Time to go, Mr Wenger
We’ll get the obligatory joke out of the way right now shall we? We’d 8-2 be Arsenal fans right now.
August 30th, 2011
The notion that Arsenal will be challenging for a Champions League place, let alone the Premier League championship, was cruelly and fantastically blown out of the water at Old Trafford on Sunday by a Manchester United side that didn’t even get out of third gear. The last time that United scored eight, it was against a Nottingham Forest side that ended the 1998-99 season at the foot of the table. Surely the trust in Wenger is waning now?
Whilst the Arsenal front three looked to have some semblance of quality, despite Andrei Arshavin’s best efforts to look disinterested and earn a red card, the rest of the side looked lost, out of their depth and, in Johan Djourou’s case, out of their mind.
“Oh, but it’s a young side,” Wenger’s supporters did cry, before realising that the average age of the Arsenal side was older than their opponents.
“Oh, we’ve got injuries”, they add, forgetting that United lacked Vidic, Ferdinand, Carrick, Valencia, Fletcher, had a centre half at right-back, did without Dimitar Berbatov and lost Danny Welbeck early on. Despite those absentees and the loss of experienced players like Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Owen Hargreaves, Wes Brown, Edwin Van der Sar and John O’Shea, the home side still had an embarrassment of riches compared to their North London rivals.
The Arsenal team was a mess from the very first whistle. Young right-back Carl Jenkinson must be wondering what he has let himself in for after being given a stern yelling at from Theo Walcott and being left ridiculously exposed by Djourou’s baffling decision making. Arshavin clearly wants to be elsewhere, Tomáš Rosický is probably still trying to find a way out of Tom Cleverley’s back pocket, discipline is still a problem throughout the side and Arsenal completed just 45% of the tackles that they created. Top cap it all, their best performer, Francis Coquelin was withdrawn after an hour with the score at 3-1.
Wenger later claimed that he needs to add three players to his squad and he has less than 48 hours in which to get their signatures on paper.
He’s not going the right way about it however, if you believe the tweets from the Reebok that the club offered just £6m for Bolton’s Gary Cahill, or the reports that Arsenal stubbornly refuse to improve their offer for Everton’s Phil Jagielka. Panic buying will be the order of the next two days.
The pundits and the board have come out in support of Wenger and unsurprisingly so. After all, how can you get rid of a man who has achieved so much in his 15-year tenure? But for all that Arsene used to achieve, he has failed to win any silverware in the last six seasons, something that Portsmouth, Tottenham and Birmingham have all managed, despite having the tools for the job very much available.
Since the Carling Cup final defeat against the aforementioned Birmingham, Arsenal’s league record reads just two wins in 14 matches. How many other managers could survive with that record?
Perhaps Wenger’s supporters should stop looking to at his history? After all, in the sporting arena, the past is something you look at when the future looks bleak.