Yesterday I had lunch with a Arsenal fanatic and resident of Hove. He was exasperated by the stubbornness of Arsene Wenger. Their young defender Calum Chambers was taken part by the Anderkecht winger resulting in 3 goals conceded. The following game against Swansea a further 2 late goals were conceded . Both results in his view, and those of many Arsenal fans, could have been avoided by substitutions which Wenger never made. There was no doubting Wenger’s considerable achievements in his 20 years at the helm – the footballing values, the new stadium, the training ground at Colney, the Trophies won, the consistent qualification for the Champions League, the acquisition of Henry, Viera, Anelka, Toure, Fabregas all sold profitably, but the time had come in my friend’s opinion for someone new – that someone was Ronald Koeman from Southampton.
You never can predict how a manager will perform when he goes up a level as Pocchetino has shown at Spurs. David Moyes is another example of a respected manager who did well at Everton but lacking the qualities to succeed at Manchester United. “Be careful what you wish for” warns David Dein. One is always reluctant to pass judgment when a fan clearly knows more but my view is that for many seasons now Wenger has failed to sign an enforcer to protect his back line but any number of offensive young midfielders .
The problems of Brighton are less complex. We simply lack a goal scorer. Everyone agrees on that including the manager Sami Hyppia. The difficulty is finding him. Hyppia signed two from division one Baldock and O’Grady and the spaniard Colunga. None of them have proved regular goal scorers so he will have to go back to the market in the January window, something which chairman Tony Bloom does not favour.
What with Fiorentina losing at home to Napoli the only happy bunny on the Rust is Alan Tanner though not so long ago he was so depressed about Fulham he could hardly bring himself to go