Featured Matches
Previous
Germany
Argentina
ESPNDeportes 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Czech Republic
United States
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
England
Norway
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Philadelphia Union
Toronto FC
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
New England Revolution
Sporting Kansas City
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chivas USA
Seattle Sounders FC
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Russia
Azerbaijan
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Lithuania
United Arab Emirates
4:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Latvia
Armenia
5:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Denmark
Turkey
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Czech Republic
United States
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Republic of Ireland
Oman
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Germany
Argentina
ESPNDeportes 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
England
Norway
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Morocco
Qatar
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Somozas
CD Varea
4:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Leioa
Sestao
5:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Izarra
Atlético Granadilla
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Puertollano
Teruel
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Barakaldo
Trival Valderas
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Alcoyano
Pena Deportiva
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Cornella
Real Jaen CF
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Gimnastic de Tarragona
Atlético Baleares
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Gimnástica Torrelavega
Lealtad
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Huesca
Toledo
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Racing Ferrol
Atletico Astorga
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Aviles Industrial
Marino de Luanco
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Oviedo
Amorebieta
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Cartagena
UCAM Murcia
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Hercules
Eldense
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
La Hoya Lorca
Villanovense
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
San Roque de Lepe
Cádiz
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
UD Marbella
Linense
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Philadelphia Union
Toronto FC
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
New England Revolution
Sporting Kansas City
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Chivas USA
Seattle Sounders FC
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Gimnasia La Plata
Estudiantes La Plata
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Godoy Cruz de Mendoza
River Plate
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
EC Vitória
Sport
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Goiás EC
Fluminense FC
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Crucero del Norte
All Boys
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Ferro Carril Oeste
Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Argentinos Juniors
Aldosivi
9:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Douglas Haig
Instituto de Córdoba
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Santamarina
Independiente Rivadavia
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Colón de Santa Fe
Guarini A. Franco
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Patronato
Sarmiento de Junín
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
San Martín de San Juan
Nueva Chicago
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Atletico Paranaense
América RN
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Santa Rita
Cruzeiro
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 5
Game Details
Ceará
Botafogo
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Corinthians
Bragantino
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Flamengo
Coritiba FBC
1:00 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Santos FC
Gremio
Postp
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
Aguilas Doradas
Independiente Santa Fe
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Atlético Junior
Atlético Huila
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
León de Huánuco
UTC
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Limon
Santos
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Carmelita
Perez Zeledon
1:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Cartagines
Universidad De Costa Rica
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Pumas Generalena
Club Sport Uruguay
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next

Top 5: First XI costs in Premier League

Transfers 1 day ago
Read

West Ham fan's fundraiser

The Toe Poke 13 hours ago
Read
Apr 21, 2011

Time for Wenger to change the record

Arsene Wenger has been a figure ripe for satire ever since his first public utterance of "I did not see the incident", but the past week may have marked the point at which the Arsenal manager lapsed entirely into self-parody. So empty is his rhetoric at present, Wenger appears to have entered the realm of propaganda.

After that draw against Liverpool last weekend and his side's failure to hold onto a lead on three separate occasions against Tottenham on Wednesday, Wenger is again fiercely battling the perception that Arsenal are mentally shot, that their lack of experience renders them inept in the face of pressure at the business end of the season.

From his determination to blame anyone but Emmanuel Eboue for Liverpool's 102nd-minute penalty, to insisting in the wake of another capitulation against Spurs that "this team has a remarkable attitude", despite all evidence to the contrary, Wenger is engaged in a full-on information war with his detractors in the media and beyond.

It is a war he is losing. In fact, his stance could hardly be more transparent if he was declaring "there is no presence of American infidels" as a statue of Saddam Hussein was torn to the ground behind him and battered with 50 pairs of trainers.

In order to fight his corner, Wenger has long equipped himself with a stock of phrases that have been articulated to Arsenal supporters so often since their last trophy success in 2005. Time and again, they have been told that his young players are ready to seize their destiny, that they now possess a steely determination. When Arsenal lose, it is culpable referees who are at fault, or else the teams that travel to Emirates Stadium with no intention of playing football, by Wenger's very strict definition.

However, the result of continually pursuing such a discourse is a lack of accountability and responsibility at Emirates Stadium, perhaps contributing to the dereliction of duty his players now perform on a yearly basis at around February or March, as competition after competition is surrendered.

With Arsenal beating only Leyton Orient and Blackpool since the Carling Cup final defeat to Birmingham, and all but ending their hopes in four trophies in the process, Wenger's refrain rings more hollow than ever. After the Tottenham draw his team were hailed as "remarkably consistent". Laughable, of course, unless Wenger was referring to their unerring success in accumulating draws at present, but another example of how he seeks to shape the popular perception of his side.

He is hardly alone in this - any manager with any inkling of how to do their job properly engages in similar pursuits - but unfortunately for the Arsenal manager, propaganda cannot entirely mask reality, and this week sensitive information slipped out from within his own camp in the form of Cesc Fabregas' interview with Don Balon.

It is worth revisiting some salient points from that interview. "Either go out and win or develop players ... for me it's more a lack of a winning mentality, also of maturity in key moments. We have plenty of quality but lack this bit of confidence ... the problem is that the team needs to win something ... nobody in the team has won anything. We are missing that ability to say: 'Now I know what it is to win and I know what it takes to win'."

All salient points, eloquently expressed, that go firmly against the party line. Speaking after the Spurs draw, Wenger expressed his disappointment with the way the interview was presented, particularly as he said the club had been given copy approval. Failing to control the message meant an inconvenient truth slipped out: his own captain had conceded that Arsenal lack a winning mentality.

Then again, the evidence was there for all to see. In recent seasons, the following scorelines are enough to bring any Gunners supporter out in a sweat: Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham, Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal, Arsenal 2-3 Tottenham, Tottenham 3-3 Arsenal, Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool, Wigan 3-2 Arsenal. All capitulations of varying degrees that you cannot imagine a club like Manchester United suffering with anything like that kind of regularity. The message is clear: Arsenal can't close out a game, let alone a title race.

Given the wonderful way in which they play on occasion and their long list of excellent results under Wenger, this particular vulnerability must be mental in nature. It is not a failure of technique or ability, and it needs to be rectified with the addition in the summer of players who have experience in winning a trophy, or else the mistakes of the past are surely destined to be repeated by a group of players who have known little else.

Doing so would not represent a complete betrayal of Wenger's transfer policy - a policy which was both laudable and necessary as the club moved from Highbury to Emirates Stadium. In fact, it is worth noting here that Wenger cannot be praised enough for the firm base he has given Arsenal in terms of infrastructure and finance, a base that should ensure their place amongst the elite for some time. Similarly, though he was pilloried for saying so, he was right that consistently finishing in a Champions League place is a form of success in its own right.

But that does not mean that more tangible success cannot be obtained with a more ambitious transfer policy, or that there should not be an element of flexibility in his approach in the market. After all, no one accuses Barcelona of abandoning their focus on La Masia having spent big on David Villa. Signing an experienced player who could improve the resilience of the dressing room would be a legitimate tweak to his approach.

The problem is that Wenger's stubborn adherence to his principles may preclude against him doing so. Most Arsenal fans were bemused when no new goalkeeper was signed at the start of the season, while the failure to recruit a new defender in January given Thomas Vermaelen's injury problems was also perplexing. Never prepared to stymie the development of a young talent, it appears Wenger has lost an element of ambition in his approach to the transfer market. Some room for manoeuvre is required, particularly as fans are steeling themselves for a rise in ticket prices just as it appears that Arsenal are not putting their considerable finances to pertinent use.

It barely needs stating that Wenger's legacy in English football is manifold, that he has transformed Arsenal beyond recognition off and on the pitch and is one of the great managers of modern times in English football. Any suggestions he should leave the club are beyond ridiculous.

But some element of change in his approach is required, even if his public utterances suggest that may be an unlikely prospect.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.