According to a recent issue of the Daily Mirror, Arsene Wenger is now saying that one of the reasons why Arsenal didn’t do so well this season was because we had two players involved in the latter stages of the World Cup finals…played in July of last year!
I guess we have to add this reason to the numerous other ones that he has trotted out this season, to account for the many defeats and poor displays that Arsenal have produced.
Wenger has blamed (at one time or another) the ‘bumpy pitch’, the ’long grass’, the referee, the fourth official – for not allowing enough extra time, having to play against ‘rugby type’ teams, tired players, too many games in a short time period, injuries to key players, and of course, ‘bad luck’!
Of course, none of the other 19 teams had any of these problems to deal with did they?
Whilst these reasons (excuses?) are funny enough, I think Arsene really needs to look at the real reasons why his team performed so poorly in games that mattered:
1. Lack of quality players in certain positions (everyone knows what areas these are)
2. Certain players lacking experience in the Premier League, and especially in big games.
3. Too many injuries (long and short-term)
4. No leaders on the pitch
5. Players being made to play out of position
6. Some players lacking simple skills (crossing the ball from the flanks)
7. Players lacking tactical awareness, and the ability to change tactics when necessary
8. Players who play as individuals and not as part of a team
9. Players are not scared of the consequences of losing (‘hairdryer’ treatment).
If Wenger is going to bring in several new players this summer, what will he do about all the problems stated above? Because I can assure you, they won’t all suddenly disappear just because of new additions to the team.
Hopefully, he will bring in some quality, experienced players who will have the tactical awareness and the heart for the bigger games in the Premier League.
The remaining issues would still need to be addressed, and if Pat Rice is to stay on as the No. 2, as reported, then maybe it’s time for a fresh face to take over the coaching, because while Pat was an excellent full-back in his day, times have certainly changed.
Perhaps the players would react more favourably to a different coaching regime that would help bind the players into a cohesive unit where everyone knew their own responsibilities and their importance to the team – players playing for Arsenal, not their own glory!
Should this person be someone with a recent winning history with the club?
Those who come to mind immediately are Dennis Bergkamp, Tony Adams, Ray Parlour, Thierry Henry and David Seaman. All of them would command terrific respect from both the players and the fans.
Do you agree with my assessment of the season? Do you think Wenger should add to his management team this summer and if so, who do you think is the right man for the job?
Read more of Jeff’s articles at Gunnersphere