So in short, Arsene Wenger is saying that we were unprepared and understaffed for the opening Premier League game against Liverpool. And there is only one person to blame. Arsene Wenger.
By now we have all ready the statistic. Arsenal have lost 3 of their last 4 opening day games. And that took a 91st minute winner by Aaron Ramsey against Crystal Palace.
That victory against Crystal Palace is our only victory in 7 opening day games.
“We are not ready. Physically we are not ready.”
Wenger go’s on to blame the Euro’s. Stating that he could rush players back, and risk injury, like what happened with Aaron Ramsey or “give them a rest and you start the season without many of your players”.
This catch 22 situation I do understand. Last season we were moaning in October when Alexis Sanchez picked him an injury against Norwich. Despite the injury being caused by an impact, many blamed him being rushed back from the Confederations Cup. Not being given a proper summer rest was also blamed for his early season lack of form.
Fast forward 12 months and we are demanding that the likes of Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny should be rushed back.
But the argument over a summer tournament is made completely redundant what you look at the form in the last 7 seasons. 1 win, 3 draws, 3 defeats. There has not been a major tournament every one of those years.
The lack of preparation is down to one man.
Like many things Arsenal, and Arsene, form can be split into two parts. Highbury & Emirates;
Highbury: DWWLWWWWW – 22 from 27
Emirates: DWWWDDDLWLL – 16 from 33
So why this massive drop off in form? Is it because we now chase the $$$ around the globe? Rather than concentrate on preparing in Austria like we used to, we now play friendly’s in America, Singapore, Australia, Norway & more.
But then every club does these now? So why do we start off so badly, every season?
Arsene Wenger’s pre season preparation is clearly the problem.
Before last season ended, the consensus on what we needed was a centre back, a central midfielder, and an attacker. We now sit here after the first game of the season with just the central midfielder. It is simply not good enough.
And like the lack of preparation, this is not the first time under Arsene Wenger that we have started a league campaign without the players we need to start a title challenge. We have a history of not making senior (over 21) transfers before the 2st day of the season:
Again, there is a clear split between Highbury and the Emirates.
We make nearly 50% of our transfers after the 1st game of the season. This shows a clear problem with our summer transfer planning.
It is almost as if Arsene Wenger planning is that he gets the current crop of players back into pre season training, see how they develop, before making any moves in the transfer market.
It leaves us short every single season.
I would not be surprised if we go out this week and buy an attacker and a defender, but once again it is too little too late.
We have already lost 1 game, and it will take a few weeks for the new signings to settle at the club, in the team, in the Premier League, in England.
Often sides do start slowly. They scrape scrappy wins. Like Man City at the weekend. That is part of a team settling. But their players will be more settled by the time the international break comes round in. Ours will take longer. By which time we could be out of the title race.
And ultimately it comes down to a defeat on the first day of the season. And none of us were surprised. It was underwhelming.
Yesterday there was none of the vitriol of previous 1st day defeats. The odd dissenting voice. The odd “WENGER OUT”. A couple of the free programmes thrown on the pitch. The single man with a sign. But it was not like previous where you have had 60,000 people singing spend some f***ing money.
It is like we now suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.
We have been mistreated by the club for so long that we are now indifferent to the poor treatments. Whilst we do not accept it, we do now expect it. Yesterdays failure came as no surprise. Rather than turn anger at the management, we turned round to those we sit near and simply muttered oh well! Here we go again.
Wenger is a man who always has his excuses ready. Any office manager will know the sort of employee that Wenger is.
You pull an underperformer into a meeting, they spill out all the excuses under the sun for the reason they have not met the expectations. When the reality is they have just not performed well enough.
They refuse to accept anything is their fault. Always something or someone else to blame.
The systems were a little slow, a couple of days off sick, the bloke I sit next too is a little noisy, not enough merchandise to hand it. The reality is they are just pre-prepared excuses. The reality is the individual has not worked hard enough, has not done what was asked of them, has not followed the instructions or advice given by management.
We lose against Leicester; Wenger will once more roll out the excuses. None of them will be his fault. It will be players still returning. New players settling, the injury list. He will absolve himself of any blame, even though he can control all of these things.
Once against we are entering a league campaign underprepared, understaffed, and we are just unsurprised.