Morning Campers! I’m not sure about The Rapture coming but Arsène’s observations about adding to the backroom staff will have been as popular as an Earthquake at 6pm this evening.
According to the manager,
The problem when you don’t win is to always raise the right questions. Those who win the games are those on the football pitch and not those who talk in the stands.
I have enough experience to know what is important and what is less than important. It will be difficult to find a coach who teaches me how to manage a football team.
That will go down well. Quite why Arsène does not understand that as supporters our opinions count is baffling. That is without even starting on the arrogance of the man, how dare he finish fourth consistently and then presume that it is hard to find someone who teaches him to manage Arsenal. It’s easy.
I understand the point but am not convinced it travels well. There is a need to bring on board a focus on defensive frailties, these have been woefully exposed this season.
The issue is about who teaches him to manage the club but one aspect of it. Admirable as the attacking play is, some sacrifice to that is necessary to address a problem that the manager admits has existed for several years. The solution might be as simple as putting the point across in a different way.
His philosophy for the players this summer is shaped already, based upon value for money. Certainly the media have taken this to heart with Gary Cahill at £17m now out of Arsenal’s reach, instead another young French defender, Bruno Ecule Manga, taking over as the latest ‘gem to be unearthed‘ (© tiredfootballcliches plc).
The first piece of business will be Samir Nasri’s contract. The departure of Matthieu Flamini burned deeply into Wenger’s psyche,
We will sort that situation out quickly after the end of the season. We need to know very quickly. We do not want to do that [allow them to leave on a free like Flamini]. We won’t allow that to happen. It has to be resolved before the season starts again.
Absolutely and the same principle applies to your captain as well. Both players need to show their intentions to allow the manager to plan for the coming campaign by either signing a new deal or ruling out a move this summer.
The latter is more difficult to manage since Fàbregas is not a high playing priority for Barcelona, a signing that soothes their inflated ego more than anything else. He will not rule out a move to them publicly, behind the scenes no doubt his entourage will give encouragement.
Yet realism dictates that unless a bid close to Arsenal’s valuation is forthcoming, Barcelona will only try to destabilise the player in the hope he will agitate for a move. That is not going to happen as overtly as they hope. Cesc does not need to make a public declaration of his intent, private will suffice. That is the loyalty he owes his manager. I would witter on about loyalty to the club but from players, I find it to be an overused and empty phrase.
Back to this summer. Wenger once more put himself at odds with the naysayers,
We need to add, of course, and we will do. But we have a strong base.
Judging by some of the comments you read, no they have not. He sought to prove it but forgot to add a proviso,
We have enough quality to beat anyone in the world, even with the current squad. You have a Champions League Final and only one team has beaten both of them and that is Arsenal.
The proviso? Valencia are the only other team to have played both this season. Not a great choice of justification really. The real one came with a dose of realism,
We have a good team and the best away team [in the Premier League]. The loss of the Carling Cup Final had a huge impact on the team and we did not handle it well. It is not catastrophic and do not think we can go to Coventry and find the player who saves Arsenal Football Club
Too often the miracle cure is of an ‘English spine‘ yet the pool of talent is this country is perilously thin. Very few players will genuinely make a different. Most, such as Scott Parker, would be a sticking plaster at best and how long that lasts is unknown.
Many linked to Arsenal are simply not good enough, some not even English! I find the obsession with nationality baffling. Patrick Vieira had the right attitude, he was not English. It is the attitude which is more important this summer, not the passport. If that sounds like Wenger talking, tough, get over it.
Would Scott Parker have changed the outcome of the past months? We’ll never know but West Ham have not shown the fighting spirit required to get out of being relegated. It’s not down to Parker but if he could not motivate his current colleagues, how can anyone prove he would do so at Arsenal?