Arsenal find magic and focus as they attack the #Top4Trophy

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Nothing focuses Arsenal quite like the battle for the #TopFourTrophy.

It’s a real oddity, because look, it’s a pressurised situation. We’re battling three very good clubs with equal resources and better coaches, and we’re attacking the problem like soldiers storming the beaches in WWII.

Arsenal put on a classy show yesterday, if you can’t take joy in that game, you might as well give up. It had it all, some superb goals, another great Petr Cech performance, a young defender emerging as a bit of a star, some sweet revenge for Rambo with an assist, and even comeuppance for Arnautovic when Holding shoved him over and busted his arm.

Wenger pulled off a selection masterclass, I mean, come on… don’t pretend you didn’t look at Coquelin and Giroud in the lineup and cry some boredom tears! Both players contributed positively in the first half.

Our first goal came on 41 minutes, Xhaka found Coquelin in space 40 yards out, the Frenchman played a perfectly weighted pass into the run of Bellerin on the right. The Spaniard showed unusual composure, firing a low cross at Giroud on the 6-yard line, with the finish executed with tap-in perfection. Imagine all those elements coming together at once? Amusing reading around how many people thought the Xhaka pass was something out of the Zizou hall of fame. Calm down people, let’s not start creating mythical legend out of 10-yard passes. The hero there was Coquelin who probably had to be treated for a nosebleed after that.

Our second goal came in the second half and was a thing of 2004 like beauty. Ozil played a delayed one-two with Sanchez. He exploded into the box, Sanchez picking him out with a standing pass that beat 6 Stoke players (plus the keeper), Ozil finished deftly with one touch. An incredible goal.

Peter Crouch, the 47 years old giant from an 80s comic strip, did cause us some bother when he nipped in at the near post and pushed in a cross with his hand. If that were Pires or Thierry, we’d hear calls for the hardest Brexit of all time so we could hang them. Because it was Crouchy, it was just kind of amusing. Yet another reason for video analysis. Those sorts of decision can derail a #TopFourTrophy challenge and cost clubs in excess of £40m. Unreal that people think there’s anything pure in unjust decisions.

Arsenal looked flustered for a moment or two, we conceded 350 corners in the space of 12 minutes, but we didn’t cave. Sanchez’s thigh did, the gay icon wincing at the camera whilst showing some serious leg to the world. Any normal manager would have taken his star man off immediately with a cup final looming, not Wenger, he left him on… and miraculously, the top 4 gods shined on him again. Bellerin played Sanchez a ball inside, expecting a return pass, the Chilean had different ideas, he powered on at the goal from the right, then picked out the bottom corner with a low daisy-cutter.

Some say his celebration indicated he’s staying on. I’d say that’s a long shot. The man has created 30 goals / assists this season. He’s going somewhere to win things this summer. Cheslea, PSG, and Bayern all interested.

Anyway, he rolled off for Aaron Ramsey, who was booed on for having the audacity to have his leg broken once upon a time. The Welshman nearly scored immediately, cutting some sweet movement across the edge of the area, but not doing well enough with his shot. He did manage an assist, setting up Giroud for an easy finish at the death.

4-1 to Arsenal. We’re not a point behind Liverpool who play West Ham. I have a feeling they’re more than capable of a choke there, so don’t be surprised if we’re sitting in the top 4 come the end of the season. We’ve absolutely destroyed the last few games, which I was sure would end in tears.

Interesting looking at the United game now, because it’s quite clear that Mourinho is gambling on the Europa League final… and making sure that if he doesn’t make it, he’s not stuck in Spursday night hell next season.

Also interesting to see all the player tweets and Instagrams now, it’s like they’re fully onboard the top 4 tophy train. I find it all a bit embarrassing to be honest. I was watching Ferguson on an NBC doco earlier, he was saying that the only thing that mattered was the league. How I wish we had a manager into that. Wenger on the side celebrating the goals like he’d won the World Cup. He’s completely reframed what it is to be successful, and it works.

Even if we do fail to make the top 4, he’ll be close enough to dress it up as a success… it’ll be glorious failure, and we know that Wenger is all about that.

I will always enjoy us winning, but that sick feeling I have in the pit of my stomach thinking about what a disaster we’re going to enter into next year is really upsetting.

… but hey, it’s only football right?

On a positive note, I thought Rob Holding looked very good again. He wasn’t quite peak Cannavaro, was roasted a couple of times. However, he looks like an interesting defender, and considering our track record with young British players, he looks promising. He’s great on the ball, he’s very strong, and he damaged Arnautovic, which was exciting to watch. He’s from Bolton, you’re not going to bully him.

On Alexis and Ozil. They’re such good players. Sanchez would be much better under a manager that could coach him, and Ozil would be much better if had fire in his belly every game. I was watching the game with Alfred, he was saying prematch that if Ozil made the runs into the box Ramsey does, we’d probably love him a little more… it was a great goal, the sort he should be getting more of.

Fingers crossed the Chilean is fine for the Chelsea game.

P.S. Thanks for all the positive comments around the podcast, we’re very grateful and we shall be continuing it next season for sure. Maybe even the summer if there’s something good to talk about.

369 Responses to “Arsenal find magic and focus as they attack the #Top4Trophy”

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  1. David Smith

    At the beginning of the season, Wenger said this season would be ” The World Cup of Managers”
    Well,he will be the only one of them not in the Champions league next season.
    Why is there even a discussion about him staying?

  2. Bamford10

    Dave

    Wenger decides who Arsenal buy and who Arsenal sell. No one else. The board are there simply as advisors. I’m not sure what world you’ve been living in, but Stan Kroenke didn’t tell Wenger we were selling RVP, or Fabregas, or Nasri, or anyone else for that matter. Wenger made those decisions.

    Remember the recent articles, “Wenger to retain complete control at Arsenal for another year”? Do you know what the word “retain” means?

    Jesus Christ some people.

  3. Bamford10

    And by “Dave” I mean “GoonerDave”.

    The world cup of managers, and Wenger lost. Mourinho didn’t do well either, it must be said.

  4. Bamford10

    GoonerDave

    You also misrepresented my point and messed a number of other things up. I didn’t say Wenger “bypassed” anyone; the board approved those sales. But the sales were Wenger’s decision. He made/makes those decisions. The board simply advises or gives approval.

    Further, Chips didn’t say Kroenke ‘doesn’t interfere’. It was WENGER who said that.

    If you’re going to discuss things here, try to get things right.

  5. Bamford10

    And by the way, for the umpteenth time, self-sustainability was implemented prior to Stan Kroenke taking over.

  6. Redtruth

    Bamford

    I posted this earlier from Arsensl Truth:

    Wenger has failed during the entire period Kroenke has owned the club, yet it’s only now that certain bloggers are attacking Kroenke. Why are they suddenly unhappy with Kroenke? It’s not like he’s done anything different.

    I suspect it’s to do with the fact that bloggers who have previously backed Wenger to the hilt don’t want to fully admit that he’s made them look like the naive idiots they have proved to be.

  7. GoonerDave

    Bamford –
    The board is there to advise AW? Stan Kroenke and Josh Kroenke both have seats on the board to advise Wenger?
    If you honestly think AW decided to sell those players voluntarily, what would the reason be? How did he bypass the board regularly without being reported? And yet another huge slice of luck for Stan – not only does the manager refuse to spend, he sells all our best players too, leaving lots of cash in the bank.
    Your hatred for the manager has blinded you to the truth. You should be angry that he lied to you for years and angry at another season of underachievement, but you are in complete error if you think AW decided to make and bank all that money.
    You don’t have to take my word for anything – ask anyone involved in finance if a lender would be allowed to restrict spending/dictate spending policy of a company owing 350M+.
    Stan could’ve helped us with the pennies in his ashtray. And would have been paid back too. Rotten old wigger.

  8. Bamford10

    Arsenal wage bill since 2011:

    11-12 £143m
    12-13 £154m
    13-14 £166m
    14-15 £180m
    15-16 £192m
    16-17 £200m

    Far from penny-pinching.

    The only “penny-pinching” that went on was back when Wenger was trying to prove that he could win without spending.

    Now he spends and he still fucking loses.

    Wenger out.

  9. Bamford10

    Dave

    Why do you keep talking about “bypassing”? No one “bypassed” anyone. They back Wenger when he has a plan; they back Wenger when he does not.

  10. Bamford10

    Red

    That’s exactly right. The people who focus on Kroenke are those who would prefer not to focus on Wenger.

    Don’t get me wrong: Kroenke is a putz. But the fact is, if we had a proper manager and DOF, Stan Kroenke would not be hindering Arsenal Football Club one iota.

  11. GoonerDave

    Nobody could begin to notice what Kroenke was doing until about 3 years ago. The debt restrictions were lifted, FFP was dying, yet our cash in bank was still growing. That benefits nobody but the owner.

  12. GoonerDave

    Bamford –
    If you honestly believe that AW willingly sold his best players to go on some mad crusade, you are entitled to your opinion. But that is a theory. It is far more likely that he didn’t and the club were under severe financial pressure.

  13. Bamford10

    GoonerDave

    How did our massive cash holdings benefit Stan Kroenke? Players appreciate as assets, whereas cash does not, and the canard about that cash helping him land debt financing in the US has been put to bed several times. So again, how exactly did he benefit from our according the largest cash holdings in world football?

  14. David Smith

    On the subject of those called Kroenke, tbh….and this is more of a gut feeling thing, the younger scares me more than the older……think jr is more likely to get involved and meddle. If meddling involves getting rid of dross, fine….but let’s keep an eagle eye on JK

  15. Bamford10

    Alexander

    You’re misrepresenting why Wenger sold those players. He sold them — let’s focus on RVP and Nasri — because they were asking for more money and for him to sign better players. He didn’t want to do either — the former because it ran afoul of his socialist wage scale, the latter because he was trying to prove he could win while being the anti-Chelsea.

    He did not sell them simply to prove a point, as you have lamely suggested.

  16. alexanderhenry

    The arsenal share price has doubled since Kroenke bought in to the club, and there is currently more available cash in the arsenal bank account than the combined reserves of Bayern munich, barcelona and real madrid combined,

    Much of this has come from him selling off our best players for years.

    All the PR stuff about the benefits of ‘self sustainability’, ‘investing in youth’, ‘making stars not buying them’ and warnings about FFP that never materialised, was pure bullshit.

    The fans have been strung alone and lied to, while paying the highest ticket prices in football and effectively paying off the stadium debt- a debt Kroenke inherited when becoming majority shareholder- for him.

    Is Wenger responsible for all this? Of course not.

    Is he blameless? No, he is complicit. He should have walked after the RVP debacle and his misguided loyalty to Stan has only perpetuated the whole rotten situation.

    Kroenke’s achievement since 2007 has been to take a progressive, successful club and reduce them to mediocrity.

    Job done Stan.

  17. Bamford10

    GoonerDave

    Arsenal sold RVP in August of 2012. At that time, we had the largest cash reserves in the PL (some £150m) and had just recorded £37m in profits for the prior fiscal year.

    What do you mean, the club was under “financial pressure”?

  18. Barking Arsene

    If you read the article posted, Nasri states that he decided to leave. Doesn’t quite tally with the headline.

    Cesc had been sold, Gervinho was coming in and Nasri decided to go.

    Kronke may have wanted some money to balance the books at the time but that doesn’t change the fact that he has backed Wenger with large sums of money recently and we have fallen further behind.

    Wenger is past it. He is the main problem.

    Hate to say it but give Poch the money Wenger spent and he would get better results. That suggests the owner isn’t the MAIN issue. He is far from perfect but he isn’t to be used as a shield for Wenger.

  19. alexanderhenry

    Damn right rvp, nasri etc wanted more money and wanted to win trophies.

    Wenger couldn’t offer them more money or guarantee he would bolster the squad with top players because of the financial restrictions imposed by Kroenke.

    Restrictions that could only have been imposed by Kroneke who is the OWNER.

    Wenger is the MANAGER.

    Really, it’s quite staggering on here how some people fail to understand that distinction.

  20. Barking Arsene

    Our wage bill however shows that we were not restricted financially. We just used our finances inefficiently.

    Also, if we were financially restricted and it was an issue then why did Wenger stay on? He is complicit then, even if Stan is pure evil then surely?

    Fact is managers have done better than Wenger with smaller budgets, even Wenger himself admits that he won’t overpay for players, so leaves himself no to no defence.

    Even in the here and now, Wenger has money and still hasn’t delivered a title challenge. Surely people can see that this is why people want him gone?

  21. Barking Arsene

    Also Alex the distinction between owner and manager I think is clear.

    The issue lies in the level of autonomy given to said manager by the owner.

    If an owner has a financial target and employs a specialist in the field to oversee the day to day running of the business, it isn’t unknown for the manager to have almost complete autonomy on decisions so long as they can be justified with results at the next board meeting.

    It happens a lot in business, and isn’t that wild an idea to think that someone with 40 years experience is charged with these decisions by someone who has no direct knowledge.

  22. Redtruth

    DailyMail 19:38, 01 Sep 2007,

    Arsene Wenger has defended his tight grip on the Arsenal purse strings by declaring: “We don’t sign superstars, we make them”.

    If Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov is successful during the looming power struggle at the Emirates, Wenger could be armed with the spending power to rival even Chelsea.

    But the Frenchman insists that whoever triumphs in the boardroom, he will continue pursuing his policy of signing promising talent and turning them into big names.

    And as Wenger is adamant that recruiting established stars does not represent value for money, he will continue to prize potential over experience.

    “I’m not scared to spend big money. If there is a player that I feel we need then of course I will buy him,” he said.

    “But at Arsenal we make the superstars. If you find a special player then fine but I have not seen a number of what you might call world-class players available.

    “Maybe some have a world-class price, but they are not all world-class players.

    If you sit down and give me £30million to buy one, could we find one? “For £30million I will be told ‘sorry he is not available and you can not have him for that price’.

    “Chelsea maybe tried to sign Ronaldinho and they have more money than anyone in the world, but he has not joined them

    “For me, for £60million a guy must take the ball at the kick-off and score every time he touches the ball.

    “The highest we have ever bid for a player was £15milllion for Antonio Reyes. We have never bid higher because the quality hasn’t been there.

    “I will only pay what I think a player is worth and there are not many world-class players better than we already have.

    “I don’t know why everybody wants us to buy.

    “I’m surprised that people think I have no money to spend. We were maybe a little bit short for a brief period but not now.

    “We are not short of money and our results will come out soon and you will see.”

    Wenger believes his approach to squad building requires greater skill than buying established players, but is not concerned that his rivals in the Barclays Premier League will try to muscle in on his territory.

    As prospective teenage signings know they will be given the opportunity to flourish at Arsenal, Wenger is confident the Emirates Stadium will always be their preferred destination.

    “It’s harder trick to pull off buying younger players,” he said.

    “But I am not that worried about the competition because players always go where they think they get a chance and not many clubs have the patience to give them that chance.

    “They will make them wait until they think they are good enough.

    “Because we start them early, they mature earlier and people integrated into our training sessions know exactly what they have to do.”

    Lest we forget who the real penny pincher is…

  23. Ishola70

    lol again people are in delusion if they think that Kroenke is in a position right now to sack Wenger.

    He will miss out on Champions League and it will be by a couple of points and this scenario the first time for over a decade. He is in the FA Cup albeit with underdog chances to win that trophy.

    But the most important factor of all is Arsenal fans as a whole show no inclination to want to show Wenger the door. Not one significant protest inside The Emirates this season. These other protests are periphery.

    People may be bored silly by Wenger but shouldn’t lose sight of reality.

  24. azed

    Alexanderhenry

    Wenger didn’t play Arshavin in the CC final because he wanted to prove a point.

    So saying Kronke put financial restrictions on Wenger is bullshit. Wenger is driven by his ego and he sold RVP and Nasri because he felt he could do without them.

  25. Emiratesstroller

    Arsenal is a top 10 club in Europe when you discuss revenue with only Man Utd, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Man City, PSG and Chelsea are currently earning more than us.

    However, when it comes to football performance we are well below many other clubs in Europe.

    What is more of concern to me is the lack of “football ambition” in recent years and not our spending power.

    I am all for financial prudence, but that is no excuse for holding onto a manager who is making poor decisions both on and off the pitch.

    We are more than capable of buying top class players and paying them top
    dollar in wages, but only if there is the right structure in the club. Our wage
    bill is not significantly different from the other heavy hitters in EPL, but we
    pay our stars less and there is too much of a “socialist” pay structure with
    other less able players.

    The real concern is that each year another club in Europe is bought up by
    financial heavyweights from USA,Middle East, Russia and now China and they
    show far more ambition than ourselves.

    There is a lack of ruthlessness from top to bottom of the club and that is reflected in the fact that Wenger holds onto his job.Most other owners/major shareholders would have offloaded Wenger a long time ago.

    Based on this year’s performance there is absolutely no justification for renewing Wenger’s contract and the fact that both Ozil and Sanchez have been
    allowed to run down their contracts to final year presents the club with a
    potential financial crisis not to mention the probability of losing them at end
    of this season.

    The bottom line is that the club is currently not very well run and is in urgent
    need of a “kick up the backside”

  26. jasongms

    “The idea that Wenger deliberately sold off our best players- from the invincibles up to RVP- is an absurd one.”

    There’s a reason why Arsene is still in a job and it comes down to a largely indoctrinated majority such as this cretin above..^^

    The board have stated that they back Arsene whether he has a plan or not, do you fucking simpletons not understand the explication of that statement ????

    And it’s fucking obvious to anyone with a brain cell that Wenger works with certain KPI’s that he has to meet each season,( more or less self-regulating) auditing/ balancing the books is one of them… So YES selling RVP, Nasri, Cesc and the like was and still is Arsene’s call, and purely a financial decision based on his own self-indulgence.
    ________

    Arsenal’s most expensive season ticket (£2,013) , welcome to Europa, you sycophantic asshats

  27. jasongms

    excuse the vulgarity, though seriously you guys that still back Wenger deserve no respect at all…

    and if you want change then it’s time to stop fence sitting and making excuses for the man… This is a football club, not a gentleman’s club for senior citizens…

  28. Waldo

    Quick question: if Man U were to win Europa and go to the Champions League, would Everton get their 6th place spot and the 8th place team take Everton’s spot??? If so, with 3 teams tied (minus differentials) for 8th and LC 2 back with a game in hand, the last weekend could be very interesting for them.

    Or is the Fair Play crap still being used?

  29. bennydevito

    Redtruth,

    Great quote from 10 years ago! This should shut up the Wenger apologists using Kronke as a pathetic excuse.

  30. bennydevito

    So. Last game of the season who’s up for a protest outside the Emirates in huge numbers? Every single season ticket holder should refuse to take their seat and join in. I’ll make a big protest sign and come over from Bristol. I’m serious.

    Who’s in?

    Sanchez is not going to settle for playing in the yoghurt pot next season when he can double his money and play in the champions league in a team with a genuine chance of winning it and not needing to uproot his family.

    If seeing Cesc and Sanchez playing in blue doesn’t make you want to be violent towards getting Wenger out then nothing will.

  31. Herb's Army

    Do some Arsenal fans really still believe the club had no money?
    Arsenal have links with the aristocracy, and have always had vast wealth.
    Wenger once said if he was offered £100m to spend he would give it back.
    He spent £90m just last summer and the club are regressing at an alarming rate.
    But even if we accept the austerity line, Wenger’s use of Arsenal’s money has been shocking.
    This is undoubtedly one of the biggest reasons for Arsenal’s decline.
    Look at the other six clubs around us.
    Chelsea bought Drogba, £25m, Torres, £50m, Costa £30m, Batshuayi £28m.
    Tottenham – Berbatov £15m, Soldado £26m, Janssen £17m.
    Liverpool – Torres £25.5m, Carroll £35m, Suarez £22m,
    City – Robinho £32.5m, Adebayor £25m, Roque Santa Cuz £18m, Aguero £38m, Balotelli £22m, Bony £25m, Gabriel Jesus £28m.
    United – Rooney £30m, van Nistelrooy £20m, Berbatov £30m, RvP £24m, Martial £35m.
    Everton – Lukaku £28m
    Arsenal – Welbeck £16m, Giroud £12m, Podolski £10.5m.

    Disclaimer* Sorry for any I missed, but you get the point.

    That’s not shrewd, intelligent frugality, it is a glaring example of Wenger’s ineptitude and neglect. To not address an issue he helped create by selling van Persie to our ‘rivals’ is bordering on insanity, but more than that, it is a direct insult to the whole Arsenal fan-base.
    Or it’s cowardice and flatly refusing to compete.
    There are plenty of examples of good cheap players out there who can be polished into game-changers, but they continue to elude Wenger and his scouting team. Either that or they simply have much bigger ambitions than playing for Wenger’s budget-built Arsenal.
    If there’s one thing Wenger’s time at Arsenal has taught us, it’s that he is ridiculously cautious and routinely wastes £millions on inadequate rubbish.
    Kroenke is probably the worst owner we could have wished for, but Wenger is totally incompetent at football’s top end.
    We could and should have a better, proper tactical manager who knows what it takes to win both the PL and CL.
    This club’s European record is embarrassing, and a lot of that is on Wenger too.

  32. jasongms

    @bennydevito

    I am currently in Sydney Australia, but my plans due to work change frequently, if I get even the slightest opportunity, I’ll be there

    @herb
    Well written and thank you.

  33. Herb's Army

    Hi Jason.

    There’s plenty wrong at Arsenal, and one of those components is Kroenke, without a shadow of doubt, but if we were dealing with martial law here, for his crimes to Arsenal and their fan-base over the last ten years, Wenger would be shot at dawn.

  34. Herb's Army

    Wenger is the source of anxiety, angst and pain.
    He doesn’t stop at spoiling people’s whole weekend, he makes thousands of people miserable for the best part of the 10 month season.
    No other major football club in the world would tolerate this farcical parody.
    Wenger is like a parasitic tumour to Arsenal, poisoning all the good he once did, and still costing the club a fortune.
    He is no better than a common thief.

  35. TonyD

    Herb’s Army
    Jason

    Both of you are right on all points.

    My Thai wife (not a sports fan at all) is a very astute business woman and is going to do her PhD in finance next year at 42. She already has an MBA and regularly attends financial and economic seminars in Bangkok.

    We talked about the Arsenal board and owner problems, and she said if she was a shareholder she would be happy with the current financial climate of the club, and that the financials should always be considered as the most important core value of the club, because it’s corporate business and protecting its shareholders etc. (She said a lot more)

    She questioned why there was such a large cash holding that wasn’t being invested even for a cautious return of a little above inflation at least.

    However, when I told her about Wenger and the money he’s lost on players’ contracts and more, she said why on earth is he still the manager?

    She added that forgetting the matters on the field over the past 10 years or so, he should have been fired for “gross financial negligence” for the past and even more so for what’s going to happen (losses) next season. She went further to say that the CEO and Board are also negligent for allowing the manager to stay.

    Her words not mine.

    If I had explained all our grievances regarding Wenger, the Board and owner in detail, she would have questioned my sanity for continuing to support such a club that is obviously making me so unhappy.

    If I was to answer, she would probably book me an appointment to have a psychiatric MOT.

  36. TonyD

    Wenger is Arsenal’s Director of Football/Wages/Spin/Budget
    14th May 2017 – by Myles Palmer

    And the Director of Everything had a great day at Stoke on Saturday.

    Beat them 4-1 and played very well.

    But Stoke didn’t turn up and Mark Hughes must have been seething

    That victory keeps Arsenal in with a chance of 4th place.

    It was a convincing performance that vindicated Wenger’s 3-4-3 switch AND his patient style of possession and passing from wide areas, rather than using crosses.

    Years ago I was shocked when a piece in The Daily Telegraph by my pal Mihir Bose revealed that Wenger had been given control of wages AND transfers.

    He had an overall budget and the board allowed him to improve the wages of his current squad, rather than bring in better players who would earn more but upset the others.

    Wenger said: I’m a developmental manager.

    That system pampered Denilson, the only Brazilian footballer who couldn’t run, and dozens of others who should never have played for Arsenal, while preventing the signing of better players who could significantly improve the team.

    One of the developmental manager’s most legendary comments was : the signing of Xabi Alonso would kill Diaby!

    That’s why I called it the Colney Creche.

    On Sky’s Sunday Supplement the hacks were talking about the Arsenal team waking up around this time of the season to secure 4th place just in time.

    Paul Hayward said,”It doesn’t do the players any credit. It’s almost as if they’ve had a meeting and thought : We’ve got to be careful what we wish for here because under Wenger we’re living in a comfort zone, we’ve got a nice life here.

    “If we bring him down, somebody else will come in – and life might not be as pleasant. So suddenly the engine goes on at the end of the season, as we saw yesterday at Stoke. If they can finish the season like this, why can’t they play like that for the rest of the season?”

  37. Ishola70

    Emiratesstroller:
    “Most other owners/major shareholders would have offloaded Wenger a long time ago.”

    This is not really true ES and shows in a nutshell the confusion and in the fanbase which goes a long way in seeing Wenger stay in his position.

    Many Arsenal fans cited the move to The Emirates as a handicap and patience was called for and Wenger was seen to be doing ok in what was seen as a transition period in still getting the team into the CL every season. Then that wait in transition seemed to be over with Wenger winning a bit of silverware that ended a long trophy drought and then we had record signing purchases that soon followed in Ozil and Sanchez. Many Arsenal fans have even had optimism that Wenger could win the league in the last few seasons but it fades out early enough halfway through. It is only in the second part of this season where the board/owner can seriously look at Wenger and start asking serious questions.

    So when you take into consideration the above your statement that any other board/owner would have sacked Wenger a long time ago holds no basis in reality.

  38. Emiratesstroller

    I watched over the weekend both Saracens win in the European Rugby Cup and then Spurs beat Man Utd on Sunday.

    Both North London sides are playing in very similar fashion. They have good players, a strong team understanding and spirit and exceptional levels of fitness and intensity.

    That is down to the team management and coaching at both clubs and it is perhaps a lesson that should be learnt by Arsenal who prefer to play under Wenger with style but far too often with little substance.

    Spurs may not have won a trophy under Pochettino, but this season they are a
    superior team to Arsenal and that will I am afraid be the case until Wenger leaves the club.

    You cannot win league titles or major trophies just by buying skilful players.
    The best teams have far more to their game with strength and depth in all segments of the game.

    The management of Arsenal could do well to consult with McCall the Saracens coach to discover how to build a successful team and get the best out of them.

  39. David Smith

    TonyD, he may be right on some issues, but I’m afraid Myles P isn’t exactly objective when it comes to Arsenal, he actively hates the club for his own reasons. Also rather fond of the Spuds

  40. Ishola70

    TonyD:
    ‘I congratulate Chelsea on what they’ve done, but you see as well when they play in Europe, it’ll be a different story,’ Wenger said.So Wenger is preparing his get-out-of-jail card for his failure for next season then.”

    I saw this and was going to mention it myself. He should really mind his own business about other clubs and worry about what is happening or not happening at his own club. But of course he is deflecting yet again from his own failures and plays on the rivalry card which he knows plenty of the fanbase are gullible enough to eat up. What he doesn’t realise in his desperation to deflect and make excuses for himself for his failures is that by keeping on about the Champions League and how it is such a massive handicap to be in it to be able to win the domestic league is next season he won’t be in the Champions League himself so he is making a rod for his own back with fans expecting him to take advantage now he doesn’t have this massive hindrance of Champions League football next season.

    What I would like to ask those who keep on saying that it is such a major handicap playing in Champions League as Wenger keeps alluding to is why is this become such a modern phenomenon only in recent seasons. The answer is because several recent winners of the Premier League have not had Champions League participation. So why was this phenomenon not present in all those previous seasons when this notion that playing in Champions League was a major hindrance to winning the domestic title not even mentioned let alone whispered. Is it because the EPL is now so competitive and great? Give over. There may be more money floating around the league but there are as many bang average teams in the EPL as there has always been and the present top of the table teams the top four are not showing that they are really top teams on the big european stage. Has the Champions League become all of a sudden much more taxing to take part in? Nothing suggests at all that is the case.

    So a message to all those hipsters who love to spout this recent notion that being in the Champions League is crippling to the domestic league season. There will always be self-serving scoundrels like Wenger who just love to jump on this sort of thing for their own selfish reasons. Shame on those who keep banging on about this.

  41. Tonyd

    David Smith
    Always said the same David.

    But at least his blog is another thorn in Wenger’s rear end.

    Feeling happier today knowing the Wenger must be feeling his self inflicted pain after Liverpool’s win.

    Can’t see Liverpool losing their last game or city.

    Always said that Wenger will be gone by January. With Wenger having to deal with the Europa Cup next season, I feel even more confident in my prediction.

    Maybe there is a remote chance the board and Stan will feel the same way and not renew his contract or Wenger himself will think it’ll be too difficult a task, especially without Sanchez and maybe Ozil.

  42. Ishola70

    There are no more excuses for Wenger next season.

    He will not have Champions League participation next season so he can entirely focus on the EPL.

    He has ample money to spend to bring in players if necessary. He will lose a key player in Sanchez but there will be enough funds made available to him get around this to be able to see the team seriously compete for the EPL title next season if he chooses to use it or not is another matter entirely.

    He has shown that he can set up his teams to win football matches if he really wants with him copying Chelsea with the back three. If he deviates from this next season it will be his own fault yet again. The problem for Wenger this season and why he has missed out on Champions League is that he didn’t copycat Chelsea early enough.

    Every Arsenal fan should be demanding a serious title challenge next season and if he flunks yet again in this he should be brought to task by the fanbase and pay the consequences.

  43. OleGunner

    Wenger will have a smug smile in today’s conference as he re-defines success as coming 5th and how we’ve done well to get fourth since 1923.

    Sickening old man.

  44. S.Asoa

    I co gratulated West Ham fans for having bollocks.
    and moot a FUND to provide prosthetic testicles to all AKB who stand the Wenger nonsense 10 years running.
    Deluded lot without any pride .
    And
    When they sing “One Arsehole Wenger ”
    Demented lot

  45. Tonyd

    Ishola70
    Wenger will have the Europa Cup when challenging for the EPL.

    I just can’t see him coping with Thursday night football and weekend matches. We always have had a CL hangover in the past; losing a day to recover will hurt more so, especially with his low level bench/squad.

    Wenger will up his deflection levels to a new high.

  46. Ishola70

    Tonyd:
    “Wenger will have the Europa Cup when challenging for the EPL. I just can’t see him coping with Thursday night football and weekend matches. We always have had a CL hangover in the past; losing a day to recover will hurt more so, especially with his low level bench/squad.Wenger will up his deflection levels to a new high.”

    The Europa League is a trophy of circumstance. Always has been. Many times if you are failing at a higher level you focus more on the Europa League. Look at Mourinho this season. He has failed in the EPL this season. No other word for it. So he has had to focus more seriously on the Europa League.

    I would expect Wenger to field very much second string sides in the early stages of Europa League next season. Even these second string sides could wangle their way through rounds. And then it will all depend on how Arsenal are doing in the EPL. If they look to be struggling then Wenger will focus more on Europa League like Mourinho has done this season. There is no real good reason though why Wenger should be in a position where he needs to focus more on Europa League than EPL next season going into the second part of next season. If that happens he is failing miserably.

    Of course there is the possibility that second string Arsenal side could get knocked out of Europa League before the later stages and coupled with Arsenal making a meal out of finishing in the top four places again next season. If this comes about Wenger is up shit creek without a paddle. But as said before there is no real good reason why he should be struggling in the EPL.

    Europa League = trophy of circumstance.

  47. TheBayingMob

    “Wenger is driven by his ego and he sold RVP and Nasri because he felt he could do without them”

    I agree with the first part. Disagree with the second. Wenger is lost old egotistical maniac but I believe he sold Nasri and VP as they challenged his authority and the social wage/yes men collective … Wenger wasn’t having that. As it turned out he was sort of right to some degree as both turned out to be spoilt little cunts elsewhere (even if they did both end up with league winners medals), but overall he sold them for non footballing reasons, it was more to do with him than anything else …

  48. Ishola70

    Cesc, RVP and Nasri all wanted to move on from Arsenal.

    It’s no good keeping players who don’t want to be at the club any longer.

    No-one had a plan at the club to sell these players of their own will. It was the players will to leave.

  49. Thank you and goodnight

    Fuck giving the cunt another 2 years. Take him out to the woods, a neck shot and everyone’s happy. Cunt of a manager

  50. Thank you and goodnight

    @Frank Mc

    Yes he fucking is. After building the stadium single handedly he was supposed to build an extension for me…..twat never showed up and every time I called him he just kept on mumbling about top top qaulidee and ze mental strength

  51. GoonerDave

    Bamford –
    RvP was probably the first one we could have kept – we wouldn’t pay the wages he wanted, sign the players he wanted, so he left. That was probably RvP’s decision. It stems from a lack of spending though.
    We owed hundreds of millions, had a lot invested in property/apartments etc. and there was a global property crash. The player sales and lack of contract renewals coincided with this for a reason – we were under severe financial pressure, which you cannot pretend didn’t exist.
    You have grossly over estimated AW’s power at the club and in doing so, you are letting him off the hook for the things he actually did. Not media spin, not theory, but flat out repeatedly lying to the fans who sang his name.
    If you choose to believe AW decided to sell those players to go on some mad crusade, fair enough. But it is a wild, outlandish theory in my opinion.

  52. OleGunner

    Wenger on the Bayern Munich loss today:

    “I think we suffered a lot when we went out of the Champions League under special circumstances. If you look at just the first halves, we would have qualified.”

    He’s genuninely mental isn’t he?
    Oh well, two more years please!./sarcasm

  53. Thank you and goodnight

    @Frank Mc

    Hahahahaha who told you he’s finished??the man’s got at least another 10 years at the top

  54. Mr.J

    “…If you look at just the first halves, we would have qualified.”

    Are you for real?!?

    Did he seriously say this??

  55. Mr.J

    “…under special circumstances…”

    No. No. There’s simply no way he could have said this out loud…