Wenger Out vs Keep The Faith

It has been a deafeningly silent week in terms of news at the Arsenal. I haven’t been paying much attention anyway but when I found out I was writing today’s blog I had a glance at all the major sporting sites, and found nothing eye-catching to report. To be honest my interest in the club has reached a new low for me. The apathy felt amongst many fans towards the annual capitulation has become normality. Love football, love Arsenal from August to March every year. Switch off and turn your attentions to less disheartening things thereafter. After all, who really wants to see Chelsea, Man United and the Scum playing in the Champions League Quarter Finals when we aren’t there? Actually, I’ll take back that last bit – it was quite humorous watching the Scum – but you know what I mean.

I’ve tried to think of a way to write something positive today as we head into the weekend. I’m sorry but that isn’t going to happen as there isn’t anything positive to say. I’m going to share some thoughts about the much-publicised (well in the Arsenal community anyway) fallout between Arsenal fans this week. It’s been the ‘Wenger Out’ mob versus the ‘Keep the Faith’ crew. It’s my take on things and I appreciate there are those who will differ – that is what the comment box below is for.

I know I’m sitting on the fence a little here, but I’d say I’m torn between the two points of view, probably a little closer to the ‘Keep the Faith’ side.

Wenger Out

Football is an evolving sport. Think back to when you started watching the beautiful game and compare the football you were watching then to how it is now. Even in the 6 years since we won the FA Cup in 2005 the game has evolved further. Successful teams tend to have bigger and stronger players than ever before.

Has Arsene failed to catch up with the times? He has opted for a strategy of grooming players from within and moulding them to the Arsenal style. Ajax are also doing this in Holland. They nurture promising youngsters, and bring them through their famous academy. Ultimately though Ajax are a shadow of the European super-force they used to be. They bring through some great talents, but the best ones seem to get sold to bigger clubs in Europe and the last time they won the league was in 2003-2004. Ring any bells?

I think we need to realise that the 5 year plan hasn’t come off as we all hoped it would. I understand that the average age of the team is roughly 23. That when the average is 27 they could be world beaters. Are we prepared to wait another four years (that’s a total of ten baron years) for our next big title? It’s a distressing thought, I know.

The time has come to start spending that transfer kitty that we are constantly reminded exists. Fork out some cash on 3 big signings and, even Chelsea and Man United fans have told me, the floodgates will open.

Keep the Faith

I’ve lost count how many consecutive years we’ve had the pleasure of watching Champions League football. Is it thirteen? Look at how the spuds have enjoyed just one solitary year in the competition. We do take it for granted sometimes and we will have it again next year. In those years we’ve had 3 league titles, 4 Fa Cups, a Champions League Final, several other domestic cup finals as well as playing the best football in the country. There are 92 teams playing ‘League’ football in this country. Only one can win a given competition. Are we being greedy? Should we not be a little more grateful for having had those successes? Imagine how an Aston Villa fan feels about the same time period. What have they won? I’ve got a mate who is a Watford fan and he was disgusted with my moaning the other day. He’s only ever had two Playoff final victories to cheer about.

Let’s say we remove Arsene Wenger. Who do we replace him with? Who would you want him to be replaced by? Think about it. I struggle every time to come up with a realistic name. I only ever reach one conclusion – Pep Guardiola. He is the only one who I believe could continue the legacy created by AW. He is the only one who teaches his team to play the way we love to see our team play (when it works). Mourinho? Maybe, but he only ever goes to clubs where money holds the same value as monopoly money. He just wouldn’t be able to get along with our Board. If not Mourinho, then who? I think some supporters need to take a step back and think about this carefully. Imagine that one day we lose a game and are appalled by the result. So appalled that we call for AW’s head and the next day he hands in his resignation.

Would you honestly be delighted at that point? Frankly, I would shit myself. What next? I really have this terrifying fear that our whole club from its very foundations would come crumbling down. That we would find some mediocre makeshift manager to fill the void who really wouldn’t come close to AW. It just doesn’t bear thinking about. For me, the transition has to be a healthy one. It has to be done with the involvement of AW, at a time when he decides it is time to move on. I truly believe that he loves this club and that the day he realises he is harming the club, he will know it is time to move on and will do it in a way that is in the club’s best interests.

If you’ve read my posts before you’ll know I’m a big supporter of the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust. I say it every time but if you care about the kinds of things I’ve discussed in this post then you really should sign up. It costs £2 a month and it is worth every penny. They are our way of connecting with the club, with the people that matter in the Board. I am really looking forward to attending their monthly meeting on Monday with Dev where these issues and more will be discussed. I’m sure Dev will post anything interesting to come out of it too.

That’s enough for one Friday morning. I hope all readers have a great weekend. Let us know your thoughts below. Arsenal ’til we die.

  • AmriGooner

    And you forgot to mention how much it will hurt seeing AW making big successes with another club. because I believe he would be successful anyway he goes.

  • Kodjo

    succes is winning trophies on a sound financial patform

  • Kodjo

    i mean platform

  • Kodjo

    @ Yemi you’ve been too quiet???

  • olutoni

    Nice post!!! To be sincere, I think fans should still keep faith in Wenger but he himself needs to change his style of football. We currently don’t have the players that can do it the way. Our players don’t look fit, they are fragile and can’t really cope under intense pressure. What Wenger needs to do is get fitter, taller and most especially stronger players. We need hardworking and discpline players. Pep Guardiola for me would be a reliable replacement and I’m certain he will like a fresh challenge. So I think the board should approach him. One thing is certain, Wenger does not discipline those boys well enough. There is no single sign in the players that they fear Wenger as he is always making excuses for them. He should be more stern especially with the bench as it seems most of them are just ok to sit on the bench or not even play at all.

  • Berth

    @ Olutoni- this guy has been in this club for a decade and half and you expect such swift changes from him. You are havin a joke.

  • olutoni

    @Berth..I don’t expect him to make all these changes over night. As a manager, the onus is on him to get the best out of the players he has. No doubt the quality is there, the things missing are discipline especially from the whole team and that aggressiveness to win games. How many times have u seen them play the way we played against Chelsea @ home this season. If we the players can’t show this attitude week in week out then obviously there’s something wrong. Man for Man, Man united is not a better team but you will see the commitment and how they really play like one unit with so much desire. That is the consistency I’m sure all fans want to see. I stand to be corrected

  • alexis

    Wenger out i think – 6 years without a trophy and the usual shit that dins our jersey is disgrace.

  • yemi

    @ Kodjo:
    i am very much around, watching proceedings.
    If we say wenger out , Who do we get ? Without the kind of financial muscle seen in chelsea and city, any new coach you bring in will either use the current squad with few adjustments. Wenger can also make those adjustments, the problem is will he ?
    Like you said, succes is winning trophies on a sound financial patform. We have the sound financial platform so what is left ? Wengers stubborness !!! A team of arsenals status should not be filled with average players.
    I say average in the sense that, if we pick our first team and hand them over to barca, madrid, bayern, city, chelsea, man u how many of them will command first team shirts ?

    I think we should keep the faith but… The policy that has not delivered us anything in the last 6 years should be relaxed a bit….
    How ?

    Arsene should have gotten a central defender in january, We dont have a backup for sagna (forget ebuoue as a RB), No backup for song, No backup for RVP (No prolific partner either, for me Cham and B52 are 3rd choice strikers). look at our rivals ?
    Rooney – berba – hernandez
    drogba – torres – anelka
    Tevez -dzeko – balotelli
    RVP – B52 – Chamack ? please …

  • olutoni

    @Yemi..Well said. In three words. Wenger is Stubborn.

  • Vazy

    team lineup

    Almunia
    eboue
    squil
    kos
    clichy
    diaby
    fab
    wilshire
    nasri
    arshavin
    vp

    bench of

    lehmann
    rosicky
    walcott
    ramsey
    gibbs
    chamakh
    bendtner

  • Vazy

    well sky sports may be wrong.. almunia may be benched for crazy jens

  • Vazy

    almunia picked up a minor knee injury in warm up training aparantly so thats why the change in keeper

  • yemi

    Jehns in Goal !!!!

  • yemi

    *JENS LEHMAN

  • Vazy

    GO ON DIABY! 1-0

  • Vazy

    EBOUE 2-0!

  • Vazy

    is it me or do we constantly look under the cosh against everyone in the first 12-15 mins then we start to play well

  • Vazy

    crap 2-1

  • Vazy

    Jens lucky not to be sent off, reminiscent of him getting sent off at barca champs league final

  • Vazy

    GET IN! VP 3-1!

  • Vazy

    good game, bit shakey at times but we did the business, and funnily enough we finished the game with 4 players from the uk (walcott, gibbs, ramsay and wilshire) on at once.. (1st time in ages if im not wrong) great performance from van the man, and 2 goals from unusual sources in Eboue and Diaby

  • Vazy

    vazy is a happy chappy!

  • vj

    We are very lucky, very few of our players played well today, actually cesc wilshere and diaby were the three best, winning back the balls arshavin and nasri lost. Lehmann, played really well though should have been sent off, koscielny should have also, made so many rash challenges nearly gave away 2 penalties, squillaci was actually decent made an awesome tackle which lead to our goal, robin was okay though should have scored about 4 goals today.
    overall job done, now we need to focus on the next game LIVERPOOL AT HOME, and the return of Andy Caroll…

  • Kodjo

    The good and the bad of Diaby !!!!Started and finished off a move and hen gets booked kicking the ball away…resulting in him pulling out of challenges for fear of picking up a 2nd yellow. This ultimately put pressure on the back 4 and on Wilshere. Bcos ball wining at the beginning of the 2nd half was non existent.

    As has been said elsewhere Lehmann was lucky to be on the field and Kos was also lucky for not been penalised for 2 rash challenges in the box. I can figure out why he makes those challenges as he has been sent of or conceded penalties like that in the past.

    If these decisions had been against Arsenal “all hell would have broken loose”.

    I do hope that Blackpool stay in the premier league though. It’s just unfortunate that we played them at this time of the season.

  • Juelz

    i have been an arsenal fan as long as i can remember and i used to be a big supporter of the wenger ways but being the “nearly men” year after year has got me wanting him out and maybe have a fresh approach. nothing won in 6 years is a long time in football and the fact we were in a final with a team like birmingham and lost was the thing that topped it for me.

  • Amar

    the board shd by now noticed that his plans is not going to bear fruits. the fundamental problem is the AW mentality, enjoyable to watch but lack of winning mentality. he is pampering his young ones too much, never feels like giving a hair dryer treatment to any of them, let alone single out in the media about individual performances (if Sir Alex is on the job, half of the team would be needing hearing aids by now, or have stitches on their foreheads).

    the players are brought up with the idea that AW’s way, is the way. even with new players, most of the existing players are brainwashed in that way. so i dont think new investments is the solution. i can bet that with the current players, a manager of Mourinho/Sir Alex-like would still win something. we have to look at the root cause, not merely instant remedies which are ‘hope’.

    we shd nonetheless thank AW for what he had done, but this is not AW FC. this is ARSENAL, he’s not ARSENAL! if the board wants to be graceful, i suggest AW to be promoted as the footballing director instead of sacking him. then get a manager that can install back some spines in the players. i wouldn’t even discard the option of having Arry Redknapp, he ought to give the under-performers (arshavin, Theo, Chamakh, the whole of defence) a fair beating in the arse.

    but it’s sad that he gets a lot of support by ppl who dont really LOVE the club. i am utterly annoyed at the ‘IN ARSENE WE TRUST’ shouts. beginning of 2011/12 season, the banner at the emirates should be ’6 YEARS OF FALSE HOPE….. 7 AND YOUR OUT!’.

    seriously, fans should be harder on the team. this is becoming a cancer. he has to go.