The People vs Arsene Wenger

By Scott Andrews (@Scottpoland)

Scott Andrews is a 32 year old novelist and gooner who resides in the beautiful city of Warsaw, Poland. His debut novel ‘Existence Is Futile’ was published last July.

I am writing this on the back of Arsenal’s defeat at home to Borussia Dortmund. This is not a kneejerk reaction as I was already playing with the idea for the post on the morning of the game.

So let me begin. My name is Scott Andrews. I am an Arsenal fan. I want Arsene Wenger to be fired. I think Aaron Ramsey is a shit footballer. I think Wojciech Szczęsny is the worst goalkeeper I have ever seen in the Premier League. Need I go on?

The day I realised I wanted to Wenger out was the day Arsenal sold Thierry Henry to Barcelona. The failure to adequately replace Petit, Overmars and Vieira had left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. It was apparent that the club’s priorities weren’t just about not spending, but trimming the wage bill. The substandard shit which was brought into replace these players was enough to make me fear that we would fall out of the title picture for the remainder of my days. Of course it is easy to say with hindsight. So let me try to explain my hatred of Wenger more explicitly.

The first crime I would charge him with is tactical ineptitude. Since switching to this 4-5-1/4-3-3 variation he has never brought in the players that could perform in this formation. He has in essence been trying to put square pegs into round holes. Whether it be the succession of wide men that cannot cross, the shoehorning of midfielders into defensive positions which they are not suited to, or the recent deployment of 6 central midfielders into various positions. Wenger has steadfastly stuck to a formation that does not fit our personnel. The glory days, when Arsenal used to challenge for the title, Wenger would throw caution to the wind and we would often finish playing a 4-2-4. Somewhere down the road he has lost his gamble, and we seldom finish games with two strikers even when we are chasing. It is a case in point of a man left behind by the evolution of football.

The second charge I will bring against him is his transfer record. Wenger fans point to Viera, Henry and Pires as great examples of his acumen. Whilst consistently overlooking Almunia, Stepanovs, Gervinho, Denilson, Hleb, Wreh, Diawara, Garde, Grimandi, Walcott, Ramsey, Santos, Diaby, Adebayor, Eboue and many many others. Wenger’s transfer successes coincided with the glory days of Clairfontaine, the French national footballing academy. In the time since it closed he discovered Fabregas and Van Persie. And that’s it.

The third and final charge I want to lay at his door his blindness. Arsene Wenger has total blindness in regards to a number of his own players through different periods. In recent years we have had to witness the consistent selection of Szczęsny, Denilson, Almunia, Ramsey, Gervinho and Bendtner when they have been playing awful football. Ultimately Wenger refuses to see the flaws in his own players.

The reality is that we have a paper thin squad consisting of far too many players that would not get into a top four side in any of the major leagues in Europe. The successes we have had this season have not been down to the acquisition of Ozil, but rather the return of Flamini. Tactically Ozil’s preference for remaining higher up the field leaves space for Ramsey as a consequence. Ramsey’s steadfast refusal to ever try and track back is hidden from view. Flamini in essence carries the formation. Tonight’s appalling performance only goes to show that. Largely Arteta was lonelier than a mad old woman whose cat had just died. Wenger’s tactical ineptitude was less inconspicuous than a man masturbating on a train and the sheer inadequacy of putting square pegs in round holes was perfectly highlighted by Wilshere’s abject display.

The fact is that every year the wheels come off at some time. Reality comes crashing down when teams figure out how to beat Wenger’s tactically inflexible approach. In my heart of hearts I truly hope that this is nothing more than a wobble. However seeing how badly we missed one man I suspect it isn’t. Especially when he is one yellow card away from a suspension.

In Wenger we rust…

You can abuse him on twitter : Scott Andrews (@Scottpoland)

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