Friday, 14 January 2011

Underwhelmed by Managerial Underachievement

So Arsenal travel; to a very poor West ham and to be honest I can’t predict the result, such is the inconsistency at our club.

It’s not so much that Arsenal have played three games recently; one in the League, one in the FA Cup and one in the League cup without a win to their name. It’s not that a fortnight ago Arsenal comprehensively conquered Chelsea and have since slumped. It isn’t that the talented Arshavin, and Rosicky are in the poorest form of their lives. It isn’t even that Denilson, Vela Kosckielny/Squillaci , Djorou, Fabianski, and Bendtner aren’t good enough.

It’s that if one really looks at the current Arsenal squad objectively you search for players who are what could be called ‘quality players’; not in flashes, but consistently prove their ability.


That’s it!

Vermaelan unfortunately is injured long term but on his showing last season  I would put him in this category. Wilshere has the potential to be of the required standard. Gibbs and Czszceny look like they could be up there. Chamakh has shown a great deal so far. Song is much improved yes, but he is not an Essien or Vieira. Walcott is neither one thing nor t’other. RVP; undoubted ability but too many injuries. The list goes on. Decent players amongst them but, and this is the heart of the matter, how many players do Arsenal currently have that are wanted by Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Milan, Bayern?

Yes I will mention the past, as it’s relevant. Relevant and real. The club has moved from Highbury to the all singing all dancing Emirates and in that time frame the players that Wenger has bought in to replace the players that last won the league have not matched the standard. That’s a fact. A set of players who would and could have played for Europe’s elite.

Let’s look at the squad members that have since left, one more time, to emphasise how poor the current squad are. I have included some of the achievements of the players before winning the Premiership in the unbeaten season 2003-2004.

Lehmann-World cup International EUFA goalkeeper of the year EUFA Cup Bundesliga & Serie A champion
Cole- World cup International
Campbell- World cup International
Toure- World cup International
Lauren- World cup International
Pires- PFA player of the year World cup Euro cup winner
Vieira-PFA player of the year World cup Euro cup winner
Gilberto-World cup International
Ljungberg- World cup International
Henry- PFA player of the year world cup Euro cup winner
Bergkamp- PFA player of the year World cup International
Parlour-Previous League Champion
Wiltord- World cup Euro cup winner
Kanu-African player of the Year European cup winner
Keown- Previous League Champion
Senderos- World cup International
Edu-World club championship winner
Van Bronckhorst- World cup International Scottish Prem Champion

once more with feeling

What this clearly illustrates is a mentality in the squad of achievement and winning, Something the current crop just don’t have. The man who assembled the team of 2003-2004 is responsible for the inferior 2010-2011 version. This in itself shows that Wenger has fired and hired badly.

In essence if Wenger was employed by any major company and he had replaced a quality set of staff with a sub standard set of employees resulting in failure to achieve the mission statement of said company, what would happen? 

I think we all know the answer.

Then again maybe as long as that company is making money they don't care.

All that you say is correct.   I have no doubt that the day will come again soon when we will be able to compete for the best players.   But not whilst the Billionaires can afford to have a few expensive toys in the bottom of their toy box.   They will get the best players if they come onto the narket, and all players are on the market if not at Manu, Barca, Real, Juve, Bayern, Chelski, Citah, QPR, and maybe some more who recently discovered this sparkling new toy shop.   Until then we must try to identify the players before they "come onto the market" and that means a higher risk.  Hence the youth system.    But even that the Billionaires have cornered as well, remember the fiasco over Chelski taking the Michael character from Manu.

Having said that we have a team that can play well, even a top team, and not too badly placed in the middle of the window.  But a few key purchases including ones with a fighting mentality will help do the job.  But the reason we lost to Ipswich was our CD played his man onside not once and learned his lesson  - by conceding a goal - but repeated the feat towards the end.    A good CD is as valuable as a good CF

But I confidently expect that both Leeds and Ipswich will be dispatched without too much trouble, we will beat Manu at home and we might even surprise everyone at Barca.

There are things wrong, certainly.  But we must be calmer and more consderate of the solutions open to us.  First the clear our with an early spring clean.

Keeping it goonerish as always

Some fair points. My issue is that cultivating players rather than flashing the cash is the sensible path but that cultivation needs to consider a players attitude and motivation along with ability. An eye for a bargain needs to be utilised as well. Where our manager has fallen short is in his decline of being able to identify these things when once he could. 

As an Arsenal supporter yes I think that we may just be able to manage to be less poor than others and win something this season ; the league. But had ManU Chelsea retained their standards of recent seasons we would be nowhere near them. 
The standards that Wenger himself set are the standards he's being judged by and in that respect the judgement is fair   

He set the bar high

There are a few other ingredients that are worth considering too.  The must important of these is mental fatigue.   You notice this most amongst young players.   They admit defeat too easily, and find it difficult to motivate themselves for the next match.     It is easy to motivate players for a game against Chelski and Manu etc but more difficult for a home game against a poor side.    Then there is the matter of giving the best players a mental rest and keeping them match fit.   So I would not read too much into the recent results, except for dropping points in he league.     I would want AW therefore to refresh the side ASAP.  Good hard working players feel dragged down and held back by those clearly not good enough to get into a Tottenham, Liverpool, Newcastle Etc side.  B52, DeNeilson, Vela, Etc would barely get into these sides, even then their work rate would need to improve a great deal.  But without them the bottom rail would somewhat higher, and a few january signings would lift the spirits of those that are trying, and bring real expectation back to the team.     The promise of Verminator and Rambo coming back around March would also be a big lift.

But we will beat W'ham despite their manager's crisis and their determination.   Parkers will be fighting his best but we should easily have enough in the tank to put three of four past them.

it will be goonerish

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