Search

All Guns Blazing: Arsene Wenger is the man to turn Arsenal’s frsutration into progress

14:42 06 January 2015

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Uche Amako looks back at 2014 as a year of mixed fortunes.

Elation. Despair. Relief. Anger. Progress. Frustration.

Those words could quite easily describe 2014 for Arsenal and you get the feeling you could say the exact same thing this time next year.

Having had our best opening half to a league season for a long while, we started full of hope and optimism and beat Cardiff 2-0 at the Emirates on New Year’s Day.

Arsenal then headed into a crucial period which would make or break our season and we faltered spectacularly at Anfield, against a very poor Man United team at home and against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

We navigated our way through some tricky ties in the FA Cup and won at White Hart Lane, but the 6-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge in Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th game as our manager made it feel like his long reign was coming to a depressing end.

But Arsenal recovered. Like they always seem to do. No club mixes complete disarray with huge resilience better.

We finished the season strongly, then came the FA Cup Final. Wenger’s face as he lifted the trophy will live with me forever. The years of sacrifice, criticism, abuse, but total commitment to the cause had finally been rewarded and the sense of euphoria was profound.

Five fresh faces and multiple exits followed in the summer. But the much-needed defensive reinforcement was absent and it has taken its toll.

A slow start, hampered by injuries to key individuals at various points, has left Wenger unable to field what he would call his strongest team. Too many draws, individual errors on the pitch and the bemusing decision to change formation has left Arsenal playing catch-up.

Winning a trophy after a lengthy drought should mean that 2014 is seen as progress – but that feeling has slowly ebbed away through a catalogue of issues on and off the pitch.

A growing ill-will towards Wenger has arisen, which is nasty and unwarranted. Regardless of your feeling towards him, he deserves better treatment and respect.

Because he is the man capable of turning the recent signs – albeit small ones – of progress into something tangible.

And if we can get key players fit, boost the squad with quality defensive players and regain our je ne sais quoi in attack, anything is possible in 2015.

Follow me @UcheAmako

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Sports News

Yesterday, 10:13
North Middlesex's Connor Nurse took 4-20 against league leaders Ealing but was less successful when he opened the batting, being bowled first ball. Pic: Max Flego

North Middlesex find themselves just one point above the relegation zone in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County League after their latest failure with the bat resulted in a defeat against leaders Ealing.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Middlesex's Dawid Malan

Skipper Dawid Malan struck an unbeaten half-century to lead Middlesex to a thrilling victory over Somerset in a rain-reduced T20 clash at Lord’s.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Jordan Nobbs, Arsenal Ladies

Jordan Nobbs says Arsenal Ladies must replicate their performance level from last month’s Wembley success to get their league campaign back on track.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Middlesex batsman Nick Gubbins

It’s a shame Chris Gayle won’t be coming to Lord’s when we take on Somerset – in a way it would have been fun to play against him.

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Islington BC's gold medal winners at the Haringey Box Cup, left to right: Amy Broadhurst, Lamin Conteh and Amy Andrew. Pic: Dieter Perry

A trio of Islington BC fighters maintained the club’s excellent record in the Haringey Box Cup with three gold medals at Alexandra Palace.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
George Bailey batting for Australia

Middlesex coach Richard Scott is predicting a “seamless transition” when George Bailey replaces Brendon McCullum as the club’s overseas player next week.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Shotokan Karate London students recorded a 100 per cent pass rate with their gradings

Shotokan Karate London celebrated a 100 per cent pass rate as a total of 23 students successfully navigated their grading examinations.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Access2Sports U16 players Jason Prince (left) and Rio Murray-Webster in action

Rio Murray dominated the closing stages to ensure that Access2Sports defeated Kensington & Chelsea Knights 70-29 and clinched a place in the Community Basketball League Under-16 play-off final.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe