It’s all so predictable. It’s all so obvious. All the basics being ignored.
Worst thing, it’s not going to get any better.
This is almost an exact replication of the situation we had last year, only difference? We were smashing it going into the December period last winter. I remember writing that the wheels were going to come off the train (Napoli >>> City), because we were brutalising the same team over and over again. Well, the same thing is happening again and we’re seeing the same warning signs.
Against Anderlecht, he takes off two players who were actually running instead of taking of Santi Cazorla who has played all the games and collapsed physically late on in most of them… or Aaron Ramsey, who I’ve been saying most of the season seems to be playing like the talented kid at school who wants to be at the centre of everything. Against Burnley, he starts Sanchez. Do we really need him in a game like that?
Why have we not rotated the squad? Why have we not learned from the injury collapse we had last season? Or the start of this season? Why hasn’t anyone pulled Wenger into a room and read him the riot act? Because jeez… does he need it. How can he talk about fatigue after playing Burnley? Amazing post-game press conferencing.
Simple fact of the matter is this… Wenger doesn’t know what he’s doing now. There’s no logic in his decisions, because… there’s actually no logic in his decisions. He’s a man past his prime. So past his prime he’s starting to look like that piece of bacon you left in the bottom of your fridge. He’s incapable of learning from his mistakes, he refuses to accept the modern rigours of the game and he’s bombing this team into mediocrity faster than you can blink an eye.
You can’t turn around a ship that’s been sinking for the best part of 5 years. The knowledge hole is far too big. If the season is a marathon, we’ve sprinted for the first 5 miles on a broken leg. I’d be very surprised is the next two months bear any fruit. It’s amazing that we’re still in the top four melting pot. It’s not surprising we’re out of the running for the league.
… and that’s the sad thing. Most Arsenal fans knew we were never in the running for the league. How can we still set up for a season with a squad we know isn’t capable? Why is that ok?
As for losing a 3 goal lead against one of Europe’s B teams… why is it acceptable that this sort of result is par the course for Arsene’s teams? The players he buys aren’t bad players. They’re not mentally fragile. They’re world cup winners, league winners, FA Cup winners. They’re not weak people. All the naivety comes down to atrocious planning.
I’ve started reading Pep’s book. This is bad news for you lot, because it just serves to highlight why Arsene is not an elite manager and why he never will be again.
Pep is all about preparation. His biggest weakness as a manager is that he wants to be integral to all the preparation. Barcelona built a team of 20 assistants around him to reduce the amount of hours he worked, but he would still be the last one out of the office. He planned scenario, after scenario, after scenario so he could map the perfect game. He is so much of a detail freak that if his players did something in a game he didn’t plan, and it surpassed his idea, he’d feel like a failure.
A man managing some of the most incredible talents to game has ever seen, a tactician so meticulous he feels a failure if his players do something unexpected. A man that controlled his players because he had more energy and passion than all of them combined. A leader. Someone to look up to. A man of total accountability.
Does Wenger look like he has that energy? Does he look like he has the desire of Pep? Does he react in the way Pep would? If he doesn’t, should he be managing a club of the stature of Arsenal in 2014?
That’s the level you need to be at these days. You can’t be introducing a bit of video analysis in 2014. You can’t approach games with absolute naivety. Your substitution strategy can’t be based around leaving tired players on. You can’t palm off injury crisis as bad luck. You can’t shrug your shoulders when you fail to sign enough centre backs. You can’t bemoan the transfer market not being like Tesco when you fail to replace Alex Song in two years. You can’t keep a backroom team who aren’t driving things forward because they’re beholden to you.
It’s a shit show at Arsenal. It’s so bad now, I wonder if Wenger can last the season? The players will know what they’re being served is substandard. The fans know it’s weak. The top brass clearly see what we’re seeing and more. So does the manager? Does he have the pride to carry on sailing the ship that’s nose diving at a rate of knots?
So it begs the question, how long can this last?