The Deadliest Sin

I want to react.  The student’s criticisms of Arsene have sparked my judgmental muse and I am fighting the urge to draft menacing posts about the French obsession for form over substance or the stupidity of the collective circle jerk over bite size messi.  But, I have (un)successfully resisted the high-dive into the blogspheric aftermath of post-barca defeat.  Instead, I will ATTEMPT to draft an objective assessment of what is wrong. The Issue:

Wenger is not ready to admit that his experiment is not foolproof and, as a result, we have been made to look like fools.  This inability to change is an exemplar of man’s deadliest sin: pride.  It manifests itself during every interview, every press conference, and every transfer window.  Arsene’s pride results from his perception of himself as the club’s father.  And unchecked patriarchy looks a lot like a God-complex.  But, Arsene is not Godlike.  He is a fallible Frenchman with an eye for talent, but a sucker for purity.    He has developed a myth that his “boys” are technically superior and better trained then anyone else.  He’s wrong.  Worst of all, he has bought into his own myth and now we’re helplessly watching him struggle to put together a machine without the right parts.

The Solution:

The Gunner’s post season would be best spent in search of the holy trinity: a starting goalkeeper, a starting holding midfielder, and a starting striker.  We cannot win without these positions being filled by mature and match-ready footballers.  This is true whether we line up in a 4-4-2, a 4-3-1-2 or a 4-3-3,.  Our domestic and European failings are a direct result of these missing men.  And I mean men!  Not boys who are fresh out of the academy.  I don’t care who we buy as long as we buy mature players, i.e. mid-20 year-olds, who can keep possession, finish clinically, and win matches.  And I trust Wenger to make good investments in unknown talent.  Nobody questions the fact that Vermaelen and Arshavin were brilliant pickups.  Now, Wenger has to finish the job by picking up three more.  And herein lies the rub: Wenger won’t do it because he has too much pride.

Without the three acquisitions mentioned above, I fear that we might be in store for more of the same.  I for one am preparing myself.  I know Wenger won’t change easily because when his boys don’t perform well, it reflects badly upon him and he further entrenches himself in the myth.  Moreover, Wenger is reluctant to open the pocketbook because he staked too much of his self in the academy.  Wenger views a purchase as an admission of failure.  And Wenger’s neuroses  have trickled down to his players.  We now have headcases on the pitch who are struggling to find an identity, have no role models, and are struggling under the pressure proving their daddy is right.  They don’t need this pressure.  Wenger could alleviate it with a stiff drink, a long look in the mirror, and a few smart signings.

the pundit


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