And so it came to pass, The Arsenal face a new dawn, an ending and a beginning. A Sixth place finish and a terrible away record with no silverware will be the final word on Wenger's tenure. A tenure that, at the end, has been divisive and disappointing (depending on which side of the fence you stand on)
I've come out of hibernation to write about the future. Other far more accomplished writers will make their state of the nation on Wenger's 22 years so I'm going to put forward what I would like to see.
When we were told that the move to the Emirates would enable us to compete with the biggest clubs in Europe it was, at best an optimistic statement, at worst a serious misjudgement. To move forward we need to set our sights at realistically competing and having the personnel and more importantly the set up that allows for progression. A manager that knows how to implement in-game management and knows how to plan for a two legged tie is essential for European Competition, and that's what it needs to be: competition. For so long we have simply made up the numbers and have lost games through errors, poor planning and strange team selections. We have also gone into European games almost as if we have taken no account of the opposition.This needs to change to enable us to build campaigns that can be building blocks to establishing us in the European top flight by being firmly in the mix.
I want to see the new man make team selections based on performance and not reputation. I want to see players given a chance and not dropped to accommodate so called 'star players'. I want to see a manager who is not rewarded for mediocrity a manager who understands that he is an employee of the club and that he will receive the support he needs if we can all see that he understands his obligation to our great club, is capable of learning from his mistakes
Glory has evaded us on occasion, as it des al clubs, but we have often seen triumph snatched away for want of a touch of pragmatism. Even those mercurial of players Henry, Pires and Bergkamp were not averse to taking the ball to the corner flag in the dying moments of a game in order to achieve a result. Vieira, Keown and Freddie would take a Red Card in order to enforce issues. That's a winning mentality, a willingness to do whatever it takes. I want to see an ability to drop the cavalier attitude when needed, after all nobody ever scored from Row Z
Prioritisng competitions, tactical changes, Selections that aren't based on promises, responding to set backs without crumbling. An ability to adapt to the ups and downs of a season is essential as we have too often crumbled.I believe its something intangible that allows players to roll with the punches. its something that THE Arsenal used to have and its something the best teams, the teams that achieve have. I want to see a team that stands strong in the fcae of adversity and that has to be something that is intrinsic and led by the boss
THE Arsenal, I want our manager to refer to us as THE Arsenal. I want to see a defined personality , something on the pitch and in the tunnel. A set of players united in an ethos and a way of playing that allows them to show their talent but gives them a plan of action and assistance from the bench when needed. a personality that is not fragile and accepting of defeat a personality that stands up to be counted and does'nt roll over and die as has too often been the case.
I'm a realist and I would hope that we all show some patience with the new man. I hope that we can be enthused by a new regime and feel that the club is moving forward rather than treading water. In football as in most sport, nothing is guaranteed but it feels like exciting times await. I want to see the return of THE Arsenal.