A Blog by @swales1968
Then along came Mr Wenger, a Frenchman that our all-knowing media knew little about and almost overnight transformed The Arsenal. They had flair, skill and played the beautiful game beautifully. He brought in players that the great Dennis Bergkamp could work with, players who would flourish under Wenger.
Pass, move & speed was the game The Arsenal played, most PL teams could not live with it and were almost beaten before they stepped onto the green grass. Scoring against them was almost suicidal like taunting a wounded lion. League titles and FA cup finals were the norm rather than something to treasure.
Then it came Arsenal’s and Wenger's greatest or could it be said worst ever season. Something that in modern times had never happened and probably will never happen again. The Arsenal, the inconsistent’s, the team which I grew up watching never knowing what performance would appear from game to game went the whole damn season unbeaten, forty nine games in the league in total but the full season unbeaten. Wenger had almost promised this the season before but everybody all the experts and pundits just laughed but Wenger knew.
What Wenger did that season has ruined him, what Wenger did up to that point has made Wenger what he is seen to be today. A has been, a man past his best by a number of years. Fans have moved on from hoping and willing to demanding unconditionally. No more hoping for a good cup run, no more hoping for a good finish in the league. Fans now demand a cup final win, they demand a challenge for the league every season come what may.
Wenger was a visionary, he knew he wanted his teams to play the beautiful game the beautiful way. Alas, like all great visionaries his vision was taken, twisted and used against him. His beautiful football was turned from finesse to win at all costs. There was however, no beauty involved from the teams that adapted his vision. His perfect creation turned into his own personal Frankenstein. He has tried to move the vision on but has been stopped by brick walls, buses, one financial hand tied behind his back, greed and a lack of passion by some.
So here he sits in his cul-de-sac looking at the emergency gate at the end of the road, a small turning space is up ahead. Does he use the space to do a U-turn, go back on everything he has believed in and go in the same direction as the other Juggernauts, does he park up and leave with the keys in the ignition and engine running for somebody else to make the decision or does he push on hoping that by the time he gets to the gate he has found the key to unlock it.
Whatever his decision, I still look at Arsenal as the team I first started watching all those years ago, I still look forward to going, I still don't know what team will appear every week performance wise. I still hope for a good cup run and maybe a good run in the league, but for many it seems this is not enough and for that reason it must be looked at that Wenger has ruined Arsenal.
Wenger has not just ruined Arsenal he can I think be held responsible for the current state of the PL, without him and a bit of help from Manchester United the PL would not be anything like the draw it is today. Yes we had a few exciting seasons with Blackburn, Leeds and Newcastle but on the whole the PL was just drifting along. Then along comes Wenger and put a spanner in the whole thing, attractive attacking football, speed and skill. Wenger and his rivalry against Manchester United upped the ante, we had two great sides going at it hammer and tongs, men with more money than sense watched from the side-lines wanting a bit of the action. Russian, American and Middle Eastern money arrived. Far Eastern betting syndicates jumped on the PL band wagon and suddenly the PL was a multi nation commodity. Clubs were wanted worldwide not just the odd trip in the close season but whole tours designed to get more of a worldwide fan base.
What we have now is a league that only the rich teams can win, ticket prices are high, wages are high, the games moved left right and centre for the money on TV all because Wenger wanted to play the beautiful game beautifully. Wenger has ruined football in this country.