Daily Archives: February 21, 2013
There’s this feeling that usually comes after a defeat and it’s more or less like a very bitter taste in the mouth.
In the case of a club like Arsenal, the timing of Wednesday’s defeat to Bayern wasn’t helped by the fact that the loss could signal another wait to end the trophy drought for another season at least.
A season that promised so much with the new signings as well as those clean sheets in a row has gone downhill ever since with the Gunners only motivation being a fourth place finish in the League. With a high possibility of leading the team to another trophy-less campaign, what does the future hold for Wenger?
Is Arsene Wenger’s run with Arsenal near its end? If you were to read recent reports, you would think that it was.
According to EuroSport News, Arsene “flipped his lid” during a press briefing for the squad’s Champions League match on Tuesday with Bayern Munich and told reporters that the reports of his signing a two-year deal was “bad information.”
The Telegraph reported that the boss was to be handed a new two-year deal with a fat transfer kitty of £70m, regardless of whether he qualifies for the Champions League or not.
I watched the bit where Arsene seemingly “flipped his lid” but that seemed like a mild bit of frustration on the part of the manager revolving around a question that had little to do with the upcoming match. However, his comments to the print media later were very interesting.
While speaking with the print media, Arsene went into a bit of a rant and there is some cause for concern. Here are his comments:
“I am sure you would miss me when I am gone. When we lose to Blackburn at home, I am not sure that is your first worry.
“My contract ends in 2014. I will have completed 30 years without interruption at top level. While I may not be quality, I have commitment for sure. One day I will give you the list (of clubs) I have not signed for and you will see that I am committed to this club.
“You can criticize me and say I’m a bad manager. I’d never come back to you on that. When you criticize (our position in the table) then it is true. I can only say I am sorry, you are right, we are far too far away from Manchester United.
“We are of course criticized for that, but we are not the only ones. Some clubs have invested more money than us for years and they are behind as well. We accept that kind of criticism. I just think that when I worked for 16 years in this country I expect a certain respect.”
Whether his comments to the pressers were hints of retirement remains to be seen. It definitely would be different seeing Arsenal without Wenger at the helm. He is similar to other great coaches in sport and is perhaps the one face everyone identifies as the face of the team even beyond the players.
The team’s official gaming partner Betsson and other corporate sponsors have only known Arsene as the team’s manager. When signing contracts with Arsenal, they know that the team is stable with management in place. Now that certainty and stability could indeed come into question if his comments have any meat to them.
I’ve read a couple of articles on the internet outlining a million and one reasons why Wenger should be sacked. Some dwelt on his stubbornness, lack of transfer activity, horrible starts to campaigns, his rigid tactics and many more reasons that best suited them.
I’m certainly no AKB (Arsene Knows Best) and I’m not a WOB (Wenger Out Bridage) as well. I love my club with my heart and irrespective of the decision the board makes with Wenger, my devotion and addiction to this club won’t flinch.
Wenger ushered in the good times in the start of his coaching career at Arsenal but the last eight years haven’t been fruitful with classic cases of what might have been,
- If Thierry Henry converted his chances against Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League final.
- If the club dealt with Didier Drogba in the 2007 Carling Cup final.
- If Tomas Rosicky and Mathieu Flamini didn’t suffer injuries in the title-chasing 2007/08 Premier League campaign.
- If we could have defeated Manchester United in the 2009 Champions League semifinals – I don’t think we would have beaten Barcelona though.
- If Wojciech Szczesny and Laurent Koscielny communicated better in the 89th minute of the 2011 Carling Cup final.
In the times of trial and tribulation, many players were quick to jump ship and sought greener pastures but the manager remained steadfast despite the fact that he was heavily linked with some teams – Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, the French National Side, just to name a few.
Unlike a faction of the fans that want the boss out, his players have stood by him and Thomas Vermaelen has stated that he’s still the best man for the job (via SkySports). Elsewhere Theo Walcott has urged his team to bounce back with a win against Aston Villa this weekend while Mikel Arteta has urged everyone to keep the faith.
The folks at the top have backed the manager as well.
Last season, Arsene Wenger labelled fourth place as a trophy and I’m very certain that every Arsenal fan would give anything to end the season in that position.
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