Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Arsenal 2010-2011 Season Review V
Arsene Wenger: F
At this point, I don't know who would argue with this grade. Just the players and Arsene Wenger himself. But with Arsenal's reputation, each trophy-less season should be seen as a failure. I have no idea why Wenger doesn't agree with that. However, I don't feel he should be sacked. Honestly, there's plenty to like about Wenger and I would give him another year or two (assuming he changes). I'll always admire and respect the way he feels the game should be played. It's certainly the most entertaining football in England. But after awhile, beautiful play must result in silverware. Six years without a trophy is too long of a wait...especially since he won two league titles in his first five years with the club.
In some respects, the team's problems are very obvious - we must spend during the upcoming transfer window, bringing in experienced players who play at a consistently high level. But I also feel that you cannot simply buy and expect things to change...though it would certainly provide a great start. Wenger must address his defensive philosophy. I've heard many commentators and former players criticizing the high-line in which the back four play with. We're often left vulnerable to counter attacks because our defenders are pushed up too high. It can be said that if you can beat the offside trap, you can beat Arsenal. A bigger concern, though, is our play during set-pieces. Often our players have mental lapses and forget to mark their men. This must be improved, and we need to start bringing in solid defenders who play tough in the box.
I'm sure if Wenger were completely honest, he would tell you that it doesn't matter if you concede goals, as long as you score more. This is a foolish stance because often teams will get a goal off of a set-piece against us and then just park the bus to get three points. The reason why a mediocre team like Manchester Untited (this year's version) won the league title and will possibly win Champion's League is because they don't concede goals. Their back four is extremely organized and tough to break down. This is Arsene's last chance to improve every aspect of Arsenal's defense. Again, I will give him a window of two years to do so. If the defense doesn't improve or we continue to come up short in the trophy department, then I'd be all for the introduction of a new manager...not sure who that would be, though.
I would hope that Le Professor has finally realized that his transfer/youth policy has failed by now (though I would never expect him to admit it publicly). We will not win a trophy with these players, Arsene. Bendtner, Rosicky, Denilson, Squillaci, and Almunia are all deadweight and need to be sold. I think we need something of a "clean house" approach to the team this summer. The psychologically of the team is clearly damaged, and the arrival of fresh blood would be most beneficial.
I want a trophy next season - preferably the Premier League Title. Both Manchester United and Chelsea aren't as good as they used to be, and I think Arsenal can win the league next year...assuming Wenger changes his transfer and defensive philosophies. We almost won the Carling Cup this - but both the players and the manager are to blame for that debacle. But even if we beat Birmingham at Wembley that day, I don't see how it would have changed much. Obviously, I would like us to win every trophy, but Arsenal should really be aiming for something greater. I want to see this side as a dominant team in the Premier League and a team that will be one of the favorites to win the Champions League. I know Wenger can make all of that possible. I just hope that he'll finally address the issues that have been haunting this team for the past six years.
I can't wait for the transfer window to open, but at the same time, I'm not going to get my hopes up. And if Arsenal haven't won a trophy this time next year, I'll be back here thinking about the next season. Arsenal till I die.