Adam Kemp – Arsene, I know many things that you don’t know – or that you ignore!
Arsene Wenger irritably shielded his judgement to start David Ospina over Petr Cech in Arsenal’s ‘shock’ defeat at home to Olympiakos, which has risked their hopes of qualification to the last 16, stating it would be a “farce” to blame the culpable Columbian. I mean the goalkeeper only came for a routine cross and somehow managed to fumble the ball into his own net. I am sure Petr Cech needed to be rested due to all the running he had done in the previous match, getting up and down that pitch, taking its toll on the dynamic box to box goalkeeper! Yeah, right! Arsene Wenger’s arrogance and complacency is what has killed Arsenal’s chances of progression to the knockout stages. I said it five years ago, and I’ll say it again, Wenger Out!
I think it is unanimous that the fans are frustrated at the clear lack of progression from a so called big club. Arsenal are now in an exceptional financial position with increased turnover, increased profits, cash reserves quotes in excess of £200 million and limited borrowing. According to Forbes, Arsenal are valued in excess of £1 billion, making it one of the world’s most valuable football teams. So with this financial muscle and a manager with a solid early track record, why is the club still clearly a level behind the elite trio of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich? The blame is firmly down to the manager and he is given the freedom to fail. Say what you will about Jose Mourinho, but his most recent comments are spot on!
Arsene Wenger will always be due respect for the way he revolutionised the English game. Between 1998 and 2006, the team played exceptional football. His previous teams were so good, you pretty much knew if you played teams with the calibre of Zagreb and Olympiakos, nothing but a win was on the cards. Nowadays Arsenal fans look at these games with a sense of hope that the team will turn up. As when Arsenal turn up we win these games. When Arsenal have an off day we have it is us to implode and make plenty of errors. The Olympiakos and Zagreb games are no one off. Cast your eyes back to West Ham at home, Aston Villa at home, Bradford away and Monaco at home; as but a few examples of losing to opposition ‘on paper’ we should comfortably beat.
But then Arsenal can go away to Bayern Munich and win, go away to Manchester City and Manchester United and win! This cyclical inconsistency is somewhat tormenting for our fans. Arsenal seem to be able to play well when there is less pressure or little to play for. They crumble when the going gets tough and have no real leaders on the pitch. What is frustrating is that arguably they now have several world class players: Sanchez, Ozil, Cech, Cazorla and Koscielny are arguably at the elite level. The club also has technically gifted players in the mold of Ramsey, Wilshere, Walcott and Giroud to name but a few. They have a great squad with some exceptional youth players to come through in the coming seasons. Individually the players are all great players, but the problem is the similarities in their qualities.
Arsenal in my opinion are possibly two to three players away from having the complete team. I would argue another centre back with the same quality as Koscielny, another ball winning midfielder to complement the outstanding Coquelin and a truly world class striker. I know there aren’t too many players out there better than Giroud and Walcott in that position, who are realistically available. But rest assured there are players out there who could improve the spine of this team! The problem is the manager has no conviction on who to buy. He flatters to assert himself in the transfer market and feels that he cannot pay over the odds for the quality of the player. Simply having Joel Campbell still in the team shows how flawed our transfer policy is!
When Arsene decides to retire, due to his untouchable status with the board, the new manager coming in has the resources to take Arsenal back to their previous level. What is so frustrating is that you would hope the stubbornness of the current boss, could be altered in his final years to give something back to the fans. He is fast becoming a ‘farce’ in his own right. He is incredibly deluded and season after season we see the same mistakes resurfacing, over and over again. How on earth the manager could not find one single outfield player in the summer transfer window, is just incomprehensible. We are set for another season where we a likely to face an earlier exit from the Champions League, probably scrape into the top four and may have a decent cup run.
This home defeat to Olympiakos will have far greater ramifications for the season. With Bayern Munich coming to the Emirates next there is no room for error, and no room for rotation. Quite why Petr Cech has yet to play for Arsenal in the Champions League is baffling, but resting this world class goalkeeper for the first two group games has spectacularly failed.