Under most circumstances, Arsenal fans would have been elated over their club signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Dortmund in January, but there was one crucial factor holding us back.
Even though Arsenal were signing a striker who, despite not wanting to be at Dortmund, had scored 21 goals in 24 appearances, most Gooners knew that somehow Arsene Wenger would manage to break him.
It’s happened with Alexandre Lacazette. A man who netted 37 goals in 45 appearances for Lyon last season now looks completely devoid of confidence because of Wenger’s inexplicable substitutions.
What’s more, Arsenal now have some excellent midfielders available: Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. But Wenger’s tactics have managed to make even them look as if they lack any creativity or flare.
Arsenal’s defence is a shambles and there’s no fixing that. Our defence has been terrible for years, even after Steve Bould, one of the greatest defenders to ever play for the club, took Pat Rice’s place as assistant manager.
I’m not entirely sure what Bould actually does during training other than follow Wenger around.
Depressingly, none of these things are going to change. Wenger’s not going to change the way Arsenal play, so, until the Frenchman leaves, we’re just going to have to get used to being disappointed. A lot.
Here’s what Arsenal fans shouldn’t expect to change until Wenger stands down:
We’ll forever have to listen to Wenger – and players – spout nonsense about ‘bouncing back’ after a defeat. Of course, we never actually do bounce back.
We were jaded, tired, little bit handbrake, too many injuries – the list goes on.
3. Mental strength and spirit
During the odd occasion when Arsenal do win, we have to listen to Wenger’s Wengerisms. They were once sort of endearing. Now, they are not.
4. Irate Twitter fans
In the past, keyboard warriors have been annoying. But now I’m more annoyed at Wenger because I’m agreeing with them!
5. Fans booing
I’ve gotten pretty used to the fans booing, not that the club seems to care.
6. Being a laughing stock
Arsenal are the laughing stock of the Premier League. Wenger’s become a caricature of himself.
7. Opposition always look like they want it more
Arsenal never look ‘up for it’ any more. We just looked bored and tired.
8. Selling players to rivals
First Robin van Persie and now Alexis Sanchez. Why were our only two options to allow the Chilean to either sign for Manchester United or leave on a free at the end of the season?
9. Players wanting to leave
Mesut Ozil is a God among men for choosing to stay.
Arsenal almost always top the Injury League table and although we’ve gotten better this season, we’re still not out of the woods.
11. Terrible goalkeeping
Remember when Wojciech Szczesny was supposed to be returning to Arsenal and fighting for his place as #1?
Why can’t the man do his damn coat up?!
13. Not signing actual players the team needs
Look, I’m not complaining that we signed Aubameyang but where are all the defenders?!
14. Not adapting tactics
Whether the opposition want to sit behind the ball or have a go, it doesn’t matter because we’ll play exactly the same.
15. Laughable defending
Do I really need to explain this one? It used to mainly be set-pieces and corners we were bad at defending. Now it’s just everything.
16. Some sort of massive embarrassment
This season, it was losing to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup. There’s always something.
17. Like a new signing
Arsenal fans still get excited when an injured player returns just in case they inject something different into the side.
18. Benching stars for massive games
Lacazette against Liverpool. Enough said.
19. Players’ futures constantly being speculated about
Now that Alexis has gone and Ozil has signed a new deal, the media have moved onto Aaron Ramsey.
20. Constant questions over Arsenal’s hunger
We don’t just look hungry – we’re starving.
21. Close but no cigar
Wenger somehow convinces Arsenal to play well when it’s too late at the end of the season.
22. Struggling against lower league teams
We can make any old team look great.
23. Defeat at home by average side
0-0 at home to Red Star Belgrade was a real season highlight for me.
24. Defeat to opposition’s only shot on target
Sam Clucas has scored three goals this season. All three have been against Arsenal.
Last month, he scored two goals against us with three shots.
25. No Plan B
You never get the sense Arsenal can turn a game around anymore.
26. Unlucky [insert name of another striker]
It was Theo Walcott but he
escaped signed for Everton in January and now Laca’s taken his place.
27. Missing midfield
I’m about to start putting up posters.
28. Unexplained subs
When Arsenal need goals, Wenger will take off his main striker. When we need to be defensive, he’ll attack. He makes no sense!
29. Zonal marking
Wenger loves it and it can work for a lot of teams… just not for Arsenal because we’re terrible.
30. No leaders
Is it because Wenger doesn’t sign them or because he gives the armband to the wrong men?