By Avenell Dave
The problem with success is that it raises expectations.
The cynicism that met Arsene Wenger’s arrival at Arsenal swiftly turned into reverence as he won the Double in his first full season.
His training methods have been revered across the world, as has his ability to uncover world class talent before it costs a fortune and polish rough diamonds into gems.
Arsenal have won three titles during his tenure and a number of Cups, even though they have taken the domestic cup competitions too lightly in recent seasons.
Some of the football Arsenal play is spoken about as amongst the best on the planet and we have a crop of youngsters coming through who could dominate for a decade.
But when standards slip, when inadequacies are not addressed, for whatever reason, it doesn’t take long for the critics to come out.
I have a season ticket for Arsenal which costs me a lot of money and I have been going for more than 30 years, seeing the good, the bad and the ugly.
I was furious last night at how lacklustre and heartless our performance was in Braga and Arsene Wenger’s assertion that this is the best squad he has ever is quite frankly laughable.
Our defending has been shocking for years, we have no leaders and Cesc Fabregas is our only truly world class player – for those who think RvP or AA23 are top class, just look at how consistent they are or how often they stay fit in the Dutchman’s case.
It’s easy to say that we should sack Wenger but let’s get some perspective.
While we all become frustrated at the problems not being addressed, the fact that we are still CLOSE to being a world class team is a testament to Wenger’s talents, particularly given the financial constraints he is under.
We reach the Champions League every year and hoping to win the title is not a pipe dream – it’s a possibility at the start of each season. Try being Liverpool.
The REAL problem is that every reign of every leader eventually runs out of steam, whether they are a football manager, the leader of a multi-national company or indeed a Prime Minister.
Wenger has just signed a new contract and will not resign nor break it to join another club – that is simply not his way.
He still has much to offer, I believe.
But while every single other club in the country has had a change of manager or coaches during the last 13 years, Arsenal’s backroom has remained completely the same.
Apart from a brief and very effective spell by Martin Keown training the defenders, we have not had any change in personnel.
I have no idea what Boro Primorac does and Pat Rice, Arsenal legend as he is, seems to be no more than a cone man.
Great leaders have to listen to their assistants and whether Wenger does that or not, I do not know.
But in order for any regime not to stagnate, it needs fresh ideas, fresh impetus, renewed enthusiasm and that only comes from bringing in new coaches.
I don’t know if Martin Keown would want to give up his media career and Tony Adams has shown himself to be a few spokes short of a wheel at times, but with all Wenger’s contacts, I’m sure he must know quality coaches who can come in and assist the team.
Let’s be honest, Wenger creates teams with flair and panache but when that system fails, grinding out results, beating teams regardless of their play-acting and time-wasting as we saw last night, sometimes requires a different approach.
No manager can be all things all of the time and actually, how much more respect would we have for Le Boss if he held his hands up and brought in someone else to assist him and turn this squad of great potential into real winners?