Friday, 4 March 2016

Don't just blame Wenger, Arsenal as a club has lost its way

WEDNESDAY night was probably the lowest I have felt as an Arsenal fan for a good number of years, certainly since we were embarrassed by Birmingham City in 2011.

After a very limp performance against Manchester United on Sunday, I'd hoped the players would roar back and shove the critics words down their throats with a dominant performance against relegation strugglers.

Instead it was another of 'that'll do' performances where Arsenal went 1-0 up and reacted with horror when the opposition dared to make a game of it. It's a performance we have got used to sadly in recent years and usually explained away by the manager as 'tiredness' or something else.

In other years we probably didn't do enough to win the title, but this year with Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City bobbing along, it looked the golden chance to win the Premier League.

Instead Arsenal lie somewhat marooned in third, closer to dropping out of the top four than reaching the summit, occupied by Leicester City. A team let's remember who were 'doomed' to relegation the Christmas before last....

The more damning statistic was Arsenal have recorded just THREE Premier League wins since Christmas or more to the point, three victories since we beat Manchester City at the Emirates and established ourselves as favorites.

Instead of pushing on and doing all we can to seal the title, we nervously stepped into the New Year. To the outsiders, of which many of us are because the club won't have anything said anti Arsene, it looks like they simply don't want to win trophies bigger than the FA Cup.

Do I blame Wenger and want him out? Not entirely, the players are just as culpable as the manager, after all Arsene Wenger can't score goals or keep them out!

But my problem with Wenger is the lack of desire and the willingness to be challenged, where are the voices in the dressing room calling people out for slacking, challenging the manager?

Answer? Out of the club, Wenger rules and if you don't like it you can look for another club to play for. Gone are the days of Adams, Keown, Vieira, Henry, Lehmann, Campbell – big players who would drag the team to glory.

The players know if they don't deliver on the pitch there will be an excuse from the manager and most have slipped into their comfy trousers to pocket the salaries on offer.

Any other club would have shipped Diaby out with his injury record, would be questioning why Jack Wilshere troubles surgeons more than midfielders, would have told Theo Walcott to PROVE why he should be played through the middle.

Instead the squad is a mish-mash of bored players who have settled for the level they are at and the high quality ones who want to win trophies.

While I applaud Leicester for their efforts this year, they shouldn't be top of the league, Arsenal should be dominating this league this season. That they aren't is a chronic failure on behalf of the manager and the players.

What should be done? Well in my opinion all reasonable fans should be questioning Wenger's continued presence at the club. Not the sack but a departure fitting the status as the man who revived our club.

He deserves our gratitude and respect but even the best sometimes need to be told when to leave the stage. Arsene's legacy is in danger of being unpicked now, as Gooners we need to ensure it doesn't happen.

If he does depart then I hope the slackers in that dressing room get a rude awakening, a jolt into life.
After all 'Victoria Concordia Crescit' does mean 'Victory grows through Harmony'.

There has been a distinct lack of that in and around the club this season!