The reign of Arsene Wenger inevitably divides opinion.

His dictatorship and the autonomy he holds over the club is often condemned but…

2. Tactically speaking

In a tactical sense, Wenger has had a mixed season.

The high-tempo’d approach to the Chelsea home game and the FA cup final, the sumptuous 5-1 demolition of West Ham away and the performances of the team in the last 10 games of the season – moving away from Wenger’s favoured formation to an alien three at the back have all demonstrated that Wenger is actually an astute tactician.

Credit should go to the players and to Wenger for acclimatising so quickly.

A number of players reiterated, what so many believed, that until the week prior to the Middlesborough game, the players had never rehearsed from this modernistic song sheet.

To get results is one thing but for the team to blend the results with a variety of exciting football and a varied attacking approach should be commended.

However, Wenger’s tactics haven’t always garnered such enthusiasm from the fans.

The Groundhog Day defeats to Bayern Munich demonstrated a continued naivety and misbelief that his players can play anyone off the park. Whilst many have criticised Mourinho for his tactics this season, it is clear that Wenger could take a leaf from his adversary’s book and encourage his players to quell their attacking desires and become a little more cynical.

Additionally, Wenger deserves condemnation for his apathetic approach towards West Brom and Crystal Palace’s direct game plans. West Brom was a particular sore point as it seemed to suggest a group of professionals that were wholly unprepared to counteract their opposition’s sole game plan despite alluding to it on several occasions prior to the match.

One would think that Assistant Manager Steve Bould must carry some of the blame for Arsenal’s incompetence at dealing with West Brom’s aerial threat that day; but we hear so little about his day-to-day duties that it’s difficult to ascertain Bould’s day-to-day responsibilities.

Furthermore, Wenger’s individual reading of the game and perhaps his own knowledge of the club’s players could be called into question.

On several occasions, Wenger misconstrued Granit Xhaka’s style of play – first declaring him an attacking player before adjudging him to be a box-to-box style player. Neither of which were correct.

Moreover, despite some exceptional performances by Rob Holding, it wasn’t until the penultimate few weeks of the season that the young English defender was granted a starting position in the team. Despite seeing both players on a regular basis, it took the Frenchman an alarmingly lengthy period of time to play them in their most comfortable positions.

Finally, questions have been asked over Wenger’s insistence on playing Ospina as a cup keeper when it is suspected that he will leave in the summer.

Although Arsenal won the FA cup, if Chelsea had overcome Arsenal following Diego Costa’s goal, there would have been a mob baying for blood. This allegiance has cost the club in the Champions League in previous seasons and almost cost the club the FA cup.

It is important for the club to resolve this issue as it has neither resulted in the second keeper staying at the club for very long, nor has it been particularly beneficial in performances or results.

…Next, performances and coaching…

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