So rumours say that Arsenal have approached Michael Zorc of Borussia Dortmund to become our new coach. Apparently at the request of Gazidis. You may recall that he said that we had reached a catalyst for change. We could not go on as we had this year.
Apparently Wenger would then move upstairs. Unfortunately no one told Wenger. He has said that he would not agree to any such arrangement. Apparently according to Charlie Wyett of the Sun, he is on collision course with the Board. He does not believe in statistics despite the fact that Gazidis underwrote a fee of £2.165m to Stat DNA, a firm which provides various information and statistics about players all over EU and world football on which to evaluate possible purchases. He then goes on to mock the use of statistics and says that some coaches ( Mourinho, Conte, Pochettino and Guardiola for example ) are happy to work as coaches but he would not work where someone would be telling him who to buy. He says that he has been 40 years at the top top level of the game and he has a great knowledge of the game. Maybe the time will come when the manager will not be a football specialist anymore. He can just press a button.
In his case, he feels that he can improve this seasons performance by his efforts now and in the future. He is immovable in his conviction that his traditional methods will work and he ignores the fact that he has only beaten Mourinho once in 14 attempts. Since 2004 his performances against other top 4 teams have been abysmal. I used to think that it was an asset for Arsenal to say that the stability of Wenger`s longevity was a bonus which the other top sides did not have, yet Chelsea have won 4 premierships and 1 EU championship in half the time he has been here. Man Utd. have won somewhat similar trophies and Man City have also won the Premiership during that time. There was the issue of our austerity during the build of the Emirates but even during those times we were in a position regularly in January/February to win, only to collapse into our usual top 4 target place.
This year, we face another totally disappointing season which an FA cup will not be compensation for the dross which his teams have served up all year. I was beginning to feel the stirrings of hope when I started to read Charlie Wyett`s article but the longer I went on, the more pessimistic I became. Wenger says ” some coaches are only interested in managing the team and are happy with it. I am not like that and cannot change now. I can change by trying to get better”.
That is the core of our present predicament. A man who is 67 is probably not going to get better and he is too old to learn new tricks. On top of that he is so cemented in his own opinion of his ability that he will not change. If he succeeds in overruling Gazidis, we are going to be subjected to another 2 years of stagnation while all of our rivals are moving forwards. We will lose Sanchez and Ozil and whatever your opinion of their current form is, they were both bought as world class players. How many of the rest of the squad are rated that highly? It is pretty clear that none of them have reached their standard. In comparison their performances have been reduced by the lack of skill, effort and ambition of the others. It is a manager`s job to solve that type of problem. With his great knowledge of the game, why has he been unable to make a consistent team from the players that he has. Leicester City must be a source of embarrassment for him.
I would invite all Arsenal supporters to consider all of the above factors and simply admit what your eyes and ears tell you. We have an old man in charge who believes that he is still at the height of his powers. He has not been at that level since 2005 and indeed he has deteriorated every year since. “There are none so blind as those who will not see”, goes the old saying and clearly it has never sounded so apt as it does now to Arsene Wenger. “Do not judge me now” he said after the Chelsea defeat. “Judge me in May”.
Well May is here and we need a miracle to stay in the top 4. We have not played as consistently bad since his arrival in 1996. There is no sense in relying on his judgement as he has already said that he is at the top top of the pile. Time for someone to gently take him by the shoulder and convince him to admit that his best days are behind him and move on.
A sophisticated, articulate Arsenal Man of Mystery. Aged 70 and a bit.