Ian Wright recently revealed that he was annoyed with Arsene Wenger’s decision to play Alex Iwobi in the Carabao cup draw with Chelsea even after he was alleged to have been at an all-night party before the drubbing by Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, yet Wenger played him against Chelsea as if nothing had happened.
The former Gunners striker went on to say that it seemed like things were out of control and that with things as they stand, with players out of contract and a flagging league campaign, his former club had become something of a joke.
In many respect, Wright was bang on the money.
Arsenal’s terrible run of form merits more discipline and Iwobi’s party animal attitude at the expense of the supporters expectations will not be well received by the fans or other players eager to get playing time.
Paul Merson a former Arsenal striker said that he was joking about in the presence of then manager George Graham. He just received a stern look from George and didn’t play again for weeks.
Perhaps the Graham approach is needed to refocus the potential of Iwobi, who clearly thinks that he is established enough within the North London club to do as he pleases.
Wright may also be referring to a number of other factors. Arsenal’s chaotic contract negotiations that have allowed players to string the club along whilst waiting for potential suitors.
The Sanchez and Ozil saga is nothing short of ridiculous and shows a staggering level of mismanagement. The fact that other’s contracts are still being allowed to expire in the same way is also baffling.
The infighting, lack of signings and absence of forward thinking is something one would associate with a team in the “rubber tyre” League run by a handful of faithful but clueless supporters.
Wenger was given a two-year extension to his contract but only after his dithering caused so much uncertainty that it dismantled his teams season at a crucial stage in the season. Many Arsenal fans across the Country are asking each other what is happening within their beloved club.
The ‘Lemar’ transfer attempt in the dying hours of the previous transfer window was embarrassing and appeared to be a desperate measure. The Manager’s failure to be transparent concerning Sanchez and Ozil is particularly frustrating and both players have performed in a half hearted manner whilst claiming their sizeable wages.
Arsenal should have sold them before and fans are becoming increasingly tired of hearing about the pair. The longer this goes on, the more uncertainty there is. I’d happily get rid of the duo and look forward to seeing the back of them.
The North London club has a fabulous history which is going to include its ability to win trophies if they are not careful. The sign of just how insignificant the side has become is there for all to see. The Gunners used to command a back page in the newspapers for their games, but now unless it’s a match against a top six side, the club are given less significant coverage.
Match of the day sees Arsenal slipping down the running order and being lumped in with the Burnley’s, Everton’s and Swansea’s of the League because they aren’t considered as important anymore. They can still play attractive and Artistic football but the average football fan expects its ability to attack to be nullified by its inability to defend.
The introduction of former Chelsea shot-stopper Petr Čech has hardly stopped the rot. Čech had the luxury of a robust defence which proved to be stubbornly resilient but he is now in charge of arguably the most fragile defence of the top six clubs. He went 1,025 minutes without conceding a goal – a Premier League record until it was surpassed in 2009 by Edwin Van Der Sar.
He would be lucky to go 20 minutes without leaking a goal, courtesy of the Basil Fawlty back three or four. Wright has the ability as an insider to observe the chaotic nature of his former employers and pass credible judgement. He has no doubt noted that the club’s owner, absent Stan and the other board members are like a collection of dusty artifacts in a museum storeroom. They get their dividends and allow themselves to indulge in any passing fancy or engage in long passages of infinite indecision.
The club needs to be pulled apart and then reassembled to function and that needs to happen from top to bottom if they are to compete at the highest level. Wright is right and the joke is sadly on its loyal supporters.
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