So Arsenal finally managed their first win, and goals, of the season on Sunday with a much needed 2-0 victory over Liverpool, keeping the Arsène bashers at bay (at least for this week).
Manager Arsène Wenger undoubtedly breathed a massive sigh of relief as new signings Podolski and Santi Cazorla proved the maestros in orchestrating Sunday's victory, temporarily allaying mounting criticism of Arsenal's lacklustre show in this summer's transfer window. Tensions had been rising following the club's noticeable lack of aggression in wooing, or keeping, top players at the Emirates, and radio silence from Wenger on deadline day did little to appease frustrated fans.
This felt like an all too familiar situation for Arsenal; Wenger refusing to spend big in order to fill the gaping holes left by the mass exodus of some of our top players. Tongue twister alert: Arsène's Arsenal austerity has got us all in a spin, and the French man has become our favourite scapegoat.
It's nothing new for the heat to be turned up on a manager when his team underperforms, just ask Chelsea! If Arsenal was owned by Abramovich, we'd have fired eight managers in almost as many seasons. Or perhaps if we were Spurs (perish the thought) we'd have cast our much loved, and respected, Gaffer aside in favour of a well-dressed Portuguese man with a double-barrelled surname. So far AVB is proving as effective at Spurs as he did at Chelsea, prompting my favourite Twitter trend of this week: #AVBsfault.
Now, let us not dwell on the sad misfortunes of that inferior North London club and return to Arsenal and who, or what, exactly the club is spending its money on? One of the repeated questions that came out of Arsenal's disappointing transfer performance was "who is really pulling the strings at the club?" Is it the work of a stubborn manager, unwilling to panda to the increasingly ridiculous demands from over-paid players (and their money-grabbing agents); the result of allowing a business minded foreign investor to become the club's major shareholder; or a simple lack of funds due to the debt amassed by the Emirates move?
No one really knows how the internal politics at the club are played out, or why Arsene Wenger has appeared so complacent and 'safe' in so many of the club's deals over the past few years. Has he just lost his fire, or is this part of his strategy; investing in a core of talented young players he can nurture into winners in future years? While we may not agree with his tactics, there has got to be a method to the madness, surely? It's no small feat that Arsenal has finished in the top four over the past sixteen consecutive seasons under Wenger's guidance, and we saw a glimmer of the old Arsène passion as he eulogised about new signing Cazorla after Sunday's game.
However, there comes a point when, like it or not, the game changes and those who are unwilling to change with it have got to go. Is there room for a manager like Arsène Wenger, or even a club like Arsenal, trying to compete this new world of football pumped full of cash by the likes of Abramovich and the Abu Dhabi United Group?
For now, at least, Arsène lives to see another day. Sunday's victory has, at least temporarily, restored faith in Arsenal fans that Wenger hasn't completely lost the plot. What's more, his loyalty and dedication to the club has to be admired; so, while we may vehemently disagree with a large number of his decisions, is he really the one to blame?Suggest a correction