By Walter Broeckx
The five last second memory of football fans is something I have mentioned before in my articles. It is about judging a manager or a player on their last match result, their last pass, their last missed chance or their last goal.
If the striker scores he is god. If he missed, the same person is a miserable player who should be sold as soon as possible.
I remember that when our title chase broke down Untold was flooded by people who claimed to be Arsenal fans but whose main contribution was to tell us how rubbish all our players was and to tell us how rubbish our manager was.
Klopp was the real deal they said. But what has Liverpool won under Klopp? Nothing. When Klopp was appointed they were in 10th place level on points with Southampton. At the end of the season they finished in 8th place and Southampton finished in 5th place.
Now of course the excuse is that Klopp had to do it with the players he didn’t bought. But well… were there not many people around drooling over the wonderful players Liverpool! had bought the previous summer window transfer? Indeed many “Arsenal supporters” shouted out loud we should buy Benteke.
Or the rest of those wonderfully expensive transfer deals they did. When they bought them a part of the Gooner world was envious about the way Liverpool! did their transfers. That was the way to do it. Apart from losing two finals (so yes they were “competing” although that doesn’t count when Arsenal “competes”) they finished mid-table and will have no European football.
So you hardly see him being named again for the moment but I can promise you that if he manages to take a point from Arsenal next season the same people will tout him again as the best thing to replace Wenger.
Another name that was praised in to high heavens was the manager of our beloved neighbours. Mauricio Roberto Pochettino Trossero is his full name. Some even called him Poch. As Tottenham supporters did before May 18.
Oh I still can remember the way some praised them for the way they fought (you can take that literally) on the field. That is how Arsenal should do it. Forgetting that if Arsenal players would even think of playing like that in an aggressive way they would have been booked and sent off before we knew what happened.
According to the media two Arsenal player were let off the hook during the season by not getting sent off. Coquelin at Palace and Flamini at Bournemouth. I still remember it, as the outrage in the media on the day and the days and weeks after was amazing. I think people still see this as the biggest errors of the season because of the outrage that followed. Compare this with the silence that surrounded the not sending off from Dier in our game against them. Hardly a word.
But it is a fact we cannot play like they did during the season or we would be a man down each match.
The way they praised Pochettino over the last 10 weeks or so was as if they were tottenham supporters themselves. Everything Pochettino did was way better than what Wenger did.
That was the way to do it. That was the manager who we should get. Bring in his tactical genius. Bring in his way of getting the players to fight for every ball all over the field.
Those of us who suggested it might be a good idea to wait a bit till the season was really over were covered in the mud thrown at them for daring to question Pochettino and daring to defend Wenger.
Well the final table looks now rather silly for them. Because who finished higher of Wenger and Pochettino? Yes, it was our own Wenger who came higher in the end. Much to our delight of course. Maybe not to those who wanted Wenger out and wanted him replaced by Poch.
But the truth is that Pochettino just as all the other tiny totts managers before had to bow his head to Wenger. Tottenham fell apart and there was nothing Pochettino could do about it. Once they lost a player the whole house tumbled down. Once they lost two players the whole stadium collapsed one could say.
When Arsenal lost three of their most important players for up to five months it was Wenger’s fault. Despite two of the three injuries being contact injuries and one was the result of being pushed in a pit. Yes teams can suffer from losing players. The tiny totts hadn’t suffered a lot of injuries or had seen banned players before the last weeks of the season.
So it has gone rather silent now on naming Pochettino as the better manager between him and Wenger. In fact for in all the seasons he has been in the PL it was always Wenger who finished higher than Pochettino. Yes we may have lost a few matches against him but that is five second thinking. We lose a match, so we must get that manager in. Come to think of it… we should have had Pulis managing us and learning us how to take long throw ins.
What I have learned once again this season is that matches can be won or lost. But a lost match is just that. One match. It is the long run that matters. And instead of going bonkers after a defeat it is better to focus on the next match and try to lift the club, team and players for that match and try to win that match.
But to do this it takes us away from the five seconds memory that many have. You have to think in months even years an even seasons. And that is maybe a bit more difficult if you follow the media and social media and believe every word that is said about the last match. Look at the bigger picture is what I have been saying for years. And it really is helpful to overcome setbacks. Look at the long run. Arsenal is not just for today. Arsenal is forever.
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