Arsene Wenger hit back at critics regarding the two day break he gave players in the week. I’m not sure why, probably because the insinuation has been there that he burns players out and he has been doing so most of his career, albeit with more success in the early years.
‘It’s not necessarily fatigue, I don’t see why that’s suddenly a problem. We’ve player without a break since December, we don’t have to justify that, it’s unbelievable. We are in a society where everybody wants to control everything. It is unusual? We are entitled to do unusual things.”
He went on to say that sometimes it’s a mental break. Which, of course is absolutely correct. He’s also right in saying that a 2 day break isn’t really for fatigue, you won’t find too many players recovering all their energy in that time period. I’m not quite sure what the society comment us all about, but I find i amusing that someone with such a lust for control is hitting out at people wanting to do that. Back to the subject, I think journalists have every right to question him on players like Ozil and their lack lustre efforts because there’s plenty of public data available that prove the recent Ozil / Giroud dips in form have more to do with minutes played than anything else.
… but again, a little snippet into the mind of Arsene and how he works. He’d rather focus on the intangible over the actual hard truth. He is and will always be a manager who relies more on gut. His experience trumps the what a computer tells him, in fact, what anything tells him. Substitutes, transfer, wages… whatever, he is the best man to make that call. On this subject, that’s fine as tech is merely an enabler, but there has to be a balance struck.
Anyway, it’s good that he did it. I thought it was amusing to see how quickly the players ferreted away. Mesut went back to Germany, Podolski went to see his old club, Santi was sharing pictures of a beautiful sunset in Spain and Giroud was buying up all the ‘babes, I’m sorry’ flowers he could. Looked like they all had a great time.
Good news for them on the fatigue front is that Spurs sorted themselves out with a two legged semi against Benfica. I’m pretty sure the second leg; the game before they play us, is away from home. Hopefully they’ll be chasing that trophy. Getting your legs back three days later to play Arsenal is always going to be a recipe for defeat. So that’s great news. What will Arsene do against Bayern now? Does he bring in fringe players and shoot for Spurs… or does he shoot for the legendary headline moment and go for bust?
It’s a really tough question… I’d be shooting for Spurs, but as we know, Arsene is the guy 252 yards, over water, on a windy day who takes out the three wood and goes for the pub story. The league is more important. He doesn’t have to field a weak team against Bayern, he can blood Rambo, but he can also play a squad like the one we went with at the weekend a go. We’ll see though… I’m interested to see how he takes on the final games of the year… because once we nail this next pack of hard league games, we go into a very nice run of 5 easy games… against teams who could well be on their holidays mentally. 11 points from the next 5 and the title could be ours if we continue to dominate the weak teams.
All down to the manager and how intelligently he uses his squad. We’re also lucky that Chelsea vs Gala was a draw. That could go to either way and maybe even extra time. The fixture list had been kind to us. We need to take advantage.
In other news, rumours are hot that Arsenal are working in a deal to bring Robin back to Arsenal. I’m not quite sure what to think here. He was always going to be a massive risk for United. Temperamental and a permanent injury hazard. I’ve no idea why Arsene would ever consider bringing someone back who the fans now dislike so much. I mean, he really threw Arsenal under the bus when he left…. Arsene willingly supported that act by not replacing properly. However, the Robin replacement shouldn’t be an older, less fit version of the same player. Hopefully that’s just paper talk.
I forgot to mention Konoplyanka who played for Dnipro last night. What a talented player. Power, pace with an outrageous amount of aggression and drive. He can play wide left or through the middle. He’s such a talent. If we’re looking to shift on Podolski this summer, we could do worse than look at this chap. What an absolute beast of a player.
On the subject of players, it’s sad to see the Hig doing so well. He’s landed 21 goals with 10 assists in 31 games. I wonder if Wenger has any regrets around the plug pulling on that deal? I mean, on the one had, he had the temptation of the Suarez deal which threw him… which is probably the clubs issue around the lack of due diligence… but he’d have made a difference this season.
Right, enjoy the day, the cold weather is back… hooray for February… and PAY DAY!
SPEND YOUR CASH LIKE ARSENE WASN’T LOOKING!