Firstly, good luck to Steve Palmer, one of our regular bloggers has started his own site. To take a peep, follow the link.
Yesterday we all felt dreadful after the 1-0 thrashing by the Mancs, our resident blogger Rennie posted a very poignant question….
We all know what ails us, but how do we cure it? Whats the solution?
Oliver’s reply has made todays post…
That is the million dollar question rennie. We can see some things, but I do not think we can see everything…
The easy solution would be to sack Arsene Wenger!
I would have laughed at that a year ago, and while I am not advocating a managerial change at this moment, I am no longer dismissing that suggestion.
But even if we did change the manager, what then?
Will he be able to organize, game plan, and train our players better than Arsene? If the hypothetical new coach is credible, then most likely he would. But are our players suited to another style or formation?
What of his relations with our board? Will a new manager be allowed to invest and strengthen the squad? How much input and control will he be allowed with regard to player acquisition?
How would the players respond – so many of who regard Arsene as a “father” – would many of them switch off if Arsene were to leave the club and a new guy come in his place? How many would actually choose to follow him out the door?
There are many, many other things we have to consider as well, things that impact more than just match-day tactics and player utilization.
I will say that I think Arsene has built this squad in a manner that only he can coach it, so I see shunting him out the door while keeping the squad is not the solution. If it were my decision, I would introduce the strong number two – and I do not have a specific name in mind at this moment – try and have he and Arsene work together to get this squad playing winning football.
The risk with the above is that Arsene will bridle at having his deputy chosen for him. So I would also be prepared to call his bluff – if he threatens to walk, let him. This goes against what I suggested earlier, but if he is going to obstruct things I want to do to improve the club, he cannot stay.
In that event, I would be prepared to write the season off and start deconstructing Arsene’s squad over the remainder of the season and summer – by deconstructing, I mean moving core players (starting with Cesc), and retaining the best and brightest of the others.
The above may be fanciful, and does not account for many problems that will doubtless crop up, but we have to start somewhere. If our club is not at least considering who will be the next manager, they are neglecting the long-term interests of the club. At this point, Arsene is arguably bigger than Arsenal and this is a root of many of our problems.
If I were at the club, I would also make every effort to be open and transparent about our financial situation. If money is available for transfers, say there is – don’t mention specific amounts, but I can certainly say that money exists to strengthen at least ‘x’ first-team positions and some squad places. If money is not available, be up front, explain why it is not available, and forecast when it might be available. Chances are, many supporters will understand and look at our current situation in a different light if the club would be more open and honest about our real situation.
At the end of the day, there are no easy answers but is anyone really happy with where we are now?
Hanging around the top four, Champions League football every year, losing at home to teams we should roll, and getting undressed every time we face the big two? I hear supporters of other clubs (not Chelsea or Man United) talk about how crazy we would be to want change and how they would envy our position. The problem is our reality is different from most of theirs. If this was our first or second season challenging for the title and playing in the Champions League, fine…there would be no reason to feel unhappy.
But these things are supposedly the norm for us – should we be happy effectively standing still for the past four-five years?
With this season starting to look no different from those recent seasons, should we not want to go the next step and win significant trophies again? Then when we fall short again, should we just shrug and say at least we’re not Birmingham City? (no disrespect to them intended)?
Every year, our bright new tomorrow is supposed to arrive. every year we finish saying “wait until next year”. As we continue to move laterally, Man United continue to challenge for and win silverware – despite predictions their financial house of cards will collapse tomorrow. Chelsea continue to challenge for and win silverware – despite predictions that Abramovich will someday wake up, decide he is bored and simply walk away. Every year, we stand in place while those two sides compete for and win every single domestic trophy.
Five years is not a long time in the grand scheme of things and Arsenal have had far longer trophy droughts in the past but when you consider we started this transition period in a position close to the top, maintaining Champions League qualification every season, is it so unreasonable to expect that we should have won a major trophy by now?
I don’t think it is at all, hence my frustration at our continued inability to deliver…
I think Oliver makes very valid points, ‘Sack Arsene Wenger’ is on the lips of many a fan but is it really the solution long-term?
Someone said to me, Wenger is only papering over the cracks, so will it all come tumbling down, bricks, mortar and all?
Is sacking him the real answer, or could it be a case of ‘out of the frying pan into the fire’?
Tough call, isn’t it?