Open Letter to Arsenal After the Club’s Defeat Against Dortmund
Football is such a fascinating sport.
When things are going your way with your favorite team recording victories, all flaws are swept under the carpet and everyone is all peachy’ and creamy’. When your team draws a match, there are always mixed opinions but then again, it depends on the circumstances surrounding the draw. While you would regard Arsenal’s draw against Leicester to be disappointing, Arsenal’s draw against Manchester City was a relief, because things could have been a lot worse.
However, when your favorite team loses, all Hell breaks loose and you’d see a 1,001 Arsene Wengers surfacing on several social media networking platforms sharing their views on how the manager could have set things up and the whole nine yards.
That’s where a guy like Anayo Alexander Nwosu comes in. Simply known as @K_Sturna on Twitter, Anayo is a very passionate Arsenal fan that has been supporting the club since the days Merlin was the Chief Wizard at Camelot. In the wake of Arsenal’s disappointing performance against Dortmund, this fan has shared his thoughts and I would love my readers to get a feel of his open letter to the club.
You have a big problem right now and Arsene Wenger is 60% of that problem, whether you agree with me or not. Maybe it’s when we get knocked out from the top four come May our eyes would be opened clearly to see how things are panning out at the club.
Arsene Wenger as they say, is a genius. When he drops a quote, they’d say he’s the most intelligent coach in world football. Yes, he can manage resources and I can say that no other coach in the world might have been able to go through what he did in the club’s move to a new stadium but on the pitch, Wenger has been found wanting.
I can’t blame young Hector Bellerin for getting his Champions League debut under such circumstances. It was his second senior match ever! That he should have been called upon for such a game is down to the manager. He was the one that chose not to improve the defense despite its glaring frailties. Even the poor ol’ Mikel Arteta didn’t pick himself. Wenger did. The French manager’s fundamental problem is his sentiment!
We needed a ‘hatchet’ holding midfielder that would have been vital to the team’s cause this season because of the way we attack. Wenger did not buy because of Arteta and Mathieu Flamini. You people say that Arteta has a great influence but he doesn’t lead by example on the pitch. Flamini is also finished and doesn’t deserve to be in the team. Mikel Arteta at his current age will not make the bench of the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea or even the new-look Manchester United. But in Arsenal, he plays on a consistent basis even to the point when fatigue takes his toll and he get’s injured.
Can you imagine having only three central defenders in the team and their replacement is also the second choice right back? Sometimes I question Wenger’s ambition but at the same time, I don’t blame him. If a man knows that he’s allowed to behave anyhow he likes in his workplace, he can just come to work, sleep and won’t be productive but at the end of the month, he gets his salary and even a pay rise! What would you expect from that kind of a person? He won’t do anything because there’s no pressure on him.
It’s glaring that Mesut Ozil is going through a phase and he’s in a run of dismal form yet Wenger chose to play him in front of a 19-year-old inexperienced right back. Tomas Rosicky would have been the perfect alternative because with his energy and work rate, he would have offered protection to Bellerin, something Ozil couldn’t do all game long. When Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came late on, there was a moment where he tracked back (into Bellerin’s position) and made a sliding challenge on Henrikh Mkhitaryan to block a shot that would probably have gone in. Would Ozil have done this? Dortmund is renowned for closing their opponents down but at Arsenal, it’s just Alexis (he learned this from his time at FC Barcelona) and Ramsey that close down for us. See the first goal we conceded and observe Jack Wilshere’s body language.
How many passes did we misplace today? Since this season began, we have struggled with our intricate, crisp and accurate passing play. What happened to the way we do things? The Arsenal way we have come to love and cherish?
When you know what you need, as a manager with the financial backing Arsenal has, you should go for it. Jurgen Klopp lost Mario Gotze and replaced him with Henrikh Mkhitaryan. He lost a predator in the form of Robert Lewandowski and replaced him with Ciro Immobile and Adrian Ramos. This Dortmund team is the weakest we have ever played – there was no Marco Reus, Kuba, Matts Hummels, Shinji Kagawa, Lukasz Piszczek and Ilkay Gundogan but Arsenal failed to turn up.
I don’t know what the players do during their training sessions but I must confess that Arsenal’s ‘big-game’ mentality is horribly poor. Wenger just doesn’t know how to prepare his boys for the so-called big games. I’m praying to have an engagement that would make me the game against Chelsea in Stamford Bridge next month because I have a hunch of what the outcome might just be – Arsenal going there “4 – nothing”.
Arsene Wenger is too stubborn. He knows when some things aren’t working out for him but he keeps trying them for reasons best known to him. Heck, he doesn’t even watch our opponents before the match because he says it’s ‘not necessary’, that we should concentrate on our own game. He will only wait when its almost too late to remove a player that is below-par. Halftime subs aren’t in his lexicon except when the player is probably injured. This game needed an Ox or a Rosicky right from the start of the second half. One must wonder what Rosicky has to do to play for us this season.
Under normal circumstances, Ramsey and Ozil are meant to be on the bench in the game against Aston Villa with any two from Rosicky/Cazorla/Ox taking their places. But who am I? Just a fan right? Counter attacks have been our biggest problem since 1759, and shockingly, we still haven’t resolved it. We have pace in the form of Alexis, Welbeck and the Ox, yet we can’t even utilize it. See how Immobile and Aubameyang used their pace to devastating effect against us. We are waiting for Theo Walcott to return from a lengthy layoff before we begin to fly.
We sold Alex Song and converted a central midfielder to a holding midfielder. A classic case of a convincing an aging square peg that it can fill a round hole.
The only constant thing in life is change and Arsenal needs it, whether it’s in personnel or methodology. Either ways I’m up for it.
Anayo Nwosu, a passionate fan.
You can follow Anayo Nwosu on Twitter with his handle @K_Sturna
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