Guest Post – Steve of Chiang Mai: Super Quality or Super Ordinary – Wenger Legacy on the Line.
Given that Arsene Wenger believes his team is full of “quality” players, Super Quality, based on what we saw at Emirates mid-week against Udinese has surely become a very inclusive term. There would be 20 forwards under 10million pounds that would be better than the form Chamakh has displayed this season so far and as much as I like the players, Ramsey and Rosicky looked “Super Ordinary” for a large part of the Udinese game. The match against Liverpool, if you strip away all the press hype shows our future is good with Frimpong, Jenkinson and Miquell all showing great promise.
I have been a big fan of the manager, but a number of things have become very obvious this week and Arsene’s position has come under genuine threat for the first time in his long and distinguished career.
1. Fabregas was always leaving this year – otherwise he wouldn’t have been sold on the cheap (I suspect he was part of a secret agreement with the manager or was holding a secret transfer request over Wenger’s head). He made a miraculous recovery to provide an assist in Spain mid week and like many I suspect the talk about hamstrings and other things recently, together with Cesc own silence in the face of scandalous would corroborate that view.
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2. Nasri should have been sold a month ago – His unwillingness to sign a new contract was the first clue to his wandering heart. If I was Manchester City I would not be that excited to hear that his preference would be the “red side” but hey, for 200 grand a week meh….red or blue, the money is all the same color. Nasri has had a number of worrying signs ever since joining Arsenal. Lack of respect for players like Henry and Gallas suggest he isn’t the easiest to get along with in the sheds, and his inability to deal with his personal relationships in a mature way eg moving on past the spat he had with Gallas suggests he’s not even a quality human being, let alone a super quality player.
3. Replacements for Fabregas and Nasri and a new defender – Given last nights game against Liverpool, and the games against Man U and an all important UEFA Qualifier against Udinese, surely the squad should have been strengthened earlier. Injuries to Wilshere and Diaby mean our midfield is threadbare, and the creativity necessary to breach the defensive wall that we will encounter is simply not there. Red cards to Song, Gervinho and now Frimpong have only exacerbated the situation.
4. All decision making resides with Wenger – Is there no one in the management structure that can run the team for one night without getting instructions from the stands…? Truth is if Wenger went under a bus tonight it seems Pat Rice would need to ask permission from someone else to tie his shoe laces!
Right now, Wenger’s credibility is on the line and the clock is ticking. Teams know Arsenal’s situation and unless they are truly desperate for cash they will play the “no need to sell card” and Wenger will be forced to do the unthinkable and pay full value! If he fails to put a competitive team in place by the end of next week, given he has had the resources, the time, and for heavens sake every football blog and magazine in the country giving him suggested players, the board should come under fire for retaining his services. Right now, as I understand it the difference between the possibility of Squillaci having to play again in a competitive game (the difference between Wenger valuations for Gary Cahill and Bolton’s) is less than the price of a couple of Joel Campbells!!!! Seems a small price to be wagering your credibility on!
Worse still, the manager continues to infuriate supporters, already fragile after the loss of Fabregas and the clubs seeming unwilling to shore up the defence and midfield, with ridiculous comments in every interview, and it looks like he will continue to be under pressure. It’s true no player is bigger than the club, but history demonstrates clearly no manager is bigger than the goodwill of the fans once trust is lost.