Arsene Wenger Has Obviously Lost The Dressing Room

In 2013, Arsenal were virtually unstoppable. From January 2013 until the end of the season, our form was the best in the league – it was title-winning form. From August until Christmas, it was similarly good, albeit it with a couple of blips (mainly in Manchester). But since the new year, and especially February and March, our form has been awful.

From the last 6 games, we are 11th in the form table. Liverpool are top with 6 wins from 6 and have 18 points from those games (which is championship-winning form) while Arsenal have dropped 10 points, only getting 8 from a possible 18.

Only if we could combine the start of this season with the end of last eh? Combine those two half seasons and we’d be league winners.

If our form was as good as Liverpool’s, we’d be 4 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

But the fact is, Arsene Wenger has lost the dressing room.

There’s rumours that Arsene has already told the players that he’s leaving at the end of the season and it wouldn’t surprise me as the players have basically given up. Yes, we’ve had injury problems but we still get to field 11 professional footballers and in recent games that literally haven’t turned up. I mean our reserve or youth sides would have given a better account of themselves against Chelsea and definitely wouldn’t have lost 6-0 like the first team did.

Even against Swansea we were limp. Arsene has lost the dressing room – either because he’s already told the players he’s off in the summer or just because the players who have played for him for so long have lost faith in the manager.

Just look at the last few seasons. Samir Nasri and Robin Van Persie left so that could win things, and that they did. Would Cesc Fabregas have left if we were winning Premier League titles? And we know Adebayor and Clichy went for the money but having trophy-less season after trophy-less season probably helped them jump ship. All of those players played under Arsene for at least 5 seasons and what do they have to show for it? Nothing, except a nice bank balance.

So it’s hardly surprising the current squad have given up. Bacary Sagna, one of our most consistent players has obviously given up. If he had any faith that Arsene’s methods would bring success then he would have signed a new deal years ago. He joined Arsenal in 2007 and has seen team-mates  Cesc Fabregas, Alex Song, Robin Van Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy, Samir Nasri and even Kolo Toure all leave and win major honours. So he’s obviously sitting there thinking what the hell is going on at Arsenal? This is obviously a club who have no ambition of winnings things and are happy to settle for 4th place in the league.

And it’s not surprising that players such as Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla, Mesut Özil, Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny has lost form – they’ve given up as well. Nothing about Arsene Wenger or Arsenal suggests we are genuine title challengers, or even close to winning a major trophy.

The FA Cup may provide better performances and it would be unbelievable, even for Arsene Wenger, to somehow lose against Wigan in the semi-finals or mess up the final. Jose Mourinho was widely slated for calling Arsene a “specialist in failure” but it’s hard to argue against that. How else could you explain performances from the players like the ones at Anfield and Stamford Bridge. Arsene Wenger has obviously lost the dressing room.

His rhetoric doesn’t work any more. There’s only so many seasons players and the fans can believe what he says. The performances from the players had dipped so dramatically because they don’t believe any more. Being top of the league gave the players belief but when they needed their manager to instil some fight and determination he was found lacking.

I’m not being funny, but I give more fight (possibly too much to be fair) when I play football on a Sunday. I hate to lose and people who know me know that I always want to win. It comes out when I play and the other players know it. The Arsenal players are so comfortable and devoid of belief that it’s almost unbelievable.

Flamini aside, half of the players don’t look like they’re bothered anymore.

Arsenal Fans Who Abuse Arsene Wenger Are A Disgrace!

The Internet is a great resource and place to interact with other Arsenal fans. But there are some Arsenal fans who say things like people who abuse Arsene Wenger are a disgrace and they should be ashamed of themselves, as well as saying Arsene deserves our respect.

Now I appreciate what Arsene Wenger has done for the club, that is obvious to see. He brought success to the club, was involved in the new stadium and has set us up for the future.

And to some fans, that means he is invincible and immune from criticism.

But that’s not the case. Since 2005, Arsenal fans have experienced the same old story season after season. And while he has done great things for the club, there are many reasons why Arsene Wenger should be criticised:

  • His teams have no mental strength. Collapses against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are all too common – the whole club is mentally fragile and that comes from the manager. How can a manager not motivate his team to perform in massive games such as these?
  • We have no leaders. Arsene Wenger has consistently sold his captains from 2005. Any players that had leadership qualities have been moved on. Vieira, Henry, Gallas, Fabregas, Van Persie, the list goes on. Arsene Wenger doesn’t like players who speak their mind and would rather have a squad full of “yes men” than have anyone question his authority.
  • Olivier Giroud is awful and no good enough for Arsenal. And again, this is Arsene’s fault. He had a chance to sign a new striker in the summer, and in January, but didn’t. In 2004 we had Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Sylvain Wiltord, Nwankwo Kanu and even Jose Antonio Reyes would could play up top. Arsene knows you need a top quality striker-force to win the league but put together a squad that has Giroud, Bendtner and Sanogo as their strikers. Bayern Munich would struggle to win anything as those three as their striking options!
  • Arsene Wenger is tactically inept. When Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea all scored early, every Arsenal fan knew we were going to get thrashed. Any other top manger would have changed things, saw the threat and steadied the ship. What does Arsene do? Nothing. He lets the team play the same way and we end up conceding an obscene amount of goals. If you’re defensively fragile then surely the logical thing to do is rearrange the formation or team and make sure you don’t keep conceding? Or is that too simple?
  • Arsene just wants to finish 4th. We have a manager who has no ambition to win the league. Arsene has the board wrapped around his little finger and as long as the Champions League money keeps rolling in his job is safe. Talk about winning the league is just a PR exercise to sell season tickets and merchandise.
  • Same old excuses. Every season the same old excuses come out – we have too many injuries, we were unlucky, blah blah blah. The only thing that chances is which month we are out of the running. This season it happens to be in March.

There seems to be this strange mentality that because he brought success and pioneered the stadium move, he is untouchable. So does that mean it doesn’t matter if he gets Arsenal relegated it doesn’t matter, he’s still the man for the job?

That whole ideology is seriously flawed and makes no sense whatsoever. By that logic, any manager that has enjoyed success should never leave a football club. But we never see that anywhere. Jose Mourinho is the perfect example of that. He did well in his first spell at Chelsea but when things turned sour he was told to leave. Football is ever-changing and seem to be the only club in Europe that is stuck in the past and relies heavily on sentiment.

Brian Clough was a great manager but he was immune from criticism so why is Arsene any different? It seems to be the whole charade of “will he, won’t he” sign a new deal is pathetic. Arsene Wenger will be Arsenal manager until he wants to leave. The board have show they have no balls and are full of yes men. Arsene Wenger has so much power over the club it’s unreal. No other manager in European football enjoys the control Arsene has at Arsenal.

Arsene Needs Ensure He Doesn’t “Ruin” Ozil

With the signing of Mesut Ozil, comes a feeling of euphoria and excitement. Despite not bringing in a backup striker for Olivier Giroud and the already injured Lukas Podolski, I am extremely happy with the Turkish German coming to The Emirates. For me, he is underrated and I don’t think people realise how special this guy is.

On the official Arsenal website, they spoke to Raphael Honigstein and he said:

“I think something will have to give [in terms of Arsenal's system] – They can’t all play No 10. I think the strongest position for Ozil is centrally, behind the striker because it also relieves him a little bit of the duty to run up and down, which isn’t really his game and doesn’t really bring the best out of him. He needs the time and space for himself to come up with a real genius idea.

“He has played on the right or the left as a playmaker that plays wide, very much what Cazorla does now. Arsène Wenger has a history of taking central playmakers and putting them on the wings. He can definitely play that role but I would suggest that in the Premier League, which sees a lot of up and down, he would be better in the No 10 position.”

And I completely agree with him.

But how will Wenger deloy the gifted attacking midfielder?

We know Ozil can play off the striker in the Number 10 role, but also on the wing. The problem is that Arsene has a record of using a creative player out on the wing and it could be argued that this has hampered their progress, and influence on the team.

Andrei Arshavin mainly played just behind the striker at Zenit St Petersburg but was used in the wide positions. The same happened to Alexander Hleb, and also to Tomas Rosicky when he first arrived. While Rosicky plays less on the wings now, he is now playing deeper than his preferred position behind the striker.

Asking players to change from a typical Number 10 to the wing means they have to do a lot of tracking back and pressing. Arshavin struggled doing this and we all know how his Arsenal career ended. Hleb adapted a bit better, but the clips from Stuttgart where he was bursting through the middle with his dribbling and pace seemed to disappear when he came to Arsenal. Rosicky is a player that always gives 110% and in that sense Arsene has been fortunate.

Mesut Ozil is a mercurial talent and I don’t think he’s the type to burst a gut to help defend. This assets are in the final third where he can find a pass no-one else can. Some people compare the signing to that of Dennis Bergkamp back in 1995, and he was devastatingly effective in a more advanced role behind the striker.

So where will Arsene use Ozil? He needs to make sure he doesn’t play him in the wrong position.

Oh Arsene, You Massive Tease! So Who Else Will We Buy Now?

Yesterday I talked about how Arsene came out after the North London Derby and how he said he “might have a good surprise for us” in terms of signings. And he didn’t disappoint, with the £42.4 million signing of German international Mesut Özil (subject to a medical).

As you can see from this video, this guy is the assist master and his statistics are frightening! 

In the meantime, we’ve also been linked with Chelsea Demba Ba, who is out-of-favour with Jose Mourinho. The 28 year old striker is seen as good backup for the in-form Olivier Giroud, and could give us a different option up front. Reportedly, we are looking at for a season long loan deal and Chelsea are asking for £3 million, while we’re currently offering £1.5 million. According to Sky Sports, Napoli and Valencia are also interested, so watch this space.

We’ve also been linked with Fiorentina (on loan from Palermo) goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano, who is also apparently Manuel Almunia’s twin brother. Let’s just hope the similarity ends at physical looks and he doesn’t make mistakes like Almunia. The latest is that we’re going to sign him for £1 million on a season long loan, with an option for a permanent deal at the end of the season.

As for other rumours, The Mail have us linked to PSG striker Javier Pastore, but I can’t see that happening. The Telegraph think we could get Özil’s Real Madrid teammate Angel Di Maria and Palermo striker Abel Hernandez.

So who else do you think we will buy before the transfer window slams shut at 11pm tonight?

Has Anyone Else Has Had Enough Of All This Sh*t?

If you’re an Arsenal fan, you know exactly what this is all about.

There are 3 days left in the transfer window and this summer has been hugely depressing. The frustration and disappointment has turned into pure anger. Maybe I’m on my period, who knows, but I am so sick and tired of all this shit, I really am.

It has been 8 years without a trophy now. And I’ve said many times we don’t want the club to put our future in danger by recklessly spending money we don’t have. I don’t think any Arsenal supporter out there wants that. What we do want however, and I don’t think it’s too much to ask, is for a squad that can truly compete. And that means Arsene Wenger assembling a squad that can challenge for trophies.

On the 29th July, which was exactly a month ago today, I wrote about how Arsenal have conned the supporters. I received a lot of abuse about how I was wrong about Arsenal not making any purchases and how it was all a PR stunt and we wouldn’t be strengthening the team.

And now we are 3 days away from the transfer window closing. It’s amazing that after 8 seasons of the same old shit, some Arsenal fans can’t see the wood from the trees.

Look, I am a realist (you have to be when you support Arsenal) and I obviously understand the financial fire power of Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City. But spending £100 million in the transfer window is not what I’m asking. All I want is a squad with enough numbers to compete, and with enough quality.

Our first eleven is okay. Let’s now delude ourselves in thinking it is the best in the league, because it isn’t. The starting elevens of Tottenham, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are all superior (and that has been proven with our abysmal record against the Top 6 in the last 2/3 seasons). All I want is Arsene to bring in some players to help the squad when we do have injuries – which we are experiencing already.

We don’t even need to spend £15 million plus on a player. What is wrong with our scouting system? Swansea bought Michu for £2 million. Benteke joined Aston Villa for £7 million. Clint Dempsey has moved to Fulham and Tottenham for £3 million and £6 million respectively. You may be thinking I’ve lost the plot and pointed out average players – but that’s exactly me point. We are so threadbare we need to make up the numbers with not world class players, but players who are very good and would do a job for us.

The problem is threefold. Arsene Wenger has far too much power. This means he’s a jack of all trades and a master of none, which is clearly evident when it comes to our lack of guile in the transfer market. It is unreasonable to expect one man to do everything and Arsene has enough on his plate than to identify players who will improve the squad.

Then we have our “negotiating team”. I put that in quotations because I’m not sure we have one. Dick Law, the mysterious man who can’t complete a deal is apparently well off the pace. ANR heard a rumour that when negotiating with Phil Gartside of Bolton, they valued Gary Cahill at £12 million and Dick Law offered £4 million. And you’ll remember that’s when Phil Gartside went mental in the press, slagging off Arsenal to anyone who would listen. Cahill then moved to Chelsea. Now you can say that that’s complete bullshit but it makes a lot of sense even if it’s not true. We don’t have the personnel to make deals happen, or we consistently under-value players and therefore won’t offer enough to buy them.

And finally, we have the board. “Silent” Stan Kroenke really is something. Although he hasn’t said anything (he could be a mute) this piece from Arseblog is a great insight into what his plans and intentions are. He’s there for the long term as it is a long term investment to him which will make him money. He won’t pump money into the club and as long as Arsenal is a profitable business, Arsene Wenger will have a free ride and complete control over the club. And then there are the board members, who can only be described as dinosaurs when it comes to footballing affairs.

This all means Arsene Wenger can do what he likes. So we’re in a vicious circle where nothing will ever change. Even the threat of losing out on 4th place in the league and possible Champions League qualification means little now as we are making enough money from the supporters and sponsorship deals. And that means Arsene Wenger will pretty much be here forever.

So I’d make yourself comfortable because things aren’t going to change in a hurry.