Bournemouth Review: Too Broken For Arsène To Fix

AFC Bournemouth 2 – 1 Arsenal

38 is the target. That’s how far adrift of Blackburn Rovers we finished in 1994/95, a season continually held up as a benchmark of mediocrity. We’re plummeting toward that, with little sense of the famed handbrake being applied.

Soon to be crowned champions Manchester City, 23 points clear of us, stand a little further ahead than the 22 points Swansea City are behind us. We may not be in 10th but we certainly are mid-table points-wise.

The Alexis saga epitomises the dishevelled state of the club. Did he leave Saturday, Sunday or is it today? Who knows; Arsène doesn’t but then again Wenger barely seems to know whether he’s coming or going these days. A charge which is fairly levelled against the defence as well, after two highly avoidable Bournemouth goals turned the game on its head and the result against us.

Defeat at Dean Court made a compelling case for the manager’s contract being terminated early. Indeed, there’s no footballing justification for keeping him on. Junior, we’re told, isn’t scared to fire coaches but he lacks the power to get rid of Wenger. Daddy doesn’t want it; this is a Kroenke decision alone.

Arsène alluded to football being a results business ahead of this game. If it is, he did himself no favours by leaving his most productive forward at home. There will be no last hurrah for Alexis; slinking off through the side door is how Arsenal want him to leave; it’s how it will happen. Wenger decided on his final ignominy by dropping the Chilean because he couldn’t rely on him having spent six months doing exactly that.

What we’re left with is a squad Wenger can no longer inspire nor fix. He lacks the wit, the guile and football nous to survive in the Premier League.

For the Love of God, Just Go

Wenger can’t even inspire Lady Luck to plant a smacker on his lips. Ainsley Maitland-Niles thumped the crossbar in a lacklustre first half while Calum Chambers blocked a goalbound effort at the other end. Petr Cech was behind him poised and pouncing but there was no guarantee he would save it as we would later find to our cost.

Hector Bellerin’s goal via Begovic’s body gave us a lead we barely deserved before the unsurprising capitulation arrived. Ten points dropped from leading positions is a damning tale of this season and defensively, we are a joke. How bad must Alvaro Morata’s form be to miss the hatful of chances against us that he did?

Cech didn’t read the cross; Wilson nipped into score first. In a familiar scene, there were half-a-dozen defenders making errors schoolboys would be ashamed of. Four defenders chased the ball on the right, leaving two in the middle. Why four were drawn to the ball is unforgivable. Naivety is a familiar name on our teamsheet, while we’re regularly seeing that Petr Cech is ready for the knacker’s yard.

If the first didn’t make you fully cognisant of that fact, the slow reactions to the second surely did. Two goals in five minutes underline the folly of Wenger’s policy of not having a strong leader on the pitch. We don’t have a calming influence or one to grab the team by the throat when they need it. An outdated policy from an out of touch man.

This isn’t giving the team a free pass either. The only one who shows any passion is Jack; the rest don’t get it or are in for a free ride. Some will understand over time but too many of them are freeloaders.

Easy Street

The players have it too easy. As soon as one with a personality or will-to-win surfaces, they are moved on because it upsets the dressing room. We have some bright players whose light is dimmed thanks to the poverty of the training. The photos say they lark and joke around at Colney but the serious business leaves them bereft of ideas.

Early promise fades quicker than ever before. Rob Holding went from the new Cannavaro to the new Canhekickit with a short space of time as confidence ebbed away and was run over by the London bus Wenger threw him under. Chambers, Bellerin, and Iwobi too. Indulged, untrained in their defensive roles; Maitland-Niles as another square peg in a round hole.

Wenger is too fond and guilty of failing to build squads. His summers continually reflect the lack of a plan. Too wrapped up in replacing Alexis last time around, he neglected to build a squad around a back three because he doesn’t believe in the formation. That transmits to the players whose confidence is fading quicker than cheap ink on expensive paper.

Football is a results business and by every benchmark Wenger set down the years – from challenging for and winning the title to the top four trophy – he is failing. There is no plan to return to former glories because the manager does not know how. Every defeat sees him stand like a deer in television’s headlights, unable to cope with the business of football.

He knows his time is up but he is unable to let go. In his ideal world, Steve Bould would take over while he moved upstairs as a puppetmaster but that cannot be allowed to happen.

Cut the Ties That Bind

Sadly, Bouldy is tarnished by the Wenger brush; this club needs a new broom at the top, an experienced interim manager to take charge and shake the players out of their complacency.

It is no country for raw young men. It’s no place for Arteta or any other former player this time around. Theirs is an era to happen two or three seasons down the line. A philosophical change has to happen at the club; ruthlessness on the training ground where cosseted egos from players who are not good enough, are told home truths.

Arsène Wenger doesn’t believe in that and mediocrity overtook his squad, mobbed up and over-ran the club. There used to be a football club over there but now it’s just an edifice of folly.

’til Tomorrow.

112 thoughts on “Bournemouth Review: Too Broken For Arsène To Fix

  1. Aaron,

    Coming late to the party, but I’ve got to say the reference to Leicester makes no sense at all. Leicester’s title win was completely out of the blue and most would agree that they have now fallen back to their natural position in the league, which is around mid table. They certainly jumped too quickly in firing Claudio, but it did seem that he had lost the dressing room and the team were underachieving on their mid table aspirations. There is no reason why Leicester can’t stay mid table and make the odd bid for a spot in the Europa League for some time if they are sensibly managed which very much seems to be the aim.

    Arsenal, on the other hand, are a big club who should be at least having a crack at the title every season. Obviously one team can’t win all of the time, but we haven’t been close to the title for over a decade. As Bill often says, we have been closer to the relegation spots than the title more often than not points wise and are already closer to Swansea than City already this season with 15 or so games still to go.

    The idea that we don’t spend as a club also makes no sense, as we have often out spent many of our rivals and the likes of Ozil, Sanchez, Xhaka, Lacazette and Mustafi have all been pricey acquisitions. The argument is that we have generally spent poorly, with only Sanchez and Ozil being relatively successful acquisitions, although the question remains as to whether or not we actually needed Ozil when we were crying out for a striker. But now the teams that we have historically managed to keep behind us have spent wisely in both coaching staff and players. They have gone by us and it seems that those in the Arsenal hierarchy haven’t even realised yet.

  2. My biggest headache is Arsene Wenger. I wonder why people still feel he’s a genius. when he has been riding on luck. This man has told all sorts of lies to fans and people just lap it up. Sir Alex Ferguson bested him in the league from 2005 till he retired. Mourinho used him as a wipe for the duration of his first stint at Chelsea. After the loss of the Champions league final, Wenger should have left the club. What we have is an old man, past retirement, past his prime, ruining a billion dollar football club and the owner thinks he is doing him a favour.

  3. Don’t sign anyone. no one will do more than temporarily paper over the cracks.

    Better to completely fail this season and hope that Wenger packs it in.

    Apocalypse now!

  4. Jonnygunner,

    If everything came off that’s being rumoured(and I admit it’s highly unlikely),then we may sign PEA from Dortmund with Giroud as part of the deal.
    Sanchez to United(with possibly Mickey coming to us).
    Finally,Walcott to Everton,with Malcom from Bordeaux coming in.
    But as we all know….it’s the fucking defence that’s the problem.

  5. According to Skysports Jim Whyte the Sanchez deal has a 5-10% possibility of being completed. Sanchez has agreed personal terms.

    Mikitarian is not keen on becoming an Arsenal player. There is the stumbling block. Mikitarian holds the key.

    I think Chelsea are in the driving seat.

    Man U are never going to include Martial however
    Personally I think Chelsea

  6. Just take cash – it works for everyone else. Why is Wenger always so keen on everyone else’s cast-offs? Mkhitaryan is another lightweight player that suits Wenger but which is also the last thing that we need.

    In other news the BBC are reporting that Theo to Everton is nearly done and that Wilshere has now been offered a new deal but with a pay cut and incentives.

  7. Medical planned for today apparently for Theo to Everton. Welbeck is being reported as in talks with Besitkas on loan to replace Tosun..

    I would take Malcom and Aubameyang.

  8. Jonnygunner,

    I know Bill talks about most of the goals coming from your front 4 but thr thing he doesn’t take into consideration is that all those teams ONLY had two players with double digit goals, everybody else is in single digits.

    The other thing is, he says Liverpool don’t play with creative players but they had Coutinho, have Firmino Mane and Salah who are all technically brilliant and creative as fuck.

  9. C,

    Morning C hope your well. Personally I’m not sure if I’d sign Malcolm. I’ve seen (actually) him play for Bordeaux he’s to “left footed” for Me. Not to dissimilar to a Mr Campbell. He’s a decent enough player but would be easily worked out by Coaches and defenders after a season.

    I think Sanchez is now being pushed out of the Club. I think he would prefer to sit tight until the end of the season.
    The Totally Football podcast hints that the Arsenal dressing room is toxic.The Players want him gone.

    Man U have just muddied the waters.
    Man U don’t want Sanchez to go to City. Mourinho would kill Sanchez’s career.

    Mikitarian by all accounts is not to enthused on a move to the Emirates. Who can blame him under this current regime.

    PEA of Borussia would be a good signing. Will it happen? We wait and see.

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