There are no knee-jerk reactions to Arsenal anymore. The idea that a large section of the support are fickle is not only arrogant but extremely deluded. The loss at Swansea on the weekend compounded Arsenal’s problems. It revealed one of the lowest points during Arsene Wenger’s time at the club – possibly even lower than the 8-2 loss at Manchester United last season.

The problem is, and Wenger alluded to this recently, it’s not always about just buying good players. There’s a problem at Arsenal that means everyone sits back and admires the view, no matter what that view may be. Now, Arsenal are a sports club and one who are active, so to suggest everyone with some relevance is just sitting on their hands is probably wide of the mark (and I’m hoping it’s wide of the mark). But there is something wrong. There is a losing and defeatist mentality at the club.

I don’t care where Swansea are in the league, I don’t care how well they’re doing, I don’t care who their manager is. When you’re a club who boast profits, sit in a state of the art stadium, have the highest ticket prices in Europe, share a table at the very top of the European game alongside Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich, you can not be losing at home to Swansea.

The worrying thing is, it seems that no amount of decline can push the club into action. But a change is needed, and a significant one at that.

In terms of Arsene Wenger, so much of his present and future at the club is based on what he did 10 years ago. People who say he’s the right man for the job and the only man for the job are those who don’t know any different. What kind of arrogance is it to suggest no one else could handle Arsenal’s current situation and get them into the Champions League every season other than Wenger? For starters, it only takes a manager with a good bit of tactical sense to see that playing a formation with the wrong players doesn’t work. It only takes someone with desire to try something new to play Andrey Arshavin through the middle – his natural position. A huge concern is that the manager and this Arsenal team are failing to get the best out of Santi Cazorla. I have no time for those who look down on La Liga and the small but tricky players. Cazorla is the best player at the club right now, and yet people are lumping him into a category of failed purchases.

The players keep changing every year but the results and defeats and the manner of the defeats remain the same. Who becomes accountable? No one, according to those who see nothing wrong with Wenger or the way the club is run. I’m not totally convinced that having Eden Hazard and Fernando Llorente in the team would make a whole lot of difference. Would Javier Hernandez have had the same debut season in the Premier League if he played for Arsenal? It’s not spiteful jabs at a manager, but it is questions that need to be raised, especially considering the way Arsenal are tumbling down the league.

Wenger looks tired, and not just from losing. He looks tired from losing his best players, from not having the adequate resources to keep the club at the top. I’m totally behind the idea that the board are starving the manager of the means to go out and properly revitalise the squad. However, I do believe the manager can be doing a lot more with what he has in terms of playing personnel.

People have rightly spoken about Gervinho as the worst signing under Arsene Wenger. That’s not knee-jerk and it’s certainly not a case of short term memory; everyone is fully aware of players like Mikael Silvestre, Igor Stepanovs and the pointlessness of Amaury Bischoff. But those players were cheap; Gervinho, on the other hand, was picked up for a fee which went into double figures.

With Arsenal, maybe it’s a case of the board and manager not complementing each other. Champions League football is achieved, yes, but how disappointing if you believe that to be the mark of success.

Wenger managed to get the best out of world class players during his successful years. Price isn’t the only measure of how good a player is or can be, but Robert Pires, Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp were good footballers who were up to the standard of Arsenal and their demands. With the manner in which the market has morphed into this current monster, the Arsenal board simply aren’t giving the manager enough to go out and find these players any more.

Wenger has a responsibility to the new stadium, but Arsenal are not in poor financial health. I fail to believe that a busy and ambitious transfer window would cripple the club, as Ivan Gazidis has implied in the past. But if the board want to stand by Wenger and allow him to manage and eventually leave of his own accord, they must change their policy on running the club.

It never should have come to a point where Wenger would be forced out of the club. It hasn’t quite reached that extreme yet, but there are plenty who believe his time is up. Wenger can still offer much to Arsenal, but it will come with the altering of his managerial approach. It might be fair to say that most Arsenal supporters do not want a change in manager, but rather a change in his ways.

In terms of the board, they are the ones calling the shots but remaining hidden behind their man on the front lines. If the board are not taking money out of the club, what exactly is the reported £70 million doing just sitting in the vaults? Saving for a rainy day? It doesn’t get much rainier than this.

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  • Bily
    1 year ago

    I

    Reply
  • Bily
    1 year ago

    I agree with you but wengers tactics have to come into question,how many top teams in years gone by have been in front as arsenal have on too many ocassions to count yet end up losing on a consistent basis that’s purely down to bad tactics that nev been changed he has to go

    Reply
  • Dai
    1 year ago

    Don’t care was made to care!

    You aren’t the first ‘big’ club to lose to the Swans and you won’t be the last. We had the same inane comments (though with fewer headlines) when we won 3-1 at Anfield in the cup.

    Reply
    • pw
      1 year ago

      totally agree

      Reply
  • pw
    1 year ago

    YOU CANNOT BE LOSING TO SWANSEA,who do you think you are boy,well beaten by a better team on the day,you need a reality check,arsenal not the force they used to be,There are up and coming teams who deserve to win if they play better.Living in the past Boy hallett

    Reply
    • Thomas Hallett
      1 year ago

      I’m not wrong though, am I? I might have offended you, I might have wound you up with that comment, but it’s not wrong. Will Swansea ever be playing in the Champions League? Not anytime soon. Arsenal are a Champions League team who talk about winning trophies, attracting top names and charging high ticket prices. They have a better squad that cost God knows how much more than Laudrup’s side. It might be snobbery, but Arsenal have to be beating these teams at home. If you don’t like it then fair enough. But you can’t tell me, as a football fan, that you haven’t projected a win against a side your team are playing on the weekend. “We should be beating them;” you’ve never said that, right? Again, my opinions and I’m quite content to keep them.

      Reply
      • pw
        1 year ago

        You say Swansea will never be playing Champions league how do you know they wont be in a few years time.Remember how the club has improved in the last couple of years.Arsenal have been great in the past how do you know they will be great in the future you cannot predict that.Swansea is a extremely well run football club with no debts whatsoever not many top premiership teams can say that.I have always admired the way your football team has played our beautiful game and you admit the value of your players is worth far more than our players but are they better players i dont know about that.Just because historically you have been a successful team,does not mean that in the future you will succeed.i would wish you do well in the future as many of my family support your club and i enjoy watching arsenal.But you should think you have the right to be the best all the time .

        Reply
        • pw
          1 year ago

          not think

          Reply
        • Thomas Hallett
          1 year ago

          What you’re saying is a fair, and there’s no reason Swansea can’t grow into a Premier League regular and further. But it’s worth recognising that I’m not taking a pop at Swansea, it’s more of an indirect attack on Arsenal. No team has a right to win anything, and I’ve said that a few times. But when A club like Arsenal talks about being ambitious and needing to win home games, it becomes inexcusable when they don’t turn up. Not turning up for Manchester United away is one thing, but not turning up for any home game is unacceptable. Again, my bigger point was to highlight the current state of Arsenal, not to attack another club.

          Reply
  • pw
    1 year ago

    I totally agree with what you have said in your last un bias comment.I hope you continue to be a great club,but personally i think big changes are required to be made for you to continue to stay at the top of the british game.Lets hope both our teams continue to play each other in the forseeable future,and thanks for stating you did not wish to attack my club.

    Reply

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