Monday, May 18, 2009
Wenger: “Judge this team in two years time”.... Again?
By 1970’s Gooner
I was amazed to see those words quoted to Arsene Wenger a few days ago in the aftermath of the comprehensive defeat in the Champions League semi final against Manchester United.
I was really amazed at the audacity to offer this consolation to all the fans who so desperately want this team to return to the glory days of the earlier Wenger years.
Isn’t this what Arsene has been dishing to us after every defeat, after every humiliation suffered at the hands of a top three opponent and after every disappointment in going out yet again in the major competitions.
And don’t get carried away into a false sense of security by the admittedly good performance against Manchester United.
The opponents were on a bad day, obviously nervous to get the draw that they required.
We were comprehensively outplayed in both Champions League games against them and outgunned by a much more experienced and street wiser Chelsea.
How can Arsene expect us to believe him these days. This excuse of “judge this team in two years” was palatable some years ago when he began to break up the invincibles. We were all prepared to give time so that another invincible team could be rebuilt. And that is why these excuses were grudgingly accepted by all.
But now four years later we hear the same things. Every year, over and over again.
The reason is very obvious and we have shown in previous posts on this site that Arsene’s model of football development is appropriate and indeed viable for a team in a state of financial austerity but I am afraid flawed in terms of achieving success on the pitch.
There are two reasons for this and we have reiterated them before.
The first one is that this model depends too much on the one man that can keep it (financially) afloat.
The second one is that unless by some quirk of fortune the young and inexperienced team win the championship, the emerging stars begin to get itchy feet as they see their footballing careers wasting away in season after season of underachievement.
And then Arsene begins to rebuild the team again and again and again.
That is why we have criticised Wenger for sacrificing the chance of winning the FA Cup by choosing to rest Arshavin in the semi final against Chelsea.
The reason was that he could be fresh for the League game at Anfield! So that we could be in a position to challenge Chelsea for third place which would automatically lead, under the new Uefa regulations, directly into the group stages thus avoiding potentially difficult opponents in the qualifying round…
So precarious are Arsenal’s finances you see that we HAVE to qualify for the lucrative stages of the Champions League AND sell one player every year.
What Arsene has to do is simple.
He has to buy two experienced, non attacking, players and KEEP the existing members of the squad.
If this does not happen then there is a real risk that 4th place or qualification to the group stages may not be achieved (Manchester City and Aston Villa will strengthen their squads). And by then we will be very near 2011.
The year Arsene Wenger’s contract runs out…..
So Wenger rested Arshavin in the FA Cup to end up with this shambles?