By Dan Ferguson
“His love for the club is now destroying it.”
Just a flippant conversational line but totally bang on.
Wenger is protecting himself from progress beyond or without him. I suspect that the majority of us would agree that he doesn’t try to bring the club down intentionally, but at the same time he doesn’t allow his vision to be expanded.
He offers no signs of dynamic shift in policy. Continuity is key.
If Arsenal was a horse, it would be a once-amazing thoroughbred, and he would be slowly feeding it to death without properly exercising it. Sending it to race and furiously rationalising that it is better than the other 15 horses in the race, not the 3 or 4 who keep beating our ‘nag’.
And that’s what we’ve become: a nag.
Presently, Arsenal has become a sum-total of its more thoughtlessly vociferous fans, and its most recent results. It doesn’t take a mathematician to work out the answer.
So what to do?
I believe in the fans’ right to protest. I don’t believe in wishing Wenger dead.
I believe in openly pointing out the faults in the club as I see it. I also accept that I really know bugger all when it comes to the inner workings of the club. I believe that the current players have not experienced enough hardship to know what desperation is. I also believe that Wenger was still prepared to trust these players with the same sentimental bond he once reserved for players who often found an extra 3-5% in games they didn’t know they had.
I don’t care about Alexis that much. I made that clear back against Norwich.
But I do wonder where our Ray Parlour is. I wonder who can be our Edu, our Toure, where is the spirit of Ashley Cole, or Lauren? The players didn’t shout, but they worked so hard on the basics, and they all played for Arsenal’s first in a position new to them. I’m fed up of watching square pegs fail in round holes. Talent or no talent, they let each other down.
And therein lies the rub. All these players could easily win with other managers who fit them into a working system. Take Albrighton at Leicester as an example. But we have no system of worth. We have a system of skill and space, and Arsenal currently isn’t that great at either.
We could make so much of Jonker and Freddie leaving, the contracts of players running down, etc etc etc. But all this happens in clubs and it doesn’t mean the bottom has fallen out. But the ‘Arsenal Way’ is outside of the club, and only one man and a bunch of fans who really don’t like him maintain this façade.
I don’t really fancy discussing Liverpool or Munich because the failings are ours. We are beating ourselves.
Munich thumped us in third gear because we allowed ourselves to be given muddled tactics with clueless implementation and instruction on the field. Liverpool were poor and we were poorer. So we lost.
Arsenal cannot defend any more. It comes from midfield protection and they are wretched.
Lovely to watch going forward, opening up our gaps and then not tracking back with any urgency. Teams know this and batter us in those phases. Time and time again.
So tonight, who can call it? We will probably score, but I am sure that fringe Munich players will run us into the ground.
It is the fans and their lack of backing. The thousands of empty seats, the banners and hurls of abuse, the media attention to this as they all want to claim the exclusive on how they alone were able to dethrone Wenger.
It is a foul, merry dance of idiots, of which all Arsenal fans, staff and media vultures play active roles. But it is just football, and I’m so fed up of flattering to deceive that I don’t mind a bit of public humiliation. But that’s just me. I’ll keep my silence for tonight, and also against Lincoln too.
But I won’t be renewing my season ticket again.
I’ll explain my reasons later in the week.