To play Devil’s Advocate on Wenger’s 20th Anniversary Genius – Some Perspective


We are all aware of the fickle nature of football fandom and opinion, particularly as expressed on social media. So much so that last night, after a few cracking performances which excited us all I witnessed conversations on Twitter asking if those who were expressing discontent at Wenger would now apologise; admit they were wrong and generally eat humble pie. Now whilst I am more than happy to eat most pies and was as enthused by the performances against Chelsea and Basle as the next supporter, I thought some balance in the Wenger Force, swept along by the 20th Birthday celebrations might be in order.

Wenger Force Wenger Dark Side
A seemingly brilliant ploy to play Alexis centrally with mobile players like Iwobi and Walcott either side. We look a more dynamic force this season for it.



He has being saying Alexis was a striker for 2 seasons and played him centrally on only a handful of occasions. He also had the same players available last season and did not try the current system ONCE



We look far better with a mobile striker/s who can run behind to get best from the passing and vision of Ozil, Cazorla and now Xhaka



He began with Walcott in 15/16 through the middle after the Cup Final and we blow away Man United. He then reverted to Olivier Giroud for the remainder of the season.


Not Obvious!

Theo Walcott is a new man in 16/17. Higher work rate, more determination to track back and showing superior decision making.


He is not playing centrally!!



In 2015/16 the manager could not draw a performance from the player post-Christmas. The player was behind Campbell, Iwobi and even Ox at times in the pecking order.


He is now a striker not a winger!!


Not Inspired

Incredible football played against Hull, Chelsea and Basle. Amazing fluidity, movement and slick, fast passing and width


Very Encouraging!

Same predictable slow football and inability to break down disciplined and organised defences against Southampton and Burnley.  Not using width when obviously needing too.


Very worrying!

A seemingly fabulous mobile partner purchased to partner Koscielny in Mustafi. Almost instantly increased defensive solidity.


Too Great!

Arguably a year at least too late when the flaws of Mertesacker and Gabriel more apparent and no faith shown in Chambers.



Too Late?

Koscielny has grown in stature with the arm band and the responsibility. A great on the field example.



Sadly Koscielny is not the club captain when he should be and we have our 4th year of a non-playing captain.



When it’s all looking good


Praise him now

When it is not going so well


Judge him in May

A wee bit of perspective perhaps but don’t let this impact your positivity. Every Gunner hopes he has come across a new winning formula. I am not complaining at all given that I wanted Alexis played centrally and was desperate for Wenger to replace Mertesacker. I also love Cazorla in the team and like the look of Xhaka. I would dearly love Walcott to continue to excel on the right but that does not make the exasperation at his form last season wrong or misguided as he was truly awful at times.

A revelation 2 years in the making?

A revelation 2 years in the making?

Whatever your view, objectivity and balance probably makes more sense than extreme positivity or negativity. Wenger is not always right but he gets it right more than he gets it wrong. However to win the trophies most of us hope for he will need to get far more right than he has in recent seasons. He has assembled a squad that has a depth of quality he has not had for years, even if that deficit in past seasons was partly his choice, so with a fair wind who knows where the Good ship Arsenal will end up.

Positivity with rationality – COYG

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2 Responses to To play Devil’s Advocate on Wenger’s 20th Anniversary Genius – Some Perspective

  1. Vijay October 5, 2016 at 9:48 am #

    For the case of Alexis Playing in the Center, my guess is that Alexis didn’t wish to Play that Position until this season. Wenger did Play him in the Center when he signed first for us. He was not convincing then I also doubt that he was not ready to Play there too. Being a winger has it’s perks. When you have pace and skill on the ball you feel good, when you have space. But on the other Hand being a striker means using your skills in area where you don’t have space. All of a sudden the number of dribbles you can in a game reduces, your pace has to be adjusted Based on your Team mates. it becomes hard to find space at the Center. On the other Hand Walcott was adamant that he wanted to Play at the Center too.Also we didn’t have a winger who can replace either of them so they can move to the Center. So for me it looked like Wengers Hands were tied. This season Wenger has allround Players. He has Iwobi, Walcott, Perez, lets not Forget Ox. They all can Play on the wings. So the Experiment of Alexis becomes much more easier. Also looking at the way Alexis is playing now (Pressing the defenders near their own Goal, he rarely did that as a winger) it seems Wenger convinced him for good. For me it Looks Alexis was a striker for Wenger for a Long time, it just took him a lot of time and oppurtunity to convince him. But it’s Long way to go. The good Thing is we now have Plan A, Plan B and Plan c for all most all the positions. unlike Last year where we had lot of postions i nthe middle and nothing on the other sides. But now we have Options everywhere.

  2. Victor Thompson October 6, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

    It is a pleasure to read a balanced article. I am surprised at Alex`s success at CF as I have recently written that he would never make a CF. As you say, if we are getting the performance and results to disprove that opinion, I am happy to eat humble pie ( again ). I share your opinion of Walcott. I think he had realised he was drinking at the last chance saloon and upped his game. I`m quite happy to praise him for that.

    It really is a pleasure to be writing praises for AW and the team, but again, previous criticism was justified. I really believe that we do play the best football in the league when the players put their mind to it. With Mustafi and Kos ( the great ) locking up the middle, we only need to eliminate our slow play and the 70th minute substitute to make us genuine title challengers.

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