The season is over!
Arsenal have finished fourth in the league and remain trophyless yet again for the sixth season running. Whose fault is it?
Many are quick to blame the manager as he picks the team week in week out and was responsible for taking crucial decisions that affected the team's performance.
Is Arsène Wenger really to blame for all Arsenal's woes? Were all those trophies in his first nine seasons simply a fluke on his part, as since that generation of players have moved on he has seemingly been unable to replicate that success at any level?
Seriously, let's think about it: Who is responsible for the direction in which the team faces? I'm not talking about executive corporate decisions, but rather the nitty-gritty decision-making that relates to tactics, squad reinforcements, choice of Captain, etc.
I appreciate the fact that Wenger is the most successful manager in the history of the club, but things have to be put in the right perspective.
Would it make any difference if he had done things differently in the summer in regards to signings or reinforcements in January? And what if he had been more tactically decisive as per substitutions, as seen in the last three games of the season?
The list of possibilities is endless, and we can only wonder "what if?"
As such, since the theory that the manager has lost the plot is not backed by any empirical evidence, I am unwilling to accept that he has. I still believe that he has a great vision as to which direction the team should head and is currently heading.
The idea that we are a still a young team is not an excuse anymore. Actually, it has never really been an excuse. It was a simple statement of fact that has often been misunderstood by certain sections of the supporters and the media in general asking all who cared to look at the picture and focus on the positives in the context of the achievements of the season.
A number of years ago, Wenger asked if winning the Carling Cup was better than finishing fourth in the Premier League. Ask Birmingham today, they got relegated after winning the Carling Cup this year. Food for thought!
This year, I believe Arsenal came very close to success, only missing out on success by a consistent marginal inadequacy. Arsenal fans were thus left to rue their losses and consider what might have been...what if?
Till next time...Victoria Concordia Crescit
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