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Are Wenger’s Arsenal lost or do he and they have the stomach to fight back?

Happier times

For November read December. The stumble has come. Defeats at Everton and City have dealt us a heavy blow.

The anti-wengerites are loving it – having a field day – venting all their anger on AW.

The pro-wengerites are feeling the pressure, trying to keep a balance and continuing to believe in the future.

 

Are we making a mountain out of a molehill?  Are we losing our critical faculties by over-reacting to two defeats?

Actually I don’t think so.

Those of us who support Wenger may not like the tone of the comments of the anti-Wengerites – some are triumphalist – they are “I Told You So”. They are unattractive, provocative and in some cases vulgar and abusive.

But the issue here is not the quality of the criticism. Football is football and we all comment/criticise/support with our eyes wide open and we know that out there in social media there are bad people but that is democracy – unfortunately.

The phrase “Warts and All” comes to mind.

No, the issue is not the quality and tone of the post-match comment but the quality and tone of the play on the pitch.

Angered though we may be by the comments of some we cannot be deflected from the core issue – are we good enough?

Are we good enough?

 

Is this another setback the like of which we have seen in recent seasons since we became a buying club – I disregard our failings when we were a selling club when our achievements were in my view quite remarkable season after season.

Are we pretenders? Are we a quality team that lacks the character to become a winning team? Are we the bridesmaid and not the bride?

The evidence is not ambiguous – if you are positive you can point to a long unbeaten run after the opening day defeat by Liverpool. It was a dramatic setback that hit us all and the team showed quality to bounce back – that was an example of character – real character. Good performances, good goals, good team spirit.

But we have faltered and in two away matches we have surrendered a one goal lead to lose 1-2.

And questions are asked – do we have a soft centre? – do we lack character on the pitch? – are we too subdued? – do we have the stomach for a fight? – are we leaders or followers?

 

The two defeats raise doubts – questions have been asked and the challenge is there for Wenger and each member of the squad?

Can we bounce back or are we a defeated group?

Is there anything left in the tank?

And the questions go further – is this down to Wenger’s lack of physical joviality – do we need the hugs and back slapping of Conte and Klopp? Is Wenger’s yesterday’s man? Was he fortunate to inherit guts and aggression from George Graham? Has he failed to select the right combination of talent and character?

Or are we over-reacting? Are we so upset to surrender a leading position and fall nine points behind CFC that we have lost our own critical faculties?

There is a long way to go – Chelsea can falter, we can go on another run, Cazorla could yet return to play a vital role.

At the same time maybe the die is cast – maybe we are where we are for good reason. We are just not good enough because Wenger is just not good enough.

Image result for judge me in may wenger

 

It all depends on what happens between now and May 2017. A judgment will be called upon to be made.

There has been time – there has been money – we live in the present and not in the past.

It is a challenge for Wenger and I for one so hope he succeeds – he is one of the great personalities of football.

He has to get it right, has to get into the heads of the quiet ones – Ozil, Theo, Ox, even Kos, Iwobi

There can be no casualness, no switching off, no going to sleep.

Concentration and commitment and character has to be 110% in every day as an AFC player – in practice, in the matches, at half time, before the game.

.

He says we have the quality – Do we?

We have the quality – for sure but can we turn a tide, can we break up the momentum of the opponents when they try to bounce back?

I know nothing about tactics – I see things but I am far from being a football commentator in the same way I suspect applies to many of the readers of this message – we think we know but do we?

What we do know about is effort and more effort and the need for leaders and fist waving to ensure each and every player is switched on, alert and ready for the challenge.

 

We will need it in abundance against Pulis’s WBA and for every match in every competition until the end of the season.

Now is the time to suspend judgment, to get behind the players and to play our part in turning the second half of the season into a successful campaign.

Long term decisions come in May

 

Regards

Graham Perry

 

My twitter followers number 2700+ and rising

@arsenalcircular

It is interesting, lively and inter-active.

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10 Responses to Are Wenger’s Arsenal lost or do he and they have the stomach to fight back?

  1. Peter Ripper December 22, 2016 at 5:16 pm #

    My Dear Graham,
    the reality is , that this happens to us , every year.
    Yes, we went on a run, but honestly speaking have the performances been good, or lucky.
    Take the game away at Burnley, we were awful, the away game at Man U, ( we should have been buried ) take the home games against Swansea, and Middlesborough,
    Even the most fanatical of Arsenal supporters will agree those performances were woeful.
    Ask yourself the question, were Kloop, Conte, Pochettino, or even the dreadful Jose our manager, would we be so haplessly organised, and lacking in spirit, and again and again season after season, repeat the same spirit at key times.
    Did Ozil even touch the ball against Everton and City, he goes missing in big games.
    These performances happen every year, and it has to come down to the manager.
    I am not one, who is happy when we loose as if it proves my point, When we loose I am gutted, it ruins my mood, and stays with me for days,
    for years I have been saying, with Wenger, we will never win the Prem, and we are miles behind the best teams in Europe, so speaking about winning the CL is at best a dream far from reality.

  2. James Parkins December 22, 2016 at 9:19 pm #

    Fair article from an akb. We might not know but one thing is for sure neither does Wenger bud.

  3. Victor Thompson December 23, 2016 at 10:09 am #

    Hi Graham,

    I share your dislike of the intemperate views of many of the “Wenger Out” brigade and I know you read my blogs, the latest one being on the subject of Wenger and the performance of the team.

    As a regular reader of Gunnerstown and The Arsenal Circular I have become familiar with the good writers on both sides of the fence and I enjoy reading the disparate views provided they are logical and well reasoned. In doing so I have become familiar with many of the authors, you being one of them. I have seen a gradual change in your attitude. Your loyalty to Wenger is still unquestioned but it seems to me that your faith in Wenger is being severely tested now.

    I make no secret of the fact that I write some of my blogs with the intention of influencing others who see Wenger as immortal. I did too for 10 years, but I changed my opinion over a period of time when the same flaws in Wenger`s tenure as boss kept reappearing. Those flaws are now so commonplace that he is becoming an easy target for the football pundits. His reviews center on the same weaknesses, some of which you have mentioned. Conversely though, his attributes are also mentioned such as his loyalty to Arsenal and to his old-fashioned sense of honour exhibited in his rock solid dedication to completing every contract he signs.

    There is no doubt that he is a fine and honourable man, the type of man who does not deserve to be abused as he is by his moronic detractors but unfortunately his opponents do not fight within the Marquess of Queensbury rules.

    We are all not cut from the same cloth however and I realise that our script will have very little impact on the policies of the Arsenal management. If the “Arsene out” faction was only represented by the semi-literate hate mongers, no one would read the critiques , but just as his supporters have their own mix of thugs, the more reasoned ones are still entertaining.

    I believe that if you are in either camp, your opinion is more valid when it is compared and balanced against an equally reasoned riposte. I believe that an independent reader deserves to see both sides of the debate and let him make up his own mind which side he prefers. That is what good debate is all about.

    Incidentally, if you analyse Arsene`s comments he always explains his philosophy on some subject or other and explains his reasoning for some of his decisions. I admire that, but unfortunately whilst I applaud his approach I have long since parted company with many of his conclusions. I have never heard his philosophy behind the 70th minute substitute and I would love to hear it. Whatever it is, it rarely works, so his conclusions are mostly wrong.

    Sorry foe being a bit long-winded but I think it is necessary to keep the standard of the debate to a reasonable level as the mindless vitriol some people use is degrading to the club.

  4. James Parkins December 23, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

    Total bollocks if anyone thinks its only the wobs who do the i told you so, the akbs do it too after every win geeze

  5. James Parkins December 23, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

    70th minute subs again zzz

  6. Victor Thompson December 23, 2016 at 7:57 pm #

    Ian`t James`s command of english refreshing and his lucid assessment of the argument enlightening? Thank you so much James!

  7. graham perry December 24, 2016 at 5:38 am #

    Victor – you are not long-winded. You make your viewpoint known in a fair and dignified manner. In that sense you contrast so sharply with the silly abusive one liners as exhibited by James. He is quite free to say what he wants to say but it is so superficial, so uninteresting and such an abuse of the freedom provided by social media to engage in discussion and debate.
    I have often said that freedom comes with responsibility – the responsibility not to abuse freedom by insult instead of reason, by rudeness instead of discussion. There are many James’s out there – they just press a button and more rubbish comes from their fingertips and their twisted minds.
    The UK fought so hard and so long for the right to give expression to individual freedoms and James’s comment – and there are many people like James out there – is such an abuse of the fight for such freedoms.
    Let me be clear it is not that he is critical of Wenger and I am supportive of Wenger. That has nothing to do with it at all.
    I disagree with Victor but it is so enjoyable to debate with him in private and in public on our different assessments of Arsene Wenger – the debate is honest, fair and dignified. We disagree but we do so with respect and that is genuine respect that our respective views are quite fairly held and quite fairly expressed.
    James – give it some thought – stop the insult and the rudeness. Respect the different views and opinions.
    At the end of the day we are all Arsenal.

    Graham

  8. graham perry December 24, 2016 at 6:03 am #

    The 70th minute substitution.
    You make a fair point – is Wenger too inflexible. Why does he not make changes at different times in matches depending upon the state of the game.
    I understand the point – it is quite reasonable to raise it.
    The answer would be interesting – I would love to hear what Wenger has to say about the issue.
    There are other matters I would like to ask him – many
    Why allow Vierira to keep the Club on edge about a possible move
    Did he wait too long to make a final judgment on Senderos and Denilson
    Why does he feels Captains are over hyped
    There are others
    And when you do not get answers and the results go the wrong way the tilt turns against Wenger.
    It starts as a query, becomes a moan and eventually a reason for his departure.
    It is not the individual issue so much as the accountability.
    Are we right to feel he owes us an explanation on topics like this
    Or
    Is he right to feel that he has to draw a line and not get involved in explaining matters that are on our minds.

    Do we need him at the despatch box
    Does it work
    Will managers open up especially to questions in sensitive areas.
    I am not being “academic”. It is an interesting issue
    Discuss!!!

  9. James Parkins December 24, 2016 at 11:14 am #

    Great comeback Victor. Old cunt

  10. James Parkins December 24, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    Try spelling correctly before having a go at my English

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