Pat Rice & Boro Piromac… what are you doing? | Wenger lowers expectations again with weak comments

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Could be about 50 people at Arsenal

I don’t take time out to read too many of Wengers press conferences these days. They’re too repetitive to take note of. I did however catch the a quotes from Saturday nights.

‘At the moment I get many lessons from many people who have managed zero clubs and zero games and zero European games.’

Right on cue George. Arsene, before you throw your low fat bran flakes at the cat, George Graham won 2 league titles with an extremely young side, he won a bundle of cups and he was one game away from an invincible season. He also managed a team that conceded just 18 in a term.

‘I think Arsenal are in crisis. I think it’s been slipping away for the last couple of years. They’ve got money to buy and I can’t understand why Arsene didn’t go out and get some quality players in the summer.

‘You’ve got to introduce youngsters, like Sir Alex Ferguson does. But at the same time he’ll buy ready-made players who cost £25m because they’re not afraid to do it. Arsene has overdone the youth policy and the players coming in are not as good as the ones that have left.’

Manu Petit may not be a manager, but I feel he has a unique insight into the way you work and he has direct experience of you at your best.

“Arsene built success based on experienced players and big characters. All of a sudden he decided to completely change it, put confidence in young players.

“For five years they were close to winning something but they didn’t and that’s why they have to change the policy.

“They have to bring in more experience and big characters. They need leaders. But you cannot sign big players if you are not in the Champions League.”

“Every year they’re selling their best players. Arsenal are not a football academy – they’re one of the biggest clubs in Europe and need to get back to that level.

“They have to spend money to get the big names, and they must also ask some players to leave.”

Right on Manu… Many succinct points there. The simple fact is Wenger did have the makings of a few good teams post invincibles but they all bombed in the second half of the season because of a lack of experience and lack of depth. Also, well played on highlighting the summer of shame. Not recruiting replacements for players the club knew were departing was beyond a joke.

Even Ray Parlour, another man with hard experience in a Wenger dream machine reckons we need to spend £75mill to compete. He’s right and that sum is definitely well within our limits of expenditure. All the figures flying around this morning claiming Wenger is set to be given a war chest this summer are the same nonsense stories that went around last year.

He’s had a warchest since 2008!

The sheer arrogance of Arsene is quite unbelievable. He’s overseen zero trophies in 7 seasons and refused to change his coaching staff in that time probably in the belief that only he knows best. Therein lies the problem people… that’s why Pat Rice sitting next to him on the bench. How can a man who was a double winner in the early seventies and the assistant manager who helped create one of the greatest back fours the world has ever seen, allow our defence to plod along as it has done. How can he not pull Arsene aside and demand he is given control of the back 4 during training?

How can Boro Piromac, himself a  defender who captained Yugoslavia in the eighties and acrrued 600+ games as a professional across 4 clubs not be having a quiet word with Arsene about the disgraceful displays he’s witnessing from the back four every week for 7 years?

I’d argue that Wenger has struggled since he had to create a defence from scratch without any George Graham influence. The players he has right now are his signings and they can’t defend. The first team he took over he inherited from George Graham. Well, the core of it at least. He had an amazing back four that didn’t need managing. All they needed was better contracts and a reduction in pre-match boozing. They were well oiled and well disciplined. They new when to b*llock, when to praise… when to roam forward, when to boot into touch.

The second iteration of the back four consisted of the best centre back in Europe, Kolo Toure, Cashley and Lauren. I can’t knock the purchases, they were top notch. However, they were afforded the luxury of learning from the best. Keown, Adams and Winterburn hung around. That knowledge was absorbed and that back four went on to go undefeated. They were good players without doubt, but they certainly benefitted from having the old guard hanging around the place.

Shortly after that, the decimation began. Wenger booted all the invinvibles out pretty sharpish and he brought in players that weren’t as good. The team in front of the back four lacked experience and because we’ve never been able to train young defenders, things slowly went down hill. Wenger should have called upon the experience that had recently floated out the door. He didn’t think he needed to do that though. He thought he could trust in technical ability and the idea that if you maintain all the posession, no one can hurt you. He became complacent. He believed if you are great once, you’ll always be great. He didn’t imagine other people would catch and surpass.

Well, 7 years on, he’s still yet to recreate a proper defence. The numbers are getting worse, yet no one seems to be bothered. How can we ever expect to sustain a season if we’re beating our record for conceding goals year after year?

If you always think you’re the smartest guy in the room, you’ll never improve. Fergie knows he’s not the smartest in the room. He knows he has the keep ahead of the game an that’s why he’s always competing. Still, if no one internally has the bottle to challenge a poorly conceived mindset, you’ll see the same patterns emerge season after season. I don’t think Arsenal fans enjoy the buzz of calling a season correctly in July. We always seem to manage it though, don’t we? Well, bar some of the deluded ones…

A simple lesson in football. If you want to compete for trophies you need a big enough squad to handle the games. You also need to make sure the players are good enough. You don’t win trophies with average players. It’s always been that way. Unless you’re a Scottish team of course.

The other thing that is slightly grating me is the bypassing of Wenger when it comes to the blame. Firstly it was the board for not supporting him with money. Now that myth has been exploded, we’re blaming the people above him for not putting more pressure on him to spend. Sure, a chunk of the blame has to be put on the owner… but how have we slipped blame from Wenger again? If ultimately he’s the power broker, the highest paid person at the whole club, how can we suddenly say it’s more Stan’s fault for not forcing him to buy players? I thought everyone was jumping for joy at an owner who wouldn’t challenge the status quo last summer?

I’m playing devils advocate a little here… but we do have a tendency to absolve Wenger whenever we can.

What is amusing is Geoff and I opposed Stan from the off to much criticism… now look at everyone! So many fell for his cowboy hat and friendly tash. Not us… we’d seen the Yosemite Sam cartoons back in the day. We knew not all cowboys were experts at running International football clubs.

More groundhog quotes emerged late yesterday…

 “People are always asking the same question but the first trophy is to finish in the top four and that’s still possible for us,”

“I believe that is vital for us, so let’s focus on that.”

“We have many missing: big, big players, too. We’re in February and [Jack] Wilshere has played zero games, [Abou] Diaby has played zero games, [Per] Mertesacker is out for the season and [Andre] Santos for three months. That would be difficult for any club in the world to deal with. But let’s win our next game and we’ll be fine.”

Arsene, I’d say the major players we’re missing are not mentioned above. You know, Cesc and Nasri, the players you didn’t replace. You knew Jack was out long term, you knew Diaby was never a player you could rely on and Kieran Gibbs was stupidly your first choice left back.

I can’t be bothered take on the trophy comment. He should be sacked for suggesting such a thing, it shows a total lack of ambition and it embarrasses the club. What really grates me is that he’s not thinking of next season. Why isn’t he? He should be working over time to compile a list of players he needs in. He should be thinking about who is going to replace Robin right this second. Dick Law should be given that list and told to start making pre-agreements. There’s no use waiting till the season ends, letting Arsene and Gazidis go on holiday like last year then missing out on all our targets, only to follow up with the analogy about supermarket bread.

Tonight sees the first supporters meeting since the crash. I’ll be heading down to the AST gathering to hear what the stance is likely to be. It should be a spicy occasion and I’d imagine some sort of action will come from it. One of the most pressing questions will be around how good the financial results are.

The last thing the club need is £50million profit in the bank with a terrible football team…

More on that tomorrow… remember to follow Le Grove via Twitter for all the goss.

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

551 Responses to “Pat Rice & Boro Piromac… what are you doing? | Wenger lowers expectations again with weak comments”

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  1. Gunner2301


    And George won 2 European cups which this twat never has. Plus i’d love to know the comparable wages for both eras because I’m sure Wengers under achievers would come out way on top.

  2. Doublegooner

    Big Dave:

    My idea is to get a meeting together for about 100 odd & discuss an agenda how fans, especially those with tickets & spending power can show Kronke we / the fans or as they call us the customers, can have effect on spending.

    Fans have had enough at being taken for idiots, by the board, by Wenger.


    Lets at least try something that if put together well could spread & have some ‘legs’.

  3. Thomas. it's up for grabs now...

    RR, Yes indeed. Wenger also finished either 1st or 2nd from 1998-2005. That statistic is more impressive. He was competing mainly with Utd.. and Liverpool were also in the mix spending lots of cash.

    With the arrival of Chelsea he fell down a few places… and City.

    I don’t take those things away from him.. but that 14 years of CL must be put in perspective of the rules of the previous competition.

    I see Wengers reign as having three distinct periods.. 1996-2004, 2005-2006, 2007-2012.

    Results: First class honours, Second class honours, Fail!

  4. Robin's Choco Leg Special




    ———–Van Perise(C)–Cavani

    bench from; Soreneson, Santos, Coquelin, Vermaelen, Bartley, Arteta, Eisfled, Ryo, Gervinho, Afobe, Campbell

    loan; gibbs, ramsey, miguel, jenkinson, shea, ebecillo, ozyagup, gallindo,

    sell; watt, murphy, wellington, bothelo, almunia, fabianski, mannone, squillaci, djourou, denilson, bendtner, vela, walcott, arshavin, rosicky, park, chamcack.

  5. Eyeball Paul


    No one will give a toss about the top 4 finishes in 10 years time. People remember winning trophies, not where they finished in the league.

  6. Bergkamp63

    Given the fact that we have pissed away so much money on crap players and wage increases.

    Does anyone trust Wenger with £70-£80m of our money to go out and spend it wisely ?

    I sure as hell don’t !!

  7. gambon

    So lets see who has slated Arsene Wengers approach in recent years?

    – Seaman
    – Keown
    – Dixon
    – Winterburn
    – Parlour
    – Vieira
    – Petit
    – Cesc
    – Nasri
    – Van Persie
    – Graham
    – McLintock

    Yep Arsene, all those people who have never even played the game eh?

    All of the above are twice the man you will ever be.

  8. Gunner2301


    Play devils advocate for a moment. What if Wenger doesn’t leave, can’t be shifted whatever you want to call it by the end of the transfer window. Do you think we can move forward with the current team without spending?

    Although I don’t want Wenger to spend any money, because he doesn’t seem to be able to do it wisely. I can’t see we have a choice if he stays, otherwise we slip even further behind next season.

  9. Radio Raheem

    Huddersfield dismissed manager Lee Clark last week, despite lying fourth in the division.
    Prior to defeat by Charlton in November, Clark presided over a club-record run of 43 league games unbeaten.

    One might think that the Huddersfield board are mad but but they clearly felt they needed a change in management, whether wrongly or rightly.

  10. Yippee Kai Yay

    One other thing I did learn from the game on saturday.

    If England are serious about wanting to win anything, they could do worse than appoint Martin O’Neil at some point in the near future.

    Credit to Sunderland, they were excellent in effort, work rate and pressing for the ball. Last time I saw an england team do that, Gayr Linkeker shat himself.

  11. Gunner2301


    They won’t come out and directly call his name or lay the blame at his door all comments have stopped short and mainly focussed on players stepping up, which is a bit of hypocrisy because for the most part they are saying the players aren’t good enough so how can they stup up?

    George Graham is the only one really who is saying it as it is and saying maybe Wenger isn’t up to the job anymore. Plus he’s the only one saying sell Theo, which no-one is prepared to go that far yet.

  12. Bergkamp63

    Damned if we do, damned if we don’t !!

    Like I have said many times in recent months, there is no way they are going to pay him £14m to piss off this year so we are stuck with him for 2 more years !!

  13. Phil

    nothing changes if Wenger stays.
    If he spends 100 mill he won’t get it right.
    You don’t suddenly change your personality, start to listen to others. You dont suddenly get rid of 10-15 players because it will be a public acknowledgement of how many mistakes you have made. His ego won’t allow that.
    He has to go.
    At least a new manager could then re frame a team that could challenge again.

  14. Gunner2301


    O’Neill is a good organiser and tactician and seems to get the players playing for him wherever he goes he’s a good manager. You can see he’s a thinking man.

  15. Yippee Kai Yay

    gunner 2301, I liked it when asked in the press conference last week when wenger was asked about whether he had watched the spurs performance against Milan from last year, he said that he had, and that he was going to go about things ‘differently’.

    Of course at the time no-one knew how true to his word he would be!

  16. Gunner2301


    You’re right I wouldn’t trust Wenger to change at this stage considering he’s been the total opposite so far. He’d have to have schizophrenia and I’m not even sure then. It would be like dragging along a reluctant child and I don’t think we have time for that bullshit. Time for change wipe the slate clean and start over with someone else with new ideas.

  17. Bade


    great post

    It’s about time to put it right

    4th is a trophy should be enough to sack him. I do agree

    I’m sick of repeating myself, sick of reading all too repetitive posts and comments, though it’s all were right and spot on

    We can only hope for a miracle to take us out of this mess

    Arsene doesn’t have the decency on him to walk away, the board don’t have the balls or spine to do so (They’re afraid they’ll need to rerecord that platinum auto answering machine), and the owner, barely knows where England is, let alone where the club is, geographically and substantially, and I bet he can’t name our possible starting 11, or how many trophies our club has won throughout the years

    So the only way he’s gone, is literally an act of god, some force majeure …..

    By the time people will wake up, this club will be destroyed, and it will take some time to rebuild it

    But hey, on the up side, we didn’t get relegated, and probably when Arsene hands back the club, we’ll be slightly better than 12th ……

  18. Radio Raheem

    Eyeball Paul

    I agree with you I care more about trophies but I think in ten years time, considering the positive financial and ‘reputational’ impact finishing in the top 4 bring, I think those top 4 stats sound impressive. 20 years ago my guess is no one would have cared.

  19. Radio Raheem


    I see what you’re saying but think history will look kindly at Wenger’s era, post-2004,as it coincided with the arrival of the billionaire Russians, Americans and Arabs.

  20. AC Gooner

    Gunner2301 11:14:12

    “I’d liken it more to Waco and Wenger is David Koresh.”


    I used to think he was going to set it right. But I really don’t think he can anymore.
    He is a “delusional lunatic” to borrow from Gambon.

  21. TheBayingMob

    ‘At the moment I get many lessons from many people who have managed zero clubs and zero games and zero European games.’

    You don’t have to have a doctorate in Sewerage to tell what a pile of shit is … what a fucking arrogant thing to say.

    So we should all shutup, sit on ours hands and clap him like a bunch of fucking trained monkeys and just let him continue to drive down the quality in the squad with all his little boys who don’t answer back!? No Arsene, sorry. Last I looked Middlesbrough gave Gareth Southgate all the time in the world, they’re still not back in the PL. Yippee is right though, let him stay until the end of the season.

    He won’t be forced out by the board who haven’t got a fucking clue what’s going on anyway. He will leave in the summer because he’s an arrogant cunt who’s copped the nark that the fans have lost patience in his project that actually sunk three years ago. He will walk in the summer citing family reasons. I think he should stay on until the end of the season, just so everyone (and not just us the non-AKB’s) can see what he’s done to our club.

  22. Foreheadinho

    The Arsene era may be ending but the Arsenal will survive and has the strength to rebuild and thrive in the future. Fear not, all will be well. The change will take time and things will most likely get worse before success comes but it will be sweeter for the pain. Forward…

  23. iffy the Mighty Goonasaures

    I have no doubt in my mind that wenger will be found out eventually. The people who react to money will surely react when they lose money. Todays post has made me realise that Wenger does not know anything about defending. Good teams will expose him evetually, there is no where to hide,. The reputation he once had is gone so any game against arsenal is fair game as far as the other team is concerned.

    He cannot hide, he may yet have a few good games but he cannot hide behind mediocrity anymore. The only way to survive would be to bring in expensive proven talent (or chris samba) at the back and that goes against his footballing philosophy. So no matter how he looks at it, Arsene Wenger is facing a losing battle

  24. Bade

    Cheers Gambon, Yippee …..

    How come no one at Arsenal slapped Arsene right in the face when he said 4th is a trophy is beyond me ….

    And as for yesterday’s DD talk, I don’t think there’s any innocent people around. But one thing I remember from that Fynn’s chat, he described him as a one who got up every morning and thought how would I make Arsenal a better team

    Something we lack at our higher windows, including the Manager

  25. miki dora

    I can’t be bothered slagging off the players anymore. It’s not their fault their over payed bollocks. Only Arshavin is the one who has talent yet clearly can’t be fucked with being played out of position for the past three years. I don’t blame him either really.

    I just believe that he’s come out and said how important 4th is. That’s the limit of our ambition. Any other manager would of been sacked years ago saying utter shit like that. I now think that he’s got a mental problem. Seriously. He just can’t admit that the project youth has failed. Some of the shit on other blogs from deluded cunts is just embarrassing.

    Lose on Sunday and I reckon they’ll be a turning tide.

  26. iffy the Mighty Goonasaures

    Thank God for people like GG who still speak the truth. Wenger has built such an empire @ the grove that no one can speak against the emperor if they dream of working in the castle. The irony is, he’s not employing any of them, still they are too scared of him.

    Pathetic really.

  27. Eyeball Paul

    Radio Raheem February 20, 2012 12:59:22

    I can’t agree, sorry.

    Going from what we had with “The Invincibles” to what we have now is a massive decline. How ever many 4th place trophies we have collected.

    I can’t think of many great teams in the last few years who could have finished above us. For a few seasons we were a couple of decent signings from a title winning side.

    Wenger was a great manager, but I can’t see much to be proud of in the last few years.

  28. gambon

    Lets face it, the club is full of failures from top to bottom. There are no standards.

    Kroenke is the owner, and he has never presided over a successful sports club….he is a failure. His wig is also an epic failure!

    Gazidis is the CEO, he was brought in to push the club forward off the pitch. He is a failure, since he joined we have seen UTD open up a £100m advantage on us in yearly revenue.

    Dick Law is responsible for the negotiating of contracts & signings. He has failed to agree deals with the likes of Nasri, and now RVP, while giving the likes of Diaby, Denilosn, Djourou & Squillaci £60k pw. He is another failure.

    Tom Fox is responsible specifically for commercial revenue. We have appalling deals, and our commercial revenue is not moving forward, and has infact dipped in recent years. He has been a huge failure.

    Arsene Wenger is the biggest failure of all. A man stuck in 1998, he is incapable of finding good players, incapable of building a defence, incapable of making the right substitutions and worst of all incapable from acknowledging there is a problem. He is a failure of a manager, and now a failure of a human being.

    As for the likes of Walcott, Djourou, Fabianski, Park, Chamakh…..dont even get me started.

    There was one man involved at Arsenal who wasnt a failure, his name was David Dein and he was kicked out for opposing this pathetic regime that targets profits at the expense of success.

  29. Dchall

    I agree with this post especially regarding the defence. Wenger built his
    recent teams on a house of cards defence, he has no knowledge of defence and this will always be his Achilles heal, that and the arrogance not to admit he needs help. He has no David Dein character either only yes man. Dein would have bought the players Wenger needed and had enough control to tell Arsene he needed a defensive coach. I am ashamed of the way in the last six years no one has realized the team keeps falling apart at the
    crucial moments in the season as well its a laughing stock situation.

  30. JimmyRimmer

    Wengers latest comments reminds me of one of my old school reports “sets himself low levels of achievement and consistently fails to achieve them”!

  31. Bobby 7

    Very good post Pedro.

    Fuck, if we wont get a good result this weekend i dont know what i’ll do. Maybe hybernate until august and hope we actally signed some decent players in the summer.

  32. Dchall

    Dein’s departure gave Arsene absolute power and therefore spelt the end of Arsenal Football Club’s winning mentality. Totally Agree Gambon. I do not think even Dein could help now either. The club is in turmoil behind the scenes and no player of any credibility wants to come to Arsenal unless they are either a fan or in need of CL football like Arteta and I am afraid the best are the the for and already have the latter.
    Fourth is a financial Trophy and not one to be celebrated outside the boardroom.

  33. Dchall

    I will be judging in May but guess what, May came early. no Trophies again and only fourth a possibility. I notice this little comment hasnt reared its head again.

  34. Arsene's straightjacket

    Pat Rice is just a finger puppet. A yes man. Another weakling unable to inspire and motivate. Get this dead wood out and put someone like Steve Bould in there.

  35. Arsene's straightjacket

    87gooner – there will always be AKBs. They are like blind followers of a religion. You cannot change the way they think.

  36. Pedro

    Gambon, on the Dick Law theme… it’s not down to him, it’s down to Wenger and his dithering. From Nasri through to Mata in the summer… Wenger pulled the plug on all those deals.

  37. dennisdamenace

    straightjacket – Do you really believe that having ANYONE as AW’s No.2/sidekick will make any difference whatsoever?
    AW goes it alone on EVERYTHING, he takes little or no notice of the advice of ANY of his coaches…….
    And, that is why we are so fucking stale. People calling for a change in the backroom staff are deluding themselves if they think that will make one iota of difference.
    The only way to deal with this monster is to cut it’s head off, and that means AW has to be removed completely from AFC, no upstairs job. He has damaged this club far too much for that, and would be detrimental to a new manager coming in.

  38. Dchall

    Pedro well hes not a no man. otherwise he would have taken control of defensive coaching. He would also be more outspoken. Any quotes?

  39. Lovers

    I plead to all Arsenal Fans to stand together in this crisis! Lets rally behind our team and our coach during this rough time!!!!!

  40. Dchall

    Bouldy own credentials are not questioned. The question is ? is he a yes man? As I say I am unsure, but Arsene seems to have all singing his tune.

  41. PhilF

    Does Wenger not realise that making comments about 4th place being like a trophy makes him and Arsenal Football Club look ridiculous. We are fast becoming a laughing stock. And why isn’t Wenger looking to next season? He is completely fucking deluded. Even if he is given a ‘war chest’ he won’t spend it… “There’s no value in the market”. I’ll remember that next time I want to buy my next home. You have to pay what the market dictates.

  42. Dchall

    I work in property and everyone who speculates have been waiting just like Wenger for some kind of crash and they will step in and buy cheap. Well it hasn’t happened and if you need stock and have money you have to pay the price. The average footballers value has been pushed up by The style of Barca, Real and and the Cash of Chelsea, Man City and now PSG, so just like Man U we have to pay the piper and moan but it has to be done to succeed end of.,

  43. skandibird

    Pedro, assuming you’re attending the AST meeting tonight (but not Geoff)? I also assume you will be asking probing questions like;- why were there no transfers in Jan’12 window ? why is Diaby still on the wage bill? Why did AFC keep Chamakh but loaned out Bendtner? Loads more I’m sure, but the three mentioned are the ones I would LOVE to have answers to, if possible. I know my own answer will be ‘join AST and attend meetings and ask your questions’ however haven’t joined yet, so meanwhile I would appreciate someone present my questions until I do join. Many thanks :-)

  44. gambon

    Blueprint for a better Arsenal:

    In my opinion the club needs SIGNIFICANT change from top to bottom. There isnt one single problem, although i belive the manager is by far the biggest part of the problem.

    The Board:

    I would like to see the board changed completely. I have been behind an Usmanov takeover since day 1, and nothing has changed my opinion. I dont think we need a huge injection of cash, we already have shit loads of the stuff, what we do need is a shrewd and ruthless businessman that wants to win, not profit from the club. Usmanov would be MUCH better than Kronke as an owner. This would also likely mean David Dein comes back as CEO, and im pretty sure he would be able to bring a strong exec in to increase commercial revenue.


    This is an area where we are so stale its untrue. I would not envisage Wenger being sacked in any takeover, but I can definitely see him being forced upstairs. If you wanna spend all your time watching 16 year olds and not caring about success then you can go and manage the academy as the Director of Football, where development is more important than results. Obviously the £6.8m pa paycut wont please you.

    I would like to see us bring Jurgen Klopp in, he is experienced yet young, and more realistic than Mourinho & Guardiola. I would also take Hiddink, Van Gaal, Ancelotti & Garcia to name a few.

    In terms of coaching I would like to see Bergkamp & Bould as our 2 coaches, replacing Rice & Primorac. Keown and Adams would be other options, and I would certainly like to see one or both involved.


    Changing the manager would naturally change the philosophy, however we need to make sure the priority at the club is to win at first team level, not to win at U18 or U16 level, not to make profits, not to be heaven for aspiring young ivorians. As such the wage bill must be changed to focus on paying world class players world class wages. If City, Chelsea & UTD are paying £170k pw, we need to find a way to do the same. Everything else comes second to first team success, right now we have things completely the other way round.


    Reduce the number of players on the payroll, increase the wages at the top end, and lower it at the bottom. Djoorou should be on £20k pw, RVP £150k pw. Also players should not be given chances so young. Loan them out until they are so good you have to play them, if they arent good enough that you would spend £m’s on them they shouldnt get a chance.



    Thats at least 28 players I would sell. Not only will this raise money, and reduce the wage bill significantly, it will also address the wage issues we have, as the “over earners” are pretty much all here, maybe Ramsey could go as well.

    From here on i wouldnt want to see us bring so many U18s in, and i dont want us loaning 18 players out at once. The academy is supposed to be for local english lads. We should sign maybe one foreign kid per year, not 8.


    For me we need a mixture of world class and good squad players. The benefit of bringing world class stars in is that the current overly played average guys like Ramsey then become squad players. We also need far more competition as there are so many players that KNOW they are in the first XI regardless of how they play.

    We need a good goalkeeper, someone that can challenge Szczesny, not just a backup. We need a first choice LB and a squad RB. We need a world class CB. We need a DM that can challenge Song and also play with him. We need an AM as we never replaced Cesc. We need 2 wide players, both world class, and we need a striker to replace Chamakh & Park.

    I prefer to avoid giving names as there are more than one single player out there for any one position, however I will anyway:

    GK – Sorensen
    LB – Baines
    RB – VanDerWiel
    CB – Hummells
    DM – Mvila
    AM – Gotze
    Wing/Str – Hazard
    Wing/Str – Podolski
    CF – Cavani

    New Arsenal:

    Owner: Usmanov
    Directors: Moshiri, Dein, Wenger
    Manager: Klopp
    Coaches: Bould, Keown, Bergkamp

    First XI


    Second XI


    Now this would be some real radical stuff. But I would like just one person to come on here and tell me I havent just improved the club and the team massively?!

    I think the players I mentioned would cost £150m and we would make £75m back through sales, so £75m and LOTS of hard work and IMO we can be the best in the country.


  45. Bush Gooner

    Any manager that goes to Lille for a player, but instead of getting Hazzard he comes back with Gervinho is a total fool.

    Its like going to the shop and buying skimmed milk instead of full fat. Same product but different flavour!!

    That man needs to go.

  46. Pedro

    Dchall, if you’re not asked to coach the defence, you can’t just do it can you… there’s still a hierachy at the club.

  47. Gunner2301

    AC Gooner

    Just like Koresh Wenger would rather see the whole place burn down around him rather than do the right thing.

    Off to bed guys been working all night. Chat later.

  48. Bush Gooner

    PhilF February 20, 2012 14:17:36

    Does Wenger not realise that making comments about 4th place being like a trophy makes him and Arsenal Football Club look ridiculous. We are fast becoming a laughing stock. And why isn’t Wenger looking to next season? He is completely fucking deluded. Even if he is given a ‘war chest’ he won’t spend it… “There’s no value in the market”. I’ll remember that next time I want to buy my next home. You have to pay what the market dictates.


    We are already ridiculous with that maniac in charge! Arsene (General Custer) Wenger is dragging the club to its death.

  49. IG


    A very scientific approach no doubt…. but the self obsessed fool needs to go. With Arsene in the club at any position, this club will only regress. A fool who only talks about economics, market condition, P&L should not be allowed to be in any big club with winning aspirations!! You can win a title or two with some good players and a good coach but will never become a winning team like United!!

  50. Jonas

    Gambon, only issue I’d have is Song should not be in First XI…please tell me that’s a typo otherwise it’s hard to argue with the rest.

    Unitl Kroenke goes the club will keep on stagnating until at some point games won’t sell out and all the knock on revenue starts falling.
    Then either Kroenke will have to do something like investing a few dollars in the team and/or sacking the manager or Usimov will takeover.

  51. skandibird

    That’s a shame Pedro, sounds very much like meetings I attend where the Assistant Director calls everyone together on a monthly basis, talks a lot of drivel, then asks if anyone has any questions (no-one does, as the meetings are always held just before lunch time and all everyone can think about are their stomachs and nothing else (very clever really)).

  52. gambon


    I think if we signed MVila he would take songs place within a month.

    I just put him down as first XI there as i think they would fight it out for the fist XI spot.

  53. chessmaster

    Bloody hell, I can’t get any of my funny comments posted on untold arsenal, they must have some strict censorship out there. It remainds communism era in eastern europe after the second ww.

  54. Ronald

    Your Comment Here
    I am as tired of reading about Wenger’s failings (and they are certainly the reason for our club’s present demise) as I am about saying that the only way things are going to change is for a massive protest to be made on match days. The ideal would be for supporters to stay away. The realistic is a massive display of banners and vocal protest. Wenger is not the only guilty party. We are too. We have all known for years where we were heading, but have done nothing. Wengers all of us???

  55. James Taunt

    When manager blames pitches and referees for
    losses all the time without actually making efforts to correct his team’s weaknesses, you knew the team was going to get it badly one time. And this is the worst Arsenal season under Wenger. Arsenal are not even in a shout for fourth place, Liverpool and Chelsea are going to finish above us.

  56. Dchall

    Pedro we are talking about being a yes man or not, Bould obviously loves the club and is not employed by Wenger he is employed by the club, so why has he no opinion? I would like a man of his credibility a stature and obvious coaching ability, along with defensive knowledge have an opinion, so either agree and be a yes man or speak out and be true to his conscience. But I also understand he has to tow the party line

  57. Dchall

    For the record Bouldy would be first on my coaching staff list along with Bergkamp. probably working under a young experienced manager with David Dein back to deal with all things transfer and contractual.

  58. Norgun

    Gambon, couldn’t have structured it better my self. But the chance of this happening is fairly close to zero. Think we all day dream of a massive clean out, replacing the dross with proven quality. Brought my sons to Emirates last home game. As they both had Van Persie shirts, they opted for their own names on the backs. That only happens once. Next time they won’t buy shirts at all. Talk about commercial value creation….

  59. arsenal1886-2006

    gambonFebruary 20, 2012 12:38:11
    So lets see who has slated Arsene Wengers approach in recent years?
    – Seaman
    – Keown
    – Dixon
    – Winterburn
    – Parlour
    – Vieira
    – Petit
    – Cesc
    – Nasri
    – Van Persie
    – Graham
    – McLintock

    Yep Arsene, all those people who have never even played the game eh?


    Could you imagine if that was our current line up. Mclintock, Keown, Vieira and Petit in the team. The other teams wouldn’t even come out of the dressing room.

  60. Dchall

    Player who have kept a respected silence like Petit are now so frustrated they have to speak out. that’s says something. Also players who played under Wenger and were signed by him and not just the old GG players.

  61. e_the_red

    He doesn’t want to leave. He doesn’t giv a shit. Lol he’s making money. Paying his bills. Living the life of luxury. Man utd fans protested. Liverpool fans protested. Why are arsenal doing nothing.
    The board does nothing
    The manager does nothing
    The fans, do nothing.
    Were made for each other

    Unless some1 stands up!?

  62. AC Gooner


    Lets try to zoom in on reality a bit here. I doubt Wenger is leaving too soon. So those are just wasted thoughts. Buying Hazzard and Goetze in the same window? I think that is also too wishful for AW.

    Realistically, he stays. He clears out the minimum amount of dross, he signs one world class playmaker, one GOOD striker (Podolksi for instance), one GOOD Midfielder, one GOOD CB (JVertoghen), one GOOD Back-up GK.

    You think Arsenal can sign more than five players in one window? 1 is world class and four are really good? I would love to see it but don’t believe it.

    He will never get rid of more than a few players as that would be admitting mistakes. So we will be lucky to see the backs of:


    No way will AW do more. I hope it is enough to keep RVP and win a trophy next year.

    If RVP leaves, then he MUST buy one world class striker as well.

  63. gambon

    Also… follow up my earlier post.

    I have said that the “cost” of the improvements I suggested would be £75m, but this completely ignores the increased revenue that a successful team brings.

    For example recently we have been going out of the CL at the 2nd round stage, and due to not going far enough in the cups we have been playing 27/28 home games, rather than the 30 we should be targeting (30 games for example in 2008/9 when we got to the CL semi & FAC semi).

    If this new successful team and manager was to get to the CL Semi, play 30 overall home games, and get sponsorship deals inline with the other big teams, our revenue would increase by:

    Extra CL money: £6.5m
    Extra Gate money: £6m
    Extra sponsorship money: £25m
    Extra retail & commercial money: Unknown but we would DEFINITELY make more with a better team laden with stars.

    So that is at least £37.5m in extra money. So the cost of buying these players would be negligible as long as we become a more successful, more attractive (commercially) team.

    I would love to know what lack of brain power we have at the club, cos its not exactly rocket science is it.

  64. Yippee Kai Yay

    gambon, hypothetically it makes sense.

    The biggest problem is attracting the talent, IF AFC fail to make their only trophy this season.

    Other clubs are already looking at some of the target names you suggest there.

    Add the complication of the Euros (clubs may not want to move for players until they come through the other end unscathed, players may not want to move if their stock and visibility to ‘top’ european clubs is usddenly raised).

    It’s going to be a long four months, that much I do know.

  65. Dchall

    Gambon this is not unfortunately a manager or a board who wish to speculate on future success. its a great shame on them. A rudderless ship listing to the side with no forward momentum. There is only one thing that will change all of this and it will not happen on the pitch. Top to bottom change and Usmanov is the only thing that will stop the decline. because he is a risk taker a speculator and has backing to his boasts. they are called balls I believe.

  66. Jonas

    Cloggs February 20, 2012 15:07:03


    Eeerrr.., well yeah.. Gambon, you have way to much on your hands. 😆

    Cloggs, too much what on his hands!!!

  67. Cesc Appeal

    Has anyone else noticed that you can throw as many facts as you like at AKB’s Chelsea catching us up on revenue despite our stadium built to compete with Barcelona, amount of goals shipped steadily going up each year, wages spiralling out of control for average players with no product, no signings, 8 commercial deals to United’s 20 one of which (training kit deal with DHL) nets them more than Emirates does for us etc etc
    Yet they will just say you are ungrateful and that Arsene knows.
    Pedro I think making them realise that Graham did have great teams is important, they all seem to think that Arsene Wenger built Arsenal we were a lower league s**tbox before he pitched up, he changed our style of play but we already had history, pedigree. I don’t know what they’re scared of.
    Get Usmanov and Dein in, get Usmanov’s Digital Sky group in to do the commercial deals a guy who owns 10% of facebook and a slice of Twitter, a slic eof one of the largest communications companies in the world friends with, President Medveed (don’t know if i’ve spelt that right), Putin and the board of Russias largest energy company will be able to shoot us straight up the revenue list to the top 3.
    If he called his ‘buddies’ at the telecoms giant, Gazpron, Mittal his own telecomms companies, facebook, twitter we would be the most commercialised football club the world has ever seen. Arsenal the brand would be up there with Nike and Coca Cola.
    Conquer the Russian market and use it as a platform to launch into Asia to challenge Manchester United’s dominance. Nevermind Park for shirt sales young Ryo looks the best prospect for the Asian market, young, exciting and scores goals.
    Saturate the world of communications with Arsenal FC, all over Facebook, all over Twitter, use the fact that we are SO exposed to demand huge sums off potential commercial deals. If someone like Emirates knows millions traffic our website everyday, we have site links all over facebook and Twitter, masses around the world watch our games we could ask for about £30-40 Million off them a year no problem.
    Virgin, BT, Nike, the large car companies (especially Asian ones), emerging MNC’s in China/India/Pakistan all of them will get exposure at games as fans will be forced to look at their boards etc to watch the mighty Arsenal.
    It’s not hard Ivan, though you make it look impossibly so….

  68. Dchall

    A club will only attract the best players in too ways. money and success ( not the false promise of) if you can offer success money is still an option but not the be all and end all. If you can not offer success then the money has to be good and if you can offer both then you have the best players in the world. Messi would not have stayed at Barca if he hadn’t won anything for seven years.

  69. Lurch LeRouge


    the single act of making the board a composite of real footballing men under a committed owner with a quality proven (young) manager, irrespective of CL football next season, we would attract quality names I recon there’s little doubt here.

  70. gambon

    Tim Payton said on twitter, what about Niall Quinn for the Arsenal board?

    Too right.

    Niall Quinn, David Dein & Usmanov. We would be a different proposition to what we are now.

  71. Dchall

    Think how dangerous an Arsenal would be with a Billionaire owner and a good young respected manager and coaches. And the fans have been proving for years how patient we are so no real pressure. Talking of Real this should be Wenger’s direction of choice not up to the board.

  72. Radio Raheem

    If Niall Quin had anything to do hiring Steve Bruce then no thank you…that is one mistake that should haunt you for the rest of your life

  73. iffy the Mighty Goonasaures

    did anyone catch the Wilf Copping Jr III (the Honorary vice-chairman of The Association of Former Arsenal Players)…hilarious stuff

    its from the arseblogger and its quite funny, hope Pedro doesnt mind though, i remember there was some beef btwn him and the Arseblogger a couple years back, something to do with spread sheet skills, and graphs and tables and what not.

  74. Dchall

    I mean seriously guys loss to the Spuds this weekend and the shame is
    complete. If we were in the same position but with the above I would say we were in a position of transition but with Wenger it is decline. Wenger has had long enough to get a handle on this and he has proved even more
    incapable as each season goes by.

  75. Cloggs

    In an ideal world ,,,, The biggest problem is, as you say, W-E-N-G-E-R. When he eventually goes (and let’s hope he will after this season but I fear for the worst) it will take us at least another 2 seasons to repair the damage and to get us back into the right direction which is: Being truly competitive for the league title. (CL is directly derived from that so no worries there)
    I don’t see there’s a place for the Frenchman in that scenario. And his ego is way too big for accepting anything 2nd string.

  76. Dchall

    Lurch LeRouge February 20, 2012 15:46:49

    don’t care about the spuds, written this season off completely, top 6 at best I recon.

    Me too but its still a bitter pill at anytime. and the Spuds are doing a good job of winding Jack up on Twitter.

  77. 87gooner

    Plus Niall is an Arsenal man, was with us for 7 years.

    I wish we could pinch Platty off city as well, although he looks like a giant thumb now rather than a giant lizard

  78. Radio Raheem

    I think the guys at Newcastle’s board have done a good job in bringing some stability to the club whilst trimming their wage bill and getting rid of high earning maniacs like Barton. We could also nick their head scout…Graham Carr.

  79. dennisdamenace

    So, old syrup is due in town this week, no doubt to check up on his bank balance, and slap everyone on the back at how well we’re doing………

  80. miki dora

    Can you imagine JD trying to cope with Ade? Bale is going to have a fucking field day down the left and I don’t even want to think about Song vs Modric.

    If we scrape a point it’d be a miracle

  81. David Andreassen

    I think alot of you are looking at this the wrong way…

    Considering Wengers tactical ability of late (yes, I know he’s never been a tactical mastermind but back in the day he had a good enuff squad to afford being a tactical twat), his refusal to spend money on transfers, his refusal to let anyone else in the coaching staff have anything to say….
    isn’t 4:th actually an achivement?

    (Grasping for straws to survive mentally over here..)

  82. Adam Bucci

    if it was possible, i’d create a large square banner that the fans pass over their heads before the game (and at halftime if it hasn’t been confiscated) with these two words – Kroenke Out.

    he’s in london this week, so who knows, he may actually attend a game.

  83. Pollux

    If spurs win this Sunday, the gooners will turn emirates upside down. Wenger, you can hide but you ultimately cannot escape! Wenger must go! Wenger out!

  84. David Andreassen

    Gambon, regarding your “February 20, 2012 14:30:48″ post, have to say that was one of the most interesting comments I’ve read here during the years.

    Couple of questions though..or more 1 remark & 1 question.

    I’ld keep Frimp (but I guess it says it all when you list that many players to get rid of and I can only find 1 to keep).

    The question though is regarding the foreign youth strategy. I read a Fergie interview somewhere stating that the realistic possibility of focusing on english youth hasn’t been around until reacently cause of the distance rules (90 min or something for young players) and hence even Man U have focused on foreign youngsters the last 10 years or something. So did I get that right or am I missinformed?

    All in all though, top top comment.

  85. Martin Hayes Never Missed

    Loving Gambons ideas but not keeping Lord Wenger. He’s too noisey!

    Time for a sing song…

    Chim-Chim-er-ney, Chim Chim-er-ney
    Chim Chim, Cher-roo
    Who needs Mats Hummells
    when we’ve got Djou-rou

    Chim Chim-er-ney, Chim-chim-er-ney
    Wenger spend some of our

    Self sustaining model!
    FU*K your self sustaining model!
    self sustaining moddddellllll
    You can F’ck your self sustaining modddellll!!!!!!

    2 more years…you’re having a laugh!!
    2 More years, your having a laugh!!

    Bye Bye Arsene,
    Bye Bye Arsene,
    Bye Bye Arsene…bye bye…

  86. SpanishDave

    Gambon when you see your list of 28 players to sell its frightening to know our expert “eye for talent”manager brought them in and overpaid them. Also what other EPL manager says 4th place is a trophy ???? 1st place is I think.

  87. Yippee Kai Yay


    jack brings these things upon himself tbf.

    He was a bit of a bell end by offering up £3K if spurs finish above arsenal when they were three points up with a game in hand, now that they are 10 points (and even is afc manage to scrape a win it will still be 7) he’s looking a bit more stupid by trying to be billy big bollocks once again and kicking it off with his comment on the spurs game yesterday.

    I have always tried to take the stance of humility when in direct confrontation, it is far better to be able to climb up to the moral high ground and over take your opponent than to be pushed down from a lofty position.

    Maybe a reality check and a bit of humility (celebrate after winning something / achieving something) is not a bad lesson for a young kid who’s going to need it in spades over the coming months.

    Some of the arsenal fans out there in akb world could do with learning the same lesson.

    If only they would listen.

    Hey Keyser, did you hear that?



    Where have you gone?

  88. Kurt F

    More drivel from Wenger:

    “When everybody is available we have what it takes at the club – and we will add what it takes.”

    Why don’t journalists pull him up on the fact that he’s talking total shit?

  89. Keyser

    “I have always tried to take the stance of humility when in direct confrontation, it is far better to be able to climb up to the moral high ground and over take your opponent than to be pushed down from a lofty position.”

    Heh, oh shit, that’s funny.

    Doesn’t Jacks contribution go to Charity anyway ?!

  90. gambon


    Frimpong: I have had high hopes for him, but i feel very strongly that we need to stop developing so many players at one time. I think its hard to develop both Coquelin & Frimpong,escpecially when we have Wilsere & Ramsey. For me Coquelin has won the battle to be the defensive natured MF that we develop, so Frimpong has to go. I also dont like his attitude, he has no technique and ever since the Liverpool game i have decided he is gonna be a liability.

    Regarding kids, I absolutely agree that if we find outstanding kids we should bring them in. Players that are really shining at youth level. This should be the odd player, but we have gone crazy just recently. For example Cesc, Ebecilio type players im fine with, but when we are signing 8-10 foreign kids a year it gets ridiculous.

    Look at central midfield for example. We have Ramsey, Coquelin, Wilshere, Ozyakup, Henderson, Lansbury, Aneke, Ebecilio, Eastmond, Gallindo, Toral Harper, Yennaris, Frimpong all U21 and on professional contracts.

    Yet we dont have a single striker that is good enough to deputise for RVP. Just goes to show where the priorities lie at this club.

  91. gambon

    Kurt F

    Arsene gets upset and starts lying when confronted.

    I remember when John Cross confronted him and said “Arsene, you said if you sold Cesc & Nasri it would show you arent an ambitious club”

    To which wenger replied that he never said that. John Cross made the point that he was there in the room when Wenger said it.

  92. Keyser

    You can make all the changes you want at the club, either we’re finally at a position where we’ve got signifcant money to take the collateral damage those changes will bring, or the nature of the league becomes more accomodating to our position.

  93. Keyser

    RVP was bought as a talented prospect, not a finished one, the balance needs to be regained, but it’s pointless doing it by streamlining the youth side.

  94. follow the money

    We may have not worked two days in football but you know what Arsene? It’s not rocket science. All anyone has to do it go over the results of your era and certain facts emerge. Like the fact that when we were in for the Champions League in 2006 we had an amazing run of games where we conceded next to nothing. Oh, look! Keown was coaching the defence! Fancy that. A defence that included Senderos FFS!!!!!! After that Keown left or was booted and oh look! We have sucked defensively since! Last season we were relatively lucky with injuries, there was no African cup, we had Cesc and Nasri, it was Wenger’s “best team ever” and we still were nowhere near close enough. If he thinks this bunch can hold onto fourth place he is out of his gourd. I think I predicted seventh place at the start of the season and I may have to revise that downward. Oh and great post Pedro, and the proposed lineups by a couple of the posters were good too. The maddening thing is that both are within our means but will probably never happen

  95. gambon


    We are always top of the youth leagues, why is that? Cos we put a silly proportion of money into it.

    As I said, in defensive midfield we have: Eastmond, Frimpong, Coquelin, Yennaris.

    In CM we have Ramsey, Wilshere, Lansbury, Aneke, Henderson, Ebecilio, Ozyakup, Gallindo, Toral Harper.

    Why on earth do we need so many. Pick the 3-4 best and let the rest get on with their career.

    Sell 5 of them and it takes money off the wage bill and brings in maybe £5m to spend.

    I would be willing to bet pretty much ANY amount that we spend a far greater %%% of our total outlay on U18s football than any other team in the PL.

  96. gambon

    And you’re right, RVP was brought in as a talented prospect.

    And its taken him 8 years to score 20 PL goals in a season.

    This is why most “big clubs” buy players when theyre ready….and one will be singing the aforementioned RVP in a few months.

  97. Radio Raheem

    Just out of curiosity has Keown worked in another club after his coaching apprenticeship at Arsenal? I am surprised such a high profile former player has not worked in any other club since his short coaching stint at Arsenal yet many see him as the panacea to all our defensive problems. I want change as much as the next gooner out there but it’s got to be the right kind of change, no?

    I recall Paul Ince hired Winterburn as defense coach for Blackburn and we all know how well that went.

  98. Dchall

    Yippee Kai Yay February 20, 2012 16:29:56


    jack brings these things upon himself tbf.

    Agreed and especially when he is not in a position to do anything about it.

  99. Yippee Kai Yay

    keyser, once again you’ve missed the point. Yes it is to charity, but it was the principle of shooting your load whilst everyone else is still warming up.

    And as for quoting my statement regarding humility, which again I am pleased it entertained but again I believe you have spectacularly failed to understand the principle, there is always the caveat that there are certain situations you will never need to climb down from.

    One of them is calling you out for talking complete shit.

    Considering your well documented views on ‘Feo’, I’m surprised you have the gall to show your face around here. Unless it is to apologise for being wrong (about that and the need for changes at the top) and promise to berate yourself accordingly with as much self-deprecation as is possible.

    Oh wait my mistake, just seen your post at 16:35, clearly still talking shit and don’t understand what is going on in the slightest do you.

    I shall leave others to spell it out for you.

    Whilst you misappropriate oxygen.

  100. Dchall

    Radio Raheem February 20, 2012 16:48:27

    Just out of curiosity has Keown worked in another club after his coaching apprenticeship at Arsenal? I am surprised such a high profile former player has not worked in any other club since his short coaching stint at Arsenal yet many see him as the panacea to all our defensive problems. I want change as much as the next gooner out there but it’s got to be the right kind of change, no?

    I recall Paul Ince hired Winterburn as defense coach for Blackburn and we all know how well that went.

    Any defensive coach would be a plus

  101. Keyser

    gambon – It’s not a silly proportion.

    Think about it for once, your own Van Persie example, think of all the others that have come before and moved on Nasri, Cesc, Adebayor, Toure, Clichy, whoever else.

    All you’ve basically done is highlight that for everyone of those, or any from the ACTUAL Academy, there’s several that don’t make it.

    So if you cut the chances of ANYONE making it from the Academy you might aswell just disband it.

    The thing is YOUTH is one of the last few places where you cana ctually find value.

    Where Wenger fucked up wasnt with the Youth side, it was tailoring his supposed principles to give the talented players enough of a chance to win things together.

  102. gambon

    Radio Raheem

    Well defensively it cant get much worse can it.

    We are conceding more and more every season. It has become a joke. It is known that Wenger doesnt even do defensive drills.

  103. 87gooner


    Keown coached a defence that included Senderos, Eboue and flamini playing as an emergency left back to a champions league record 6 game clean sheet run up to the 2006 champions league final.

    We played Juve, Madrid, and Riquelme’s villareal during that run.

    Keown is a PROVEN answer to the defensive coaching issue

  104. Yippee Kai Yay

    gambon @16:46 bang on.

    And when you look at the cost in wages over 8 years, I’m fairly sure that qualifies as a sizeable investment as well.

    I wish RVP well wherever he goes. Because he has now outgrown arsenal.

    There was a time when that was an improbability.