This evening I received a response to my article on the way Iwobi and Alexis restricted our attack versus West Brom by constantly moving into the middle and how Wenger failed to change this. I have used it as a blog below…
Dave… read today’s blog. Loved the tactical depth. Would love to take your thoughts a step further….
I had such admiration for Arsene Wenger.
I’d say that if I met him I’d come away with the same respectful words and fuzzy feeling that others do.
Like all Arsenal fans I am grateful for much. My gratitude will truly appear I’m sure, when he leaves. For now I’m beyond fed up.
Not sure which stage I’m at actually. Mixture between all of our emotions… frustration, anger, apathy etc…
Rather than simply repeat the same frustrations that we all feel, I decided to put my coaching hat on and ask some difficult questions.
I came to this…
Have we been fooled?
If Arsene Wenger was on trial for deceiving Arsenal fans it would not be hard to make a solid case that he is not what he appears.
- I’ve always thought that Wenger doesn’t ‘coach’ during games because …
He is non-confrontational and doesn’t want to publicly tell a star player (AS) to change something and have him ignore it?
Why would he ignore it though??
Because AW doesn’t hold players accountable and indulges them, perhaps?
Ask yourself if it’s possible that the reason why he doesn’t coach during games is because it’s a blur to him?
Maybe because his instruction wouldn’t be followed by players that know he doesn’t know?
AW only stands up when we score or to argue with the 4th official. Only coach in world sports (I’d imagine) who doesn’t help his team.
Either he is right and a genius or there is a deeper reason. For my answer I just look at the last decade.
My bigger accusation is that Arsene Wenger as a general rule is tactically inept.
Strong thought, I know. Not easy to write that actually but I’m fed up of being naive.
Disagree? I’m happy to be talked down.
Think of an issue that’s frustrated you. Has Wenger attempted to fix it? Did he even try?
For every one I can think of, I can think of 10 he hasn’t touched.
Starter for 10
Why has Bellerin never been taught to beat a man?
Why was Walcott not showed that his wheels moved too fast in possession to be technical?
Why do players rarely go in 6 yard box for simple goals?
Why do I go to the loo when we get a corner and have done for 20 years?
Why has Ramsey’s natural instinct to attack not been honed?
Why Arsenal such slow starters and generally always have been?
Why do we make too many passes during a counter attack?
Why hasn’t he realized that if you insist on having your full backs be wingers that they should practice beating a man and crossing in training?
Why hasn’t he realized that 80% of all teams play a low block vs AFC and that the two easiest ways of beating that are shooting from 20 yards and beating your man on the outside yet we do neither, and when we do we use Clichy/Sagna/Bellerin????
AFC are accused repeatedly of not fixing mistakes. Same ole.
In any job you’d only do this if your were insanely stubborn and even poor outcomes don’t shift you or you don’t see the problem, right?
So, how do we explain his great successes at AFC?
Biggest clue comes in hearing ex-players state that he doesn’t coach or that they did it for him.
AW was successful because players did his job and he had many true leaders.
To his credit he bought these types but then stopped. Big, big mistake!
I think Arsene Wenger has fooled us.
2) I think he stayed at Arsenal because he knows that not only do our owners not ask the right questions but the British media don’t either. Never a tactical question for example. Never.
He knew that the media in other European countries ask questions about strategy, formation, in game management etc…
So, I think he didn’t leave not because of his ‘deep love for Arsenal’ but because he knew he’d be exposed and quickly.
3) I think that Wenger has very limited coaching understanding in regards to defending and defensive positioning.
I think that his philosophy of ‘not worrying about the opposition’ and ‘creative attacking freedom’ has been carefully thought out.
It sounds so positive and something we should all be able to mature toward.
It also sounds very appealing to footballers that are fed up of instruction and want to be let loose.
You can see it in the way that Cesc didn’t defend properly, in the way that Sanchez and Ozil do what they want.
I don’t think that’s what’s really going on at all.
I think that he chooses this philosophy because he doesn’t understand the other.
I think we’ve been fooled.
4) I think he has manipulated the fans too.
His natural calmness, intelligence and charm make you think that he is right.
I’d say that he has used these qualities to train our minds into thinking it’ll work out. Maybe that’s clever? I think that it may be but before its clever, it’s taking advantage.
There are a lot of people that I love. Taking advantage of them may get me what I want but I think that makes me selfish and unaware of what love is.
There is so much more but I think this could convict him alone.
Could it be that Arsene Wenger has fooled us?
Was chatting with a ‘be careful what you wish for’ friend.
I shared this with him…
“Not only did I love Wenger but I’d tell others that he was a genius and irreplaceable. “
For a fan to feel this way and then turn 180 degrees says to me that the problem must be neon!
It’s hard for a man to admit that they have been fooled.
It was for me anyway.
Former Highbury regular. Moved to TN, USA in ’99.
Married with 3 kids.
Coached in UK and US for 27 years.
Mike McDonald Soccer Academy in Morristown TN, Olympic Development coach, Regional Premier League Champion.
I think Arsene Wenger has fooled us. It’s slowly unraveling. Wish it would accelerate!