This season is getting more and more painful as it progresses and with Arsenal getting knocked out of the FA Cup against Watford yesterday, the abuse towards Arsene Wenger is getting more and more out of hand.
The man who is undoubtedly the greatest Arsenal manager of all time is being subjected to unnecessary outrage from the supporters – unnecessary in the case being it should have never have got to this stage.
Arsene Wenger has built a fantastic club, spoilt the fans with some amazing success, but unfortunately from an Arsenal supporter who idolises and worships Wenger, even I have to admit that his time is up.
Painfully, here are 10 reasons why Arsene Wenger has to leave:
10. His staff are full of yes men
We all know Arsene Wenger has ultimate control at Arsenal and while he has engineered a position of absolute power at the club, he has surrounded himself with staff who never question him. Every manager needs a sounding board for ideas, not people who blindly agree with him and his ideas. Arsene Wenger is always right and his stubbornness is killing the club.
9. His style of play is dated and predictable
For the first 10 years of Arsene’s reign, Arsenal played pyrotechnic stuff – the best football in the country by a mile. The passing, movement and precise style of play was amazing to watch but it was also effective and devastating at the same time. We would score for fun, all the while entertaining the fans and finding new ways to score beautiful goals. Of late though, we’ve become boring, predictable and sterile. We struggle to score goals despite huge amounts of possession and teams find it ridiculously easy to absorb the ‘pressure’ and get us on the break.
8. He is not ruthless enough
The team is full of average players. We have world class talent like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, but they are supported by a cast of average players like Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, et al. And in terms of his team selection, he is not ruthless enough. Too many players who underperform are never dropped, and left to struggle when they need a rest. He has assembled a squad which should have cover in most positions yet doesn’t drop players when they are clearly suffering from fatigue or are just out of form. This affects performances and therefore results, and that’s one of the reasons we have struggled badly over the last 2 months, resulting in Arsenal bottling it in the title race and FA Cup.
7. He can’t see the teams’ weaknesses
Our poor run (4 wins in our last 14 matches) has coincided with injuries in key areas – central defence for example. Gabriel has been at the heart of our defensive frailties but every man and his dog could see we needed strengthening there and yet he refused to buy quality centre backs. Centre midfield is another position we’ve struggled with and we bought in Elneny, but is that good enough?
But how many transfer windows have we had where specific signings haven’t been made? How long did it take us to get a world class goalkeeper? And to be fair, we only bought Cech because he asked for a move away from Chelsea and wanted to stay in London. It wasn’t anything to do with Arsene Wenger making a coup or doing anything clever – Cech was too good an opportunity to turn down.
6. He refuses to spend money on players
This touches on the last point. We have so much money at our disposal (in relative terms, compared to the barren years we’ve had) and while Arsene has splashed out on Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, we haven’t continued our spending and lost ground in the Premier League.
In a season where Chelsea and Manchester United were going through transitions, we missed out big time. A couple of massive signings would have pushed us right into the title race this season, instead of tailing off like we usually do. Considering how much Arsenal fans pay for tickets, transport and accommodation (for away days) which is astronomical – the club have a duty to reward the fans with spending money on a squad which is clearly not good enough to compete at the highest level. I’m not asking to spend stupid money on useless players, just to strengthen where the team needs strengthening.
5. Olivier Giroud
Why does Arsene Wenger persist with this guy? He isn’t good enough for Arsenal, and isn’t a top class striker. To even try and win the Premier League and at least compete in the Champions League, you need a world class forward. And the strange thing is, we already have one at the club and Arsene refuses to play him there.
Alexis Sanchez is in the mould of Luis Suarez – technically gifted, gives 110%, never gives up and can score from all angles – yet Arsene Wenger plays him wide on the left. With Mesut Ozil feeding a warrior like Sanchez, we’d be scoring goals for fun.
Olivier Giroud is a joke and while he will score (who wouldn’t in an Arsenal team?) he still manages to miss the easiest opportunities. Giroud being our first choice striker is a farce.
4. He doesn’t know his best team
Since the start of 2016, Arsenal’s form has dropped dramatically. We were top of the league at the New Year and since then we’ve picked up 10 points from a possible 27. We were 2 points clear on New Year’s Day and now we’re 8 points behind the leaders Leicester. The change in fortunes has been unbelievable and the lack of form is partly down to Arsene Wenger changing his team too much, because he doesn’t know what his best team is. Arsene Wenger has turned into the ‘Tinkerman’ and for example against Watford he should have started Danny Welbeck – why start Giroud when he played midweek and Welbeck has been ready to go? Ozil and Sanchez have needed rests for a while now and in defence, I struggle to understand why Chambers isn’t given a chance at centre back, considering his performances of late.
3. Players aren’t playing for him anymore
Probably the most alarming thing about Arsenal’s recent demise is the lack of effort from the players. They all talk a good game if you listen to their interviews yet on the pitch, most of them couldn’t care less. They certainly aren’t playing for the fans and they certainly aren’t playing for the manager. Arsene Wenger is the type of manager who will always make excuses for his players but what ends up happening is the players are never culpable or responsible for the teams’ poor performances, so they just stroll around knowing they won’t get called up on it.
I don’t know what Arsene Wenger’s pre-match talk is about or what he says but clearly, the players aren’t listening to him anymore. The motivation, attitude and belief the players have on the pitch has to come from the manager and for whatever reason, they are just not responding.
2. His recruitment policy has gone backwards
Gone are the days where Arsenal could pick up a quality player from under the noses of everyone else. We used to be able to buy players like Patrick Vieira, Lauren and Kolo Toure who were relative unknowns at the time but ended up Arsenal legends. Instead we now buy players like Gabriel and Elneny who are good squad players but not good enough to be fighting for a first team place. Apart from Cech, Sanchez and Ozil, who have we bought that really added to our team? And those players were obvious buys who everyone knew were quality signings. What does Arsenal’s scouting network actually do?
1. He is tactically inept
In terms of preparing his Arsenal team for the opposition, well that’s none existent. It’s common knowledge that Arsene concentrates on his team, making sure they are at the peak of their attacking powers. Yet he never even considers which team he’s playing against, because his belief is that the best team will win. While tacticians such as Jose Mourinho will have a carefully prepared dossier on the other team so his side is well prepared to get a result, Arsene Wenger doesn’t bother with that. Which is fine if you’re the manager of Barcelona, but he isn’t and his stubbornness in this area is killing Arsenal’s progression.
Too many times Arsene has been out-thought during matches and his only real ‘move’ during a game is to throw on strikers and forwards if we need a goal. He can’t change formation during a game, change the tactics or change systems which would benefit the team to get a positive result. Too many times we’re all bombing forward to score a goal and end up getting sucker punched on the counter attack. It happens too many times and he never learns!