My view on Wenger’s reign by S Vernon
For almost two decades Arsenal have been privileged to have Arsene Wenger as one of the leading figures in the world of football. He has achieved unrivalled premier league success and been successful almost to the point of perfection… A manager that managed great players, managed great victories and great unbeaten seasons…. For ONE decade of the 20….at least
What made him great…
Throughout the history of the game you can pinpoint certain teams and certain managers that had a ‘winning formula’ from Bob Paisley with Liverpool to Alex Ferguson and Man Utd, Brian Clough and Nottingham Forest, to Jose Mourinho and his multi national winning teams. The players had a belief and also a belief in their manager.. They trusted him – he trusted them..and so our dear Wenger had mastered that formula just after he arrived in 1996.
What do great managers understand …? Great managers understand..that..
‘Great teams’ have great defenders and for Wenger’s first few years in charge he had arguably one of the best in Tony Adams along with Keown, Winterburn, Dixon & Bould, Backed up by one of the best goalkeepers in the world, the spine was solid, the belief was inherent and the good times rolled..
I can still hear Martin Tyler’s voice ..03/05/1998 when we beat Everton 4-0 on the final day of the season, Tony Adams waltzing forward and continued up the pitch wondering if his mate Bould would pass .. then and half volleying our 4th to a screech from Tyler.. “Would you believe it..!?!?” “That sums it all up..”! It had all the hallmarks of a Hollywood fairytale, the ugly beast who put his head where you wouldn’t put your foot (a true legend a warrior with balls of steel – someone you wanted in the trenches) topped off a magnificent season..
Wenger’s philosophy and understanding of world football and culture gave him the upper hand in fitness and psychology that allowed him to gain some advantages in his early seasons and which culminated in the perfect unbeaten season of 2003-2004
The last time Arsenal won the Premier league was the 2003-2004 season !
David Dein was at Arsenal from ..around 1983-84 to around 2006-2007
He was instrumental in the signings- Vieira, Petit, Overmars, Henry, Suker, Pires, Campbell Clichy, Toure, Fabregas and van Persie.. Great players…
Most managers are guilty of signing the odd Chamakh or Park or Santos etc.. So even if you average the dross from the moss Wenger’s signings, or should I say Dein’s signings, haven’t been that bad..
The Premier league conundrum
If we take a look at the previous winners of the premier league you realise just how hard it is to win .. From 1992 until the present day only 5 different teams have triumphed mainly dominated by the team in red from Manchester – Premier league winners are as follows :
Man U 13
Arsenal 3 runners up 4 times
Man city 2
So we have won it thrice in 22 years and Wenger and the board think that’s acceptable???
Stan Kroenke joined the Arsenal board in 2008 we have won 1 trophy in that time up until now.
Abramovich took charge of Chelsea in 2003 – they have won 11 trophy’s including the CL !!
What did Arsene Wenger say after celebrating 15 years in charge of the club in 2011 after enduring one of the most testing spells of his tenure.
He said: “To stay at the top, top level we have to stay united. (Does this mean, don’t sell Nasri, Clichy, Fabregas and van Persie to anyone) or allow Song, Vieira, Henry, Anelka etc to dictate also..?
Wenger went on.. “That does not mean not I am not to be criticised, or the board – we accept that, but we have to show to the outside we are united. If you are not, then you have no chance.” (Why are we never allowed to criticise without being labelled ungrateful?)
He added: “I believe the values we defend are highly defendable.
“We want to do things with class and be very brave. Courage is a quality I admire, because it is highly needed in the modern world.” (The team show little courage and if Mertesackers brave, god help the meek!)
“I can see a lot of fear and discontent among you – (too right!) and I can understand that because we live in a world where we fight with people who have extremely high resources. (Kroenke is richer than the queen so why can’t we compete or can we….. is it just our stubborn manager won’t?)
“We can compete by trying to be intelligent (goal keepers with intelligence don’t behave like arrogant headless chickens) and to be united, because football is very difficult to be consistent and we have been more consistent than anybody in the world in the last 15 years.”
(Who on earth was Wenger trying to fool?) Fourth place and finishing 20 odd points from top isn’t consistent – it’s embarrassing for a club that is supposed to be challenging year in year out! Good managers don’t become bad managers overnight – he’s become bad over 9 yrs- and getting worse!
What’s made him worse?
In Wengers eyes, Arsenal have been the most consistent than anybody in the past 15 years!!!!!!!????
Like a new girlfriend – same with a new manager starting out at a new club, You bend over backwards in a new relationship and after a few years you relax- same with a new manager..
Claiming a Few titles and finishing in the top 4 is consistent in 15 years??? Actually, Arsene you’re right .. Definitely consistent.. Consistently average!
The last time we were competitive was in 2004.. So we have been consistent since then for a top 4 finish. Winning the league is hard, but being competitive is actually looking like you can win it!!!
David Dein’s departure had many people scratching their heads in wonder as to the ability of Arsene finding quality players again..? My personal stance on this is that we lost our edge when Dein left..
When you take Man Utd or Liverpool and their history.. Their Managers etc
Fergie.. Greatest Premier league manager of all time.. Reinvented teams consistently over a period of 3-5 years – the highlight being his famous 1999 treble -?
That is consistent !
Mourinho won title after title wherever he’s been, including the CL with 2 clubs. That is consistent! Chelsea have won the champions league and 11 trophies in total in 9 years under Abramovich rule..
A club that has a genuine desire to be at the top (as WENGER put it) would not, I will repeat myself for effect, would not have a manager in charge of their club that was not competitive for almost 10 years.
In every walk of life whether it’s sporting or not, if you are not improving a team of people to produce better results consistently, you would quite simply be fired! If you snooze you lose.. Stagnation is loser mentality.
Before I react like the jerk of the proverbial knee, I do not want Arsene Wenger to be fired as I have a lot of respect and admiration for what he has done for the club as he is, and always will be, a legend.
However, there is a fundamental imbalance running through the very nature of our club and if we were going to be competitive I’d say..
WE WOULD HAVE BEEN BEFORE NOW!
Questions that either never get explained or answered with a logical response are as follows:
1) Why do we never sign ‘the’ player or 2 that will fill a glaring deficiency and go a long way to enable us to stay being at the top or close to winning titles again?
2) Why do great teams have a solid defence but now we employ the Keystone Kops and a headless chicken between the sticks!!
3) Why don’t we hold onto decent players that show some balls instead of giving into the spoilt brats and disrupting our team cohesion year after year?
4) Why don’t we give certain youth players a chance?
5) Why do you persist with your favourites (allow them to become injured) while they are clearly no better than the fit able bench warmers that either go on loan or rot in the reserves?
6) Why have you discarded strong athletic players as we don’t have a strong spine to the team anymore?
7) Why do we get so many injuries?
8) Why can’t we beat the teams that finish in the top 4 anymore?
9) Why did we sign Mertesacker and give Arteta a new contract?
10) Why after almost 10 years haven’t we been able to win the premier league playing with the same outdated philosophy year after year and persisting with the same system, style of play and diminutive players?
I’m intrigued to know what we will make of these transitional times of the past decade and how after 20 years in charge people will be saying it’s been a game of 2 decades..!
In a nutshell, Arsene Wenger’s ego is huge, he is stubborn beyond comprehension, no amount of logical reasoning will wash with him as he is the omnipotent bearer of truth that only his eyes can see..the owners believe they must honour and respect Arsene like a god because of his name and what he did in his first 10 years as manager.
Arsene.. You have taken our beloved Arsenal as far as you can!! Are you just hanging on – like the jilted partner refusing to let go or when the relationship is over – but you can’t quite make the final push to say goodbye because you have lost interest in each other and it’s gone too far to resurrect the old passion you once shared…? The players know you are coming to the end just like your spouse does ..it’s a slow death waiting to happen.. I’m not sure the players believe YOU believe you can win the Premiership ever again.. That mentality is defeatist and if the players need a role model, then it’s Wenger’s stubborn weak or mild manner running throughout this current crop of mediocrity.. plus the lack of belief we can’t win the league but only compete for 4th which will eventually seal his fate. We are only an average team at best. The Spuds, Southampton and even Liverpool are as good as us. We are a tier below the likes of Man City and Chelsea and a new steel needs to be built within the team to have ANY chance of competing again.
That steel can’t be built by Arsene Wenger or Stan Kroenke ..
Farewell Arsene it’s not getting any better my old friend…