Former Arsenal midfield Thomas Eisfeld has revealed that Arsene Wenger is a calm and collected presence on the training ground, unless someone tries to play a long ball.
As relayed by Goal the youngster, who was sold to Fulham last year and is now on-loan at FC Bochum, shed light on how Wenger likes to behave when the the media spotlight isn’t on him.
Fans would probably expect the Frenchman to be a patrol-the-sidelines-quietly type gaffer, rather than one who raises hell in order to get his point across, and Eisfeld has confirmed he’s exactly that.
"Arsenal stands for a certain kind of football. Arsene Wenger has formed the club, he emphasises the beauty of the game," Eisfeld said.
"If you play a long ball in training you would get some words - even from the other players. He [Wenger] is very quiet, doesn't talk much. During training sessions he rarely corrects something.
"Only after having finished he will talk to you, two or three sentences. And that is what you remember for a long time. In general, he is a person everybody respects, absolutely."
To most football fans it will come as no surprise that Wenger likes to have his players utilise a short passing game as opposed to one that centres around them clearing their lines or having a target man to aim at.
For the best part of a decade the Gunners have retained a reputation for playing arguably the most aesthetically pleasing brand of football in the Premier League, although it hasn’t served them all too well in terms of winning trophies. A style over substance approach is certainly what Wenger appears to prefer, with the presence of a top quality ball-winner having been missing in north London since the exit of Patrick Vieira.
Indeed for the most part the Gunners have struggled defensively since their ‘Invincibles’ campaign, and whilst they’ve very much looked the part going forward they’ve never really managed to launch a sustainable assault on the Premier League title since 2004.
A direct consequence of this is that Wenger has received more than his fair share of criticism over the years, with fans having to watch the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea lift major silverware, the former with what some would deem a weaker man-for-man squad under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Simple Plan B
Perhaps then it could be argued that Arsenal would be better served sometimes adapting to a more basic plan B in games where their tiki-taka-esque system doesn’t bear fruits, much like Louis van Gaal’s United have been accused of at points this term.
If they were to try their hand at it then Wenger would obviously need to offer some leeway with regards to his approach with players ‘going long’ in training, as Eisfeld’s comments make it abundantly clear which side of the fence he stands on at the moment.
Arsenal fans, do you think Arsene Wenger should stick to his guns in a pursuit of perfect football? Or should he be open to playing a long ball game sometimes? Let us know in the comments box below...
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