The Armchair Gooner

An Arsenal blog bringing you news, opinion and humour on a daily basis. Well, I'll try at the very least…

Another Terrible Performance. Can You Defend Arsene Wenger?

“Oh sh*t….”

Evening folks.

It’s a shame my return isn’t under better circumstances. I had high hopes I’d be penning/typing a post-game report full of glowing praise and dreams of things to come. I shan’t be doing that. Instead I have the pleasure of detailing a performance that was monumentally bloody awful. Again.

Today’s defeat at Everton leaves us with a record of 20 conceded and 4 scored away from home against sides classed as ‘top 5′. Whichever way you choose to look at it, that statistic is utterly appalling. No side with aspirations of glory or that can claim to have our resources and intentions should have that fact help up to their faces. The truth is we simply aren’t good enough to compete for the title.

That’s what hurts most. Defeat is one thing; often crushing but immeasurably easier to accept if your team have given 100% or a dubious decision was the difference. The occasional blip can be dismissed as a freak occurrence or “one of those days”. When those days have happened 4 times someone has to start asking questions. ¬†Arsenal haven’t just lost on their travels to the teams around us in the league, we’ve been battered. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

And those questions will be aimed at Arsene Wenger. It’s his team and his tactics. Whilst I don’t for a split second believe myself capable of doing better, it’s okay to ask questions. We’re fans, it’s our job. When the rage hits full speed people will tell you your opinion is worthless and you shouldn’t have one about a subject you supposedly know little about. That’s poppycock, folks. We are all entitled to say whatever the f**k we please.

I love Arsene Wenger. That’s not going to change anytime soon. However, that love is not capable of blinding me from certain things that are obvious. We can all see there are huge problems and those can’t simply be put down to injuries. It’s impossible to dispute those players absent has had an enormous impact on our season, but that fact alone can’r excuse anything. You have to look at the manager.

Is he capable of getting his team ready for games? Does he plan a different approach to fixtures? Why did he wait until the game was lost to make a change to the team? Arsene is obviously an innovator and a genius, but there are times I find the things he does baffling and those times are becoming increasingly more often. Maybe his time has come. It happens to everyone at some point, regardless of how good they once were.

I feel almost dirty typing that. Those of you that read will know I’m certainly not the #WengerOut type. I guess it’s difficult to know what to think at the moment. I couldn’t possibly hope to tell you what needs to be done in order to prevent results like today’s happening again. All I now is that after 4 separate occasions of the same thing happening, something does need to be done. Wether that be a change in management, philosophy and personnel remains to be seen. If this is to be Arsene’s final season, then I hope a great many members of the squad buck up their ideas because, whilst the responsibility lies with Arsene, the entirety of the blame does not.

That’s all for today, folks. Things are pretty hectic in my personal life at the moment, so I hope to be back to blog as soon as I can. For now, head toward the comments and leave me some of your thoughts on today’s debacle. I’ll look forward to hearing what some of you have to say.

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

Category: Arsenal
  • goonerdyllan says:

    This is all your fault.

    I told you when you started ploughing that Eastern European devil woman that she looked capable of unleashing a curse or two. 4 months later we end up scrapping for 4th and your cock has shrivelled to the size of a raisin.

    A pox on you, Stokes. A pox, I say.

    April 6, 2014 at 8:12 pm
    • Optimist Habila says:

      It is clear Arsenal lack a striker. Even fools knew before the season started but only Wenger. The Frenchman stubbornly refused to buy or even borrow a striker in January. Now the price is monumental-not on him or the board but the fans. If Wenger refuses to sign top class striker before 1st week of August than he should be sacked in the 1st week of August. No on has the monopoly of knowledge and he doesn’t know everything Arsenal need to redeem their image.

      April 6, 2014 at 10:23 pm
  • LeBigMac says:

    I know we are “depleted” by injury but as you say it is becoming a regular occurrence to have to witness.
    Today, after losing some cash, having to work and then having an accident with my car and a gate, I thought, christ all that in one morning, things can’t get any worse.
    I was wrong.
    The show is abysmal and sometimes we just have to concede that things are not good in the Arsenal camp and that maybe, it might be time for a change.
    I know we have no right to win all the time, but we have a right to think we will compete.
    I agree with you James, something better change if we want to see the like of 97/98 and the Invincibles again….

    Fed Up!

    April 6, 2014 at 8:12 pm
  • Joe says:

    There’s no defending the team or Wenger,, appaling tactics and appalling play, it’s time for Wenger to go.

    April 6, 2014 at 8:15 pm
    • Chris says:

      I wish.

      April 6, 2014 at 9:33 pm
  • sans says:

    I couldn’t agree more.Its bloody obvious Wenger has lost it.I (now) believe its time for him to go.I’m tired of watching players just running around like amateurs.

    April 6, 2014 at 8:22 pm
  • mohamed aziz says:

    Go arsene and while you are at it drag giroud arteta and vermalen with you the team were playing with 3 players less and no manager you should be ashamed and be honorable and just quit now we can do better with boldy may be even win the FA but sure to loose with you on the dugout the players hate you they proved it on the pitch

    April 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm
  • stefan says:

    It ain’t a coincident that arsenal year after year suffers from more injuries than any other team. It’s not bad luck and it’s not because of some hair products. And why has the manager not adressed this earlier?

    April 6, 2014 at 8:54 pm
  • Mark says:

    Arsene is a legend at the football club but it is clear his time has come. You can see in all the games against the other so called top five teams that we are seriously under prepared on how the other other team are going to set up against us and how we are going to combat it. You could be forgiven for thinking you are watching exactly the same game in all of the games against Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City and Everton because we make exactly the same mistakes and they all play exactly the same way, let us have possession, press us quickly and then counter attack against us, usually getting straight at our back four. Arsene has to be held accountable for this because it keeps happening. Like I say he is a legend but he is becoming someone who is out staying his welcome.

    April 6, 2014 at 8:55 pm
  • Andreas says:

    I totally agree that Wenger should leave as soon as possible and take with him a lot of useless players like Sanogo, Giroud, Vermalen, Arteta

    April 6, 2014 at 9:18 pm
  • Mitonga says:

    AW has to go. He has outlived his usefulness like any human! This is a guy who is so full of himself and believe his has the best judgement. What makes me sick with him is the following: 1) for 4 years, the team failed to compete and come March, players were out of steam. A manager should have learned from this crutiating experience to take remedial measures; Nop, AW will not. He is given money to strengthen the team, he goes to his French market and wait until the last hour to shop and comes back telling us:”couldn’t find any quality out there”. Once he even brought something with a broken back! Probably it was getting dark to see !!! Yet other visionary managers buy performing players. 2) Yes AW would like to groom French players, national pride dictates?; and therefore there must a special areas, such as strikers, reserved for French players; and and hence the Girouds that run like innocent antilop in a park find their way; while the likes of Benzema could not join AW, may be the boy or his agents were right to decline doing business with ” the champion loser” or something like that ( ask Morinho); but at whose expense, Mr. AW? 3) AW often says he has a big squad, but when it matters and it is time to prove it, AW will seated tightly scratching his nose or struggling to zip his coat! Clearly like today, very much like someone who has exhausted his options. AW knows well that if a team is engaged in multiple competitions, he must have the required quality tools and capacity to compete in them all. Does he? What do you say if he doesn’t? 4) I do not underestimate the challenging job of a manager , but after more that 9 years without a trophy, a good manager should have started reassessing his strategies and look at addressing shortcomings; with AW, in whom we trust, we don’t seem to need any reassessment of our managerial responsibility. It’s an act of faith! AW will always deliver, against all odds! And there have been quite a few odds….until when? It is an act of greatness to acknowledge one’s constraints!

    April 6, 2014 at 9:24 pm
  • Chris says:

    In my humble opinion I don’t think Wenger should go but changes need to be made. He needs to buy 3-4 top quality players, I mean stars to compete. I don’t blame him today I blame the players. If we were out foxed i would blame him but it was the basic s we got wrong today.. How can that be? Players think they are safe or thinking of the cup final.. I don’t know but we were to poor not to blame the team. You could say he should have made his changes sooner but believeme wouldnt have help today. Until we start winning theses games their mentality won’t change. We lack attacking dribblers.. not talking about Santi type but a player that would just go for goal.. We need a few to be more roughless.
    We need lots of things but Wenger out ain’t it.. Not yet anyway. If he doesn’t buy a few players this summer then I’ll re consider but until then we need to back the team and hold these emotions until then.. Chins up my fellow gooners it can still be a good season!!

    April 6, 2014 at 9:55 pm
  • geekaybee says:

    Go gunners go. Go Wenger, go.

    April 6, 2014 at 10:19 pm
  • Dan the Marlow Gooner says:

    In Wenger we trust! You deluded fools. Lets keep paying the highest ticket prices probably in world football, for what? Failure yet again. Will we win the FA Cup? Who knows. If we do we’re massively papering over the cracks. Arsenal fans have been brainwashed into believing finishing fourth every year is success. I was one of those, but not any more. The whole club needs changing from top to bottom. We need to have a winning mentality not a finishing fourth mentality is great success. What’s the point of being in the champions league when we have no chance of winning it. Wenger you used to be great, but your not anymore. I’d rather be back at Highbury and winning things than be at the Emirates and win fuck all. Wake up gooners!

    April 6, 2014 at 10:38 pm
  • peter newman says:

    So many called for Arsene’s head last year, and the year before, then you all stopped when a few results went well. Here we are again with the usual Spring call for his sacking. Be careful what you wish for. Show a bit of respect or you’ve got no chance of him joining the board. We could be just like the FA with hardly a football man in sight. You show no respect for the man’s knowledge, experience, ability, character, sheer quality, his proven success, his incredible achievements, transforming our club into an established star, admired, respected around the world, one players want to come to. They remember Vieira, Pires, Anelka, Ljungberg, Fabregas, Thierry, the list is endless and quite a few are still playing for us, and let’s be honest guys, not one of you had heard of any of them. The rest of the world applauds the incredible achievement of continuous qualification for Europe. I guess you guys think even just one miss in 20 or so merits the sack instead!
    Let’s be real. Arsene is about as good a manager as there is; and he loves the club. Undoubtedly some things and some people are not working. The infrastructure could be improved and expanded. This does not include discarding or even disrespecting the greatest achiever the club has ever known

    April 6, 2014 at 11:01 pm
  • Pitch says:

    This time last year we were looking up at the top 4 battling every week to accumulate enough points to get us into 4th, after the last game at Newcastle the players celebrated a great effort to sneak into 4th spot knowing that CL qualification gave us a better chance to recruit great players. After a nerve racking transfer window we ended up with a sensational new addition to the team, Mesut Ozil. That last game celebration was a touch on the embarassing side and the way the transfer window played out was far from ideal but that summed up where we were at last year.

    This year, hopefully, we will finish in the top 4. There is no doubt that this achievement won’t be celebrated the way it was last year. Instead of looking up at the top 4 all season we found ourselves in a position to challenge for the title. At the end of this season we will look back at the reasons we fell away so badly and be in a position to address the problems that we have. We also find ourselves in a FA Cup semi-final with the chance to get the trophy monkey off our back.

    As much as the lost opportunity of this season hurts, we are in a much better position now than we were last year. The squad deficiencies are obvious and there is still a lot that needs to happen to mount a stronger title challenge next year. The teams that are still in the title race this year are not the teams that made huge changes to their squad, they are in the race on the back of a squad with a solid base and a few well chosen additions.

    Whether Arsene should stay or go is still not as obvious as most are claiming. 2 of the 3 teams in the title race have new managers although the recycled one probably brings this back to a 50-50 argument. Man U have had a terrible year under their new manager so it is clear that changing manager is still a big risk.

    While there is still a lot to play for this season, and while some of the performances over the last 2 months have been bloody awful, I’m still looking forward to some good times in the not too distant future.

    April 7, 2014 at 4:38 am
  • Andrew says:

    Since our loss to the Toffees I have been seething with vitriolic anger for the contemptuous way that AW has dismissed any suggestion that we do in fact need a proper striker, never mind some other choice positions that have been ignored and instead filled with middling “talent”. Don’t even start me on the staid and predictable tactics.

    Until…well until I read one of the posters on the blog talk about “the Girouds that run like innocent antelope in a park to find their way”. There is something in the imagery that perfectly captures the clumsy and pathetic Giroud ungainly and aimlessly galloping around that made me crap my pants in laughter. My missus is still trying to calm me down. I’m probably hysterical but I’m still laughing.

    I’m going to get a friend to photoshop Giroud’s irritating mug on top of an antelope and make us all T-shirts. Halle-bloody-lujah, I may as well laugh or I would cry.

    April 7, 2014 at 4:47 am

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