The wonderful result of the game against Manyoo last weekend has given a very welcome boost to the Arsenal fans’ morale, and allowed a certain justifiable smugness to permeate the air on Arsenal blogs — and not before time.
However it was not just the superb result that warmed the cockles of many a heart, it was also the way the team played and the captivating style of total football that was on show for all the world to see.
Where did this performance come from? Was it a one off? Will we treasure it and hold it to our manly chests as we quickly return to the old slip slop ways of yore?
Not if Arsene Wenger has his way!
Looking back for quite an extended period, we can see that there have been constant criticisms of Arsene for his dilatory decisions in not addressing the perceived weaknesses in the team last summer —
where is the desperately needed holding midfielder we need?
Many have asked that question, seemingly year on year, season on season to be truthful? There have also been anguished pleas for a top, top centre forward to be acquired. And while we are at it, why are our full backs encouraged to frequently desert their defensive duties and hare upfield in support of the attack?
On the face of it, the above appear to be a hotchpotch list of gripes that have resulted in the anger of the fans fulminating from time to time into outright animosity when results have not gone our way, and led to many despairing of Arsene ever changing his spots.
This suppurating anger of some fans has not been helped by Wenger appearing to refuse to explain his vision, his strategy and his tactics to us, or even to agree to be accountable to the fans according to some, and, if true, it is a pity as it would perhaps allow us to understand his apparent reluctance to caulk over the defensive and attacking holes in his team by buying suitably qualified players and addressing the issues.
Of course no one has satisfactorily explained why he should have to explain everything he does – that would make him a hostage to fortune.
However, Arsene, like many highly intelligent men when confronted with seemingly incomprehensible angst by others regarding what appears to him to be a straightforward situation, sometimes shows an inability to understand why there is even a problem, when his vision, motives and methodology are so obvious to him.
The answer to why he does certain things lies, I believe, in his vision of the beautiful game. Football, so he believes, is not broken down into the micro or macro analysis of defence and attack, he really does see the game as being one unified, flowing, seamless whole. To him there is no need to assign specific responsibilities to one type of player or the other, because the whole team need to be capable of defending and attacking as one smoothly efficient working unit.
Every Wenger team is expected to play in a certain way — his way — conforming to his vision, and to hell with worrying about the opposition. He wants to win, and win beautifully, by playing football as a form of art with each honed cog of the team working like a perfectly functioning and exquisite Rolex, or a Blequet or a Hublot watch, and stuff the Timex teams acceptable to the other clubs.
Therein lies the problem. Most fans want to win trophies to give them bragging rights, and it matters not to them if it was the result of a fluke deflection off someone’s ass, or a bad refereeing decision, or playing against 10 men or whatever advantage the Gods happen to throw at them.
A win is a win, is a win, innit?
But maybe Arsene needs to promote and explain his vision to the fans better, and to reassure them that he does indeed want to win trophies, and to win them in a style that would make them proud to support a club who foster such a vision of perfection — a vision of playing the beautiful game.
Arsene also needs to appreciate, although I know he does already, that every Rolex or Hublot needs to have the very best of materials to hit the amazingly high standards of perfection they aspire to, and so too does his Arsenal team.
Buying the very best players possible for his team, and leaving others to worry about the cost of doing so, is an essential requirement which not only will make his vision for beautiful football at Arsenal more achievable, but also marry up his desires with those of the loyal fans who crave success and would give their unstinting support to this magnificent project if they could see this in action.
There are very many of us who would love to see this man reach his visionary goal before he eventually retires, and not appear in the annals of history as just another footballing Don Quixote futilely tilting at windmills.
And not just for his sake, but also for the sakes of those of us who have supported Arsenal all our lives, and will do so until the end, but would love to thrust out our chests and brag ‘we saw Arsene Wenger, and the Invincibles team – and we also saw beautiful football from the New Warriors when we won the EPL and the Champions League!’
written by RA