Hold on Arsene, did you just extinguish one of your excuses? When asked if his future was upsetting his little piglets, he said.
‘It would be an easy excuse,’ ‘Whether I stay two years or 10 years I have exactly the same commitment and the same desire to win the next game. I believe we are in a position where we do not have to find easy excuses.
‘Whether I stay two years or 10 years I have exactly the same commitment and the same desire to win the next game. I believe we are in a position where we do not have to find easy excuses.
‘Our job is to perform. Can you perform despite that? To be professional is to perform on the football pitch and not look for excuses that are not really problems off the pitch.’
I’m not sure you could call it an easy excuse. I’m not sure you can highlight it as an issue either, the players know exactly what Wenger is doing next season. But at least Wenger is facing it straight on, sadly, he hasn’t offered up a reason why the implosion happened… probably because he doesn’t know and he doesn’t have a team around him capable of the frankness needed to give it to him straight.
The consistent rhetoric around commitment is his usual political play on the words. Commitment isn’t enough. I’m a committed footballer but a bad one. No one is going to let me play left back for Barcelona because of my commitment to the cause. Commitment without philosophy, technical know-how, and a talented network of staff feeding into a sound vision is a recipe for failure. You’re effectively being managed by a passionate hobbyist. Listening to Wenger talk about Arsenal of late, you’d be hard pushed to tell me he offers any insight into the game. He mails it in for the press, not because he’s deflecting from a master plan, but because he doesn’t have a clue.
I mean, listen to him ramble on here, and look at the words I’ve bolded.
‘The worst you accuse me of, having done 20 years at the club, is creating instability,’ he added. ‘If I have created anything it is stability. The situation is not sorted out and I believe it’s important we focus on what is essential.
‘You know my attachment to this club and at the moment it is as it is and I do not see any escape route to have less responsibility because of that. You have to be men and focus on what matters and what is our job.’
‘Don’t try to make me announce today something I don’t want to because I’m not in a position to do it,’ he said. ‘I’ve at least shown one thing in my life at Arsenal, I’ve shown loyalty.”
What do any of those words mean? They’re all emotionally charged and talk to a higher purpose than winning. They’re all geared around him being about more than the game. They’re all words to deflect from the real issue at hand, he’s not winning and his team has badly regressed. Loyalty, attachment, and stability mean nothing. Focus, responsibility and being men means nothing when it doesn’t translate into trophies.
Here’s Wenger being asked about his predictable play:
‘No matter how you play you have to be efficient with the way you play. I don’t think it’s the way you play it’s how well you play the way you play. At West Brom we did not play well in the way we wanted to play.’
I mean, what a fucking response. How about this on the goals drying up.
‘It’s linked with confidence as well. We had 70 per cent of the ball at West Brom and didn’t create a lot. That is obviously a concern so we have to come back to being more creative, playing with more flow and more freedom as well because when the results go against you play with the handbrake on.’
What are those words about? There’s nothing tangible there. There’s more structure to an artist talking about how he paints a waterfall. Final one, because this is the crux for me… he doesn’t have a clue what’s going wrong.
‘What’s gone wrong? We don’t defend well enough and that’s what’s gone wrong. We can still have to turn this around by the end of the season. It’s a strange season because we played 20 games unbeaten and then you slip slightly away in one game, two games and suddenly it becomes a problem.’
It’s strange. IT’S STRANGE.
‘Pete, why did you wet the bed last night after drinking 14 bottles of wine?’
‘Pete, why are there 4 dead cats under your desk?’
He earns £10m to tell us the problems – occurring in a game that is filmed from 700 angles – are ‘strange.’
He’s just a rhetoric bot. There’s nothing substantive there. Nothing that moves you to think he understands the problem at hand. He’s the master excuse maker, hiding behind the sentiment and the cloak of a higher being he’s crafted for himself over the last ten years. Impressive, because he’s duped Stan K and the board. Depressing, because that means you and I have to waste at least two more years watching the club disintegrate into average.
The interesting thing for me is that what is likely to happen is the ‘careful what you wish for’ crowd are going to see the David Moyes effect happen under Wenger. Ironic, wouldn’t you say?
Anyway, more on the City battle tomorrow.
See you in the comments! xxx
P.S. You saw our shocking away record against the top 10? Just seen a Squawka stat that shows Gnabry has 9 goals away from home this season. Looking like a regretful loss.
P.P.S. Big shout out to the AST for getting their survey out the door early. A very strong and powerful read. They’re owning the back page of The Evening Standard tonight as well. Great stuff.