Arsene Wenger’s reign at Arsenal reached the point where it imploded due to a run of poor performances and results. The man who did so much to build the club and achieved so much success was dispensed with because he was in an untenable position.
His legacy was tarnished, his achievements were consigned to the memory and he was cast out as a spent force leaving something of a poison chalice behind.
When you talk to Arsenal fans, they often mention the host of quality players that were sold off, the failure to build on the Invincible’s season, Stan Kroenke’s involvement and the move to the Emirates, as the main reasons for Arsenal’s decline. No doubt the factors for the current plight are varied but this season’s failure so far, has little to do with historic failings.
The question of spending in recent years for Arsenal is no longer valid because Kroenke has made money available for new recruits at Arsenal and although the stadium is viewed as something of an albatross which saddled the club with phenomenal debt and prevented the club from achieving success, it was paid for long ago.
Kroenke has invested in Arsenal, not when he needed to but he has invested. The funds were there for the acquisitions of Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette, Aubameyang, Saliba, Tierney, Leno, Pepe, Guendouzi, Torreira and Luiz, so that argument doesn’t stick.
So what’s wrong at Arsenal then ? Well, you can’t deny that Emery has failed to build on his first in charge at present. Last season was experimental in lots of ways and he narrowly missed out on a champions league slot by one point and list to a distinctly poor Chelsea side in the Europa league final.
This season was meant to see a progression in style and performances but in all honesty, Arsenal look worse than last year.
Arsenal supporters are already talking about regression and the mood is decidedly pessimistic after just ten games and there is a recurring rumour regarding the dissatisfaction of the players.
That would explain more than the language barrier or the avalanche of technical data the players have to digest on a weekly basis. Arsenal players have rarely conflicted with a manager and although Wenger had his spats behind closed doors the players remained reasonably loyal up until his last season.
Emery has managed to clash with Ozil, he has ostracized Torreira and that could be the reason for the supposed split in the dressing room. The last time I recall this division was when Ian Wright handed in a transfer request when Bruce Ricoh was in charge.
That was less public but it was still a moment to forget in Arsenal’s history, with a venomous spat that ended in Rioch leaving the club. If as rumours suggest, there are deeper problems at the Emirates, it would explain the arrival of Josh Kroenke and a series of unplanned chinwags with Emery, Edu and Sanllehi.
Kroenke, is a more frequent visitor to the club than his father and it’s only a matter of time before he takes full control as I have suggested for over a year.
Emery is now under immense pressure to deliver and prevent the teams above Arsenal making the gap wider in the chase for champions league football.
He has to assume control of any likely rifts, find a solution to the sides current poor form and deal with the ongoing Ozil and Xhaka debacle ahead of the clash with Wolves in the PL could’come at a worse time.
They have barely had time to regroup as a squad to kick their wounds and the unsavoury discord that occurred during Granit Xhaka’s substitution has now been aimed at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
No doubt the actions of a handful of morons but players such as Aubameyang shouldn’t be vilified in this manner. I’m not suggesting Xhaka merited the same treatment but he did nothing to nip it in the bud or reduce the intensity of the situation. Aubameyang is highly regarded by the majority of fans and quite why he should be made a scapegoat is a mystery.
So where do we go from here ? Results and performance will determine that and only a spirited display against a stubborn Wolves side will stem the tide of growing apathy.