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Monday, 18 August 2014

Reasons behind Arsenal’s sustained and accepted mediocrity

By Sam Agona
If you have been a meticulous follower of me, then you might have realized I spend more time sporting around than listening to Phil Collins’ music. The sustained fall of Arsenal FC has been well crafted by people who do not love football. I for one think as Arsenal is busy struggling during games, Stan Kroenke is busy on the shores of beaches in Hawaii or somewhere watching Colorado Mammoth. The man does not love football, he loves the money that comes out of it, and Nina Bracewell Smith entrusted him with power.

On 11th April, 2011, Nina sold her 15.9% shares to Stan Kroenke however through  her tweets you can be sure she regrets selling not only shares to Stan Kroenke but selling the whole of Arsenal FC. This sale rose Kroenke’s shares above Danny Fizman (RIP) who has 24.11% and Alisher Usmanov standing at 24.0%. The Tweets posted after Arsenal unceremoniously lost Aston Villa have since been deleted. The shares were sold to the American for around £120m, was given a position of Honorary Vice President at the club, and has a seat in the Director’s Box.

Picture of Lady Nina Bracewell – Smith, adopted from Internet
Arsenal’s failure to amicably replace David Dein has been an issue. Truth is anyone leaves a job at anyone point, but to replace a performer you must have a better performer and believe me, replacing Dein with Ivan Gazidis who has so far done nothing for Arsenal has been no fair fiasco but a demanding disaster.

David Dein, Arsenal's former Chief Executive, Internet Photo
Needless to mention but even Gazidis wiki page mentions that he has so far done nothing for Arsenal. He only holds the position of Chief Executive at Arsenal because his boss is Kroenke whom ( I repeat once again) does not love football.

Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal's current Chief Executive, Photo adopted from Arsenal FC
Arsenal fans and supporters are full of self-crafted consolation that turns into self-made lies and well-built betrayal. It all starts with “Arsene Knows”, Oh my!! What does Arsene Wenger know? All he knows is that Arsenal will win nothing this season (2013-2014) and that Arsenal will not be able to sign Luiz Suarez just like they failed to sign Gonzalo Higuan who was for medical at Arsenal for about two months then passed a medical at Napoli in a matter of hours. I doubtlessly trust Andrew Mangan loves Arsenal, if he didn’t, he would not have spent each day of his life since 2002 writing stories relevant to Arsenal on arseblog, something that made him win the slot for blogging for Arsenal on ESPN.  Against that backdrop, I am sure Andrew is a million times more informed about the inside stories at Arsenal than I am, he mentions somethings that are obvious.
I find it very inane that Arsenal fans still talk of Arshavin when mentioning the decline of the club on the pitch. Since when did one man dictate play of 12 men on pitch at any point? That is such a cheap excuse. Same as the sale of Flamini, or even departure of Vieira (now retired), Arsenal has had excruciating nadirs, that I am surprised that fans still fill the emirates. You could remember one point where the club offered to pay fans that had travelled to Old Trafford only to watch an embarrassing loss . This is just a snap shot of how low the club has gone.

A section of distraught Arsenal fans at Old Trafford after the 8-2 loss, Internet Photo
Arsenal lost a final of one of its only silverware chances to Birmingham (no disrespect, but out of all clubs), which at the time was struggling with relegation. Over the years, Arsene Wenger has made team selection mistakes, player deployment mistakes that any manager at Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan or AC Milan would have been fired for, however at Arsenal its not a big deal because the person who is supposed to “care” is not irked by poor results of the club. He is busy doing other things.
In 2012, after three games and an embarrassing 8 goal loss to Manchester United, who could not tell that failure to build a formidable team was and is an issue at Arsenal? Even a new born can tell. Fact is Arsene Wenger is not being any philosophical to any style of play but rather being an apologist to fans on behalf of money hungry men who are milking a football club they are not investing in, thanks to the loyalty of the fans.

A section of Arsenal supporters distraught over the spending Policy at the club, Photo adopted from Al-jazeera
Truth bare to any Arsenal fan is Arsene Wenger is not a coach, neither a tactician but too much of an upstream manager, probably good enough to be sitting in the Director’s box. You must have realized that Wenger never beat Mourinho (during his first spell at Chelsea) even once, it was not a coincidence, it was because the Arsenal boss always failed to think his way during games. Its not uncommon for Arsenal to be leading 2-0 at half time, and by 90 minutes, the result is in their disfavor. Case in point is the four all draw with Newcastle. Mention is relevant that Arsenal had conceded a red card when Diaby got sent off, but how many teams have we watched get stronger after getting their player sent off? A lot am sure. However, Wenger failed to make any changes to counter the forward movement of Newcastle players, not even a mere instruction to players to rotate or change playing style, reason being, he does not know any other playing styles, thus the embarrassing result.
The above also partly explains why Wenger is not keen on buying (if he at all has a voice on who is bought) talented and developed players, it is not about the money, or like he always says that he can only buy if a player in the market is going to add something exceptional to Arsenal. Trust me, most of the players Arsenal get linked to, have a lot to add (thinking about Juan Mata, Higuain, David Villa who all got linked to Arsenal), but Wenger fears that having all the players to win, will render him out of excuses for not winning. How many seasons ago did we know that Arsenal crumbles out of three trophies on a space of 10 days? Probably six seasons ago, but why do you think Arsene does not buy players who can cover up the team for the March laden calendar? He is so afraid of spending and losing.
It does not take to be a footballing genius to conclude that Ramsey, Squillaci, Sagna, Diaby among others are average players who will only win for you a handful of matches convincingly but will never win for you a trophy. Wenger knows this and he keeps duping fans down the road who will in turn wave banners written on “Arsene knows”, very depressing.
Football has changed a lot and trusts me, the modern game has no room for static men like Arsene Wenger, unfortunately, decision making is still left in the hands of irresponsible men like Kroenke. How a director, major shareholder is never seen at the stadium watching a game of a club he milks money from is mind boggling.
Misusing and misunderstanding players. Arteta, Theo Walcott are some of the victims of playing out of position under Wenger.  traditionally, some number of goals are expected from midfielders, but starting Jack Wilshere and Ramsey in the central midfield spells how much a manager wants goals.
Arsene Wenger has poor training tactics, a few years ago, then Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk criticised Arsenal's poor training practices, referring to Van Persie’s constant injuries that he thought was keeping RvP away from the Dutch team and blamed it on Wenger. A season ago RvP moved to Man Utd, but before that, he had suffered atleast 27 injuries at his spell at the Emirates. The same applies to players like Rosicky, Diaby, Vamaelen among others. They seem crocky but will play longer hours injury free if they moved to other clubs.
Meme picture of Wenger in a medical theatre, Internet Photo
With the clubs sustained and accepted mediocrity,  I could as well summarise Arsenal’s season by this trend of events, having already lost the opening game of the season to Aston Villa, you are sure, the season will end with about 8 to 11 losses. This is not good enough to win the league. Expect a loss or loss of points to some bogey teams like Stoke FC, Swansea to mention. The recent Arsenal has failed to beat Man Utd unless the Fergie factor plays its part, Chelsea looks more determined. With that, I would be content if Arsenal picked out 15 points out of the 30 from games against Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Spurs and or Liverpool.

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