By Tony Attwood
Normally in issues relating to group situations, it is impossible to be definitive as to why things go wrong. But not with football it seems, for here it appears that the obvious has to be said.
This is perhaps because taking in the information available and drawing conclusions has never been the strength of football journalists, most of whom will try and persuade fans that what is needed is more of the same.
So in another desperate attempt to stop Arsenal stumbling down the same path one more time here is a list of some of the things Arsenal now seem to want to do time and time again, but which simply don’t work.
1: Pushing managers out might not be a good idea
Arsene Wenger had one season to go on this contract, Unai Emery had six months left and in each case moving the manager on early has cost the club a lot of money and did not ultimately solve the club’s problems.
Arsene Wenger finished his last season with the club in 6th, so he was moved on with a year left to go. Unai Emery was pushed out with the club in 8th with six months left on the contract. Freddie Ljungberg was relieved of his post with the club in 11th. Today we are 15th. Isn’t there that saying that used to be thrown around about seeing something that fails and then doing it again and again being a sign of madness. A bit like relieving managers of their post, we all know it doesn’t work, but the club just keeps doing it.
2. Bringing in a man with no experience of managing might not be a good idea.
Arsene Wenger had a wide range of experience as a manager before taking on Arsenal. Unai Emery had been manager at PSG for two years. Both could be an indicator.
3. Bringing in a man whose prime experience in management is with a club where money is no object and which has been in conflict with the authorities may not be a good idea.
Clearly things are not done at Manchester City as they are at Arsenal. Arsenal doesn’t have the wealth of an oil nation, nor the rampant disregard of the rules that MC seems to have – remembering they only got off the Uefa charges because Uefa presented its case too slowly.
4. Ignoring the dominant statistics might not be a good idea
Mr Wenger was criticised throughout his time at Arsenal (you might recall the report during the Unbeaten Season in which fans were quoted as saying this was the worst Arsenal team they’d ever seen) but the one thing he knew was the statistics of playing and that is something that is clearly missing here. It is clear that the three teams at the top of the league have all adopted a statistically very similar approach to playing which referees seem willing to accept. We are out on a limb playing in a totally different way.
These figures exclude matches this past weekend – I think we will find the differences even more exaggerated when this weekend’s numbers are added in.
|Club||Tackles||Fouls||Tackles per foul||Yellow cards||Fouls per yellow||Penalties for||Penalties against||Lge pos|
5. Responding to the demands of some fans and some media commentators might not be a good idea
The chatter from journalists and fans is always about more and more transfers, and getting rid of certain players, but we have had two summers in which we have spent more on players than ever before, and have sunk further than ever before in the PL era Bringing in one or two new players in the summer can work, but not a series of expensive players.
6. Removing a highly talented player from the squad and forcing him to sit out half the season is not a clever idea.
Forcing Ozil to sit out at least half the season is looking increasingly foolish.
7. Being in conflict with your own supporters is not a good idea
Unfortunately a number of Arsenal fans have felt for some time that it is good to complain through such media as holding up placards, flying planes over the stadium with banners behind, booing Arsenal players, complaining about certain Arsenal players, and going on the radio to demand the removal of the manager. There is no indication at all that any of these approaches actually improve the club. And yet some fans do it over and over again.
Likewise we have it on AFTV, with the black scarf movement, with the placard carriers, and now they are all back again, picking on certain players, moaning, complaining… “supporter” seems to have a new meaning.
None of these approaches have worked and yet they are being repeated and repeated.
And that really is the problem. Taking something that has never worked in the past and doing it over and over again in the vague belief that it might work next time, isn’t very clever.
Why has it gone so wrong? Because we just take the last set of mistakes and repeat them.
- 93 players rumoured to be going to Arsenal. Are the journos getting lazy?
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal