One Arsene Wenger
Good evening all. I am writing this evening only my second ever Arsenal blog, but I feel that in the wake of the 3-1 home defeat to Bayern Munich, there is a lot that I need to say. One major reason that I writing this evening is because the level of support for the 'ArseneOut' is growing at what I believe to be a worrying rate. This blog will be about how I believe there can still be a future at Arsenal FC for Arsene Wenger, and will highlight how Arsenal fans should be careful what they wish for when it comes to change. Whilst pinpointing where I believe that our deficiencies lay, I will also offer up a solution that I believe allows for the man in the sleeping bag coat to continue to be the boss of this exceptional club that we call Arsenal.
Aside from the worrying recent performances, I was inspired to write this blog by listening to the scr0tum faced as*hole that is Piers Morgan. Now I know that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but he is not. His are crap (just needed to get that out there). He amused me by arguing a mixture of things that in my eyes contradicted each other and pointed to where the problems really lay. He argued that since 2005 Arsene should take the blame for us being trophieless along with 'Silent Stan' and 'Ivan the terrible'. In my eyes however this is a minor contradiction that forms the basis of my argument.
Many criticise Arsene in recent times for some very very poor acquisitions such as Santos, Chamakh, and Gervinho. Whilst I agree that he dropped a bollock in signing these terrible players, he is not the first manager to make flops in the transfer market. Let's look for example at Sir Alex. He spent £30 million on Berbatov, £17-20 odd on Anderson, to a large extent wasted money on players like Nani, Forlan, etc. These have all been players that have not been successful at MUFC but her has not been criticised for them because they have been amongst success stories such as Ronaldo, Rooney, RVP, Van Nistelrooy etc. However I feel that this argument is also enough to dispel the criticisms for Wenger in some of the signings that he has made. It's also not like they're the only players in recent times we have bought. Arsenes last four signings have been SPOT ON - Monreal, Cazorla, Podolski and (if you look beyond it being to replace the irreplaceable RVP) Giroud. Of course I feel that these have been insufficient and too few and far between when it comes to Arsenal, but i believe their success is evidence that Wenger still has the ability to buy good players. So pretty much, what I'm trying to say here is of course Arsene has signed some stinkers, but that's not to say that we haven't had the joy of watching Cesc, Na$ri, RVP, Cazorla, Arteta, Podolski, Vermaelen (although this is a separate topic, as i think he might actually be a bit crap and certainly has been lately).
Having laid the groundwork as to why I think that the transfer record still holds some hope, I would now like to build on this foundation and say what I would like to happen with Arsenal ... In my opinion, for Arsenal to go back to the days that we won stuff, we have to return to the same system (sounds simplistic but let me elaborate). As far as I can gather from being a keen twitter watcher, the general consensus seems to be that back then the set up of the club was one where Wenger's scouting team and himself spotted talent, Wenger said to David Dein 'get him', Dein would then evaluate the player himself, and if he agreed he would be a good player, he would go and buy him. Upon Dein's departure Arsene took on the whole mantle himself, with help from the football illiterate Gazidas. Without the review of Dein there to block the Santos's (although admittedly we did by Cygan and Jeffers ..), Wenger has now lost confidence to make the big moves and in fairness, has a man who has no idea of the football market being sent in to bargaining. It is through this ignorance that we made embarrassing offers for Gary Cahill and the like, and that we sold RVP to our biggest rivals.
Look, I know that he has pushed us over the limit and i cannot argue with you really that he should be gone. But what is to say that the next manager would do any good? Arsenal fans must be very careful what they wish for. If this setup at arsenal has managed to change Wenger (who personifies everything that I know to BE arsenal as a 19 year old who has never known anything other than Arsene), what chance does a new manager have? People say, oh but get Klopp! IF WE GET KLOPP CHANGES WONT HAPPEN FOR 3 YEARS OR SO, UNTIL HE HAS HAD TIME TO DEVELOP A TEAM, SO NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Realistically we are not going to get a manager like Ancelotti who just signs players, we will keep the same principle, so surely the answer is to replace at the TOP instead, because it is that which has changed leaving the club in such a dyer situation.
The Arsene Wenger that is in control of the team sheet and the pitch is still good enough. He is still the man that engineered possibly the greatest tactical success European football has ever seen in a team going unbeaten for 49 games. I want to take the burden of being in charge and in sole responsibility for the players we sign off of him a little bit. I think that unless there is change that gives us a system where there is a man who knows ABOUT FOOTBALL AND THEREFORE THE MARKET OF PLAYERS, who in turn would be a man who has evolved to the changing world of the transfer market, then there can be a future for him at this club. I don't think that more than 3 managers in the world could have beaten Arsene's record at Arsenal in the system that he has had to facilitate since 2005. One of those is Sir Alex, I'd potentially put Jose there but purely through his skills as a tactician, i don't actually think there could ever be an environment where we could have him as our manager, and in fact the last is Moyes. Lately we have heard the argument of 'how many clubs of Arsenal's stature would have let things go 8 years without a trophy like Arsenal?'. Fair enough, I don't think that there are many. However I think there are even fewer men who would have been able to keep Arsenal as prominent on the world stage whilst building a new stadium and paying for it, without going into administration, in the way that Wenger has done.
The thing with Moyes is that he loves Everton, and would only not sign a new contract because the Everton owner Kenright is doing the exact same as the AFC board but even worse. Why would he in his right mind leave that for us, when Manchester United will come knocking in 2 or 3 years time? Moyes wouldnt do a better job than Wenger if he was put in an unchanged situation. But I do like him a lot. The key things that I have argued above are as follows: Arsene Wenger is still the tactician that went 49 games unbeaten; his greatest downfall was his arrogance that he could take on the job of being in control of everything himself, leaving us in the situation with players that we are in; but I feel that his time at Arsenal can be saved by a change in personnel at THE TOP, not Arsene himself.
I have given reasons above as to why I don't think that changing the manager would make the difference that Arsenal fans believe it would. I would also like to highlight that I am aware that David Dein is by no means a brilliant man who has Arsenal's interests at heart. I don't believe that any Arsenal fan can truly claim to know the ins and outs of his departure (probably should have rephrased that), however it is undeniable that there has been a direct correlation between his departure and our demise in the transfer market. This lag time has given us the most state of the art stadium in the country. In fairness, I understand that it is no good having that if we are playing crap football, but now that we have the infrastructure that Arsene has made possible, we can rebuild and return to the ways that we have associated Arsene's success with. Of course David Dein has his inadequacies and I know that many people in the world of twitter despise and distrust him as much as the rest of the top of Arsenal, but one solution here is that Dein is not the only potential candidate. Even if we look at Patrick Vieira like figures, there are many people in the world of football who have a passion for the game whilst having a good business sense. If we can find one who can match that with their passion for Arsenal, then I say reform at the very top can leave us with the man who's name is ALMOST Arsenal in charge at the Emirates for years to come.
Anyway, I'd love to get your thoughts on what I've argued. Feel free to comment etc. or tweet me at harry_townsend and I'll try get back to you. But above all guys, try remembering that we all support Arsenal, so we should stop biting each others heads off (unless it is directed at Piers Morgan). Arsenal Love xxx
Mean Lean's Response
One correction if I may. David Dein never had any say of the quality of Arsene Wenger's targets. Arsene Wenger has always been the man in charge of football affairs, David Dein was the business man. I love David Dein for what he did for Arsenal but I get a little miffed about the perception that he was a mythical figure at the club. The whole 'is it any coincidence that Arsenal stopped winning trophies when he left' argument is massively flawed. There is a massive reason for that and it is that large building that Arsenal will be playing in tomorrow at 3pm.
We stopped winning trophies when we left Highbury to pay for the Emirates. The 'is it any coincidence that Arsenal stopped winning trophies when we left Highbury' would make more sense in my opinion.
This is not a general point by the way and not a point levelled at the above author.
Arsenal fans have the right to their opinion as to which manager they want in charge of the club, it is only that, an opinion. Essentially, it is down to the people who run the club. It is their club and like it or not, we have little power as far as that is concerned. We have decided to tag along for the footballing supporting ride and if the bumps hurt then we should have been mindful of that at the start.
Clubs have up and down's, the way I see it is that we are experiencing a short term down, I say short term because I see a bright future, if I didn't see a bright future then I may feel a little more hysterical.
If we didn't have a stadium coming towards the end of being a financial burden and we didn't have a youth set up brimming with talent and we didn't have funds in reserve along with the much talked about 2014 Emirates sponsorship cash then you'd have to pick me up from the floor kicking and screaming but that is not the case.
With or without Arsene Wenger at the helm we are in good shape going forward, in better shape that most, especially better shape than clubs who are not being bankrolled by individuals. Personally I want Arsene Wenger to stay on, with the playing field levelled a little more and a chance to manage the club without having to meet the clubs financial requirements.
I think Arsene can do more and make less mistakes but I also feel that what he has done positively since 2005 has been overlooked due to a lack of trophies.
I get the feeling that Arsene will move on in 2014 so many may get their wish, it would be nice though that while he is here after all he has done, he was supported.
Perhaps that is too much for some.