Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Wenger's put Arsenal on the road to nowhere


Daily Sport column, March 16, 2011.
ARSENAL are like a posh car with a shit engine – it draws admiring looks everywhere it goes but breaks down before it gets home.
If your motor performed like that for six years, what would you do? Trade it in for one that could do the job? Kick f*ck out of it like Basil Fawlty did to that crappy Mini?
Or sit there, grin and say ‘Ah well, it looks good, and at least we’ve got money in the bank’?
Wenger has had the fortnight from hell – two weeks, three trophies down the swanny.
First, Arsenal were outfought by Birmingham in the Carling Cup final.
Then they failed to beat Sunderland at home in the Premier League and Barca swept them aside in the Champions League.
And on Saturday a Man United team containing SEVEN defenders beat them at Old Trafford.
Fans that were talking about the quadruple now look like bigger tits than you find on your average page in this newspaper.
Fact is, the Gunners bottled it. They might play pretty triangles that get the geeks foaming at the mouth but so what?
Barca do it better – they score and get regular results.
And forget whining about refs, Arsenal got spannered in Spain, Van Persie knew what he was doing and Wenger made a holy show of himself when he claimed his side would have won it if the Dutchman hadn’t been sent off.
Wenger could still end a trophy drought dating back to 2005 by winning the Premier League.
But what price them cocking that up, too? Whatever it is, I’ll take it.
The Gunners have great young footballers but they’re not winners. There’s more fight in the post office on pension day.
They don’t have players who by sheer determination alone can grab a game by the scruff of the neck and win it.
I’m thinking Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Carlos Tevez, Rafael Van Der Vaart, Ryan Giggs.
Instead Arsenal have a bunch of players who shit their kecks when they see the finishing post. They’re football’s answer to Devon Loch. Wenger can point the finger and dream up excuses but there’s only one person to blame and he’s in the mirror when the Frenchman brushes his teeth every morning.
Wenger has had 15 years to drum his philosophy into the club and six years to build a winning side.
If he looks at the teams that brought home the bacon in the past, they’re chalk and cheese against the class of 2011.
Wenger’s winners played decent footie but they could fight, too.
Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, Martin Keown – none of them ever shirked a tackle.
Can the same be said of Arshavin, Rosicky, Chamakh and the rest?
For f*ck’s sake, Nicklas Bendtner owns pink boots and was once scared by a balloon on the pitch – what does he think when he’s facing a burly centre-half?
Wenger bought those players and what about the ones he didn’t buy?
Where’s the top-class centre half, the reliable keeper and the dominant central midfielder?
Where’s the striker who can regularly net 20-plus goals a season?
Rumour has it Wenger CAN spend. That he’s sitting on a kitty of £80m. If that’s true it should be another nail in the coffin.
The whole point of quitting Highbury for the Emirates was so Arsenal could compete financially.
Yet in the five years that spanking ground has been their home they’ve spent less than Sunderland and Villa.
It’s all well and good growing your own and buying them early but it's just not working.
Time for Plan B, Arsene. Otherwise the Arsenal board will be thinking about a new engine for its posh car – and a taxi for Wenger.