Wenger is right to question himself rather than his methods

Arsenal’s policy has come under fire but with one that is at the envy of most clubs, Wenger is right to question himself.
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With half an hour to go the stream of fans who exited the Emirates seemed endless. But those watching the match on ITV would have then seen the cameras pan to a shot of a couple of, albeit similarly dejected fans, with an “In Arsene We Trust” banner draped across the front of the East stand.

It was nice to see some, not entirely common sense but subjective thinking amongst all the doom-mongering and knee-jerk reaction talk that has been taking place. Those fans know that a club run the way that it is, and most importantly the correct way, cannot always break the bank. And the way that the club is run requires a special manager, and there aren’t much better than Mr. Wenger.

But even he has reservations about himself. “I don’t doubt my methods but I doubt myself everyday,” Arsene Wenger said earlier this season. And it is this policy which is envied by most clubs. However the increasingly competitive transfer market is maybe something Wenger has found even more difficult to challenge in the past few years..

Trawling through the United line up sees Ronaldo, Rooney, Anderson and Fletcher signed at a young age and all except the latter have commanded massive fees. Others such as Ferdinand and Carrick, who Arsenal pulled out of signing have also garnered almost extortionate prices. Arshavin, seen as the player who embodies the reason for spending big was signed at around £16-£19m but the time it took to complete the deal shows how much of a bargain Arsenal got for him. Even then Arsene has spent good money for Nasri, Eduardo, Rosicky, Sagna, Hleb and Adebayor to name a few.

Manchester United were tactically at least better but restricting their game in the face of Arsenal, just shows the underlying potential of the side as much it’s strengths and weaknesses. Central midfield seems to be a problem, as the Gunners need an Anti-Fabregas to counter balance the real thing. Song has improved immensely but positionally he has been suspect, as shown in the same game. But last season, with Gilberto Silva away with his country for international duty, Arsenal found someone within the ranks to fill the Brazilian’s boots and the answer may be there once again with Denilson, Nasri and Diaby showing huge promise.

A tall, Vidic-like centre back would be a huge plus but who in the current market is available at a reasonable price? Lucio, Hangeland, who given Arsenal’s possession game would have to play a high line whereby likely to expose his lack of pace. Indeed the Gunners have a highly mobile and tall centre back in their ranks in Johan Djourou.

And what about experience? The Gunners admittedly fall short in the respective area but as former player and coach of Barcelona, Charly Rexach says: “Experience isn’t things happening to you, it’s learning, seeking solutions.” The defeat will have been hurting but the player’s reactions after the game shows much maturity. Core players are a few years to enter their peak while Fabregas and Nasri have both been playing since their teens.

Arsene Wenger is not the perfect manager; arguable team selection and organisation of his troops was one of the reasons for the FA Cup defeat. He signed Francis Jeffers during a boom period for goal poachers in English football  but who knew they would quickly go out of fashion. His side should have won the league last season but maybe a step backwards is a necessary step forward. The Frenchman has made crucial tactical changes this season such as making the full backs more cautious while the defensive shield has shown it’s limitations against the bigger sides.

The Wenger project may have derailed for the past years but two semi-finals is not bad for a supposed bunch of kids. Injuries and the constant dismantling of the squad where the ‘bigger clubs’ relieve Arsenal of their integral cogs and use them as spare parts, has made it even harder for Arsenal to compete, and yet to a degree they have.

If Arsene can keep them together and maybe add one or two, then anything is possible.

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30 thoughts on “Wenger is right to question himself rather than his methods

  1. Somehow I must agree with Wenger that we need to sign no one, just imagine Arshavin + Rosicky + Eduardo combining, we are in for a treat. Also, we donno how much Senderos and Armand Traore have improved from the loan trips. PLUS, Jack Wilshere and Ramsey will be one year older. However, Micah Richards should be brought in to replace Sol Campbell from ages ago. After that we need a) a faith healer, b) top class sports shrink, c) Feng Shui master ( I’ve been told by old chinese man Emirates Stadium is built at an inauspicious spot.) There will be no more room for arse luck to creep in I promise you.

  2. Our problem is that our squad is narrow. When Fabregas has been on injury, the premier league evaded. The injuries of Gallas and the two French defenders cost us the FA. The easiest trophy in my view is the premier league. Imagine how poor we have performed losing to Hull and Stoke and numerouys draws yet we are just about 10 points behind the leaders. If we had won against Hull,Stock and three of those miserable draws,we would be at the top. But due to injuries,it is gone.

    1. Completly agree with you mate. The player that i believe is the missing cog in our team is Gokhan Inler. A destroyer who will run all day and is commanding in the air.

      Inler coupled with a relative free injury campaign will surely end our trophyless run and will show to everyone just how good this team can be.

  3. Definitely one of the better blogs out there which are spewing doom and gloom and talk of 100M quid transfers – I’m not sure where those bloggers expect to get that money. They must know something Wenger and the rest of us don’t. However I don’t entirely agree with the article if I’m reading it right it seems to say that we’re mostly fine with the squad as is. If that’s the intention then it couldn’t be more wrong. I don’t expect some 20M pound player to come in in the summer though I wouldn’t mind a splash of green for a 20 goal a season striker. However those among the ranks for CM are either inexperienced or better used elsewhere. Nasri is a much better playmaker than CM if you ask me, Song has come on this season but he’s still not at the standard we need in order to lock opponents out of a game. We don’t have to go big but another reasonable 12-15M CM would be appreciated: Toulalan, Cana to name a couple. Fighters who drive their teams. There’s enough quality in the teams below us to try to entice an old fashioned stopper to join our ranks. A Jagielka? Lescott? Yobo? Hangeland? Or even some of those big defenders in the Soviet leagues. Skrtel and Vidic were found from those leagues and they tend to have very rough and tumble no nonsense defenders. Sure they’re not graceful like Wenger would like them to be but they’re effective. My wishlist is simply 3 players: consistent 20 goal a season striker who can put away chances and actually work for the team and not wander the field aimlessly, a CM who lets everyone on the field know he means business and throws himself into every tackle to win the ball and a defender who can clean up any and everything in the air and demands respect from the strikers he faces.

    1. I trust Wenger enough to have an extensive scouting network capable of finding a tall, mobile defender but then again we have Djourou.

      I think we are mostly fine as it is, injury permitting but a central midfield, if required at the least is what we need. You never know with the players we have as Flamini was someone no one thought to turn to. Denilson, Nasri and Diaby have good potential.

    2. I think that is every Arsenal fan’s wishlist to be honest. As for signing a old fashioned defender, like the Brain said it would be very difficult. Unless they had a lot of pace, I think don’t think Wenger would sign them since we play with a ridiculously high back line. Maybe it wouldn’t look so silly if all the defenders didn’t go to attack at once like they did against United.

  4. There is no doubt about the potentials of our team, but we must be honest with ourselves, WE NEED SOME WORLD CLASS PLAYERS. Probably Wenger doesnt understand the followship of Arsenal. In Nigeria, the followship is amazing!!! They have the tickets and logos of Arsenal all around there cars, homes etc. The fans in london who buys full season tickets deserve something more…TROPHIES!!! It is not enough to make money for the board and shareholders, what about the fans who funds some of the expenses of the club through purchase of tickets,shirts ..etc. We have to buy players all else we would gradually start losing the few top class players we have. At the begining of the season, we had the opportunity of buying Alonso form liverpool,Eto’o from Barcelona, podosky from b. munich etc. Imagine the class those players would have added to our team. I respect Wenger style, but i think it is high time he dumps his policy of buying cheap inexperience player with the intention to sell at a higher price in the future, so as to avoid fans all over the world from making crazy decisions like the guy that hung himself in Kenya after our loss to man united in the Uefa champions leaque. Wenger should remember the guy hung himself putting on his Arsenal shirt..

  5. Time to get rid of Adebayor and RVP, the former is not fit to wear the shirt and is no where near as good as he seems to think he is.
    The latter is now past his sell by date and boy does is show, Theo needs to watch a continous stream of dvd’s featuring Messi and how to control the ball and use the ball.

    We need to bring in at least three new players durin the summer, David Villa, Jolien Lescott and Mica Richards plus the return of Flamini would be a welcome boost to our midfield

    Arsene as much as i respect the man for all he has done for the club needs to go back to basics, those of us who watched with intrest when a young Vieria and Petitt ruled the premireship will know what i mean

  6. i didnt mind losing to manure but the manner in which we lost was unacceptable we didnt fight just as they say you better die fighting even when we were 2 down we had over 80 minutes to score 4 goals impossible never! the guy here in Nairobi was thinking the same Wenger should send a formal condolence

  7. this team is so skewed its amazing we have a midfield packed with talent its amazing think of this fab arshavin theo rosicky song ramsey wilshare diaby denilson nasri etal do we have space for all of them when we look at back four we are short the above players know our weakness in defence thats why they are limited to express their talent moving forward they fear to loose the ball and expose our defence we end playing midfield backwards

  8. I agree partly about the manner of the defeat. Arsenal should never have lost as they did, RVP’s goal was a gift from the referee as well. But at the risk of sounding controversial, no-one at Arsenal Fc i.e. players, management etc should be held responsible for the death of the Kenyan supporter. These defeats happen but they are a deviation from the norm. Did any Utd fans do the same when they lost to Liverpool at OT? At least they had a strong team out that day unlike us where we missed Gallas and Clichy not counting the others on the injury list. Our most humiliating defeat was against Hull, we had a good team out that day. And we didn’t start the game already 1-0 down like it was against Utd. We lost a Champions League semi-final, nothing less. Its an incredible achievement for a team that even before the game began has failed to get the respect of so many fans. Gunners must remember the years when we kept on losing well before the quarter final stages.

  9. i dont care who should stay or leave but arsenal should for christ sake buy 3 world class players in the cb,dm and a striker.we are certainly tired of same stories every year.but if any player leaves,he should be replaced quickly but wenger should try and keep all his players.arsenal is almost there,nobody gave them a chance to reach fa cup and cl semi final.the future is very bright

  10. No need to be too pessimistic. Please remember that you reached the semi-final of the CL.
    I believe that Arsenal already have a world class striker in Eduardo, and therefore only central defence and defensive midfield need reinforcements. An interesting alternative could be Micah Richards who has played mainly in defence, but personally I see him as the next Vieira. Richards is an outstanding talent who seems to have lost his way lately. Maybe he needs someone like Wenger or Ferguson to get him back on track. As there will most likely be a clear-out at Man City this summer, Richards could be the bargain-of-the-year.
    I’m amazed if many Arsenal fans question the contribution of Wenger. He is without question one of the best managers in the world.

  11. we need a CDM someone like Scott Parker or Marcos Senna. If nt these two then go for Stephen Appiah. Both Marcos Senna and Stephen Appiah were almost signed last tym… So there wouldnt be much of a problem to approach them again… We have a cracking chance this tym if we r going for Scott parker coz West Ham is being sold….

    And about the defence i would say jus wait till the friendlies…coz Armand Traore and Sanderos r comin back from the loan spell.. Sanderos would hav been shitty but it seems he has improved… So instead of selling Gallas, sell tht shitty egghead Silvestre.
    But if at all we r buying a CB, then i think we should consider Philip Mexes.. wat say guys???

    I dont think we need a striker, rather i would consider selling of Adebayor.

  12. There seems to be an apparent lack of understanding about 1) How Arsenal play and 2) The intangible things on the pitch; i.e positioning, movement etc.

    Appiah is mentally strong player but not a DM and he is no better than Diaby at defending. Diaby has positional ability and he likes to point to players when he plays but still has much to learn.

    Richards on the other hand is positionally, at the moment weak and so is Lescott. They can get better but their fees will no doubt be very high.

    RVP is a top player and injuries have blighted his career. Adebayor is very good and can be better but until he works out how to be more effective as a team player, he is still a double-edged sword.

  13. Brain, I agree with your assessment of Richards, the crucial part being “at the moment”. However, I think he’s the kind of un-cut diamond that Wenger will/should be looking for. Dependening on the price of course.

  14. Sell off Ade,Gallas, silvestre and bring on Hangeland,inler and villa…dats about all we need to get THERE.

  15. i cant see my slef agreeing with u that we don’t have to make further aquasitions. this bunch of players if if they stick around 2 more season can’t see them getting any trophy. i dn’t mid wenger’s p

  16. ignore my first post, i accidently submitted it .. any ways .. the last few lines of ur post saying that two semi-finals are not bad for bunch of kids, this is the core problem .. we keep saying kids & kids since for years and they never grown up or made any progress to win a title. THEY ARE MEN and they should consider that and wenger as well. he never get board of praising his kidz with fancy words” we are growing together as a team bla bla bla” this handicapped the team for so long ,, they feel they are not under pressure cuz they are KIDZ and that is so WRONG.
    second of all u sounded like saying that if wenger kept this group together we should pull a trophy sometime.? despite the injuries this is the worst team that wenger have had so far , poor performances from everyone, don’t show up in big times, when really need to get a win they dont deliver it. no strong well neither strong mentality and wenger himself is joke this season. the holding midfielder position is a complete fiasco ( diaby song and denilson ) neither of them couldhave fiiled the gap of flamini, denilson is great tackler and great passer but he sense of positioning he completely failed against chelsea in FA but had some good games in his performances but still he got us into too many troubles … song is worst than denilson , i never liked him in that position, Bothe man u games he caught in position 10000000000 trillion times by carrick, wrong passes, slow decision making, no support no clean tackles not even a single task was right. he showed off some progress agains villareal 2 leg but come on villareal mised marcos senna and that’s why he looked like a complete master, not to forget he screwed in the 1st leg.. wenger has been saying the craps for so long, again no progress. same mistakes are reaccuring and wenger has done nothing about them. carling cup final was a copy cat of the FA game same mistakes ( defense defense defense) liverpool last season (defense ) manchester (defense) wht improvemment did we see on wenger after these reaacuring incident but to keep faith in his KIDZ and buy rotten silvester who knocked us out of two competetions ( carling and FA ) this is so outrageous ,, cant take this anymore. now we come across of his genius mind and what da hell he did with chelsea game, its a delimma i cant figure out never and ever. he screwed the whole season he kepts faithe in some slackers who pretended to play for the jersey. bottom line wenger is to balme and he should get some serious MEN in order for him to get a trophy before the arsenal board decides to sack him

    1. Calm down. Wenger has worked miracles that no other manager has. In fact here’s Arsenal’s spending since he took in charge: The brackets indicate the number of players sold or signed.

      1996 IN (11) £20.25m 1996 OUT (16) £10.12m
      1997 IN (02) £00.80m 1997 OUT (14) £00.75m
      1998 IN (07) £13.80m 1998 OUT (06) £04.87m
      1999 IN (06) £22.85m 1999 OUT (14) £29.03m
      2000 IN (10) £35.00m 2000 OUT (13) £31.70m
      2001 IN (05) £15.25m 2001 OUT (05) £04.27m
      2002 IN (04) £06.60m 2002 OUT (23) £05.46m
      2003 IN (07) £16.00m 2003 OUT (14) £00.01m
      2004 IN (03) £01.00m 2004 OUT (15) £02.60m
      2005 IN (09) £32.35m 2005 OUT (16) £13.70m
      2006 IN (08) £11.90m 2006 OUT (15) £27.60m
      2007 IN (04) £13.20m 2007 OUT (07) £07.50m
      2008 IN (08) £30.80m 2008 OUT (04) £15.80m

      TOTAL (84) £219.80m TOTAL (162) £153.41m

      The important point is that since 2004 his players have been leaving. And especially in 2006. And that doesn;t account for the free transfers, and there has been a few. The point is that he hasn’t bar one season had to sell or been force to sell before 2004 except when overmars and petit left.

      1. i am calm but when it comes to arsenal i just wanna get every thing out of my chest. he has a degree in economics that’s why he worked out these numbers , befor the 2004 with his youth policy that he carried since monaco days, he use to buy big names and put some many in some superstarts with big age, pires, silva, and even big money like reyes or wiltord and so on. as a fan i really don’t care about what he mastered for the club economically, we want a trophies not some mony that peter hillwood only knows where it goes. Wenegr was genuis but now he missing the plot. he should feel the heat from fans right now. he missed the infleuntial david dein quiet last summer. it is a policy for him not to keep those who are 30 years old and beyeond. we didnt miss henry, viera, reyes or even any he found the right sub for them. it’s not a bad policy though. i just accuse wenger of ruining this season, he couldhave done some good decision of what were all arsenal fans dying for a defensive midfielder and a defender, i couldnt ask for much more than that. can’t blame him for flamini and hleb case but he went his own way and stumbled for the fourth season running. he is runing his legacy and again he wenger stubborness is the only obstckle here.

        peace out

    2. why don’t you fucking go and support manu and enjoy ur trophy now. Is people like you who thinks AFC have the same amount of money like manu and chelek to spend 25-30mil on a single player. Maybe u should pay attention to world economy moron.

      1. well why dont fucking go and check the revenues for arsenal the past two season, a turn over £223 million and the richest club the season before for quiet sometime !!! isnt that enough to think that the club ot money? maybe ur the moron when it comes to econ. make ur own conclusion by reading this http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/plus
        we are paying debt significantly every year .. highbury apartments are also good source of money..
        it is self-expanatory ,, dont let wenger fool u
        one more thing.. why do u think usmanov trying to take over the club? simpley because of our yearly profit, he aint lilike soccer and never cared, to him many is priority. BTW recall what wenger sometime this season said” man united are on top because the bought berbatov with 30 million ” what significant does this quote have !

        dont be fooled by wenger policy that we aint got no many .. hehehehee so funny

        1. berbatov is shit and haven’t don squirt, and manu are top not because they played well but because the likes of livpool, chelek, and arsenal have poor. you can look at manu result this season.

  17. and by the way,, i really question wenger’s tactics this season. he paid very high price when he made the whole team built around arshavin in the league. he should have sterngthen some areas like wide players and come up with ideas better than puttin nasri as deep laying playmaker … i didnt like that

    1. how times have nasri played in that position stop trying to use that to prove your right tactically because ur not. Arsenal needs to start defending as a team instead living to the defence and CDM.

      1. start defending? maybe that worked out when wenger constructed sagna and clichy to reduce their attacking contribution when we had good defending record back then and some sort of equilibrium in attacking and defending as well. nasri played there 4 times i think since liverpool’s game. we missed his creativity a little but arshavin was there to socre superhatrik. again in middlesbrough and luckily arshavin was there as well and cesc scored 2. this formation never helped us that much. just be a bit realistic

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