Why no further progress will be made and there will be no more titles under Wenger by Oliver Adler
We have arrived at that point in the season where the vibe of our season has gone from being extremely positive to rather negative after poor results against Everton and Manchester City. We are currently 8 points behind Chelsea and we are sitting in fifth in the league- this isn’t an impressive feat for a club of our stature who should be challenging for the title. Whilst it is unlikely that we will finish in this position as we are the kings of obtaining Champions League football each year. However, there is no chance that we will catch Chelsea and for me, as an Arsenal fan, this is disappointing and embarrassing because before that poor week which began with Everton, we were only three points behind Chelsea. To have fallen behind and gone from second to fifth place demonstrates that we aren’t moving forward. However, why is it that under Wenger, we aren’t going to move forward?
Under Wenger we have the wrong mentality. The view that fourth place is enough or a comeback is enough isn’t good enough. The players celebrated as though they had won the league at Bournemouth and the fact that Wenger talks about how strong our mental strength is, to draw 3-3 with Bournemouth isn’t good enough. The fact is that we had to go to the Vitality and win. Yes, we showed great mental strength but by not winning, we didn’t complete the comeback. We also have to question what was going on at the beginning of the match and what Wenger said to the players before the game to give the players motivation. This is similar as well to the recent game against Preston. What was the players’ mentality sitting back at Preston? We should have been 3-0 down at half time. As well as this, where was the motivation at Goodison Park and at the Etihad when we were 1-0 up at halftime? The motivation is lacking and the passion isn’t flowing. It is now about doing just enough to get fourth place and that does the job – as that satisfies Wenger and the owner.
As well as this, we need to question Wenger’s tactics. At the Etihad, Wenger opted for a defensive performance which is absolutely crazy considering City’s weaknesses in midfield and in defence. We sat off them and let them play around us, whilst allowing City to get through the gears extremely quickly almost taking the ball from their defence to their attack without even passing our midfield. If we want to opt for a defensive display, which was the wrong choice, it isn’t enough to say ‘boys, defend and then counter attack.’ There needs to be greater detail on the press and closing play down and the marking. This was demonstrated in both goals being too easy. Often we play too centrally and rarely change our tactics correctly and accordingly in terms of who our opponent is.
Lastly, under Wenger, the club doesn’t have the guts to get rid of the dead wood and replace them with better players. Examples of dead wood players in the squad is Monreal, Jenkinson, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Elneny, Walcott, Rambo and Sanogo. At Arsenal, we should be replacing these players with players such as Gaya, Manolas, Payet, Reus, Pjanic and a striker. I’m not saying that we should get all of these players, but we should get rid of the rubbish and replace it with at least a little bit of quality.
As Arsenal fans, we need to be thankful for all that Wenger has done. He has won Premier league titles and plenty of FA Cups. What he has achieved has been marvellous and the whole dynamic of the club and team will change when he leaves. It will certainly be a sad sight to see the legend that is Arsene Wenger leave the club. However, for the club to move forward with greater purpose and direction and challenge for future titles, he should see his contract out and not sign another one, as if he does it will be another classic two years that follow the same cycle of events as every other year.