The easiest thing to do is blame Wenger

Chelsea 3 – 1 Arsenal

Is it all over now? A gap of 12 points between the league leaders and the good guys is surely too big to overcome, isn’t it? Of course it isn’t. All of the Chavs’ remaining 14 PL games are potential slip ups and sooner or later they will go through a bad spell. It will happen. The thing is though, Arsenal do not look like a team that will find back their spirit, confidence and obvious class anytime soon.

What is there to say about yesterday’s game? We started with good intentions but lacked the intensity and belief to really hurt the Chavs. They sat back and absorbed our pressure with relative ease and were just waiting for an opportunity to kill us on the break. Wenger had opted for the young ones Bellerin, Ox and Iwobi when he had more experienced options to pick from, especially in defence and attack. He also opted for the warm/cold Walcott on the right and for Alexis as our CF. This should have meant lots of movement and speed in our attacking play, but they and Ozil did not gel and were pretty toothless for large parts of the game. I dreaded this line-up before the match had started, but actually, I thought they did relatively well initially.

Then came Alonso’s assault on Bellerin that led to injury  and a goal that never should have stood. 1-0 to the Chavs with hardly any effort made and even less now required. Just keep sitting back and play on the break – what a lovely gift to Stamford Bridge by Atkinson. We still tried but just lacked the intensity and belief to turn the game round. We started the second half without much new confidence, purpose or ideas and soon the game was over. Chelsea’s very own Manneke P*s decided to go on a run and beat our midfield, defence and goalkeeper with a mazy run that humiliated us and sealed the faith of our team in the game, and possibly for the remainder of the season. What followed after that I don’t want to talk about, even though Giroud did well to score a consolation goal in extra time.

Image result for manneken pis

Something is missing in this team and I will write about this on another day.

The easiest thing to do now is to blame Wenger. But he cannot improve the quality of refereeing in the league; he cannot do the tackling for Coq and the blocking for Koz and Mustafi at the crucial moment; he also cannot do the passing and running for Alexis etc, etc. He also cannot be blamed for injuries and other reasons for unavailability of four big players in the pivotal DM positions: Ramsey, Santi, Elneny and Xhaka.

I am not saying Wenger goes without blame and, as I said above, I did not think the line up was strong enough to (have the confidence and quality) to beat the Chavs. But that is just my keyboard-hero opinion, which I can have from the comfort of my seat all day long. Opinions are as free and easy as trumps. I may have opinions but will never be delusional to think that I actually know better than the man who passionately and successfully led the team for 20+ years; and neither should you. I am also not saying that Arsene should stay or go, even though the idea of a new man at the helm is attractive right now. Managing successfully in the PL is very hard, just look at Klopp, Guardiola and Mourinho; Wenger is not doing worse than them but nobody wants to give him any credit any more.

The future is unclear, and we need to know what the club’s plans are regarding the team management position(s), so we can all get our head round what is likely to happen for the remainder of the season, and afterwards. But I also want our players to meet up and have a clear the air meeting, knock their heads together and take responsibility for a number of under par, uninspiring, unworthy of the shirt performances. I want them to vow to give everything to the fans AND their manager in the remaining 14 PL games and cup games and do the shirt proud – and to get as close as possible to the Chavs. And anybody who does not give us their blood and guts should sod off right now.

Next up Hull; let’s give them hell.

By TotalArsenal.

 

 

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52 Responses to The easiest thing to do is blame Wenger

  1. allezkev says:

    Interesting what Arsene says about Kante and that he tried to sign him…

    Does that mean that Arsenal were outbid by Leicester for Kante?

    Personally I wish that Arsene wouldn’t talk about the players he could have signed.
    It doesn’t really do him any favours…

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Was that not in reference to his move to the Chavs rather than us last summer, Kev?

  3. allezkev says:

    Nice post TA, cheered me up, and yes, the players do need to sort it but I have my doubts, that we actually have enough strong characters to do what you say…

    Hull City will be a very very difficult game…

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Kev, I hope Elneny comes back to shore up midfield and get our passing game going again in midfield.

  5. Lukic says:

    Hi all
    Great post TA.
    I was saddened yesterday by a few selections, I love Iwobi but for a youngster he is being over played. Why was Perez not in the squad? he was 1 bright spark from Tuesdays dismal display.
    I know this may not be a poplar comment; Cech, does he deserve to keep his place? 1st goal, should he not have tipped over the bar, and why did he not get up quicker? 3rd goal wow! And let’s face it his distribution is terrible, especially when we pride ourselves on playing from the back. I believe our defenders are forced into making mistakes, unsure whether to pass back to keeper. Ospina must be wondering what he needs to do to get a start.
    Something’s not right at the moment this is the best squad we’ve had for 10 years! I do wonder if there needs to be clarification on Wengers situation is he staying or going? The team need to know. Alexis & Ozil, why so long to sign a new contract? I love both of these guys, board need to pull out everything to prove we are a serious club.
    Always the optimist, I believe we should now focus on CL & FA cup.

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Lukic. All fair points. I am still in the pro Cech camp but that does not mean we could not improve on him. Yes there appears to be a lot of uncertainty re the future and that needs sorting.

  7. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey TA, I’m glad you wrote a post…I had one of my own started but it was getting convoluted. Surely this comment will go that way too… Apologies in advance…

    We may get some outsiders weighing in given the provocative title but In the comments here on BKesque nobody is doing the Wenger out thing even if the “solutions” seem to be towards dropping his most important players. I’m with you, relying on youth (and the “passion” that comes with it) is not the answer. (A very solid veteran, Santi Cazorla, was the only one missing from the 11 who started in the reverse fixture yesterday–and we missed him, I think…) We’ve got some very good prospects but they need situations where they can succeed. Southampton’s 2nd 11 was a good spot. So too will playing at Sutton FC in the next round. A cynical and well-oiled group like the current Chelsea team, isn’t. Hull at home–after already losing to Watford in the previous midweek–could be an excuse/opportunity to rotate. Ospina will likely be in goal at Bayern (to please Lukic…) but playing less than our best outfielders would be suicide…

    In my opinion, of course… So I agree with that point. I also agree that Marcos Alonso’s elbow to the head is a red card if Granit Xhaka does it. Taking a goal away from a home team is too much for your average English ref, however… Game over at that point (if not earlier…) unless maybe Gabby picks a corner instead of heading Ozil’s fine ball straight to keeper…

    Watching the two Manchester teams this morning (I slept through most of the Spurs match yesterday…) I don’t see anybody catching the Chavs and they should also be installed as favorites for the FA Cup given that they have no other obligations. Being able to bring on guys like Willian, Cesc and Zouma suggests they are plenty strong enough for solely domestic play… Remaining hopeful they drop points, however, never hurts…

    Arsenal, on the other hand are a mess and being unable to face the pressure of the lesser matches (esp. in front of an ever-restless home crowd) makes it tougher. In many ways yesterday’s match was lost when the team couldn’t get the (3) needed goals in the 2nd half vs Watford…

    Solutions? I have none… Why would Ozil or Wenger want to renew in the current climate? Alexis thinks he’s better than Messi–even if Barca did not seem to agree–so he’s playing a one-man game and maybe needs some bench time. Theo and Ollie will never be players who can take over a game with midfield touches. Aaron Ramsey would like to try–and like Wilshere probably can (but maybe at a lower level…) but he can’t keep himself fit. Welbeck and Lucas should be given chances but might also fall into the category of So’ton 2nd group yes, Chavs/Bayern = ?…

    Wenger (unlike others i.e., Mourinho who would try to get himself fired…) will do his best to hold the group together so I expect a response vs Hull. Still, we are not equipped to compete with the biggest money clubs (like Chelsea and Bayern) when it comes to signing players (Kante and Cesc, for example, Hazard likely before him) when they are actually developed sufficiently to contribute to our first team. It’s a structural problem that will NOT be solved when a new manager takes over. Our best bet is to keep developing players and keep bumping up their salaries if they can make the first team. If players can get more money elsewhere, ownership (at the service of whom management serves…) dictates that they will (most likely) go… Unless the atmosphere improves. Winning would do it, maybe, but so too would reduced expectations…

    This “brand” we’re selling is currently not very palatable but it’s also one that I believe could function well if the customers (supporters) could get behind the long-term vision–which seems good to me. Baby out with bath-water seems the perspective of those who demand only winning, so Wenger (and maybe the next several managers) out is the only solution. I say be careful what you wish for as I picture (years of) wandering in the desert. What (the f*ck) do I know, of course, and maybe that’s what folks would prefer anyhow…

    OK, that’s my word limit…Told you it might get ugly (or at least long)… Cheers for the forum, however… 😀

  8. retsub1 says:

    Well written TA. We didn’t deserve to win, but to br honest we didn’t lose the title on Saturday, there have been a number of below par performances recently. Agree that Kante was man of the match, apparently he played both right and left midfield , with Matic in the centre. Despite all our candidates and pair options for defensive midfield, we lack someone with Kantes engine.

    I don’t intend to single out players, but when players do not turn up for matches there are a regular list of offenders. Interestingly Sanchez isn’t one of them, but he certainly didn’t look that interested yesterday.

    Lastly a comment on their first goal. If you look at it the first contact was their players forearm smashing into Bellerins head. That’s a fact and it was before he made contact with the ball. That’s a foul in anyone’s book. Can someone please explain to me why a team of experts including our very own Thierry Henry can validate the goal????

    The only pleasure I got from the game was when David Luis butted Alonso on the back of his head

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice one Seventeenho. Focussing on the long-term vision is something that not many will do, but I fully agree. Maybe the club needs to communicate this vision better to the fans.

    Agreed that Xhaka would have been shown a straight red for a similar foul. The refereeing is getting worse and worse the longer the season goes on. It is far too subjective and it is time to introduce video refereeing, as far too many games being messed up by poor decisions.

  10. TotalArsenal says:
  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Exactly, Retsub. And how many times did bad refeering at the Bridge cost us deerly in recent years?

  12. Danish Gooner says:

    Wenger buys the players he coaches Them he motivates Them and tactically teaches Them,for 12 years he have done this and failed,remember it isnt only one or two seasons but 12 failed seasons,he is On 9 mil a year,he and only he is accountable and must be sacked AS soon AS possible……

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Well if he had been judged to have failed he would have been sacked, wouldn’t he DG? Or do you think the BoD pay somebody millions of pounds for a joke?

  14. 17highburyterrace says:

    Somehow I don’t think Danish Gooner is going to read my the post (or my comment…) twice…

    Today is the Super Bowl for the US Football… Are you ready to do some eatin’?… (And watch some ads?…)

  15. Dedie says:

    I agree time’s up for Arsene but the question is, is there anyone out there to replace him at the moment?… Is Arsenal FC ready to change its management?… Is the board willing to sacrifice the extra coin it’s making for the sake of The Arsenal FANS???!!

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    I had a big Sunday lunch today Seventeenho, but I could eat some of that feast still.

  17. TotalArsenal says:

    No guarantees Dedie. In the current market there is no manager who can guarantee Arsenal successes. In fact, there is every chance we would go backwards. Doesn’t mean we should not try something different though. But for now let the players and managers finish the season in style.

  18. retsub1 says:

    I haven’t followed the NFL since the great Chicago Bears team including Walter Perry and the Refrigerater. I did once however have the pleasure of meeting the Atlanta Falcons cheerleaders in a hotel in Bahrain. sadly before the invention of the Camera phone. They were there to entertain an American troop base. Are all the women from Atlanta blonde?

    I may attempt to watch at least the start of the game. 17ht who are the good guys and bad guys here? Give me a clue who to support?

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Cameroon win the ACN. Elneny played and scored in the final. A sign of hope?

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    You wrote a nice post about it, tersubster. Does girls got you really excited 😂

  21. retsub1 says:

    They certainly do T A but having my wife of 32 years sitting next to me keeps me in check.
    Going back to video refereeing, what would be the point when to man Sky’s whole panel said the goal was good. Bunch of bloody idiots

  22. 17highburyterrace says:

    N.E. Patriots have won 4 Super bowls and have (maybe) the best quarterback in history, Tom Brady…They also have a reputation for ruthlessness & win at any cost tactics including scandals related to underinflated game balls (“deflategate”) and stealing the plays of the other teams… Atlanta seems to be the younger team and thus the underdogs… I cannot tell you much more than that. In my youth I watched the SF 49ers (in their heyday) but the Oakland Raiders (the team of my very young days) left town for Los Angeles…kind of like Stan Kroenke’s Rams who have just ,moved back to LA from St. Louis. Maybe if we can beat Bayern, Stan might choose to move us to Berlin… 😀 😦

    Inclusiveness seems the order of the day in the ads and pre-game stuff and there will surely be shots of the Falcon Cheerleaders who I’m sure will not all be blonde… Things are changing… Maybe… Watching ManU today I noted that Paul Pogba is now a blonde too…

  23. retsub1 says:

    Thanks 17ht. Think I am leaning towards the Patriots and st that very moment Atlanta score. How many referees? Umpires etc are there?

  24. njk84sg says:

    Unleash Elneny in the next game?

    We should use the Patriots mentality: win at all costs, and no one is above the team.

  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    I am definitely finding myself against the Patriots even if one of my best friend lives out there and supports them quite seriously… I disagree (quite strongly) with the win at all costs mentality… Cheating/diving/causing bodily harm, etc., etc… doesn’t work for me… Sorry JK…

    Truth be told, I like the “kicking downs” with all the little guys (former soccer players, mostly…) the most… Falcons look best in that category so far…

    One thing about the Patriots is that I’m sure they will not quit early even if they’re well behind in the score…

  26. 17highburyterrace says:

    I think it’s 8 referees plus the video replay system…unused thus far in the game, thank goodness…

    Patriots are driving thanks to a couple of Atlanta penalties…

  27. 17highburyterrace says:

    Interception and touchdown returen…big lead now for the red team…

  28. 17highburyterrace says:

    Barring a Bournemouth-esque comeback, this game is over…. (with 23 minutes plus stoppages–which are significant–remaining…)

    The video system has been used once (so far) and one can see its purpose. IMO, in “our” football it would be simple to extend the goal-line technology to a cursory review of all goals, something that might have helped on Saturday… It would mostly impact the linesmen (linespeople…) to eliminate offside goals. Anything that reduces scoring would probably be rejected, I fear, as it would hurt the “entertainment” factor. Maybe as we move to more TV coverage they will have to go in that direction. On the other hand, more and more fans aren’t watching games in their entirety, I fear, and, as we know, the calls “all even out in the end” or guys “who want it more” deserve to get the calls and all that sort of stuff. We’ll see…if we live long enough…

    Night night folks…

  29. allezkev says:

    TA, sorry to have missed your earlier comment re: Kante, but I’m sure that Wenger himself mentioned during a press conference, that he tried to get him before he came to England…
    Anyway, we ain’t got him, fingers crossed that Maitland-Niles can do the job sometime in the near future, he certainly looked the part vs Southampton…

  30. 17highburyterrace says:

    Guess it’s not quite goodnight… Patriots tie the game at the end but it will not end in a draw… Penalties, er, overtime, to come… Wow…

  31. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sooo… I was wrong…(But it takes a big man to admit it, right?…)

    Patriots win it in overtime… Like President Trump says, “When you open your heart to patriot(ism), there is no room for prejudice…”

    I say, hmmm… but it was an incredible game (for the neutral)…

    Good ads, too… 😀

  32. njk84sg says:

    17ht, I am not saying that we should play rugby against teams, we need to play a little more aggressive as other teams are aiming at our weak underbelly, but not to the point of getting us sent off.

    A little similar to Xhaka but with more common sense?

  33. PepKlopp says:

    Yes, it’s easy to blame wenger since it’s obvious he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Ever since Barca beat what was probably considered the best team in Europe in the CL final, wenger has been obsessed with the possession football. But at times, especially in big games, his tactics are clueless. If you don’t press vigorously when not in possession, even average teams pour through our midfield/defense on the break. Do Ozil, Walcott, Ramsey, Iwobi even play defense?? As they say in NY, “forget about it”.
    Xhaka is more of a passer, even Wenger said he can’t tackle, and Coquelin is a solid squad player at best. But wenger continues to buy soft technical midfielders and expects them to do a job like Vieira or Kante. When we play real possession teams like Barca, Munich, or even Man City, we hardly see the ball. We have 65% possession against West Brom or Stoke only because they park the bus and let us have it, and prefer to catch us on the break or set piece. 10 years of the same failures and wenger is either too stubborn or too daft to see it. He has a glaring blind spot. Wenger out

  34. Goonereris says:

    Unbelievable comeback by the Patriots. Great game and crowning moment for Brady. Legend!

    Never been interested but had some friends over whose excitement watching the game, was infectious; even my kids and the wife were showing keen interest. Nice distraction after the underwhelming week served up by the EPL and Arsenal. 😆

  35. Goonereris says:

    TA, nothing wrong with being optimistic that your rivals drop points, so as to keep the faith in hope for the title. Only thing is this Chelsea side don’t have too many distractions and are now so way ahead they can play with little or no pressure since they can afford to lose 3 games out of the last 14. Just think about that for a minute…..with the way they are playing, what 3 teams are going to beat them, while the chasing pack get all 3 points in most games? They have no injuries and are not getting players suspended lately, with Costa being a good boy and all. It’s going to be hard, so it is all about finishing strong.

    TA- “Managing successfully in the PL is very hard, just look at Klopp, Guardiola and Mourinho; Wenger is not doing worse than them but nobody wants to give him any credit any more”.

    True that. Fact is our fans are not helping matters with the way they fret in the media and go about the various campaigns against the manager. These things have a psychological effect on the entire club machinery, creating tension at the grounds, especially home games. My concern is that the likes of City, Spurs and even United are looking more confident about what they are doing than we are, so Wenger needs to switch to that famed “top 4 mode” fast before it all ends for him in ignominy.

    Players do have ‘clear the air’ meetings on their own. The club needs such a meeting so a few of the players must be made to hold up their hands; I don’t even need them to make a public vow to give everything in the remaining games because they always do and we still lose the crucial games. I will be happy if they just accept they can do better and JUST DO IT!

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Eris, I am not really optimistic re the remainder of the season as per the points you make. It is not over though. Can Wenger get this team to refind themselves; that is the question..

    I would bench Alexis for a while ad play Welbeck and or Perez instead (interchanging with Iwobi to give Alex a break now and again). And sort the midfield balance out as the highest priority. Luckily Elneny is back now.

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers Seventeenho, what do you mean with ‘good adds’?

  38. njk84sg says:

    The super bowl adverts are good

  39. njk84sg says:

    To PepKlopp, your post feels like Mourningho saying after his press conference: I have made the perfect plan but the players refused to do what I say. Sounds familiar?

    It takes two to clap. Alexis’ passing ability is a little bad, and Ozil loses possession too many times for my liking. The rest of the team do not like being pressured and kept in tight spots too.

    So, who is to blame?

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    How can an advert be good? People trying to sell you stuff in the end, no?

  41. njk84sg says:

    Unfortunately yes, TA.

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    TA, the ads were “good” as many had a political angle which I support…
    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/06/superbowl-ads-trolling-trump-the-world-is-more-beautiful-the-more-you-accept

    Also, in a capitalistic culture, it could be argued that ads will naturally rise to the top in terms of cultural expression. Certainly a LOT of effort gets put into them…It’s just the way of the world, I fear. What about “our” football? As I like to point out, Arsenal (and every other club), is a “brand.” Are we supporters or are we customers?… Unfortunately, in this sort of culture, it’s hard to separate out the economic angle, even in the things we (are trying to) love…

    Enough philosophizing…

    With my DVR, I usually fast-forward through the commercials (as we call adverts over here) whenever I watch the telly… American football games are the worst even if they have been sped up and now are only slightly over 3 hours in total (average) length even if the total amount of time with the ball in play is around 11 minutes (!) In other words, the game was more or less built for the ads… This is a big reason I much prefer as(soc)iation football, aka, soccer… That said, the game on Sunday was pretty exciting…

    Is there anything new in the Arsenal world? Bellerin to be held out of training until Friday? Elneny back with the team sometime soon? Mostly (on NewsNow) I see headlines about why Wenger must go, who could replace him, Ozil hits the gym (with video…), Koscielny criticizes tactics, Gallas prefers Mourinho, early Hull previews, etc., etc…

    No new snow here, only rain… 😦

  43. allezkev says:

    17tino, do you actually call it ‘the telly’ over there?
    Just wondered…

  44. allezkev says:

    17tino, the term soccer, if my footie history is correct, originated in this country, at our Universities, much as rugby was called rugger…

  45. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hi Kev,

    No, it’s not called “telly” over here…Usually just TV…

    I know wikipedia can be wrong but I believe it in this case…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_football

    “The rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time, specifically rugby football.”

    It doesn’t really say when the term “soccer” grew in popularity so it could easily have been at the Universities, as you say. Personally, I’m glad it’s now known (at least over there) as (just plain) football. After all, it is played (mostly) with the feet… Around here, “football” means one thing only: that game that is played (mostly) with the hands and which takes all those hours and has the helmets and pads and the extreme violence, etc., etc. Hector could’ve used a helmet on that first Chelsea goal, a play that would’ve fit right in… 😦

  46. allezkev says:

    17tino, I did read somewhere that back there in the 1860’s/70’s, that it was first used by one of those famous amateur sporting types, back in the day, you know, they were one of the crew in the boat race, played cricket for the MCC and England, played international rugby and football…

    Anyway, so the story goes, this fellow was walking through the sports field of say, Aston or Harrow or Oxbridge, and one his friends called out ” Are you going to join us for the rugger”, and he replied “No, I’m going for a game of soccer”…
    And it stuck, lost in the mists of time… 😊

  47. allezkev says:

    Aston should read Eton

  48. TotalArsenal says:

    Ok Seventeenho, I did not know the commercials were politically coloured this time round. 🙂

  49. TotalArsenal says:

    new post 🙂

    something to keep the blog going 🙂

  50. TotalArsenal says:

    Hey Key, yes Zelalem scored and his team are winning games. Anelka is supporting the youth academy of Roda and doing recruitment in France for the club. He is linked to Roda’s new sugar daddy, a Swiss born Russian who lives in Dubai and just bought a quarter of the shares.

  51. TotalArsenal says:

    BTW Kev, I took a cab from and to Euston over the weekend and both times the cab driver was very friendly. I almost asked whether they were called Allezkev in blog world, but did not dare in the end. 🙂

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Seventeenho, cheers for publishing the poet’s post 🙂

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