Wayne Rooney scored a hat trick, but the most inruiging figure on the pitch this afternoon at Old Trafford was Arsene Wenger. The fading away confidence, the body language, accepting the loss, than the collapse, than the utter and complete humiliation. The signs were all there, but Arsenal’s 8-2 drubbing by the hands of Manchester United was more than anyone expected.
So, how did it come to this? We’ve been over this, but it never hurts to point this out again. Wenger decided to go young , and almost won a championship with Fabregas leading the way in 2008. A dream team in the making. The titles were there to take. But the wonder kids never fully developed. And there comes a point when blaming injuries (which all teams suffer from each season) and the inexperience of talented youngsters becomes stale and old. I think Wenger leaped over that point two years ago.
And this summer. I read some opinions earlier last week defending Wenger. He’s fighting the fight of the little clubs, standing up to the big bullies like Manchester City and Barcelona, doing everything in his power to keep his stars from leaving. Fighting or not, Arsenal are on the verge of becoming a feeder club. Oops. There isn’t that much to buy anymore.
Arsene Wenger, like Harry Redknapp, dozed off during the summer. His complete belief in his ability to keep both Cesc and Nasri from leaving while not spending big money on proper reinforcements was/is his downfall. Still no keeper with any consistency or the ability to give confidence to the four players in front of him. Problems with the centre backs. Losing Gael Clichy. No pitbull in the middle of the park. Theo Walcott, well, remaining an unfulfilled promise. Robin Van Persie too alone up front. Andrei Arshavin who doesn’t show up for the big games.
From little sources I have, Wenger had the funds to go bigger this summer. His obsession with youth development and “his way”, the way that didn’t bring a title since 2005 to the trophy cabinet, stopped him from making any sort of indication except words that Arsenal are planning to be a major force in the title race. He lost Fabregas, which was clear and bound to happen. He lost Nasri, who was pretty much looking for a way out since May.
And what did he have to say today? You feel humiliated when you concede eight goals. A terrible day for us, a combination of an under strength team (excuse no. 1) and weakness (hidden excuse no. 2). We collapsed physically in the second half. We had eight players out today (excuse no. 3). Anybody would suffer missing eight guys.
Wenger denied any possibility of him stepping down from his position. If you remember,