Is Wenger to blame for Arsenal's deficiencies or the board?

By Avenell Dave

Fate has a funny way of creating awkward situations.

I suspect the Arsenal board and Arsene Wenger could do without the AGM this morning. Who can blame them?

Two defeats in two games, three in five games and hardly a shot in anger mustered at opposition goalkeepers.

A season that started so promisingly is now reverting to one of humiliation, frustration and indignation.

Those of us who didn't have season tickets bought the dream of becoming a superpower, competing with Europe's biggest and best.

We're rightly proud of our home but nothing else has gone right since we moved from Highbury to the Emirates.

We sell our best players every summer, we lose key players through injury for extended spells and we continually fall into the category of also-rans lacking the trophies or even the finals that our team should be comepting for.

We can point the finger at limiting, miserly long term commercial deals, at the uber-wealth brought in by Sheikhs or Oligarchs and some bad luck, but let's be honest, it's tough being an Arsenal fan these days.

I didn't expect us to lose last night but I did get a feeling that the side was set up to draw rather than win.

Schalke were set up in a way that stifled our midfield and our attack and let's be honest, they had enough chances to have won the game twice over.

I would have loved us to sign Ibrahim Affellay in the summer and Lewis Holtby, the Scouser who plays for Germany, was also superb.

There were cheers when Gervinho went off - and he was particularly frustrating - but at least he tried. What did Lukas Podolski do all game? A lot less, I would say.

Yes, Santos, Ramsey and Mannone had poor games again, Arteta looked tired and the fact that we hardly created a chance suggests we seriously need to look at what is going wrong.

But we are down to the bare bones, hence having no one on the bench but Giroud who should honestly be near the first team.

Some fans will castigate our continually extensive injury list.

Others will lament not bringing in quality players in the summer to supplement the squad and replace what we have sold. No one can deny we always seem to be a couple of players short of what we need to win things.

The fact is, all teams suffer with big injury lists. Just look at M*nure playing Carrick at centre back this week because of a lack of suitable cover for Ferdinand.

Sadly, too many of the Twitter generation can remember nothing apart from the Wenger years.

They don't realise the challenges of competing with clubs who have unlimited funds.

And they think we have a divine right to win.

There is talk from some 'in-the-know' experts who say the club is geared to provide bonuses for the manager and chief executive, ignoring the fact that win bonuses tend to be bigger than profit bonuses.

So many want Wenger out, failing to provide any reasonable alternative to a manager working under heavy constraints.

Some of the so-called voices of the fans claim we always have £70m burning a hole in our pocket, which would probably buy two players plus salaries and signing on fees. But they never offer any viable suggestions of who we should buy.

Listen, I'm not saying for one moment that Arsene Wenger is beyond criticism. Is anyone? Do you do your job perfectly every day? No, I thought not.

But it IS right that we get frustrated and angry at poor performances, whatever the circumstances.

The board have questions to answer.

We have appointed a huge commercial team and while the kit and sponsor deals cannot be renewed for 18 months, what of the raft of other sponsors Ivan Gazidis said we were going after in order to compete with the likes of M*nure who have 44 sponsors to our 10?

Why does Stan Kroenke never speak to the fans and share his vision? What discernible benefit has he brought to the club?

Why not take advantage of a cash injection to make us competitive if Alisher Usmanov's public declarations are true, before FFP kicks in?

How can we claim to compete when we never seem to buy players as good as those we sell.

Why don't we build a team, a squad, rather than hope that some of the young players come through and keep us going on an endless cycle of nurture and sell.

Why are our ticket prices so high when we don't seem to invest sufficiently in the squad?

So criticise Wenger all you like for not always getting it right but surely the board have questions to answer too.

All is not well at Arsenal and hasn't been for some time.

We can get angry, we can scrap with our fellow supporters, as I read happened last night, but in the end, victory comes through harmony.