With the title race all but over for another season, there is yet again a number of questions that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger must ask himself.
His vision-problems, particularly over the penalty incident involving Lucas, have cost his side the Premier League and his dignity, but they are also endemic of Wenger’s attitude. Moreover, you can’t help but feel that the Wenger boys are in danger of becoming as immature as the manager that has led them so close but yet so far, towards gaining their first piece of silverware for the best part of six years.
The inability to see out games coupled with supremely entertaining (for non-Arsenal fans at least) comedic moments (namely the Carling Cup and Eboue’s shove) show that a distinct lack of maturity still lingers about the current Arsenal side.
With Vermaelen a significant loss for most of the season there has yet again been a certain lack of leadership. It’s certainly a bit different from the era of Bould, Adams and Vieira.
Has Wenger’s position become untenable? He has made the chairman and board of directors multi-millionaires thanks to ensuring Arsenal are a financially viable club and there’s a worry that nobody in any position of authority at Arsenal would ever question Arsene or his future at the club.
I grant, with Bob Wilson that what Arsene Wenger has done for the club, in particular qualifying fourteen years in a row for the Champions League is ‘fantastic.’ Yet where is the silverware?
There seems to be a mysterious cloud of red mist hanging over the Emirates. Most people recognise that trophies are the measure of success. Just look at the trophy haul from Manchester United and Barcelona – two of the greatest football clubs of modern time. Yet this is not the Arsenal way.
Being efficient and ensuring a top four finish whilst balancing the books thus ensuring a stable financial model seems to be good enough. But is it for most Gunners?
Most of the blame unfortunately lies with the manager and his stubborn beliefs that his young side will eventually come good and his constant defensive stance even in the midst of atrocity.
Don’t believe it? Take 2007 and the infamous Carling Cup Final where Wenger attempted to claim Emmanuel Adebayor’s innocence despite lashing out at Chelsea’s Ricardo Carvalho and taking a swing at Frank Lampard. And how about the brouhaha at Upton Park with Alan Pardew or the accusation that Ruud Van Nistelrooy was a ‘cheat.’ Unfortunately Wenger is now regressing slowly into the spoilt kid in the playground who simply does not know how to lose. Maybe there’ll be a new banner at Old Trafford next season.
Written by Simon Lazarus