Wenger expertly prepared with excuse, not a plan for the fixtures

by & filed under News Review.

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Arsenal saw out 2017 the way Arsene Wenger has been justifying his continued presence at Arsenal for 10 years. We didn’t quite do the job, and there was a lovely excuse to disguise the stone-cold reality that we were in fact, distinctly average once again in an away match in the Premier League.

We’ve only won three games on the road this season, which simply isn’t good enough. Were Arsenal helped in any way by the disgraceful Mike Dean? Of course we weren’t. His late penalty decision was nothing short of negligent when you consider his age and experience. Kieran Gibbs chased a lost cause into our box, flanked closely by Chambers, our ex back left back tried to hook the ball back into the danger zone, it clipped Chambers downward pointing hands and the ref pointed to the spot.

It was never a penalty. I can’t think of many officials that would have risked a furore of giving a kick they only had half a view of, but that is Mike Dean. He’s a showman and he loves making the headlines about him as he no doubt prepares his memoirs for the post-retirement money grab in a few years. We need VAR right away. If refs are STILL giving those decisions when they’re aided with tech, they’ll be demoted because they won’t have the cover of ‘real time is fast these days.’

It was a shame as well, because despite playing really quite poorly, Arsenal had managed to craft a lead from a wildly deflected Sanchez freekick late on. Hardly deserved on the face of it, but considering our lack of rest time, I think most fans were willing to suck up the lethargic performance.

It wasn’t to be, instead, we ceded yet more points to the teams in front of us, and also lost ground in the race for top 4. There’s really no way of packaging that result as anything other than disastrous. Outside the dropped points, we also lost more defenders to injury. Kolasinac went down to an impact injury to the inside of his knee, and later on, we lost Koscielny to a fate yet unknown.

I could appreciate Wenger’s anger about the fixture list. It’s hard to argue two days extra rest at elite levels of sport aren’t beneficial. However, it also has to be remembered, WBA are hardly elite. They’ve not won a game in 18 attempts. Kieran Gibbs hasn’t actually played on a winning side yet. We’re also a much bigger club with resources that should give us a squad fresh enough to at least give a creative 30minutes in a game like this.

Again, this is just another easy cover story for the deeper problem at Arsenal > we’re just not that good. Our away record has been poor all season, our attacking philosophy is confused, sluggish and largely toothless. Defensively, we’re nowhere near cracking it. We don’t think about the physical attributes needed on the pitch, despite all of Wenger success coming from powerhouse players.

We missed Ozil, but he’s played plenty in plenty of games that have yielded little. As fans, we’re all pretty impressed with Lacazette, but the harsh reality is our £60m striker isn’t cutting it in front of goal like we’d hoped. You can blame the service, but if you run the numbers, Arsenal are threatening goal, they’re just not finishing. Even yesterday, we had 14 shots at their goal but only hit the target 4 times. It’s hardly surprising a small striker with average pace is struggling to find a grip in games. But couldn’t there be a solution that involved two strikers? Should we not be looking at how Atleti get the best out of Griezmann (who I know is actually fast, but you get what I mean)?

The manager doesn’t help himself with some of his selections. I really want Iwobi to come good, but he’s as contentious as Alex Hleb was back in the day. Technically, he’s very good, but it’s becoming harder and harder to understand what he’s offering our attack. He shits the bed every time he’s presented a sniff at goal. He gives the ball up under the slightest pressure. He’s not a smart decision maker. I hate to say it, but do you think Theo would be doing as badly? How much more rest time are we going to give Welbeck before we can bring him back into the mix? I’d have taken the impressive AMN in a deeper lying role and let Jack push forward over an Iwobi disaster class.

It’s also tough to ignore how soft the management of the squad is. If the kids are good enough, as Wenger often says, then yesterday should have been a prime opp to show them off because we were playing a terrible side. If they’re not good enough to help a tired squad, they should be loaned out to gain some experience.

Why does Ozil keep landing breaks for tough away games? You know he’ll be back for Chelsea. Why doesn’t the manager drop underperforming players like Bellerin and Iwobi? There are plenty who’d do a better job than Iwobi, and I’m pretty certain Debuchy would offer more than our Spanish wantaway.

Go back a few weeks when Mustafi rolled off injured against United… I have it on good authority he was ready for the Southampton game, but the club knew the fans would spit feathers if he was played. At a proper club, that sort of weak mentality would see the bench for 6 weeks. Under Wenger, it’s par the course because he doesn’t have a ruthless edge or much desire to win.

Two days time we play Chelsea. Our back 3 is going to look something like the FA Cup final offering. No Monreal, Koscielny, or Kolasinac. Aaron Ramsey is having his customary month off midseason when we need him most (I’ll be very interested to see how the numbers stack up when considering offering him a new deal, considering his injury record and bookended season). It’s going to be incredibly tough. But look, these fixtures have been out for a while, we should have been planning starting 11s around the challenges, not waiting for the team to fail, ready with a white flag.

Remember, this Arsenal side over the last 5 years has the 3rd highest net spend. We’re now rocking a £200m wage bill. We’re bidding £90m for players. The club has all it needs to be 15 points higher in the league without bringing in more players, imagine what we’d be doing under a manager with fresh thinking and visionary ideas?

Arsene Wenger is a controlled disaster, we’ve known it for years, and we still have 18months more of falling behind before we can be finished with it. Despressing, but better than 5 years.

Right, see you in the comments.

Happy New Year as well! x

331 Responses to “Wenger expertly prepared with excuse, not a plan for the fixtures”

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  1. Mark

    Don,
    You’re in your early thirties if I remember, so why would you know more about what modern youngsters are talking about ? You’re not exactly a youngster yourself.

    I have a 18yr old daughter who’s boyfriend is a 19 yr old professional at QPR and 16yr+14yr olds. 16 year old plays football for Charlton youth. None of the above qualifies my opinions more than anyone elses. But I listen and hear these kids talk, and I have never heard any of the kids ever come out with the nonsense you are saying. They like players will flair and skills regardless of Where they’re from.

    I’ll say no more on matter until you tell us who those “fans” were.
    So we might as well consider it closed cos we all know you can’t.

    Ps. I’m not that old, and look in my late thirties early forties, Thank you very much.

  2. graham62

    Pedro

    Everything always goes back to Wenger, we all know that

    “Imagine what we’d be doing under a manager with fresh thinking and visionary ideas”

    With this squad of players, the resources and infrastructure at his disposal, as well as the considerable finances available, a manager with only minimal experience and a solid knowledge of the game, could do a damn sight better.

    The joke is on us, the fans, for not pushing for this to happen.

    What an embarrassment.

  3. Don

    Mark

    You think they’re going to talk like that in front of you? A mates dad? No way.
    And yes I’m in my early thirties but when you were that age the racial demographic was massively different to when I was a teenager. Just as it will be in another generations time from my generation.
    Either way. Get off your high horse
    It’s my opinion extracted from my own personal life experiences. It’s not racist or xenophobic it’s what I’ve experienced.
    Bob himself admitted that he doesn’t like English players Bla bla blah

  4. Mark

    @E54
    Not pleasant reading.
    Doesnt look like he’s planning on going quietly.
    Which is all the more reason for us to place 7th or so this year. Let’s just say (most likely) he doesn’t step down in shame .

    Can you imagine if/when we finish outside of the top four at the end of his contract. I think there would be an almighty uproar from the whole fanbase about him extending.
    It’s him saying stuff like this, that makes you realise he needs to be hounded out !

  5. Pierre

    Bob
    If you say “It’s the dogs bollocks” It means it’s good not crap.

    I think You need to brush up on your English.

  6. UTarse

    Red
    A list of WOB1. Redtruth
    2. Peanuts
    3. steve

    I’m very fucking offended you didn’t see fit to include me in this list.

  7. arsene's used sock

    we didn’t score a single goal in a 1-1 draw against wba.
    I would say same old shit show but it’s not, it’s a long time fermenting shit show

    change the damn manager, sign everyone to a new deal and have arsene announce his retirement at the end of the season right now

  8. Jamie

    Don – January 1, 2018 18:35:47
    Mark. I’m arsenal. I’m English. I’m white. Proud of all three.

    You’re proud of being white? You mean like ‘white pride’?

  9. Bob

    Arsenal might be a English team but….

    Owner: American/Russian

    Manager: French

    Best players: german/French/chilean

    Worst players:British’ Ramsay/wilshere/Walcott/Chambers

  10. David Smith

    We just need
    1/ get rid of a past it manager
    2/ somehow deal with an owner who will not put money in the club, in his own words, he is not here to win titles, and refuses to deal with, said, past it manager
    Big changes needed, if not , the Kroenkes lose money. Long shot, but as we are stuck with them, could Josh be eventually a bit more dynamic than his dad?

  11. E54_

    So much attention given to trolls.
    /
    What did wenger mean when he said sanchez can ‘do what he wants’ if its a team abroad. Does that mean he can go to PSG even if Arsenal don’t agree? Even though his contract ends in summer. Someone break it down pls. Cheers.

  12. Wallace

    “But I listen and hear these kids talk, and I have never heard any of the kids ever come out with the nonsense you are saying. They like players will flair and skills regardless of Where they’re from.”

    I remember Wenger years ago being asked about the amount of foreign players in the PL and his response was, ‘fans like good players, they don’t care about the passport’.

  13. Wallace

    although Burnley fans might disagree….

    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/burnley-brexit-britishness-sean-dyche-premier-league-most-interesting-project-a8124456.html

    “And yet even measured against the likes of Moyes, Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis, Burnley still stand out. For example, the club has never signed a player from Asia or north Africa. Their only Latin American (goalkeeper Diego Penny) made just one league start a decade ago. Meanwhile, not a single Premier League minute this season has been played by a non-white footballer.”

    obviously making a play for the brexit mob

  14. Wenker-wanger

    I agree with mark and others hoping we finish 6th or lower in the prem. Ejecting Wenger can only really arise from intense fan anger at this despot. Kroenke doesn’t care about football and whilst Wenger somehow creates profit, he appears happy employing this useless fraud.
    I used to think that wanting arsenal to lose was bizarre…almost a psychologically self -destructive thing to do… But now its like there is no alternative. This selfish arrogant imposter only really cares about himself… A megalomaniac, narcissist egotist that craves the adulation he still gets by some mutters.
    Perhaps a really poor showing this season will significantly generate a fan backlash.
    I hope so, and I would add that (philosophically), I would want this type of person(Wenger) out of any position of power at any organisation…its just a rotten type of situation.

  15. Wenker-wanger

    I’m sure dyce doesn’t give a shit about what colour his players are. He doesn’t strike me as an idiot…quite the opposite.
    Glad there’s no mention of quotas…that notion is absurd and technically illogical.

  16. Wenker-wanger

    The Sanchez situation has an overload of conditions to satisfy a move.
    Because Wenger refused to acknowledge the intensity of Sanchez’s desire to move in the summer, we are left with a worsening problem. Like a poker game where the stakes are now high enough to exclude a quit option, Wenger can’t afford for his credibility to let Sanchez going on a free.
    Wenger’s deluded high opinion of himself may end up costing the club £35m or more.
    The more you analyse it, the more damning of Wenger it gets.

  17. HighburyLegend

    Wenger is slashing TH 14 in the press ??
    He says that Henry is paid for “talking, talking, talking”… ???

    Kim Jong, you are paid much more than Henry, for doing NOTHING, since YEARS!!
    Someone get this pig out of our club.

  18. OleGunner

    Haven’t we known Wenger is addicted to the Arsenal job like a crack head needs their pipe?

    That’s why I laugh so hard when people think he’s leaving in the summer of 2019.

  19. Wenker-wanger

    @ hill wood…. Sounds like the reason Wenger stays at the club, serving no one but himself…an addict ….a person that has lost his real sense of usefulness…just waits for his next fix of a victory and oblivious to the damage he causes those around him.

  20. HighburyLegend

    I think the same than OleGunner… le parasite is here for a long time (again).
    Exepted that I don’t think it’s funny, at all.

  21. arsene's used sock

    arsene wenger is literally comparing himself to a junkie lmao.
    straight from the horses mouth.
    why is he still under contract, get the man some help