By Walter Broeckx
So let us suppose the board give in to the pressure from some part of the Arsenal fan base and sack the manager today.
What is the main criticism I read about Wenger:
- He knows nothing about tactics
- He will not buy players we need
The first one is something that mostly is said by people who haven’t proven anything about their knowledge of tactics. Unless of course going on the internet and juggling around with all kinds of terms and formations makes you a specialist.
Anyone can produce any type of formation on paper as long as you can count to 10. But being able to do this doesn’t make you fit enough to be a professional football manager. On the computer it is enough. On the real playing field outside: no.
Why do you think in almost all leagues in Europe nowadays it is required that a football manager has a certain degree? They have to follow all kinds of courses, do trainings, to exams and then you can say you can manage a team. As far as I know Wenger has a managerial degree since 1981. So he must know something about tactics. And if you look at his career it sure does seems that he must know a bit about tactics.
In his managerial career he has won 4 league titles and won 11 cup finals. Now do you really think that he would have won them and wouldn’t have a clue about tactics? He sure must have the biggest rabbit’s foot in the world. (Dutch expression – meaning having all the luck in the world). The fact that he managed a team through a whole season unbeaten in the PL, the fact that he in fact changed tactics during the years must mean that he knows something about tactics.
And certainly when you look at the fact that Real Madrid has been trying to get Wenger to their club on a few occasions. The fact that now once again rumours saying that PSG wants to pay him 30M to come to their club and to manage them. Surely those people from top clubs in their country must know that he knows a few things about managing a football team. Or are they dumb? And are those on the internet claiming that Wenger knows f*ck all about tactics much smarter? Well allow me to doubt this.
So this criticism about Wenger not knowing anything about tactics is ridiculous. Unless of course you play football manager 2012 or Fifa2013 or whatever it is called these days.
Next thing is buying players. Of course if you look at the what the media makes of Wenger his words you can sometimes wonder. But when I compare the words spoken on arsenal.com with the words put in his mouth by some part of the media I see completely different things. Now of course it could be that as a person who is not a native speaker of English could misunderstand some things. Or could it be that Wenger being French uses other expressions that are more accustomed to the French language and do sound a bit different in English?
And so perhaps the media tries to turn those words in something different than Wenger intended. Like his words about the squad being good enough. Well I also do think the squad should be good enough. Not to win the league. I think we are missing one player. A player that wanted to leave at all cost. With him I think we would be where United is now.
And even after those two defeats I still think the team is good enough for a place in the top 4. The second half against both City and Chelsea gave me the impression that when the team really goes for it without any handbrakes on they can win from any team. Just have to find a way to get that handbrake off.
But Wenger also has said that he wants to bring more players to the club. But only when they will improve the team. Do we want another wrong buy? Do we want another Chamakh? Do we want another Squilacci? Well I think Wenger also doesn’t want another of those. So if we have the choice of buying another Chamakh/Squilacci do you think he should go for it and spend his money on those players?
I understand that Wenger only wants to buy a player of whom he is 95% sure he will add something to the team. And yes even then it could go wrong. You don’t have any certainties when working with human beings. I think Wenger his track record is rather good when it comes to buying players. How many times in the last 7 seasons have fans moaned about Wenger having bought Van Persie. During his injury years and when he signed a new deal many were up in arms that Wenger spend money on this always injured player. Wenger knew why. And so do all of us by now. Of course Wenger couldn’t foresee that he would be an ungrateful **** after all the time and money spend on him. That is part of those 5%.
But would a new manager be able to spend lots of money on new players. People claim that Gazidis said he could spend 35M. He never said something like that to me to be honest. And if you have a link to arsenal.com saying so I would be happy to read it. But those 35M, well that is one top player and than the money is gone. Would I mind spending him that money? NO. I wouldn’t mind spending that money at all. But we have to keep in mind that this money is the result of years of saving up money. And it could be gone in one second. With all the kicking again allowed by the refs in recent games against our players it could be that a new player could be out for 1 season.
Now of course we could go out and buy all the Remy’s, the M’Villa’s the Mbyia’s from France that are linked to us. Most of us don’t know them in fact but let that be no problem for buying them. Maybe those players could offer something extra to QPR. Or to Newcastle. As those clubs are trying to buy each and every player that has been linked to us. Leaving our fans moaning about another missed player. And when one of them scores in his first game, the moaning gets even bigger. But let us wait till the end of the season to see if they are a real success. Remember Chamakh and the start of his Arsenal career? One swallow doesn’t make a spring
And the final problem: will a club sell one of their stars to Arsenal at this time of the season? Let us look at the big names that are mentioned in the media: If you would be president of Naples would you sell Cavani now? If you would be president of Dortmund would you sell Gotze right now? If you would be president of Everton would you sell Fellaini right now?
Do those players want to leave their club right now?
The only way such a big player can come is when both he and his club agree on such a move. If they don’t want it, then it is impossible to buy them. And that is something that stays the same whoever our manager might be. And that will not change if we change our manager.