Arsenal do not have the DNA of Champions


First of all this article is not in criticism or praise of anyone or Arsenal itself. Keeping in perspective the fact that only one game has been played in the league by Arsenal so far, I would like to suspend any reaction as yet. However, far be it for one to play a cold–water–expert presently, albeit in a much more muted and tempered scenario after the 2 – 0 loss to WHU, it needs to be stated that for Arsenal to win the League it would take something truly remarkable indeed at any time, but more so this year.

Taking up the latter issue first it is apparent to all that nearly every team in the league has spent some good money on some good players to muscle–up so to speak. A consequence thereof would be more exciting and tighter games. Games where top rung teams would face greater competition, would be pushed more, liable to be punished more, and as a result the chances of upsets would increase dramatically. I believe that the eventual winner of this season would do so with much lower points accumulated that any season in recent memory.

In tight contests teams need two qualities above all else to carry them through: (1) a watertight defense, and (2) innovation and inventiveness. At first glance both these qualities may seem oxymoronic as watertight defense in itself in the hands of nearly every coach sounds death knell for innovative football. But such need not be the case. Germany in the world cup is the most recent example of such a team. For an example in the Premier League (lets keep Arsenal out of this) take the case of Southampton (at least in the early part of the season, it’s lack of quality in depth killed it in latter part of season as fatigue and injuries took toll, barring which, I believe, Arsenal and Man Utd would be seeing a different sky today).

What binds the football of such contradictions is disciplined leaders in the midfield (here Man Utd has stolen a march on everyone else; I believe everyone is looking at them in purely footballing terms discarding the add–ons that players like Schniederlin and Schweinsteiger bring with them in terms of experience, leadership and discipline). A gander at the purchases made or pursued by Van Gaal makes it apparent that this is exactly what he will demand from his players this season (cue top light squad with only Rooney as a quality forward, the responsibility is much more on midfield to find match winners). In all probability before the transfer window closes Man Utd is going to bring in another striker who is a physical presence, can play with his back to the goal (thus bringing midfield into attack), and has good heading ability (open options for the wingers). Another cue to greater involvement for the midfield. It is the deeper lying midfield generals who in such a team control transformation from defense–to–attack, and vice versa, making sure shape and sharpness is maintained in attack as well as retreat.

So the question that comes up is that, in all its plethora of midfield players, does Arsenal have discipline or leaders to bring to fruition such contradictions. They seemed to have both in the latter part of last season. But then was it form that hid the truth underneath or actual class. With all due respect to our manager I fear it was the form. A “high point” event that has the ability to hide the cracks during good times only to expose them with greater brutally in down times. Who does Arsenal have to lead the midfield? Who is there with the ability to stare down any player, when he himself has his worst outing? Who has the ability to say Jack! You #&$% don’t rush ahead without an idea? Who can tell Ozil to loiter on someone else’s time, you may be the best no.10 for every coach but here we need you to be no.8 and no.7 also – at least to some extent? Who can tell Ramsey to stop pining for goals as he is not a striker, his main diet has to be assists with goals as glorious desserts? Who can keep our Gunners on ground when they want to fly, and pull them up when they want to bury themselves deep?

Sadly, far be it for me to utterly disavow that here, Mr Wenger may well be hiding the most wondrous secret in footballing world but, to us ordinary folks it seems that there is no one. And it does not seem like that anyone is any close to evolving into one. Leadership is fostered through discipline. For it is the discipline that prevents a player from yo–yo-ing between two extremes of his form in two games. A discipline prevents a player from having troughs and peaks in his career but have a consistency that every coach loves. A coach will any day of the week take a player who may not be brilliant but gives his coach the expected day–in and day–out without much deviation. It also fosters reliance in a team on such a player and from such a player. Unfortunately our Gunners are all exotic extremes – brilliant in one turn, hilarious in another and despairing still in another. So where would the leadership come from? Certainly not from a coach who believes that his players should be independent enough to solve their own problems on field. I wonder how abandoned Chambers felt when he was left to fend for himself on occasions at RB for the whole game, when it was apparent to everyone else that he needed some righteous intervention.

Result! The gunners have been, and shall be, exposed to fast breakaways and probing counter attacks when they are most disjointed and disoriented. As there are no midfield generals to whiplash some order in transition. It is not as if our players are a disciplined lot by themselves to take care of this. And Coquelin and Cazorla I’m afraid are not such a breed, nor is Ramsay or Wilshere (both liable to rush forth eyes widely twinkling expecting to bang a dozen past the keeper). It seems unlikely, at the moment, that Arsenal can grasp the tenuous concept of marrying watertight defense with its trademark innovation and inventiveness. But then we can always rely on miracles, and can certainly hope for them to deliver the league to us. After all that it the mark of true red & white Gooner.

Now lastly, on my remark that any time Arsenal now wins the league it would need something remarkable. This is so because our DNA has changed from the times of Vieira et al. I do believe that a football club has a DNA that dictates its behaviour especially under one coach. Results of DNA tinkering under different coaches, having different philosophies, over a small time frame are now being realized by everyone, thanks to live experiments on the subject being taken up with much gusto at Man Utd and Bayern (If the Bundesliga would have been as strong as BPL, it would have been very interesting to see travails of Bayern). Then there are such clubs that do not have an identifiable DNA owing to their history of never fostering coaching relationship for any notable time. Hence, lack of consistency a.k.a Real Madrid, Chelsea, Man City, Valencia, Inter et al. After about two decades with Mr Wenger we have a DNA. And it is NOT that of Champions. After losing so much and nearly all the games that matter, we have not been converted to “Seabiscuit”, who after being made to lose for too long in training other thoroughbreds, hankers for competition and will not take a loss when allowed to compete (kindly note reference is to alleged true story of American racing horse “Seabiscuit”). We seem to have become comfortable in losing whereof prospect of a win seems to make us uncomfortable. I don’t remember the last time we came back in a match against a top team. We seem to panic every time we go behind. We make most of our hay when we are shining in front. That is not the makings of Champions. Fortunately, contrary to real life, the DNA of a football club can change for the better through either infusion or evolution. I’m not sure that Mr Wenger, at least this year, is much of a believer in infusion and I’m certain this will not be the year of evolution. Which brings us back to hope in miracles.

COYG anyone knows any good carols for early Christmas?


Tags General Ramsey Wenger


        1. If you want to know how real trophys look like keep on watching the Cl like you have been doing till now. Or the epl.

    1. who are you people. How can 20 people give this a thumbs up??? Wenger has fail for TEN YEARS and isnt doin anything differently. How can you people be so optimistic.?!

  1. Holy Crap. That’s a long one. I appreciate the article but will read it fully when I have spare time.

    Just one more top striker and DM is all we need, however I’m 90% sure Wenger won’t get a. DM unfortunately.

    Wilshere, Welbeck and Rosicky all out. I would say Wenger needs to spend some money

    1. Some fans say we only need one more striker and a defensive midfielder and we can challenge. When one of Wengers detractors says the same it does not make sense. On one hand they are saying we can never win big again whilst Wenger is at helm, on the other hand they are saying another two players and we are capable. So which is it? you are contradicting yourselves or else you don’t really have an inkling and only know that you are mad.

      What would fit more in line with your opinions of Arsene Wenger would be if you were saying or replying that you are not bothered by the transfer market one iota because it doesn’t matter how many new faces arrive as Arsene is incapable of reaching the summit.

      So all you haters of the Frenchman, next time you are repeatedly bemoaning the transfer market maybe you should think twice about what your real thoughts are …and then maybe the rattle will stay in the pram.

      1. The way things are, I mainly believe we need just ONE thing to win major trophies: AN AMBITIOUS MANAGER!!!!

          1. Urm, which players, plz? We only have a few that can fight, but we need 2 or 3 more Sanchezes.

            1. Well kick ass, fair enough, your basically saying that you want Arsene to be more ambitious and proactive in the transfer market ..that’s ok.

              But my point was aimed more so at the fans who say something like Arsene is totally and utterly useless fact they say allot worse than that. Then at the same time they will say two more signings and we are favorites for the title, by saying that they are admitting that we are actually very close and thus Arsene must of put together a strong squad.

              They just don’t add up, the two polarizing opinions from the one individual. That’s what I meant about thinking twice on their real thoughts.

  2. The only miracle we will get will happen only when we sign a better striker than Giroud, and a DM.
    Until then… let’s just keep hoping.

    1. Guys, the founding fathers of Arsenal are angry. Until we appease them with major trophies, nothing wiLl go well; and in order to get those major trophies, we must sacrifice Arsene Wenger on the alter of AMBITION.

      1. Guys, just watch…if we win Sunday’s match (no matter how slim the margin), that will be the end of our transfer window… As Wenger will deceptively make many believe that we have our ‘mental strength’ and ‘team cohesion’ (his favorite words) back.

        It’s sad that our anticipated ‘unbeaten season’ never saw the light of day.

  3. Also sign Eva Carniero Please
    1. She is a caring, professional doctor who follows procedures
    2. She is a bit of a honey
    3. Piss with Mourinho’s mind.

    1. No way, if you thought our players wrere injury pronr now imagine what our team sheet would like if they new Eva was back there. Everyone would be getting injured, Wilshere, Ramsey, Keown, Gazidis, the statue of Henry, Wegner’s bubble jacket

  4. Hey Admin, When is the site gonna get some upgrades? The look has gone a bit stale and the articles have been getting worse and worse.

  5. Good article in some respects but to say that Real Madrid or Chelsea don’t have an identity fue to their lack of long standing coaching relationships is myopic. Real Madrid are the biggest football team on the planet bar none. You may be a younger fan but Madrid weren’t always a trigger happy club, the likes of Miguel Munoz made Madrid into the closest thing to a gentleman’s club with immense pride in their team. The term “Galactico” isn’t just a namesake.

    As for Chelsea they have an identity, it might not be entirely positive but since their Uefa Cup win in the late 90s up to Abramovic buying them to their union with Mourinho Chelsea have always been the perennial underachievers. I don’t know if you were around then but Chelsea were a little better than what Spurs are today and since their first stint with Mourinho Chelsea have very much an identity with both positive and negative aspects.

    Embracing the dark arts, theatrical, underhand to most of the outside world but very much an “us against the world” mentality, so much so that they’ve gotten through matches through sheer force of will and belief than superior footballing ability. They never really became an “un – Mourinho” team even long after he left.

    As for Arsenal contrary to the very concept of DNA I believe it’s created, not something you have or don’t. Arsenal need to simply get to the point where they never ever back down and that starts with our home record. For a lack of better comparison we need to be like Chelsea in that regard. When you look at Chelsea’s home record since Mourinho returned it’s begrudgingly admirable. 2 seasons in the league and only 1 team has ever won their, moreover only 1 team has ever scored more than 1 goal. THAT is what Arsenal need to turn the Emirates into.

    Every player needs to gt that insatiable hunger for winning, at Stoke, at the Nou Camp, at Stamford Bridge and at worst take a draw. That desire is forged in the dressing room.

    Arsenal can create than DNA, if they want it badly enough

  6. Speaking off us not having the champion dna i do agree a lot with,

    to make it simpel for some who cant get it right at times, yes the Akb dont need t read this as they havent found the way out of Wenger ass yet, but nevermind them.

    Poor board>Poor manager>Poor players>poor fans= Arsenal.

    -If we had a main shareholder who is serious for the club, like the russian chelsea guy, he would force the manager to deliver.

    -If we had a good manager he would force his players to deliver.

    -If we had good players they would force the fans to spend a little bit more for the club in generally.

    Arsenal is weak at every side, Wenger does not want to sepnd bec he, like some stars have proved before, cant hande to coach stars. He can manage only to work with kids, and if the kids become adults they leave him bec they are tired of him.

    As long as Arsenal doesnt get serious and ruthles this club willl never become great. We are way closer of being a second Spurs then we can hope to emulate the big ones.

    Manure>Liverpool>Chelsea>Arsenal>City will son top us aswell.

    this season leauge standings will be like this. City champions>Chelsea>Manure>Arsenal


  7. DNA is some genetic thing … Or problem stems from the warped mentality of a manager who can’t face up to his own history … 8 years of success followed by a decade of failure … Do I understand we have sold Campbell to Palermo to replace dyabala who left for juve but is exactly the kind of player we needed and would have been a massive upgrade…. That kind of incompetence should b enough to send the board packing

  8. Most of us don’t have the patience to see the wisdom of Wenger’s moves (or lack of them), myself included, but more often than not he’s usually right. Are some “fans” seriously giving up our title chances after a game??? We have a great team, better than man u, liverpool, spurs, and we will compete with city and chelsea … Last game was a terrible start, but in reality, we didn’t play horribly, we just got a couple of BIG punches quickly, and we just couldn’t respond, but what a wake up call, I believe the current players will respond big time, and I believe Wenger has a huge signing up his sleeve, he’s got that sly smile, but we gonna have to wait another couple of weeks unfortunately …

    1. We only had a title chance with current squad in the bizarro world of wenger and his dilusional followers … We needed 3 quality signings to really compete but an attacking option and DM would have upped the odds …so what did he do? brought in a gk and a bunch of school kids … We didn’t play horribly … My god you gave really been downing the wenger kool aid … We were utterly shite … Up his sleeve … Please

  9. yes we could really do with a couple of obvious signings.
    However we have depth in the sqaud and quality players, (some weak points such as Per who i continue to pick on!).
    We are an extremely talented bunch of kids who are soft largely, (Coquelin and Jack are exceptions).
    When we went one goal down heads dropped and the moping began.
    Can you imagine Ferguson putting up with that attitude at MU during his tenure?
    I want to see one or more players rallying the troops and using the frustration and adrenaline to turn the game around and up their game workrate, currently we dont appear to have a leader with a voice, not one!
    When Arteta is on the pitch at least he comminicates.
    The only talking we seem to do is post match – ‘this loss will good for us’ kind of thing 🙁
    A few players need a gentle size 9 up their jacksies!

  10. OT: I understand the reasoning behind Wenger keeping his cards close to his chest regarding players with the price hikes and all, but why is it when other clubs want a player the go and get them even after making it public knowledge? So frustrated still and the FA CUP is no longer enough. A team that inspires to be champions should have that mentality, on the pitch and more importantly off it as well. Now to say we do not have the DNA to win is simply because we have the weakest mentality of all the so call contenders…

  11. Just read the article again, a good read and spot on!
    I understand Per is the boss around L Colney and suring training but where is this during a match?
    As you say he is limited in how much he can discipline/chastize players when he probably knows sub consiouly that he is weak or maybe at fault himself.
    I do remember Per screaming at Ozil when he started to walk off the pitch without clapping the fans, I loved this passion but we’ve not seen it for a while and it needs to be shown during games before the slip away from us, (and not just when we go behind).

  12. Maybe they should all have an afternoon in a boxing ring? rough each other up gently, come on get angry, GET ANGRY!! 🙂

  13. Wenger out. Time for a change.What’s the matter with you Wenger fans, don’t you want to win the league? The king is dead,long live the king.
    He’s p*ssing about in the transfer market like he did when we were supposed to be skint Ha!.
    Pension him off. ‘New broom needed the old one is worn out.

  14. look wenger has done so much for the club so I wont abuse him but i know one thing that till wenger is there we aint gonna win PL, let alone UCL.
    two seasons back we were on the brink of winning title but he didnt strengthen in jan and we finished 4th.
    last season we should had finished 2nd but we didnt !!!
    players need motivation, players like giroud ozil ramsey santi when fit simply walk into the team, that is not good good for the team each and every one shd perform to the best in order to retain his spot. jose had oscar still he bought fabregas. If he was a manager at chelsea or man uni or mancity he would have been sacked after 2 seasons if he hadnt won PL trophy.
    look at pelligreni he won PL twice last year man city were 2nd still his job was in danger
    and just bcuz another world class coach was not available man city kept him. They have already made contact with pep as rumours say. i dun expect arsenal to win PL, i just watch and support it for the beautiful football they play !!!

  15. We could easily be 6 points behind man utd come 4 o’clock Sunday …. If that is case I just hope wenger’ will do the honorable thing and shuffle off back to Monaco and enjoy the fruits of his 50 million quids worth of salary over a decade in which the club has consolidated its place in the second tier of european football

  16. When a team lacks the right mentality to win big, when a team does not have the mindset of champions or as this article says does not have the DNA of champions its all an indication of one thing and it all points in one direction, the manager of the team lacks the right set. That Arsenal has lost its champion minset is all bcos Wenger has lost it as well. Gradually, over the past decade Wenger has lost what it takes to inspire a team to greatness. Whenever, it matters most Wenger has failed to lift the team to make the difference. And thats why some of us continue to say that Arsenal cannot win the EPL again or the UCL as long as Wenger remains manager. The man has simply lost what it takes.

  17. I do not even need to read the headline hit the nail on the head.However i believe we used to have that DNA but since we started using some average players a lot the DNA is gone.

  18. Nice Article,
    It makes a nice change to read something written by an educated person ??

    Arsenal fc’s DNA changed when David Dein left the Club,
    The winning mentality was overtaken by the mentality to earn big bucks.

    The desire to make millions is far more important to the club than winning trophies,

    Okay .. the last two years have seen the club spend big money on Ozil and Sanchez but thats your lot!
    SO Don’t expect to see any more signings over 20 – 25 million for a while.
    alot of player’s have been loaned out and sold,
    which obviously has reduced the size of our squad and a few more could be leaving, yet we have only signed one old boy reject keeper from our enemy and two teenagers.

    So who’s gonna get to rest in between the big games and mickey mouse cup games?
    Our squad is starting to look as thin as wenger again.

    I think the Palace game will decide whether wenger will reach for the cheque book or not!

  19. Arsenal can not win the prem with out worthy additions. Asking and praying on players to fight harder is like asking a brick wall to move. You cannot ask players to play better than their ability. Our team is a pick and mix. Some are good but most still lack. I like every player on arsenal team but the truth is many are not good enough to win prem. I like giroud but he is not good enough.
    I like Walcott but he is not good enough as cf.
    I like welbeck but he is not good enough. Sanogo is wack so forget him. What can we do but wait till wenger resign thank God not too long now

  20. Excellent article,one of the best here for a long while…the bitter truth is,we don’t seem ready quite yet to end our epl trophy drought until Wenger,the board and also the players decide that they WANT IT BADLY.

  21. I think Rambo should simply play backup to Ozil. He really slowed the game against west Ham wanting to take on 3 players when he doesn’t have the skill to do so thereby loosing possession.
    Wenger also said the players were nervous against West Ham which is an indictment on the mentality and title ambitions of Wenger and the players. How can you be nervous when:

    1, You are playing at home

    2, We have not lost to West Ham for God knows how many games.

    3, We have the better players in terms of quality.

    Wenger bottled the game by refusing to start the game with the pacy players we have……more like underestimating West Ham and we paid the price.

  22. Whatever the writer’s motives the article is more speculative than objective. Hence I will take it with a pinch of great salt! First there was this group which was always singing that Arsenal will never win anything with Wenger; now that Arsenal has won FA And community shield back to back the goal posts have been shifted to not winning the EPL. When Arsenal wins EPL the excuse will be not winning CL and if that is won the armchair critics might come up with something likeit is not good for a manager to be at a club for too long! Anyway it is true Arsenal lost the opening game which is 3 points like any other game and the reason seems to have been complacency! Arsenal had just beaten Chelsea to lift the community shieldy so the players imagined West Ham would just be a walkover as is always the case.There was also that macho feeling after beating their chief nemesis Mourinho for the first time. Perhaps the defeat was a blessing in disguise because it is the beginning of the season and Arsenal players have learnt their lesson! They will never underrate any team again this season. Unlike many observers I look at this as a great opportunity because our players now know that no team can be taken for granted and that any team can win any game if it is determined and focused. I don’t think our players have all of a sudden become hopeless. What happened was a one off and a useful lesson for the team. They will overcome it and go on to win many games.

  23. Don’t worry everyone!! We can win the title if we have no nagging injuries! Oh wait… we’re in week 2 and we’ve already started with our usual pattern.

    We need a quality player soon. I want two but my expectations are lowering considerably due to Wenger’s penny-pinching past.

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