I shared Marble Hall`s intention not to berate AW for the next two years, not because I had changed my mind, but because the owner and the Board do not listen to the fans complaints, so why waste time on berating Wenger when they revealed their position by giving him a two year extension to his contract. Any other club in the Premiership would have fired him.
Therefore, I will stick to my own position, which has been consistent for the last two years. I am not berating him when I deal in facts. yesterday`s match was a classic example of how far behind Wenger is from the modern managers today. I have said repeatedly, that he cannot coach and he is completely naive in his tactics. He is also manically convinced that “he knows best”. When the criticism against him was at its height last year, he said that he was the club`s best solution to get it out of its drastic inconsistency. Unfortunately, we went on a long run of success based upon a “three at the back” which I had been advocating all year. I take no credit for that because that solution was exemplified by Conte at Chelsea. We were eventually pipped for fourth place by Liverpool with the highest number of points ever to have failed to get 4th place. That fuelled Wenger`s belief once again that he could still do the business, when for years now he has patently not been able to.
Klopp was tailor made for Liverpool as he is a fans manager and a player`s Svengali. He can rouse the fans and he can generate 100% effort from his players. Above all, of those talents, he is tactically astute. He schooled his defence for this particular game and it showed from the outset. He was aware of the gaps in our centre backs and of the looseness of our midfield. He set up the midfield in a mobile 3-5-2 system and he pressurised our players (I will not identify them as midfield or defence because they were indistinguishable) and harassing them to make mistakes and losing or giving away possession. They did it in our back third and continued it back to their back third. Our guys gave away two gifts when in one case Monreal gave the ball away to Firminho and he ran solo into our penalty box and scored. Mane did a carbon copy when Bellerin tried to be clever and he plucked the ball out of the air, ran straight away into our box, and scored.
Ramsey was lost trying to muster some semblance of connection with Xhaka or Ozil but they were both too busy dealing with their own problems and none of that three played any sort of part in midfield or defence. Ox was slightly of nuisance value but he was picked to mainly be a wingback to compliment Ozil and provide crosses for Welbeck to get on to. Unfortunately for him. Wenger overlooked the fact that Mane would be one of Liverpool`s speed artists, given the role of penetrating our defence from the wing. He repeatedly made a beeline for the goal line and ran past Ox on the wing or cut inside where gaps always appear in our defence. Ox struggled to contain him and poor Holding must have thought he was at the Alamo.
On the other wing, Bellerin was equally inept at stemming the runs of Firminho, and Monreal and Bellerin were frequently caught out of position. That left a huge gap on the wing, which was exploited constantly. Looking at our team, it was apparent that they had been told to form into two lines of four to close Liverpool down and they did form two lovely straight lines, but inevitably, it was done after Liverpool had already poured past them and they had only Czech to beat. The ball went past him 4 times and left our beautifully formed up defence in tatters. It was clear that from front to back, nobody on that team knew what his role was or who his nearest mate was in time of trouble. Bellerin and Ox did not know whether they were to defend or attack and Xhaka does not know how to tackle anyway, so he was bewildered by what he was supposed to be doing and so he thought too long before he did anything.
Ozil was a complete waste of space as was Welbeck who missed a clear opportunity to score when he ended up on his back. It was a goal that Giroud would not have missed. Lacazette and Kolasinac have generally been hailed as good buys and both were dropped even though they both had good performances behind them. What plan in Wenger`s fevered brain did he think he would achieve by making such a monumental blunder? We all knew that Liverpool`s threat would be down the wings yet he dropped our hard man at left back.
In a three-week period before the season started Wenger played youngsters who were not going to be a contributory factor in the early stages and he played several different formations for the team and different combinations in the back three. He should have played his best 11 and got them used to a method of play. This is going to be the toughest year yet to qualify in the top four and these mistakes have left us playing catch up in 16th, yes 16th position! It would have been hard even if our players were on form but after that display, I fear it is already beyond us.
Klopp in contrast had his team thoroughly coached. Every man on his team knew what his position was and where he fitted into the plan. They defended and broke effectively and were just too strong and too direct in thought and deed for our lot. His team had shape and coordination. They were clearly well schooled whereas our players were like headless chickens.
To put the whole thing into perspective, if Kroenke fired Wenger, can you, dear reader, think of any team, domestically or internationally, which would offer him a job at £8m per year based on his record over the last 10 years. Mourinho, Ancelloti, Pellegrini atc. have all been fired when they had better records than he did. Would any fan, pro or against Wenger, consider him for our club, if you ignore what he did up until 2004? I do not believe that there is any case for carrying on with him based on his current performance.
A sophisticated, articulate Arsenal Man of Mystery. Aged 70 and a bit.