club did so well under his tutelage, but all that is in the past now as
those years filled with trophy-laden glory have been replaced in more
recent times by a six season drought of trophies, thanks to Mr.
Wenger’s stubbornness in sticking to his youth policy.
Not only is Wenger stubborn, he is perhaps the biggest gambler in
football, as evident in his refusal to buy a defender during the
January transfer window last season, even when it was becoming clear
that TV5’s injury then would keep the Belgian international out for
virtually the whole of 2010/11.
Rather, Wenger kept his faith on a leaking backline with the likes of
Sebastien Squillaci just as having to watch such players as Nicklas
Bendtner, Abou Diaby, Marouane Chamakh, Manuel Almunia and even Swiss
defender Johan Djourou wear the Arsenal jersey was frustrating. These
players never should have come anywhere close to the red and white of
the Gunners, let alone wear it and worse yet, play in it at the heart
of the club’s defence.
This makes me wonder what it would be like if the squad that made up
the legendary ‘Invincibles’ played against the current squad, perhaps a
5-0 demolition of the current squad with Thierry Henry getting past
Squillaci with great ease and Dennis Bergkamp using his sultry skills
to leave Djourou helpless in his wake. And it would be unimaginable to
see either of Chamakh or Bendtner get past Tony Adam or Martin Keown
or even Sol Campbell; who had two spells with us.
Yet in all this, Wenger has forged ahead with his gambling by letting
Gael Clichy go to Manchester City, without getting a replacement that’s
better than the Frenchman and by the look of things in the transfer
market, he may not be getting one before the season starts in a few
The pre-season match at FC Cologne made me realize what a mess that
side of Arsenal’s defence would be should Kieran Gibbs be our starting
left-back in the coming season as the young English international was
found wanting on numerous occasions where he failed to do his primary
job as a defender, mostly after his forays forward.
Gareth Bale, Antonio Valencia, Nani and Aaron Lennon among a host of
others in the fast, physical nature of the English Premier League.
grim state of things.