Arsène Wenger - 'Le Professeur de Strasbourg'
Under the direction of 'Le Professeur de Strasbourg', football fans universally concur that his team’s exquisite style of play is beautiful on the eye and makes for an excellent if somewhat dreamy philosophy. Never has a team so dramatically interpreted the mood of an individual manager. Without question, teams built by Arsène Wenger give immense artistic pleasure but alas, football is not a beauty contest!
For several years now we have enjoyed watching his teams produce versions of the pen versus the mighty sword but now the tide has turned and last season was defining! One of the finest coaches in modern day football was in danger of becoming a tiresome bore and that was a shame. His constant whingeing about the physical aspect of the Premier League, a situation partly of his own making, now exhausts the patience of his fans and neutrals alike.
For the first time since his tenure, Wenger's 'histoire' counts for less than it ever has and another season without a major trophy will be the last for the manager!
It is true that Arsenal get 'roughed up' by the opposition because they are mentally and physically weak. Wenger's obsession of playing so many young artisans carrying a light frame compounds the problem. What bewilders the 'hoi polloi' is that a man with so much intelligence refuses to accept the harsh realities of the modern game. Once approachable, the manager now responds with a visible and obvious irritation when this subject is broached. The endless questions as to why Arsenal refuse to employ generous cash reserves on transfers frustrates Wenger further and the Frenchman has taken to limiting media access. Unfortunately this is a situation that can only get worse should he deploy the same responses this season.
It is well known that funds have been available and he should have strengthened his side before now. Is it coincidental that the passive frame of mind within the club contributes directly to the long injury list? The disproportionate amount of injuries suffered by Arsenal suggests that Wenger return players before they are ready.
History tells us that Wenger is a flawed genius! His eye for uncovering and nurturing talent is unparalleled in world football - there is no one better at that aspect of management! Unfortunately, it takes more than that to win the top prizes.
Arsenal must make real and necessary adjustments and concentrate on winning trophies, not hearts and minds and the change must start immediately! Continuity and transition are two words that will not be accepted in any context this season. The manager has just four days to bolster his team before the transfer window slams shut at 11pm on Friday, where he must go for a calibrated short-term fix if he is to dent the top three or truly be competitive in Europe.
Obstinacy remains the problem. The solution was for a mix of fit combatants and hard edge experience to underpin his vision and artistry, but to date Wenger has declined the obvious. He will not compromise his core beliefs, but ironically, had he bolstered the side 'a la physical' it would actually enable fruition! A degree of poetry should have been sacrificed for resolution and that could only have transpired via the transfer market. That chance looks to have gone.
Olivier Giroud - new Arsenal signing
Last summer, Arsenal left most of their transfer dealings until deadline day and the consequence of that meant only seven points from their first seven games. At best that was foolish, at worst absolute madness! It'll be a busy few days for Arsenal before the transfer window finally comes to a close, but it looks to be more of the same - too little too late.
We are confident that Giroud and Podolski will adapt to the rigours of the Premier League, but again seven or eight games will pass before then just as last season. Arsenal have already played twice and remain the only team in the league yet to find the net after 0-0 draws against Sunderland and Stoke. Wenger has admitted looking to bring in players to strengthen a squad weakened by the departures of Robin van Persie and Alex Song, but why has he waited so long given his circumstances?
Clearly the manager is to blame for Arsenal's seven-year trophy drought because of his stubbornness and now fringe players suck the life out of the wage budget. The club is now prepared to cut asking prices on certain player's which is at odds with the previous thriftiness! It should not have been like this, Arsène Wenger is the original flawed genius!
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