I took in Madrid versus Atleti last night, it showed how far we have to go to become the best. CR7 dropped another iconic performance. Not only is he one of the greatest talents to have graced the game, he’s also one of the fittest. How he doesn’t ever break is quite beyond me. Those genetics, unreal. Watching him out on the left roast about 6 Atleti players to deliver a near perfect cross to Benzema was unreal. His eye for goal and serial killer pass… I mean, unbelievable. He’s 32 years old! Involved in 15 goals in the CL this season, he’s personally scored 101 goals in CL, that’s more than the whole Atleti team ever, and they’ve been to two finals!
Anyway, not point in dreaming about what could be, we’re still trying to deal with what is. Today, we’re here to carry on the Arsene Wenger talk. Just to recap on yesterday, if you haven’t already heard through the viral wave of the Arsenal newswires. We’re shooting for a double protest. If you’re an Arsenal fan who wants to go to the game, make sure you pick up a Wenger out A4 sheet to wave in the ground, they should be yellow to act as a violent contrast against our red kit.
Protest route number 2. Just don’t go. Don’t sell you ticket. Just leave it empty.
Be a voice. Be Vacant.
That’s like my working week dependent on how much I’ve drunk the night before.
Also worth noting that I would cast a serious shadow of doubt over news that Wenger is going to sign his new deal cup final eve. Have it on pretty good authority that talks are being put to the backburner until after, so don’t panic that your morning beers down the Green Man will be spoiled with that shite.
Interesting levelling back onto the tactical work Wenger has been doing behind the scenes. Rolling into a contract negotiation, trying to tot up checkboxes, is beyond cynical. But part of me is glad it’s not working, because football is more complex than asking 11 players to change shape. That he out-thought Pep G tells you what a mess he’s in at City. When you look at the reality, we struggled against Boro, Leicester and took a pounding at Spurs. The 3 at the back gives us a bit more fluidity, but it certainly doesn’t look robust. Namely, because it isn’t, there’s no coaching happening there.
Here’s the thing though, professional footballers should be able to change system and adapt to formations and instructions. You can’t be dropping a new system with 9 games to go at the backend of the season. You need to start the preseason knowing how you want to play. While you’re working fitness, you should be practising tactics and working on the technical side of the game.
Pochettino has his players drilled. Lesser players at that. He can switch formation during a game and it’s no big deal. Wenger just isn’t capable of that sort of ‘on your feet’ thinking, and more alarmingly, he’s not capable of that sort of planning. He claims he watches a ton of football, but I really struggle to believe that. What is he paying attention to when he’s watching Zidane, Sampaoli, Favre, Jardim, Tuchel and Allegri? A man with a mind as sophisticated as Arsene’s can’t be watching. Or he can’t be paying attention. It’s shambolic that someone so in tune with the game can be so tone deaf.
Wenger could literally hire anyone on the planet to help him, but he chooses not to. Not only that, he chooses to proactively be ignorant of a game that is developing around him and humiliating him at the same time.
Even on the player front, he’s been failing for years. He signed Callum Chambers when he could have bought Toby Alderweirald. A shocking choice. He passed on Manolas when he had Joel Campbell as Olympiacos bait. He signed Alexis, despite the problem being that he was massively selfish. I love him, because he’s best in class at Arsenal, but he’s proved toxic this backend of the season, because he’s tapped out. Mesut Ozil, another player who has always had question marks around his attitude, has tanked for us. Carlo A shipped him out because of character issues. Jose Mourinho called him a coward in front of a whole dressing room. A precocious talent no doubt, but under a manager who can’t discipline players, he’s kind of pointless.
Arsenal need a new manager. There are plenty around Europe. Look at the two lining up tonight in the Champions League later on. Look at Lucian Favre pulling up trees with Nice of all teams. Look at the football Sampaoli has been playing with Sevilla. Look at the 29 year old Nagelsmann at Hoffenheim, the man is a genius in the making, he might actually take his minnows to the CL. Unreal work. Hasenhüttl sitting pretty in 2nd with a team newly promoted. So many great coaches around Europe at the moment.
There is nothing productive in Wenger staying. The players can’t work under the pressure of a bad coach who is always two defeats away from fan protest. It’s unhealthy.
We need someone to come into the club who can give it some direction. We need someone with a footballing philosophy. We need someone who is a strong character, someone who has been in a position of immense pressure before, we need someone who can make the brutal decisions. Thierry Henry is not the right choice, you can’t learn on the job, and transform a club at the same time. However, I’d not be against installing a core of explayers. Keep Steve Bould in the mix, rescue Freddie from Germany, bring in Jens Lehmann as the keeping coach, give Keown a chance. Bring in people who understand the culture of the club, even better, enforce it with aggression.
We need to bring a bit of pride back to the place. There are at least 10 options that would come to us in a heartbeat. Remember, this is the best job on the planet at the moment. Money, freedom and an absolute mess to takeover. We could switch out Wenger in a heartbeat and make things better. I really hope the power of the fans will make that happen.
Vacate, or be a voice. Simple as that. The future is in your hands.
Right, that’s me done, see you in the comments.
P.S. Ivan G won’t have resigned. You don’t get this close to the Promisedland and sack it in. That’s not how it works. Too much work to be done… back to your protest plans.