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A few nightmare thoughts on the Swansea match

November 10, 2014

This blog is NO knee jerk reaction to the defeat at Swansea yesterday and I get absolutely no pleasure from saying it, but I now feel it is time for me to add my voice to the growing number of supporters saying Arsene Wenger should now leave the club.  Not that I want him sacked, I would much prefer it if he left and went out with dignity. Maybe citing he can no longer take the club forward and maybe it’s time for another manager to take the club where it needs to be.

Personally I’m fine with losing football matches, you cannot win them all, but I’m not fine with watching boring predictable football and that’s what we are being served up and going nowhere fast. I’m also not going to abuse a man who has brought Arsenal so much success in the past, took this club forward in the modern era of football and kept Arsenal there or there abouts while others clubs with bottomless pits of money simply threw cash at buying trophies. Ignore that if you wish, but that’s how I see it. No I just want him to leave now and  I’ll always be grateful for what Arsene has done for Arsenal football club.

Watching Arsene’s after match interview yesterday, he looked like a man who had no idea how to answer the questions asked of him.  Arsene looked a shell of the manager that to me always looked confident and spoke well.  Arsene now looks like the pressure is taking its toll and sounds like someone in debt robbing Peter to pay Paul and in Arsene’s case simply making one mistake after another to cover up the teams issues, many that he has created himself. Maybe Arsene should do himself a favour and take one last shot with another club, I’m sure many clubs would be queuing up to use his services for two and half seasons.

The players are looking like they haven’t a clue how to break teams down, defend a lead or that there is any real leadership amongst them, they look lost.  I was happy as a supporter of 50 plus years to give the club the benefit of doubt from 2005 while they got everything in place to the mythical summer of 2014 when the board/Arsene told us supporters the club would be able to compete with the best. To be fair the board/Arsene built the stadium, got the big sponsorship deals, they signed Ozil and then last summer Sanchez. Arsenal also won the FA Cup last season.

I thought with those things in place and our first trophy for nine years now was time you & I could sit back and watch Arsene fill the round holes with round pegs, not square ones and take the team and the club forward, to make a proper challenge on money bags clubs City and Chelsea and put us near on par with Man United. Yet it has not happened, has it? Whatever way you or I would like to spin it.

Arsenal’s injuries have been well documented and in the summer they got in a new fitness coach Shad Forsythe who apparently was doing wonders in Germany and while I do not lay the blame at his doorstep, Arsenal’s injuries have got worse. This has not been helped as the team went into the season lacking the defensive cover which many could see and now injuries to Koscielny and Debuchy has e left the squad with only Gibbs, Monreal, Mertesacker and Chambers a new nineteen year old signing from Southampton in the summer as the main front line defenders. Arsene signed Columbian keeper Ospina as cover for Szczesny and even he is out injured.

To be fair those defenders that have filled in while the main defensive cover have been injured have done the best they can, even being played out of position, but this should have been corrected during the summer by signing better defensive cover, not letting the cover had leave. Mertesacker did not start the season due to the World Cup, the same for Ozil and Podolski, the latter must have done something seriously bad to upset Arsene.

I watched my Sons face during the Swansea match and he is just not enjoying the football, it’s poor, predictable and most of the time it goes nowhere. Yes! Every so often in games the team have a few good passages of play, but Arsenal are easy to play against. As I said I’m not enjoying the football, This the type football that Arsene has told you and I many times he wants to play to entertain us, give us value for money is not happening. Arsenal have not played well all season. I have brought my Son up to understand winning is not everything, that trophies are the icing on the cake, yet I want him to watch good positive football.

The strange thing for me is that should Arsenal fall behind in matches, somehow the players roll up their sleeves and in many cases end up getting a draw or win. However, if we’re winning it all goes to pot and we struggle to keep leads. Away at Villa we scored three in something like four minutes and then after 53 minutes did not have another shot at goal. Arsenal do not smash opponents anymore to put the fear of God into our next opponents. Arsenal should have gone on to crush Villa, yet we were happy to play the game out.

I feel opponents always think they have a chance when playing Arsenal or if losing they have a chance of getting back into the game. I hear people saying Gary Monk got one over on Arsene, well how does that work? Arsene and the team got one over on themselves by letting Swansea back into the game, by switching off. Once Swansea went 2-1 up, suddenly we started making an effort again. Arsenal beat Palace with last-minute goal, drew with Hull to last-minute goal. Drew with Leicester letting them back in the game and not taking chances we should have done to win the game and in the end could have lost. Sunderland and Burnley are the only games we looked anything like comfortable in, though Arsenal did play well in passages against Hull, Man City and Spurs, the latter being another game we did not take chances and let them into game.

Yesterday against Swansea we went 1-0 up and from just before half time up till when we scored the goal through Sanchez we were looking alright, that’s twenty-three minutes. Yet before that we were hardly impressive, maybe it was a case of keeping it simple, not going all gun-ho at the game. Then Sanchez scored and the team simply stopped playing – for me it looked the usual attitude of job done which is followed with pass, pass, pass, lose the ball. It starts from up front into midfield and works its way backwards. Suddenly Swansea started attacking, gaining belief or should I say were allowed to attack us, we invited them on and gave Swansea that belief? I actually felt more comfortable when it was 0-0 and hoping we could have nicked a goal in the last couple of minutes, when even Arsenal would struggle to cock things up.

The more Swansea came forward the more Arsenal started to panic, lose their shape, miss pass the ball to each other. Arsenal have the ball ten yards outside the Swansea area and Arron Ramsey holds onto the ball too long, I’m screaming at the TV telling him to get rid, pass the ball, yet he doesn’t and Swansea take it off him, Swansea break, Gibbs our left back is chasing back from opponents half down the centre of the pitch and fouls his opponent, but not 40/50 yards out, no Gibbs waits till he is twenty yards out and in a dangerous positional area for a free kick. Come on who guessed what was going to happen? Yes! Swansea score from the free kick and a very good one it was too.. Then Montero skinned Chamber again, sent in a cross and there was Gomis with no real challenge to make it 2-1 to Swansea a complete turnaround in three minutes. Oxo was one of two who could hold his head up after the game, but he was hardly giving any protection to Chambers. As for Chambers , well he is nineteen and no Franz Beckenbauer, so he should be cut some slack.

Arsene in his interview said “We stopped playing, we eased off and let them back into the game” but it’s not this one game is it? It’s many games, it’s becoming a habit, this easing off, fatigue, hand brake on, add your own Arsene excuses here (                ). Arsene’s the manager he should be putting a stop to this, well he can at least try,  but he doesn’t seem to be doing so, or maybe he simply can’t.

Arsene is a legend at Arsenal for me and I want to look back in years to come and see him as a legend, not someone who has tainted some of that legend status by losing the plot and hanging on too long. Of course things can change quickly in football, but let’s be honest here, Arsenal are not going to win the title, are making hard work of even being in top four. If Arsenal do get top four it’ll be by default that there are worse teams than us in the top half of the table.

There is currently nothing Arsenal or Arsene can do to strengthen the team until January and that’s even if Arsene does then. Arsene cannot realistically expect our injuries to come back fully prepared until January either, so we somehow have to stay in and around the top four until then and hope the injuries clear and a couple of signing are brought in.

Arsenal are not going to win the Champions League and are already out of the Capital One Cup, so that only really leaves Arsenal with the FA Cup to try to retain starting in early January.  Do Arsenal or you the supporters really want Arsene to spend what money the club have in January or maybe give it to another man to start his team off? It really does make me wonder what sort of spin Arsene gave Özil and Sanchez when he got them to sign for Arsenal, because you could not argue if they were somewhat confused as to what Arsene told them. It’s a bit like what did Ferguson tell van Persie?

It’s not my choice for Arsene to leave, that’s the clubs,  it’s just my considered opinion that I would like to see him go now and let’s have a new man in to try to build the team back up and more importantly, bring together the supporters who are getting so fragmented with in-fighting.

Who is that new man, well who knows?? That’s for the club to decide. I would have thought being Arsenal Football Club and an Eight Million Pound a year contract, most managers would want to take a shot at being manager Arsenal Football Club. No need to be afraid of change in football.

Edit: I have been watching Arsenal through the era’s of seven managers. Wright, Mee, Neill, Howe, Graham, Rioch & Wenger. Managers and players come and go. We the supporters stay throughout and support whom ever is in charge or currently on playing staff. Therefore if Arsene stays I’ll support him obviously, but it doesn’t mean I’ll change my mind that the best thing for Arsene and the club it’s time to go.

It’s a sad day


13 Comments leave one →
  1. Pat permalink
    November 10, 2014 15:01

    Good article mate. I’m afraid I’m one of those who wanted a fresh manager after he dismantled the ‘Invisibles’. For me his problem seems to be tactical. The correct selection of players, formations, substitutions, all seem to be far from his thoughts.
    Teams have to be set up to beat the opposition and he never takes ‘them’ into account. The style of play Arsenal adopt has been the same over many years and often our players are simply not good enough to carry it through and other teams now have the measure of us. They even know when our subs will be coming on!!
    Good players (and those that cost a few million) are played until they drop (Arshavin/Ozil/Ramsey) and younger (Bellerin) and sometimes better players (Podolski/Campbell) are not used. Rotation stops players getting tired, keeps them fresh and hungry and gives some, the hope of a chance to play.
    How different was yesterdays team against Swansea to the team that gave away a 3 goal lead against Anderlecht?. And when criticized by Merson (who I 100% agreed with by the way) Wenger is arrogant enough to say that, he knew nothing because he wasn’t a manager!! Well, Merson was proved right. Everyone can see the problems, for some reason Wenger can’t.
    Wenger has been brilliant for the club but his time has been and gone. The longer he stays, the more likely he is to be the subject of ridicule. Other teams are improving and we are being left behind!!

  2. Pat permalink
    November 10, 2014 15:03

    Obviously my auto correct is working overtime. Should be Invincibles

  3. November 10, 2014 18:54

    I have been pretty disappointed with Arsene Wenger for a while, but I did say I’d give the club till 2014. Whatever was said about how much money Arsenal had before that is one thing, but we knew for sure we had money last summer and though he has spent on a few players, Inc : Ozil & Sanchez he simply did not strengthen areas he should have done. How long do we have to wait for the right players?

    Could be by the time we get them, other players contracts are being run down. I’m not sure why Arsene does not use the resources Arsenal have to give himself a better than even chance of competing with our rivals either.

    The football though at times is enough to send you to sleep. Ok! We have some super players, but all this pass, pass, pass and going nowhere I don’t get. Half of the time when a shooting chance comes along, the ball is moved onto the next guy and so on, like for whatever reason Arsenal have to score the perfect team goal with 40 passes and walk the ball into the net.

    The football idea is great if you are Barcelona with the right players and when you are the pass masters of that style, but we are too soft and easily handled. I get injuries do not help, but Arsenal need a player/s who can give some protection, the type of players that allow the game changers to play.

    Ours cannot do that, when we start getting teams who block them out, make a few fouls etc, our players lose their heads and it all goes wrong.

    Managers are there for a reason, they make teams, find players through youth, buy players, mould players and systems and get players to play those systems and when things are not working change things around during the match if need be. Not sit on the touchline watching things unfold like a fan sitting there and not even having to buy a ticket. Then not doing anything about it by letting players he says are intelligent enough tosort it out for themselves, like some sort of puzzle, if that’s the case why have a manager at all?

    I sit at games home or away or on TV and watch as in 95% of games Arsene makes substitutions at the 70 minute mark unless injuries dictate otherwise. It’s like everything is pre-planned to specifics. It’s almost as if with modern sports science, Arsene has become a slave to it. Players are suddenly near the edge, so off they come regardless if playing well or not.

    Players are human and everyone’s different. I’m not saying what he does is not right, but at times you can use the human touch.

    Maybe it’s not just Arsenal and the football Arsenal play, it’s also part modern football that bores me right now.. Still look at Arsene, does he look like he is enjoying himself? His interview finally made up my mind, Arsene and Arsenal need to go separate ways. Arsene has been great, but now let another man take the club on. Arsene has left the club in great shape for the next man to come in and take charge. He’ll always be remembered as a legend as it should be.

  4. James permalink
    November 10, 2014 19:05

    I love Arsene and have so much respect for him. I’ve only ever seen Arsenal with him in charge being 17 but I think his time is up. I don’t want to see him leave during the season. I’d rather he left in May.

  5. MartinC permalink
    November 10, 2014 20:28

    How do you tell your dad, he can’t work anymore? How do you tell your brother, he’s not popular in the local, these days? How do you tell your favourite uncle, he’s become a bit of a laughing stock? How do you tell your Mrs you don’t love her anymore?

    This is how I feel when we talk about Arsene Wenger, the man that gave me Henry, Pires, Gilberto, Petit, Cesc…..

    We all know I could go on and on here! Yes things are not right at the moment, yes we are out of the league title already (did we really think we were going to win it this year? Really?)

    And the old man seems a little lost……but to me, being disloyal to AW now, today, would be like betraying family and I’m sorry all you Gonners I can’t jump on your bandwagon.

    Yes we’ve played second fiddle to the oil money and the Russian Mafia and no I don’t see things changing much, unless we join the bandwagon of the money merry go round, but do I see anyone doing anything differently.

    Look down the road at Spurs, manager after manager, look up north at ManU and Liverpool, progress Really???

    Look at Man City….money coming out of their ears…..nearly out the league and CL

    This Arsene Out nonsense is really getting to me, this is the time to make some noise at the Emirates, which by the way is an embarrassment when you talk about support, go up and listen to the Gordies…that’s support

    So who ever wrote this rubbish, this Gooner is not for turning

    In Arsene I still trust…..and always will!

    • November 10, 2014 21:11

      Martin that man gave me all that stuff as well. Not sure how I am being disloyal though? I see your argument, but I’m concerned about Arsenal & my current enjoyment and looking at Arsene he doesn’t look or sound right.

      I get where you are coming from, Arsene is a legend, but I have lived through eight managers, number nine won’t be an issue.

      I respect you view, it’s hard for me to come to my view but I have.

      Who knows maybe Arsene will make me look a mug come May.

      It’s all about opinions.


      • MartinC permalink
        November 10, 2014 21:32


        I understand everyone’s anger and frustration, but we all need to keep in mind Chelsea have been spending like they have for 10 years, we’ve bought Ozil oops! And Sanchez looking good!

        It will take time to catch up with the money bag teams, will we lose players yes, will we have performances like yesterday, yes.

        But if you all had your way, we’d lose AW and who comes in Klopp, have we all seen where Dortmund are at the moment?

        Guardiloa? He’ll go to Man City £££££££

        Adams? Please…he bonkers

        Dennis? Maybe in two years or so

        AW won’t make you look like a mug Steve but he might just get you singing his name again one day.

        When things get tough and tough to us Gooners is CL football every year!! I stay with our manager cos he will turn it around.

        Our fans are all getting caught up with the media bods….look at our club, look at our team, two more additions and we have a proper side.

        Stay the course Gooners….

      • November 12, 2014 00:00

        It’s the poor decisions he makes Martin.

        The man does things that at time are totally unbelievable. I shall start with the main reason I started to have my doubts about Wenger and yes, it was a long time ago.

        * We had an unbeaten side for a whole season, Wenger then sold/got rid of Edu, Wiltord, Kanu, Parlour Keown, Viera, and Pires (plus others) and I wont even go into who he bought that next season

        * Failing to replace RVP

        * Failing to strengthen the defense when all the fans, pundits, experts saw that it was an obvious necessity (not just this year).

        * Failure to sign a DM (not just this year) obvious to all the fans, pundits and experts again.

        * Playing Ozil on the left wing, not once but numerous time with Monreal at left back? Bizarre because Monreal needs cover and Ozil doesn’t track back.

        * Failing to take account of strengths and weaknesses of other teams and selecting the team accordingly

        * Failing to take account of strengths and weaknesses of other teams and tactically adjusting the way the team plays.

        * Never changing things on the pitch during the game because “players are intelligent enough to know what is needed”

        * Playing people time and time again until they drop or get injured. The team needs to be rotated, not mass changes but Alexis needs a game off, Ramsey, Cazorla should be rested. Podolski needs a games, Campbell would love a game, Rosicky is stagnating. Swap them round and they get hungry, are fresher and it gives players hope that they are going to get a game.

        * Never EVER does he listen to advice. The most recent ‘incident’ was Merson who is an Arsenal man through and through, and who was justifiably upset by the teams capitulation against Anderlecht saying that we played like 12 year old children ….. yes we did. And Wenger tried to take the piss out of him. Unfortunately, the next game against Swansea, Wenger played the exact same team (bar an injury replacement) played the exact same way and the team did the exact same thing.Listen for Christs sake!!!

        I could go on but I think his time has come. He has held on and on with 4th his main target and that for the Arsenal Football Club is not good enough. I supported Arsenal when we really were crap, through quite a few managers and I’m not scared of change.

        Sometime you have to be cruel to be kind. And the short term pain of losing a once well respected manager should hopefully within 1 or 2 years be forgotten.


  6. Tony permalink
    November 10, 2014 21:03

    Good article. I’ve been of the ‘Arsene-out’ view for a few seasons, basically since that summer from hell culminating in the 8-2 at OT (as a Gooner in Manchester, actually getting pity rather than p*ss taking from Man U fans was awful). Like many I hoped he’d retire on a high after winning the cup but no, 3 more years. He’s not changed in years and I don’t expect any difference in the next few years, mumble around and then put on an end of season run to get top 4. Wonder if Özil and Sanchez will hang around that long…

  7. rob smith permalink
    November 11, 2014 08:45

    Who do you change arsene with how is the new man for the job

    • November 11, 2014 09:16

      Morning Rob. There is the question? There are many names thrown around and to be honest, I don’t know. However, I’m sure Arsenal, apparently the 5th richest football club on the planet and a world wide name, with a good set of players that need managing, superb stadium fot for for modern football, and a huge world-wide fanbase would have no problem finding someone or prising away someone currently with another club.

  8. rob smith permalink
    November 11, 2014 08:46

    Who can you replace him with.

  9. November 19, 2014 04:35

    Reblogged this on The Manager's Diary.

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