All too similar from an Arsenal point of view, out of title reckoning again in February for the umpteenth season. Before the festive period, Arsenal were on a long unbeaten run stressing back to the opening game of the season. Between then and now, four more have been lost in the league alone. The change in the fate of the side has coincided with the annual injury and suspensions spree that has become the hallmark of this side in the second half of Wenger’s reign. Aaron Ramsey is now the latest additions to the long term absence of midfield maestro Santi Cazorla while also coping with the now usual absence of Granit Xhaka due to suspensions, he sure do love red-cards, the last two league game losses came in the Swiss midfielder’s absence highlighting his growing stature in the team.
Individual errors, Poor off-the-ball movement and wasteful finishing has undermined them in games. Shkodran Mustafi has gone off the boil after initially impressing before his injury, Francis Coquelin never returned to the midfield general he was before his enforced absence, Hector Bellerin can’t stay healthy for an extended period forcing the erratic Brazilian defender to fill in only to moderate success. Moreover, Wenger’s tinkering of the team to include the giant Frenchman Olivier Giroud has knocked the wind out of Alexis Sanchez’s wave. Mesut Ozil is flitting in and out of games and Petr Cech is not the reliable figure he once was in the middle of the sticks.
The contract saga involving the two best players in the team, Sanchez and Ozil has not helped either with both still stalling on agreeing new deals. Above all though, it’s been a similar theme over the last decade to be in this situation every February even as the quality of the squad upgrades. This can only be traceable to one factor- which is no doubt “Arsené”. The legendary Frenchman seems incapable of masterminding a title tilt again to add to his administrative work.
There is no doubt about the Frenchman man ability to build up a team of individual talent under a restricted budget plan. In the last two years, the rise of Alex and Hector has been so incredible. But there is virtually a doubt about the iconic Frenchman’s tactical and team motivation ability yet again!
Monsieur Wenger, the first and last manager that ever guided a Premier League team to their first unbeaten title (W26, D12,) has been unable to replicate a form close to the last time he won the league. The Frenchman tactical ability has been continuously questionable to every football fan after deciding to stick to the ever disappointing 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-1-3(4-3-3) as a game plan for a complete season? Unbelievably dumb and extremely unprofessional, despite multifarious formations that have been generated by the ever-evolving Premier League. The latest is the 3-4-3 formation of the league leaders (Chelsea) which has made them formidable.
Having in mind that, change is the only constant thing, this dogmatic gaffer has chosen to use the same rigid and unyieldly formation season over seasons.
A man that goes home with about £8m a year should not just sit down and watch players perform woefully. At least, he should stand up, motivate, yell at the players for erring stupidly (whatever that works), a team that wants to challenge for the title needs to be full of positive spirit (not disgruntled players that are underpaid), the drive and motivation should show in the way the players perform, the hunger has not been in the whole team for a whole season (Like they have ever been hungry for anything).
Today, the lads plays like the prime “invincibles”, tomorrow they play like Sunderland at their worst! The inconsistency of the Arsenal team is ‘first class’.
If Arsené knows honestly that he can’t seem to take the Gunners to the promise land (PL and UCL) and he loves Arsenal as much as he claims, he should leave and should please stay as an ambassador and a scout (not even someone else in football world can spot talents more than the gaffer). As always, we are waiting to start up well next season and then fall off the title chase in February again, It is really painful as a fan.