Malcolm Dawson writes…..M. Salut’s daughter Nathalie despite being well brought up is a Liverpool fan! However, she takes an interest in all things footy related and today reflects upon the murmurings in North London directed at the Premier League’s longest serving manager. Here’s what she thinks about the calls for Wenger’s head.
So once again we have to hear the bleating from the Arsenal fans and the media about how Arsene Wenger needs to go at the end of the season, how he spends no money in the transfer window and how they “fail” every year.
My dad says he would love to have the kind of failure Arsenal have had.
I get that Arsenal have an issue whereby every single season they start off strongly and are touted as potential winners, only to go on a dismal run of results in the second half of the season. This does happen a lot to Arsenal and I suspect this is down to his squad size. He is notoriously “tight” in the transfer market and Arsenal never appear to have a big squad so they suffer for this as the season draws on. But look at the bigger picture.
Arsenal have, for the last 20 years, qualified for a Champions League spot every single season without fail – and with that smaller squad. They have won the Premier League twice and the FA Cup 5 times, most recently in 2015 and have done this quietly, while the other supposedly “big four” (or “big six” as it may be now) have been falling over themselves, dropping in and out each year. That in itself is an achievement of which I am sure the likes of Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City would be proud.
I understand the feeling that it is time to push on and challenge for the title but haven’t they been doing that for the past few years? Arsenal haven’t won but they have been up there challenging. All that they probably need is not a change in manager but one or two more quality signings to help push them over the line.
It annoys me when I hear fans call for Wenger’s head. The phrase “be careful what you wish for” comes to mind because I strongly suspect when he leaves Arsenal may find themselves on a bit of a downwards spiral in the same way that Man Utd did when Sir Alex Ferguson left. Even at the weekend, watching Match of The Day after Arsenal had won, one of the pundits, Ian Wright, was still claiming that he believed it would be Wenger’s last season and the team were still criticised. It left me, a Liverpool fan, whose side has recently lost to Hull, Swansea, Southampton and Wolves, scratching my head.
In general, today’s managers aren’t given enough time which is a bit of a bug bear of mine. Some managers are very good at bringing instant success like Mourinho, but the success seems to tail off after a couple of seasons. And some managers are better at bringing in success after a bit of time like Sir Alex Ferguson. I do think club chairmen could benefit with a bit of patience. I think Sunderland have been patient with Moyes. He is a good manager as he showed at Everton, and was treated unfairly at Man Utd. Hopefully he can engineer another miraculous relegation escape for the Black Cats and keep dad smiling.