Arsene Wenger has become a highly divisive figure at the Emirates. Once an unquestionable authority, his aura has faded over the past few years as a series of mediocre performances have seen Arsenal fall down the ranks of English football. This season it has come to a head as Arsenal are playing some of their worst football ever, and with nearly a third of the season gone, the ‘Wenger Out’ calls are louder than they have ever been.
Maybe it is not the manager’s fault entirely, the players also share a measure of the blame for the series of tepid performances; but the underlying causes are all unequivocally the manager’s fault. He knew we were short of quality options but still chose not to buy. It is all very well to wait for the best players to become available, but sometimes a stop gap investment needs to be made to keep the team competitive. I understand that Wenger wanted someone like Hummels to come in, but would it not have been wise to invest a small amount to bring in someone like Ron Vlaar? While not as skilled as the German, he would have been an infinitely more reliable player than Monreal (no offense) and the points he would have saved would more than make up for his fees. It’s not like we have to invest as much as City or Chelsea; as Southampton have shown, quality can be had without breaking the bank and there are more than enough defenders out there who would jump at the chance to come to Arsenal, should Wenger make the approach.
Also, the choice of tactics is becoming suspect. Against City, we were ahead, yet still went on the attack. Result? Draw Against Anderlecht, we were THREE goals up and still merrily throwing men forward. Result? Draw. Against Swansea, who are known for their pace on the counter, we had men looking for a second goal when they would have been better served simply retaining possession and playing down the clock. Result? Loss. Against United, we had ONE man back to defend against players like Rooney and di Maria. Result? Loss. I understand that the team was looking for an equaliser but even Wenger said that he was confused as to why there weren’t more defenders.
A pattern is starting to emerge, and it is not a good one. Arsenal have only one gear and one gameplan. We dominate possession and ping the ball around and hope the opposition make a mistake. If their defence is well organised however, then we are absolutely impotent. And once we give the ball away, our players literally do not know what to do. I have lost count of the number of games in which the opposition have scored with every shot on target. Hull City, Chelsea, United…. what is the point of having a defence if all anyone needs to do to score is shoot on target? Our tactics, both offensively and defensively, need to be completely overhauled. Defensively, more players have to be more alert and dedicated and actually try to get the ball off the opposition. Offensively, the team need to work as a whole to create opportunities, and not depend on a moment of brilliance from someone like Sanchez or Ozil or a mistake by the opposition.
Billionaire Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov is the latest to express concern about the direction of the club, and he has cast doubt over the controlling influence manager Arsene Wenger has at the north London club besides hinting the Frenchman’s age may be a factor in his struggle to mount a title challenge.
In an interview with CNBC, Usmanov described Wenger as ‘a great man and a great coach’ and stated he should be given time to turn around the club’s fortunes, but he suggested the 65-year-old Frenchman is not solving problems that have undermined his team’s hopes for several years.
Arsene Wenger is one of the greatest coaches not just of European but of world football.
But we have a Russian proverb which goes: ‘Even an old lady can have a roof falling on her.’ Everybody makes mistakes. He can make mistakes and I know as you age that it is more difficult, more challenging to accept one’s mistakes. Maybe it’s a problem today.
I like Arsene for his principles, but principles are a sort of restriction. And restrictions are always lost possibilities. That’s why sometimes coaches even without principles became the coaches of great teams and some coaches with principles lose because some positions in team are vacant because of ethical, moral or personal views.
Does he have money or not? There is officially money in the club. How does he spend [it]? This decision investors have left with him. I wish them victories, because their victories are the victories of investors, including myself, and of great Arsenal fans, which deserve these victories.
My opinion — and I tell it openly — we need to strengthen every position to play on the level of such teams in [the] U.K. as Chelsea and Manchester City, in Europe like Real [Madrid], Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, [Bayern Munich] and other clubs.
The potential of the team is there, but there is no critical evaluation of own mistakes and their admittance.
Not a single genius can retain its level when he does not admit [his] own mistakes. Only when you admit your mistakes do you get rid of them.
I wish this to my club. Nothing wrong, but we just repeat [the] same results year by year. Quite high to secure the place in the Champions League, but we regularly lose in the first circles of playoffs. As an investor I am not happy with that.
Wenger is and always will be an Arsenal legend, and his years of faithful service to the club cannot and should not be forgotten. However, the current situation is critical and failure of the manager and the board to act now could damage Arsenal heavily. It is a time of change in the Premier League, as the struggles of United, Liverpool and Tottenham and the rise of Southampton has shown. Chelsea lie 15 points clear after 12 games, the lead is unthinkable. Either the manager pulls off a revolution and we secure a minimum of fourth place this season, or it is time for the board to do their job.
Usmanov also expressed his annoyance at his lack of influence at Arsenal, as he pointed out that he will have no say over the future of Wenger or the direction of the club moving forward despite his huge shareholding.
First of all I decide nothing in this matter. This a strange position when the second biggest investor, who has more than 30 percent, decides nothing and it is frustrating. Although I have a great respect for the president of the club.
Silent Stan evidently has some bigger plans for the club, hopefully they involve success in the near future as well. For now, all we can do is sit by, watch and pray for the best.