It’s not really a surprise that we lose 4-0 to Liverpool if we:
- Play Hector Bellerin – a right-back – as a left wing-back instead of Sead Kolasinac
- Play Nacho Monreal – a left-back – as a centre-back instead of Skhodran Mustafi
- Play Danny Welbeck – a Man Utd reject – ahead of club record signing Alexandre Lacazette or first-choice France striker Olivier Giroud
- Blame low confidence for not playing Rob Holding in the previous game and then starting him on the same flank as Sadio Mané, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – a right-winger who wants to play as a CM – as his only defensive cover
- Play Lacazette on the flank when you finally bring him on, instead of putting him up top with Giroud as #10 behind him because of the bearded giant’s masterful flick-ons with both head and feet
- Don’t react quickly enough to being outrageously outplayed and instead switch formation after 20 minutes, properly identifying that we were being annihilated
I know it’s easy to say these things in hindsight. But I’m just a supporter. A manager of a club the size of Arsenal and 20+ years of Premier League experience should be able to identify and react to all the above points either before they happen, or as they unfold before him. But as we all know, Arsène Wenger is not capable of reaction, he is only capable of analysis. Hence why things like formation changes only happen at half-time when Wenger has had time to analyse the issue, or why you’ll never see intentional first-half substitutions.
However, this game only highlighted one part of our primary problem, which is the combination of short-term inconsistency with long-term consistency.
This amalgamation of diametrically opposed performance aspects is the reason for a highly polarised fanbase and a manager that seems impossible to sack.
“WTF is this silly bitch talking about,” you aggressively, but validly, ask yourself. Well, it’s a chronic illness comprised of average points + illusion of hope.
Let me explain.
Wenger is very consistent in his seasonal points tally, only deviating -9/+3 (equivalent of three losses and one win) from his average of 75.9 points per season in the last ten years. Not even with Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Tony Adams, Dennis Bergkamp nor other legends did he break 80 points on a regular basis.
And those 80 points are important to note, because the average points needed to win the Premier League over the last 15 years is 80.9.
So it’s clear that in order to push for the title you’re looking at reaching at least 80-81 points. It’s supported by the fact that *every winner since the 1998-99 Premier League season has ended on at least 80 points*.
There is more to it of course, because the points you end on isn’t necessarily the points needed to clinch the title…but the vast majority of Premier League seasons have required 80+ points to mathematically win, so it’s an accurate theoretical barrier to aim for if your true ambition is to be crowned champion.
Now, if Arsenal’s only problem was that we consistently couldn’t reach 80 points, then Wenger would be long gone. But the second part of the problem is short-term inconsistency, and by that I mean we are masking our long-term consistency issue with short-term boosts in fan morale. We do that by performing well in certain games and going on a few winning runs conveniently sprinkled over a season to keep the supporters hopeful enough to not lose complete faith in the team.
After an embarrassing and humiliating defeat to Liverpool we are now 16th in the table with a long international break and a deadline day before the next game. And when we get back to action we’re going to win a few games to again bring false hope into the fanbase again and Wenger magically keeps his job for another few years.
This also happens the on the other end of the spectrum, so when things are going well for the club we suddenly run into a wall and lose a couple of games.
But at the end of the season we still end up around 75 points, which is enough points for Wenger to argue that we are close to the 80 points needed…and voila he gets one more chance.
Long-term consistency + short-term inconsistency. It’s why the club is in such disarray. Supporters are currently so confused about what is happening that we can’t even unanimously decide on a scapegoat anymore.
Maybe it’s time that we all finally agree that the ultimate scapegoat must be the only person who has consistently steered Arsenal across a sea of mediocrity since the mid-2000s. Hint: it’s not Theo Walcott, nor is it Mohamed Elneny.
And please…don’t hire a silly airplane with some dumb sign. Just voice your opinion like a normal person: by drinking six beers and yelling about how Wenger is a dumb c*nt, preferably in a stadium full of kids.