Is Arsene Wenger A Genius Or Just Lucky? Cast Your Vote Here!

What a difference a week makes.

In the space of 5 days, there were 3 games which turned Arsene Wenger from a pariah to a genius.

Arsenal’s season was on the verge of completely collapsing, and Saturday afternoon was billed as the biggest in Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal career. Win, and things looked up but lose, and it looked like curtains for Arsene.

So what happened? Well for 82 minutes, Arsene was on the brink of facing the biggest shit storm as Arsenal manager as Wigan were leading and looked to have booked their place in the FA Cup semi final. But Arsene’s luck was in and with less than 10 minutes of normal time remaining, Arsenal scored an equaliser.

It really was Arsene’s lucky day as Per Mertesacker’s chance only came from a completely miscued shot from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The ball fortunately bounced into the path of the BFG and he headed in from close range.

Then, if Arsenal fans hadn’t suffered enough we barely made it through on penalties against what is essentially a Championship side.

So the first task was complete. Arsenal were in the FA Cup Final, albeit it with a lot of luck.

Then onto Tuesday. West Ham United were the opposition in a game we had to win to keep in the race for fourth place. West Ham scored the opening goal but again the Gods shined down for Arsene. Lukas Podolski scored a massively important goal just before half time, the timing of which could not have been better. Olivier Giroud scored a phenomenal goal, one which 9 times out of 10 he would have mis-controlled and never made the opportunity to score.

So a bit of luck against West Ham.

Then last night, Everton surprisingly slipped up against Crystal Palace in a result no-one saw coming (unless you’re Iain Moody I suppose).

That left us one point clear in the race for fourth and put Arsenal firmly back in the driving seat for Champions League football next season.

What this leaves us with is the notion that Arsenal’s season is more successful than Manchester City’s. There is suddenly a huge amount of optimism around the club – we can finish with a major trophy and Champions League football – better than Manchester City, better than Everton, better than Manchester United and depending on how the results go, better than either Chelsea or Liverpool come May the 17th.

Suddenly, a disastrous season has the potential to be a “successful one”.

But it all comes down to the fortunate equaliser and penalty shootout against Wigan (which we all know is somewhat like a lottery), the decisive moments in the West Ham game and the surprising Everton result against Crystal Palace.

So let me ask you this, is Arsene Wenger a genius or just lucky?

Cast you vote here:

And you can leave your opinions in the comments section below.

5 Reasons Why Wigan Will Beat Arsenal 2-1 In The FA Cup Semi Final

For Wigan to win today against Arsenal you can get around 20/1, and for me they are killer odds worth taking advantage of. You can even get Wigan to win 1-0 at 19/1 – so the bookies think there’s no chance of that happening but we know that with Arsenal, anything is possible.

I will tell you exactly why Wigan will win 2-1 today and give us the 9th season in a row without silverware.

1. We Bottle It Under Pressure In Spectacular Fashion

Every single big test we’ve had away from home this season we have failed spectacularly. Against Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea we had season-defining games to prove we were genuine title contenders. What happened? We collapsed in sensational fashion.

Against Everton, it was our chance to prove that we were good enough to be in the Top Four. What happened? We got thrashed and were lucky to walk away with a 3-0 defeat.

Today represents another massive test in our season, and whenever we’ve had one we’ve failed.

2. The Players Have Stopped Playing For The Manager

We see training photographs before every “big” game of the players laughing, joking and generally being relaxed. That’s what Arsenal Football Club is now – a big joke.

The players have stopped playing for Arsene Wenger, that much is evident over the last 2 months. You can moan all you like about injuries but this is Arsenal. Our players are good enough to beat anyone on our day, but we haven’t because we haven’t turned up in important games. How on earth can you explain limp performances against Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton? Those are exactly the game footballers get out of bed in the morning to fight in and show the world how good they are. Instead, they stroll around as if they don’t give a shit.

And it’s all because the players don’t care anymore.

3. We Have Olivier Giroud

You all know how I feel about Olivier Giroud. He’s one of the worst Arsenal strikers ever to play for the club. One dimensional, limited and generally ineffective, the Frenchman is not a striker you can win any major honours with. If he put as much effort into missing chances and posing when he doesn’t score into actually getting a shot on target he’d be a decent player.

4. Arsene’s Tactical Knowledge Is Dated And Limited

There’s one thing being outplayed in the first 15 minutes of the football match (City, Liverpool, Chelsea & Everton) but it shows tactical ineptitude not to actually address those glaring problems. Any decent manager that was seeing his team get overrun, outplayed and generally playing poorly would step up and make some changes to at least stem the flow.

But Arsene? He’d rather “let his team play” and “express themselves”. The problem is, if Wigan go 1-0 up what will Arsene do? He’ll wait until Wigan go 2-0 before making any changes.

5. Wigan Are A Very Good Team

The bottom line is Wigan turn up for the big games, and today have nothing to lose. As it stands in the last 2 seasons they have won the FA Cup and reached the semi-final – the best record anyone has over the last 2 years. And today, they are relishing the underdog status.

They have the belief, the knowhow and the ability to pull off a game plan. They’ve beaten Manchester City twice in the FA Cup and know how to beat the big teams – and our record at the JJB Stadium wasn’t the best when they were in the Premier League.

So do yourself a favour, put a few quid on Wigan to win 2-1 and at least make a bit of money.

Why Arsene Has To Go, But Why He Will Never Leave

The last time we won anything was in 2005, when Patrick Vieira lifted the FA Cup after beating Manchester United on penalties. I remember that day well and even remember all of the penalties. Ashley Cole, Freddie Ljungberg, Robin van Persie, Lauren and of course captain Patrick Vieira all scored in a penalty shootout that finished 5-4. I even remember that it was Paul Scholes who missed their penalty, with Wayne Rooney, Ruud van Nistelroory, Ronaldo and Roy Keane converting their other four.

Since then we’ve come close to winning something. Only the season after in 2006, we reached the Champions League Final. Then in the 2007-2008 season, when Arsene had completed the reinvention of his Arsenal side, did we manage to come the closest we’ve ever had to winning the Premier League again. But fate conspired against us and Eduardo suffered that horrific injury. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I am certain we would have won the title that season if we didn’t have to experience that tragic day – Adebayor and Eduardo were forming a stunningly fantastic strike partnership and we had pace, power and guile all over the pitch.

And since then it’s been a barren few seasons where we have been settling for fourth place. We’ve managed a few third place finishes as well (woohoo) to spice things up, but joking aside it’s been stale. Arsenal have stagnated under Arsene Wenger.

We have reached a stage where it is obvious to absolutely everyone where the club is. It was obvious to the board about a decade ago, the fans new it years ago but now every football fan knows it – we are stuck in purgatory.

Arsene Wenger has to go because change is the only way Arsenal Football Club can move forward. Under Arsene Wenger we will always finish around 4th position. His failings as a manager are obvious but because of the power he yields over the club they will always go unaddressed. Arsene Wenger is extremely stubborn and won’t listen to advice or change his philosophy. It is literally his way or the highway.

Tactically, Arsene Wenger is in the dark ages and this has been badly exposed this season. His whole ethos is placing trust in his players, “letting them play” and only concentrating on how his team perform and not worry about the opposition. You can leave your team to their own devices if you have a talented squad like Barcelona’s but even they have struggled in recent seasons with this approach. Arsene constantly sends his teams out and it is abundantly clear that they are lost and have no idea what to do. How else can you explain why we’ve lost 6-3, 1-0, 5-1, 6-0 and 3-0 against the top sides this season (I include the 1-0 at Old Trafford because this is the worst United team in the last 20 years).

Also, because Arsene’s whole ideology is to “let the team express themselves” the other major disadvantage is that once it’s clear we’re getting overrun and being completely outplayed is that Arsene isn’t capable of turning things around or stemming the flow. Managers such as Rafa Benitez, Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Mancini, Alex Ferguson and (cringe) Jose Mourinho know when their team is drowning if you like and immediately make changes. Arsene Wenger and Steve Bould sit there on the sidelines with confused looks on their faces, seemingly wondering why they are losing 4-0. If Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea were losing 2-0 to Everton at half time he would have changed 3 players and either tried to get back into the game or at least not concede any more goals. The failure to address this is why we’ve been thrashed away from home time and time again.

But then again Arsene can’t reorganise because he’s told the players to “express themselves”. Telling the players what to do would negate the “trust” he has in them, and go against his whole ethos.

When you have a Thierry Henry or Robin van Persie who can score a goal from anything then this approach can work, but not when Olivier Giroud is your main striker. You need to organise the players and have a game-plan, but Arsene refuses to do this.

Another major flaw Arsene Wenger has is his failure to address injury problems. Every season (I’m sure you’re sick of this recurring theme by now) he bemoans the injury problems. So his solution? To bring in an injured Kim Kallstrom. Seriously, you couldn’t make this stuff up. All summer we had a shortage of strikers so we bring in an attacking midfielder on the last day of the transfer window. We still have striker problems but now have Ramsey and Theo out long term so we buy another crocked midfielder. The gross negligence is almost laughable if it wasn’t so tragic.

And then we have his “excuses” for losing these big away games. As Raphael Honigstein and Greg Bakowski pointed out in Football Weekly yesterday, Arsene Wenger constantly cites “fear”, “playing with the handbrake”, “being nervous” and other mentality issues as the cause for our awful performances. Firstly, surely it’s the managers job to address these issues, especially if they keep happening over and over and over and over and over again, and secondly if he keeps spouting this sh*te then the players will believe it. They will know they are not accountable for these poor performances and the manager has a ready-made excuse to justify playing badly. It’s a vicious circle and this season it has been badly exposed.

And now to the really bad news. Arsene Wenger is here to stay. He isn’t leaving, and he won’t get sacked. Even though change is what’s needed, and change is what a lot of Arsenal fans want, Arsene Wenger delivers. He gives guaranteed income to the fat cat shareholders, especially Stan Kroenke who is laughing all the way to the bank. Because of this he will never (and I mean never) get sacked and he has so much control and power anyway. He already “has a job for life” and he has done so much for the club that the board would never “humiliate” Arsene by sacking him. He has to leave of his own accord and that will never happen either – where else can anyone get £8 million per year not to win anything?

So there you have it. The bad news and the even worse news. Think Arsene is going to leave next season?

Think again.

We Need 4 More Players / Sell Vermaelen, Giroud, Nacho & Arteta

Mali – We Need 4 More Players

Well I’m not sure whats going on with Arsenal’s recent form. I watch the games, and I think theres a few of the present players not giving their all…They know who they are, and you know who they are.

We are way too slow going forward, and we play the ball square or back way too often, thus giving the opposition time to regroup and cover our next move. We are definitely lacking pace, and our build ups are too slow, and too predictable.
I think we need a new Goalkeeper, a new Defender, and two top class Strikers.

Arsene Wenger rewards failure. Players who consistently fail to win anything are given new deals over and over again, and others who have had enough of Arsene’s spin have left and won things at other clubs.

Mounting a serious title challenge with Olivier Giroud as your only real striking option is something only a stubborn and egotistical manager would do. Don’t disagree with recruiting a goalkeeper, defender and two strikers – will it happen though?

Don’t count on it.

Donald – No Plan B / Sell Vermaelen, Giroud, Nacho & Arteta

Arsenal have no plan B and plan A which doesnt even work. They have no width or pace in attack and they have no movement or finishing ability upfront in Giroud who is a dire footballer. So inevitably plan A will fail. Wenger is tactically naive and illdisciplined away from home against decent opposition.

We over commit all over the park and our fullbacks play infront of our forwards and centrbacks pushed up to half way our midfield nowhere and suddenly when we lose posssion its a free run on goal. Happens every game yet Wenger never changes.Wenger needs to resign and take Giroud with him along with Nacho and Verm and Arteta.

With a top class striker like Thierry Henry or Robin van Persie, we can play with one striker with 3 creative midfielders. But Olivier Giroud is nowhere near good enough to play that system.

Which begs the question why doesn’t Arsene change the system? Why not play with two up front or play a system where Giroud is not constantly isolated? We only have Plan A which against the weaker sides is okay but has consistently failed against the top teams.

I will be happy to see the back of Giroud. Arteta has been unfairly criticised in my opinion, he’s a decent midfielder with limited attributes but hasn’t been helped by Arsene’s system which has exposed him badly. He’s lined up alongside midfielders who have no interest in tracking back or defending as a team. And his best position is further up the pitch but he’s being asked to play a deeper role.

Have Your Say On Arsenal Right Here!

How do you feel about how things are going on at Arsenal? I’ve added a new “Have Your Say” section which you can access by clicking here or clicking on the link above.

I will be publishing regular submissions from Arsenal fans to give you a place to air your views and give other Arsenal fans to comment and give their thoughts too.

So click here to leave a comment and I will be posting your views soon!