Arsene Wenger, a man dividing opinion more than any Arsenal manager has in the past. The clubs longest serving manager finds himself under scrutiny game after game despite delivering Arsenal’s first Trophy in 9 Years in May. This after overseeing the 2nd longest trophy drought in the clubs history.
A man who has guided Arsenal to 17 seasons in the Champions League and Overseen the move from Highbury to the Emirates. And in those 17 years only delivering 1 final appearance in a defeat to Barcelona in the era of Ronaldinho and Co long before a certain Lionel Messi arrived.
So who are we as fans to question him?
Well actually, judging by the significant cash reserves declared by Arsenal in their latest accounts, we have every right to question the man at the helm as well as the money making men above him, who as time goes on, clearly have a decreasing respect for the fans and the money they work so hard to earn to support the club.
As Wenger sat there in front of the gathered media, he was fielding several questions in relation to his match at Aston Villa on Saturday in a 3pm Kick Off. After being absolutely humiliated in Germany in midweek by a rampant and very impressive display. Wenger took a somewhat pragmatic approach to the destruction in Dortmund.
“It was a tough night and we have to swallow it. I believe we are much better than that and we have shown that since the start of the season. Let’s go back to what we can do. Sometimes you can learn from a defeat and that’s what we can show.”
Ok Arsene, so you accept that it was a tough night but he still seems to stop short of admitting that Arsenal were not only out played, but tactically out manoeuvred , as is so often the case when Arsenal play big teams in big matches. Ironically the Arsenal website misses out the part in the press conference where Arsene spends 10 minutes defending Mesut Ozil and claims that if you look at his heat map against Dortmund and other teams he has a lot of free reign. Well I’ve seen the heat map and our No.10 who is one of the best there, spent so long on the right hand side he must have felt like he had upset Le Prof to take him away from his natural area behind the front man.
Later on in the day, Arsenal announced their annual accounts for last season and it showed that once again, despite Arsenal increasing ticket prices to line Stan Kronke’s pockets, Arsenal still hold one of the healthiest bank balances in world football. Remind me why we couldn’t buy a world class striker again and ended up with Danny Welbeck instead?
I truly believe this weekend has a massive bearing on the rest of our season. I fully expect us to line up with the infuriatingly incompetent 4-1-4-1 formation that Wenger seems to get his jollies off on, despite not having the right players to fit into the right positions. I sense a man very much on the defensive, realising that the next 3 years of his tenure with Arsenal may be more difficult than he thought after landing the trophy fans craved barely a few months ago.
Whilst we focus on playing Aston Villa, Manchester City and Chelsea do battle in a game I expect Chelsea to win, they seem like an unstoppable machine at the moment and Cesc Fabregas is giving Chelsea a ticking movement and momentum I haven’t seen from them in a very long time, it’s a good job we didn’t use any of that £173m sitting in the bank on signing him eh! What a waste of money that would have been…
Should we lose this weekend or even draw, I fear that we are already slipping too far behind our major rivals, after 7 competitive games this season we have still only won 2 games, l+ost 1 and drawn the rest. At this stage of the season that is not an impressive set of statistics, although time will tell how others get on at Goodison Park and Leicester this year. We will of course have to look at other results bearing in mind Chelsea smashed Everton 6-3, but then we were lucky to escape with a draw in our corresponding fixture.
Wenger is already under pressure, surely he must change something this weekend, but then when have we ever known Wenger to admit he was wrong and actually change something because he was wrong.
A final thought, the definition of madness was once described to me as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Maybe Wenger needs to look at not how often he’s changing, but what he is changing and how he changes it to suit the players we have, rather than picking the players to suit the formation.
Lets see what the weekend brings…
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