3. Transfer knowledge
Wenger has never really had tactics; all his teams have been set up to play one way regardless of injuries, form or the opposition. To make things even tougher the game has become far more tactical, even clubs in the lower leagues have hired sports analyst to review oppositions and static’s on players, is it any wonder Rodgers is doing so well (having learnt from Mourinho) or Martinez at Everton.
I’d add to tactics the overplaying of players, which must be in part to the Manager. Ozil for example rarely played more than 60-70mins in Spain so why would you through him in to playing regularly 90mins back to back to back?!? He’s also had players just coming back from injury who haven’t been eased in, Theo played 5 games in 16 days after coming back at Christmas time and subsequently out for 6 months, OX looked sharp when he came back after 3 months out but overplaying seems to have lead to a sharp decline in his performances.
If you want the biggest example for this seasons we’ve all endured the capitulations away to all the “big” teams, what was wrong for aiming for a draw or nicking a 1-0 win?? That’s how those same teams shaped up at our place and it worked for them!!
Motivation was prevalent in the first (successful) part of Wenger’s leadership but I’d argue that was partially inherited. Coming into a team lacking technical quality but no shortage of leader or heart was the perfect marriage of two differing styles. And those players Wenger did bring in became leaders through playing with those payers…is it any wonder we haven’t won a single trophy since Vieria left the club and he spent 6 years playing with Tony Adams!! But the current squads haven’t had a Martin Keown in training to kick lumps out of them (i.e Henry we he first came).
Our current captain isn’t a leader, where’s the shouting and passion to gee up his team mates we’ve seen in others? Add to that he’s not even 1st choice!!
3. Transfer knowledge
His transfer dealings have been poor to say the least in recent times…there are too many sub par players to mention but here are some key points on his dealings.
1. Most of our big money moves have fallen flat..Arshavin and Ozil (to date) haven’t lived up to their price tags
2. Players seem to take 3-4 times longer to develop. Anelka took half a season; Henry was prolific by February/March of his first season. We do have players like Ramsey, Kos, that with patience become quality but while we wait that long we lost other top players.
3. Other clubs have copied us so we’re not only competing with other top teams with money but also the lesser known players that we would always get (i.e. Cabeye for 5M, Loric Remy 6M) we can’t get but other clubs are more aggressively in for them with real effort put into scouting them.
4. Wenger also lost his touch (or not tried as much) at rejuvenating player’s careers. Overmars, Kanu, Bergkamp became stars again under even Sol took on another level under Wenger.
5. The fact we no longer really fear players leaving the club in the summer tells you the current quality in the squad, Wenger isn’t making the same superstars anymore.
IN CONCLUSION…the arguments for Wengers decline and giving him more time have typically centered on the lack of funds, which does appear to have some merit, but in reality Wenger just isn’t special any more. He revolutionized the club when he arrived with his dietary reforms and extensive scouting network and although he still has talents I don’t think he offers us anything special anymore. Brining in someone new would be a gamble but one I think we should finally take.
What other industry would pay someone (at times) the highest wage just because you had success with them 9 years ago?? Would a Movie studio still pay an actor $20M a movie if they hadn’t had a hit in 9 years. Add to that the fans frustrations having to pay some of the highest ticket prices in world football for a team that has become an expert in failing. Not to milk the use of analogies but it’d be like paying the most expensive restaurant prices for the 3rd / 4th best food in London year after year.
Just because we want Wenger to leave doesn’t mean we have so easily forgotten all he’s done for us but his stubbornness to change and lack of ambition is reason for him to move on now (i.e. was there really not 1 striker in the whole of the world we couldn’t have signed in January?!? Even Berbatov on loan would have shown some ambition). Was Kallstrom the only option in the market if so shouldn’t we improve the scouting network.
It also baffles me that Wenger doesn’t improve his back room staff, even Ferguson brought in big characters like Carlos Quierez for the sake of the team.
Liverpool and Everton’s success this season (add to that Diego Simeone at Athletico Madrid) has shattered the window of excuses Wenger has hidden behind and seeing our club go through the Groundhog day syndrome has dampened my enthusiasm for the team I love soo much and I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that way.