I mean, that’s how I feel. It’s not wild displeasure, because it’s expected. I think that’s the vibe I picked up from over the pond. Looking at that beautiful London day, sun ripping through the stands, green grass, warm glow… all I could think was, ‘wow, I’d love to be there today’… but as the game started, masses of empty seats. Fans opting out of a sunshine beer day? So sad.
Most of my favourite memories of Arsenal are geared around the first days of spring drinking with my friends and family.
Surely Ivan Gazidis can’t look at that and be pleased? Not only that, the amount of tickets on sale for the next home game is quite incredible. For all of those ‘super positive about Arsene, but don’t get to go because I can’t get a ticket’ fill yer damn boots because you’ll get one this week.
I don’t know how deep to go into the game. It was kind of typical Arsenal. Dominant in possession without any real intent, go one up because of dire opposition, then get sucker punched late on in the second half, zero response.
So typical. So symptomatic of an Arsene Wenger team. So boring.
That’s the really sad thing about this current squad malaise. Wenger can’t even muster the ‘artistry’ argument these days. We had some nice exchanges yesterday, but they amounted to little. I don’t feel like we really know how to sustain pressure in a productive way at the moment. We still have no outlet, after 3 years of complaining. Yet another game with nothing to show for it. Sad, but all too familiar.
I feel like we have some nice jigsaw pieces, but no one is pulling them together and showing them how to work together. We lack a strategy. We lack a vision. Players are being asked to work things out themselves. But they don’t have a basic plan in place to action upon… so we end up playing this slow build game that amounts to nothing.
Crystal Palace are a mess. They were floating about on 39 points. They came with a simple game plan, don’t let our midfield play and we just let them off. Arsenal play one formation, and if that doesn’t work, we don’t have a plan B. We don’t have ability off the bench. We don’t have on pitch management. We aren’t set up for success in this era.
Wenger stands on the sidelines wondering why these things are happening, and looks like no one has told him that playing the same way every week makes you prime meat for planners.
I think we’re finally there with Wenger. He doesn’t have the minerals to fix the mess he’s built. The fans are bored. Bored of his comments in the press, bored of the false dawns, bored of his football… and now they’re voting with their wallets. Or trying to. They’re not even going to the games.
They need something fresh. Anything. They don’t care what it is as this point. We’re the starving man and the dried cracker right now, we’ll take anything, I’ll eat out of the bin. Just give me something different, because this current path has come to an end. Or at least it should have.
Things I want:
An manager who has a plan. Someone who has a very specific vision for where he wants to take the club. I don’t want splashy necessarily, because Arsene proved that you don’t need to hire splashy. I want someone who understands what it takes to win in the current environment we’re in.
That means tactical flexibility. Think about this, we’ve been complaining that there’s no plan b for 20 years. Noodle on that, Wenger has not sussed a second way of playing in 20 years. We need a manager who can manage from the sidelines. Constantly keep opposition guessing with quick changes of formation that bamboozle sides.
We need a pressing philosophy. Look at how Diego Simeone teams defend. Look at how they press like ferocious animals for the full 90minutes. Do you see that at Arsenal? You absolutely don’t. You see Gabriel press, not sure he’s getting it quite right as he wades out of defence to let strikers in behind him. The best teams press tactically. We don’t. That needs to change with Pep, Poch and Guardiola in the league.
Our scouting needs to work. Yeah, real basic here, but we need to get smarter about our scouting. We need to identify the right players and land them quickly. Elneny was a good start, but why did it take two windows to land him? Where are the other needs? Why does Wenger say it’s hard to sign players these days? Why is he still complaining that it’s a major problem? Says to me he’s ignoring names or his not being given them. Either way, it’s a fu*king sh*t show and it needs to improve.
We need to have a vision for the sort of player we want. But, before that, we need a vision of how we want to play. If it’s short passing tika taka, buy players that work for that. If it’s explosive counter attacking, build the squad out to play that way regardless of who is injured. We need players that work for a system, players that don’t come with terrible injury records / fitness issues (notice Ozil has trailed off in the second half of the season again) and players that are flexible. Toby Alderwirald was a prime example of a player we could have used. Experience, technical and could play 3 positions we needed covering.
Positivity. Yeah, I know that’s rich coming from me, but I’m actually a very positive person in real life. When I’m managed, I need to be managed by someone who is positive. Someone who I know has me covered if I can’t come up with the goods.You need the right energy at work.
Same for players. Imagine going into work and seeing Pep, Klopp or Simeone there? Incredible. Now imagine going to work and seeing Arsene there? Dead on his feet bemoaning the Brexit that won’t impact legislation for at least 5 years? It’d be pretty horrible, right? Imagine hearing that he was levelling out excuses for a failed summer before spring is over? Imagine going into work on September 1st with one new player? Boring.
Players are like you or me. They get excited by exciting people. Wenger isn’t that. He’s tired. He doesn’t understand what makes players tick, because if he did, we’d be winning the Premier League this year.
I want a manager who gets me excited to get up at 6am! I want someone who gets me into the ground 20 minutes early, I want a manager who makes me proud to chat Arsenal again.
This never ending story we’re in with Arsene makes me sad. I truly mean that. I went to a Bernie Sanders Rally yesterday with my Swedish Gooner pal and we were genuinely sad. Sad because we’d sat in a moody New York bar before with new fans lamenting the club. Sad because Bernie Sanders is 74 years old and he’s bringing 20,000 people of all ages to a park and whipping them into a frenzy because he has a vision, a plan and excitement that is so powerful he could get me into a park for 4 hours with NO BLOODY BEER.
I can’t take another 3 years of this. We shouldn’t have to. The dictator doesn’t know what he’s doing and he needs to go. It’s over. Turn the lights of Arsene, don’t wait for someone to do it for you.
Be interesting to hear your thoughts in the comments.