I hate writing pieces like this. HATE HATE HATE. But, it has to be done. First, the caveat: what follows is from a piece in today's Telegraph, containing no actual quotes or attribution. But, to caveat the caveat: it comes from Matt Law, who is a pretty solid source most of the time. So while there are no direct quotes and no attribution, it's probably fair to think that a few people spoke on background and that there's some truth to this.
And "this" is...unsettling. The piece basically says that Arsene Wenger is starting to confuse people with his management style and patterns; for instance, after Sunday's
loss draw, Arsene gave the squad today off, despite having a game on Thursday and another one the Sunday after that. This is...unconventional, to say the least; most clubs would typically have a "regeneration day" the day after a match that features very light training and, crucially, a video session discussing what went right and wrong in the previous day's game.
This follows the Friday they were given off prior to the game, and also the two days off after the West Ham draw - all time that could have been used to diagnose problems and try to fix them, even with little or no actual physical work as the club tries to stay fresh for the last few games of the season.
Wenger's substitutions have also been a source of, shall we say, bemusement to those inside the club, according to the piece - the Ramsey one yesterday makes perfect sense, but a little more head-scratchy were the Giroud-for-Elneny and Walcott for Welbeck moves; Theo Walcott, in particular, has not been great and the fact that he is propping up the table in yesterday's Community Man Of The Match voting tells you all you need to know about how he did.
I swear I'm not looking for things that may be going wrong and magnifying them to make a case - I'm just trying to make sense of what I read in the Telegraph piece and figure out why these things are coming out now. We'll never know why they happen in the first place - we're not at the club, we don't know how Arsene conducts his training - but it does seem like Arsene's starting to get some heads a-scratchin' around London Colney, and that can't really be a good thing.