Wengerball will come again but trust, patience, and consistency are needed


“We are all patchwork, and so shapeless and diverse in composition that each bit, each moment, plays its own game. And there is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others.”

Michel de Montaigne.

Wengerball does not just happen. It needs to be carefully constructed and the following four components are essential: vision, quality players, hard work and consistency. Arsenal are miles away from Wengerball at the moment, but sometimes we get a glimpse of the sort of football we used to play when life was so much easier: the first half against Reading, the last twenty minutes against Newcastle United, and periods during our away win against Liverpool at the start of the season, etc, come to mind.

Arsene fed us with the best champagne and caviar there is in the world of football at the start and middle of his era at the club, and it is hard for us all to see his current team struggle to get anywhere near those previous dishes of haute cuisine.

There are quite a few fellow Gooners who have started to question Arsene’s ability to build another great side, and whether his ideas might have gone a bit stale.

For me, there is no doubt that Arsene is the embodiment of modern, state of the art football in this country. Man City play now like Arsenal during the Cesc-era; Chelsea try to play like Arsenal, and so do Liverpool; only the Mancs continue with Fergie’s old fashioned ‘absorb and pounce’ footie, for which they cash-doped one of Arsene’s best ‘development products’ in the last few years, this season.

Arsene has got vision: tons of it.

He knows what sort of football he wants to play and once it comes off, it will be great again: football which sets the heart on fire, and will not be forgotten for a long time.

But losing Fabregas, Nasri, Song, Clichy and van Judas over the space of 12 months, and having to integrate an army of young and new players: Arteta, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Diaby, Cazorla, Wilshere (after a long injury), Giroud, the Ox, and Podolski into his first-11 team is of course going to take time.

This is major transition stuff: to get all these players to play together and reach the highest levels of Wengerball again will take a lot of effort: many training sessions, lots of communication, and also selling and buying of players to get the right mix of players in the squad again.

The competition in the PL is so much stronger now than it used to be prior to building the Emirates, and the pressure on the club, Wenger, and the players is additionally high due to not having won anything for seven years and counting.

Arsene recruits and develops good players into very good to great players.

Yes, he got it wrong on quite a few occasions in his career, but there is no doubt about his ability to spot, and then develop, a talent. Key in all of this is Arsene’s ability to translate his vision of how Arsenal ought to play football into practice; and once players understand his vision and are able to put it into practice on the pitch, they can become very good, and sometimes even great, players. It is of paramount importance to get the team to click like an autonomous, telepathic football machine once again, and guess what: it is not working very well at the moment.

As per the quote of Montaigne above, football players are diverse and different and it takes time to reach high levels of mutual, telepathic understanding; as in becoming solid and cohesive, and it utilising each others strength to the maximum, whilst compensating for each other weaknesses as much as possible.

To achieve this, lots and lots of hard work is required, and Arsene was forced to re-start the process twice during the last 16 months. Why he put up with having to go through another transition this season is beyond me, but I thank him for not having walked away from the club.

Arsene is not a fixer but a football totalitarian, although he has shown his ability to adapt during last season.

It is fair enough to express doubt in the quality of some of our players; and so is being critical about the work rate of some of them. But for me, our problems are mainly systemic: Arsene is struggling at the moment to get his team to work as a strong, cohesive unit who understand and execute his vision of football on the pitch. The team is not clicking currently, as is shown by the large number of misunderstandings between the players and wrong decision making on the pitch.

Arsene is not a fixer, who just concentrates on trying to win a game one way or another; he is a slow builder and that will never change.

We are in the middle of a major transition and more change is likely to come. Integrating Walcott into the centre of our strike-force will have its ups and downs in the next few months. Getting the balance right in midfield, possibly with the addition of a more defensive minded, quality midfielder will also take time. Establishing telepathic understanding between all the players is simply not established over night; it just isn’t.

Wenger has to do all of this whilst not missing out on CL football – not qualifying would be a big financial hit – which makes the whole process continuously stressful for both the manager and players involved.

It is now absolutely paramount that Wenger does not have to sell any of his key players anymore. If Kroenke and co can provide this security/consistency to him and us, we will eventually see a great Arsenal team again.

I urge everyone to be patient and keep looking at the bigger picture. We will get there again, but it won’t be easy: tight buttocks are required.

Written by: Total Arsenal.

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51 Responses to Wengerball will come again but trust, patience, and consistency are needed

  1. Daniel says:

    Hope u r right…. Love the optimistic angel. But its also important to notice that defence against wengerball has gotten stronger an well organised. It looks like we no longer have an andvantage against bottom/mid-table teams.
    Is wengerball enough or do we need other tactical ingrediences aswell?

  2. richie59er says:

    From last post
    @Henry he he Zaha won’t go for £20 mil he’ll be closer to £10mil it’s been said he’s a Gooner which if true and that gives us a bit of loyalty its money well spent. Loyalty being such a rare commodity at the moment.
    @Glic Isco is home grown boy born in Benalmadena Malaga; he could walk from his family home to Malaga stadium. Forget him leaving the Costa Del Sol for freezing London in Jan, Santi’s been all around but isco won’t leave Spain, never mind Malaga. You’ll have to get your jollies elsewhere I’m afraid.
    Now to read all about Wengerball.

  3. Wolfgang says:

    It has not worked for 7 years . What makes the akb fans think it will work?Maybe if he gets the right players ie seasoned and experienced,high quality 25 to 28 yrs guys. But I have my doubts and so have other fans.
    If the gunners can’t get 4th,me thinks a new guy is needed. Of course it’s agamble but you never know. Arsenal took a gamble with the fm.

  4. glic says:

    Damn you Total !

    I thought it was a pre-match and that was our team to face Swansea !. I went straight from the 3rd round to a semi !. hahaha

  5. Red Arse says:

    Fabulous effort! 😀

    So that is what has been keeping you quiet!

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Daniel 🙂

    Wengerball is evolving as in Wenger is trying out different formations to be as competitive as possible, but you are right the competition is now much, much stronger than 10 years ago.

    Hi Wolgang 🙂

    Key is to hold on to our main players and then we are likely to see Arsenal make the final step in my view.

  7. glic says:

    From last post

    There`s only one thing to do then richie, we relocate to……Malaga…….Andele ! andele ! arriba ! arriba !.

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Glic 🙂

    Redders 🙂

  9. Red Arse says:

    Glic, you are a semi!! Terry is also a semi!!

    Together you make a hole! 🙂

  10. Red Arse says:

    Sorry Glic, I meant whole not hole — and if you believe that …………….. 😛

  11. @Gooner134 says:

    Great post & TOTALLY AGREE.

    Pro Wenger.

  12. alexgunners says:

    Hi TA,
    You have made some good points with your post. Yes we have to make sure the team gels together in order to obtain wengerball but we also have to retain those who are able to get us there. I for one have been frustrated with the last 7 years but i also accept that we have just experienced one of the most successful patches during the 90’s and capping it off with the invincibles. I have only been supporting the gunners since ’88 so ive been fortunate to witness titles and successful teams but i am sure that some of you have endured long spells of frustration with the gunners.
    It will be hard to replicate the success we have endured and perhaps we are victims of our recent success. Thus demanding more and becoming more frustrated with sub-par performances. Also with the internet accessible to most this makes our world a lot smaller and a frustrated few can voice their frustrations louder than ever before.

    Will we ever have a team like the invincibles?? I hope so!
    But i do believe that we can turn things around, whether that means more training sessions or not i’m not sure but we do need to strengthen in all areas and find that fire which means the players fight for one another and play for the AFC and its fans with pride. The competition is stronger than ever before and oil money has somewhat bought success but this does not mean that we cant compete with pride.

    I’ll be interested to see what others think, especially those of you who have endured a lot more suffering than ive had.

  13. glic says:

    Redders 🙂

    Sounds like a que for a Led Zep ” Whole Lotta Love ” !.

  14. adrian lohrey says:

    Arsene’s approach now that he is coming to the end of his contract appears to be leaving a legacy behind. He appears to be trying to secure the future of the young engiish players at the club. He also wants to add some of the Next Gen squad for a sustainable self financing future. This along with a few well chosen seasoned internationals could the club more competitive. The question is will fans be patient enough to wait for this new dawn given that their main rivals will keep on buying up the world’s talent and moving the goalposts further away again.

  15. Wigangooner says:

    Great article Total and a very serious summary of where Arsenal 2012-13 is at the moment.

    It is clear to see we aren’t a unit and we aren’t clicking. Passes are going awry and players are getting frustrated with each other.

    Get clicking, show more heart and the fan base will all be happy 🙂



    Best post i have read for a long time TA. You have an intuiative understanding of Wenger and his philosophy that is unmatched in the world of blogging.

    Paitence is indeed the key Strenghten our position off the pitch and then enjoy Wenger produce another great team.

    The man is one of the greatest managers in the world, with visonary ideas and a philosophy that in my mind any way, is unrivalled. The football he produces has a purpose, It is to win in a way that not only produces wonderful football, but also brings out the best in people. it is to be commended.

  17. richie59er says:

    Like you TA I’m confident that Arsene hasn’t lost his vision, and I’m hopeful he will be allowed to build a team that will win something again i.e. he won’t be forced to sell a la na$ri,dick van judas, etc. The truism in your piece is simply that Mr Wenger suffers from his own success on 2 fronts. First is the fans high expectations built on his previous record and second is that Arsene very success paved the way for others to “do the do”. AW opened the door and As in Jungle Books “I wanna be like you” everybody and his (Bale)* followed. * = monkey

    Arsene long before he arrived at Arsenal had always raided both the European and African stores, but when he did it with the invincibles he opened everybody’s eye’s, and now its not just the big mega rich (sugar daddy) clubs that followed his lead, even the likes of pardew is at it. Which means finding rare “gems” has become harder and with all the money awash in the Prem it’s very difficult even to buy an ordinary player for a sensible price. There was a time when Arsenal only had to compete with the league’s richest club Manu’er, then came the Russian revolution and it was 2 rich boys, now it’s 3. If Arsenal manages to win the league again in the face of the massive financial doping stacked against us it will be Arsene’s greatest achievement.

  18. richie59er says:

    @Glic thats all good with me I’ve got a house in Malaga province.

  19. Danish Gooner says:

    Yeah,lets wait another century for a capital one cup semifinal………It aint working because he is to stubborn to change his ways,if he is still here in 10 years time God forbid it,it will be the same massive underachievement and the same feeble excuses.

  20. alexgunners says:

    I agree that it would be a great achievement to win the league with the ‘financial doping’ that you described

  21. alexgunners says:

    it would be interesting to see if the FFP ever comes into play and if clubs will trully be punished or whether fancy lawyers will find a loophole

  22. richie59er says:

    Thank AlexG
    Regarding FFP if only I could believe they’d have the balls to enforce the rules. PSG have already thrown down the gauntlet in that they have already attempted to bypass the FFP rules by being funded by a country to promote it. Unless they jump all over PSG it’s finished before it’s even started.

    On the theme raised by Alex.
    Some interesting comments made by Arsene in and interview he gave on 20/12/2012 I’m posting them because some people have made the claim that Arsenal doesn’t have a wage structure.

    “I never see football like that. You never fix yourself a limit on financial restrictions,” he said.
    “At the end of the day, can you pay what the player wants? And does it fit with your wage structure?
    “I have always fought that the players make money, so therefore I am happy when the players make big money, but it has to be made possible for the club to pay it.
    “I believe the board will follow my recommendation, if it is possible.
    “We have a wage bill that has to be respected. When we go overboard and higher than it is expected, I ask the board to do it and most of the time they follow my demands.”

  23. glic says:

    Ok then lads, It`s all round richies place for the Bergkampesque Beano and have a butchers at Isco playing for our reserves !. hahaha

    Win the Title !. I think AW`s greatest achievement will be getting us in next seasons CL !.

    The reasons are obviously clear why we are struggling and you have hit the nail(s) on the head between you !. The Big Money Boys and everyone copying what AW brought to the table. The first problem should be sorted out by the FFP ( if, as richie fairly states, they have the balls ! ). The second is more difficult imo, unless AW has talent scout on other planets !.

    Dont bother with Uranus, bunch of turds I`m told !.

  24. VCC says:

    As GLiC says 13:57……Get on the Ryanair web site.They are doing a deal to Alicante. I’ve got my ticket. We meet at Richie’s Sunday afternoon for a celebratory BBQ after beating Swansea in the FA Cup.

    Mucho San Miguels on Richie. Gracias.

  25. richie59er says:

    VCC & Glic you 2 couldn’t be trusted to organazise (correct spelling) a pi** up in a brewery Alicante’s 400 miles from Malaga. 😀 😀 😀

    Just to illustrate how a large infusion of money can change a league’s dynamic
    When top of the ligue 1 PSG beat Lyon (managed by our old player Remi Garde)
    1-0 in December this was how the teams stacked up one was worth two and a half times more than the other. Next one teams wages outstripped the others by more than two and a half times the others.

    PSG Lyon
    £2.9M Sirigu GK Vercoutre £2.5M
    £5M Van der Wiel RB Reveillere £4.6M
    £3.75M Maxwell LB Monzon £ 2.5
    £35M Thiago Silva CD Bisevac £1.66M
    Academy Grad Sakho CD Umtiti Academy Grad
    £10M Thiago Motta DM Gonalons Academy Grad
    £7.5M Matuidi DM Malbranque Free transfer
    £35M Pastore AM Lacazette Academy Grad
    £21.6M Levezzi AM Bastos £15M
    £16.6M Ibrahimovic FW Lisandro £20M
    £5.85M Menez FW Gomis £12.5M

    £143.2 M £58.7M


    Richie, thats a very kind offer

    We can all have a wonderful Kamp time

    I am not allowed out of the country at the moment, my passport has been confiscated, but i have a very effenimate outfit that should serve as a great disquise. i have also had a fake passport done by Billy the wretch under the name – ” Quentin Berg Camp Esquire”

    Aster la vista. Dont know what that means, but it sounds good. hahahaha

  27. Red Arse says:

    Funnily enough, VCC, the nearest airport to Malaga, is ……………. Malaga (AGP)!! 🙂

    Now we have that sorted, all we have to do is pass Terry Ac/Dc off as your Mrs, and we are all going on a summer holiday to richie’s place!! Yaaaaay!!!! 🙂

  28. TotalArsenal says:

    Alex at 12.10 very fine comment 🙂

    We definitely are partly victims of our success; in terms of very high expectations. But I genuinely believe our biggest problem has been to not be able to keep those around Arsene build his teams. Add Cesc, Song and van Judas to this team and it could be winning everything.

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi WG at 12.37: you are spot on: ‘Get clicking, show more heart and the fan base will all be happy’.

    I really believe there is plenty of heart and hard work in this team, but when things are not clicking, frustration and tiredness creep in. So you are right, get clicking and the rest will follow. 🙂

  30. TotalArsenal says:

    ‘The football he produces has a purpose, It is to win in a way that not only produces wonderful football, but also brings out the best in people.’

    Beautifully put, Terry. 🙂

    Richie at 12.39, fine comment: that’s it in a nutshell. 🙂

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    Danish Gooner: what exactly is he too stubborn about?

  32. Red Arse says:

    TA, don’t encourage the Doom Monger in Chief! Oh yez, oh yez, beware it’s the ides of March!!

    He has form!!

  33. TotalArsenal says:

    I know DG from his AA blogging beauty one-liners as well, Redders 😀

  34. VCC says:

    Richie 15:15….Yes we know that its 400 miles away. Were coming over early and thought you would leave your convertible Merc so we could have a nice drive

    Red Arse. 15:30……he’d never pass as my missus, his legs aren’t hairy enough.

  35. glic says:

    There`s only room enough for 11 members of the UMF league in richies stretch convertable , so vicky will be towed behind on his wheeled zimmer frame !. hahaha

  36. VCC says:

    GLiC…that’s if I get it past customs. I’ll have my “Stuff” stashed in the frame work.

    Also, as long as you don’t drive, as you drive like an old granny. We need to get there pronto so we can drink Richie’s fridge dry. Henry would be the best driver ..hehehe 😉

  37. P says:

    If you / arsene consult your diagram of that invincible team You will see that the core of that team were Viera and Gilberto/Parlour. Three big, strong, combative players that could not only play, but more importantly allowed the others to play whilst they maintained solidity. Since that team we have never had that sort of solidity…….. Why?
    You will also note that it was a 4-4-2 formation, the ONLY formation we have ever won anything with. So why have we not reverted to the formation that delivered success, or at least alternated between the two?
    In my humble opinion until Arsene addresses these two issues we will not be successfully.

  38. TotalArsenal says:

    All agreed, P 🙂

  39. Red Arse says:

    Glic, my buddy, my friend, mate, good sir, I may have been blogging elsewhere this p,m, when I may have taken the mickey out of someone on here — possibly.

    That awful VCC said we were more of an item than is strictly true, and I need you to intercede with Terry Cellar who otherwise may be very cross! 😀

    VCC is now in trouble, and I may sabotage his Zimmer by placing the wheels on banana skins (which you would know all about). Watch this space!! 🙂

  40. glic says:

    Redders my china, just ten hail Terry`s at the church of Saint Terry of the Immaculate Contraption and all is forgiven !. Hail Terry !. 🙂

  41. VCC says:

    RedArse. Don’t tell customs what I have in my Zimmer frame. Im taking it over to Richie’s for the Bergkampesque beano.

  42. Red Arse says:

    I am working on richie, VCC, to try and get him to send you back to Alicante on a vegetable truck, unless Terry is hidden deep in the cellar, and did not read your comment!! 😀

  43. VCC says:

    have we bought any one yet?

  44. glic says:

    From what I hear Vic`s, AW wont be buying anyone until he sorts out Theo`s contract either way !. If we get Isco in the last seconds of the TW I`ll be happy !.

  45. Dembaa Baa says:

    Who shall I sign for ?

  46. Red Arse says:

    Glic, TA 😛

  47. Red Arse says:

    Got to say, good night guys. See you tomorrow! 😛

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