Been a rough few weeks, everyone knew it was coming as the fixture list was very kind to us at the start of the season but left us playing some top sides In February and March and like the last half a dozen years the wheels fell off. Some will blame the bad luck we have had with injuries, some blame oil money but there is one common factor with this and every season, the manager.
Every TV pundit, journalist and the educated fans of The Arsenal out there knew we wouldn’t win the league this year, the main reason is down to squad strength. We have very little depth in the positions that really matter. We have been crying out for a forward for the last 3 transfer windows. Defenders save you points, but forwards win you trophies. and this years league winners would have scored either 5 or 6 goals against us. But the goals aside the manner in which we lost away at Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea has been nothing short of a disgrace and the buck stops with the manager.
The money has been there to buy a top class forward or even take a punt on a half decent one, £100mill plus didn’t just appear by magic in the clubs bank this winter, its been building nicely off the back of high ticket prices and increased TV money for the last 3 years. Come this summer there will be even more available with the Puma and Emirates deals and of course a 3% ticket price increase. Besides a forward we have been missing a bit of forward going pace and a bit of steel in the middle, the money has been there, the club have said the manager can spend it, so why hasn’t he.
Tactically I have had an issue with Wenger for some time, its been well documented that the club do little or no research on the teams we play, the manager just set’s the team out the same way no matter who we play or who is fit. How much stick did Ramsey get when he was played down the right, he gets a chance in the middle and he’s suddenly the Welsh Messi. Flamini doesn’t start away at Chelsea, but joins Arteta at home to Swansea, a baffling decision again by the manager and hardly the first time he has got the starting 11 wrong. Our Zonal marking system ? yep that too was bought in to save having to worry about who to mark at corners, lack of preparation from the manager. The first Sub comes on bang on 70 mins every game, predictable Wenger.
Injuries, we have a few short term and a few long term which no question have hampered our season, but every club get’s them it’s part of football always has been always will be. It’s the cover and depth a club has that will determine how it copes and we haven’t. Now I’m not going to moan about injuries, if they are caused by training methods or have been a fluke but they all have one thing in common the type of player Wenger buys all too often. Light, fast, skillfull, tippy tappy players get injured more than the less mobile brickshithouse. Giroud and BFG have both had an injury free season. Whilst both types and something in-between are all needed when you have too many of the former gaps in the squad are more likely to appear.
Now Wenger has had ample time to get the youth side of the club sorted out and his record is appalling, the best English London kid that has come thro is sadly Ashley Cole and he was at the club before Wenger. Those old enough to remember the great Graham teams they were a mix of London lads at the club since kids who LOVED the club and smart buys. My theory in life is that if you truly love something, be it a job, a partner, The Arsenal then you will give a bit extra.
Motivation, now personally give me a shirt I will run about on the pitch until I puke blood for The Arsenal (i’d last 5mins in reality) but sadly millionaire players need a kick up the arse to perform at the top level. Some need a cuddle (Reyes), some need a good kick (Arshavin), some need to be wound up (wrighty), some need to be calmed down (Vieira), the point is a great manager knows his players and knows how to get the team ‘ up for it’ both individually and as a team, the manager can no longer do this. Players also respond to managers they like, I don’t see a lot of love towards Wenger this week. The lack of belief players show in big games is staggering, we always go out of the Champions League to the first decent team we play and it seems we never beat any of the top 4 sides. Even Man Utd took 4 points of us this season.
So there you have it, the reasons why I think Wenger is no longer the man to take us ‘Forward’ and not a single mention of how many years without a trophy. This isn’t some knee jerk reaction, those that read the facebook.com/shewore or my twitter @shewore know I would of changed manager a few years ago. I would now prefer it for him to go out on a high after winning the FACUP, a trophy he often rests our better players from but if it was left to Bould I wouldn’t be bothered. Wenger is getting old, his training methods stale, it’s time he stepped aside for a younger fresher man, I will always applaud his achievements in the past, but Enough Is Enough, time to move on.