Tag Archives: Arsène Wenger

Arsenal Need Evolution, Not Revolution

So, here I am. A 36-year old bloke who really should be revising for a couple of university exams in the next ten days, and instead I’m sat here wondering just why I think so differently to a great many other Arsenal fans, and on a great many things….

Thursday Night Paranoia

Ok, so we’ve now got to play in the Europa League, and that means Thursday night games and the resulting inevitable panic over a new schedule. But why? Thursdays are a day like any other, and it’s still 11 men against 11, and it’s still 90 minutes, so why all the fuss? I just don’t get it.

Every Thursday, followed by every Sunday. Unconventional, granted, but there’s no reason at all why supposedly professional players should suddenly find themselves unable to cope with it. If anything, the fixture schedule is actually better than any we’ve had while playing in the Champions League, when half the matches were on a Tuesday, half on a Wednesday, and the weekend league game getting shunted into any one of half-a-dozen different slots over three days, all at the whim of the TV people.

No more Napoli away on a Wednesday, then Liverpool away on a Saturday lunchtime, and people panic about Thursday-Sunday-Thursday? Behave.

Director of Football = Magical Solution / “Bring Back David Dein!”

Now this is one I really struggle with.

Sure, we’ve been an abject shambles in the transfer market ever since he left in 2007, but would bringing back a 73-year old man who hasn’t worked in club football for a decade really solve all of our transfer issues? (And that’s quite apart from the role his agent son, Darren, played in ripping the heart out of that team with the transfers of Fabregas, Clichy, Nasri and Van Persie).

The other, similar, call is that the club should appoint a Director of Football to oversee all transfers and contracts, but – apart from Wenger’s oft-stated refusal to work in such a model – what is the point of someone else getting it right off of the pitch only for Wenger’s outdated training methods getting them injured, tactical nativity failing to get the best from them, or, as with Lucas Perez this season, simply leaving a proven talent to rot in the reserves because Wenger’s ego was deemed to be more important than the interests of Arsenal Football Club.

I personally believe that the one man in sole charge is still the best model for a successful football blub. For example, Liverpool’s insistence on everything going through their own ‘transfer committee’ is partially to blame for their recent struggles under Klopp and his predecessors of the last few years.

If everything was going right, would people still be calling for a total restructuring of the way the club operates? Of course not. What we actually need is a CEO to take the financial and paperwork jobs off of the manager, so all they have to do is give a list of players he wants to sign/keep, and then everything happens without them, leaving them to concentrate on getting things right on the training ground and pitch. What we need is Ivan to step up and start doing his job.

Blame the Board!

Stan Kroenke is not a bad chairman. There, I’ve said it.

The only thing that you can criticise him for is the £3million he has laundered out of the club in each of the last two seasons, but considering the money that the previous board, under Sir Peter Hill-Wood, Danny Fiszman, Dein and Ken Friar paid themselves in wages, “expenses”, 5-star travel and accommodation to away and European games and even in using the club’s facilities for their own business deals, Stan’s “consultation fee” is probably less of a percentage of the club’s income than that lost to anyone else ten or twenty years ago.

In fact, the only thing which you can blame him for is his hands-off approach and lack of pressure he puts on those he employs. Although he certainly lives up to his ‘Silent’ nickname with his hands-off approach, is that also in itself a bad thing? Would we rather instead have an egotistical chairmen treating the club like his own toy and constantly meddling in everything? Not only would none of this be a problem if we were top of the league and everything else was fine, but there’s plenty of fans from other clubs out there who would love to have him at theirs.

Both the lack of a Director of Football and the owner’s hands-off approach would not be a problem if the team was playing well, being run well, competing in Europe and winning league titles at home. As with everything else at the club, its failures belong to one man and one man alone. The man with “complete control of the football side of the business”. Arsene Wenger.

EM

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Finishing 5th, Europa League, Silly Koscielny & Arsene Wenger

Finishing 5th

For a second there yesterday there was a slight glimmer of hope. Liverpool drawing 0-0, Arsenal up to 4th. We could snatch 4th place on the last day could we?

And within seconds the answer came emphatically. No.

A high scoring last day of the season saw ever side in the top 6 win, and win big, and Arsenal ended up 5th.

In reality, there is no difference between 2nd and 5th, neither win a trophy. Unless you are one of these who counts the top 4 as a trophy.

No Champions League means a new adventure in the Europa League.

Europa League

I think the only people annoyed at Europa League Football are those that do not go to games. Last night after it was confirmed that we would not be in the Champions League for the first time in 20-odd years, talk turned to next season.

Dreams of Prague, Budapest, Amsterdam, Oslo and Ibiza. A September trip to Cyprus. December in Denmark. The world is suddenly our oyster.

Yes, I am angry we finished as low as 5th, but every cloud has a silver lining and the away trips we might potentially end up with in the Europa League fill me with excitement. No more same old boring predictable Champions League.

And we all moan we always get knocked out in the Champions League knock outs, well the Europa League is a trophy we can win, as Manchester United are showing making the final.

Take it seriously and we could all be in Lyon this time next year.

Silly Koscielny

Laurent Koscielny is an idiot.

Getting sent off in a pointless game, causing him to be suspended for the FA Cup Final is one of the most stupid things I have seen in my decades of watching football.

Another day his challenge would have merited a yellow card, but yesterday he saw red, and there is no reason to complain.

Why did he make that challenge?

Throughout his Arsenal career, he has done that kind of challenge time and again. A mistimed, late lunge. He has given away countless penalties and free kicks with tackles he had no need to make. He is a liability.

Will he learn from yesterdays error? Probably not. His punishment is to miss the final. Arsenal’s punishment could be even worse.

Arsene Wenger

Wenger has blamed the hostile atmosphere at the emirates Stadium as the reason we struggled in the 2nd half of the season. He is basically blaming the fans for the mid-season collapse.

Of course, it ignores the fact that we only lost twice at home all season – to Liverpool on the opening day and to Watford at the end of January. It was our away form that destroyed our season.

The draw against Bournemouth, defeats to WBA, Crystal Palace and Liverpool. That is where we lost it. And it was all Wenger’s fault.

Lack of clarity on his future destabilised the club, and created the hostile atmosphere. Sitting their smugly after every press conference smiling saying he knew his future but refusing to share his intentions with the world has been an absolute disgrace.

If Wenger needs to find someone to blame for us finishing 5th, he needs to look at himself. It is all on his shoulders. It is time to go.

Keenos

Thoughts on Tony Adams

Some thoughts on Tony Adams:

  • Tony Adams is an Arsenal legend. He is Mr Arsenal
  • Adams was good for Arsene Wenger when the Frenchman came to the club
  • Wenger was good for Adams
  • As a team, they got the best out of each other and the team
  • Tony Adams is not a very good pundit
  • Tony Adams is a failed coach
  • Arsene Wenger has done a poor job managing the club in the last decade
  • Wenger surrounds himself by yes men when it comes to his coaches
  • Adams would not have added anything to the coaching set up
  • You do not have to be a Michelin chef to know when your steak is well done, not medium rare
  • But just because you know your steak is not cooked right, it does not mean you should be in the kitchen helping the chef
  • Arsenal fans who abuse Tony Adams need to know their place
  • Adams has a book to sell. The Sun bought the rights
  • They will use the juicy bits – Pick out a single line of a 5,000 word book and build a story around it
  • Stories about Wenger is newsworthy, it gets the hits
  • Today’s back page will generate a lot for The Sun in advertising revenue
  • It will also generate more interest in Tony Adams’ book, increasing sales
  • Tony Adams (alongside Frank McLintock) is Arsenal’s greatest ever captain. Have some god damn respect