By Tony Attwood
After the match Mr Arteta said, “We need to apologise to our fans – the standard was nowhere near what we want. I am fully responsible. We were extremely poor. When you don’t do the basics, you don’t have a chance to compete. We looked tired but it was more of a mental issue. We didn’t win enough duels and we gave away so many easy balls. It’s very frustrating – a big shock to the system.”
The response of some fans, as with the response of the journalists has been whenever something goes wrong, is, well bewildering, although easy to anticipate. It is to do what we have been doing, only more so.
And that is interesting as in the days when some of the bloggers, commentators and fans turned on Mr Wenger a common line of attack was to the effect that a sure sign of madness was to do something that had failed and then do it again, and again and again.
Indeed so common was this attack that it often came with a statement that, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” was a comment made by Albert Einstein.
One might reply that making up a statement and assigning it to a great mind of the past is a sign of desperation, because there is no indication anywhere that Einstein ever said such a thing.
That was the phrase that was repeatedly thrown at Untold Arsenal by anti-Wengerians during the latter years of Mr Wenger’s reign – the years from 2007 on, when we were constantly coming 3rd or 4th in the League and the manager was on his way to becoming the man who had won the FA Cup more than any other, and a man who had won the League more times than Tottenham in their entire history.
But what is so interesting is that the prime cry from disgruntled fans now is that at this moment we should do what they claimed Mr Wenger did, and what was his sure sign of insanity. The same thing as before, over and over again.
1: Buy lots and lots and lots of players and spend record sums in the transfer market as we have been doing.
2: Sell most of the current team at whatever price we can get for them.
3: Put players in limbo by not listing them in the “25” if we can’t sell them.
4: Publicise disciplinary matters rather than keeping them quiet.
5: Change managers for the third time since 2017/2018.
6: Criticise the team remorselessly.
I am not sure any of this will work. Of course it is just possible that repeating one of the activities that the club has indulged in from 2018 onward might just work, even though it has been tried before, although I am not sure about that. But engaging in the whole lot of these activities yet again, is surely not going to work.
The media are also encouraging people to think that Arsenal need to throw out most of the existing team; but can you imagine how many players from elsewhere would then want to come to Arsenal seeing such chaotic behaviour?
When players come to clubs they look for several things beyond the size of their pay packet, including a certain level of stability in the club, and the chance of being in a winning side. A repeat of the failed changes of the past, along the lines being proposed by some supporters now will make that very unlikely.
And besides, just how many times is it imagined that the current owners are going to have seasons spending record sums of money? They’ve done it a couple of times and seen it fail. Will they try it again? I suspect not.
And yet some people want us to spend even more and do what has failed again. Buying players and changing managers, are not ways to take us up the league. Yes either can work occasionally, but they are far from guaranteed. And doing it season after season is rarely a way to success.
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6 Replies to ““Arsenal need more of the same,” according to some pundits. Really?”
another statement AW would never have made is that “big balls” nonsense … how more desperate can you sound, really?
we have to stick with MA, though, and give him time to learn from his mistakes (having said that, is he willing to do it?? is not an easy question to answer to)
slavia, villareal, and … ??: winning the EL doesn’t look like a “mission impossible” episode.
there’s this story about explorers (never checked the truth of it) who, when they feel they’re lost, are supposed to walk back into their own steps ’til they get to a spot they know for sure is on the right track, and start exploring from there all over again …
so, 3-4-3 from now on, as in our successful FA cup final run last season, would make sense, imo
I think it’s more productive to suggest what you think will work. I’m sure there’s hardly anything you will come up with that hasn’t been going on over and over, over the past years. The summary would be that neither you nor the pundits has the solution, all we have are opinions.
Alternatively, it’s possible if you looked you’ll find suggestions that the same pundits and fans have made that the club hasn’t tried, for example the fans favourite for manager after Wenger wasn’t Emery or Arteta.. it was probably Allegri or Simeone. I doubt the club has purchased players that were the fans favourite in a long while. Only Partey would be the exception here. We’ve passed on fan favourites like Suarez, Higuain, Fabregas return etc. Most times fans/pundits for example ask the club to spend, they suggest players who can do the job. The club more often than not buys other players who it feels can do the job, blaming the fans/pundits if it doesn’t work then is being ingenious. Wanting to eat your cake and have it.
In summary, the club and it’s manager makes it’s decisions and they have agreed that they will take full responsibility for the success or failure of such decisions, rather than look for fans or pundits to blame
With due respect sir, AW had his own statements like “playing with handbrake on”, “fourth is a trophy” etc. MA might not be up to the job, but coming here to make Wenger saintly is revision of history. The drop down the table started in his watch
“……..a sure sign of madness was to do something that had failed and then do it again, and again and again.”
Which as a statement I fundamentally agree with, irrespective of who said it. The problem with it is though with the definition of failure.
The first thing you need to establish is ‘what is failure’?
And then IF it is failure, why is it failure?
As with Wenger, the first thing that needs to be established is, did he actually fail? If so, when? If so why? If so, how? And THAT is where the arguments start.
Now I don’t want to get into another pointless Wenger debate, but I will use just one aspect of Wengers reign to illustrate my point regarding what is and isn’t failure in the first place.
The starting point for making any judgement is context. Without context you have no basis of argument.
Mr Smith runs the marathon in 2 Hrs 20 Minutes.
Mr Jones runs the Marathon in 2 Hrs 40 Minutes.
They are both the same age. Run for the same club. Both equally fit. Obviously Mr Smith is a better runner than Mr Jones ? A reasonable enough assumption you would of thought ?
Until you find out that Mr Jones ran the marathon backwards, which suggests in fact Mr Jones may in fact be the better runner? Context is everything.
Which is why when Mr Wenger went 10 years without winning a trophy, which some saw as ‘failure’, when put in the context of the financial restraints under which he was operating compared to his 3 main rivals, I did not.
So in my eyes Wenger doing the same thing again and again was actually genius, not madness. Although I think that is a good example of just how important context is, it is just my opinion.
So that being said, is your preposition that it would be madness to continuing to do what we’ve been doing for the last few years, changing manager, spending lots of money, correct ?
Well if you take Arsenal in isolation I would agree it certainly looks that way. But is it really an accurate assessment of these actions if you just take Arsenal in isolation?
Who are the 3 most successful clubs in the premier league over the last 15 years?
Manchester Utd. Manchester City. Chelsea.
And guess what, they spend money. Lots and lots of money. Over and over again. Win the league. Drop down the table. It makes no difference. They constantly spend spend spend. Yes they may take a year out to consolidate but they are soon back spending more money.
So my point is, the problem isn’t necessarily with spending lots and lots of money, over and over again, in fact history suggests it is crucial, it is more to do with HOW you spend it.
So in fact the madness of which you are talking is not really with spending lots of money, but rather with spending it badly.
Also regularly changing managers is not necessarily a sign of madness.
Both Chelsea, and to a lesser degree Manchester City, change managers on a fairly regular basis, and it hasn’t stopped them raking in the trophies.
Conversely Manchester Utd have not faired so well doing this. So again it depends on how you do it, rather than whether you do it.
As such I think drawing the conclusion you seem to of done, re the madness of repetitive failed behaviours, on the basis of how it has worked for us, is a bit misleading.
Now I’m not saying we SHOULD have a ‘clear out’ and spend even more money, or get rid of Arteta and try yet another manager, I’m just saying if we did it wouldn’t necessarily be ‘madness’ and might just work, it depends more on how we do it.
Get Pep and spend £100 Million = Good thing ?
Get Fat Sam and spend £10 Million = Bad thing ?
Anyway, we’re going to win the Europa League so none of this will matter 😀
So Wenger in?
@Nitram has said most of what I wanted to say.Just to add.Any scientist will tell you that to get exactly the same result, all variables and constants must remain exactly the same.The fact that the season is different,the referees are different,VAR or FIFA rules might have changed is a clear sign of changes in variables. Also,the opposing teams in the league are different because you have 3 newly promoted teams, then you have entry and exit of players in the various teams in the league,this shows the teams have changed, and will present a different challenge in the season. There would be changes of managers in some teams too.So,even in buying players, teams are not buying exactly the same players, some players are bought just at the right time, when they are peaking,while some are bought just when they are about to start declining. It is therefore misleading to say the teams are doing the same thing when they buy players because they are not buying the same player they bought in the past, these players are different individuals,hence different variables will be injected into these teams.I don’t know of any football team that doesn’t buy players.Are we to scope them all too? The key is buying the right set of players, not just buying players.Somewhere on this earth, are players that are not well known that can restore the glory of Arsenal, however, the main task is finding them and buying them before other teams buy them. Imagine if Arsenal had been able to spot Haaland and Mpabe early, these 2 in attack would have given Arsenal some glory. Now imagine getting midfielders and defenders that are in their class;Arsenal would be unstoppable! Once again, Arsenal should focus on fixing their recruitment and scouting, so that they can get quality players more often.
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