I have been very critical of the team's performance over the last few years just as many, many other fans have been.
The same story repeating itself. Many small technical players, afraid of tough challenges, no leaders on the pitch and playing tiki taka football in a light Barca version, but lacking a Xavi, an Iniesta or indeed a Messi to pull it off.
Beginning the season on a high then reaching a dead end by midseason, getting knocked out of the League Cup the CL and more often than not the FA Cup. And then when the pressure is eased we see a late flourish to get the 4th spot.
Obviously Wenger's teams in the last 10 years lacked mental fortitude as indicated by disastrous defeats at home when the title challenge was getting hot. Defeats such as against Swansea last season and Watford this...
When Wenger was given a three year contract I was hoping that he will set things right, buy the right players and use the three years to build and hone a title winning team. He has instead continued doing those same things that he did before.
The most important however is not only Wenger's approach. It is the Board's.
They set the targets for the manager and if they show him that they are very happy with finishing in the CL positions every year and nothing else then you shouldn't really expect a different outcome....
Its like offering your employees bonuses not necessarily to be top performers but to achieve just above average results. What do you think they will do?
So it's not only Wenger that has to change his ways but crucially the Board.
Here are the three criteria therefore that should keep Wenger at the helm:
- Achieve a CL spot (so that we can attract top players)
- Win the FA Cup
If the above are achieved then
- The Board at the end of the season announces that for another renewal of Wenger's contract the title or a real challenge for the title has to be delivered. They should also make available the funds needed to achieve this.
I personally doubt if any of the above will be achieved. Fourth spot is more achievable but there is a real contest between 5 teams for the three spots available and on current form it looks like touch and go.
To win the FA Cup is even more difficult with Man City, Spurs and one of Chelsea or Man Utd the other competitors. Just looking at our results against the top 5 will tell you that we have performed abysmally against the big teams. This is not likely to change in my opinion. Remember the team lacks mental fortitude...
And lastly do you really believe that the Board or Wenger will change their ways?