Sunday 4 March 2018

Imagining The Post Wenger Landscape At Arsenal

It looks like the WengerOuters who were previously the lunatic fringe are now the mainstream and might soon get their wish.

The day Arsene Wenger believes his work is done was always going to come and if I had a magic wand, it will not come like this.

Wenger has to go when he wants to go. In my opinion he has earned the right and I say this because I am convinced Wenger will go if he realizes he is the problem or when he knows the club doesn’t want him or need him. Wenger is not there because he needs the money or the status, he can get the same money elsewhere and the status at a few clubs that are better than Arsenal.

A few months ago, Wenger gave this interview and said he was ready to sacrifice his job for the values of the club. If the values of the club are threatened, he will leave and he was ready to leave in the summer.

He is staying on to preserve those values, the same values we Arsenal fans admire about the club. Yes, the on field results are atrocious but there is more. What we are seeing on the pitch is a reflection of a bigger issue that obviously has nothing to do with poor coaching and by inference a lot to do with off the field issues.

I believe Wenger is the bulwark against the employee type at Arsenal. The ‘take take take’ type. When it is finished, it is off to the next gullible employer.

I worry about the future as it doesn’t take a lot to damage a club. Ozil’s new contract is a £52m one. It was negotiated by the might of the new guys and the Chief Executive. If not for the problems partly created by the anti Wenger element within the club, Ozil’s contract would have maybe cost £15m less.

Throw in a few more £200k per week contracts that don’t work and the club is left facing a bill of a few £31m per failed contract extension / signing.

Factor in a few pay offs for managerial sackings, maybe £5m a pop, generous sweetheart agents deal that doesn’t happen now and people start wondering where al the money has gone.

I pray it never happens but the handwriting is on the wall. Just look at all the transfer deals we hear about. Manchester United and City get absolutely dicked about on transfers but because there is an unlimited pot, they don’t care. The continentals appear to do good business and will turn away from financially awful deals. Nobody in Europe was willing to cough up the £40m they knew was going into Raiola’s pocket on the back of the Pogba deal. Only Manchester United did.

Look at the pigs head made of transfers in Everton under Koeman, Moshiri and Kenwright. At the moment, the only place where you think maybe they are getting the financial side of transfers right is Chelsea. Mr. Roman Abramovich keeps a mafia like eyes on the purse. They also do a few selling deals that tell you they are sleek operators and not ignorant willing victims.

Arsene is not a bad manager. As I have tweeted before, Ozil and Sanchez stats have improved significantly since they came under Wenger’s wings. Koscielny famously came from Ligue 2 in France. Iwobi was a boy the Academy wanted to let go at every review because of his height. Bellerin has come from nowhere, Monreal doing great stuff. All down to Wenger’s coaching.

When did Wenger become a poor coach / manager? People level allegations of staleness, stayed too long and whatever spurious things they want to allege but poor management? Absolutely no evidence of that bar the results. I agree you get judged by the results but the results are not a reflection of a manager’s ability.

I have looked at all of our Premier League loses this season and I cant see which one you can blame on a lack of coaching. 

Stoke – referee. Penalty denied. Equalizing goal denied.
Liverpool – dressing room bust up due to Oxlade Chamberlain departure
Watford – 2 goals against Arsenal that should have been disallowed
Manchester City – 2 dodgy goals against Arsenal. Offside and dubious penalty
United – gifting opponents 2 goals and failing to score 10 odd gilt edged chances
Bournemouth – goal keeping error
Swansea – defensive and goal keeping error
Tottenham – dubious goal. Harry Kane foul on Koscielny
City at Emirates – Ok, maybe we were poor
Brighton away – goal keeping errors

Please feel free so say what you like to the above assessment. Can’t be worse than what others have said.

Out of these losses, I want to blame Wenger for our defeat to City at the Emirates. Why? I think Arsenal should have called the match off. We don’t do enough skullduggery.  To be fair, it does appear the Premier League wanted the match to go on. Secondly I though Arsene should have been a bit more cautious / more defensive but my impression is that he went a bit more attacking because the collective decided that was the way to go.

Arsene does not need to teach a senior professional not to give horrible back passes or hospital passes to teammates. If you think Petr Cech and David Ospina are not getting enough training, it is pointless you reading this or having an argument with you.

My view is our players’ confidence is shot. I could blame the Oxlade Chamberlain issue, the Sanchez issue, the referee’s gang up, the size of Ozil’s new contract, AFTV digging out Bellerin, arrival of Aubameyang making it look like Lacazette had been relegated. But I don’t know if that is true, it is all speculation. Only one man, his staff and the squad know what the issues are and I back that one man to solve the problem.

He has made it clear that job security is not the top of his priority. He has made it clear he does not plan to resign. If the board want him gone, they should STOP BRIEFING THE PRESS and make a case to the majority shareholder. If the majority shareholder refuses to pull the plug, the board should come out and make a statement backing the man and should back him wholeheartedly. The Board should stop worsening the situation.

When Wenger goes. Hector is out of the door. I believe Kosc will follow too. Ozil might wonder if he wants to stick around, Nacho maybe and who knows who else.

When Wenger leaves. The vultures will sink their teeth into what is left. The things Arsene didn’t allow them do.

Poor results from the new man will be blamed on Wenger. 

If it ever goes pop in a few years time, it will also be blamed on Wenger.

But I know the good man did a lot for the club. He dragged the club into the 21st century and birthed the most successful period of the club ever.

Until he decides to walk away, I remain in support of him and I am convinced he will walk away if he thinks he is the cause of rot we are in or if he loses the dressing room.