Wenger shows Merson was right with horror show…

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Well, well, well… that game was kind of called. You know why? Because we’re a pretty predictable outfit these days. I could go into the gory detail, but there are so many things that upset me about yesterday, all I can muster is bullet points, because I break down every time I try to write a story.

WHY WENGER WHY!

Starting Line-up…

What sort of manager, in this day in age, basically sticks out the same starting 3 games in a row? I mean, it’s completely incomprehensible. You’re asking for trouble. Santi Cazorla is 29 years old, he’s not capable of that much game time, and it showed. Our front three have been run into the ground. Our centre backs are ruined. The reason we started so slowly yesterday wasn’t tactical, it was because the manager has no idea how to keep a team fresh.

Swansea…

Missing two of their best players to injury as well has having their main man Jon-jo Shelvey out injured.

Reading the game…

We’ve seen it so many times before with Wenger, but he seems absolutely incapable of reading a game. Calum Chambers was taking a pasting down the left from Montero. He was being absolutely destroyed time and time again, yet Wenger did nothing to support him. I mean, it wasn’t like he hadn’t had a warning about this, in the week against Anderlecht, the same thing happened. Why wasn’t Chambo instructed to support. Where were the learnings from the game in midweek?

Scenario planning…

Following on from the last point. We took a one goal lead away from home, the team, crippled by confidence just needed to play out the rest of the game in a sensible fashion. Jose Mourinho would have had a shut down plan. Turn the flair taps off and sand bag the three points. Arsenal threw away a lead in midweek in  cataclysmic style. Who sat down with the players this week and gave them the tools to stop that happening again?

Clearly, no one. Our tactics didn’t change. We carried on playing like school kids and we were punished in quick succession. The manager sat on his hands again, because he doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing anymore.

Chasing a game…

So all managers have positive attributes, right? Well, Wenger’s used to be all about being bold. We’re losing, chasing a game, who does the manager bring on to chase it? Yaya Sanogo. Nothing sums up Arsene and what a total embarrassment he’s become more than that substitution.

He has a World Cup winning striker on the bench who he claims is one of the best finishers he’s ever worked with… yet he opts for a player who hasn’t scored a Premier League goal to chase the game. Lukas ain’t the full package, but he has one of the fiercest strikers in the Premier League, he has been in situations like that loads of times before and he has ‘now’ ability.

Please, someone tell me what Arsene was thinking. I don’t want him to go all ‘Paul Merson’ on me, but that was atrocious management.

Where was Joel?

Preceding that last point, I should probably point out that Joel Campbell was left out of the squad entirely to make way for the managers love child. Yaya Sanogo has no experience, limited ability and an unbelievably bad injury record. Yet he’s being preferred over Joel Campbell who has over 100 games worth of experience in Europe, a bunch of caps and a fantastic World Cup finals under his belt. Why did the manager bother keeping him? He’s exactly the sort of player who lifts you in games like that. Built powerfully, fast, totally unpredictable. It’s a farce we’re still watching a player totally out of his depth come in games like yesterday’s.

Division…

Basic psychology here, if you’ve worked in any sort of competitive environment, you’ll know about this one. Wenger is dividing the dressing room now. He has the players he loves, who get a game every single week regardless of performance. He has the players he doesn’t love. So Rosicky, Campbell and Lukas. He’s creating division. He’s not giving the squad the rotation it needs. You do that, you upset your players so they’re not right mentally when you call them up. You also ensure they’re not match sharp when you need them. There is no logic in not rotating a squad. It’s going to cost us big time. You need to be seen to be being fair, Wenger isn’t being fair at the moment.

Management…

It’s quite clear that Wenger has never been able to recreate that knowledge base since the invincibles broke up. Ray Parlour was talking at this event pregame, he said he’d thrown his hat into the ring to become the Youth Team coach, citing his reason for wanting it as ‘know how’. Now, Ray Parlour is totally unsuitable for the role as our youth team coach, him thinking he has any right to that is all that is wrong with football. However, what we lack is a team that just get on with it. Do you think players like Bergkamp and Adams would allow what is going on at the moment? Where are our big personalities at the moment? Who is looking after the stupid mistakes like Vieira or Campbell would have? It’s not there anymore. Wenger recruits really nice boys. But to win, you need nasty. You need scary. You need dominant. This is all the managers making, but we don’t have a team of leaders out there and all the know how Wenger needs to succeed has gone and he’s not there to replace it.

Shad Forsythe…

This all feeds into the point before, but it’s clear Wenger has built a culture of ‘he knows best’… so no one steps up to him. How do I know this? Because nothing ever changes. Now, we’re either in a situation where all of Wenger’s backroom team don’t have a clue what’s going on, or we’re in a situation where they’re all keeping quiet to protect their jobs.

Fact: Our players look lifeless on the pitch and they’re picking up injuries. No change from last season.

What’s going on there? What is Shad Forsythe doing and how is he impacting the first team? Has Ivan sat him down and asked about this? Have the club interrogated his failings so far? Someone should do. If I’d signed an expensive man like that, I’d want to know what was wrong and what I could do to support him to be better.

I’ve been reading a few books on culture. There’s a great one call ‘Kill the Company’ and another about Pixar called ‘Creative Inc’. I mention these, not because I want to help you have more fun at work, but because your culture is singularly the most important thing that will drive your enterprise forward. Both books talk about creativity and problem solving being stifled. The best companies in the world strive for an environment where everyone is empowered to solve problems. That means having a leadership function that recognises the blockades. That means having a boss that accepts all the ideas can’t come from one place.

Do we have that at Arsenal? Do we fuck. If we did, perhaps we’d be in a better situation. Wenger is master of the universe, he’s the king maker and now he’s suffering because no one will step forward with a better plan. Why? Because ‘Arsene Knows’… he probably has a banner of it above his desk he points to every time someone goes in with a suggestion for improvement.

Our culture is rotten. Our manager is blinded by his own experience. Our players will know exactly what’s going on and they’ll kick back in the end because they’ve seen the promised land. They’ve worked with world class coaches of this age. When you know how good things can be… you’ll talk to your pals and tell them. When you talk, you cause unrest. Wenger has bigger problems awaiting him.

Treading water…

As I’ve said many times before on this blog, striving for elite average is a bad strategy. Never making a change because you haven’t failed hard enough, again, is not progressive. In the end, your idleness catches up with you. What Arsenal are suffering with at the moment isn’t a bad season, it’s a culmination of 5-10 years of the club sitting on their hands and as Sir Chips said, ‘keeping quiet when their is no plan’.

When you’re winning, you should kill the formula. If you don’t, you’ll only face bigger problems down the line. When you’re treading water, there is absolutely no excuse for not changing the approach. We’ve been treading water for years, we’re still not changing the formula because Ivan and Stan think progress is top 4. It’s so depressing to be part of a portfolio. We’re not run with any sporting pride. That’s what gets me. Where is the ruthless edge? Where is the winnertivity?

Leaving early…

I can’t see the manager making his move midseason, but I can see him turning it all in. The fans are going off him in a big way and he’ll know this. His biggest fear will centre around power. He runs the show at Arsenal and he knows that no other club on the planet would give him the power he has for so little return. Not just that, he’s totally and utterly dead in the upper echelons of the game. He’s never coming back and any CEO worth his salt would know that.

So we have to hope that come the end of the season, he decides to bow out gracefully. I don’t want him at Arsenal anymore. It’s all about him now. He’s lost focus on the club. He’s not learning. He refuses to accept his mistakes and he’s killing his legacy. It’s time to let go. It’s time to step aside. It’s time to give the keys to Arsenal to a manager who can kick things forward.

Saving grace…

Everyone else is a terrible as we are at the moment. It’s a really sorry state of affairs. LVG, as I mentioned in the summer, has been a total disaster. Blaming training pitches for his horrendous injury pile up is beyond hilarious. Pochettino who is a superb manager doesn’t have the players he needs to play that pressing game. Rodgers is sinking with Champions League football. City’s players aren’t playing for Pelligrini. We will probably still pick up fourth. That’s the sad thing, because 4th really isn’t what this club needs. It needs a shock, a change and a kick up the backside if it wants to see the glory days again…

… but fear not. If Ivan makes the right decision, things will get better and quickly.

519 Responses to “Wenger shows Merson was right with horror show…”

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  1. Relieable sauce

    Like football, we gave the world the humble sandwich & now we can’t even manage that.

    bob’s right the English are fucking useless : /

  2. N5

    Sorry for the late reply Reality Check I was watching a movie so missed the evenings comments. Great reply mate and really interesting questions! I’m with you all the way! It makes you wonder who they don’t want the Emirates to be available too!

  3. WengerEagle

    Keyser

    It happens seasons after season with us though, it’s a bit premature to directly compare City’s current slump to our perennial season by season failure over the last number of years.

    It’s way too early to brand City as failures or bottlers whereas with us it’s been the same cycle of failure year after year. If it weren’t for our F.A Cup win last season that would have been 9 seasons without a single trophy. It’s no surprise that we’re blowing leads and bottling matches because we do it every year. City don’t if we’re being fair.

    If City were to go for years without winning trophies and regularly choked in matches blowing leads and losing to their rivals then the mentality and leadership of the likes of Kompany and Hart would be called into question without doubt.

  4. tunnygriffboy

    Merson is a twat

    Piers Morgan is a twat.

    They may well have valid points but because they’re idiots the have no gravitas in what they say. Neither is going to sway fans with their opinions. Martin Keown on the other hand. . . . . .

  5. N5

    Tunny, what do you think about Dixon? he’s been a little more sympathetic to our shortfalls but critical none the less! do you think fans pay attention to him? also what about Wrighty? on 606 he always seems still firmly on Wengers side, but again, like Dixon more critical of his current choices?

    Please read the above as me being interested in your opinion as apposed to a snarky response to calling Merson an idiot.

  6. tunnygriffboy

    WE

    Haven’t City bottled it every year in the CL ? A billion quid gets you 2 league titles on the last day of the season and good luck to them. It’s also brought 2 fa cup defeats v Wigan , one in a final and a loss to a second string Newcastle. Their CL performances have even been worse than ours.

  7. Keyser

    WE – Mate, you’re not looking at it objectively, Citeh did go years without trophies, but then no-one expected anything of them, because they hadn’t invested a billion pounds into the team.

    You can’t say the expectations are the same can you ? You have to judge them on their own merits, if they’ve had the best squad in the league, if not Europe for the past 4-5 years, can you really say they’ve achieved what’s expected of them ? No.

    If you’re being fair you’d compare them on their own merits.

    Like Real Madrid, yeah they won the Champions League, but when you compare their resources to Atletico, you’d have to say they underachieved.

    At least that’s the starting point you take, and then you look for reasons, Mangala had a decent game against Chelsea then scored an own goal and gave away a penalty against Hull.

    He’s a 32 million pound French International, is leadership or direction what he’s lacking or is it simply an adjustment period to the league. Remember he’s moving into a team of leaders and last years Champions.

    A bit like Chambers, is it just a leadership thing or is there more to it, was our loss just down to the defence or is there more to it. It’s almost lazy to single out specific targets like that, but that’s what people want, they want someone, something to focus their ire on.

  8. tunnygriffboy

    N5

    I think Dixon, Wright, Keown have a huge amount of respect for Wenger. The likes of Dixon, Keown had their careers lengthened by the innovations Wenger brought in. They got to play with great players, played amazing football and won things. Why shouldn’t they respect him.

    Post them Wenger was part of a vision to take our club into the 21st century so we could have some chance of being competitive with the big boys for years to come. I think they realised that things were tight for a while and Wenger still kept us in touch. I think there’s respect for that. They’ve seen him build two more very good teams 2008 and 2011 but saw them shattered when players left.

    Perhaps that has taken it’s toll on Wenger and the likes of Dixon and Keown are loathe to really batter him because of what he has done for the club. I think that maybe he’s lost the drive and age has caught up with him and they see that with some of the issues that are currently problematic. I think if he asked them to help him they’d go like a flash.

    Sorry Merson is an idiot. He’s also ignorant. It’s a big joke when he can’t pronounce peoples names. I think it’s rude and disrespectful when he’s paid good money to get things like that right.

  9. Keyser

    I don’t think Mersons a twat, I really want to believe he’s genuinely just a lovable thicko, Piers Morgan I’m not soo sure on, but they’re paid for an opinion, Sky profit from keeping people interested, it’s naive to think they don’t push pundits to be scathing or hyper-critical.

    If Merson said ‘you know what, they’ve had injuries, after a difficult summer with the World Cup, hey they’ve got 7 points in their Champions League group and look set to qualify, hopefully as players return they build up consistentcy’, I bet you’d hear Stelling go ‘ffs Paul thought you were going to lay into them’.

    If Chelsea run away with the league, to keep people interested they’ll switch it to about going unbeaten, they’ll intensify the crisis comments, they want people on edge.

    How the fuck can every Sunday be ‘SuperSunday’.

    Anyway he did have a somewhat valid point about ticket prices, said that for years, lower the prices, fans have no reason to complain.

  10. Arsenal 1886-2006

    People who are knocking Merson seem to forget that he played football at the highest level, do they seriously believe that he knows nothing of tactics and game plans? you do not play for that long and know nothing about the game.

  11. tunnygriffboy

    Gambon

    Evening sir. Are you well ? 🙂

    Bit of a feeding frenzy at the moment don’t you think. I can’t work out if people are angry that we’re playing poorly or delighted that the boot can go into Wenger. Perhaps it’s both !

  12. N5

    Thank you for your reply Tunny. It’s strange how much our ex-players divide supporters. For example I love Tony Adams for what he stood for at the club and what he gave on the pitch, but the guy is a sycophantic monotone bore, I respect his opinion if I can stay awake through it, but even he has made me think, “why don’t you just concentrate on your own thing and shh”.

    I’ve never believed Merson to be a twat. Like Keyser, I consider him an oaf, he’s clumsy and a bit simple.

  13. Keyser

    Lol case in point, criticise anyone at all, without being completely polarised, you’re supposedly doing it with an agenda.

    Who’s knocking ‘Merson’ and who’s saying he knows nothings.

    It’s like Scholes last year, he laid into Arsenal and you had the muppets nodding, but when it came to talking about the Shambles at Man United a couple of minutes later, you actually saw some insight and it was ‘Well, United don’t do this, they’ll need to move this person back’ and he was completely calm and rational again.

  14. Keyser

    N5 – I like that he reacts like a fan, but at the same time he’s not your average fan, he’s got a cushy job he wouldn’t otherwise have, save for him being a footballer, he’s there to provide actual insight or you might aswell have any one of us up there.

    It’s like Ian Wright, he’s one of the reasons I started supporting Arsenal, but he’s always been a gobby well urchin, but you backed him because he’s Arsenal, even when he was diving in two footed on Schmeichel.

  15. Keyser

    tunny that’s bitchGambon, the other gambon usually lets him out at night or when he’s away so he doesn’t take a shit in the living room, ignore him.

  16. N5

    Ha ha a gobby well urchin is such a good description of Wrighty.

    I agree with you on Merson too, he’s a Gooner and that’s clear too see and the man thinks with his heart which is fine also, but he’s very clumsy with his opinion which has resulted in him becoming a hero to some and a villain to others.

    It was odd to see Wenger reply to it though, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him give to much thought to a comment made by an ex-player. I wonder what it was that Merson said that pushed him.

  17. Relieable sauce

    Can’t believe the way some of our great ex players get talked about on this site.

    Some so called Arsenal fans are total garbage.

  18. Keyser

    N5 – It could be any number of things, It could be something as simple as a journalist saying ‘Arsene, Paul Merson has called you ‘tactically clueless’ what do you say to that ?’ Merson didn’t quite say that and Wenger probably hasn’t watched the video of Merson so he’s just replied in kind.

  19. tunnygriffboy

    Re the Ox v Swansea. He was our main threat going forward and ran himself stupid ( Sanchez influence ? or Theo coming back ? ). His form has picked up last few games. Often difficult to get back when you’re driving forward all the time., Shouldn’t it be the case that our deep lying midfielder slips in to help Chambers as well.

    Tim Vickery reckons Montero one of quickest guys in Soth America.

  20. N5

    Good point Keyser, I forget about Journalistic manipulation. I just recall Wenger saying at times in the past that he isn’t going to comment on someone elses remark as he hasn’t seen it etc.

  21. Keyser

    Then the Daily Star phone up Merson and say ‘Arsena called you a cunt’

    ‘Did he now, well he was begging for my cunnus, before I left’

    Or simply Merson writes for the Star and it gets his name in the headlines for a few days, then on Soccer Saturday he can sit down with the Soccer Saturday cunts, and say ‘You’ll never guess what Wenguh called me’

  22. tunnygriffboy

    Reliable

    So someone doesn’t like Merson is garbage yet people come on here everyday and call our players shit, c.unts, wankers etc and wish death and illness on Wenger but that’s ok. Double standards ?

  23. N5

    Sal, good to see you mate, you been working or on holiday?

    Also great news about TYAGs boy being out of hospital. I missed that bit!! He’ll be causing havoc in no time.

  24. Relieable sauce

    Keyser

    Nothing wrong with Wrighty’s challenge with Schmeichel really, the one where they burst the ball do you mean? Playing the race card was silly if that was true.
    His worst challenge was on Ogrizovic, that was really brutal & unnecessary. Same goes for Paul Davis as well.
    I’ve personally never subscribed to the notion that footballers should be role models for anyone, nice if they are but not realistic to expect or demand it imo.

  25. salparadisenyc

    N5

    Ahoy matie.. been working like a man should not.
    Comedy to step out for a bit and come back. Same conversation, enhanced by some really piss poor performances. I didn’t even watch yesterday by choice, sad state of affairs that. Real kick in the balls conceding title 1/3 of the way in, with Wenger’s neglect in the market with funds available. Says far more than some would care to admit.

  26. Keyser

    It’s the one that sticks in your mind, Lol didn’t know he’d burst the ball, Schmeichel racing out, Wrighty racing towards the ball and it just shocked me how much venom he jumped in with, I think it was around the time David Busst ? broke his leg, that could be just my hazy memory though.

    It’s not especially about being role models, we support Arsenal almost irrationally, we idiolise, or put players on pedastals because they’ve played for us, the loyalty we feel towards them should be acknowledged not abused and they should respect that.

    We listen to them because they of their connections, we give them the benefit of the doubt, we choose to overlook obvious imperfections.

    You ever watch the SkyLegends programme on Adams, I’m not sure on the programme title but he’s talking to Phil Tufnell.

  27. N5

    Sal, I was getting worried, I was going to ask Dan to pop round and check that you’d not done and Elvis and past on the crapper! Good to see you back buddy, I hope you are able to take your foot of the accelerator for a bit with work. You don’t wanna do a Wenger and blow yourself out 1/3 of the way through a job 😀

    The whole situation with conceding such easy goals is concerning. It’s seeming easier and easier to score against us lately and maybe it’s been better for your heart that you’ve been working rather than watching that mess.

  28. Zacharse

    What if Moyes came good at Sociedad and two years in the future we hired him to replace Wenger.

    I’d honestly say Moyes would do a better job right now if given the opportunity than Wanker. But I’d obviously hope for someone a bit more succesful

  29. Relieable sauce

    Keyser

    Yeah I tried looking on youtube for it but couldn’t find the clip, epic competitors those 2. I think there was already some history between them & it can’t have been too long after the original 21 man dust up between the 2 teams way back. Ahh great memories.

    No I’ve not seen the Adams programme, I’ll try & check it out. You recommend it then?

  30. MidwestGun

    “What is a normal fan?”
    “Love Wenger staying on, I just hope he demolishes Arsenal”
    ___________________
    Let me clue you up Marble.
    A normal fan is the opposite of your ridiculous crap. It’s actually pathetic you have resorted to calling every commenter out by name and calling everyone on here bad fans to try and get attention from anyone….. anyone…. anyone…. notice me please. Please notice me.
    It’s actually embarassing being on the same site as you.

  31. Ashwin Gunner

    Morning all
    N5

    How are you mate.. how is it going.

    TYAG
    didn;t know about your son being in hospital. Great news he is out.. wish him a speedy recovery

    MidwestGun

    its not that bad to have trollers like Marble in here.. They make us realize how stupid the world is 😀

  32. Jeff

    Moyes named Real Sociedad manager. The club sit at position 15. I’m guessing his main job will be to avoid relegation.

  33. gonsterous

    The flu’s kept me in bed since the weekend… Managed to catch the arsenal game and was I disappointed.. why do we not have a single leader in the team.. surely they can see what’s going on and can at least try to organise on the pitch.. and I don’t mean flamini with his weird shoutings… Sometimes I don’t know who or why he is shouting to..

  34. Ughelligunner

    Good morning all, thank God for TYNG, you/we can now smile now.

    Dissenter, you see most of us critical wenger out guys never listen to other coaches of like grade.

    Before the last capital cup final against the minors mourinho was actually complaining of injuries.

    I know a lot about chelsea’s game becos i own a sport center and i am forced to watch their boring football. And their fans literally know arsenal cannot be compared to chelsea so when i rile into them they don’t have a say. (you don’t have this kind of squad and still play like stoke)

    Tell me wenger does not sign worldclass players on the pitch, tell me he refused to sign a defensive midfielder, tell me he loves making late subs, tell me he is too patient with players,

    then i wouldn’t comment or raise an objection.

    But when glaring issues that affect every team are laid on his table as his fault then i warm up and come in the game.

  35. Ughelligunner

    And mind you, the reply wenger gave to merson’s comment was nothing new, he also told Paul scholes same thing about managing zero games with opinion and all that, i never saw people saying scholes got to wenger.

    When the media questions you about a subject on the spot after a lost, you have to say something.

    I think with all the ranting merson is going on about, he is the one feeling pain.

    People greater then him have done more with their mouths to wenger, and we shouldn’t let this get into our head.

  36. Arsene's Vet

    I AM WRITING IN CAPS BECAUSE I THINK THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. I READ ‘SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON’ THIS MORNING AND SHE’S BANG ON TARGET. WELL WORTH A READ. BUT GENERALLY THE IDEA IS THIS, DON’T WAIT FOR ANY ORGANIZED PROTESTS, DIY. TYPE OR SCRIBBLE WENGER OUT ON A PIECE OF PAPER, PRINT IT OUT WITH MATES TO HOLD ALOFT DURING THE MATCH, HAND OUT A FEW WENGER OUT POSTERS ON TRAINS EN ROUTE MARCH, DO ANYTHING TO BE HEARD. THE WENGER OUT BRIGADE MAY BE MUCH MORE THAN WE ASSUME. GOD BLESS ARSENAL!

  37. Emiratesstroller

    WENGER FACES UNREST IN RANKS OVER DEFENCE

    Interesting article in today’s Daily Telegraph suggesting ‘that there is frustration within the club’ over Wenger’s refusal to change his defensive set-up.

    According to authors of article Matt Law and Jeremy Wilson ‘other back room staff were left dismayed by the Frenchman’s approach at Liberty Stadium.’

    The general view was that Monreal and Chambers should have switched positions in defence.

    My view is that whilst that might have been the option in this particular game
    it does not actually solve our current situation, because Chambers is right sided and Monreal is left sided. What we lack is is an additional experienced centre back who can play on left when Koscielny is unfit.

    What we have been seeing for a very long time is a Manager who is completely out of touch with requirements of the modern game and clearly does not listen to anyone else’s point of view.

    Whether the voices within the club will have any impact is debatable. Most of
    the football staff at club owe their jobs to Wenger. If he goes they would surely go as well.

  38. Bamford13

    Ian Wright says Wenger has ignored Bould’s suggestions re defensive signings.

    The Sun says Reus set to snub Arsenal. Who could possibly blame him?

    Merton offers the following gem: “Arsenal’s season is usually over by February, but its in danger of being over a lot quicker than that this year.”

    Arsenal are only one point ahead of a United in transition and only three points ahead of a Tottenham in crisis.

    Wenger out.

  39. Gunner2301

    Pedro

    Great post today as well as yesterday bang on with your sentiment.

    If anybody is looking at organising the fly by I will contribute. I think it’s important now that certain players are calling Wenger out that we also apply pressure we might not get another opportunity like this. If we can keep his failings in the media we will be able to embarrass him into resigning.

    WENGER OUT!