Has Wenger blown his last chance to move Arsenal forward?

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.



  1. Tareala says:

    The fact is Wenger has outlive his relevance on Arsenal being a title challenging team. A manager that can instill that winning mentality on the players is what we need

    1. DDK says:

      The fact is that this season was always going to be Chelsea’s to lose. With a squad like theirs combined with a lack of midweek football meant that they must have been the favourites when the season got underway.

      They have thus far lived up to that billing and as such, being 8 points behind them doesn’t surprise me, that didn’t stop us from giving them a 3-0 hiding earlier in the season however. Something that you conveniently left out, I suppose we just got lucky that day. With the squads and managers involved this season, as predicted it is the most competitive season in recent memory. Our opposition have a few tough fixtures coming up so before you know it we could be 2nd. We have had 1 bad week this season and every club goes through a patch, as long as that remains our only patch we will be in the mix come the end of the season, as we always are.

      As for Wenger’s ability to motivate. Mourinho was so appalling last season that he got fired, had a slow start this season and now Man U are on a winning streak. So can he or can’t he motivate? It isn’t as simple as to ping a disappointing result on a managers ability to motivate players.

      In reference to the Man City game, are you referring to the two offside “too easy goals” ? To go and play an expansive game away against Man City is suicide and reminds me of a time not so long ago that we would play an expansive game away against our biggest rivals and be on the receiving end of a 6 or 8 goal spanking.

      We keep deadwood around for the sake of depth, we are constantly injury plagued and a top class player isn’t going to be happy as a 2nd or 3rd option. These players don’t break bank and rarely cost you games. They are rainy day players, Monreal was good last season, Gabriel hasn’t received a proper run and Walcott is having his best season in ages, I therefore question your deadwood criteria. You complain about deadwood, but then you give no credit for Ozil, Sanchez, Henry, Van Persie, Bellerin, Bergkamp in fact a list that is too long to mention.

      Wenger leaves then Ozil leaves, Ozil leaves then Sanchez leaves. Good luck with that strategy. Ozil has played at the top level with Real and Germany and if a player of his caliber only wants to remain with the club if Wenger is there that tells me something. If a world class player on the inside feels that way then it suggests to me that Arsene isn’t the primary cause of the headaches we experience at AFC, and maybe, just maybe, he knows more than we do about how to run a football club.

      1. Juhi McLovin says:

        Well we don’t know for a fact if Sanchez would leave because his mate is leaving. Besides, if Özil’s stay is based on if Wenger will sign, then good riddance. I want the players playing for Arsenal, playing for ARSENAL, not for ARSENE.

        Wenger is the oldest and most experienced manager in Premier League, maybe even in all top European leagues. Why is it that we haven’t challenged for the title in a decade? The game has changed drastically, but Wenger hasn’t.

      2. Ozzy AFC says:

        Thats NOT strictly speaking what Ozil has said though is it?
        He has stated that he wants to see what happens, that could mean in fact the reverse of your theory. Certainly whatever the way he goes its clear that whats going on is NOT working and hasnt been for a number of years

      3. Big Gun says:

        Wenger’s inability to motivate has been going on for years, not just one season. A few seasons back I honestly thought it was because we simply didn’t have a good enough squad for obvious reasons, so I supported Wenger as we were still achieving top four and two consecutive F.A Cups. But there are just no more excuses, we have had plenty money to make our squad very competitive, and fair enough, we have bought some top players (Sanchez, Cech, Ozil, Mustafi) BUT this is only more of a reason as to why the problem is 100% the manager.

        The biggest clue is Wenger’s blaming the schedule as to why his players are fatigued and why we have had such poor starts to games. Why is it then that at half time, we suddenly come back to life and score two or three goals to equalize? There was never a fatigue problem to begin with! If we can do this halfway in the game, why can we not just play like this from the first whistle??? Boggles my mind. The only thing our players are lacking is the killer instinct of which 80% should be the job of the manager/coach to instill in them.

        Cannot agree more with this article. Arsenal have been pretenders for years, and all the good managers know exactly how to beat us. Wenger needs to leave for better or worse. Bring a top manager in to replace him and Sanchez, Ozil will stay. Simple.

      4. Isahsym says:

        An analogue manager can’t succeed in a digital era. Let’s just admit Wenger at best can lead us to 6th this season. Let the so called best players leave, we’ll still qualify for europa

      5. Jansen says:

        DDK – I love Ozil and think he is a fantastic player when the team is playing well. When we are not playing well he can become a bit of a liability.

        I am not sure if he would get the same protection and leniency for his lack of defending and disappearing acts in tough games from Conte, Mourinho or Klopp. Ozil has it good at Arsenal, Wenger loves him and doesn’t demand too much of him.

        Ozil wanting to stay with Wenger tells me more about Wenger’s lenient management style than about Ozil’s believe Wenger will help him win the PL next season.

  2. bran99 says:

    The article is spot on, I personally don’t see Wenger doing anything peculiar to win EPL title or UCL. his days are long gone and now he just collects his fat pension without so much pressure to win anything. and when he wins something (FA cup) he is rewarded some more years of easy pension accumulation to his account with no major titles in return

  3. Break-on-through says:

    If the Invincibles and before weren’t so great, by the sounds of this you could’ve said Grimandi Parlour and Wiltord were deadwood. They weren’t anything special, just decent squad players that a team needs. You have some foresight dude, Monreal was the leagues best right back, but how you predicted his downfall is amazing, great foresight.

  4. Franko says:

    Wenger should have built on his success with the invincible team. What kind of players made Arsenal invincible? He had a strong defense, a steel in midfield, a creative number 10 and pacy and skillful forwards the like of Ljungberg, Henry and Pires. These front three had loads of goals and assists in them. Wenger should have been replicating this formula over the years and Arsenal would still be winning the EPL. No player should play for Arsenal and be lazy to do his job properly at all times.

    This was exactly how Sir Alex Ferguson was able to achieve success for Man United. He was always replacing and buying like for like in the different positions that needed strengthening and sometimes better players too.

    1. bran99 says:

      agreed. that team had all the ingredients a best team could have, too bad they couldn’t win the UCL but we could see a complete team in that squad. but now we have the likes of Ramsey while we had Vieira at that time. lazy Ozil while we had DB10, OG while we had the king.. and so forth.. yet still we expect theteam to perform like the invincible? in our dreams

      1. Big Gun says:

        On the flipside, Bergkamp was bought before Wenger became manager. Henry was a nobody and actually wasn’t that good when he joined Arsenal. I remember his first few games his control was poor. Yet he DEVELOPED into one of the best strikers the world has ever seen. Was this foresight from Wenger or just sheer luck? He obviously saw potential in him, but I think we were more lucky than anything else how Henry turned out. Viera was already a good solid player. So what I’m saying is that we had the blessing of being able to acquire these players for next to nothing and see them become TOP players. This is where David Dein was so important. He was crucial in bringing these players in and I believe this is one of the reasons why Arsenal simply have not progressed as much as we should have in the last decade. Since he left, it has been a hit and miss for Wenger (more a miss) concerning developing players. All our best players we have right now, we bought for top dollar.

  5. Ozzy AFC says:

    Its the same old, same old season in and season out and whilst the article is spot on with what SHOULD ahppen, the question as to if it WILL happen is another matter entirely.
    It as clear as crystal that the board have given Wenger his instructions and they are to make 4th spot, make a profit, dont spend too expansively and….keep your mouth shut!!!!!.
    OK we all know that clubs should tun in the black rather than in the red and a sensible fiancial policy will allow the club to endure, however to charge the most exhorbitant ticket prices in the whole of europe and to constantly lie and sceme your way OUT of spending the big money thats required to bring in the players that would win us trophies is abhorrent and should be questioned at every level by supporters groups and the common fans.
    Wenger is paid the highest salary of ANY PL manager yet time and time again fails to deliver the goods, does any one truly believe that a club as well run and strictly controlled as Arsenal would allow this to happen if it was’nt the boards policy? Stay in the black, keep the Arsenal name in the elite clubs list and above all else make a huge profit.
    What has happend to the huge influx of cash the club recieved as part of the BT sports deal? why? when the 80 million warchest is never fully spent , why is the excess not added to the supposed “warchest” for the following season? if we are constantly in pprofit then why does the money need to be moved about?
    I could go on and on… the point Im trying to make is that the board and through thier mouth piece Wenger are hoodwinking us to th enth degree. We are a club who CAN afford to spend 50 million of a players who has now turned into one of the most ferocious strikers in the world, (Suraez) yet we make an offer that is both insulting and rediculous and we loose any chance of EVER buying anyone from Liverpool ever again. This was after we were supposed to in with Higuian and we let him drift off, instead we Buy in the likes of Wellbeck and Perez who whilst they are good enough Squad players niether will set the world alight. Its all a well put together smoke and mirrors sham. Why for example spend 17 million on Perez and 16 million on the afore mentioned strikers when we COULD have had a pproven world class striker like for example Lewendowski if we had added another 30 million to that sum, and believe me when could afford that. Will Welbeck ever be the 30 goals a season stiker we need? will Perez? or are they purchases to keep the fans quiet yet again? Ask yourself how many asian and oriental players have we spend money on ONLY for them to then dissapear without tracewhen the Asian shirt sales stunt dies sown? We are lied to constantly by a manager struggling to come up with new excuses, and I notice earlier comments mentioning the “Offside Goals” at the city game, Yes they were offside but we have to legislate for this type of thing as does EVERY OTHER TEAM, blaming the ref for EVERY failure is just not working anymore.
    Wenger Hasnt “Blown his last chance of winning anything because he NEVER had the chance, Im almost certain that the attitude is dont aim too high (PL victory) because the fans expectations will be boosted (CL Victory) and that type of achievement costs money, BIG money and that is something that scares the Silver spooned, Merchant banking, elitist board more than ANYTHING ELSE on the planet( perhaps only eclipsed by the thought of a shady Uzbek millionaire owning the club). We are no loner a “Football club” we are a “sporting business” and our aims are NOT to win glory or accolade in the sport we play in but to make money for the gilded elite at the top.
    We need to all face up to the fact that as a club we are NOT going to win anything of real note all the time this situation is in place. Regardless of our individual opinions on players and who is good and bad, we just dont have all the key ingrediants any more.

    1. leo...fourteen says:

      hey mate, whenever I watch hw one man or a group of stupid individuals sit back and care less about the emotions of loyal fans it goes to show how heartless humans can be…imagine the fact that the fans pay higher than both Madrid and barca fans who are entertained by the likes of messi, Ronaldo, bale, neymar, suarez and ramos…while we pay to watch skillless players like giroud, ramsey,…imagine the fact that the likes of sanogo is still on the paylist…how does that show ambition, I’d say arsenal has been before wenger and the board themselves..aren’t we tired of all this rubbish..we are a stagnant club and winning just 1 or 3 matches doesn’t diminish that fact instantly

  6. Jansen says:

    I will always be an Arsenal fan, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that my excitement about our future and “next season” has diminished year after year over the last seasons.

    To my mind, it seems silly for me to expect a different outcome as long as Wenger is in charge.

    Even if we have to start from scratch and lose Ozil and Sanchez which is likely to happen anyway, Sanchez wants to win trophies, I would be more excited and curious about our future under a new manager.

    I fully expect us to finish outside the top 4 places this season and that might be as good a time as ever to thank Mr Wenger and to start the (long) rebuilding process towards a new future. I expect like Liverpool and Man U that we would struggle for several seasons after Wenger leaves but we have to accept that and enjoy watching the painful process of rebuilding our team.

    Although it would not be consistent with how the club is managed at the moment, always appearing to be reactive rather than proactive, but I would love to see Simeone as our manager. He can raise a squad above the sum of its components, something we will need if we don’t have CL football.

  7. marty53 says:

    To my mind Wenger never really replaced Viera and Van Persie adequately, which was a mistake. When they left we needed to buy like for like to show everybody the intent was there to move forward. Especially Viera as he was the enforcer in midfield that you need.

    1. Jansen says:

      Did we replace Cesc?

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