Fan Q&A: Chance to expose CEO rationale for support of Wenger’s anti-progress regime

by & filed under News Review.

courtesy @allthatchas

courtesy @allthatchas

Some BIG traffic to the site yesterday to read me dropping 1600 words like it was 2011 and attention spans hadn’t shrunk.

READ HERE

My big hope off the back of the post is firstly, fans will understand that the catalyst for change vision Ivan put forward is dead. Pleased that’s looking like the case.

Secondly, they’ll see just how anti-progress our manager is. His number one priority is keeping the band together, winning is distant to that. All he cares about is self preservation and having fun with his pals with no stress or accountability. If he truly was his own biggest critic, he’d have fired his backroom team, simple as that. He’d also not have a problem with a DoF coming in to help him push forward.

Thirdly, and here’s the big one, I want the fans at the Q&A on June 29th to read the facts, and really drill Ivan G with proper questions that will force answers (I know, unlikely).

What data points tipped the manager into hiring another person in a fitness team that has dramatically reduced our injuries over the last 3 years?

Why have we not hired in the areas that are far more obviously broken?

> Keeping coach: Gerry Peyton has overseen some pretty calamitous keeping careers. He also saw off Fabianski who preferred to train under Tony Roberts (ex-Arsenal), a better coach, who had to move on to pastures new to get a promotion. The big horror stat is that under Peyton, Petr Cech, one of the greats, conceded 20% of his Premier League total with us in 2 seasons. Why have we not fired him?

> First team coaching: It’s clear that we’ve not moved with the times. Where are our young, fresh, forward thinking coaches, kicking us on with new ideas? The team doesn’t know how to press. The manager says our routine hasn’t changed in 16 years. The team doesn’t know how to transition between formations. They’re consistently found out as footballistically dim on the pitch. They’re not motivated. Why are we not injecting new ideas into our approach?

Players quite simply are not developing under our coaches these days. Bellerin has gone backwards. Aaron Ramsey, an undoubted talent went from player of Euro 2016, to a benchwarmer. Welbeck still can’t finish. Unless you come to Arsenal as a finished product, you regress. Even Ozil and Sanchez come with issues that haven’t been resolved. Alexis is selfish (and GREAT) and Ozil can’t motivate himself.

> Scouting Network: The more money we bring in, the worse we get at spending it. Last summer, we signed Lucas Perez last minute and he’s being binned off after a drab season. We signed Mustafi from a bang average Valencia side after seeing him have a good international tournament and he’s been poor. We also signed Xhaka thinking he was a box to box midfielder, despite having no physical attributes or experience playing that role. That aside, we rolled into the season with Santi Cazorla not backed up, we consistently buy average youth players who don’t develop into first teamers, and we’re being pipped to great players by clubs with more up to date scouting networks. Dembele would have been ours 15 years ago. Same for Auba and Kante. We’ve not even maintained our grip on the French market, let alone ventured into the fruitful Eastern European leagues (and please, Bielek, Fabianski and Chezzer can hardly be called successes).

One of the reasons consistently highlighted by the media for us not moving Wenger on, was our backroom infrastructure is outdated and inefficient. Questions here:

Why haven’t we signed a DoF like every major club in Europe? 

What was the rationale for allowing Wenger to continue to have so much power, despite consistent failure both domestically and at home?

How does the club ever expect to succession plan if it continues to further entrench a failing managers value by making the club totally dependent on him?

Then I’d love to know this:

What is the tipping point for change at Arsenal?

We’ll never land answers to any of the above, but my key hope is that the fans selected to go really think about their questions. Don’t roll with the bullshit you’re seeing in the press, because it’s cheap veneer for another summer of failure.

The transfer stories aren’t looking good. All the lead papers are talking about our deals being held up as Ozil and Sanchez ponder their futures. From what I understand, Sanchez hasn’t given a rats arse for months. The club knowing that, should move him on and get a replacement before they’re all hoovered up. For me, regardless of what the Ozil-toligists think, the German doesn’t show enough, consistently. A sublime talent, but in a broken set up, playing a dated role, with a manager who can’t motivate. Surely it’s time to say goodbye and find a player more suited to a system that has to work with little input.

Lacazette, Lemar, and Arda Turan all sound like interesting names. But we are not 3 players away from dominance. In fact, the very idea of shifting tracks to players being the issue is absurd. We have so many issues that aren’t going to be addressed with big names.

Arsenal are a hopeless indulgence of an old dictator… but hey, at least new names give you a little bit of hope.

See you in the comments.

 

142 Responses to “Fan Q&A: Chance to expose CEO rationale for support of Wenger’s anti-progress regime”

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  1. GoonerInNY

    Great post, Pedro.

    How does the Q and A work? Are the questions vetted in advance? Or is it just a queue at a microphone, first come first served?

    Arsenal would never allow any of your questions, if they had a say.

  2. Ishola70

    I see many on here mentioning Lemar. He would be such an exciting player to sign. One of those players where you don’t really care if signing him led to trophy glory or not just happy to see him do his stuff in an Arsenal shirt.

    But again with Lemar he is going to have bigger clubs coming in for him sooner rather than later. Would Lemar jump ship at Monaco right now to go to Arsenal for what could only be and let’s be honest here a nice bigger wage packet when he is very likely going to get this big wage packet in the not too distant future at a club that not only has money but real top pedigree and ambition.

    I read somewhere on here before that Monaco will be gutted of their players very quickly. Whilst the talents of their players will see them go onto bigger and better things in the coming years I don’t see Monaco selling all these jewels right now. Monaco are an anomaly in world football. They are a small provincial club but their mindset is way above a small provincial club. They have a proud history and their aim is to be competitive at the top end of football. They are no Montpellier or Nice.

    Monaco have said recently that they have no intention to sell of all their jewels at a fast rate over a short period. Their reasoning is that they sell when they need money coming into the club. They are doing very nicely financially atm. With Monaco’s mindset no reason to disbelieve them.

  3. Oh Theo Theo!

    Well Ishola – it would be nice to see some movement in the transfer department. But as most other years, Kim-Jong Wenger is sitting on his hands fretting about what to do. Expect all the best talent to be gone by the time he signs somebody on the last day of the window in a position we don’t need.

  4. Kane

    You’ve not a fucking clue about me mate so wind your neck in.

    You write a blog, you don’t sit on the arsenal board.

  5. Kane

    Sorry, but that needs to be placed in the Le Grove comment hall of fame

    What a fucking moron that CC bloke is

  6. Kane

    June / July will be spent watching other clubs sign top players while we arse about with Sanchez and Ozil contracts… In August Wenger will say there is no top top players available – then we will make a couple of token signings 2 weeks before the window closes… as deadline day rolls around, Wenger will be spotted watching the Arsenal under 12s against Margate while Mourinho, Pep, Conte and the likes are tying up last minute deals for global superstars…..

  7. Kwame

    A leopard does not change its spots. Weng Jong Un will do exactly what he’s done in the transfer market for the past twelve years. Stan Jong Il won’t fire him unless we push him. Hopefully the man should be out by December through fan power.

  8. raptora

    One thing Arsenal has that Mbappe would need in the future is that he will get that much needed experience if he is to pursue his dream of going to Barcelona or Real M. In London he would be in a foreign country, will have to move from France and probably live by himself, will feel what it is to be on your own and living by yourself, will meet face to face with the language barrier and the list can keep going on and on. In other words in Arsenal he will learn what it is to be a grown up. Wenger is already kind of like a father figure to him so it would ease the process of settling. But if he is to go to the biggest clubs in the world that the two spanish giants are, he will need that experience of being abroad before. Else this whole shock if it gets to him in a place where no one will wait for you to settle or to feel good, his career can turn a corner for the worse. I would probably still not pick Arsenal if I could though. Pep’s Manchester City would be my destination surrounded by loads of young talent and a charismatic manager. A team that will have a good go at the EPL and CL next following years. Still Arsenal would be right up there if I was a random player and not a fan of the team. Chelsea is a team that doesn’t play exciting football and tactics are way too big part of the way the team plays + they would probably need a target man called Lukaku; Man Utd 1. has the bad example of Marcial, 2. Mou is bad with young players, 3. atm their football is boring; Liverpool is still a team with huge question marks of being a yoyo team of averageness; Spuds are not attractive enough. In Germany there’s only one club that would be a bigger place than Monaco and that’s Bayern which is way too soon. Italy is Italy meaning no. Atleti could be an option but they are banned. The only problem Arsenal has on paper is that we missed on the CL spots. If we had done that we would have been on paper one of the 2 or 3 at max best clubs for the kid. Adding that to the Wenger factor that obviously he has been courting Kylian for years adds some possibility to the transfer actually happening. All of this is if Mbappe wants us for a stepping stone not seeing us as his long term team which could suit both sides. So things like “omfg who would pick a team that doesn’t compete and hasn’t won this and that ever” isn’t to be considered that much.

  9. Ishola70

    lol I see this Le Parisien article where “a very close friend” of Mbappe mentions the possibility of Arsenal has got the Mbappe dreamers going again.

  10. Do one gambon

    No way those questions are being asked.

    It’ll be like the AGMs – pre vetted.

    I think its time we a proper visual movement was formed like when man yoo formed the green and gold scarf movement. Only we don’t stop doing it if we win a few trophies like those fickle glory hunters.

    Maybe wear only pre 1996 arsenal shirts to games.
    Or pure green shirts (to symbolise money) with Arsenal savings fund scrawled across it.
    Or t-shirts with Himmler on them saying arsenal – more propaganda than the nazis.

    Something really fucking visual.

  11. Mark

    As a season ticket holder and away scheme member (for my sins) at the Emirates I’m pretty new to Le Grove’s blog and having read the last two I find myself agreeing with a lot of the sentiments expressed in them.

    The so called “catalyst for change” is a complete sham. While I will always love Wenger for his initial period in charge of us it is clear that we have regressed significantly in the past five years or so – despite certain players coming and going. For this, Wenger and Kroenke have to take the majority of the responsibility. Yes, we can raise our game on occasions like at Wembley versus Chelsea but often our players have downed tools or been out thought by other teams.

    I’ve often thought how poorly coached we are. I was at Chelsea when Hazard was allowed to run and run before scoring when most other teams would have just fouled him on the half way line. Our move to the back three was hardly a tactical masterstroke and while it worked in the FA Cup it smacked of desperation and/or a last throw of the dice by a manager running out of ideas.

    When you take the money from the fans you should take the responsibility as well. It is clear that Gazidis will say anything to try and court favour with the fans while doing everything Kroenke tells him to.

    They keep telling us to buy replica kits, merchandise, and how special we are as a club but how special is it when you keep repeating the same mistakes year in and year out on the pitch.

    The players are underperforming but not stupid. They obviously can’t criticise the manager in public so the only avenue they have is to down tools (West Brom or Palace away) or leave.

    I am so frustrated as I want/wanted Wenger to go out in a blaze of glory but ultimately if this coming season goes poorly he will only have himself to blame.

    Regarding Mbappe and Lacazette; Wenger may well sign some of them but in a poorly coached side they are hardly going to flourish.

    I hope I’m wrong but I wonder where we go from here. Any thoughts?

  12. Ishola70

    R.S.P.C.Arsenal:
    ” I’m 50 50 on getting lemar……”

    Well it’s not that easy. But don’t give up on him. Feels right Lemar at Arsenal. Maybe just maybe.

    All dirge innit.

  13. jwl

    What is point of Arsenal FC if we sell our best players, renew contracts of middling players, while awarding manager with new contract and raise in salary for leading us into europey league football on thursday nights in deepest transylvania?

    That’s the question I would like asked and answered.

  14. champagne charlie

    Rambo“Who was the last exciting young French player we managed to allure? You’re speaking of a different decade I’m afraid, Charlie.”

    Being a big attraction and working that to your advantage is two totally different things mate. We are a massive pull to French players, we’re the most televised team in France from the prem and theres an undeniable ‘frenchness’ about us that appeals to the natives.

    The fact we haven’t used that to our advantage more does not dismiss this fact, just further mocks our inadequacies in the transfer market. Germany has served us well the last few years but why we stopped the French conveyor belt is absolutely indefensible. Still, can always change tact as our interests appear to suggest.

    Kane
    Do tell me how being an author of a blog gives someone the authority to tell me, or anyone else, I haven’t a clue about a matter concerning arsenal?

  15. Pedro

    CC, someone who works in football called me up about my post yesterday and specifically called out your comment about the new lawyer as a nonsense.

  16. Ishola70

    Gazidis would be facing the guillotine in Revolutionary France.

    He would have been drawn and quartered and thrown to the dogs during the peasants revolts of the middle ages.

    But here he is now where he will be facing pre-arranged questions which he will again slime his way through like others so many others before. Slime.

  17. BillikenGooner

    Ask him what happened to his claim that we can compete with any club on any level for the best players, since we all know that is complete bunk.

  18. Ishola70

    HighburyLegend:
    “Agree with you , the “questions” are probably pre-arranged.”

    There should be a storming of the building where this questions and answers do takes place from outside sources . A pistol shot fired into the ceiling.

  19. Rambo Ramsey

    Charlie, I refuse to believe Wenger and Arsenal suddenly lost their ability to spot French talent. I think it was a decision taken not to go for foreign youngsters. Cause it coincided at the same time the British Core idea was put forward.

    Local youngsters+ mature proven foreign sprinkling was the direction we chose. You look at how our British Core have developed and then the insane number of talented French players of the 22-25 age bracket now and realise what a terrible, terrible decision that was.

  20. Ishola70

    karim:
    “Trying to spice up things in here ain’t no big deal, is it ?”

    No not at all Karim. I saw the link to Arsenal in that article and it’s one of them “very close friends” ones which is always a bit suspect but yeah there was a link mentioned so passing it on nothing wrong with that and of course posters on here are not answerable to each other.

  21. Joe

    For young French players we are the absolute first port of call in England, and its inherently thanks to Wenger.

    Hmmmmm sanago is the only I can recall in the last decade – 15 years ..

    Remember wenger is such a great spotter of talent
    , especially French talent, he chose 15m For vela instead of a swap for griezmann.

    Clued in, that wenger lad is

    Funny enough.

    A France team that currently has a boat load of über talented youngsters and not one of them was signed by wenger or has waned to come play under and develop under wenger

    Would be one of the dumbest decisions for mbappe to come to Arsenal
    Under wenger rather than stay at Monaco under jardin

    He will have all the riches he could ever want in a year when real or Barca sign him

    He comes to Arsenal under wenger andhe’ll be playing in Greece in 3 years

  22. WestLondonGoon

    RSPCArsenal

    ‘Im going 50/50 on Lemar’

    This one I hope, cos we’ve got no hope with the footballing Lemar……

  23. Marko

    CC, someone who works in football called me up about my post yesterday and specifically called out your comment about the new lawyer as a nonsense.

    You’re famous Charles. So any thoughts on why we kept offering a new deal to Diaby all those years? If Wenger wasn’t involved in negotiations

  24. champagne charlie

    Rambo
    I wouldn’t doubt some ridiculous barrier like that to us signing foreign talent. Some of our strategy has been mind numbingly poor. As I say though, shooting ourselves in the foot because we’re a huge draw to French footballers but we’ve been ignoring them lately.

    Pedro
    My comment about the new lawyer? I barely said anything about him other than another body during negations wouldn’t go amiss given how poor we’ve been at them

    I refuted your claim Wenger oversees the entire contractual/negotiation process.

  25. jwl

    Anyone bored at work and looking for good time waster, this is excellent but American biased.

    —————
    In honor of this sort of momentous occasion, we’re trotting out the best sports celebrations of all time — or at least the ones we can think of, after many emails exchanged with CBS Sports staffers.

    For our format, we went with a March Madness-style bracket, seeding 64 different celebrations using 1-16 seeds in each quadrant. The celebrations come not only from basketball, football, baseball, hockey, and soccer, but also from combat sports, golf, tennis, cricket, and more.

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/jonah-keris-ultimate-sports-celebrations-bracket-vote-for-the-best-of-all-time/

  26. Bamford10

    Great post, Pedro. I love the tone. Yes, let’s please keep the pressure and scrutiny on Wenger.

    One q I would ask, though someone should improve the wording, is something like:

    what are the club’s objectives football-wise this season & next? To what extent will Wenger be evaluated in relation to these objectives?

    In short, what are we aiming for, and will Wenger be held accountable if he does not achieve these aims?

  27. PieAFC

    We are not signing anyone of any note.

    What a pathetic club we are. Stagnation at its finest.

    They will vett all the questions by these supposed people, nothing will get left to embarrass the club or IG. Will be handled with a tight grip.

    Nothing has changed, nothing WILL change.

    I’m not being negative on going on history, history repeating it self. The evidence to suggest it’s all repetitive.

    As many have said on here it will be toxic by November.

    What scares me the most is what Pedro has already mentioned. What and how bad does it actually have to get to even force change.

    We’re doomed until Wenger decides or gets too old to work. Talking years!

  28. London gunner

    Bamford

    “what are the club’s objectives football-wise this season & next? To what extent will Wenger be evaluated in relation to these objectives?”

    Rea hung The next level? The next level is the next level is the next level!

    Didn’t you know?

  29. Guns of Hackney

    There’s no end to your bullshit, is there Peter? “A friend in football called me”. You mean someone who works in JD Sports?

    You are a click bait merchant and I see your daily hits have, pardon the pun, taken a hit. Barely getting 200 contributions these days. Have you now completely absolved yourself of blame for your daily blow jobbing of the Gazides love in you perpetrated for two years?

    You don’t know anyone in football, sonny jim. If you did, how could you have got the Gazides thing so horribly wrong?

  30. Alexanderhenry

    Bamford

    The aim for arsenal is to make a profit

    Also, as wenger admitted in an interview last season, the tv money from sky and bt is now so huge, it is no longer a necessity to qualify for the CL.

    Therefore, Arsenal can now just muddle along in the top third, perhaps in and out of the CL, and the powers that be will be perfectly happy with that.

    Fans will be bombarded with all sorts of crap about arsenal’s ‘values’ which I hope they will see as the bullshit it truly is.

    But, it is in the fan’s hands to change things. If the majority of regular, paying arsenal fans and especially ST holders are happy paying champagne prices for stale beer, then the club will continue as it has been.
    If a significant section of them don’t renew STs, don’t buy merch etc then that will precipitate change.

  31. Thank you and goodnight

    @Guns of Hackney

    Your better than that mate there’s no need for rudeness regarding Pedro.
    As for only getting a few bits supposedly it’s because most people are fed up with all things Arsenal and are taking a break for a while

  32. Pedro

    Guns, really not fussed what an angry man on the internet thinks about my connections in football. You should ask why you keep coming on here to bitch if you don’t think it’s credible.

  33. Pedro

    … and ‘hits’ which is a nineties term for page views, is different to comments… and comments, which I believe you were referring to, do not relate to traffic.

    So basically, don’t worry about my traffic, because it’s great… and don’t worry about the comments, they’re on par with any other Arsenal blog that gets good traffic.

  34. Jim Lahey

    Watched Golovin play earlier for Russia against Portugal, the guy was actually pretty impressive. Great feet and good range of passing, would have no problem with seeing him come in this summer.

  35. Emiratesstroller

    The Press are suggesting that Arsenal have revised transfer valuation of Szczesny from £13 million to £20 million following sale of Pickford to Everton for £30 Million.

    This follows rejection of cheeky offer of £4 million offer from Juventus.

    Maybe someone at Arsenal has woken up to the fact that most of Arsenal’s unwanted players are grossly undervalued!!!

    It seems to me that the club are sending out a message to its players that the
    club are no longer willing to capitulate every time someone comes calling.
    Whether that strategy will work with players with just 12 months left on their
    contracts is open to debate.

  36. Samesong

    Mbappé’s relatives: “Arsène is great, if Kylian signs for Arsenal tomorrow it is because of him.”

    2 seasons of Mbappe I’ll be happy with that.

  37. Samesong

    Maybe someone at Arsenal has woken up to the fact that most of Arsenal’s unwanted players are grossly undervalued!!!

    Emirates or maybe it’s just a one off. Need to see more evidence of this before you make those assumptions.

  38. Dissenter

    Pedro
    I have loads of respect for you and am astounded as to where you get the energy to keep writing in this shitty environment.
    You still have to rationalize how you got so swindled by Gazidis in the first place. I hope you see him for what he is now; a snake oil merchant who stealing 2.5 million in wages yearly while pretending to be CEO.

  39. Dissenter

    Emirates,
    “The Press are suggesting that Arsenal have revised transfer valuation of Szczesny from £13 million to £20 million following sale of Pickford to Everton for £30 Million.”

    a. Juventus are not a money-stupid English club like Everton.
    b. Szcezny has ONE year left in his contract.

    Juve are very good at getting players on free transfers. They only have to wait one year. Buffon is still the number one goalie so they have nothing to lose, they don’t need Sczezny right now.
    The four million offer is a reasonable deal .

  40. jwl

    Dissenter – “You still have to rationalize how you got so swindled by Gazidis in the first place.”

    Why assume Pedro was wrong? Perhaps Gazidis did make an effort to make changes at Arsenal but he was over-ruled by Kroenke who loyal to Wenger.

    If Gazidis did try to make changes but owner ignored him, what happens next I wonder because Wenger likely angry about CEO’s behaviour.

  41. salparadisenyc

    Interesting the Mbappe quotes.

    Former times Arsenal would be the perfect bridge from Monaco to a Barca or Real Madrid, not sure thats the case at the moment. Huge statement if that somehow came off.

  42. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Mbappe would be good

    However it’s all cannon fodder from the club ….

    He ain’t an it won’t …

  43. Leedsgunner

    Until we sort out our injuries situation it really matters not who we sign up for the first team.

  44. Ishola70

    RPACS didn’t notice any of Lemar’s tunes quoted back at him in reply. About four of them.

    Can’t blame the fella.

    All dirge.

  45. David Smith

    The truth is, you can ask the CEO whatever you want, but wasted effort, only two men matter at this club.
    It is clear Stan has given Wenger a job for as long as he wants, and Wenger can pick whoever he wants as his backroom staff….not his smug face as the season ended. A It is true, Wenger will decide when he leaves, my guess, north of four years, Stan does not care about anything except money, Stan has already milked this club to the max in getting preferential deals for other projects, that applies whether arsenal are 1st or 14th. He will not inspire the time, money or effort for arsenal to win the league.
    Wenger is a sad, lonely, in some ways disgusting entity complicit in a Walmart husband buyout, he will have to live with that ultimately. Does he care?
    But get used to it, Wenger has a job for life, barring pretty much relegation.
    This BS. Will go on for years, I also believe Wenger stays in part as he doesn’t trust those around him, gives him yet another excuse.
    Don’t like it, find another club to support. Save yourself stress and grief, get involved in a proper club. Protest will only harden the resolve of the two stubborn men running Arsenal. If you enjoy the limited success, fine, put your emotional and financial resources into Arsenal, of not, there are other interests, or proper lower league clubs that could use your support
    The Arsenal you once knew is long gone, sold out on a death bed dispute

  46. Jeff

    Saw a comment posted by one of the readers of Mail Online which I thought was quite funny.

    “On behalf of all the supporters of all the other epl clubs,thanks for staying Wenger”

  47. Charlie Nick

    What are the odds we will see the first Director of Football at Arsenal in circa 24 months?
    A puppet coach in nominal charge of the team (Howe) and good ‘ol arsene running the show from above.

  48. Tonyd

    David Smith
    What you say in part is good, but how do you stop supporting a club you’ve supported for around 55 years? I certainly can’t and I’ve thought about it many times in the past 10 years.

    Just have to ride it out until a new manager arrives and enjoy other interests, such as the England and Lions rugby, and the pleasures of living abroad.

    If as many believe Wenger is going to fail miserably, especially if we only see 2 more additions in this TW, then the kind of reproach from the fans will greatly exceed last season’s empty seats and I can see Pedro’s ‘ Do Nothing’ gathering more force where even the other factions of the fan base will slowly participate.

  49. tonyd

    The thing about fickle or flip flopping fans is that they soon change sides and as much as that has worked for Wenger before, it won’t next season.

  50. Rambo Ramsey

    Wow, just saw the kit release promo. What a cringe-worthy effort, looks like it was made by a bunch of preteen kids. Is there any department at the club that are not incompetent at their job?

  51. Steveyg87

    “The thing about fickle or flip flopping fans is that they soon change sides and as much as that has worked for Wenger before, it won’t next season”

    If he could make it through last season, he could make it through anything. He is a kevlar coated cokaroach

  52. Wenker-wanger

    After finally reading ian wrights biography,(and what an interesting book it was), I feel even more depressed at how the real spirit of arsenal has vanished into nothing.
    Wenger was a sports science informed visionary at the start in 96. Success was attributed to the Adams and co. Sheer dogged and brilliantly organised defense, db10 and Wenger’s French acquisitions.
    What’s left is the memories of that era and the seemingly mystery of fa cup success.
    Wenger soldiers on, like a punchdrunk boxer unable to realise he is a spent force. He believes he can win the prem with this current squad and a few ,(probably moderate) signings.
    Unfortunately the consensus of fans opinion is that we won’t get anywhere near winning the prem….. 20 points behind Chelsea really puts Wenger’s performance in context.
    This mans ego is therefore choking arsenal; a disgraceful situation that even rival fans I am close to tell me they can’t understand the way our club is run.
    Wenger will leave arsenal in a wooden box, not before then.

  53. Wenker-wanger

    @tonyd,
    Agree, its hard to switch off your feeling for arsenal fc.
    Wenger has altered us to arsene fc so it becomes easy to switch off and wait till he finally goes (or expires).
    Kroenke, for all his appalling image, really doesn’t give a toss whom we have as manager, so a new improved manager could easily be hired.

  54. N5

    “Wenger will leave arsenal in a wooden box, not before then.”

    Not even then, his body will leave, but he’ll be uploaded into a robot and continue to ruin the club, kick bottles and struggle zips until the end of time.

  55. Wenker-wanger

    N5,
    Yeah I can see him haunting the place…. New star players will be struck down and “wengerised” into playing side-ball. Players complaining of voice in their heads…” He told me not to shoot”….” He told me to leave the pitch at 67 minutes”…
    Yeah the stench will live on.

  56. Wenker-wanger

    Like to share with you the story of the signing of the useless Igor Stephanovs.
    In wrights book, he explains thus:
    Dennis bergkamp could do a great wind up and keep a straight face.
    We were watching a match which stephanovs was playing. We all thought stephanovs was useless but wanted to wind up martin keown into thinking his place at central defense was in jeopardy. Martin keown was behind us as we sat on the sofa. Me dennis and ray parlour.
    We were saying look how good stephanovs is, and how we need him at arsenal. We knew martin was getting wound up and so we kept it up,
    What we didn’t know was that Wenger was listening to us, and low and behold he went and signed him.
    Now what does that tell you about Wenger’s judgement and ultimately his professionalism.
    Fckin idiot Wenger!!!

  57. HighburyLegend

    “Wenger will leave arsenal in a wooden box, not before then.”

    And AFC will be forever possessed by his evil spirit.
    We are so doomed…

  58. HighburyLegend

    “What we didn’t know was that Wenger was listening to us, ”

    Ah ah ah, he has always be a dirty snake.

  59. Samesong

    N5,
    Yeah I can see him haunting the place…. New star players will be struck down and “wengerised” into playing side-ball. Players complaining of voice in their heads…” He told me not to shoot”….” He told me to leave the pitch at 67 minutes”…
    Yeah the stench will live on.

    That is so funny loool.

  60. Samesong

    The ghost of legendary escapologist Harry Houdini has sent a message from beyond the grave to say that he’s been out-performed by Arsene Wenger.

    Just a week ago almost everyone agreed that the end was nigh for the veteran football manager, it seeming certain that he would have to leave Arsenal following a series of disastrous performances on the pitch.

    But one blink of an eye and a glorious FA Cup final triumph later, all bad times have been forgotten – Wenger has been rewarded with a new two-year contract and will remain in the hot seat at the Emirates stadium.

    Paying a very personal tribute to the French genius and his enormous ability to get out of anything, Houdini’s ghost said, “I used to think I was the greatest escapologist the world would ever see, but Arsene has out-done even me.

    “One moment he’s dead and buried, then all of a sudden with one mighty bound the guy is celebrating with a piece of silverware and a lucrative new deal.

    “You’re left thinking: how the fuck did he manage that?”

  61. Bamford10

    Robert Pires

    “I can see that Arsene Wenger is the same guy and the same manager he has been for a long, long time.”

    Yes, that is the problem.

    “Now, the most important thing is to look forward for the new season. The objective is to win the Premier League.”

    Yes, we agree that that is the objective; how has Wenger fared in relation to this objective over the past ten years? He has failed — miserably. Indeed, he hasn’t contended for the title even once in that time.

    As for next season, will Wenger be judged (by the board) based on how he does relative to the objective above, i.e., winning/contending for the PL? He should be, and we here will certainly be judging him on that basis. Actually we’ve already issued our final judgment on him: not good enough, irreparably flawed.

    “This summer is very important for us … I don’t know what will happen by the end of the transfer window but I know Arsene Wenger has a lot of work to do this summer.”

    Interesting, because I don’t think Arsene believes he has “a lot of work” to do this summer. I think he believes a couple of things to do. What do you think? Look at his remarks re the team only needing “two or three” players. Look at what he has done this far in the window. Does this look like a man who sees that he has “a lot of work” to do, who is intent on winning the title next season?

    No. Not at all. This looks like the same old Arsene Wenger: more or less content with what he has, more or less content with fourth place, not at all bothered by having no real chance at the title and motivated most of all by his desire to thumb his nose at the world and do things his way, regardless the results.

    That is Arsene Wenger.

    How you have failed to see this at this point, Mr. Pires, is a little baffling.

  62. Carts

    The only way we sign Mbappe, is if it’s written that he can leave for a bigger team after 3-4 seasons for a price that he was signed for (or something ridiculous like that).

    We have regressed under Wenger. So much so that we aren’t, imho, a big club anymore.

    Moreover, I just can’t see Mbappe signing for us. It makes no sense, and it’s a not even a sideways move for him. If Real don’t sign him this summer. then he may as well stay at Monaco.

  63. WestLondonGoon

    The Stepanovs story is true and often retold by Ray Parlour as well. Not even a grain of doubt about it being true.

    Saddest thing about it being that although it must have become almost instantlyobvious to all at the club, Wenger didn’t offload him but continued to pay his wages for 4 years. He should have been outed as soon as it was discovered to be out of his league.

  64. Bamford10

    Not only are Monaco today a better club than us, there is little to no chance Arsenal spend £100m on a single player.

    Given we need 3-4 quality players, doing so wouldn’t even be prudent.

  65. Tomtom

    The only reason the Mbappe story could be true is if Wenger can see a potential long term profit.
    His comments after the Pogba transfer suggests that he does not see 100-200 million as a surprise
    “It’s complete madness – but it seems that if you can afford to do it, you can justify it. Football has become a global competition and that is why clubs are chucking these kinds of sums around”
    “Since I’ve been in the game I’ve always thought there would be a limit to how much clubs could spend on a player but it looks like I’ve been proved wrong.

    “Maybe in a few years’ time we’ll be talking about fees of £200 or £300million.”

    Signing Mbappe is unlikely but it could be Wengers only shot and regaining any support amongst the fans and bringing back some much needed hope and excitement.
    I don’t expect it to happen, I’d love it we pulled it off but I can see Wenger struggling to sign players as the deadline approaches

  66. HighburyLegend

    And even in the HIGHLY improbable case of M’bappe coming, that would be miles away from fixing all our problems.

  67. Dissenter

    I do not even think Mbape will be an instant success in the premier league. He will have to adapt to the physicality of the premier league and the lax refereeing that encourages it.
    A £100 million player is above our station and is really an atrocious use of club money. There are decisions that have to be made first about moving players out to make room for the mega signing. Wenger isn’t going to let go of his babies so forget us signing any top striker.

  68. raptora

    Let’s put Wenger aside. What does our team need to become a true force in EPL playerwise? Some people, including me, thought our team is good enough to why not even win the league last season. Playerwise that is. Just for a second close your eyes and pretend that Pep or Conte was our manager. Now would have chances of winning the league? Why the hell not?! We have a great team in there as we saw in the final of the FA cup. So people laughing at Wenger saying we are 2 or 3 players away imo isn’t completely right. We were good enough to challenge playerwise this last season. With Sead’s arrival we have possibly fixed another of the problem zones. If we somehow manage to fix the striker problem we’ve been having for years we could be a lot stronger than last season playerwise. And finally one of two positions can be strengthened – box-to-box player to fight with Ramsey for starting place; or a winger like Lemar/Mahrez to give us that extra width of options. And voila – you have a way better team than the previous season’s and the team was already strong. Now if you guys are laughing at the idea that no matter who comes we still have no chance of challenging while Wenger is our boss… well that’s another story. But team as it is is very strong and with 2 to 3 solid players in, and no big players leaving we’ll have what it takes to have a go at it all the way. Now if Wenger can take us there is, sadly, another story.

  69. Marko

    Imo anything less than a couple midfielders, a striker and a winger and a defender coming in on top of the likes of Walcott and others finally being sold is us once again not addressing squad issues and the result of the season will be the same. It’s late June and it’s turning out like a classic Arsene summer which is to say he’s likely literally done fuck all and he’s waiting until our supposed rivals have all done their business and he’ll see what’s left. It’s because of this warped look at the transfer market that this club needed a DOF but instead got nothing.

  70. TR7

    Raptora

    Our team is not good enough to win the league under any manager. Our players are not capable of going away to WHL, Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford, Goodison Park etc. and play football with any conviction. We fail to string even a few passes together. We have at least 4-5 regular starters who are mid-table players and we aren’t going to win anything with them.

  71. Marko

    Our players are not capable of going away to WHL, Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford, Goodison Park etc. and play football with any conviction. We fail to string even a few passes together

    Been like that for years. Our record against decent sides especially away under the current manager has been awful for years now

  72. China

    Raptora I disagree

    How can we have a great team when we only have a couple of great players?

    We have a 9/10 in sanchez and 8/10s in kos and ozil.

    The rest of the squad are 7/10 or worse. Caz would be an 8 but he’s injury prone and can’t be depended on anymore

    We literally have one player in the world class bracket. We’re a fair way short of a serious squad imo

  73. raptora

    TR7

    4-5 regular starters who are mid-table players? Did Conte make champions Chelsea with a team entirely tailored of extraordinary players? He made the most solid defense with the so-called calamity David Luiz, with the no so special Cahill, with a newcomer Alonso and the Stoke/West Ham loanee Moses with those teams having the option of permanently signing him but turning down the offer. All of those players carried the season for Chelsea. Now imagine someone could do the same job with the Arsenal players who are considered “ordinary”. I don’t agree with what you said.

  74. China

    You’d need a monstrously effective manager to win the league with this average squad

    Fergie’s last squad was maybe this poor, but we know all about his record in getting 120% out of players.

  75. Tomtom

    It’s funny how we find ourselves drawn into these discussions every summer on players that we will never sign.

  76. China

    And yeah if we sign mbappe (we won’t) we will sell sanchez, probably to the next pl champions.

    Sideways step and strengthen a supposed rival. Also mbappe is just a kid and will probably have a great career but may not.

    He’s a luxury signing for a team that has cash to burn on boutique gambles, not a buy for a team with weaknesses all over the pitch and finite (whilst still vast) resources

    He’d be a really poor way to splooge half our entire cash reserves imo and I say this fully expecting that he’d be a wonderful player for us. His price tag buys you two elite players and a bargain vet at the end of their contract (like alvez)

    We should have no business looking at spending this on mbappe

  77. TR7

    Raptora

    Chelsea have players like Kante and Matic protecting their defense. How many players in our midfield can provide protection to our defense and yet build up play? None.

    Besides, Chelsea can play pragmatic football and rely on the likes of Hazard, Cesc, Costa and Willian to change a game on their own. How many players do we have who can change a game on their own? Sanchez and even he can’t do it against good oppositions.

    Credit to Conte that he switched to back 3 very early in to the season but he had players who could change a game on their own. I can recall Hazard and Costa winning at least 5 games each on their own even as Chelsea were not impressive overall in the balance of play. Even Cesc turned the course of a few games on his own. Give us Costa, Kante and Hazard in place of Coq, Giroud and Theo and we will compete for the league even under Wenger.

  78. raptora

    TR7,

    I don’t want to argue. I just feel like Costa is no better than Sanchez, Matic isn’t better than Xhaka. In the hands of a manager who can get more of his players Ozil could be as important as Hazard is. Ramsey could be a way better player, so could Chamberlain. Bellerin has a huge room to grow and our defense in general already looks solid on paper. Surely our team isn’t as worse as 18 points away of Chelsea show in the table. Realistically with what we had we could have fought all the way in May.

  79. Rhys Jaggar

    Interesting how a few people on this site seriously think Arsenal should be the production family for young french talent, a 25 year production line.

    I can think of nothing more disgusting than pay the highest prices in world football to develop the national team of France for a generation. I really cannot.

    Arsenal FC is majority paid for by the English. The French will contribute well less than 10%. Simple maths tells you that.

    If that is what you want, say so. And get every match day programme printed in French. get yourselves some french lessons, make Arsenal TV a French speaking channel and hold all Press Conferences in French. Eliminate 5000 English season ticket holders and sell them cheap to Parisians in a joint deal with Eurostar.

    Go on, get the priorities right. Treat the English like French servants, charge the English more to watch Arsenal and make every aspect of Arsenal FC a French club…..

  80. Jim Lahey

    @Rhys –

    “I can think of nothing more disgusting than pay the highest prices in world football to develop the national team of France for a generation. I really cannot.”

    How about giving second rate English players £100,000 a week contracts just because they were born in the country?

    I can say this with confidence, no one on this site gives a flying fuck where our players come from as long as they are the best. Look at the current crop of French players vs the current crop of British players, they are leagues apart in terms of talent, so why should we hamstring our team any further by filling our ranks with second rate players?

    If it is an ethnically pure English team you want, just say so.

  81. Jim Lahey

    @Rambo –

    “Sanchez scored more goals than Costa and had more assists than Hazard.”

    The club should be renaming a wing of the Stadium just to get him to stay! What a loss he is going to be :(

  82. Tonyd

    Raptora
    Your posts are full of what ifs, buts and a maybe.

    You’d be better being realistic about the current situation because not much is going to change. Wenger is only going to buy 2 more players, and despite the new kit PR, Sanches will leave and who could blame him.

    I admire your never-say-die positive enthusiasm: it’s just a crying shame the squad bar the usual 3 don’t play with your attitude.

    We all dream of what can be, but in the end, we have to suffer Wenger’s appalling management and coaching skills.

  83. Tonyd

    I know I’m repeating myself and apologies for doing so, but why isn’t Wenger going flat out to sign Alves on a free.

    The experience alone would be worth his salary as would his presence in the dressing room.

    He’s be the perfect sub to help close games out orcas an attacking midfielder for when games are going South.

    I guess the reason is the guy has won more trophies than Wenger and is a winner in every sense.

  84. N5

    “Go on, get the priorities right. Treat the English like French servants, charge the English more to watch Arsenal and make every aspect of Arsenal FC a French club…..”

    Oui, Rhys, cela ressemble à une excellente idée.

  85. Tonyd

    Some great posts recently Pedro.

    I really appreciate the time and commitment you put into it, especially with the travelling you do for your work.

    I know how tiring that is having spent my first 9 years working in the music business running around the world.

    Books

    I’ve just had Parlour’s sent to me which I’m eager to read when I get back home.

    Looks like I should get Wrighty’s book next.

    Anyone here read Merson’s book?

  86. S Asoa

    Raptora
    Since I lol at your full text, am not prejudiced about a lots of ifs which I don’t entirely focus on and see things out of context.
    But you do make some points. One being that with Wenger whatever we might have IF we buy whosoever they’ll regress under Wenger Le Imbecile ,Specialist in Failure.

  87. TR7

    Tony

    Alves gets to work with his former boss Pep, an opportunity to win league titles in yet another country and a massive salary to boot if he chooses City. Arsenal have no chance of landing him.

  88. Chitom

    “Chelsea have players like Kante and Matic protecting their defense. How many players in our midfield can provide protection to our defense and yet build up play? None. Besides, Chelsea can play pragmatic football and rely on the likes of Hazard, Cesc, Costa and Willian to change a game on their own. How many players do we have who can change a game on their own? Sanchez and even he can’t do it against good oppositions”

    Arsenal played Chelsea three times last season and managed to play them off the park in two out of three.

    In the second game we won, the FA cup final, Wenger started seven different players to the squad he played against Chelsea at the Ems.

    Basically, Wenger dominated Chelsea twice last season with two different squads yet people still believe it’s the lack of quality players that’s preventing Arsenal from winning the league.

    Wenger saying he needs two or three signings to compete for the title further perpetuated this notion thus absolving himself of any responsibility for failing to do so.

    He always says he’s two or three additions away from what he needs to win, but transfers are difficult and it’s out of his hands when who he needs doesn’t want to come to Arsenal.

    And that’s where the perpetual circle closes ladies and gentlemen.

    Arsenal has had enough player talent to win the league in the last two seasons.
    What they haven’t had was enough tactical and motivational talent.

  89. Carts

    Rapotora

    “Let’s put Wenger aside”

    Stopped reading there.

    To even hypothesise about an Arsenal minus Wenger is futile. The man would have to leave in a body bag otherwise he isn’t going anywhere.

    We could sign Cr7, Oblak, Bonucci and Costa and even then we wouldn’t be any closer to challenging. Wenger’s methods are so dated that he’d struggle to get the best out of those players listed above.

    Our players go through the motions as it is. Adding high quality players only makes Wenger’s job harder.

    Why? cos bringing in the likes of Lemar and Mbappe, will mean that Wenger has to somehow mimic whatever they were used to under Jardim’s tutelage.

  90. China

    We dominated Chelsea in two games, however let’s not gloss over the fact that Chelsea didn’t bring anything like their A game to either of those matches we won

    And it’s largely besides the point. Winning two games against Chelsea doesn’t mean fuck all if you only barely break 70 points a season.

    We’ve also beaten teams like Bayern and Barca in years gone by. It didn’t prove that we were competitive with them.

    The proof is in the pudding…

  91. China

    You can find examples of pretty much any team doing a number of anyone else. Unless it’s backed up by the bigger picture it doesn’t mean shit

    Crystal palace smashed us. Are they a team that should expect to compete with us in future? No. Perspective said it was just a game that they’d have a big challenge repeating regularly

  92. China

    The only reason why our squad was good enough to win the league 2 years ago was all the big teams imploded

    That year was meaningless for every team at the top end apart from Leicester for having a cracking year

    We don’t have a squad anywhere near competing for the league. We have a squad capable of competing in individual games.

    Sure if all of our players are on top form. If elite opposition aren’t at the races. Sure. But leagues aren’t won by teams like that apart from Leicester because they literally had a perfect storm of season long golden form and opposition in total chaos.

    For any normal season, our chances are next to zero. If you need the stars to align to see your team pull off an elite performance it doesn’t mean your team has it in their locker, it means they don’t and it’s just a relative one off you’re watching – something which happens to all teams

    Elite teams can win games when playing badly. On the contrary we need a wonderful performance by our own standards to win those games usually

  93. Chitom

    There’s a big difference between losing to an inferior team once a season and dominating league champions twice in the same season.

    We didn’t dominate Bayern or Barca when we won against them so those examples aren’t even applicable in this context.

    Also the argument that Chelsea didn’t play their best because somehow they lacked motivation to do the double is the most ridiculous argument I’ve ever seen being made , and can only come from someone who’s never kicked a ball in a competitive environment .

    The fact Arsenal haven’t managed to mount a serious title run in a long time has to do with their tactics, organization and player attitude but not the level of player talent.
    Most of which fall squarely at Wenger’s doorstep.