I have never been Arsene Wenger’s biggest fan, but I do admire the way he sticks to his guns, the way he tries to get his team to play and the way he has revolutionised much about the game in England. I have never liked his blinkered views about the misdeeds of his own players and his condemnation of the misdeeds of others. Despite that, my heart goes out to the man this morning.
Two weeks ago today he truly believed that Arsenal had every chance of winning four trophies and sealing a place in history for the team and for himself. A growing number of people were also beginning to believe that it could be possible.
First up, two weeks ago, came Birmingham in the Carling Cup final. His team failed to rise to the occasion and they were out thought and out fought in a 2-1 defeat. It was a major blow, but it was only the most minor of the four trophies and there were still three more.
Next, they faced a home game against Sunderland in the Premier League in which victory would give them pole position for the run-in. Unfortunately, once again the team failed to rise to the occasion and played out a dismal 0-0 that left the title in Manchester United’s own hands.
After that it was Barcelona in the Champions League to defend the 2-1 lead from the first leg. There are vastly contrasting views on what happened in the Camp Nou, but suffice to say Arsenal hardly touched the ball, didn’t have a shot and lost the game 3-1. Saying goodbye to the second of the original four trophies.
Yesterday Arsenal went to Old Trafford in the FA Cup quarter-final, desperate for a result to regain some confidence and to stay in the competition that saw their best remaining chance of winning something for the first time in five years.
What actually happened, of course, is that United scored a goal in each half in a 2-0 win that turned a promising season even further towards becoming a disaster for Wenger and his men. Goodbye to trophy number three.
Rarely can any team have been knocked out of three tournaments in two weeks. The devastating psychological effect of these fourteen days are likely to mean that Arsenal’s title hopes will fade and the season will peter out. To avoid that happening, Wenger faces the toughest test he has ever faced as a manager.
Added to the insult of defeat was the injury to Johan Djourou, who has become Arsenal’s best defender. He will miss the rest of the season and Arsenal’s already suspect defence will now hold no fear for Premier League strikers.
Listening to radio phone-ins and looking at the various fans forums, it seemed that some Arsenal fans were beginning to turn against Arsene Wenger even before yesterday’s defeat. That is unlikely to ease off now. There was some rumblings about the manager last season but when he said in the Summer that this season was when his side needed to win something, the fans got behind him.
For many months it looked as though silverware would be heading to the Emirates for the first time. Now, that is looking highly unlikely. The Premier League title is still within their grasp, but it would show the type of mental strength and resilience that I am not 100% sure they possess, to bounce back and beat yesterday’s opponents to the trophy. If they haven’t got it, will the fans accept another year like this?
Arsene Wenger deserves to be remembered as a great manager of Arsenal but I fear he may be in his last season and will be remembered for failing to win anything in his last six years. That would be a shame, but if he had listened to everyone else and spent some money on a keeper and a centre-back, he probably wouldn’t be in this position. I’m afraid it really is his own fault.
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Actually.i don’t want to be so harsh on mr wenger but i think he should vacate arsenal fc.he is the cause of all dis problems.let him take it like that because he refused to buy quality players,instade he always keep faith in kids.
Mr.Wenger is good at nurturing youngsters but this is not U21…too long without silverware….probably AFC waiting until stadium debt cleared off before spending? Let’s see…but sth need to happen soon or else Mr.Wenger couldn’t with head high….