GOOD MORNING FRIENDS.
Ok, so let’s kick off this morning with some lines from posts of Christmas past.
‘He’s bottling it again. He has £70m left in the bank and he’s opting not to spend it because he can’t find the right player, which in itself is a major problem because we have a handsomely paid scouting network. Ultimately, the reason he’s not spending the money is because if he goes into the season with a full compliment of players, he’s accountable.
Wenger is hiding behind meek excuses because those excuses… well, excuse him. If you don’t believe this, tell me how he hasn’t landed a world class striker since we lost Robin Van Persie. Tell me why he hasn’t found a defensive midfielder of any sort of level since he lost Alex Song. Where is the third choice centre back?’
Things are getting crazy scary heading into deadline day. Arsene Wenger has gone into war mode. It’s him versus logic, the fans and the board. It’s the last stand of mad man as far as I’m concerned because no manager in their right mind can look at a squad as desperate as ours and think…
‘We can win the league here’
If he’s not gearing our squad up for that, why is he in charge?
What we now have is a stubborn man more interested in fighting those around him. Because look, whatever angle you take on this… his perceived ‘best interests for the club’ aren’t up to scratch. His summer so far should be enough to earn him the sack. What do we have, 12 fit players for the weekend? That is negligence. Not only that, we have a midfield who averagely only contribute 29 games between them. So this mess, statistically, is likely to get worse.
… also, it’s worth noting that when I say spend. I mean improve the playing staff. I don’t care for superstars. Best in category 20+ years old would work for me. Chelsea operate like that at the moment. Look how young their front pack of players are at the moment.
This was the headline of the September 1st post of 2012.
Beggars belief, right?
Going back over the years, bar some of the crazy players we’ve asked for on deadline day, there’s a common theme… ‘preparation’ and ‘excuses. Both crop up every summer. Over and over again. Every year, we complain that Wenger hasn’t pulled together a squad capable of competing, then guess what, the season draws out and we don’t compete.
News isn’t much better today. It was all pretty quiet bar a story from Jeremy Wilson that said we’d asked PSG about Cavani, Rabiot and Veratti. Apparently, PSG weren’t warm to this noise. Shocker. PSG didn’t want to sell key players a day before the window.
I mean, if that story is true, and I don’t doubt that it isn’t, it’s a total joke.
If we wanted any of those players, we should have made moves in May. Then we could have worked out the chances of the deal happening. Then we could have moved for others if the response was lukewarm.
So instead, what do we have? Well, we have a squad you can be sure probably won’t win the league. We don’t have enough depth in the defensive midfield role. We don’t have enough depth of quality upfront and we could also find ourselves short at centre back this season because our best partnership are 30+ and our back ups are very green.
We have a good group of players. But we don’t have a great group of players. Sadly, that’s what you need.
You know that when it all goes to shit, Wenger will complain the market is more competitive these days and that more clubs have money.
‘Look at Wolfsburg signing Draxler and Stoke signing Shaquiri. The competition is strong’
Like that’s a legitimate reason to do nothing. I don’t have the stats, but I’d be very surprised if there were many clubs in the whole of Europe who didn’t sign a single outfield player. Our output of the window has been quite staggering really.
The rest of the league bought averagely 4+ players. We purchased one. Chelsea spent £60m. City spent €100m+. United spent €100m. Liverpool €100m. What world does Arsene live in where he thinks he can mount a league challenge with zero outfield improvements?
Sure, we had a strong finish in 2015. Sure we’ve got to grips with tactics and fitness. But those elements aren’t going to push us over the line alone. We needed some magic sparkle up front and we desperately needed cover for the impressive Coquelin.
Sadly, it feels like Wenger has blown the window again. Sadly, it feels like he’s working for his own ego again. He wants to win the league on his terms, not the terms that state you need to invest to progress.
It’s a real shame. Wenger gets a little taste of success and he regresses back to ‘I know best’… then it’ll hit him hard again and he’ll have to make changes.
THEN US, AS FANS, SAY ‘I THINK HE’S CRACKED IT, HE KNOWS WHAT TO DO’
It happened after the FA Cup final a couple of seasons ago. Everything picked up in the build up to that final. The next season, he reverted back to whatever car crash notions he had and we had the worst start since time began.
Progress at Arsenal is stuttery. Just as you think we’ve turned a corner. Just as you think the manager has seen the light. He tries to play that… ‘guys, hold my beer, I’ve got this covered’… which usually whatever the football equivalent of sitting down for two minutes, then falling asleep in a drunken coma for a summer is. It’s an idealistic approach to football management which isn’t of this era.
Wenger just isn’t ruthless. He’s not the winner you want. He’s not the man to grab a season by the balls and drag it up the stairs kicking and screaming to glory.
He’s a man that watches more football than any one on planet earth. He has encyclopaedic knowledge of the world game. He watches game after game after game. He takes losses so badly he doesn’t sleep.
Yet he’s consistently demonstrated over the past ten years he might be watching, but he’s not analysing what’s going on. He doesn’t have the excuse of money now. His issue has to be deeper. He just doesn’t get it. Because how in the world can he have not made a good go for a striker and a DM? How could we possibly head into this season that unprepared… for problems we’ve had for the best part of 3 years!
The above might sound harsh, but it only sounds harsh if you’re looking at Arsene Wenger with yesteryear glasses on. Look at the facts. Look at what’s happening. Explain how we’ve landed ourselves with a short squad again?
Had a look?
Can’t fathom it?
It’s because it’s unfathomable. Groundhog season. Here again. Everyone else has it wrong. Arsene has it right.
Let’s see where it ends. I have a hunch.