Blogpost by : Adedamola Obisesan @MasterMind1808
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:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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!
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.
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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