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How Long Do We Wait Before Having 'The Talk'?

How Long Do We Wait Before Having 'The Talk'?

Having a forced week away from Vital Arsenal left me hoping that upon my return I`ve be back to find a whole host of happy Gooners after our beloved Arsenal strung a nice run of results together after our humiliating 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford.

To be fair we threatened to do it too. A grinding result against Swansea, whilst not being exactly what we expected, 3 points won and we were away. A massive result in Dortmund, marred only slightly by a late spectacular equaliser that robbed us of what would have been an amazing win.

Unfortunately it wasn`t to last.

Conceding 4 goals away to Blackburn, in my opinion is at least as bad as, if not worse than, conceding 8 at Old Trafford. Against the Mancs we had massive injuries and key players missing against the Champions of England, at Blackburn, we weren`t far off full strength, against the bottom of the league side that offered very little in the way of an attack.

The players looked lost.

Let`s be fair, these are good players, maybe not as many world class players as we would like, but good players nonetheless. Players good enough to beat 80% of the teams in our league, at a guess. So why are we struggling so much?

A time has to come when we look at the manager.

Make no mistake, this is not an opinion I`m taking lightly, nor do I take any pleasure in my feelings unlike other sites and bloggers who seem to take some kind of "credit" for being proved right. I don`t like it, I don`t want to think it, in fact I feel dirty everytime the thought crosses my mind.

Arsene Wenger is the single greatest thing to happen to Arsenal Football Club, what he`s done and achieved will never be repeated and his legacy will last forever, however has the time come for us to try something new?

After the 8-2 loss against United, a few Arsenal players confirmed that nothing was said after the game, indeed it seems as though of late Wenger doesn`t offer any sage council during matches at all. I can`t even remember the last time I saw Wenger barking instructions from the touchlines. Of course the TV companies take great pleasure in broadcasting Wenger cutting a frustrated figure in the dugout, wanging bottles around whilst Pat Rice ducks and weaves to avoid the debris.

Since the devastating loss in the Carling Cup final, we`ve won a grand total of four out of our last 15 league games. There is only three teams with a worse record. Make no mistake, this is relegation form.

Can Wenger turn this around? I`m not so sure anymore.

Taboo subjects are often left untouched for a long time, with people feeling too uncomfortable to bring them up, but surely a time has to come when "that" talk needs to be had.

Is that time now? Can we afford to wait till the end of the season?

I don`t have any answers to my questions, just a very uneasy feeling in my stomach that no matter what we do, it`s going to feel like the wrong thing.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Tuesday September 20 2011
Time: 10:15AM


Ultimately, the manager has to take the flack. Everybody's tried to have their little voodoo dolls. But Almunia, Diaby, Squillaci, Denilson, Bendtner and Eboue have either been sold or are MIA and the results persist. All sorts of ideas are being tossed around- sack the board, get a defensive coach, get a new assistant, change the captain. Ultimately, what's apparent is that the manager can't get inside his players' heads at the moment. This has been a long old slump now. We've had results in that time that you felt should have been building blocks. But they ruin their good work by cocking the gun and sticking it squarely at their temple again. The propensity to suicide is what is truly alarming. That's a problem of mentality and one the manager hasn't been able to solve for 7 months now. I don't know what the answer is, but one man has to find it and quickly.
Little Dutch
20/09/2011 10:43:00
You see I've blocked out opinion of certain blogging sites over the past couple of years, it was easy to do, but when my own feelings and the feelings of sensible football fans like youself and Professor Calculous have slowly but surely been erroded away then it really makes me worry. This most certainly isn't a knee jerk reaction, at least on my part, it's been a gradual thing. I hate that it's come to this, Wenger doesn't deserve it.
20/09/2011 10:53:00
Wenger has shown that he is incapable of brining this team any further. His results since March, if they had been in a single season and not broken by the summer break, would be enough to get him sacked. He is massively underperforming and he cannot seem to do anything to change it. It is now at the stage where the problem has gone past Wenger and moved onto board level. They are the ones that have the difficult decision to make, not Wenger. I honeslty believe that when a manager (in football or in business) loses his people to this extent then there is sadly no going back. Its a terrible and sad end for a great manager but the longer teh board allow it to go on the greater the damage to the club and the sadder it will be for Wenger. Beyond league position, results and arguements about who we should have signed or sold the decent thing for the board to do is sack Wenger.
20/09/2011 11:02:00
While I agree that AW has underperformed since March this year it would be folly if the Board ask him to leave right now. Every player in the current first team has been brought to the club by AW, the training they receive is decided by him and the formation and tactics the team employs is down to him. If AW is asked to leave now, the vaccum in terms of player confidence, direction and motivation will be too great to fill and our results have a higher chance of suffering even further as there is no transfer window for a new manager to buy/ sell who he likes. At the end of the season if/ when we have failed to secure a top 4 place in the league, AW's position should be reviewed.
20/09/2011 11:20:00
"The training they receive is decided by him and the formation and tactics the team employs is down to him." - Some might believe that's part of the problem.
20/09/2011 11:24:00
Yes Rocky, that may be part of the problem but I dont think the club will benefit from a new manager changing the system when we are already in a precarious position. You would agree that a new formation, new tactics and a new training regime with our current team would need time to implement - its time we dont have.
20/09/2011 11:31:00
The counter argument to the that DF is that new manager syndrome can sometimes work, take Roy Hodgson at WBA last term for instance, the flipside being Shearer or Dowie taking over at Hull and Newcastle. I wouldnt trust this board to appoint the right person so no doubts for me that he stays, the worst that can happen is we miss out on CL football for the 1st time in 14 years.
20/09/2011 12:06:00
There has to come a point though when enough is enough. One might scoff at the mention of relegation, but our form would leave us in a relegation battle over the last half season or so. I bet Leeds fans never believed it could happen, but it can. Bolton up next who love taking points off us, and then Spurs. this could get uglier before we start to climb the table. I'm not saying we're going to get relegated, but we can't just assume we're going to pull ourselves out of the *****.
20/09/2011 12:38:00
Regarding changing the manager we need to ask ourselves do we think that Wenger can make things better and if not are we happy with the way we are now? If we dont think he can improve things then it is a question of if we are happy with the level of performance as is. If we are not and we dont think that Wenger can improve things then the sooner we make the change the better. I dont agree that the worst that can happen is missing out on 4th place. We can miss out on Europe all together and we then enter next summer with two big players (VanP and Theo) in a similar situation to Nasri was this summer. The change, should it be made, should be made sooner rather than later.
20/09/2011 12:46:00
and us Spurs fans are supposed to be fickle? There is no way Arsenal should sack Wenger. You're not going to get relegated. You'll miss Europe for a season or two. The ludicrous elements of the current financial market place have resulted in you having the guts ripped out of your midfield at the last moment, but as soon as the Financial Fair Play rules come into effect, those who attempt to buy success will discover their wallet has been stolen. What happened this summer was that you were forced into last minute panic buys and a criticism of Wenger is that he denied the inevitable and failed to act. It was obviously Fabregas was going for 2-3 years but why was no potential replacement purchased? If you look at the Manchester clubs they did their business early on in the summer, not at the last moment. And why did you release Thomas Cruise? Whilst he would never be a regular he'd give depth to your squad rather than have players played out of position. Regretably if you retain Wenger, I see you finishing in the top half again before being back in Champions League contention in 2012-13. After 15 years of comparative success, a poor start in the season, as you structure to restructive your team in the short term in no way warrants a ridiculous knee-jerk reaction.
20/09/2011 13:00:00
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