Are the Arsenal board giving Arsene Wenger the rope to hang himself?

by & filed under News Review.

In a way I feel for Arsene Wenger, I really do. I have a huge amount of respect for what he had to put up with during the stadium move and how he kept us afloat in times of seriously poor cash flow. According to fact, we deferred the signing of Robin Van Persie by 6 months because we couldn’t afford his fee in one lump, which was about £2.75million. Also, back in 2006, we didn’t play Theo for so long because we couldn’t afford his first installment that was triggered by an appearance.

Pre summer 2007 we really were in a hole with money and to keep us alive in the Champions League and to get us to a final in the process was an incredible achievement. As many have pointed out, possibly the greatest achievement under his tenure has been keeping the clubs head above water during the move.

Trouble is, coming so close to greatness in 2006 on a shoe string budget scarred his methodology forever, because ever since, regardless of resource, he’s been chasing the low-budget success high he buzzed off that summer Jens Lehmann smashed over Eto’o and killed our dreams.

Since January 2008 he’s has £18million plus to spend in the transfer market. Small fry compared to City and Chelsea, but when have we ever played ball in those markets? Jan 2008 we could have re-signed Anelka, held on to Diarra and we could have picked up a centre back. Instead, we signed no one, sold Diarra for a pittance in case his value fell below £4million on loan and flogged Gilberto.

Summers have generally repeated themselves. Same old problems with promised redress in May with no delivery by September. The result? Often we’d compete with a small squad until February, then things would fall away when injuries set in and mental fragility reared it’s ugly head.

The same coaching staff, the same average players being flogged and the same outcome. Like many scenarios in life, you can forgive mistakes if they’re not repeated, you can forgive them if you see different approaches and a ruthless streak when things are going wrong… But to just watch the same failings over and over again becomes tiring.

This is what many journo’s don’t understand when assessing crowd reaction at the Emirates. Sure the song wasn’t nice, sure booing mid-game isn’t smart when chasing a game, but there comes a point after watching seasons unravel so frequently when you just lose it. Being rational is the easiest thing in the world when you have no emotion invested in a club. It’s easy to stick up for a manager who has kept you in a job with witty sound bites for years. Not so easy when you’re forking out a massive chunk of cash you’ve scrapped hard to find, knowing what you’re likely to see. Like Geoff said yesterday, the UK’s press are up in arms over the pay of the RBS Chief and he’s earning half of what Arsene is at the moment… £7million a year and he’s not doing his best to give us a competitive team.

Arsene Wenger is the root of these issues. Don’t believe the stories about Dick Law bumbling around messing up Wenger’s deals because they’re simply not true. Wenger’s indecisiveness on players is the problem. As reported at the AGM, he values the players and he decides what to pay them. If he didn’t, he’d be elsewhere… as he’s said on many occasions before.

Trouble we have at the club is a power issue. Wenger controls too much. He was given more power when Dein went because most of the current board had too much trust in him. It largely paid off, the issue is that now he’s not doing so well, it’s hard to wrestle the power back.

So what is going on at board level? Are they giving him the rope to hang himself? It makes sense doesn’t it. Gazidis only has power when it comes to the commercial side of the business, the rest of the board are old, bereft of energy and ideas and their satisfaction of Champions League every year to fatten their eventual pay off has caused a malaise in the club which has filtered into the first team. Do you think the current set up suits Ivan Gazidis and Tom Fox. Do you think the commercial team relishes a squad they’re struggling to market? No way… but they can’t remove a legend unless the fans say so.

Why do you think the board chose Stan to take over? Because he’ll stay in America, come over once and year and keep the status quo. What do you think Usmanov would be doing now? What benefit would he see on £50mill profit bar a tax liability? He’d come in, he’d change the board (the old boys), bring in fresh blood and give Arsene the funds needed to transform his squad.

The only demand? Win something. As someone in the comments pointed out yesterday. Football clubs don’t exist to make money, they exist to succeed.

Changes need to happen at Arsenal. I said after the last collapse that the next dip in form will see a far quicker backlash. It proved true. Wenger should have acted in early Jan, that could have saved him a whole load of grief. Sadly we are where we are now. Our relationship with Arsene is damaged forever, regardless of how many guilty ‘there’s only one Arsene Wenger’ songs we sing at the weekend. Gazidis said to me at the AST Q&A that ultimately, the manager was accountable to the fans. Well, things aren’t looking good are they?

As for Madrid coming in for Arsene. You have got to be kidding me? If Mourinho is getting grief after over taking Barca to the top of La Liga, what would they think to Wenger bringing in super class talent like Silvestre and Park Chu-Young? He’d last half a season anywhere like that and he’d be a giant hypocrite if he went to a financially doped club and started spunking money up the wall like Kenny Dalglish at an English Players supermarket.

Right, that’s you lot. Geoff back on tomorrow… whilst I’ll be recording the first podcast for Le Grove!

[twitter-follow screen_name=’LeGrove’ show_count=’yes’] 

P.S. Chelsea fans are all class eh?

708 Responses to “Are the Arsenal board giving Arsene Wenger the rope to hang himself?”

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  1. Lurch LeRouge

    i work with people in the film and television industry ricky, plenty of editors do side jobs in LA when they aren’t cutting film.

  2. Gus J.

    Challenge anyone to mention a bigger cunt than Pepe – in pretty much any walk of life.

    What planet is this joker from?

    And incredible how Mourinho can turn even the best players on earth into common thugs. Diarra plays as if his entire pay is based on not touching the ball (particularly when tackling).

    How any one supports this current Real side is beyond me. Even Casillas has become a prat…


  3. skandibird

    I read earlier that Rosicky is going to be offered 1 year extension to his contract??? Maybe they’ll offer another 3 years to Diaby while they’re at it?

    so pleased Liverpool won, but only because they beat the Manc$. Maybe, hopefully, they’ll win nothing this season, and at the moment we do have a chance at the FA cup, so lets get behind the team on Sunday!!!!

  4. LeMassiveCoq

    £5K a day for gay porn? Where do I sign up? I’m not gay or owt, but that is some serious cheese. Do I get a choice to be a giver or a taker. By the way I don’t do anal and I only work with lesbians (fit ones).


  5. Ricky

    I really dont understand stan kronke….

    He’s buying all these sporting franchise’s but shows no signs of investing into them on the playing side… ?

    Seems like he’d rather have a few medicore teams rather then one succesful one.

  6. Ricky

    Exactly my thoughts incesc…

    Actions speak louder & all that……..

    I honestly believe he’s having second thoughts about coming into this game at this level.. I mean whats he’s estimated worth? 1-2 bn?

  7. unknown

    Removing wenger might not be the best idea,only if wenger changes his ways spends on 3-4 quality players i think arsenal can the best again.Wenger has set it up for himself only to be failing by 3-4 signings i am shocked he cannot realize that.If he cant then Arsenal should move on and wenger should depart.I am a huge arsenal fan and its really upsetting to see arsenal not there amongst the best i.e. barca real etc jus a few good players can change all that.Mata would have been one.Walcott,ramsey,gervinho are good squad players but not on a starting 11 for AFC.We deserve better,where are the likes of henry(old) pires viera heroes and world beaters.
    A new striker like di natalie villa,a advance playmaker like gotze,sneijder, and a world class winger like mata sanchex will change arsenal from a okay team to the best.This is just my view.We just need # new players rather then a new manager new system unknown shores.

  8. Radio Raheem

    seriously, how shit is mancini? a zillion spent and out of all the cups…he should be sodomised by an elephant if they don’t win the league

  9. Joppa Road

    Fck me Madrid had a perfectly good goal disallowed. Not only are Barca the best, they have the officials onside too. BS.

  10. Lurch LeRouge

    dressing room?! oursis more a creche really, moulded rubber corners, scented candles, no mirrors, bright prime colours not sure Ronaldo would like it.

  11. ritesh

    We came close in 2006 and Wenger went through a lot. Some of the refereeing decisions we received after Eduardo’s injury were appaling and too dirty to be just by chance.

    We can’t buy so many players because we simply cant pay them. You talk about Chamakh being on 90K everytime, but you should remember he came with no transfer fee. Plus he kept us alive for half a season putting them in the net before Robin came and he then lost his confidence.

    You fantasize about 40M or so. We would need at least 100M to have a decent team. A tried and tested guy does not come below 25M these days and you need at least 4 to get the team winning.
    And the guy who come in for 25M, you have to pay him huge salaries. And dont tell me about the salaries of the fringe players and juniors because the academy actually brings in money from player sales. They are not a burden on us.

    The only thing I dislike a lot with Wenger is his inability to use the hairdryer and get his players to wear their socks off for the team.

  12. Dan Ahern (@topical_storm)

    Hey all.
    Marca (Spanish paper) just tweeted:
    “Mourinho dice que en el vestuario del Madrid ha escuchado a sus jugadores decir que “es imposible ganar en el Camp Nou””

    Mourinho says that in the Madrid dressing room his players have said “it’s impossible to win at the Camp Nou”

    I missed this one, but I would suggest to them: more football, less fighting, diving, whining, faking, cheap shots and cheating.

    Tall order, I know.

  13. Joppa Road

    I fkin hate Barcelona – cheating fcks. How any Arsenal fan can get behind them after the BS last season is beyond me.


  14. OPG

    The 2 games were pretty good footballing wise actually, although Real Madrid were kicking the lumps out of Barca in the 1st leg especially.

  15. Lurch LeRouge

    completely agree Joppa, can’t stand em to the extent I actually started enjoying Madrid in spite.

    although that Ramos goal was a foul on Alves imo.

  16. Dan Ahern (@topical_storm)

    Joppa, Lurch – Don’t have to get behind ’em to appreciate ’em. Just cuz they fucked Arsenal doesn’t mean they’re not an amazing team. I love watching them. Are they cheating assholes? Yeah, pretty much. But they’re still insanely good.

  17. Lurch LeRouge

    no can’t go there Dan, its pure loathing i’m afraid.

    I can’t be having cunts like puyol and pique running around colney with photos of our captain in hand, forcing shirts on him etc… RVP getting sent off for play acting….on one hand then deriving pleasure from them in the other, computer says no.

  18. Keyser

    They’re both pretty scummy teams, except Mourinho’s a complete cock aswell.

    You watch it because it’s El Classico and Sky can’t help themselves, otherwise they’ve destroyed what used to be a pretty good league to watch and now the cheating side of it is probably the most interesting bit about it.

    I’m not even sure Ronaldinho wasn’t better to watch.

  19. Dan Ahern (@topical_storm)

    Hah, well, sorry it’s gotten that bad for ya Lurch. I understand. But man, they’re fucking good at what they do. As a fan of football in general, to see what they’re capable of touches on incredible. It’s really a shame some of them such ill-mannered, childish fucks.

  20. Keyser

    Ah, nah, it’s almost equal, I wouldn’t waste any positive mental thought for either of them, if it isn’t people salivating over how good Barcelona’s football is, ignoring the gamesmanship, it’s people telling you Mourinho’s a genius for failing to beat them with probably the most expensively assembled team of all time.

    Right now Mancini doesn’t seem soo annoying, so he gets alot of slack, likewise Citeh because Chelsea were doing it first and it’s funny.

    Football’s pretty rubbish all around right now.

  21. Keyser

    That’s not weird, that’s normal for me, even Ronaldinho I didn’t like because Henry was up against him for best player in the World, but there’s things he did I don’t think Messi would even attempt.

  22. Joppa Road

    I follow Madrid because my son loves them for some reason – oh yeah it was because Ronaldo joined them.

    Personally I love to see two teams that hate each other as much as them two do. Remember the Arsenal v Man U rivalry? It was fantastic, just like Rangers v Celtic. All these people trying to stop the hatred…why? I love it.

  23. Lurch LeRouge

    haha, my son liked united till he realised the peril of it and just gave up interest all together, no bother he’s a nerd and not least bit interested in sport. go figure.

    ronaldinho was ridiculous, tragic waste of talent though.

  24. Lurch LeRouge

    yeah saw that OPG, hope he’s got a plan in place for our deadwood, that or he doesn’t recon it’ll be his problem….

  25. incesc

    funny that

    hes also loaned out bendtner and denilson both over 21.

    hope i never get old enough to go as mad as wanger

  26. Lurch LeRouge

    he’s really praying for as much regulatory assistance as possible isn’t he, there’s literally no point offering him £100M to spend.

    Joppa, there’s no hope of recovery.

  27. Ray

    No one is bigger than the club, that including the manager, the fans, the player and oh ya, not forgotten the board.

    If the board cannot perform, they should leave but as we know they won’t. I see so many fans critizing each other saying things like if you want a rich club or a club having lots of throphies then go and support either one of the Manchester club.
    Why are we fighting each other?
    We have the same objective, we want success for the club because we love the club.

    However, wake up, there are some people who care more about their butt sticking on the seat of the chair in the board meeting room and their own account than the club success. Look at what these people did to Lady Smith and Dein.

    We had high hope on Stan previously but what happened next?
    We only bought in some players when we were defeated by MU for 8-2 else we won’t press the buy button at all. And who we aimed for compare to who we bought? It is disappointing isn’t it?

    Questions like why the hell we bought Park and don’t use him at all?
    Why we know Gibbs is injury prone and yet we thought we have a left back?
    We know we are one injury away from dropping to the middle of the table and yet we still continue to gamble with RVP, why?
    We know we can no longer rely on players like Squilacci, Fabianski, Almunia, Diably, Arshavin, Chamakh, Vito Manone, Gibbs, Rosicky who cannot even make it to the bench of MC, MU, Chelsea, Real, Barca etc. and yet we claim that we have a squad who can win many things, if this is not lieing to ourselves and making us a laughing stock for the others, I don’t know what is.

    So, what’s next for us?
    Well, I hope someone can start to post something on how to get rid of the deadwood in our board especially Peter Deadwood.

  28. Gamboff

    Some of you guys have this ridiculous hard-on for an “English spine” and just love English mediocrity ….. someone in this thread seriously saying we should’ve bought Jack Rodwell? Rodwell are you fucking serious?

    Liverpool’s cup run nothwithstanding, they are exhibit A in overpaying for domestic players.

    All will not be well if you go and buy 5-6 “gritty players” from the bottom half of the table. Get some fng star players

  29. gnarleygeorge9

    “In a way I feel for Arsene Wenger, I really do. I have a huge amount of respect for what he had to put up with during the stadium move and how he kept us afloat in times of seriously poor cash flow”.

    Pedro, history will be kind on him, if he goes soon. Otherwise he will destroy a legacy that is still up there with greats like George Graham & Herbert Chapman.

  30. goonerboy

    When you charge very high ticket prices,
    when you make 3m per home game and you receive ECL revenues of 25m +per season, -how is a surplus of only 18m for transfers and salaries together justified?
    If it is true figure-then the statements made by the manager and the Board at the end of the last 2 seasons about the need to strengthen the defence and that significant funds were available for transfers-are-deliberate deceptions designed to increase ticket sales. Future statements about spending money on transfers made by the club should not be taken at face value.

    When Arsene Wenger stated in July 2008 that he had to sell big players each year for the club to stay solvent- seems like this was correct-not just then but now as well.

    Who turned down the option of a rights issue to inject more cash?
    Who’s job is it to acquire sufficient funds for the team to remain competitive? Is it the team manager or Ivan Gazidis and the Board?

    While it can be argued that a lot of players have not fulfilled their potential that Wenger has developed-how many would have performed better with 2 or 3 additional top mature players brought in?
    Its not as if Walcott and Ramsey have not already shown what potential they have-they like Song cannot deliver it every 3 days. How many players of their ages do in the EPL?

    These young players are not ready to be the driving force of a top level team. But its far too early and stupid to write them off.

    Its true Denilson, Chamakh and for the most part Arshavin are now terrible and have been a liability for a long time. No other top club in Europe would have persisted as long as Wenger has for any of these 3 duds. But were they terrible non performers before they came to us? How about Rosicky? even Park? Maybe they are only crap playing where Arsene plays them and playing his way with a bunch of injury prone teenagers around them-in a disorganised team whose “organic” style of football has been well and truly sussed out by opponents and which cannot defend at the top level.