Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Arsenal - Done, Arsene - Done too?

Until very recently, Arsene Wenger has been someone I admire very much. Despite the lack of trophy in the recent years, I still think he has run the foot ball team very well, and produced exciting football.

This year, followed the defeat to Sunderland in Carling Cup final, I finally have to admit, there is one thing Arsene Wenger does not know how to do well, which is to win a game.

This Arsenal team, even without some of the crucial defenders and a solid goal keeper, is a talented team. They demonstrated how well they can play when they beat Barcelona at Emirates this year. With one goal down, they believed in themselves and went on to played their best football in a long time.

However, after that, they lost their shape and Arsene didn't seems to know what to do to help the players. He doesn't seems to know how to discipline his players when needed, nor to reward players when they perform well. All he does is to follow his senseless rotation, and to try to follow his seniority list.

When Diaby cause the team the full three points, who was leading 4 goals at half time, he defended him. He should have been sidelined for the rest of the season, for making such as idiotic action during a game. When they were 1-0 up against Liverpool with 2 minutes to go, they screwed it up. When they were 3-1 up against Spurs, they gave it back to the opponent.

And during the last match against Bolton, we can see the frustration of Arsene Wenger on the side line, but he never once give any direction to what should be done. He has nothing to tell except "keep fighting...". His substitution is predictable. Sometimes they work, but most of the time they are too late and don't work.

Earlier in the season, he thought he has too many striker and loaned out Carlos Vela. Vela has scored the most incredible goals in the past seasons. There is simple no reason he cannot start in any of these games, when other players are not scoring.

Perhaps Arsene should retreat into the reserve team and be a reserve team coach, and maybe the Carling Cup coach. The first team definitely need someone else who has better idea of what players to choose, and tactic for a match. Not someone who place players as if he is playing a computer game, and hope for the best.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


A few posts ago, I talked about how Arsene was giving chances after chances to Bendtner despite his poor performance, and how he was going to capitalize on Bendtner improve in form and sell it when his value rises. Well, I was wrong. Bendtner is still with the team 2 years later, and it seems Arsene is really sincere about bringing him into the starting line up as often as he can.

But this season, something wonderful happens. This is bigger then EPL, bigger than soccer. So many times I have come across situations like this, with people and the story of Fabianski always pop up in my mine.

During the 09/10 season, Fabianksi has been used quite a number of times toward the end of the season, when Almunia wasn't healthy. He pretty much screwed up multiple times during the couple of Champions League game he took part in, and during the trashing defeat by Man U in the FA cup game. I assume everyone in the league, including Man U players would mock at Fabianski and you would think the Arsene would offload him the first thing during the Summer transfer season.

The summer came and gone, and we didn't get a new goal keeper. And shortly after the season got started, Almunia injured his hand and has to be replaced. And the faithful Arsene did not turn to anyone else but Fabianski again. All gooners much have kept on their toes everytime Fabianski is seen on the starting lineup. Two weeks, three weeks gone by and we did not see Almunia coming back. Not that Almunia would give any assurance at the goal, but at least he hasn't displayed the type of blunders as Fabianski.

The story starts to become interesting when Fabianski started to display qualities of a decent goal keeper. And after half a season, as soon as the winter transfer market opened, we started to hear news about Almunia going away. What a big change in just a short few months. I don't agree all the time what Arsene does to win title. The fact is he hasn't won anything for more than five years and what he has been doing was obviously not working. However, I salute him as a couch, a manager and a person seeing how he treated this Fabianski matter.

I think this is one of the most beautiful story that has come out of English Premier League and soccer as a whole. I get entertained a lot from watching soccer week in week out, but with a couch like Arsene Wenger, I certainly learn a lot of life lesson too.