By Tony Attwood
I estimated about 300 gathered on and around the roundabout by the Armoury before the game – about one third of one percent of the crowd. At the end there was booing, which is harder to estimate in numbers.
The comments are that at least George Graham won us things. Actually it did remind me a bit of 1997 when we came 12th in the league, were knocked out of the cup in the 3rd round by Millwall. The only hope came in the European Cup winners cup final, and you know what happened there.
The game yesterday started with a 35 pass movement from Arsenal – no Swansea player got near the ball. The trouble was it didn’t do anything.
After the game the media asked, did Swansea deserve to win? “Yes,” said Mr Wenger. “It is very frustrating but it is the truth.”
Of the boos he said, “I can understand that.”
So what do all the people who booed want? Wenger out? That’s the popular cry, but who would replace him? Pep Guardiola? Seems unlikely he would want to manage a team that has supporters who boo and jeer their own side and organise protest marches. And although he had a sensational 72% winning record in Spain as a manager he managed in a two team league.
Who else? Had Wenger gone earlier we could have ended up with Benitez, which would have been enough for me to reduce my attendance at every matches to occasional games, and a failure to renew the ticket. But that was the man in the market place.
Supposedly there was a mutiny in the AGM. Well, actually no – and I can say as I was there. The AGM saw around 7% of the shareholders vote against the re-election of members of the board. 93% voted in favour. But supposing we had had not a vote by shareholder numbers but a situation like Chelsea in which the owner can do what he likes. Mr Wenger would have gone long ago, to be replaced by…
well ultimately Rafa Benitez.
The fact is that just as Chelsea can’t find themselves the right manager, so if Arsenal sacked Mr Wenger Arsenal couldn’t either. It is not the case of a manager who can spend billions and bring in the right players. It is the fact that we are entering the era of FFP and the Premier League’s own restrictions on players, and as matters stand Chelsea, despite last year’s profit, will not qualify, nor will Manchester City.
Why should we take ourselves down the route of non-qualification just at the moment the new regulations come in? It really doesn’t seem to make any sense.
I genuinely don’t know if there is a managerial solution to the problem – it is more a problem with the players somehow losing their way, being unable to find killer balls, being unable to play in the way we have become used to in the last decade.
And I don’t know why. May if you know, and you know how to put it right, you’d like to take over some modest size local team, get them up through a few leagues, be noticed, get taken on by a first division club, and get them promoted and then get the job at Arsenal. Or come to that anywhere else.
As the figures show, Mr Wenger has been our most successful manager ever, excluding the Joe Shaw (who managed half a season) and a handful of guys who managed the club for just a few games. To see such an inept performance from our team was thoroughly depressing. What we do about it I don’t know in terms of practical achievement. I am just glad we are not Chelsea, did not sack the manager a few weeks ago and did not appoint Benitez. That, I think, would have been too much.
- Arsenal v Leicester: comparing the form, and the goalscorers
- Arsenal v Leicester: how will the ref handle Leicester’s mulitple tackling?
- What sort of referee is Darren England? The statistics reveal some odd facts.
- Premier League 2022/23 – Matchweek 2 Refereeing matters
- Are we all really sure that no other club behaves like Barcelona?