Monday, 28 October 2013

Factors that could derail our title challenge - Part 2



As I mentioned in my earlier post, there are several factors that can mess up our chances to win silverware, or indeed, win the immediate 4 games. And while I gave those reasons in detail, there are still a few left out to mention. So, here they are. 

Aaron Ramsey:

This will be a controversial one.

Let me start by saying that I always supported Ramsey and never wanted him out. Ever since that horrifying leg break of his, I stood by him and never questioned him, even when he was given a long term contract after a poor run. And while his exceptional run of form has immensely pleased me, I can't help but notice that his all round play is changing for the worse.

He's acting more like a striker than a creative midfielder, and is neglecting his teammates to go for glory. His goals against Swansea and Norwich, if you notice, show a lot of solo play which is not acceptable for a midfielder. Gradually, he seems to be putting himself in front of his club, which is increasingly worrying. Wenger needs to have a talk with him, otherwise I fear we might see another Samir Nasri in the making.  

Overplaying key players:

This is a problem that Wenger has been a culprit of for years. Almost every player who has shined for Arsenal has been overplayed throughout the years, leading to injuries. Thomas Vermaelen, Jack Wilshere, Cesc Fabregas, van Persie, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta are players who have been constantly overplayed by Wenger, which led to them being on the sidelines.

Ozil already looks a bit tired from the constant playing by Wenger. I expect him, Giroud or Ramsey to pick up a knock in these coming games if Wenger continues to play them over the coming games. And it would be really frustrating if Podolski and Walcott return to the field to find Giroud and Ozil injured.  

Arsene Wenger:

The only person who can prevent all of these problems is one man, Arsene Wenger. After all, he is the manager, he calls the shots. He is the one who can rotate the squad, or tell Ramsey to tone it down. He is the one who can balance our playing style, and ultimately guide us to victory.

However, I am absolutely certain that he won't. I've been one of Wenger's critics for a reason, and I stand by that reason even today, when supporters are clamoring him to get that £8m a year deal signed. The reason why I have doubts on Wenger is because he is simply too stubborn to admit that he makes mistakes in team strategies and decisions, or that there are faults in the team. I'm sure that he won't address even ONE of the problems that I have mentioned in this post and the earlier one and that might possibly be a factor in our downfall.

If you ask me, Wenger has been very happy-go-lucky this season. Right from this summer, he has made mistakes all around and has been forgiven for it. He failed to get Gonzalo Higuain when he had one month to seal the deal. People say that negotiations are much more difficult than thought of. That may be true, but how did Napoli manage to get his signature within a week?

Then there was the whole Luis Suarez fiasco. Honestly, I am a 100% sure that Wenger never wanted the player, and there is evidence all around to suggest that. He said that his agents were "working behind the scenes" to get deals done as quietly as possible, which will be a factor in a delay in time to announce them. Oh really? Then how come the agents didn't work well to cover the £40,000,001 bid made for him? (I mean, we know the exact figure!) From this, it is crystal clear that Wenger never wanted Suarez, but just wanted to show the fans that he was doing something, to poison their hopes and fool them into buying season tickets.

There were many short transfer sagas, like Julio Cesar, Luiz Gustavo and Ashley Williams where Wenger walked away when they increased the asking price and instead went for a cheaper option. In the Luiz Gustavo case in particular, Wenger refused to increase the asking price and instead took Flamini on a free. Now, I'm not complaining, because Flamini was an excellent 'buy', but doesn't it seem that Wenger got lucky there instead of being intelligent and good at transfers?

If Gazidis hadn't given that proclamation of having the muscle to spend, then Wenger wouldn't have got Mesut Ozil. I am absolutely certain of that. After not spending a penny until deadline day, Wenger knew that the fans would be up in arms against him if it continued that way. Signing Ozil was justification for the lies Wenger told Arsenal fans rather than a genuine attempt to strengthen, and the transfer saved his head ... for now.

Which is why I am not sure that Wenger deserves a trophy this season. The players certainly do, for giving their all for the club, and the supporters are more than deserving, having stayed through thick and thin. But Wenger? If he gets a trophy, he'll be convinced that his managerial skills are working, and that will propel him to continue managing this way. To quote Arsene Wenger himself:  "When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid and not more intelligent."

That's not to say I don't want Arsenal to win silverware. And that's still not to say that I want Wenger to win silverware. Yes, it is really complicated.

I hope I have made my complex feelings on Arsene perfectly clear. For now, let's just focus on a short-term goal, that is beating Chelsea tomorrow. Be back tomorrow with a match preview. 

-Santi (Follow me on twitter: @ArsenalBlogz )