We are all aware of the fickle nature of football fandom and opinion, particularly as expressed on social media. So much so that last night, after a few cracking performances which excited us all I witnessed conversations on Twitter asking if those who were expressing discontent at Wenger would now apologise; admit they were wrong and generally eat humble pie. Now whilst I am more than happy to eat most pies and was as enthused by the performances against Chelsea and Basle as the next supporter, I thought some balance in the Wenger Force, swept along by the 20th Birthday celebrations might be in order.
|Wenger Force||Wenger Dark Side|
|A seemingly brilliant ploy to play Alexis centrally with mobile players like Iwobi and Walcott either side. We look a more dynamic force this season for it.
|He has being saying Alexis was a striker for 2 seasons and played him centrally on only a handful of occasions. He also had the same players available last season and did not try the current system ONCE
|We look far better with a mobile striker/s who can run behind to get best from the passing and vision of Ozil, Cazorla and now Xhaka
|He began with Walcott in 15/16 through the middle after the Cup Final and we blow away Man United. He then reverted to Olivier Giroud for the remainder of the season.
|Theo Walcott is a new man in 16/17. Higher work rate, more determination to track back and showing superior decision making.
He is not playing centrally!!
|In 2015/16 the manager could not draw a performance from the player post-Christmas. The player was behind Campbell, Iwobi and even Ox at times in the pecking order.
He is now a striker not a winger!!
|Incredible football played against Hull, Chelsea and Basle. Amazing fluidity, movement and slick, fast passing and width
|Same predictable slow football and inability to break down disciplined and organised defences against Southampton and Burnley. Not using width when obviously needing too.
|A seemingly fabulous mobile partner purchased to partner Koscielny in Mustafi. Almost instantly increased defensive solidity.
|Arguably a year at least too late when the flaws of Mertesacker and Gabriel more apparent and no faith shown in Chambers.
|Koscielny has grown in stature with the arm band and the responsibility. A great on the field example.
|Sadly Koscielny is not the club captain when he should be and we have our 4th year of a non-playing captain.
|When it’s all looking good
Praise him now
|When it is not going so well
Judge him in May
A wee bit of perspective perhaps but don’t let this impact your positivity. Every Gunner hopes he has come across a new winning formula. I am not complaining at all given that I wanted Alexis played centrally and was desperate for Wenger to replace Mertesacker. I also love Cazorla in the team and like the look of Xhaka. I would dearly love Walcott to continue to excel on the right but that does not make the exasperation at his form last season wrong or misguided as he was truly awful at times.
Whatever your view, objectivity and balance probably makes more sense than extreme positivity or negativity. Wenger is not always right but he gets it right more than he gets it wrong. However to win the trophies most of us hope for he will need to get far more right than he has in recent seasons. He has assembled a squad that has a depth of quality he has not had for years, even if that deficit in past seasons was partly his choice, so with a fair wind who knows where the Good ship Arsenal will end up.
Positivity with rationality – COYG
Passionate fifty-something Arsenal supporter who has been making the journey to N5 regularly since the early 1980s – although his first game was in 1976. Always passionate when talking about The Arsenal, Dave decided to send a guest blog to Gunnersphere in the summer of 2011 and has not stopped writing about the Gunners since.
He set up his own site – 1 Nil Down 2 One Up – in February 2012, which he moved on in 2016 to concentrate on freelance writing and building Gunners Town, which he launched with Paul in 2014.
The objective of GT was to be new and fresh and to give a platform for likeminded passionate Arsenal fans wishing to write about their team. Dave still of course, writes for the site himself and advises the ever-changing writing crew.