It is now apparent that Wenger can no longer motivate the team for the bread and butter games. It’s easy to get up for a glamour game with Barcelona, Man Utd or Chelsea, but the manager has to make sure they perform to the same level against West Brom, Newcastle, Sunderland, Blackburn, Liverpool, Bolton, Stoke and now Villa.
I don’t think he can take the club any further without a serious change in policy. Don’t misunderstand me, I want him to stay, but he has to change his philosophy because the players aren’t playing for him anymore. They know how much flak he is taking, so do they rally round and try to take the heat off the boss? Doesn’t look like they give a shit to be honest. No matter how much he tries to instill confidence and steel in the young players by praising their mental strength and saying how much he believes in them, I don’t think they are buying it anymore. I stopped taking anything he said seriously a long time ago, but it seems now even his prodigal sons are seeing through the amateur psychology bullshit.
The squad realise that they won’t win anything – not even the Carling Cup – because they need some quality, experienced leaders to get them over the line. This costs money though and Wenger won’t (or can’t) spend it. Henry wanted to win the Champions League, realised he wouldn’t do it at Arsenal under Project Youth and jumped ship. Fabregas has drawn the same conclusion, wanted to go last July and will leave this summer. Nasri is stalling on a new contract, trying to balance his loyalty to Wenger against how much he wants to win trophies. He’ll be on his way too if nothing changes and I can’t see van Persie hanging around much longer if this continues season after season.
You have tried and failed Wenger - alter your philosophy you stubborn old man
This would explain yet another
lacklustre display against a supposedly inferior side. I could perhaps understand it a little if there was nothing riding on the game, but we had second place in our sights after Newcastle’s late equaliser against Chelsea – now it looks like we’ll be lucky to hang on to third.
Where was the drive? Where was the team spirit? Where was the determination? And why do I have to keep asking these questions in seemingly every match report I do lately?
We started the match with the enthusiasm of Gazza at a salad bar. Squillaci demonstrated what a terrible purchase he has been with a moment of comical defending, not seeming to realise that Bent might pose a threat if you leave him unmarked. Sagna then showed that even he could defend as poorly as anyone else in the squad when he tried to play offside and allowed Bent in to score number two. And Sagna’s been one of our better defenders this season, which sums up just how error prone we are back there.
Do we actually practice defending or are our training days filled with how to perfect the sideways 5 yard ball, because we’re bloody good at that.
The only one who looked worthy of wearing the Arsenal shirt was van Persie, who hit the post and grabbed a late consolation. Yes the ref was poor – we should’ve had a penalty with possibly a red card to boot, and Chamakh’s goal looked valid to me – but don’t let that mask the real issue.
This crop of young players doesn’t have or ever will have the belief necessary to win silverware and Wenger is incapable of instilling it in them. Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool are going to spend big this summer and we will have a tough time even finishing in the top four next season if Wenger cannot convince his boys to produce the necessary performances week in week out.
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