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Arsenal injuries, and maybe Mr Wenger wasn’t so awful after all…

By Bulldog Drummond

Here’s a novel twist:

Perhaps Wenger left Arsenal in better shape than some may have wanted to see. It is a widespread mistake to assume Emery’s early success with this team reflects poorly on his predecessor, just as the agonies of David Moyes should reflect well on Ferguson.

OK notice the opening language “better shape than some may have wanted to see.”  Not the writer of this piece.  Not his newspaper.  Never.   But some less straightforward writers and terrible rags.

In reality there is a case that Wenger’s lack of pot-hunting sense, his obsession with processes and financial caution, indeed many of the things that brought such frustration towards the end, may have been perfect for succession planning, the ideal gift to his successor.

Now note the “lack of pot-hunting sense”.  The man who has won the FA Cup more times than anyone else in the history of the competition, including the previous holder of the title who on occasion won the thing with his team playing just three matches.  The man who won the Cup the same number of times as Liverpool in their entire history.  Twice more than Manchester City in their entire history.  Just one man!

If it has been easy for Emery to pull the loose threads and produce a team who are, with a little luck, unbeaten in 19 games then this is in part because he inherited an environment where the basics were already in place. The facts might not tally with the idea of Wenger running Arsenal into the ground. In reality he left the club with a strong squad of players, a fine and profitable stadium, an excellent training ground, sound recruitment structure (not all his doing) and good spirit with an absence of destructive egos. Plus, of course, no strings to bind his successor, no looming presence in the stands, just room to breathe and build from a sound base.

At last someone who recognises that Mr Wenger did indeed just walk away from the club he had rescued and which he adored and which he left in good shape.  As we have said all along, it is just a case of filling in one or two bits in the away form.  I’m glad they agree

And finally

Wenger gave a first-team debut to 10 of the 13 outfield players who beat Spurs on Sunday. He signed the league’s top scorer, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose movement was a striking contrast with that of Harry Kane in his current mode, which involves spending a lot of time walking backwards, reaching out with his hands for someone to grapple and spin off, like a man in search of the bathroom light switch late at night.

Yes – recognition is slowly dawning.  It would be nicer if it were not full of the “everyone else got it wrong but not me” approach from the Guardian – but it is a step forwards.

Meanwhile we hear that Nacho Monreal is now fit again, although whether he will be rushed straight back is another matter – Physioroom’s table below does not agree.

According to Football London, “His absence has been a major problem for Arsenal” and yes I think we can see that because Arsenal have lost so many games since Nacho stopped playing.  I mean it must be, oh what is it, errr, none.

Can we run that one again?   “His absence has been a major problem for Arsenal.”  I suppose they are thinking about the draws.

Arsenal are shown having four injuries compared to Manchester United’s nine.  Here are our four according to physioroom.  They as you see still have Monreal missing…

PLAYER What’s up  Return? News Today?
M Ozil Back Spasm No Return Date “I don’t know if he can play in Manchester.” Late Fitness Test
D Welbeck Ankle Injury No Return Date Two ankle operations No
N Monreal Hamstring Injury December 13, 2018 “Expected to return to full training in two weeks.”  So not ready then. No
Mavropanos Groin Strain December 16, 2018 “Expected to return to full training in December.” No

More later…

7 comments to Arsenal injuries, and maybe Mr Wenger wasn’t so awful after all…

  • Nitram

    I hope nobody minds but as I had just posted a comment on the previous thread referencing the exact same article in the Guarding I have re posted on hear as I had made some very similar remarks to Bulldog.

    Nitram

    05/12/2018 at 11:43 am

    LE GALL and Sammy The Snake

    Thanks for the link and I doff my cap to Mr Ronay.
    Due to certain posters seeming intent on discrediting Wenger, his achievements, both distant and recent, as well as his his entire legacy it seems at times, I and a couple of others have deemed it necessary to defend the great man, but as is the norm it was pointless, so I for one just gave up.

    But this kind of analysis is all I’m asking for. A fair even handed respectful take on what Wenger achieved for our Club.
    I took the following segment (with personal comments) as a good example of what I mean:

    “If it has been easy for Emery to pull the loose threads and produce a team who are, with a little luck, (perfectly true) unbeaten in 19 games then this is in part because he inherited an environment where the basics were already in place. (exactly).

    The facts might not tally with the idea of Wenger running Arsenal into the ground.(Indeed, that certainly doesn’t sit well with many). In reality he left the club with a strong squad of players, a fine and profitable stadium, an excellent training ground, sound recruitment structure, not all his doing, and good spirit (A ‘good spirit’ Given some posters comments you’d of thought they were stabbing each other in the back) with an absence of destructive egos (didn’t Wenger get roundly criticised for solving that particular problem ?). Plus, of course, no strings to bind his successor, no looming presence in the stands, just room to breathe and build from a sound base. (Unlike one particularly red nosed ‘dictator’ I can think of)
    Wenger gave a first-team debut to 10 of the 13 outfield players who beat Spurs on Sunday. (Amazing, you of thought from what you’d heard Emery had built this team from scratch). He signed the league’s top scorer, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose movement was a striking contrast with that of Harry Kane in his current mode, which involves spending a lot of time walking backwards, reaching out with his hands for someone to grapple and spin off, like a man in search of the bathroom light switch late at night.

    Wenger also left some decent defenders (Holding could at £2 Million be the bargin of the decade, and isn’t the much derided Mustafi topping many European performance tables?) and a good spread of age ranges, not to mention enough depth in midfield to allow Emery to become increasingly brusque with Mesut Özil.”

    I don’t agree with every word of the article, but it would be very odd if I or anyone did, but thats not the point.

    It’s the fact that rather than trash evrything Wenger did, especially in his final years, Ronay quite rightly highlights the enormous amout of good things Wenger was doing right up to the end of his tenure, and the wonderful overall state he left the club in, again unlike Fergie who despite spending £100’s of Millions arguably left United in such a state they have still yet to recover from it, yet HE is never critisised.

    No, Wenger wasn’t perfect, nobody is, but he simply doesn’t deserve the sort of ridicule he so often gets, shamefully as often as not from our own fans and ex players alike.

    Well done and thank you for a balanced and well thought out article Mr Roney.

    And no I don’t want Wenger back. I’m perfectly happy with, nay, over the moon with our incumbent manager and will give him the same unwavering support I gave our last manager, and the one before that, and the one before that, BUT it will not be at the expence of Wenger or anyone else for that matter.

  • Very good thought provoking article which I fully support.I admired Mr. Wenger

  • WalterBroeckx

    Excellent article and excellent comment!

  • Bulldog and Nitram ; just like you i have second thoughts about a few things in Ronay’s piece, but overall – as the Great Man would have said – this is the kind of stuff i no longer expected to read in the mainstream media. This Ronay lad, at least, seems to know a few things about football, and to enjoy doing what he’s being paid for. a few weeks ago, he wrote a piece that i very much enjoyed reading, chinese philosophy and all:
    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/oct/06/luis-suarez-barcelona-dummying-wembley-spurs
    Since suarez did this against the nomadic spuds, it would have reached perfection if the title had been : the dummy for the dummies …
    And by the way, ChrisC, I agree with you about AW’s press conferences, miss them a lot too.

  • Daud

    This isn’t bashing Wenger. But all this appreciation would have probably sounded more genuine if you guys had also given Wenger’s predecessor all these accolades. After all Wenger also hit the ground running it seems.
    My personal opinion, judge each manager on his own results, leave what his predecessor did or didn’t do. I’ve heard mourinho take the glory too for Madrid’s subsequent domination of the champions league after his sack.

  • Daud, we have looked back a lot at what Rioch did, and indeed under him we got Bergkamp although that wasn’t his doing. But Wenger massively changed the team and the style of play. Yes under Rioch we did qualify for Europe in the very last match of the season, but that was the limit of our ambition and achievement.

  • Daud

    @Tony, sorry I haven’t come across those articles. Definitely not one showering praise on Mr Rioch and certainly none attributing Wenger’s early successes to him. Thus I consider it pure AKBism to attribute Mr Emery’s success to Mr Wenger’s work. Note that Emery obviously has also changed the mentality and style of the team remarkably.

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