all of football, if not THE most stubborn. He is unfailingly loyal to his football philosophies, and even more so to some players who perpetually disappoint. He persists with the same style that has yielded no success for the past eight years. He sticks to the same ineffective transfer policy that has borne little fruit and worst of all, he either cannot or does not want to realize that his persistence is dragging the team down and preventing it from achieving any success. If Wenger cannot wake up, it is time to show him the door.
Arsene Wenger should be applauded for consistently approaching post defeat interviews as a way of deflecting blame, for repeatedly refusing to put the onus of responsibility of defeat on his under-performing team. In many ways this is the best way to help detract attention from players with a fragile confidence but this form of management can also leave players unaware of their failings.
Wenger is a stubborn man, as are many top level managers, the Frenchman has his way of doing things and after nearly a decade of initial success at Arsenal, the Gunner’s boss feel no need to change.
Arsenal lose nowadays with frightening regularity and consistency.
In the depressing hours following a loss, Arsene Wenger can always be counted on to trot out the same hollow excuses that he uses to defend his bedraggled team, while trying (and failing) to restore some level of faith in his men.
Whether it’s the bad pitch, poor refereeing or injuries, the manager never fails to come up with some canned rationale to explain why his team cannot deliver.
Arsenal deserve a man in charge who can actually get results, rather than constantly coming up with new reasons why he cannot achieve them.
The game has changed and Wenger hasn’t.
Arsene Wenger is a genius when it comes to unearthing young talent, for spotting a relative unknown and making him into a household name. Arguably these skills and qualities are from a bygone age when this model of squad building was a cost effective one. However the game has changed. Even when scouting a teenager in today’s market a Premier League boss will still need to fork out a small fortune to land a starlet who may or may not prove to be the ‘real deal’.
It is worth remembering that Arsene was not always in favor of youth over experience. Most of the successful arsenal sides he built in the past including the infamous invincibles had a good blend of youth as well as experience. But recently, Wenger has abandoned this and has decided to pursue a policy weighted down towards signing and nurturing younger players. Many reckon this is not by choice and that Wenger’s hands are forced due to the lack of transfer funds available to him. While there is an ounce of truth to this statement, one only has to take a look at the club’s yearly budget to understand the erroneous nature of the statement. While it was true that when the Emirates stadium was still in its infancy, the club did have to balance the budget, it does not hold true anymore. The club has had some leeway to flex its financial muscle for quite a while now but yet Arsene is choosing not to exercise it.
Wenger has gone on record saying he is prepared to spend if he feels there is value in the market, which indicates 2 things. One, there is money available to spend and two, Wenger is not too keen to pay big money and take chances on players, which I suspect goes back to his roots as an economics major. Either way, it is simply not practical to expect to succeed in this era without taking financial risks on atleast a few big name players particularly with the likes of City, Chelsea and United around. My honest assessment is that the money is available but Wenger isn’t entirely comfortable in spending big money. But the club’s future takes precedence over Wenger’s comfort zone in my opinion
Time for change/End of an era/loss of the dressing room
A manager, like a player, cannot live off his past glories indefinitely. Arsenal look good to complete a seventh successive season without silverware and could top it off by missing out on a top four spot. There is only a certain amount of time that supporters will give a manager, even one who has been so successful in the past, and that time is fast running out. Just because a manager has in the past produced the goods , is no good reason to stick with them indefinitely. Indeed a new appointment may well act as a breath of fresh air and a new beginning for a side that cannot forever live on Wenger’s past glories.
There are signs that Wenger may have ‘lost the dressing room’, not in a mutiny-type manner and not in the sense that he is being challenged by the club’s big stars eager for change. It just seems that he is unable to rile up the troops to get them up for the fight. There are too many in his squad who trudge on and off the field of play feeling that sub-standard heartless ineffective displays are acceptable.
Wenger and the board are scum and deserve no support as of now. Since David Dein left we have not purchased any quality players. What is wrong with Wenger? Arsenals consistent failure to win football matches boils down to a lack of quality, tactical diversity, squad balance and squad depth. The club is a very healthy financial position and yet the billionaire board members refuse to spend any significant money and increase the wage structure. This inhibits Arsenal and ultimately will make us a mid-table club struggling to fill the emirates. Arsenal needs five or six top players to provide the required level of experience and cover in key positions. We all know the areas that need significant strengthening and yet one of the most experienced football managers is blind to the seeing the truth.
THROWING THE LOYALTY CARD
I often notice that there is a witch hunt of all Arsenal fans who are not fully behind Wenger. The assumption is that somehow questioning Wenger’s policies makes you less loyal a fan. This assertion is quite bewildering to me. We as fans hold a responsibility to constructively criticize the team and the manager to make sure we are getting what we deserve. If this does not happen and we just accept what is being served to us and make excuses for the manager, the club will be run like a dictatorship. I fear there are shades of this happening already.
Furthermore, there is this notion that Arsenal as a club still somehow owes Wenger for what he has done. While I agree that he has achieved a lot with our club, the notion that the club and the fans still owe him some more time after 7 years of trophy drought is quite frankly ridiculous. There are even a section of fans who seem to think Wenger made Arsenal the force it is today, and the club’s current status is a tribute to Wenger. But the fact remains that Arsenal won a lot more trophies before the Wenger era began. The club won 10 league titles and 6 FA cups before Wenger made it through the English shores. In fact, Arsenal were the second most successful team in the country behind Liverpool before the Premier League era. The fact remains that Arsenal were a force before Wenger came over to the club and arsenal will remain a force long after Wenger has departed.
We fans often sneer at Chelsea as a club for not giving their managers time but the message from their board and fans is a straight forward one i.e mediocrity will not be accepted. Chelsea football club expect to be winning every season and if success is not delivered, your future at the helm is under threat. Even our local neighbors, Spurs have been steadily improving for the past 4 or 5 years. Last year seemed like their year as they were a couple points off the top of the table going into febraury but a collapse caused them to finish 4th, one point behind us. The message from the board was clear, that the collapse was not acceptable and Harry Redkapp was dealt the axe, some would argue harshly but the point was made, such a poor run of form was not acceptable for a team aspiring to win things in the future. We at arsenal have suffered so many such spurs-esque collapses that we almost expect it at this stage but yet there has been no action undertaken nor has there been a difference in approach. If we as fans keep quiet after yet another mediocre season, I believe we would deserve what is coming to us.
There is also an apprehension from a set of Arsenal fans in sacking wenger at this moment even though they realize Wenger is not doing a good job simply because they are not sure as to whether the replacement will be better or will simply add collateral damage. My feeling is that now is the perfect time to look for a replacement as there is no shortage of top managerial talent available with Guardiola already indicating that England is likely to be his next destination and Mourinho also expected to head back to the premier league at the end of the season. Arsenal can afford these managers quite comfortably seeing as Wenger is one of the highest paid managers in world football anyway
All of you fans slated me at the end of last season by claiming he would spend money this summer. You are all wrong and your false optimism is eroded by the simplicity of the facts I have delivered. Arsenal is a club in crisis and yet we have the resources to fix this!
“It is very difficult because the level of expectation is very high – people want to see Lionel Messi come in, they don’t want to see a promising guy,” said Wenger.
Arsene, when you sold someone with calibre of Cesc and RVP, of course the fans demands the same quality to come in as replacement!!!! You dont replace them with potential when you sell proven talent! Else you are just feeder club breeding players for top clubs! He proves his stupidity !
Arsene Wenger you deserve to be sacked and forgotten for the direction you have now taken this once great club!
Love Arsenal, Hate Wenger!