Seems Wenger is winning over his critics as one of his vocal critics and former Arsenal legend Ian Wright has finally seen something good in Wenger’s assembled Gunners and believe they can finally end their trophy drought.
“Without a doubt they can win something this year,” Wright told Goal. “If they can keep the injuries to a minimum and keep this vibrancy and energy that Ozil has brought to the club, then they can do it.
“Without a doubt, it’s similar to when Bergkamp joined Arsenal. We’re talking about two world class players, two world class performers.
“Dennis was an exemplary professional and when he played, my game went up 40-50 per cent because of his quality in every single training session.
“That’s what’s happening with Ozil at Arsenal. When they are training now, their game will naturally be lifted because you have to get to that standard. That’s going breed more confidence throughout the whole place.
“Ozil is the kind of player I’ve been calling for, for years. He’s given the squad and the team a boost but I think Arsenal need a couple more.
“If something happens to Olivier Grioud there could be a problem because he is awesome right now.”
“I get a lot of stick from Arsenal fans for it, but for a club of that stature to go eight years without winning anything, you’ve got a right to ask stuff
“No-one is saying that they want the manager to go but as soon as you start asking questions, people think you’ve got something against Wenger.
“When I played for the club, there was a sense that you had to win something, had to achieve something. When you go eight years without that happening, people have got the right to ask the questions about the manager, about signings that haven’t worked out.
“At the same time, he’s still a great enough manager that he can turn it around again – and hopefully that is happening now. It’s been absolutely fantastic.”
While I agree with him that the arrival of Ozil has given the team the needed impetus and lift, I disagree with him that it’s because Ozil has arrived now that Arsenal will stand a decent chance of ending the drought. Ozil was a big signing but Flamini was an important one. The Frenchman isn’t in the spotlight because he didn’t cost Wenger tens of millions of Pounds to get. Big things sometimes come in small packages. He likened the arrival of the German to when Bergkamp joined Arsenal but need I remind him that the Dutch passmaster joined Arsenal on the back of an indifferent spell at the San Siro. All the same a big money signing like Ozil has lifted the spirit of the entire team but the presence of Flamini has added grit and discipline to the team.
He spoke about the lengthy trophy drought. He tried comparing his time with now but let me be swift in reminding him that the market wasn’t inflated as it is now back then and also there weren’t moneybags everywhere then. Can he tell who was the World’s record transfer then? Also, Arsenal didn’t have a project that hampered them in the window. Then, the Gunners were contended with life at Highbury but they had to move into a new stadium and that led to the construction of the Emirates. The choice to build when others were buying players hampered Arsenal.
Rather than vilifying Arsene Wenger for not winning trophies in 8 years, he should be hailed for ensuring the Gunners didn’t miss the biggest European club showpiece even once.