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

Thu, 11:43

John Ryder admits his career will be at a dead end unless he launches his switch to super-middleweight with a victory next month.

Thu, 07:25

Charlie Heatley notched a hat-trick as Mile End cruised into the fourth round of the Jack Walpole Cup by walloping Hacimac 6-0.

Thu, 07:10

It’s often the case that punters see one side holding home advantage against longer-priced opponents and automatically place bets on what they perceive to be an easy home victory, without taking into account the visitors’ form or other factors, such as their readiness to scrap for a point.

Wed, 17:00

A group of Islington BC youngsters were given first use of the new facilities in the revamped gym at neighbouring Lion ABC, Hoxton.

Wed, 16:05

Pro Touch Soccer Academy youngster Haru Maitani has signed schoolboy professional forms with Fulham’s Under-10 side.

Wed, 11:59

Islington side Access2Sports Under-12s are eager to develop a local rivalry with Torriano Tigers following their convincing 48-2 victory against the Community Basketball League debutants.

Mon, 07:16

Midway through a hard-fought first half at the Liberty Stadium a rainbow appeared. Not just any rainbow, one of those glorious technicolour efforts which make you feel warm inside.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Arsene Wenger played down reports of a bust-up with Arsenal’s in-form forward Alexis Sanchez during his side’s impressive 4-0 win at Swansea City.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now