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  • Paul C Paul C Jan 15, 2009 04:03 Flag

    Wenger the Magnificent????

    Does this season represent the finest managing job in Arsene Wengers career?

    This question has nothing to do with transfer policy or the way the club is run. This is just about training-ground and match-day preperation and execution.

    Just think, 12 months ago we were top of the table and flying. If someone then had said that in 12 months:

    Flamini, Hleb, Diarra and Gilberto would be gone before the next season started.
    Rosicky wouldnt play a single game.
    Eduardo would be injured in March and not play another game.
    Toure would get malaria in the summer and completely lose form.
    Gallas would implode, lose the captaincy, and create a huge dressing room rift.
    Walcott and Cesc would be injured and miss huge chunks of the season, and Cesc would be only "average" when he did play.
    Eboue would be given a standing "boo" by the Arsenal crowd during one game.
    Our only new players would be Nasri and a 17 year-old Welsh kid and that Nasri would have missed as many games as he had played.
    Senderos would have been sent out on loan in the summer.
    Clichy would have made more mistakes in the first 4 months of the season as in the previous two years combined.

    Would anyone have thought we would still be within 8 points of the lead?

    I dont know, I was thinking about this last night. For all that we criticize him for other things, you cannot say the guy has lost it as far as his ability to manage a team.

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    • No I dont agree. Specifically Diarra going was a Wenger choice maybe Flammini who left on a free. Same as Sanderos. Clichy a defensive liability anyone can see.

      Meanwhile apart from Nasri noone of any quality has been signed. Yeah he might be a Chairmans or shareholders dream for making the club money - and I blame them as well for Arsenals demise

      The club has gone backwards and is fighting for fourth place.

    • But once again Chris, I wanted this question to have nothing to do with his off-field decisions. We have all gone over those ad infinitum on this board and I have been as critical as anyone about the decisions he has made as far as bringing people in
      (or not) and letting people go.

      Let's all agree he hasnt covered himself in glory in that respect.

      I am simply talking about the players we have this season, the things that have happened, the injuries, the self-inflicted wounds (Gallas), the loss of form of key players (Cesc, Clichy, Toure).

      Given all that, I think it is hard to say that AW has lost anything as far as his actual match management is concerned. I think it was Swerve who made me think about this, because he said something about "who else could have gotten anything out of this squad' or something to that effect.

      AW is at fault for the squad being in the state it is. But no one else (perhaps even SAF) could have gotten as much out of limited and inexperienced resources as AW has this season.

    • Yes but Paul this is the problem.

      He has perfected the art of being thereabouts on a budget, and no-one can argue that.

      But he always fallen short in the real 2 achievements a great manager can point to.

      1. Retaining the title.

      2. Winning the Champions League (mighty mighty close though).

      And THIS is why he pisses me off!

      He has always been capable of doing it, and in the years to come people will ask why it never happened.

      The man likes to handicap himself and shove his principles in other people's faces.

      You could also argue that his man-management hasn't worked when players leave and let their contracts run down.

      And to be honest this season he is hanging by a thread in terms of what he can get out of this squad.

      They might scrape the CL or miss it completely and this is simply negligence.

    • Sorry Paul I will have to agree with Swerve in this one and I rarely agree with his views...where we are right now is solely AW fault...

      Regardless of whether he has made the best of a bad situation or not.....really does not impress me...infact I have not been impressed by our play or results this season...all very mediorcre and if at all lucky in some...

      Yes we really are where we are out of luck!!..albieit weve also had some bad luck!!

      I just can't bring myself to give AW any credit because I believe he did not have to break the bank to improve the squad ...if he had improved the squad in the summer we will not be in limbo as we are right now....

    • But all those things you mention have to do with transfer activity or the business of the club, or past seasons.

      I am talking about this season, completely ignoring the fact that he should have strengthened (you know I agree with you on that).

      Could any other manager have gotten this squad playing any better? That is the question. Has AW ever done a better job simply as a coach? I actually thought it was a pretty easy question.

    • I see what you say and to some extend he has done well with his matchday preps at the same time he has not excelled either IMO.

      To his own admission (more or less) there were a few a games where this team just did not show up and appeared unmotivated. This lead to needless poor results.

      More importantly the frustrating part is that the manages job is also to assemble a team so t strip out some core tasks and ignore them does not allow for a fair evaluation of the overall job.

      Flamini, Hleb, Diarra, Gilberto he allowed to leave. Massive mistake.

      Rosicky - he knew was an injury liability yet he did nothing to address it. This mistake was magnified by the letting go of the above four players.

      Eduardo - It was always going to be a question of when he would would come back and if he would ever be able to reach his previous level. I don't remember ever reading any articles suggesting he would be available during the first half of the season.

      So although I agree with you that his match day performance have perhaps not been our greatest down fall, the fact he has not been able to put together a squad capable of challenging for the PL, and he has had years to do so, makes me think he does not know what it takes.

      We were not exactly running teams over even when we did have Walcott and Sesc.

      So to call AW magnificent is a bit like calling a kid with a high IQ who does not do his home work and fails his exams, a smart kid.
      What does it mean?

      • 2 Replies to Govinda
      • well atm wenger isnt looking magnificent, i am big arsenal fan, but clearly we cant blame the guy with arsenals form atm cause of the things he has done for the club, but he should know that every club receives injuries, and he should know that every year for the past 4 years arsenal have been out of form cause of injuries, i knows its sad excuse using injuries for lack of arsenals form but wenger did not cover that weakness. and there times that wenger and arsenal should put away their arrogance because sometimes youth cannot overcome experience. teams like hull, villa, stoke have shown us this season. Wenger should use the money the board are giving him because arsenal fans are really getting tired of the beautiful football and are going no where. it is sad to say, i watch them every week and i feel that there are a lot of grounds to cover, but were still in it for the title, its football shit can happen. GUNNERS ! ! !

      • In the last few years watching Arsenal play has been a joy even though they finished third and fourth only. They have by far played the most eye catching football in the premiership, for which I had been happy with Arsenal despite the lack of trophies.

        But this season they hardly create chances in a game. Our defense is comical. We lost 0-2 at home against Aston Villa and 3-0 to a relegation battling side, not to mention the other humbling defeats against weaker opposition, and you say that Wenger has been Magnificent this season. And this you say from the training ground and match day preparations perspective. Most of the problems that we have suffered as you stated are the one's that have been created by Wenger.

        Speaking about how he has done with the transfers, it was astonishing to see him let go off hleb, flamini, gilberto, diarra and senderos one after the other. Forget about him replacing these guys, but why did he let so many players leave all at once. And now he goes out to sign players who either don't want to play for us or those whom he will not pay up for.

    • Hi Paul,

      I think you are probably right in what you are saying but, it's a bit like congratulating Gordon Brown on his managing of the economy when it was his inaction that got us there in the first place.

      To use another analogy - Arsenal are like a beautiful big red bus - Arsene has painted it and it looks wonderful; the interia is clean and everybody wants a ride. The only problem is we don't have any fuel because we haven't replaced it when it ran out and our bus driver (Cesc) has gone on sick leave for four months and nobody thought about a replacement.

      Don't get me wrong I don't blame AW - this whole thing went off the rails the day David Dein left and AW is not an expert in the bits that need putting right.

      As I say I think your probably right but, it's really clutching at straws.

      • 1 Reply to MATTHEW
      • So you see Paul most of the guys here find it hard to see beyond where we are at the mo ....regardless of how fantastic he has has been this season this season in making the best of the bad situation...

        Infact we are lucky to be where we are at the mo we have not really dominated any games which was what we have been known for in the last few years...Liverpool played us off the park at the emirates till we were down to 10 men I can not remember when was the last time that had happenned....we looked shaky even against teams fighting relegation......in a lot of ways this season it has felt like we were fighting relegation ourselves...

        I wonder if all the problems of players leaving en-masse last season would have happenned if Dein had still been here.....maybe we do need another footballing person to help AW with that side of the buisiness.....AW biggest mistake of all was Diarra ....letting him go in Jan when Flamini had not signed a contract....poor judgement...somehow I get the feeling this is likely going to continue.....maybe getting a new Dein would prove the greatest signing of all...!!

    • Well no no-one else could.

      But you can't take aspects of s job done well and isolate them when talking about a man's achievements overall.

      It's all part of the same.

    • I always say to people to think before they reply to any question.
      Paul c's question was simple and deserves a simple answer.when you consider all the problems the team has faced,you can say that it is an achievement to still be within 8 points of the lead.
      The fact that Paul excluded the transfer policy and the running of the club in his post, makes this post even more interesting as long as you chanel your argument in the right tangent.
      Even though Paul c admitted at the end that we all criticise AW for other things,yet people decided to criticise him for the same other things and ignored the point of the post.

    • Good thread Paul.

      It's a managerial masterstroke by Wenger to even got us right in the mix of a title race with some faint hopes of winning it given the misfortunes which this team has suffered.

      We would have find ourselves in the midst of a messy relegation scrap even before the festive Xmas period if we're unlucky to be coached by many "cheque-book" managers including Fergie. Only Wenger can get the best consistently from this lot and it's a real achievement by the man to have finished in the top 4 in the last 3 seasons when one considers the prevailing environmental constraints he had to operate in.

      In my humble opinion Wenger is defo a "Magnificent" coach.

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