Friday, 26 November 2010

Reflections on a bad week

Wenger has a squad that lacks character. That statement is an obvious one. The psychology of sport is often overlooked or misrepresented. I believe that in Wenger’s heyday he assembled a set of players who had the technical ability yet also had character. There was little for him to do during each ninety minutes; just let them play. Given their skill and character they would get the results 90% of the time.
On the occasions when they needed something from Wenger during a game they were sold short. The ECWC Final v Galatasary, The Champions League final v Barcelona, The ECL quarter final v Chelsea for example.

You could justifiably say there is an art top selecting the right players and just letting them play. But Wenger has stopped choosing the right players for that mission statement

Wenger’s skill was in finding the players that had the requisite traits needed aside from playing ability. He was given a helping hand at the beginning with some of Graham’s boys.

This set of players, by and large, is completely created in Wenger’s laboratory, and it shows. Wenger has ceased to be a manager in the sense that selection is his only tool of trade; tactics and inspiration are missing from his arsenal.

There is no place for sentimentality in football and Arsene’s achievements grow more and more like old newspapers with each passing result.

If a decline is inevitable, as currently is the case, there needs to be a strategy to arrest that decline.

Protestations that we are not a team in decline are groundless. Lower league positions, failure to reach European finals each year, less points, less progress in domestic cups, less automatic qualification for Champions League, these are all facts;
Comparing the last five seasons with the five seasons prior tells its own story
2002 double winners, 2003 FA Cup winners, 2004 Champions, 2005 FA Cup winners, 2006 ECL Finalists. 2006/2007-2010/2011 So far nothing in terms of trophies league positions are lower and major final appearances are too.

With some character/s in the team the last five years needn’t have been so barren. The man charged with ensuring that Arsenal have the right players for the job stands alone on his soapbox of doctrine, and it seems that he has reached the point in his time at Arsenal where he doth protest too much that this lot have ‘a winning mentality’ as they have yet to prove it. That proof does not look remotely imminent.
dead end street

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