Archive for March, 2013

I wrote this and it was first published on arsenalvision.co.uk a while back. I went into it with some information given to me at the time and added my two cents. I meant for this piece to be opinionated but certainly not positive or negative. Somehow along the way, which is the norm these days, people took it as a negative. Why? I don’t know. Somehow I was also accused of having a “Madrid agenda” lol laughable.

Anyway, clear your head of bias, have a read and let me know what you think!!

Arsene Wenger has been at the middle of everything Arsenal since 1996. He reshaped the team, the club, the culture. He took a great thing and made it greater. Most love him, some hate him (now), but all must admit he has brought much to North London and has literally helped reshape the skyline.

Ultimately though, as fickle as supporters are these days, legacy means nothing to them, it is primarily a “what have you done for me lately” attitude and the truth is Arsene hasn’t done much but hang on. Maybe hanging on to past glories has cost the club trophies that should now be in the trophy cabinet. Maybe the board giving its accountant, ermmm, excuse me, its manager so much leeway has led to these “down” times. I put down in quotation marks because success is relative. If Arsenal were a lesser club no trophies in 8 years would be okay as long as that CL paycheck kept coming in. But in the end, Arsenal are Arsenal and 8 years without a trophy after going to the highest levels of every competition is simply not enough. Not for the 5th richest football club in the world and for one of the most successful football clubs on the continent.

All that said, people have differing views on the subject. Some say Wenger must be given a chance to turn it around. Others say Wenger must change. A growing minority say Wenger must go! And they may yet get their wish.

I have a source that works for RMFC, I have mentioned him before and his tidbits of information have always been very informative. Now this source claims that Mourinho is set to go from Real this summer. The divide between players and coach is too great for Florentino Perez to salvage.  Incidents with Ramos, Casillas and many others internally have left the team in disarray and many inside the organization, quietly, blame that rift for the current league standing of the historic club. As of today they are in 3rd place, 16 points off leaders FC Barcelona.

What does this have to do with AFC? What does this have to do with Wenger? Well, it is very interesting indeed.

As Madrid outwardly deny all rumors of fights, rifts, arguments, etc.; they are internally preparing themselves for the inevitable. The team has assembled a list of possible replacements and targets. The name at the top of that list is none other than AW, Arsenal’s main man. The information given to me is that Real are not so much concerned by FFP, but annoyed by it. If you recall it is Florentino Perez that began speaking out about a possible “Super League”, were the best from each country would breakaway from UEFA’s Champion’s League format and face each other. Perez felt that UEFA had mishandled the CL and wanted to ensure the “best play the best”. Now that plan has been all but forgotten and Real are bracing themselves for some sort of FFP implementation. Perez is after a replacement that will develop the highly touted youth ranks at Madrid and see through footballers that would, by the current culture at RMFC, be sold before they are ever given a chance to shine at the Bernabeu. The imagination of Florentino Perez has been and is currently reported to be intrigued about what Wenger could do with Madrid’s talent, youth system and hefty budget.

Perez has been a longtime admirer of Wenger, and as most remember, has been after the Frenchman for quite some time. With his contract up in 18 months’ time, Real, much like it was reported PSG were ready to do, may in fact table a compensation package to see if they can pry Arsene away from the Emirates to the Spanish capital. There are no figures in place yet for the possible offer, but it is being talked about. Will it ever materialize? Will we ever know? Those are questions for the summer. But the fact that a team like RMFC is after Wenger, as well as others such as PSG – as reported in December, makes you think if the Wenger Out Boys have got it wrong.

I am not defending Arsene. Primarily these past couple of years he has made many questionable tactical decisions, ridiculous substitutions, and does himself no favors when he speaks to the media. That said, I, like many sane Gooners, don’t put ALL the blame on him alone. He may make MANY key decisions, but there are many people in the background agreeing with those decisions that have the power to override or at the very least check and balance them. So in essence, there is MUCH blame to go around and many parties where that blame lies at Arsenal.

This is intriguing news and gives much to think about the next few months. Are we watching the last months of the Wenger Era at Arsenal? Will “Le Prof” turn away the Spanish giants once again? This may shape up to be the most intriguing summer yet for the Gunners, with the possibility that they lose their manager this time around. As he is intricately tied to every single decision down to what toilet paper is used (sarcasm), it may take many years to reorganize the club. Reorganization may work wonders and turn out well, but what if it doesn’t? It’s easy to sit and make a banner, it’s easy to sit at a desk or a couch and type “Wenger Out”. It’s much more difficult to make those decisions with human beings in the line of fire and emotions of years of attachment as well. Reality is a cruel thing and perceptions are often wrong.

You say Wenger Out, I say it may happen. No one knows what happens at AFC afterwards if it does indeed occur. Be careful what you wish for, you may not like the result.

Advertisements

11 matches left, that’s all that’s left. I tweeted a while ago that the Gunners would finish 3rd on 72 points. That means out of the last 11 matches, 8 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses are what’s needed. Completely achievable in my view. Then you have a few matches left that make this secondary, this weekend is one of them.

All that anyone talks about is the form that Bale FC is on, but fail to realize in the last 6 matches they have 12 points while Arsenal actually have 13.  Besides the ridiculous dive last year that earned him a penalty, Bale has actually been relatively quiet against AFC, and the midfield that #5PUR2 deploy has been outclassed by miles. Even in the loss last year there was much controversy; VdV’s handling of the ball in the box to control prior to his goal, the failure for his second yellow upon going into the crowd to celebrate, Szcz’s fumbling hands to allow the winner from Walker, etc.

Listen, this weekend won’t decide where Arsenal will end up, but it can go a long way to demoralizing the Yids and lifting our boys for a proper run-in. Arsenal have to play Everton, Utd, Swansea after this match. #5PUR2 will have to play Liverpool, Swansea, Everton, Chelski, and Manchester City. They WILL lose points in those matches. Even Chelski’s run-in is filled with tough matches with the Chavs having to play #5PUR2, Liverpool, Swansea, and Utd on the trot before seeing Everton on the last day of the season.

Basically, it’s up to AFC to win the matches they should and it’s left to the three matches mentioned to see if they can make a run to second with some slip ups along the way needed from Citeh.

The talent is there for Arsenal, there simply has been a lack of cohesion and lack of urgency. That’s either down to bad planning or simply the effect of constant turnover. Whatever it is, I look for the lads to suck it up, and give us a proper run-in.

Doing that will set AFC up for a busy summer, which I’ll discuss later.

The opportunity is there, the schedule has lined up nicely, now it’s down to execution. Despite the negativity going around these days, I fancy the squad to pull through!

North London is Red!! I look for it to stay that way for quite some time.

COYG!