Arsene Wenger has oft been considered a shrewd manager, signing relative unknowns and transforming them into world class players. Up until 2006 these players gave everything to Arsenal to win trophies and only left when Wenger had no more use for them, Vieira, Henry, Ljungberg, Pires, Toure to name but a few that gave their best years to Arsenal.
Wenger is a man that lost his personal chequebook on a train out of Strasbourg some 30 years ago and decided it was easier to learn to live frugally than to swallow his pride, call his bank, admit that he made a mistake and pay the fine for the replacement chequebook. This frugal living became the norm for Mr Wenger, both personally and professionally. Traits he carried with him through the ranks in France and to the other side of the world to Japan and finally to North London when in October 1996 he put pen to paper on a contract with Arsenal Football Club. Some time between October 1996 and November 1996 his newly issued AFC chequebook found itself floating under Highbury, through the sewers of London and out into the Thames never to be seen again……
Now the season has ended and Arsenal have finished disappointingly fourth having been in the running for 4 trophies 10 weeks earlier and still in the title race just three weeks before many Gooners will be praying that Arsene’s lost chequebook will surface in time for some serious business to be done. Read more
It has to happen. Surely after watching his team capitulate over the past 10 weeks he must realise that his team isn’t good enough. 8/9 of his starting 11 could be a title winning team, unfortunately the other 2/3 players let the team down.
So, who needs to go? Every Arsenal fan in the country, no, the world, knows the answer to this. Lets examine the reasons why and who should be the replacement.
Reason: Just not good enough. Bad decision maker, lacks confidence, instills fear into his own defenders leading to defenders going for balls that the keeper should take, 2010/11 stats show him to be the worst shot stopper that has ever played in the premier league.
Replacement: Mark Schwarzer/Brad Friedel.
Reason: Steady hands. Experienced. Both have the potential to put in a season (or two) for Arsenal without holding back Szczesny’s development and status as first choice. Either would jump at the chance to play for Arsenal and both could potentially move into coaching. Arsenal need better coaches as much as they need players but I’ll come to that.
Reason: Too old to adapt to the English game. Why? He doesn’t have the speed to cope, can’t gain the speed and doesn’t have the experience of the English game to play without speed (like Terry, Carvalho, Hyppia etc to name a few slow pokes of the past 3/4 years).
Replacement: Chris Samba/Jagielka/Mertesacker
Reason: Samba is big, strong, fast, intelligent, good at attacking and defending set pieces and a natural leader, vocal at the back, excellent at marshalling a defence and instills confidence in his keeper. Everything that Arsenal need that Squillaci isn’t. Also, he is experienced in the premier league and has often denied Arsenal (with their so called best attack in the league). Jagielka is very experienced and versatile and would be a great addition. Mertesacker is a player that a few of my ex-pat friends rate really highly so I’ve watched him a few times. He is a master at position at just 25 years of age but is quite slow. I think he could adapt to the EPL quite well and his expert positioning and reading of the game would compensate for his lack of speed but with a price tag of £15-20m I doubt we’d go for him although there are reports we’ve had him watched. Read more