The debate rages on. Seven games into the league season, having suffered one defeat away to the title favorites. Is it time for Arsene to go?
It’s a fair question, asked by people who love the club and just want what is best for them. Sorry, I meant “best for the club”.
The usual suspects, AKB’s like me, on one side, and the WOB’s on the other. Nothing new, same old entrenched arguments from both sides, just as you would expect.
Then there is the vast majority who are somewhere in the middle. These are the ones who slide up and down the spectrum between the two polar opposites. Some moving slightly and others flip-flopping from one end to the other.
The worst of the lot are those who say something like:
I’m not a WOB, I’m happy for him to stay if he addresses the deficiencies in the squad and changes his management and tactics.” Big of them that, but let me say what I think these people are actually saying.
First let’s look at “I’m not a WOB”.
What they are really saying is “I am a WOB, I don’t want this Arsene I want a different one. One that does things the way I want and manages the way I would.”
When pushed as to what they perceive are Arsene’s failings they will list the very same arguments that a bona fide full blown WOB would give you.
That’s always a favorite. They want him to change his tactics. Happy to ignore that he has changed the set up of the team several times this season already. What they actually mean is they want him to set the team up in a way that they would. Do what they would do. See the game as they do. Why oh why can’t he see what they do?
He should pick the players they want picked and play them where they want them played.
This one is easy, he should play his best team for every game. Whilst rotating, of course. Quite how he does that is beyond me. Of course they will rubbish this until we don’t get the result they think we should have, then they will insist that rotation was wrong and the wrong players were picked.
This is my personal favorite. He should sign the players they have scouted, for the positions they have deemed to be key.
A DM was the priority, it’s negligence that we didn’t sign one – they squeal.
Now, looking at the team, it could be reasonable to say that DM is the weakest link. Well it might be now, but let’s look at what went before.
The moment Bacary Sagna decided to leave that was the priority. It was essential that we cover what in the modern game is a vital position. He bought Debuchy, and most think that was about as good as he could have gotten.
When Thomas Vermaelen was sold, CB became the biggest priority. Well he bought Calum for that gap. Now whether he was bought as cover for RB alone we will never know, but it quickly became obvious that he was more than good enough to be 3rd choice CB as well. Covering both will likely see him get more game time and develop quicker. Job done.
Last year the priority position was a striker and cover for Theo. Two priorities he covered with the signing of Alexis.
Next on the list of priorities was a Goalkeeper. Fabianski left and we could not go into a season with just one senior goalkeeper. So he signed David Ospina – sorted.
Then Giroud broke his leg. That quickly became the biggest priority position. Out he goes and signs Danny Welbeck. Not too many complaints about that one.
So although some people see the DM position as the priority now, there were actually five bigger priorities than that. All more than adequately solved. We know (or think we know) that we were interested in Carvalho and Schneiderlin, neither of which happened. It looks like Arsene was unable to get the standard of player he wanted and made a judgement call and passed on this 6th priority position.
We have no 4th choice CB! Well we don’t if you ignore Hayden and Monreal, which everyone seems happy too, but can it really be listed above a seventh priority ?
Funds not spent.
They say all available fund should have been used to fill the gaps they see in the team. Happy to ignore that those funds might be needed to buy the right player in January or next summer, when they might actually be available.
These people will insist that they’re not claiming to know better than our manager, whilst continuing to insist he has made mistakes by not doing what they would have done. Well you tell me, what is that if not thinking they know better?
Finally, I have to concede that these people might actually be right. They really could be better managers than Arsene. But really, what are the chances?
Thanks for reading.
pedantic george @Blackburngeorge.