So kind of as I suspected, Arsene Wenger, according to the circle of access journalists, is sadly poised to stay on at the club. Not for one year, but for the duration of a proper contract. He’s under the delusional notion that this season is a blip in a glittering 21 year career, versus the culmination of a lot of practice that is far from best.
This isn’t a surprising move. We’ve known the club has been preparing us most of the season through its network of lackeys in the press, combining that with the embarrassing ‘gun to the head’ proclamations of love from grateful players who are being offered too much money to stay on in his hugely flawed project.
It still burns though. The choice has been taken out of the hands of the people at the club who full well know what a disaster Wenger is overseeing at the moment. We know that Arsene Wenger has looked at the wreckage of this season and decided the results don’t matter, he’s chosen to ignore the reason his best players are likely leaving, he’s ignoring the protests in the air and in the sky, and he’s ignoring the cold hard reality of where he’s at in his badly stuttering career.
We’re now entering the indulgence zone.
Phillipe Auclair stated this on Twitter:
‘Wenger is aware of the unrest around the club, but not as a fan would be. He’ll take it as a spur to prove people wrong. Always has done.’
For such a talented writer, the lack of substance in these words is breathtaking. If fans see the unrest as poor results, lacklustre ideas, poor execution of said ideas and a collapse of player faith… what is Wenger seeing? Who really cares about Wenger proving anyone wrong? It’s not his right to have a choice in the matter.
Wenger had the chance to prove us wrong after he wrongly signed for three years after scrapping a cup final he went two goals down in. Three years on, how have we moved our game on? Chelsea fired managers twice and won the league near enough twice and Leicester poured cold water on 10 years of Wenger hiding behind money as a reason we couldn’t compete.
Football is about results, not desperately trying to work out the perfect sign off for a manager who has been stale for ten years.
John Cross disingenuously stated that he doesn’t believe Wenger has lost the dressing room, alluding to the idea this unrest comes from players not knowing what Wenger will do next. Are you f*cking kidding me? Wenger is a poor manager when compared to the elite of Europe, players have known this for years. You only had to read Lukas Podolski mocking Wenger’s ‘you are a wolf’ tactics to imagine what they’re saying now. Wenger isn’t even in the top 20 in Europe these days.
His antiquity isn’t even up for debate these days, he’s a dusty fossil in the Natural History Museum of ‘Past Greats’, he’s old, deeply deluded, and living in a now institutionalised world of mediocrity he designed. He is dead in elite management. He will never come back from the grave. Do not kid yourself it is possible, even with a world class DoF he won’t listen to.
So what next? How do the fans move on from this? It’s a tough question. But I think he’s jumped the shark here. This move is beyond desperate and I don’t think there are many examples of this sort of behaviour at any elite club in the Europe. In fact, I struggle to think of a single example this pathetic since Brian Clough hung on for far too long and landed his team in the division below never to return again.
Arsene Wenger, after this announcement, will suffer total shut down with his players. We could end up finishing 7th or 8th. This summer, he’ll struggle to move on underperforming players because he’s tied them all down to new deals. He’ll struggle to keep the good players because he can’t offer them a better career or a development plan beyond the basics he was preaching in 1998. Next season, he might be thinking that without the CL, he can pull a Leicester or a Chelsea. Trouble with that notion is he doesn’t have the players, he doesn’t have a system good enough, and he has no idea how to beat elite teams.
Next season could be even worse. Once you hit two seasons out of the Champions League, the job of bringing yourself back to the top again, under a great manager, becomes more and more expensive.
By continuing the madness, Stan K is making the recovery ever more difficult.
… and we, the fans, helpless? American sports fans are placid compared to the Brits. I wonder what sort of environment Wenger will find himself in next year when things go south?
A conversation for another day.
Final comment. Fully understand the predicament Ivan has himself in. But his inability to influence his boss really is telling. Begs the question if he’s even trying? I fully expect him to do a good job when he’s given the chance, but my oh my, if I were running the club on that money, I’d have Stan seeing the light, no doubt. The difference between seeing your job as something to preserve at the cost of excitement, versus seeing your job as an opportunity to achieve collective greatness and make history.
Sad everyone at the club is fine mailing it in…
See you in the comments. x
P.S. Here is my earlier story