Have Wenger and Arsenal lost their “ruthless streak”

As a club – fans and management, do we have the winning culture? Are we casting aside the winning culture?‏ by Usmanov

Our poor form in recent weeks is no news. The fact we’ve always had periods like these in the past decade or so is not strange either. But what I find rather disturbing is the tone of some in the fanbase! And even more so recent statements from Arsene Wenger himself. And it has got me seriously thinking that maybe we as a club haven’t in our collective subconscious decided exactly whether or not we want to be a winning club.

To understand what I’m speaking of, take as recent examples top clubs like Barcelona. Despite all of their success; despite all of the talent they have at their disposal, they still seem to want to win more than we do. I don’t necessarily think all of it is down to individual quality of the players or even the quality of the coaching; it’s a mentality they have and have especially had since Guardiola took charge. It’s a culture. It’s similar to the culture Man United used to have under Alex Ferguson. It’s a basic refusal to accept anything other than winning, a ruthless streak that shines through in every thing they do at the club.

At Arsenal, perhaps we’ve always felt for one reason or another that ‘this is not our year, but next year can be better’. I think it started in the project youth era, where we counted on our players maturing and becoming a cohesive unit. We said: ‘sure Chelsea are winning trophies and buying top talent now, but our players will be at their level soon’. It never quite happened. Those same promising youth players, instead of maturing into the top class stars we hoped for in our fold, mostly either wandered to greener pastures or were put out to pasture. But that “wait and see” mentality has permeated itself into the squad so deeply now that we seem to be unable to be free of it, even though the squad is now mostly comprised of seasoned campaigners..

Take for example this season. We started as the most stable team. We had the most experienced manager in the league managing an unchanged squad (except for the Cech upgrade). Add to that we had spare cash to spend on re-enforcement if we wanted to. Still, we seem to be saying ‘this is not our year, maybe next year will be better’. In past years there have been many contributing factors to our underachievement; a terrible misfortune (and/or mismanagement) with injuries, the rise of super clubs, our limited budget, etc. But now those factors are mitigated and still that flaccid mentality still permeates the club and everything it does football wise. That mentality must change!

I thought it would change with the FA cup wins, or perhaps the arrival of players like Ozil, Alexis and Cech; but it hasn’t been enough to turn the tide. The man at the top has to do more to instill a ruthless hunger for wins into these players, a hunger I’ve no doubt he has himself but maybe has become more of a steady simmer than a rolling boil down the years. The Arsene of the 1990′s, who was a groundbreaker in Japanese football, and who first came to England as a bespectacled foreign revolutionary; that Arsene is still in him, but there is now doubt.. it’s a more measured, more tame and more habit driven Arsene than he was in his youth. I wonder how he views himself now? Does he now enjoy coaching more than winning? Has he for some time now? Arsene must awaken the beast within, the monster that first drove him into the types of crazy risks he took in his youth. Without being paired with a fierce, jealous and impulsive will to win, I fear his measured and fatherly approach will not reap the dividends that the increasing expectations around the club now demand.

Does he still have the fire in him? That is the biggest question surrounding the club in 2016. Arsene’s answer to a press question tantamount to that was definitive: ‘Yes, I am motivated and no I will not quit’. But there is little else a manager can say with two months remaining in the campaign and some of the performances certainly don’t reflect that inner fire. Let us do as Arsene asks and judge him at the end of the season.

Maybe it’s just this one season, a season during which all the major powers have fallen flat on their faces at the same time. The same questions are being asked of every single manager around the league, even arch-pragmatists and serial trophy winners like Van Gaal and Mourinho, the latter of whom saw the axe before mid-season and the former of whom will likely see the axe as soon as it concludes. So, yeah, maybe it’s not just Arsene. But he is the man primarily responsible for how the team performs on the pitch and if the team maintains its current abysmal form through the end of the season then his job should rightfully be in jeopardy.


Tags Wenger


  1. Dont worry
    We will sign danny welbeck jack wilshere and santi cazorla for next season.
    Imagine this.

    Guardiola has
    sagna otamendi kompany clichy
    fernandinho gundogan
    de bruyne silva sterling

    Mou has
    de gea
    valencia smalling jones shaw blind schweinsteiger
    young mata depay

    conte has
    ivanovic zouma cahill azpilicueta
    matic fabregas
    willian oscar hazard

    pochettino has
    walker alderwield vertonghen rose
    dier alli
    lamela bentaleb ericksen

    klopp has
    clyne skrtel sakho gomez
    leiva can
    lallana coutinho firmino

    Wenger has.
    bellerin mertz kos monreal.
    coquelin cazorla
    ramsey ozil sanchez

    Highly competitive

    1. This summer transfer window will decide who wins the league next year.

      We have an opportunity. We must have massive transfer budget given that we didn’t buy anyone other than Cech last year, and he was cheap. Not to mention the new mega tv deal kicks in next season, so we’ll have more revenues from there too. Whether or not we spend the money is a different matter… Plus Chelsea and either Man Utd or Man City won’t be in the champions league next year. That gives us an advantage in attracting players too.

      Next season is the last year in Wenger’s contract, and I get the feeling he’ll retire then. Hopefully he really goes for it this summer knowing it’s his last shot at another league title, but I doubt he will. Most likely Man City just spend another £200mil and walk it and we end up scrapping for fourth as usual.

      1. wenger: no, no, we must look for internal solution.

        in zis society, we always vant to buy and buy. it is better to grow.

  2. Sorry I meant klopp has
    clyne skrtel sakho moreno
    henderson milner
    lallana coutinho ibe

  3. OT:
    People harping on about how England came back in the last night’s match like the lions that they are. Hold on to you horses fellas! It was a friendly. And I could see that Germany were never even bothered to go above second gear. I could see how they just wanted to have a gala time on the pitch because I’ve seen the same set of players rip the best teams (Brazil) apart like thermocol packaging! England players need to show desire, fight and character when the stage is set. Really enjoyed the match though!

  4. Just looked at Spurs’ remaining fixtures. I still think we’ll finish above them. Does that satisfy me? No, but finishing above them is still vital for us.

  5. Reports that we’re in talks with Xhaka with a deal almost certain, now I’m reading that we sent scouts to watch William Carvalho at Portugal’s recent game against Bulgaria. Could this all be true? Been let down soooo many times with these claims but yet I find myself getting excited all over again. Sucker for Arsenal news and rumored improvement.

  6. Wenger: Walcott’s best is yet to come! Lol I love Wenger as a man but he makes me laugh sometimes. 10 years and still waiting man, what do you see at London Colney that we don’t?

  7. According to Piers Morgan,
    He has inside information that Wenger will be offered a new 3 year contract extension.?

    1. I don’t believe it. but if it is true, then the fans should protest vigorously. if we don’t win the EPL, then the fans should make there voice heard. A single voice. Which is WENGER OUT.

  8. Wenger is deluded. He can’t win the Champions league. He no longer knows how to win the EPL. Give this squad to Bilic. Sign Gonzalo Higuan, Victor Wanyama. We all should have something in common. And that is, if Arsenal does not win the EPL come May, then Wenger should go. No EPL title then the man should step down or be sacked and replaced. Bilic will do a better job. We are Arsenal. we won’t go the way of United post Wenger. We should lose the fear. Wenger out.

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