‘Poetry comes from the highest happiness or the deepest sorrow.’ A.P.J. Abdul Kalum
That’s exactly what I was thinking when Arsene Wenger reeled of this pearler in his post-Brighton prezzer.
‘When you have just the trousers on it’s easy to take the trousers off as well. But when you are naked completely you have to find the shirt to try to put it on again and dress normal again.’
Reminiscent of the Eric Cantona seagull prose back in the day. He sounds lost, full of sorrow and a little unhinged, but really, when you’re searching for answers in a barrel of ‘I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING’ tar, what else are you going to say?
Arsene Wenger must have been relieved to head to Brighton away. A short trip against a team even our group of broken cry babies could beat. Not a chance. The fans knew what was coming, and predictably, the tone for the afternoon was set within 7 minutes. A very cheeky corner that almost looked like it was planned. A looping ball to the back post, the runner shielded on his way in, the ball nodded back across goal, Lewis Dunk on hand to bundled home in a crowded 6 yard box.
Arsenal didn’t have much of a response, it appeared this was another case of downing tools. Laurent Koscielny; a defender that has an overblown reputation considering how many disaster classes he’s dropped over the years, misplaced a pass to Gross, the high looping cross into the box was headed back across Cech who simply doesn’t have it in him to make the miraculous saves these days.
There was a hint of a comeback, but even our goal seemed like an sheepish accident. Granit Xhaka of all people managed to find Aubameyang from 8 yards, the Gabonese forking the ball in with the outside of his boot from 8 yards.
Wenger, who looked like he’d just been told Robert Mueller was waiting for him in the changing room at halftime seemed to offer the players absolutely zero in his speech. The second half was just more of the same.
How do you even go about analysing a game so bereft of anything new to talk about. How can you fathom Danny Welbeck chasing down a result?
Arsene Wenger doesn’t know what to do. He’s as confused as his press conference trouser poem. How does a manager with his experience keep making the same mistakes? What made the manager think a starting 11 with Iwobi, Kolasinac and Xhaka had the answers?
The performance was pitiful. Mesut Ozil has secured his future and decided to start taking holidays during the games. His lack of leadership and presence was embarrassing to watch, exactly the reason no major club wanted him. Jack Wilshere, for all his faux bluster, was abysmal. I don’t care that he has pashun for the club, he should be channelling it into something productive on the pitch. This is the guy who was bossing Barca at 18, now he’s getting his backside spanked by a ragtag bunch of journeymen.
And look, it’s not lost on me that they’re playing under Arsene Wenger. That’s why I was glad we didn’t sign Lemar last summer. Wenger is the destroyer of talent these days. His winning magic gift of the past was letting technically gifted players flourish under a superior fitness regime. You can see now how much he benefited from an incredibly disciplined back 5 he inherited. You can say he replicated that with the invincibles, but let’s be frank, it’s clear that was more a case of osmosis and a passing of the baton from old to new. It’s clear he has no idea how to instill defensive rigor, and we’ve know this for 15 years.
My point is, nowadays, everyone is technically gifted, the additional spice the best managers offer is delivered through chalkboard education. You need to give them the tools to outthink their opponents. You need to understand the game on a whole different level, and you need those players to be able to react to different scenarios that happen in game. We have no tactical fluidity. Our players, to put it bluntly, are dumb (in the footballing sense).
That’s why our managers snarky comments last week about player ability being the defining factor in winning these days was so compelling in how wrong it was. Pep’s unique talent is that he makes incredible players fight like they were underdogs and he transmits his ideas with such a force, they cannot be unthought. Arsene Wenger is throwing his players to the wolves week in week out. He believes discipline is the enemy of art. He is a dated idealist, a man willing to sacrifice all values to attain unshackled beauty. Trouble is, his art is unimaginative, and his star for pulling the crowds has long faded. Wenger is Van Gough, both ears on the floor, painting his canvass with dog faeces. It’s so sad to watch.
It’s doesn’t even have to to be this way. Do you think an unimpeded Steve Bould would tolerate our defence playing like rank amateurs? Do you think he and Jens Lehmann would have trouble building discipline and desire into the squad? There is enough talent behind the scenes at Arsenal for us not to be in this situation. The saddest part about this whole debacle is it’s all a product of Wenger’s ego. He cannot be seen to cede any amount of power, and that’s what’s destroyed the last 10 years of his career. If he’d handed over the defence to Bould, if he’d hired a coach who could teach pressing, if he’d armed himself with a tactical specialist who could assess opposition and plan for their strengths and expose their weaknesses, imagine where we’d be?
Mustafi, Bellerin, Koscielny, Monreal are not bad players, they’re just badly coached. Same goes for the rest of the squad.
The club has to act. They should either fire Wenger now, or tell him it’s over at the end of the season. The players should be told they are playing for their careers, and the club demands the manager is sent off with dignity.
A Europa League win for the greatest manager we’ve ever had.
There can be no situation where Wenger stays on. A Europa League win does not change that fact the manager is finished and the squad do not want to play for him anymore.
Behind the scenes, our search and select process needs to ramp up. A manager should be identified, he should be given 2 coaches he can bring with him. Arsenal should work behind the scenes to back channel information to the new man. He needs to start making decisions about players he wants to keep and players he wants to move on. This is exactly what City did.
The club need to clear the excuses away right now. Start the ball rolling. Make the summer seamless, don’t start making moves on the 31st of May. We’ve been there before, and we know that the manager has no qualms about wrecking a summer if it means he’ll have another year of power.
Wenger has played his final card. It’s over. He’s damaged the first team, he’s damaged the fans relationship with the club, and he’s finally damaging the business. The decision is a no-brainer.
Make the right move, install the right people, and make a splash and I guarantee you, this club can and will move forward rapidly.
Yesterday was the perfect result. Going out of the Europa would be even better. I’m beyond caring what people think about me wanting this over. We all only have one life to live, it can be cut short in the blink of an eye, and I for one cannot tolerate another year wasting my time watching utter dross.
There’s too much joy waiting out there.
As fans, we’ll rubberneck the slowest car crash in sporting history, then we’ll gear up for the biggest change in an Arsenal generation.
Fingers crossed, I think it’s going to be great (and please, dear GOD let the rumour Everton are in for Wenger be true)
We’re recording a new podcast tonight, if you didn’t listen to the last one, bloody well do, okay? The second half we talk about Josh Kroenke comments and cover off the exciting managers in Europe.