When The Players Start Publicly Supporting The Manager…

As the title of today’s blog states… the players have recently one by one, started publicly backing the manager…. and in all my years as an Arsenal fan, which is pretty much my whole entire life, I’ve nevere seen such a reaction to a season – especially not with Arsene Wenger. I don’t for one want to see the manager leave, of course, I don’t – up until the end of March, the team was challenging for the title – up until the Carling Cup final, the team were on a great run.

One loss, against Birmingham (who may actually be relegated this weekend) spiralled out of control to see us in the worst form under Arsene? Why? I ask… you may ask… and perhaps even Arsene has asked himself. Why? The reason for our loss? The reason for our decline? Well, I think our form is down to confidence and motivation rather than ability. There is no way on earth we’d be able to beat the likes of United, Chelsea and Barcelona if we didn’t have the ability. The problem is down to confidence.

You can see it in games – we start well and if we score, we get stronger but if we concede, we get weaker – and if we concede when we’re winning, we go mental to the point that we literally always lose or draw. Confidence within the squad and perhaps with each other is low and after the Birmingham game, it crumbled to unimaginable proportions. I believe it stems from the leadership from within the squad and that is linked to the lack of experience in the squad.

The current squad is young by most standards – and with the youth and lack of experience comes individual mistakes and plenty of them – and they breed. I’m not excusing the team with the whole lack of experience thing – but in reality, every year we excuse players because they are “learning their trade” – we forgive Walcott, Bendtner and Gibbs because they’re young – we understand that Djourou and Ramsey have come back from massive injuries. Yes, Chamakh and Koscielny are new and will make mistakes. The Carling Cup final was a mistake by keeper and defender – against Stoke, Djourou played the ball to the opposition striker… the list goes on.

Next season, we need to get rid of these excuses – no more 18 year olds in the squad next season. No more young prospects from the French league. No more golden oldies (Squillaci, Campbell, Lehmann etc)… none of this. In order to keep our nucleus of exciting players happy and keep Arsene challenging, we need experience – and players who can make the difference immediately.

The weird thing at the moment is the public backing from the manager…

“Everyone is 200 per cent behind him. He’s done a lot for the team, for the players and the club as well. So we just want to keep working hard and give our maximum….”

And just to put a frown on your face before I leave you…

…direct from the Arsenal.com site, a guide to who we could play when (sorry, if) we finish fourth….

  • The five winners from the non-champion section of the Third Qualifying Round (expected to include Benfica, Dynamo Kyiv, Twente and Rubin Kazan)
  • The fourth placed team from Spain (Villarreal)
  • The fourth placed team from Italy (Udinese or Lazio)
  • The third placed team from Germany (Bayern Munich)
  • The third placed team from France (one from Marseilles, Lyon, Rennes, Sochaux and PSG)

Ridiculous, hey?

  • Kodjo

    Yeah right…everyone is behind him (Wenger)….i guess they do not have a choice they have all collectively let fans down. Board, players and coaching staff. If we were doing so well financially why raise the price of tickets??? Yes we trumpet financial prudence yet Arsenal comparatively have the most expensive tickets.

    @ Dev which public are you refering to????

    There are no guarantees that this extra money will be spent on new players…look at Manure they are certainly not standing still even with all their laurels they will strengthen their squad, not to mention Chelsea and Man City. Liverpool look to be set for next season bar a few additions.

    No one is asking the club to buy players to the point of incurring unmanageable debts. Decent signings of 3 or 4 players may cost aprox 70 million including wages over 3 years contracts.

    Dev i know you are looking for positives…but frankly there is non whatsoever….at least not now.

    Find players with character and stop this nonesense and obsession with youth. Cesc has already publicly undermined the whole squad (Wengers) philosophy…either win trophies or cont dev players and watch stadium attendance dwindle…

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Kodjo……share your pain BUT not your viewpoint. Wenger is still the best man for the gunners….so please don’t confuse AFC and its management with someone who cares about you opinion.
    Arsenal have failed to reach the heights their early season form seemed to promise but they did achieve some stirring and powerful moments like beating all the other top 4 teams AND the ¨best team¨in the world….Barca!
    This roller-coaster ride of a season has had one major positive consequence: AW now knows who can and cannot help the team. Kroenke has clearly told him that he must bring in some winners and that Arsenal’s economic viability and world class status depend on that.
    We have some tremendous talents coming in: Miyachi, Bartley, Coquelin,JET etc. and with the possibility of a Benzema, Cahill, Samba or Vertonghen joining over the summer, we will have the squad depth and character to truly challenge next year.

  • demz

    This season has been one of the most up and down season to date. I love arsene he has brought us alot of history. And memories. But certain players haven’t shined. Sorry I hope a revamp happens this year. We have a lot of players who won’t even get into wigan. Maybe that’s to harsh. And yes We are our own downfall. Our defending has Ben missing. I can’t blame arsene because he aint on the field. We don’t have players who. Give there all. I think We miss that. And consistency. I hate the sayong poor old arsenal. I hope things change and I’m feed up of tjese fans thinking a new manager is the way forward. It aint. Hope things change for the better or maybe I might have to pray some more

  • Roachy

    The only thing I find satisfying in the dropped points since the win against ManU and ending up 4th means that Arsene cannot use the excuse “the team has matured and we dont need to buy any more players”

    Wenger cannot excuse the teams mental weaknesses and lack of on field leadership resulting in a leaky defence and a forward line without killer penetration (we dont have a Tevez or a Villa).

    Lets hope now that the board is not sucked into believing Wengers youth philosophy not working becuase of luck and realise that there are fundamental deficiencies in this playing group!

    Wenger must clear out the players that have not delivered and spend the money to plug the holes in this team.

    As angry as I feel now at the thought of what might have been, I seriously believe Arsene will invest to stregthen this team with quality rather than relying on band aid solutions (ALA Campbell, Lehmann, Squil etc).

  • yemi

    @ Dev

    We can’t play bayern cos we will be seeded alonside beryern and any team that comes 3rd in the french league 1.

    hxxp://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/champions-league-what-if-we-finish-fourth-

    excerpts
    “As it stands, if all the seeded teams from the Third Qualifying Round advance to the Play-Off Round, Bayern, Arsenal, Benfica and Villarreal would be seeded. Unless Lyon finish third in France, the final seed would be Dynamo Kyiv.”

    “In that scenario, Arsenal’s potential Play-Off opponents could be Udinese or Lazio, Rubin Kazan, Twente, a further qualifier from the previous round plus the French qualifier – one from Marseilles, Rennes, Paris Saint-Germain and Sochaux.
    If Lyon do finish third in France, their coefficient would earn them a seeding. Therefore Arsenal’s potential opponents could be Udinese or Lazio, Dynamo Kyiv, Rubin Kazan, Twente or a further qualifier from the previous round.”

    To many if’s for now. Lets wait till sinday. Hope we win an pray that city are still in a celebration mood and draw at the reebok.
    None of the teams in the play-offs are push overs Udinese or Lazio, Dynamo Kyiv, Rubin Kazan, Twente plus the French qualifier – one from Marseilles, Rennes, Paris Saint-Germain and Sochaux…..

    Not looking yummy at all. Rubin stunned barca…
    Fingers crossed

  • nieche

    i was watching the ‘highbury years’ on my break at work and couldnt help but think about my opinion of wenger and how he has divided opinion so massively this season.there have been times this season (bolton away springs to mind) when i have perhaps rashly called for his head.when i have time to calm down i always come to the conclusion that i would like him to stay…maybe…as long as he changes a few things.thats the thing with arsene.some people want him gone.some want him here.others are like me…cant decide.however when i see him on that dvd talking about the history of the club and his love for what the club stands for i cant help but want him to stay.i have always maintained that even if wenger doesnt win anything else before he goes i will always think well of him becuase of what he has given us over the years.i know people will call me all sorts for having the cheek to praise wenger in the current climate but its just my opinion.i so want him to change and fix the problems in our squad.he has made some big mistakes of late but at the same time he has been badly let down by some players and his biggest fault if probably the underserved amount of trust he has in some of this squad.this summer is the biggest of wengers reign and i really hope he delivers.as much as i like him i know the club is more important and if he doesnt do what is needed (providing the cash is made available to him) then i am still willing to admit he will have to go.

  • nieche

    He will be lynched if he buys randoms who dont perform AGAIN

  • Berth

    Too many nice guy here. The man should be knocked off the f***in perch.

  • livestrong

    Why do so called supporters like you have such short memories? Look at where we were before Arsene – A Jobbing club that sometimes got lucky, but were never as successful as say l’pool, United, Forest, Leeds etc. We were playing at Highbury, the smallest (but nicest) stadium in the league. To be blunt, we were just another villa or Everton. Now however, due to the diligence shown by Arsene and the previous board, we are regulars in europe, we have the best stadium in the league which provides us with over £5 million every home match, we are a continued presence in the ‘top four’.

    I really believe that if one or two reffing decisions had not been so outrageously bad, we would have progressed to the final of the CL and that we would have won the league. We are so close. the difference between our success and failure is so small, its indeterminable.

    who is regularly winning cups? the financially irregular teams, thats who. now we cant all be that way, there arent enough oil billionaires out there, and even if we could, would we want to.

    I think that the answer to this question defines you as a supporter. Personally I wouldnt like to see us emulate chelsea, united or city. two of those clubs buy their trophies ( we can all do that) and the other has borrowed massively to buy theirs.

    can we not agree that when we win a cup, it will be worth 10 times as much because we won it fairly and honorably? Like, and I hate to say it, Birmingham. they havent sold their soul to the devil at the crossroads, they may carry some debt, but their spending pales into insignificance when compared to most teams in the league.

    I would like to cheer you up by listing a few positives of Arsenal at the moment. we have one of the top four managers in the world – let’s face it, if arsene goes, he will be snapped up far quicker than a decent replacement could be found. We have the best stadium in the league, We have zero real debt, a new owner with very deep pockets, Ramsay and Vermaelen have just come back and will be like two new signings next season. The FPP rules have the ability (maybe not the conviction) to really level the playing field in terms of financial doping. some reffing technology is being seriously considered by fifa and uefa, and to cap it all off the spuds have still won nothing, havent got champs league and finished below us in the league.

    We are the Arsenal, the mighty mighty Arsenal.

  • Bonathan

    This is gonna be an exciting summer. Wenger knows now he has to make sure a bit more in the transfer marker. And he will have the backing of kreonke.

    Interestingly enough, if fabregas leaves, which i feel is likely, we probably wouldn’t have to spend much anyway, if anything. I think we have about another 4/5 players to follow him out the door who we wouldn’t miss.

    almunia- lets face it, he’s only looked decent when he has a run of games, and he ain’t gonna get that again. wouldn’t get much for him (if anything), but it’s one off the wage bill.

    Squillaci- If wenger signs a centre back, which i’m thinking is for sure, then it’l have to be this guy who makes way otherwise games will be very hard to come by for him. We have a few good youngsters coming through in this position as well. Maybe get 2.5m.

    Armand Traore- I don’t think he’s covered himself in glory while out on loan, and i don’t think we’l be particularly interested in having him back. Might be a decent signing for a team in the lower half of the table. 4m

    Craig Eastmond- After looking good on his first few games for the club, it started to become apparant that actually he wasn’t that good afterall. Couldn’t get his place in the millwall team while out on loan either so i can’t see a way back…..0.5m

    Mark Randall- seems like he’s been round a while now without ever being close to breaking through. 22 years of age, never gonna make the grade here. 0.25m

    Carlos Vela- Let’s face it, I think its looking unlikely for vela now. His loan spell i feel was make or break for him and although he got a couple of goals, he never done much else. 5m

    Bentdner- Shite. Will be a good signing for someone, but not good enough for us. 10m

    Fabregas- he wants to go, his contract is getting closer and closer to the end. His price is coming down every season because of this, cash in now. should be 45m, but probably more like 35m.

    Just over 57m. Not a bad transfer kitty for maybe 4 players.

  • sigma

    bye byre denilson – take barry bender and co with you and the bloody moose diaby get the f out of our club you money grabbing french hypocrites.

  • yemi

    i heard denilson wants to leave !!!! Great news !!! I down, 4 more to go

  • Bonathan

    I still think denilson has a fair bit to offer. He’s still only 23 and for me, he was underused this season. I know a lot of you will disagree with this but that’s what i think. The guy only started 6 games in the premiership all season. He’s hardly to blame for much. I think he’d go on to have a good carear if he did leave. If I was getting rid of any of our midfielders, it’d be diaby, but i’d probably even keep hold of him for now. We have plenty of other dead wood to get rid of first that i have mentioned above.

  • Bonathan

    in fact , he didn’t even feature in any of the recent games we ballsed up

  • Bonathan

    reading his quotes though, looks like his mind is made up already. Oh well, maybe get close to 10m for him. Personally, i’m disappointed, but i can understand how he is feeling having diaby getting in ahead of him. looks like we’ll be stuck with diaby now then.

  • Bonathan

    edern hazard and gary cahill have both been quoted as saying they’d like to play for arsenal. both are likely to switch clubs this summer. both are highly rated. both play in positions we could do with getting extra cover. Will we splash the cash??