Happy Wednesday. This week is dragging like you would not believe. GET ME TO THE WEEKEND.
Arsene Wenger was on the defensive in his press conference, and in a typically deluded mood.
“Look, everybody is free to do what they want with their season ticket,”
“We have to live with that. It’s a Thursday night, it’s unusual. We just had a disappointing result at home, maybe that plays a part as well. First of all it’s not experienced yet and we have to live with that.”
I’d rather Wenger addressed the problems head on, instead of shirking them or pretending they don’t exist. The Thursday night game won’t be empty because Thursday is a weird day. It’ll be empty because he hasn’t done his job properly… again.
This is the point you need your manager to be strong, face up to his failings and promise to do things better.
Instead he’s making excuses, because he lives in a cocooned world. He doesn’t think there’s a problem. Or if there is a problem, in some way, we should be grateful that it’s him picking up the pieces.
Here’s another example of Wenger forgetting his audience, I know you should normally take comments like the following with a pinch of salt, but this is Arsene’s Arsenal and we know how the film ends (Film is Summer Failings 7). Here’s Wenger commenting on Mahrez rumours.
“No, even if it was, I would not think about it at this stage of the season. It would be disrespectful to Leicester, but it is not the case.”
You see, really, you should be thinking about improving your squad throughout the season.
Firstly, set up your squad for success. By the end of the summer, you should have all the flexibility you need built into the final list of players. You need the right blend of experience, you need to have plan As, plan Bs and plan Cs. If Santi gets injured, what happens? If Wilshere doesn’t come back all season, what happens? Should we even be giving squad numbers to Rosicky and Arteta? All those questions should be answered. But they weren’t.
Anyway, assuming you’re satisfied with the numbers. As you move through the weeks, you should be listing the weaknesses in the squad. By the time you get through to December, if there’s a pattern emerging, like, say, we lack quality defensive midfield as cover… or we’re becoming too reliant on an aging Mertesacker, you start to put the feelers out about replacements so when January strikes, you’re good to go.
That same process should be applied as you go through the second half of the season. By now, your scouting department should have a very specific set of briefs they’re working to. Your Dick Law should be putting feelers out and testing the waters. The club should be in full swing making noises to agents, sussing out interesting.
By the time you hit April, you should have a plan A. Here is the gold standard of players we want this summer, here is what we’re paying them, here is what the price is for them.
If plan A doesn’t work, you have B option, a C option and a D option. You could break up the striker issue into World Class (Benzema), emerging (Auba), upstart (Beradi), old bastard (Zlatan).
Every base should be covered. Every scenario worked out. This transfer business isn’t easy because there are so many moving pieces, but we clearly don’t make it work because we’re so limited in our approach. The best coaches know exactly what they need, how the pieces work together and what it takes to kick on… Arsene doesn’t. He’s a man with one idea and he quite often executes it on the fly.
We’ll sign a Xhaka, all get excited about the rumours he’s going big, then he’ll do half a job and we’ll be looking at U21 players coming through to plug the gaps.
‘ZELALEM IS THE FUTURE DON’T KILL THIS BABY BOY’
We’ve been here so many times before.
Aside from how it should and does work at major clubs, we don’t have the spirit at the club we need. The attitude on the pitch was so off at the last game. It was like they played after watching the club dog get run over by the team bus. Everyone checked out, on their holidays. What do you think Wenger’s response was in the dressing room? Do you think the players were tearing chunks out of each other? Did anyone have Bellerin up against the wall? Or did they all have their Beats on eating a sandwich laughing at Chamberlain’s Snapchat banter?
You can bet your bottom dollar there was no passion, because there’s none on the pitch.
Anyway, nice to see Arsene Wenger is deluding himself about the issue with the fans and nice to see his summer doesn’t sound like it has a deliverable on it yet.
Have a great day, I’ll be in Texas tomorrow, so I might not post until late.