The Admirable Resilience of Wenger


You might have mixed feelings about his management, or the current direction of the club. However, I cannot help but admire the resilience shown by Arsene Wenger.

Faced with a barrage of criticism, under performing team, every headline discussing his replacement, and yet Arsene Wenger has maintained decorum, quite statesmanlike. Imagine a Murhinio facing such a barrage, just imagine the sourness that would have crept into the press conferences, the counter vitriol that he would usher. Contrast that with the steady hand of Wenger, it is admirable

Unfair Criticism

Most of the criticism thrown at Wenger is unfair. Every now and then people are calling out his man-management. How did he allow his top players to be in final year of contract?

In hindsight maybe selling Sanchez at the start of the season would have been good. However its ‘hindsight’. Wenger clearly played a gamble, this is a World Cup year, international players would have had to perform. His gamble came undone when Chile failed to qualify for the World Cup and Sanchez could afford to be a free radical. Germany has qualified and Ozil has extended his contract.

And look around the league, Klopp will leave Emre Can on a free transfer at the end of the season. Walker, Diego Costa, David Luiz, Ross Barkley and more recently Pogba are not examples of great man-management at other clubs. Livepool had the Coutinho saga quite parallel to the Sanchez saga.

Hence the criticism at Wenger for such situations is disproportionate. It’s the modern game with player power and it’s at every club and not just Arsenal.

Poor Run

In all the noise we tend to forget that this is perhaps the worst season for Wenger. Under him Arsenal have never had such a disappointing run. However a couple of decades of consistency, then a bit of hiccup is simple matter of probability.

Yes Arsenal have been poor, Yes they could have done better in certain situation, Yes some new players are needed, however all good teams in the last decade have gone through a extremely poor season, simply because of the competition. One year champions Chelsea found themselves in bottom half in the susequent season. Almost champions Liverpool, slid into Europa League spots in subsequent seasons. United post Fergie were even struggling for a Europa League qualification. Ample examples are there to point out the clear trend. Maintaining consistency is increasingly difficult and you are bound to have one bad season in between.

Wenger Out or In?

Here for pure sentiment and also out of respect the most gentlemanly thing to do would be to allow Arsene Wenger to finish the two years contract he was given last year. The contract extension reaffirmed Arsenal’s faith in him for the next two years. And even now when the situation is tough, the right thing to do would be to keep your word. That too for a man who has contributed so much for the club.

Just feel the bad taste it would leave if Wenger was forced to depart early. For all the good and praise that Leicester got for that dream championship, they equally lost all the goodwill with the sacking of Claudio Ranieri. I mean that man deserved a full crack at the season even if it meant relegation (which in my mind would not have happened). Go today to a Burnley or a Watford and tell them, you will the championship in 2019 and get relegated in 2020 with the same manager OR you can change manager and stay mid table for next three seasons. What would you take?

Plus I feel that Arsene Wenger must be craving for that chance from within. This season is hurting him, and he has all the vigor to make amends for it. Wenger loves the club very much and will never leave a half baked side for his successor. He needs to be given time to build a team for the future at Arsenal and then hand over the reins.

Also with the footballing mind that Wenger is, he will up his game. Plus I would like to see another season of attractive football at Arsenal from him. Even Pep struggled in his first season at City to get his team right, and once he got it right, it is beautiful.

Arsene Wenger is on a similar track. For many I might appear delusional. However just give it a thought. Micki, Ozil, Auba and Laca9 combination! once it clicks there will be no looking back. Wilshire is back and getting into good form. The balance is right going forward, with variety, quality and excitement.

Now obviously Arsenal need major surgery at the back. Couple of defenders, maybe a goalkeeper. Bellerin might go and needs a higher quality replacement. The only caveat is that Arsene Wenger should express himself on the transfer market, he needs to. Now it is a matter of reputation for both him and the club.

so fingers crossed, definitely Wenger IN.

Arsene Wenger

As someone who became an Arsenal fan in the year 2000, for me Arsene Wenger and Arsenal are linked. I can’t imagine a future Arsenal without Wenger.

This is not to say I do not have any complaints about him. I have quite a few. The RVP sale to United! and next big agony was the Suarez offer. At that point of time, in the January window Barcelona hadn’t rushed in for Suarez and he was also keen to leave Liverpool. Just why didn’t Arsenal go all out for him, just one season would have been brilliant, maybe a title. Also the year Leicester won, Arsenal missed a chance. It was a great story for the underdogs to win, but Arsenal had a great shot at the title. A good January signing would have proved sufficient, again Arsenal dithered.

This year, you can call it lethargy, complacency etc, however that Bayern defeat should have send the alarm bells ringing for a bigger change in personnel (players) but that didn’t happen.

So yes, I can list quite a few instances of Why Wenger? Why?

Still what Wenger has given me as a football fan is mouth watering football. The day Arsenal are on a song, it is just the greatest show on television. Those passes combined with imaginative football are a treat. The happiness that Arsenal have provided over the years has been magical.

Plus do I extremely”really want someone like Murhinio to come at Arsenal? It might mean trophies, but at what cost. I understand that defense is part of football and perhaps is equally rigorous and clinical as attacking football. However amongst the two Manchester Clubs I would anytime choose the entertaining style of City. Hence I need the next Arsenal manager to be in the image of Wenger, closest one’s were Klopp and Pep, and both are taken!. Perhaps one of those Barcelona managers would fit the bill, but it needs to be attacking glorious football.

We may burn in flames but would like to make hell of a scene before perishing. The United game is the case in point. Arsenal lost that game, but what a performance it was. It made me genuinely happy after the game got over. Arsenal need more of that spirit and then for me it does not matter if silverware comes or not.

Also in the last few days a strange thought is popping in my mind. Just imagine Arsenal let go of Wenger this summer, PSG are looking for a replacement. A French manager for a French club filled with all creative attacking talent, hand them the league, the league club, champions league: Just hand over the trophies!






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