Arsène Wenger has never seen so much pressure from his own fans. His ability to manage this Arsenal team is being questioned, and according to some, he is losing his grip on the modern game. But is he the only one to blame?
The year 2006/07 saw a major introduction into the Arsenal unit. No, it wasn’t the Emirates, it was the introduction of 2 billionaires. One was a Russian called Usmanov, the other an American by the name of Kroenke.
Have a look at this. Arsène Wengers stats prior to Kroenke and Usmanov make fantastic reading:
Matches between 1996/06
Games: 615, 356 won, 144 drawn, 115 lost
57.8% won, 23.4 % drawn, 18.6% lost
Matches since Kroenke and Usmanov came in 2007/09
Games: 244, 140 won, 54 drawn, 50 lost
57.3% won, 22.1% drawn, 20.4% lost
Matches in the last 2 seasons between 2010/12
Games: 97, 53 won, 19 drawn, 25 lost
54.6% won, 19.5% drawn, 25.7% lost
As you can see, Arsène’s record as Arsenal manager has dropped in the last 6 seasons. But is that his fault? Or are the major shareholders to blame? Prior to 2007 and the arrival of Kroenke and Usmanov, Wenger sold players when he decided was best.
The likes of Overmars, Petit, Vieira, Ljungberg, Henry, Wiltord, Campbell etc were all moved on after we had seen their best years. Since the introduction of major shareholders, we have lost the likes of Flamini, Hleb, Clichy, Nasri, Toure, Adebayor and Fabregas, all at their peak.
Has Wenger had his hands tied, or as an Arsène supporter, am I clutching at straws? To be honest, until the club tell me something new, I may never know. But the reason I split the post Kroenke, Usmanov era in 2 is this: Fans are slating the club for a massive drop in form and ability over the last 2 seasons. Fans claim the club has been dumbed down in terms of ability and quality.
But do the stats REALLY show this? Yes, they have dipped slightly, but should a 3% swing in wins to losses really be deserving of the grief that Arsene is getting right now? Surely one of the reasons for this swing has to go down to the fact that this is probably the most competitive Premier League since it was launched.
There are now 7 teams fighting for a top 4 finish, and that doesn’t even include playing away games at Everton, Stoke and the like. And maybe the move to the Emirates has forced Arsene to look at options that he would have previously disregarded. Either way, if it came to a choice over Arsene, Kroenke and Usmanov, I know who I would rather have at this club.
Written by SlimGingerGooner