I find it amazing how many people seem to believe everything that Arsene Wenger says in his interviews and press conferences.
‘Second is a success’ was a quote greeted by much anger from a lot of Arsenal fans and I just did not understand it. For Arsene Wenger to say second is a success WOULD be amazing IF he meant it.
Does Arsene Wenger really look like a man who thinks second is good enough? He has been more agitated then ever recently and that is not because he wants to fight for second place but because he really wants first place. In the press conference after the Bolton game, he was asked if this season has been unsatisfactory and he agreed.
Arsene Wenger has ALWAYS protected his players and takes any blame of failure up on himself. By saying second is success is more about protecting the players and trying to remove some pressure.
Another quote that came through was about Arsene Wenger not spending this summer. If you actually saw the press conference, Arsene Wenger said a few things. He did say he will not splash the cash but then hinted that there is money there for a big transfer. Personally, I wouldn’t want to splash the cash but buy the right players because I think we all agree we need about three players to complete this squad.
I have been to a few press conferences recently and every manager I have seen has lied in their press conference for various reasons. Avram Grant said Scott Parker was facing a late fitness test but another West Ham player came out and let slip 20 minutes later that Scott Parker was out. There was an example from the Harry Redknapp press conference too. It happens all the time and I get amazed at how literally people take things.
Didn’t Arsene Wenger say Andrey Arshavin will not be coming to Arsenal but then turned up two weeks later?
Speaking to a few people yesterday, I got the feeling people think we have a divine right to win things… We do not.
Under Arsene Wenger, we got used to winning things. We perhaps even took it for granted but we do not have that right to win things. Before the title win in 1989, we last won the league in 1971. We won the FA CUP and the Littlewoods Cup in-between however; it was not exactly trophies galore.
The end of the George Graham days were not the best either but when Arsene Wenger came, joining the club in 1996 Arsenal had finished in 5th place in 1995-1996 Season. Arsene Wenger joined the club in September 1996 so did not get a full season or a summer or a pre-season. In Arsene Wenger’s first full season, he won the double, then came a whisker away from winning the league on the last day in the 98-99 Season and won the double again in 01-02. He then won the FA Cup in 2003 and went through the whole season unbeaten and won the league in 03-04. He then added the FA Cup in 2005 and took us to our first ever Champions League final in 2006.
That period was special, very special and I do not blame people for getting used to it but it doesn’t mean it will always be like that. For that period alone, I feel Arsene Wenger deserves more time.
I would never want Arsene Wenger to change his philosophy because I love the way we play football but I would love him to add just that bit of experience which will help us get over the line. The last seven-eight games are always the toughest because that is when the pressure is really on. The first 15 or even 20 games are slightly easier because the pressure is less. That bit of experience and leadership may be the difference in the last seven of eight games.
I do not want to go into who I would sell or buy because that is probably best left till the summer but the one name I have mentioned for a while is Scott Parker. I want Parker even more now if Wilshere goes to the under 21s tournament this summer. If Wilshere plays, then he will not have a full pre-season then play the season for Arsenal then play the Euro’s with England then again play another full season for Arsenal. That seems like a lot of football for such a young man. That is why I think a player like Parker will just take the pressure of Wilshere because of the amount of football he will be playing in the next two years. Parker would also provide some proper cover in defensive midfield and add that leadership and experience.
I am sure everyone has their own opinions but these are just mine. I could be talking out my arse and everything I have said could be wrong but that is what I think.
I am firmly in the Arsene Wenger fan club but I think even he knows he may have to change a few things. He has kept faith with so many of these players and perhaps that faith may just have been lost a little.
Arsene Wenger said blame him because he picks the players however, surely the players have to take some blame too? After all, football is a team sport.
Have a good week and see some of you Sunday in the Tollington or inside the ground.
Come on you Arsenal.