Saturday, April 30, 2011

What Shall We Do With The Drunken Wenger?

Possibly a little harsh but having seen yet more delusional comments from everyone's favourite Frenchman this week one could be excused for thinking he has been sipping too much of his country's Vin Rouge.

It should also be dangerous to write an article one would think ahead of his team playing ManYoo at home as victory would have this blog reaching for a large slice of humble pie. However the reality is that even if Arsenal somehow were to beat United tomorrow, it is only Chelsea that the door would be left ajar for, Arsenal are simply not good enough to win the league.

Wenger is clearly a very clever man and incredibly well versed in footballing matters, he has not enjoyed the success that he has previously without that being true. For that reason it is so frustrating for so many that he cannot see what is obvious to everyone else, it is also difficult to believe that he cannot see it too. Therefore the only conclusion that can be reached is that it is arrogance and sheer bloody mindedness that is to blame.

Wenger these days, seems to think he exists in some moral bubble floating in the clouds above everyone else, the only person in the world committed to playing beautiful football. The subject has become incredibly boring and there is nothing to say that spending money and attaining a solid defence means you cannot still play good football. As this blog has stated before, spending a transfer budget wisely is a huge part of the modern manager's duties and an entire skill set in itself. It is not Wenger's job to set transfer budgets and to worry himself with the club's finances, that is for the board and the Chairman. It is possible that again this is Wenger's arrogance - that he knows best - coming to the fore again. The likes of Sam Kroenke are big boys and if they say the money is there then it is the manager's duty to spend it. Wenger is not some lower league manager who needs to do the accounts after training whilst wheeling and dealing in the evenings, he is in charge of football matters, plain and simple and he has a football team that needs an injection of quality, experience and character, his duty is to the fans, not the bank manager.

In Wenger's earlier days at Arsenal he had no problems spending money, Overmars, Henry, Reyes, Wiltord and many others were all signed for big money. In these early days he also had a team with real character. He inherited one of the best defensive units in club football history and had leaders all over the pitch. When Arsenal went out to meet a ManYoo led by Keane, Neville, Schmeichel, Stam et all they had the players and the character to stand upto them, the memory of Martin Keown jumping all over Van Nistelrooy after he missed a last minute penalty at Old Trafford will live long in the memory.

This is not to say that Arsenal do not spend money anymore, they just spend it incredibly poorly. Laurent Koscielny was signed for a reported 8.5 million pounds. Wenger's judgement in this signing is also shown to be poor as for that money, you should be getting a decent player. Nemanja Vidic was signed for 7 million, Gary Cahill for around 5 million and for 4 million, all are infinitely better players. Sebastien Squillaci is another prime example, 4 million pounds utterly wasted on yet another player not good enough for Arsenal's trophy winning aspirations. Rather and spending 12-13 million pounds on two substandard players, should that money not have been spent on one quality player? Selling Matthew Upson to Birmingham for around a million pounds is probably not the best decision he has ever taken either. He is merely cluttering his squad with journeymen defenders.

The goalkeeping situation has also been written about ad tedium but it is an issue that Wenger simply refuses to do anything about. Fabianski, Almunia, Szczesny and an already retired once Jens Lehmann, not one of them is good enough for the Premiership let alone a team with designs on winning it. If he does not make an attempt to sign at least a cut price Shay Given belatedly this Summer then there is something beyond repair with the Frenchman.

Arsenal are not nearly the complete footballing side that Old Arsene believes they are. They are one dimensional with an incredibly soft centre, unable to change tactics mid game or to stand up to any physical play. They are shambolic and weak at the back and lacking options in the forward line to support the singularly impressive Robin Van Persie. The fact that they can play keep ball better than most will make them a strong favourite for any five a side leagues that spring up but somehow one would doubt that will be enough to satisfy the increasingly restless natives at the Emirates - No Nonsense.