Arsene Wenger: Judge me in May.

Blogpost by : Adedamola Obisesan @MasterMind1808

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Type in the words “Judge me in May, Arsene Wenger” in the google search bar or any other random search engine, you’ll be sure to find an astonishing number of hits. It simply goes to show that the internet is lying, or that those words have been used tirelessly and timelessly by Aresnal’s French gaffer in the past, almost as much – if not more – than Louis Van Gaal’s favorite word; Philosophy.

Used in February 2012, December 2014, September 2015, March 2016, to name but a few,  It is one of the most infinite of infinite loops. The torturous cycle is; fail during the season, hope to do better next season, disappoint during the transfer window, post a couple of dodgy results, implore fans to not be fickle and wait till end of the season. Soak, rinse and repeat.

There are only two logical reasons to refuse to recruit an outfield player in a summer transfer window:

  1. Your squad is so good that you can’t possibly improve on it. Not the first team, and not the squad players. Nothing out there that you can afford and/or persuade to join you is as good as what you currently have.
  2. You have no idea how to improve your squad, or you know and cannot get in any players at all who can improve your team top down.

Managers of logical reasons (1), should immediately be sacked, and recommended for mental evaluation because even the FIFA Pro XI can be improved on, one way or the other. If treble winners Barcelona, handicapped with a transfer ban could recruit two players, then it stands to reason that you must be a bit nuts, or arrogant, and should therefore be done away with, especially you finish the season trophyless.

Managers of logical reason (2) have obviously not got a clue what they are doing. If you don’t know how to improve your squad, nobody should trust you with tactics, or transfer fees, or driving a car, or owning a smart phone. You should immediately be sacked so you can refresh your faculties.

Let us examine Arsene Wenger’s score card this season, because this team is Arsene Wenger’s team to its very roots. Shall we?

Competitions Entered in For and Performance Evaluation:

The English Premier League: A second place finish is very good, assuming you challenged properly for the title, something we can’t in good conscience say Arsene did. No, not really. Finishing with 71 points for an elite club is quite poor. We beat some top sides; Manchester City (frankly everyone in the top 6 beat them at some point), Manchester United (game of the season, before losing the second leg to their U-21 team), Leicester (we should get a trophy for this, honestly). We lost to West Ham and Swansea at home, lost home and away to the poorest Chelsea side in years (we were one of the only 4 teams they beat at home, the remaining 3 have since been relegated), and got spanked by Southampton and West Brom. I know 2nd is 2nd, but really, losing home and away to Chelsea this season should be an offence that results in dismissal of the one in charge. That is how poor Chelsea have been.

Grade C.

Capital One Cup: We beat the Spuds (Tottenham are the highest profile team susceptible to inexplicable falling apart when it matters most) and then got embarrassed by Sheffield Wednesday of the great n-power Championship. We simply couldn’t stand their awesome might innit? 3-0 to a Championship side. The squad players, those whom Arsene could not improve upon in the summer where bullied to kingdom come by a team on probably 1/10 of our budget. And if I recall correctly, we had full internationals on that pitch; Theo Walcott, Per Mertesacker, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, and so on.

Grade: F

FA Cup: Once again we had the luck of the draw on our side, no team worthy of second thought came across our path. We however contrived to lose to Watford on our own patch, and surrendered our stranglehold on a competition we had won back to back. We probably had to lose at some point, but to Watford? Really? At home no less. Past this round the teams left were Crystal Palace, Everton and a Van Gaal led Manchester United. We could have made it a hattrick but we blew it. Thumbs up Boss!

Grade: D

The UEFA Champions League: It amazes me how Arsene can brag about qualifying for the Champions League 20 times, when he won it a grand total of ZERO times. 0/20. I know it is good for prestige and finances and all, but 0 of 20 is appalling. Arsene defies the law of averages and the gambler’s fallacy time and time again. We beat Bayern Munich alright, but that game was a do or die, seeing as we had dropped points to the inconsequential Olympiacos and Dinamo Zagreb. And of course we still managed to lose 5-1 to Bayern Munich in Germany. We were eventually knocked out on aggregate by Barcelona 5-1, losing home and away. No shame losing to either of these amazing teams, but come on, how many minnows do we spank 5-1? We are the 5th richest football franchise for God’s sake.

Grade: D

SQUAD

So we handed contract extensions to Mikael Arteta and Tomas Rosicky, which to be honest was an absolute waste of money. I love both players, but they contributed the tangible grand total of nothing this season. I know back room experience is a thing, but it’s not really something you can see. Besides we have Koscielny, The gangly Per and Cech for that. Walcott pulled a Walcott, dodged out of a couple of tackles, and scored a grand total of 9 goals in all competitions, earning a reported 140k/w while at it. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain seems to be regressing further, Giroud did his best but showed he isn’t good enough, Debuchy and Chambers left a lot to be desired. It’s obvious to all sane people that this squad has a lot of room for upward mobility. Sanchez, Ozil, Santi, Monreal, Bellerin, Cech, Coquelin and maybe Welbeck (when fit) were our best players this season. Flamini pointed at a number of people and ran around a lot, but that was about it. The man consistently shows being a footballer for 10 years doesn’t mean you get smarter at it. But he is a billionaire in the making so at least we know where his intelligence is channeled towards.

Injuries are part of what hampered our campaign, but that’s why clubs build squads that can compete. What was the contingency plan if Santi and Coquelin got injured? Who was supposed to rotate with them to prevent fatigue? Flamini and Arteta. We all know Wilshere and Rosicky’s injury records. Wenger insisted on only one recognized forward knowing fully well Welbeck was injured before the window closed. Why wasn’t Alexis given a proper break after his exploits for Chile post season? Why keep Gibbs and Debuchy and Campbell if you don’t trust them? Why does Arsene tell us he believes in his squad, when he plays the same 15 players till he breaks them? Honestly, if you don’t trust your squad players to beat the likes of West Brom and Newcastle at home, what’s the point?

It’s difficult to think we didn’t miss a trick this season, even in 2nd place, it’s a failure that feels worse than seasons past seeing as for once the stars aligned and all our perennial rivals capitulated. The only way you see this season as anything but mediocre is if you are one of those people who think our aim every season is to qualify for the Champions League. Other than that, this season has been massively underwhelming.

Of all the top managers complicit for letting Leicester City stroll to the title unchallenged, Jose Mourinho has been sacked, Manuel Pellegrini replaced, Brendan Rodgers sacked and Louis Van Gaal in a battle to save his job.

But in Arsene They Trust.

 

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5 thoughts on “Arsene Wenger: Judge me in May.

  1. Ross Tommey

    In Arsene I Trust.

    Not blindly. Not without critique. Trust is something earned. Built on evidence of coming through the thick and thin.

    Has a season where all but three or four clubs have failed to achieve what they set out to, or in Leicester City’s case over achieve, been deserving of such negativity.

    Football fans, especially those whose fanaticism is mainly media based, seem to be driven only by winning the silverware. Well successful teams and their managers can also be measured by the small steps to achieving the pots on offer.

    Arsène and the board (perspective as Arsène has a financial institution to answer to) did fail. They failed to recruit. However, the team roster was full. Okay, three were admittedly injured at the start of the recruitment campaign and cover should have been sought but even that has official constraints. The team is restricted to 25 over 21 year olds. That is what we had throughout this season. Fitness in the form of injury impacted greatly. Fitness as a result of being injured by accounted for three key players for the majority of the season. Injury from over playing accounted for Alexis. Performance is always an under recognised impact and Arsène is not responsible for this. Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Debuchy failed totally. Metersacker, Gabriel, Giroud and Ramsey failed to often. Alexis failed by previous standards set. Arsène doesn’t kick the ball. He recruits, develops a tactical plan and response, it will always be the players who have to deliver. This squad. This team did this.

    Loosing points at West Ham, Liverpool and Tottenham away were due to players failing individually after delivering the tactics given to them effectively. Loosing to Swansea and drawing with Norwich at home were as a result of player failures. The failure by the players at West Bromwich and Southampton was effectively where we lost the league. All in these seven results where individual and collective failure by experienced players cost us the league. They were sent out in each of these games tactically prepared and fit. They threw away winning positions by poor decision making individually or collectively. Arsène got it tactically wrong at Manchester United and Sunderland. In total 20 points lost. The results in both Chelsea games were down to the referee.

    Excuses. Excuses. Yes but that’s how fans measure. The blame from this fan is laid at the feet of the players. Not the manager.

    A team that has Mesut Özil in it shouldn’t ever fail to score and Alexis, Giroud and Walcott did this far too often.

    Loosing to Watford and Wednesday in the cups was down to players failing again. Walcott, whom, even at the tender age of 18, has been an individualist without the understanding of supporting the collective, has been responsible for his failure; similarly Oxlade-Chamberlain.

    The recruitment last summer could have been more ruthless. Rosický, Flamini and Arteta could all have been released and replaced (one year remaining contracts would have cost us a few million to the reserve fund!) However (your) Iwobi wouldn’t have come through so soon; success! Elneny wouldn’t have been bought; we never lost a league game when he played, success! Africa should rejoice! This lack of activity was restricted by not ending the careers of two loyal players and a future saviour of the planet!

    I trust Arsène to be more ruthless this time round. Replacing Arteta, Rosický and Flamini are a given. Being honest about Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jenkinson and Chambers; the English mediocrity, will be where Arsène needs to prove he can be ruthless. We have enough homegrown over 21s to ensure that we recruit the eight outfield players from around the world. Eight? Add Debuchy the French mercenary!

    In Arsène I trust to do this without the restriction of capital funds of previous seasons. Will he replace all eight. Of course not. Oxlade-Chamberlain and Chambers won’t be leaving. Will he replace six. I think possibly. Ten is his record, in 2011, although that included Chu-Young Park, André Santos, Thomas Eisfeld and Gervinho! So six is possible.

    This level of security in squad depth will ensure the team has sufficient strength and ability. But as ever it will always be down to them to deliver.

    We can afford whom ever we want. Do they want to come to a club in London with one of the greatest managers football has ever had? That’s a no brainer. Wages? Meh! Training facilities? Improved. Fans? Fickle as fuck. Especially the one’s who can only live in the internets. Those who travel with the team, for the most part, will sing: There’s only one Arsène Wenger. One Arsène Wenger!

    In Arsène we trust! Well you should.

    Ps. It’s happened again. It’s happened again. Tottenham Hotspur it’s happened again.

  2. Agbontaen Eseosa

    This post should win an award for truth and honesty but that’s something most Arsenal fans don’t want to hear, we don’t want to hear that Walcott would never peak to the heights of Henry or any great striker, we don’t want to hear that Chamberlain has the quality but lacks self belief so would remain stagnant under wenger till he finds a coach that can instill that self belief, we don’t want to hear that Ramsey and Giroud are good players but not good enough to be in the first team of a club aiming for champions league and EPL glory (that’s assuming arsene really wants those trophies)… We like this comfort zone of flattering to deceive each season then finishing once more in the top four (preferably fourth).. Yes arsene has done amazing things for this club, things I doubt mourinho could do, but he has shown that he is out of ideas, for a coach to decide that reinvesting in his team which finished 3rd the previous season isn’t needed then it shows he really needs a change of job, he might have claimed that there weren’t good strikers out there but man U got a relatively unknown martial who in my opinion would have banged in over 20 EPL goals if he wasn’t shifted from one position to another position by LVG, he might argue that the player was overpriced but in these days how many players can you get without paying over the top? Mark my words, save this date, as long as arsene remains the coach of Arsenal, we would NEVER, EVER win the EPL or UCL again, he’s to stubborn to address all of arsenal’s problems at once and that stubbornness won’t pay

  3. Iyke

    My most hated phrase ryt now *In Arsene we trust*. It’s still the same old thing. Wenger still reasons tactically in the 90’s and 2000’s. He has not evolved and until he does, it’s mediocrity from Arsenal fc. But he makes the board lots of money.. so it’s all good. Fans have braggin rights. Stan brags as regards the money he has. Since the stream is continuous, y change the winnin formula.

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