Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Assistant Could Be the Answer to Arsene's Woes

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New Assistant Could Be the Answer to Arsene's Woes

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Evans @tonyevans92a

NO more excuses. No more delusion. Arsene Wenger's grasp on reality has to be questioned after his verdict on Arsenal's 2-1 defeat by Watford yesterday.

His team, the Frenchman said, had "great spirit, a very strong attitude". It was a jaw-dropping analysis of the previous 90 minutes and the entire season. We've heard this sort of nonsense too many times.

It contradicts the evidence of the eyes and the scoreline. If Stan Kroenke was more interested in winning trophies, he'd have a P45 in the post to Wenger today.

There's no chance of that. The American majority shareholder cares most for the bottom line and the manager rules supreme at the club. Wenger cannot afford to be blind to his side's failings.

Around the half-hour mark, Joel Campbell moved into the Watford half and looked up. His team-mates were static. Even though he was running with the ball at his feet, the Costa Rican spread his hands wide of his hips, palms up in the universal gesture of exasperation. The question was simple: Is anyone moving? No. His team-mates were standing still. So are the club.

Once, you could have sympathy for Wenger. There were Russian tanks on the lawn firing PS50 notes, desert oil wells spewing money into superstar bank accounts. Arsenal cried poverty.

In truth, Chelsea and Manchester City have been convenient distractions from the paucity of thought and purpose at the Emirates. Not any more.

With Leicester striding ahead, Tottenham advancing at pace and Watford outthinking and outplaying Arsenal, it is no longer a case of blaming the financial bullies.

Wenger's team are being pushed around by the poor kids.

The Frenchman is one of the finest managers of the Premier League era. The first eight years of his tenure were revolutionary. His teams played with a pace and power unprecedented in English football and Arsenal's one-touch brilliance stunned opponents. …

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