Posts Tagged ‘Arsene Wenger’

In Arsene We Trust?!

In Arsene We Trust? Or Rut?

Over the years, a large percentage of Arsenal followers have always put their faith in the “professor” and believed his judgment.

Pundits and skeptical fans have criticized his philosophy but everyone appears to agree that Arsene Wenger knows his onions and his decision should be respected if not necessarily appreciated.

The verbal assault has come in different form. His transfer recruitment policy, his preferred formation/tactics, perceived lack of hair-dryer treatment and now his substitutions.

In the midst of all this, the die-hard Gunners faithful always have a response to give – IN ARSENE WE TRUST.

Something strange happened at the Emirates stadium during Arsenal last league match against Manchester United. BIZARRE in the sense that in Wenger’s over 15 years reign in the North London, the entire stadium has never in unison chorused their disagreement like the one that happened when starlet Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain was substituted and replaced by Andrey Arshavin.

The moment that made the fans go mad

Chamberlain was the surprise name on the team sheet as he was included in the starting XI for the first time in the EPL and the young English man justified his inclusion with an awesome performance. His direct runs and dribbles gave seasoned veteran Evra a lot to ponder upon while switching to the other flank to torment Rafael da Silva. He capped his performance with an assist before he was substituted.

The decision to remove him was greeted with disapproval from the crowd, the expression of team captain (Robin Van Persie) and many who watched the game. In a contrast of fortune, Arshavin who replaced him showed his defensive vulnerability which led to the winning goal for the visitors – a defeat which leaves Arsenal in an uncomfortable position considering how their season has panned out so far.

After the game and in the mix zone, Arsene Wenger tried to defend himself;

“I’ve been a manager for 30 years and have made 50,000 substitutions. I don’t have to justify every one. I can understand that the fans are upset about the substitution, especially when it doesn’t work, but he had started to fatigue”.

This particular decision appears to have incurred the wrath of probably the most loyal Arsenal fan including the popular CNN man Piers Morgan as they are beginning to lose faith in Arsene.

1/10000th of what @piersmorgan had to say about the substitution and the boss

Football fans are as dynamic as the game itself. It keeps evolving. One bad decision however costly isn’t enough to make me doubt Professor Arsene Wenger.

IN ARSENE I STILL TRUST…… What about you? Lets hear your opinion on the Professor in the comment box.

Time for a new approach….Professor Wenger

Think well, Professor

On the 15th of May 2004, Arsenal FC won its third Premier league title with a 2-1 victory of Leicester City and thus became the first team to go a full Premier league season undefeated with an average squad age of 27.4 years. The Gunners capped it up with the FA Cup a year later in the first goalless FA Cup final in over 80 years.

It’s almost six years and the Gunners haven’t won any major silverware since the FA Cup triumph at the Millenium stadium in 2005. A lot has changed at Arsenal Football Club – a move to a new stadium (The Emirates stadium), change in personnel on the playing staff; Gael Clichy, Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie are the only surviving members of the 2005 FA Cup team presently at the football club.

Arsene Wenger can be described as a manager who has built a team with a desire to entertain and attack with the sole priority of winning laurels. He has built a reputation of unearthing young talent and helping their transition to world class players by incorporating them into the Arsenal team. The likes of Ashley Cole, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry were gradually integrated into the first team. Cole was a product of the team’s youth system while the latter two were brought in from AC Milan and Juventus.

A regular feel of the Arsenal bench... In recent times

His approach appears to have taken another dimension in the last few years with his over reliance of young talent (some questionable) at the expense of matured and experienced players. It is shocking to realise that Gael Clichy is the only Invincible left in the Arsenal squad of today albeit¬† Jens Lehmann (a bit of laugh here….) who signed a short term deal lately to cover up the Gunners goalkeeper crisis.

In the last few seasons, Wenger’s team have given in to pressure when it matters most and their mental strength has been questioned severally but the French man is hesitant on spending big on transfers despite the club’s financial profit posting yearly.

This season is proving not to be any different even if they harbor a faint hope of a final title push. In a space of three weeks, a quadruple dream which was supposed to be ignited with a Carling Cup win vanished into thin air.

The weight of expectation descended heavily on the young team in the Cup final, failure at the stage couldn’t be imagined, Arsenal got emotionally carried away and shockingly lost to Birmingham, followed with an elimination by Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 – although the Gunners are hanging on to a ¬†ridiculous decision by the referee as a major factor in their loss. A few days later, Manchester United compounded more misery by dumping them out of the FA Cup in the sixth round. Arsenal fans have seen their darling team play three consecutive draws in the Premier league with their last league win dating back to February 23. The Gunners are eight points behind leaders Manchester United with a game in hand after 31 weeks of league football.

It seems like a continuous process year in, year out in the same manner with their rivals mocking them and tagging them as “The nearly boys” ¬†despite playing attractive football and having their 60,000 capacity stadium packed full every match day.

Should he tow the paths of a more "successful" Fergie

The phrenic strength of Wenger’s team calls for inquisition. I feel Arsene Wenger should have held on to some influential figures likes Kolo Toure, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry who are still playing top flight football as well as being cult heroes in Arsenal to give the upcoming players some self belief in the locker room as well as bringing their experience to play in the big games where the young lads have faltered. His strict and prudent financial approach must be reconsidered. Solid investment in quality wonderkids like Manchester United did with Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Chelsea with Frank Lampard, etc would go a long way in helping out. Likewise an assurance of a long term future in the squad.

I believe it’s time Arsene dumps his professed belief and begin to mix youth with experience.
What do you think?