After an abysmal display at Chelsea in last weekend’s supposedly grandstand Premier League tie, many people involved with Arsenal Football Club (least so the board and the shareholders) are concerned with the ongoing failures in the Premier League under the management of Arsene Wenger.
The 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge has left the Gunners 12 points behind the league leaders Chelsea, making it almost impossible to turn around the deficit, with the *insert plural form of expletive here* down the road also looking very threatening to finish above us and ruin St Totteringham’s Day for the first time in over 20 years.
Jokes aside though, the majority of Arsenal fans are pissed at not only the result, but also the performance, which I think in my years of watching Arsenal, I have seen over and over and over again at other stadia like Old Trafford, Anfield and more recently the Etihad and White Hart Lane. Gutless, underprepared and weak.
The interviews on popular fans’ channel Arsenal Fan TV also gave light to more problems within the club, with the AKB (Arsene Knows Best) and WOB (Wenger Out Brigade) sides involved in heated altercations in the away end during Saturday’s game. The boiling point seems to be nearing.
Now in my opinion, I’m going to break down my outlook on the situation at Arsenal Football Club. Let’s go way back to 2005, the summer after we won the FA Cup for the 3rd time in 4 seasons with Wenger. We let go of Vieira, our captain fantastic, to what was another European rival team in Juventus (although we did beat them that season). This was when, in my opinion, the captaincy of the club took a turn for the worse.
Since then, Arsenal have had 6 captains in that time period of 12 years. If we look at other teams such as Liverpool (2), Man United (4), Chelsea (1) and Man City (4). Arsenal’s is more in comparison, and that has shown because in the “big matches” since 2005 (bar one good season in 06/07) we have had a poor record in these fixtures, with the same gutless, lacklustre performances. Missing a leader in these games has been glaringly obvious to most, except Wenger apparently.
Now, the players do need to take a lot of responsibility for these poor showings, granted. Özil and Sanchez in particular need to show why they deserve to be given huge wages. However, over the past 12 years, the team personnel have been changed many a time, but we still see the same occurrences and results. The only constant in the team is Wenger, and as a result, I think he holds a large portion of the blame for these results, whether it’s his tactics or motivation, or lack thereof.
Rarely is it easy to win these games, but at least show some spirit and desire in defeat. For example, last season’s Leicester lost 3 games en route to the title, but in 2/3 of their losses (away at Arsenal and Liverpool) they at least gave a good fight and it showed in their matches when they bounced back from those defeats. I can’t say that’s happened too many times in the Arsenal camp.