Ivan tames weak Wenger | Arsenal’s 3 at the back cynical / poorly executed

by & filed under News Review.

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You know what, it’s hard to complain about a victory given the circumstances, but wow… did we just not see a massive cave by Mr Wenger.

I’ll take an apology from all my readers who have lambasted me for weeks about being a GKB. Looks like our CEO finally took his opportunity to mesh out a bit of discipline to our badly behaved squatter.

Wenger dropped 3 at the back, a move he’s not rolled with since 1997. A move he explained very pointedly after the game.

“The first time in 20 years. That shows that even at my age you can change.”

The most important line you’ll read in 2017. That is Wenger admitting the catalyst for change is a real thing, that’s Wenger working out that he might not be as far up the pecking order as he thought, that is a signal that though he might hang on for another two years, they’ll likely be very different.

It also says that there’s probably a trepidation from him about what’s coming fixture wise.

We conceded 13 chances to a Boro’ who sacked Aitor Kranaka for not leaving his half for most of the year. This relegation-embattled team carved us open on numerous occasions with looping balls into the box, and they actually had more chances on target. Only the genius of Alexis Sanchez – who looks tapped out of his career – managed to save us the indignity of yet more dropped points.

Now we head into a cup semi-final and potentially the end game for Arsene Wenger. We are not equipped to deliver a turnaround… this could be absolute carnage.

But full points to Wenger. Caving as soon as he took stock of his leverage. Trying emulate Conte against one of the worst teams in the Premier League in a desperate hope to convince Arsenal fans he has it in him to change. Cynically slipping into survival mode, likely because he’s been reprimanded by a more confident CEO, and a trustfund kid who has taken an interest in someone any 31 year old man would purr over. This is interesting people, very interesting.

… but not as interesting as our latest podcast that covers it all in audio.

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287 Responses to “Ivan tames weak Wenger | Arsenal’s 3 at the back cynical / poorly executed”

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  1. El Tel

    to the knob the Guys of a year to see that 3 at the back worked for the Chavs.

    As you say Pedders He still didn’t get it right

  2. Bankz

    As for the game last night.
    Let’s not get overly excited…it was only Middlesbrough, not Juventus.
    I still think we are on a atrocious form and that wouldn’t change before the end of the season.
    We’re fucked either way you look at it

  3. Emiratesstroller

    TR7 [last post]

    I am not suggesting that we do not renew contract of Cazorla, but when a player
    becomes injury prone as he now is you make the assessment at end of season
    and not halfway through it.

    Arsenal have at the moment something like 10 players on their books who are
    either at end of contract this summer or will be in final year next season. That
    includes not only Sanchez and Ozil but also the likes of Szczesny, Wilshire, Ox and Gibbs.

    That could impact massively on their transfer value if we need to sell them this summer or even worse allow them to stay at club next season.

    The real problem is that there is now so much uncertainty at the club that there does not appear to be anyone in charge making decisions about the future of these players.

  4. lance peters

    What shambles , even against middlesborough who if they took their chances could have caused further embarrassment, This team is shot. Try that against

  5. Barking Arsene

    Seems to me like Wenger played three at the back just so he could troll Ivan afterwards.

    I’m not convinced that there is anything major in the works to be honest – going on past form nobody on our board can be trusted to follow through on what they have said in the past.

    Actions speak louder than words and all that – we will see what happens over the coming weeks.

  6. Emiratesstroller


    I am not sure that the decision to play 3 at the back originates from either Wenger or Gazidis.

    The interview of Koscielny post match suggested otherwise that it was perhaps the players who made the decision how the team should play. That would not be the first time that the players rather than manager/coaching staff have
    made a decision.

    Where I agree with you is that this weekend’s match v Manchester City could
    well be decisive in the future of manager, coaching staff and players. A poor
    result and finishing outside CL places must surely end careers.

  7. Red&White4life

    The game vs Citeh at home, they should have won it.

    I hope pep and his troops will be angry and motivated enough to destroy us at wembley.

  8. Red&White4life

    “perhaps the players who made the decision how the team should play.”

    And they has wait april 2017 to give their opinion to their manager…
    Bunch of overpaid cowards.

  9. TR7


    There is also a downside to extending the contract of players who we don’t want to keep. I think we are planning to offload Sczesney and Gibbs for sure. If you offer them improved contracts, chances are it will be difficult to move them on as few clubs will offer them the wages we will offer them on new contracts. We have already seen Jenkinson rejecting a wage offer of close to 50k a few months ago. So I am fine with their contracts not getting extended.

    As for Ozil, he is already on 140k and if reports are to be believed he has been offered something in the range of 200-250k. For a player who often goes missing that’s a lot of money. If he doesn’t accept wages which are much more than what he deserves, it is Ozil’s fault not of Arsenal.

    Jack is injury prone and hasn’t shown much form at Bournemouth. Fair enough if the club is not in any haste to offer him another mega contract.

    I don’t know what’s the situation with Ox and Alexis though. If Wenger wants to keep Ox, extending his contract won’t be any issue. If he doesn’t, Ox has generated enough interest to fetch us good money.

    Sanchez is the only real worry as far as I am concerned but who can blame him if he doesn’t want to play with a bunch of losers.

  10. hal

    I don’t think anyone is giving Pep G enough credit, he worries about and plans for at least 3-4 potential different tactics from every opponent, regardless of who he is playing. This whole did it to mess with him is completely irrelevant.

  11. hal

    Secondly, the only “British core” player I don’t want us to move on is AOC.

    Wilshere, Ramsey, Gibbs, Jenkins on etc,sure they are not so important in my opinion so can go

  12. Emiratesstroller


    The point I am making is that the club allows contracts to run down to a point
    that it impacts on transfer valuations.

    If a player underperforms or is not fit for purpose you get rid of them just like most other clubs manage to do.

    We have sent out Sczesny to AS Roma for two years and not received a bean for his services. They have benefited this season from a player who has delivered 12 clean sheets.

    Arsenal have at the moment over 30 first team/squad players on their books
    or out on loan most of whom are on inflated wages and not good enough to play in first team.

    It is the lack of good decision making or prioritisation of contract business that concerns me.

  13. Dan

    Wenger’s “That shows that even at my age you can change” comment was made as a dig at the likes of you who think they know better than Wenger. No more, no less. That you didn’t even realise that says it all.

  14. Carts

    The change in formation, at this time of the season, showed two parts to a story.

    I lost count how many times posters in here would suggest Wenger employs a different formation. Yes it was all hypothetical, but it was logical. We’ve been exposed time and time again playing 4-2-3-1.

    And we’re expected to believe that the likes of Bould etc have sufficient input into game prep LOL

    We spanked Chelsea earlier at home this season and the following match Conte went to a 3-4-3 and they looked very impressive, and still do. Since then, we’ve seen half a dozen team go 3-4-3, inc Spurs and Utd. City too. Although, like previously mentioned, Pep approaches every games differently.

    Better late than never. Ironically, we deployed it against a very poor team, and still they managed to exploit our defensively frailties.

  15. Emiratesstroller


    The issue for me is not the formation that the team plays, but the basic weaknesses and decision making of the team.

    1. A back three does not resolve the problem of zonal marking at set pieces and

    2. It does not solve problems if your players are continuously beaten in the
    air or your defensive positioning is poor.

    3. It does not solve problems if our midfield sits back and allows the opponents
    midfield to control game.

    4. It does not solve problems if our players are making poor or reckless passes.
    In recent games that has cost us goals. Middlesborough scored yesterday as
    a consequence of a poor Sanchez pass followed up by inept defending from both Monreal and Koscielny.

  16. Rambo Ramsey

    So Gazidis pressured Wenger into playing a new formation. Yeah, okay. How useful and exciting. Ignore the fact that what we need is for someone at the club to do their job and sack Wenger. Pathetic. Its like the AKBs wetting their underpants whenever we put up a fight against a top half team.

  17. RJM

    Cynically changed for 3 points… not cause Gazidis told him so. Sorry that is ridiculous!
    ES almost certainly correct. Just like Man City away (Coqs only good game!) it was the players that were behind the drastic change of tactics last night.
    Gazidis cannot make Wenger change. No one can. As said in headline. It’s just purely cynical, there will be no real change.
    If anyone’s playing anyone, it’s Wenger playing Gazidis….

  18. Barking Arsene

    We have most of the players required for a very good side but they don’t know what they are doing.

    Xhaka – a player that a couple of seasons ago quite a few on here wanted us to sign – and with good reason.

    Yet now he has somehow regressed in this team to the point where he is effectively of no use.

    He isn’t the only one either.

    We also lack a player that can win the ball back and drive us forward at pace. We haven’t had this for years now and it is in my opinion our biggest problem.

  19. Emiratesstroller

    General Election on 6th June just announced by Teresa May. More interesting
    announcement than football at Arsenal!

  20. Bamford10

    Good post, Pedro. You are right that Wenger’s saying he’s capable of “change” was an allusion to Gazidis’s remark. However, Wenger cannot be allowed to stay on, even if he’s wiling to “change,” because he’ll still get everything wrong.

    Wenger out.

  21. Bamford10


    British / parliamentary politics remain a bit of a mastery to me. Would you mind briefly explaining the significance of this move / announcement by May? Thanks.

  22. Bamford10

    We do need a formation change, but it’s 4-4-2 diamond that would improve our midfield play, our defensive solidity & our attack.


  23. Jay

    An insanely over-optimistic article.
    Pedro’s conversion into an IKB reminds me of a particularly dim nephew of mine who “found” Jesus last year:
    – Seeing things that aren’t there
    – Believing he has “special” knowledge
    – The triumph of faith over common sense

  24. Jay

    “You know what, it’s hard to complain about a victory given the circumstances”

    Er, no it isn’t, Pedders.
    “Fuck, we won. Stay of execution for KJW.”
    See what I did there?

  25. Bamford10

    Wenger is not really going to change — obviously — and any changes he did make would be inadequate and wrongheaded, so again, there is only one way forward, and that is for Wenger to go. No one should promote a myth of a positive “changed Wenger” future. No, no, no. He must go this summer.

    Results and performances over the next five weeks should assist with this.

  26. Jay

    Agree Bamford. I’m worried about the semi-final – if Weng gets through to the final, even if we lose it, that may be enough to ensure he stays. And City seem too mercurial to rely on…

  27. Bamford10

    Any chance May thinks a June 8 election will NOT increase the Conservative Party’s power? Any chance she and leadership do not actually want a hard Brexit and view this snap election s a way to pretend they do while giving the British people another opportunity to reject such a move?

  28. Red&White4life

    The spuds can create a surprise in the other semi…

    Being trashed by tottenshit in wembley’s final could be a huge blow for le mighty specialist in back 3.

  29. Boomslang

    “No one should promote a myth of a positive “changed Wenger” future. ”

    That is exactly what’s already happening, despite the fact that we were awful against an awful team. It doesn’t take much to sway some simpleminded, chest beating, slobbering fanatics.

    The club will remain comatose until the old degenerate walks.

  30. Ashley

    Genuinely annoyed we didn’t lose last night , but hopeful for our run of fixtures to come , we need it to get toxic it’s our only chance for him to leave

  31. Carts


    I agree with your points. This purely papers over cracks. AW has been exposed time and time again for his lack tactic and prep’.

    The issue with Arsenal is deep-rooted; beating a dire Boro 2-1, utilising a 3-4-3 is nothing to write home about.

    On a side note, was I the only one who found Ox’s reaction/body language, at the final whistle, to be cringe? what was all that about? You’d have thought we just held on to a 1 nil lead to beat Bayern in the semi-final of the CL.

  32. Bamford10


    I think City will beat us, especially with Kompany back. If Gabriel Jesus is back, we don’t stand a chance.

  33. Barking Arsene

    I don’t want us to lose, I’d rather we just won stuff under Wenger.

    Or any manager we have.

    All I want is for the board to react to the fact that it isn’t happening.

    The issue is that this board don’t seem willing to act upon sporting results, seemingly happy with financial growth.

    Wenger has to go from a sporting perspective, no question about it.

    My worry is that the T.V money that the league now commands means that as investments English clubs are a sure bet with or without trophies. The whole league us a cash cow for investors and Wenger is an accounts manager.

    I fear we will have issues as a club for years to come.

  34. TR7

    I love 3-5-2. I think with proper central midfielders we can do very well in 3-5-2. We are terribly out of form so no formation switch can suddenly transform us but a properly drilled team with new personnel can do remarkably well.

  35. Guns of Hackney

    I don’t know where this blog is going. I know Peter respects and has ‘insider’ knowledge about Ivan but…to suggest Ivan has somehow played his hand in Wenger changing to a 343 is lunacy.

    I know the timing of it is a bit odd but it’s just coincidence and nothing more. Anyway, it wasn’t as if for one moment the formation actually worked…for the most part, Arsenal looked shite. Boro were fucking abysmal and still made Arsenal look laboured.

    If Ivan’s great end play was to influence a change in formation…I’d rather he just left things as they were.

    Sheesh. It doesn’t matter what formation, what DOF or SD comes into Arsenal…Wenger is still in charge. He’s been in charge for the last 13 years…two FA cups. Embarrassing.

  36. WengerEagle

    LOL, you know what this means right?

    He’ll stay another season to experiment with our *wildy successful new formation* with 3 at the back to ‘make things right’.

    Fuck this shit, not in the least bothered to even talk arsenal anymore as long as this anal wart persists to make a laughing stock out of the club we all love.

  37. WengerEagle

    * Against offensively one of the worst sides we’ve ever seen in the premier league.

    And they still tore open like a bag of Hob Nobs on a fair few occasions!

  38. S.Asoa

    We appreciate the forum you have given to the appreciative and passionate of the Gooners . But have to grow up a little. Wenger rubbing his “backside 3″ into Gazidas face , that’s all .The change,however puerile in it’s execution is forced by the WOB clamour.
    Seeing how often Boro could poke through tells the true story. Not the posturing over a victory over the bottom 2 team.

    ( unless he dies, in which case we mourn his soul should not burn too much in hell )

  39. Samesong

    I don’t want us to lose, I’d rather we just won stuff under Wenger.

    Something not right about that sentence.

  40. Bamford10

    That Wenger hasn’t announced he is staying on at this point lends further support to idea that no contract is on the table as of yet. If it were on the table, Wenger would be a fool not to sign and announce now. Even he can see trouble may lie ahead for him in the remaining fixtures. There is absolutely no reason he wouldn’t announce now — unless contract discussions will not officially begin until after the season, as Gazidis has stated.

  41. S.Asoa

    Your Comment Here

    Anal Wart – the correct definition of someone been calling Arsehole Wenger all this while.

  42. Bamford10


    Yes, a number of things wrong with that sentence. Beginning with wanting what is not possible: winning things under Wenger.


    If losing to City and finishing sixth meant Wenger would leave, where beating City and managing fourth would mean Wenger staying, which would you pull for?

  43. S.Asoa

    Victory befits the brave
    Not the queasy, who are condemned to be forever slaves .
    So repeat after me


  44. Bamford10


    Just a coincidence? That he not only tried a new formation but explicitly mentioned his capacity for “change” after the game? You’re out of your mind. This definitely had something to do with the calls for his head and the talk of change. One need not attribute much or all of this to Gazidis to see this is what is going on.

  45. WengerEagle


    Of course there is mate, take away Boro and we’re in horrendous form atm.

    He’s a lot of things but he’s not a moron, announcing now would be just about the worst thing he could do.

    I mean look at arsenal fan tv for example, the mood was noticeably different last night after just one win which we edged against a feeble side that will be relegated.

    Imagine what it will be like after a few more wins against shit teams?

    That is when this reptile will pounce and announce imo.

  46. TR7

    To make a section of the fan base believe there’s no contract on the table yet showcases absolutely amazing PR skills of AFC.

  47. Bamford10

    Last time I checked, Pedro has allowed you lot to criticize Gazidis ruthlessly (and often unfairly) and to ridicule Pedro himself for his basic faith in Gazidis. How is this a dictatorship in which everyone must think as Pedro thinks? It’s not. You lot just can’t deal with the fact that your anti-Gazidis narrative doesn’t have much substance to it and is actually being undermined by facts at moment.

  48. Bamford10


    If there is a contract on the table, why has Wenger not signed and announced? Is his situation going to get better over the next 4-5 weeks? No, it’s not.

    Further, why would Gazidis blatantly lie to the AST? What possible good could come out of this for him? If there were a contract on the table but he didn’t want to admit this, he could easily have said that he is not able to comment on that issue at that time. Blatantly lying to the AST would make no sense.

  49. WrightIsGod


    This article is probably one of your worst and quite pathetic. You attribute the 3 at the back to Gazidis.

    Even if he ‘had a word’ with Wenger that ‘word’ should be two, fu** and off.

    Why are you looking for anything to cement your love for Gazidis. Really pitiful and has put me off to be honest. You have 0 proof that The 3 at the back has anything to do with 3 at back.

    Unless you are doing this for click bait.

  50. Bamford10


    So things are going to get better for Wenger over the next 4-5 weeks? You’re out of your mind. This is the best moment he’s going to have. Things are going to get ugly — bounced from FAC, finishing 6th, etc. — and even if he got lucky and things went better than that, there is no way he would be banking on that.

    Those who continue to claim that a contract is already on the table — despite there being no actual evidence of this, and despite Gazidis’s explicit statement against this to the AST — need to explain three things:
    1. what evidence they have for this claim
    2. why Wenger wouldn’t have already announced, if that were the case
    3. why Gazidis would have blatantly lied to the AST

  51. Bamford10


    So it’s just a coincidence that Wenger not only changed formations — unheard of, previously — but explicitly mentioned his capacity for “change” in the presser afterward? Come on.

  52. Emiratesstroller

    The formation yesterday is merely a diversion from the reality that the current team/squad is not fit for purpose.

    A better team than Middlesborough would probably have beaten us despite the change.

    The Centre Back formation was still poor. No-one can believe seriously that the combination of Gabriel with Koscielny is any better than that of Gabriel
    with Mustafi.

    There is sadly no communication level or good balance between all of them.

    Our defence has conceded 40 goals in the league so far this season. That is actually one goal more than Middlesborough who are in 19th place in EPL and have played one game more.

    Our defence including those in midfield who are also expected to defend is probably the worst that has played for Arsenal since pre the George Graham

    The fact that Mertesacker has not been able to play a single game this season
    tells you everything you need to know about the current situation. He may be
    as ‘slow as a carthorse’, but he was always articulate and probably the only defender on our books who can actually be described as a “GENUINE DEFENDER”.

    Everyone else on our books wants to be a fancy dan footballer and play too often out of position.

  53. TR7


    “If there is a contract on the table, why has Wenger not signed and announced?”

    He’s waiting for the right opportunity which unfortunately for him hasn’t yet come .

    “Further, why would Gazidis blatantly lie to the AST?”

    Why wouldn’t he ? If he said there is contract lying on the table waiting to be signed imagine the dent on his own reputation. Instead If he gives out subtle signals that he is in favor of a change and that Stan has superimposed his decision to keep Wenger on him, his reputation remains intact. I mean who would blame him for not going against Stan ?

    And ask yourself- if the board had any plans to make a change why wouldn’t they be looking for a new manager ? We have 1 month to go before preparations for a new season begins and we still haven’t started looking for Wenger’s successor let alone finding one. How plausible that scenario sounds to you ? City and United had decided on Pep and Mourinho respectively by Jan-Feb 2016. Every formal work was completed except making an announcement. Our board has no footballing people, it would take them ages to find a new manager,

  54. Red&White4life

    “You attribute the 3 at the back to Gazidis.”
    The same guy who create the earth in seven days ??

  55. Bamford10


    Sorry, but none of what you just said makes any sense. This is the best moment he’s going to have. The next 4-5 weeks are going to be brutal — and even if they turn out better than expected, there is absolutely no way Wenger would be banking on this. He would take advantage of the positive moment he has right now.

    Two, blatantly lying to the AST would be far more problematic to Gazidis’s reputation, and as I say, he could simply have said “no comment at this time”.

    And again, what evidence do you lot have that a contract is on the table? Unless I’ve missed something, I’m pretty sure you have nothing but newspaper gossip (and your own pessimism).

  56. Bamford10


    Your point about why the board is not looking for a new manager is a fair one, actually, but (i) they might be in talks behind the scenes or (ii) they may believe they can get someone in late May / early June.

  57. TR7


    As I said, things don’t add up. One thing is pretty much certain- Wenger is not going to be sacked in the middle of the season. So he can’t possibly leave the club before we play our last game. Now tell me what is in your estimation will be the amount of time required for the board to go hunting for a new manager and appoint a suitable successor ? And then the new manager has to come in, assess our squad which is absolutely bang average and make the wholesome changes that we need. We have to get rid of a lot of players and bring in a fair few. Given we will have no CL, acquiring players is going to be even more difficult. I can’t possibly imagine how all this can happen in just under 2 months which includes our vacations for our players and pre-season tours. I just can’t imagine any board leaving it so late if they are keen to make a change. On top of all this you have the track record of acceptance of mediocrity by our board. If I had to put my money, I would bet on Wenger staying. Every signal points to that direction.

  58. S.Asoa

    Wenger loves money so much beyond all emotions and morals he is trying his best to stick on, no matter what.
    Protests should continue
    Do not be mislead by Wenger or the Board feints.
    Bring your posters and put them up at end of the game before the Skunk slinks off , no matter what the results. At the end you are not discouraging the team.
    Suggest someone prints vests with “WENGER OUT ” to be worn inside and can be exposed like player celebration taking the T-shirt off and “a Ole Ole ” dance.

  59. Pedro

    Cheers Bamford… and to all the haters on this forum, if you don’t think that back 3 was a direct, down to your knees beg from Wenger, you are fucking deluded.

    WIG, you in particular, need to apologize for being so badly wrong.

  60. TR7

    Besides, If I was Wenger and the board had given me enough hints that I would have no other option but to leave at the end of the season, I would rather announce my decision to leave so that all the fans were united and cheered for me and sang for me instead of the incessant abuse that he gets from fans every time we lose a game.

  61. Pierre

    Bamford 10
    You must have sleepless nights in your desperation for arsenal to lose and for Wenger to leave…..
    You haven’t said a lot about the protest lately have you.. Why.. All those away fans at boro were behind the team,what does that tell you……
    If you look at it realistically, no one knows what is on the table, no one knows if he is leaving, no one knows what Gazidis has said(not even Pedro) it’s all speculation.
    I thought wenger would have used his brain and made an announcement by now and say he was leaving….
    Now we have joe(or is it gg) back with his boring, repetitive comments… I wonder how long it will be before he starts the abuse to anyone who doesn’t concur with his minority views….

  62. Jamie

    The change in formation is a total red herring. Wenger is not capable of legitimate change, only superficial.

    We simply have too many average players earning ostentatious salaries on the books, and Wenger is too emotionally attached to most of them. The entire squad was assembled by Wenger, and by his own repeated admissions he will not disrupt the ‘cohesion’ of the squad by making wholesale changes during any given transfer window.

    We need a massive cull (Szczesny, Ospina, Jenko, Mert, Gab, Chambers, Gibbs, Wilsh, Coq, Santi, 1 of Wally, Welbs or Perez) and 5-8 solid players to replace the outgoing ones (GK, RB, LB, CB, CM, ST). Wenger is not the man to take the squad forward and make the necessary changes to personnel (including freshening up the coaching staff).

    Every season, most of us agree we need massive changes to the squad. Wenger only ever introduces 1 or 2 ‘decent’ players into the mix, alluding to the notion that Wally/Jack/et al. will finally come good. Same shit different season.

  63. Pierre

    You probably talk more sense than anyone on here..
    The defence is in a mess…
    If mert is fit then play him in a back 3 with kos and holding either side.
    Don’t mess about playing ox at wing back (though he played well yesterday). Play bellerin and monreal as wing backs.. Put ox in the middle and out Ramsey asap… Put sanchez up front with pace either side of him and ozil behind……

  64. Relieable Sauce

    The fans are already accepting a renewal for wenger, so they know they have already broken the back of the protest with their deflecting and stalling. It’s a sure fire way of getting out those bad apple supporters away from Arsene-al FC and trade them for the lucrative AKB and tourist dollar.
    They know if they can quieten the dissenting voices coming from the fanbase they will have free reign to carry on regardless. Remember they have no shame whatsoever.
    Ride this last storm out and then it should be fairly straight forward for wenger to eclipse Fergies record and I suspect wenger would like to reach 1 000 EPL games.

    The opportunity to rid Arsenal of the nutty professor is now. Not in a year or two, but now. Ivan must be aware of this, there likely won’t be a better opportunity in the foreseeable future.

    Even if IG is calling Wengers bluff offering him a contract that he thinks he will not accept, it would be hugely detrimental to next season trying to get a manager that late. If he thinks Wenger can be a catalyst for change then he is deluded and therefore incompetent (I don’t think he’s incompetent).
    Either way, IG is not cutting the mustard imo, and I really don’t see how he can be regarded as anything but a failure if he doesn’t start pulling some aces out very soon.

  65. Red&White4life

    “it would be hugely detrimental to next season trying to get a manager that late”

    Another proof that KJW is staying.

  66. China

    Pedro I’ll be 100% happy to back Ivan and join the IKB as and when we see something concrete from him

    Wenger is on his worst ever run of form and calls for him to leave are coming from absolutely everywhere (apart from
    inside the club where Ivan is ironically…)

    He’s been criticized for being unable to change tactics from literally every angle, by virtually every pundit and 70% of his own clubs fan base lol

    So if you’re going to credit Ivan the great for disciplining wenger, firstly it would be nice if we had any actual evidence he was the one who got wenger to make the change (highly unlikely)

    And secondly this is some piss poor disciplining from Ivan anyway. He’s the CEO and the most useful thing he can do to a hopelessly poor manager who needs firing is get him to change formation? LOL. Sorry Pedro gonna need a lot more than this to impress me

  67. Relieable Sauce

    If IG wants a DoF, and it will be one of the conditions of Wengers renewal, go and hire Monchi (?), or some other ball breaker DoF who won’t take any nonsense from Le Fraud.
    Time for him to stop with the hot air and back up his words with some assertive action for a change. If he has no power to make changes by hiring staff, what use is he, he should resign if he is not being allowed to perform the duties of a CEO.

  68. TR7

    “Ivan was in the stands against palace. Witnessed how shite we were. Then enforced 3-4-3. Seems legit.”

    Yes, Ivan for our next manager !!!

  69. David Smith

    could be Ivan, though the players have reportedly forced change before, but wenger always reverts to type.
    who knows whether Ivan will come good,but he is the best chance we have at the moment….that , and maybe wenger disrespecting Stans son

  70. Bergkamp63


    I was thinking exactly the same when I was reading today’s post.

    It sounds a bit desperate to call last nights irrelevance as evidence that IG has thrown his South African kebab out of his pram in the direction of Lord Wenger.

  71. Rambo Ramsey

    Bamford, I find it ironic that you make fun of Alexander Henry considering you’re every bit as deluded, scratch that, you’re even more deluded. Even Alex has admitted plenty of times that Wenger is complicit in this mess, something that I’m yet to see you do regards to Kroenke/Gazidis.

  72. BillikenGooner

    After 8+ years of calling for it, Wenger plays with the formation and thinks he’s reinvented the wheel by winning at Boro.

    “Look, I am innovative… you must give me 4 years to realize my Plan.”

  73. Paddy got bored

    What a load of crap on here today
    Ivan, Fraud, The Syrup, Lord Chips there all the same cheeks of the same ass!!!
    No good guys here the lot need running out the club

  74. Dissenter

    The Labor party voters should have ditched Jeremy Corbyn last summer when they got the chance.
    I’ve never seen a more lop-sided parliamentary system that the one you have now in the UK.
    Kudos to the PM. The decisions about BREXIT require a specific mandate from the people.

  75. Dissenter

    “Further, why would Gazidis blatantly lie to the AST”
    I wonder how people that are so vehemently Wenger-out can be so oblivious to all the other failings of the club.

    There’s a simple answer to this question.
    SELF-PRESERVATION to to keep earning 2.6 million yearly.

  76. useroz

    “The first time in 20 years. That shows that even at my age you can change.”

    That was a 20m pound statement…

    Shows how desperate Wenger wanted the contract.

  77. Dissenter

    You’re clutching at straws
    You really think Gazidis has anything to do with the formation?
    You don’t think that it’s more plausible that the senior players remonstrated with Wenger following the constant bashing from fans.

    I’ve told you several times that Gazidis is your blind spot. He’s clouding your judgment and now you’re attributing any positive thing to the “catalyst for change” mantra.

  78. Jay

    Pedro wrote: “Cheers Bamford… and to all the haters on this forum, if you don’t think that back 3 was a direct, down to your knees beg from Wenger, you are fucking deluded.”

    Well, that’s told us. And not at all thin-skinned from Pedro…

    Firstly, where is the evidence that the change of formation was a “direct”? It seems to me you’re voicing an opinion. Fair enough, but calling people who don’t see it “fucking deluded” is absurd.

    Secondly, why are we “haters” if we disagree on Gazidis? I don’t post all that often but when I do I usually support and appreciate what you’re doing with the blog. But I don’t see any basis for your faith in Ivan, so why should I go along with it?

    If you blog you’ve got to be able to take the banter mate!

  79. Red&White4life

    “That shows that even at my age you can change.”

    You’re a liar KJW, you have no age, you’re a vampire.

  80. Rambo Ramsey

    Gazidis has been at the club for how many years now, he’s completely failed to take any control, he’s completely failed to exercise his power, he’s completely failed to make any sort of mark. If he were to leave now, would anyone even remember a CEO by the name of Gazidis worked at the club for several years?

    Whose fault is this, really? What is it down to? Not that hard to see, is it? Its down to his incompetence, its down to his cowardice, its down to his lack of passion and drive.

    But ofcourse some are too busy blaming everything on Wenger. Takes me back to the days where the AKBs blamed anything and everything other than see the possibility that their hero might be incompetent.

  81. Jim Lahey

    Regarding the game last night. I was pleased to see us go with a 3-5-2 formation, it will be interesting to see if it is deployed again next week against City. We looked very sluggish during the first half, but this has been the case all season and to add in a new setup will take some time for it to gel.

    Ox …… He has everything to be a starter for us, so fast and powerful. Love how direct he is and how easy he can go past players, but he so poor with his final ball. He seem incapable of getting his head up and picking out a decisive pass in the final third of the pitch.

    But that can be said for a lot of our players last night. I counted at least three instances last night near the end where we broke and had greater numbers than Boro yet were unable to make it count.

    Even with three at the back we looked so brittle at the back, this is a Middlesborough team that prior to last night have only managed 14 goals at home all season yet they should have scored more than they did.

    For City I would like to see Hector start where Ox played last night, maybe move Ox to the middle along side Xhaka and if Lucas is fit play him up with Sanchez.

  82. Dissenter

    “and to all the haters on this forum, if you don’t think that back 3 was a direct, down to your knees beg from Wenger, you are fucking deluded”
    This is probably the most unhinged comment you’ve ever posted and that a compliment given that you’ve had the unenviable task of conjuring up posts after post.
    You didn’t attribute it the away fans at Selhurst Park.
    You didn’t think that maybe senior players convinced him to change.
    You didn’t even consider the remote option that Stan Kroenke sent a message by pigeon to Wenger.
    It just had to be your man- Ivan the great.

    It’s only apt that your readers have coined the perfect term for you
    Those seminal years he spent at Major league soccer supervising CONCACAF Gold cup sure prepared him for this trans-formative era.

  83. Red&White4life

    Those rumors that the “KJW out banners” which were confiscated from the fans at the half time by the security of Boro stadium, are they true ??

  84. China

    Yeah Pedro same with me. I respect your work and you as a person as much as I vehemently disagree with the Ivan is a constrained hero narrative you believe in

    But correct me if I’m wrong Pedro, but in one of your more recent posts, I think you said you spend ages trawling newsnow these days for any news or updates that fit your idea of the club (or words to that effect)

    Now isn’t only reporting on and paying attention to things that support your narrative a one-sided way to form your opinion?

    Like with the gazidis credit you have him today. IF there’s any actual evidence that he somehow forced wenger to play 3 at the back that would be one thing, but you’re literally taking one quote from wenger that can be interpreted as a barb at several different groups (or all of them) and deciding it must only be aimed in the direction you want it to be aimed

    And like I said if the best thing the CEO can do is make his subordinate change formation for an easy match against relegation fodder after all this time of humiliations and failures then he’s fucking piss poor CEO man.

    Where was the catalyst for change comment years back? Where was the director of football and new coaching years back. Where was the formation change years back?

    It wasn’t there because Ivan is a goon mate. An extremely well paid goon. Just like our dear leader

  85. Red&White4life

    @Red : yes but they are in love. And you can’t destroy a relationship like that.
    You have no heart!!

  86. China

    I can’t usually watch the games later than 7pm because of my work schedule and the time difference being fucking brutal

    I’m not missing anything worth seeing anyway though so I don’t resent missing games as much as I used to

    The fa cup semi is on at a reasonable time though I think so I should get to see the mess that’s likely to unfold

  87. China

    I’m not sure if Ivan is merely incompetent or if this is actually a conspiracy between him and arsene lol

    Either Ivan’s a joke damp towel of a CEO who after years of failures can only put out one catalyst for change soundbite and make the manager change formation (lolol)

    Or he and wenger are both complicit in trying to influence fan and media opinion in some elaborate way. Like they’re both getting criticized for being absolutely pish at their jobs and Ivan depends on arsene to run this club for him and keep him on the easy meal ticket. Likewise arsene depends on Ivan being a wet fart to give him total power over the club. So they take this moment to have Ivan put out a couple of empty crap comments and encourage some really tiny changes as a PR stunt to make it look like they give a shit about the fans and how shit we’ve become. In exchange arsene has to play along and make a small change, accompanied by a win and then say look I’m changing. The win and the change help turn some demented flipfloppers back on his side and Ivan also comes out of it looking like he actually cares and is willing to stand up to his master

    Now that conspiracy is frankly ridiculous, but so too is the alternative so…

  88. Kane

    If the CEO is telling the manager what formation to play then we really are fucked!

    Wenger changing formation / tactics is not something to be marvelled at – it is part of his job as a manager. The fact it has taken this long for him to make a basic formation change is damning.

    I can’t wait to see him try his new masterplan against City or Spurs and watch them destroy our feeble 3 centerbacks with power and pace – if Boro were not the leagues worst scorers then they would have had 2 or 3 goals last night.

    Still – it could mean Rob holding gets a run out – would be good to actually see him play a bit.

  89. Red&White4life

    “I can’t usually watch the games later than 7pm because of my work schedule ”

    That’s what you can call a lucky gooner lol

  90. Kane

    Rambo Ramsey April 18, 2017 14:42:28

    Am waiting for Pedro to say that Gazidis is the Ozil of CEOs and it’s the subtle, obvious work he does that makes him so invaluable to the way the club is run….

  91. Dissenter

    Are you the same poster on the guardian football blogs?
    Today is GKB [Gazidis Knows Best] day on le-grove. We are giving away free funny party hats.

  92. N5

    No Dissenter I’m not, is there a son of a bitch copy cat out there? I’m the original N5.

    Unless of course that one makes me look really clever, then yes it’s me. 😀

  93. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘Arsenal managerial target Max Allegri holds talks with Barcelona over £7.2million-a-year deal to replace Luis Enrique as boss’

    Ah but its okay, Gazidis says Wenger hasn’t been offered a contract and they’ll start thinking about what to do in May. Allegri or whomever else it is, they can wait.

  94. Barking Arsene


    Sorry missed your earlier question.

    If you could guarantee Wenger would leave I’d take any combination of results from now until the d of the season.

    I was just pointing out that he and the board are in my opinion complicit. Wenger directly and the board indirectly.

    Wenger has already spoken out against Ivan and I do feel like this back three thing is almost bordering on team selection sarcasm.

    Mental what is going on at the moment.

  95. China

    Rambo don’t judge gazidis and the board for not sacking wenger and replacing him now….

    Judge them in May!!!!!!

    Wheeeeey it’s hilarious isn’t it? No? Sorry I forgot it’s fuckihg depressing and it’s too close to home to enjoy :(

  96. slade

    Pierre writes:
    “…Here Now we have joe(or is it gg) back with his boring, repetitive comments… I wonder how long it will be before he starts the abuse to anyone who doesn’t concur with his minority views….


  97. jwl

    Whatever caused Wenger to change defence, it is still reactionary and I am not convinced it is correct time to try new defensive shape. In theory, Wenger is paid big bucks to manage the team, not sit on sideline fiddling his zipper while Rome burns for past few months.

    But now all of a sudden, with quite important games coming up, Wenger has decided to confuse defenders even more with new system when he could just tell Monreal and Bellerin to do some proper defending and help the centre backs.

  98. Dissenter

    So the Barca manager earns about 7 million yearly while Wenger is projected to earn 10 million in his new contract.
    Welcome to the Arsenal gravy train.

  99. Dissenter

    It looks as i the fan unrest has gotten across to Wenger.
    The silly grin on his face is all but gone. The “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” chants shook them to the core.

  100. jwl

    Of course, it makes sense to introduce young, developing defender after giving him a crash course in Wengerball right after gooners chanted at our squad about how they not fit to wear shirt. Perfect timing by Wenger once again.

  101. Relieable Sauce

    “…sometimes the team needs to believe in something new, you know, different…”

    The need to believe…Blind faith in other words, and don’t question my motives or methods.

  102. N5

    “The “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” chants shook them to the core.”

    The away fans did annoy me last night singing Hectors name over and over from the 89th minute. It’s fine to let him know you still like him, but it was like a cheating husband coming home with flowers, chocolates and a ring. I mean fucking hell, his wage packet would have made the chants slide of his back anyway.