Good morning Grovers, today is a guest post from Finestcuts in Poland so enjoy, have a nice day, we will update if there is any more transfer news.
Arsene Wenger often cites style when talking about how he wants Arsenal to develop under his tenure. When watching a Wenger team in full flow, playing at their best there is an unmistakable way of playing football that is so typical of Arsenal that both Arsenal fans and those who regularly watch English Premier League football can immediately recognise.
Arsenal aren’t the only team who are referred to as having a particular style of play which distinguishes them from other teams, there are many clubs which have a particular style associated with the way they aim to play the game. One notable example is Barcelona C.F, the current European Champions who play in a particular way, and quite flatteringly, Arsenal have been referred to by many as a mini-Barca.
This is mainly due to the fact that Arsenal have a much younger team than Barcelona yet the ethos is similar, quick short-passing, attacking positional play encompassed with superior technical skill is how both teams aim to both win their games and entertain those who appreciate beautiful football.
Many of us who regularly watch football and have done so for many years can recognise various tactics, styles of play and other variables which play a part in making each match unique. Every match is different, we see various styles clashing and often the tactics football managers employ are credited with winning, drawing or losing a game. Quite often, the analogy of a chess match is used to describe a football game. What do both sports share in common? Quite a lot
actually, I’ll hand over to International Master Edward Lasker ((Chess for fund & Chess for Blood (1962)),
‘Chess is a lot of fun if you bring to it the right attitude and a sense of humour. Of course, what is considered fun depends a good deal on the intellectual level and emotional make-up of the person to be amused, just as in any other type of recreation. I recall a nice comparison a friend of mine once drew between the fun in Chess and the pleasure a smoker derives from smoking his cigarette. One man will smoke one after another just for the kick he gets out of the taste. Another – an Artist perhaps-will blow rings and associate them with forms he has used or might use some day in his work. A scientist, watching the ashes on his cigarette grow longer and longer, might muse on the transformations of energy or the chemical changes taking place in that little roll of tobacco.’
Similarly, there are Chess players who play game after game just for the fight there is in them. To others, the beauty of a combination, the crystal clear logic of a manoeuvre carried through, appeals more than mere victory. A scientist might be intrigued by discovering in the game curious applications which govern the conversion of potential into kinetic energy as the various Chessmen execute their threats. The military strategist might draw parallels between the applications of
his maxims to real war and to the bloodless battle on the chess board.
Incidentally, like football, Chess is played by people of all backgrounds and nationalities, it is a truly international game.
Edward Lasker is the author of a brilliant book called “Chess Strategy” which is aimed at anyone who is interested in being taught by a master strength player from beginner level upwards. Lasker assumes no prior knowledge of chess at all, and best of all the book is available for free to anyone who wishes to search for it online since it was published back in 1915 and the copyright laws have expired therefore it available to anyone who wishes to learn how to play a good game of chess, something thoroughly recommended for those seeking an enjoyable and intellectually stimulating pastime during the
Back to all things Arsenal. Many question Wenger’s motives for aiming to achieve the style he has set out to achieve. Wenger’s recent transfer policy in particular has been the subject of much scrutiny and debate. “What’s he playing at?” and “What’s he in it for?” are two questions often levelled at his recent policies. This following article published last year covers many of those issues.
Wenger has long been viewed as a manager on the cutting edge of football progress. In fact he is credited with being the mastermind behind the rapid development of the English League. Who can forget his title triumph with the invincibles? He has introduced dietary regimes, psychological profiling and detailed statistical analysis to outsmart and defeat his fellow managers. They have had to follow suit just to keep up with Arsenal, spending hundreds of millions of pounds along the way just to compete in a rapidly evolving elite league. Yet because Arsenal have failed to win a trophy at senior level for the past five seasons, so the same man charged with escalating the quality of the competition to an unforeseen level is also charged with not getting with the times and failing to do enough to maintain previous successes.
Wenger talks about commitment both to the club and to his ideology as being at the core of his values, a trait associated with those who are successful.
W.H Murray describes it as:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”
Is Wenger stubborn? Or is he committed, lets examine the description of both words as explained by the Cambridge Advanced Learners dictionary.
Stubborn: Show phonetics
adjective: MAINLY DISAPPROVING
1 describes someone who is determined to do what they want and refuses
to do anything else:
‘They have massive rows because they’re both so stubborn. ‘
Commit: (PROMISE) Show phonetics
verb [I or T] -tt-
1 to promise or give your loyalty, time or money to a particular
principle, person or plan of action:
[R] Like so many men, he has problems committing himself to a relationship.
The government must commit itself to improving health care.
Once we have committed to this course of action there is no going back.
There is a fine line between the meaning of both words, and in many ways the difference in meaning is down
to the interpretation of the individual, and whether they interpret the situation as being positive or negative. To be committed you must be stubborn when faced with views or influences which oppose your idea of correctness.
Yet stubbornness is not necessarily commitment, it can be seen as a refusal to examine or acknowledge new information which could help you to improve or which challenges your belief system.
I don’t accept that Wenger is stubborn, the fact that Vermaelen and Arshavin have been brought into the club show he is willing to improve the team, and make the necessary adjustments to improve the quality of play as well as the consistency of results.
Who are Arsenal trying to please? Is it Wenger loyalists who will support Wenger through thick and thin (admirably so) because they place their trust in his superior and obsessive knowledge of the game? Or is it the Arsenal fan who has witnessed Arsenal achieving trophy success employing a different style of football which was a means to an end and is perhaps dissatisfied with the current perceived lack of success due to failure to win any silverware over the past few seasons?
That’s a tough one to answer. Although fans should stay loyal to the club they have chosen to support including all staff, there is also room for feedback and it must be embraced since it is a reaction to the current state of affairs. Wenger loyalists encourage us to keep the faith, that Wenger knows what he is doing, and that the current policy of training young players shall amount to future success, and for this to be achieved we must stick to Wenger’s principles of style
and purist football; and that through a particular style and ethos we shall achieve success for many years to come, and
that we must be committed to the ideas set out by Wenger which will be the foundation of Arsenal’s success for decades to come.
Wenger’s approach to football is that you must aim for the best of both worlds, the highest quality of technical football focused on team play rather than individual effort and winning trophies through playing efficiently and creatively using this style of play.
I have no doubt that Wenger will stick to his principles, and many question his ability to bring the club back to a title challenging position, especially in this day and age of Billionaire owners sponsoring their own clubs.
Having a style identical to none comes at a price; a high and a painful price. We’re led to believe that this price has already been paid, that the sacrifices made last season will make us stronger for the future, that the experience our young players have acquired will make them much better players, and that the club shall reap the benefits in the upcoming season.
Arsenal have reached a critical juncture; the much talked of style shall have to deliver silverware or be faced with
the accusation of being the culprit of the destruction of the first team (players leaving to join trophy winning teams) or the blooming “young guns” shall finally bear fruit and we’ll achieve Wenger’s near utopian dream of team spirit where the club will train players from a young age, thus creating team spirit and adopting a certain tactical style of play and club loyalty which many fans yearn for, a feeling that these players play for Arsenal because they love the club, they want to be there and at the same time play the best football in the land.
It’s a huge ambition, I hope it works and that next season Arsenal will not be nearly men, but play the best possible football that wins matches. Is it possible? That’s what the invincibles did, and that’s what Barca did this season. Here’s to the future, here’s to Arsenal’s unique attacking style, here’s to the return of trophy success under Wenger and the final phase of the transformation which shall hopefully be able to withstand both the financial and technical challenges of modern football for many years to come.