Manager’s ivory towers crumbling? | Minnows show Wenger & Ivan how it’s done, again

by & filed under News Review.

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London / New York, I’m sunning myself in a spicy 21 degree California heat. What’s going on in your miserable little world?

Oh, I see. Poor you. Pop another layer on.

Anyway, absolute banter in the CL last night. Mr Allegri – Arsenal fan favourite and style icon – smashed Porto to make the QF again. Let’s see how he does against a good team in the next round, his Juve certainly look competitive at the moment.

The shock of the evening went to Leicester as they hustled Sevilla out of the CL with a very impressive win at the KP stadium. Unreal achievement. Even more hilarious, because that tubby little turd Samir Nasri disappointed on the big stage again – he was lured into a headbutt on Jamie ‘chat shit, get banged’ Vardy – wonderful. Couldn’t have happened to a nastier imp.

Sampaoli will be disappointed. He’s managing 3 times in a row Spursday League champions, playing the most exciting football in Europe this year, and yet he still succumbed to a team that’s been on its arse. Just goes to show, you can hate the quality of the Prem all you like, but our teams don’t play for critical acclaim. If there’s a way of the doing the job but it’s a bit grubby, you can bet your bottom pound note the English will fight to make it happen. We’ll also revel in it, because we’re bastards.

‘Bringing your pony free-flowing transitions to Leicester? Fock off!’

Additional banter points in order for Arsene Wenger who said Leicester would struggle in the CL this season. The Premier League champions have gone further in the CL than we have in the last 7 attempts. Let that bed in.

Just to pour lemon vinegar into Arsene’s paper cut of a season, Leicester City’s board, for the second time in 2.5 years, have proved that sometimes it’s right to sack a legend. They operate on a zero sentimentality agenda. Pearson, the hero that promoted them, gone after he nearly relegated them. Ranieri, 6 months after the greatest fairytale ever, gone when the team gave up on him.

Their formula seems to be:

> What is right for business?

> What is right for the team?

> How quickly can we do it?

Amazing work, and again, shows how our press are implicated in the Wenger issue. I swear, only in England do journalists take a moral high ground on underperforming managers getting the boot. Claudio was sacked for failing to win a game in 2017, and what happened after? A huge up-tick in morale, fight and results.

So funny watching Arsenal fans bleating on that you can’t compare Leicester to Arsenal. Same folk have been comparing our wage bill and net spend to anyone who so much as sneezes a £30m signing for 10 years.

This result absolutely highlights the failings of Arsene and it is certainly relevant that fans call it out. Especially in this current climate of ‘will he / won’t he.’ Those that are educated and up to speed with what proper football management looks like need to remind those ‘One Arsene Wenger’ Tourette’s masochists that they need to stay focused. Gunnersaurus scoring a penalty before the next game isn’t a sign. It doesn’t matter if Wenger spent 1.5 hours drinking chai latte chatting conspiracy theories with the Cowley brothers. A win at WBA won’t be ‘season on.’

  • Our manager has proven out all mitigating safe spaces he hid in and it turns out he’s elite average whatever you give him. Irony being the injection of money hasn’t taken us up a level, it’s merely stemmed the average leakage
  • He is the worst manager in the elite echelons of the game (CL last 16)
  • Against any barometer, be it sporting, or business, he is not good for the club. Unless you think falling over £100m behind United is good business sense… or you think not winning a major trophy in 13 years is good for morale.

I do wonder what he’ll say about Leicester?

‘Arsenal were the 3rd best team from England in the CL this season’

‘Arsenal fans wanted Sampaoli, the guy is a shithouse. How many top 4s has he had in his life?’

‘I have a magic formula that I’ll tell you about some day’

Onto exciting Arsenal stuff, I forgot to mention that we drew City in the semi-final. I think that’s the best draw for us. Pep G is all about attack, attack, attack. When it goes well, it’s hard to compete with, when it doesn’t go well, and John Stones shits the bed, anyone has a chance!

Sad thing is, after the draw, I had so many people messaging in saying…

‘I can take losing to City. It won’t hurt that bad’

The depths we’ve sunk to under Wenger. Weighing up a semi-final made up of 4 sides in the top 5 and we’re eyeing up the option that’ll make us feel the least bad if we lose. Real flatulent times. It’ll be interesting to see what Pep can do with that City side in a cup semi. Gut feel says we’ll look good for 30 minutes playing a hard press, then we’ll concede, then it’ll be over.

At least it’ll be an interesting spectacle. We’ve had a light load up until now. It’s big guns all the way if we want to win!

In other news, there are HOT rumours that Boro Primorac of – ‘what does he do’ variety – could be leaving Arsenal at the end of the season.

Why is this tantalising? Well, he’ part of the establishment elite at Arsenal. He, along with Gerry Peyton, Tony Colbert and Steve Rowley are all waaaaaaay past their best. The only reason they’re there is to say yes and to protect Arsene Wenger.

If you map that against Dick Law leaving the club, well, you have a story developing.

The club aren’t going to let Wenger control the replacement hire, because that’d be like letting exWall Street execs sit in your Whitehouse. They’ll have to make something happen, but who could they sign that’d be Wenger’s wet blanket? Bar Bobby Pires or Martin Keown?

So is this another chance for a Wenger power play? Or does this point to the real narrative we’re all praying is happening behind the scenes? Are we going to lose Wenger and hit up a sporting director / new manager combo?

Could be a seriously wild summer if that’s the case. I think we’ll need to see us drop out the FA Cup and the top 4 for that to definitely happen. Which isn’t unrealistic this season. So let’s keep and eye out for how this develops.

My big fear is that there is no plan. That the board are waiting to see how bad it gets and the manager is doing the same. That’d be savage news for everyone, which is why someone needs to make a decision ASAP so we can all make next steps.

The club, with personnel.

The fans, mentally.

Me, with my maker (the old man is a #WengerOut, he’ll get it).

Right, see you in the comments.


Wenger would never tolerate a DoF | If AFC hired one, he’d simply ignore

by & filed under News Review.

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Quick post today because I worked 16 hours yesterday. No reason to tell you that outside the internet syndrome of instant gratification I seek due to 10 years of being brutalised by webculture.

Tell me I worked hard. Please.

So what do we have today? Jezza Wilson of The Times dropped a piece that initially felt like, ‘we’re gonna sign a DOF to help Wenger’, but by the time you reached the end, you realised it was…

‘Arsenal might offer a name, but if Wenger says no, we won’t, but know the club had a thought’

The PR machine of Mark G is trying its best to polish the wet dog turd that’s leaked down the side of the couch, forgetting – like many in PR do – the internet exists. This is Wenger in 2013.

“I would not work with a ­director of football because they buy the players and when it does not work you are guilty for not using them well,”

“I am not against having ­people to help me buy, sell and negotiate because I cannot do it all. But I think the final ­decision always has to belong to the manager to decide who comes in and who goes out because he is ­responsible for the style of play and ­results.”

Managers buying the players, scouting the players, coaching the players, making sure the players are breast fed properly – is a bit of a dated approach. Not even recently dated, dated for about 15  years. Carlo A says that he never wants to be in charge of signing the players as he feels it takes away from the focus of the job. Most managers are not in charge of signing the star names. The DOF takes care of the staffing and makes sure the names being brought in fit the vision of the club.

What tends to happen when you let your past it manager hoover up names? They make mistakes. They don’t do their due diligence and you end up with too much power sitting with one brain. Fine if the brain is attuned, but we know Wenger’s isn’t these days.

Our manager signed Xhaka and clearly didn’t spend much time understanding his game. We landed a sophisticated regista, when the manager thought he’d landed a B2B bomber with passing skills that would put Kante to shame. You can’t deny me this, because he’s on record saying as much.

Also, because Wenger has been so in the weeds over the years, he’s not looking at the squad with a long-term vision in mind. He’s reactive when it comes to signing players. What was the point of Lucas Perez? How much thought went into that? What were we thinking with Callum Chambers when Toby Alderweirald was available? When Wenger was hating on Joel Campbell, why didn’t he see the MASSIVE opportunity to sign up Manolos and exchange out the wide man?

Transfers should be planned two to three years in advance. You should know that this summer, it’ll be time to move on Per Mertesacker. Next summer, maybe Kos will be creaking. You should have a plan for Giroud being your C-striker. We should have had a replacement in for Santi Cazorla. We should have been noting that a major weakness for us all season has been Coquelin in the middle of the park. We should have a short list of new left backs that fit the vision of how we want to play. We should have new right backs lined up and we should be planning for the potential exit of Bellerin who might want out if we’re out of the Champions League two years running.

We don’t plan like that, which is why we’re found out every summer. Wenger has a plan A that is often pretty basic, his plan B is pitiful, there is never a plan C. He’s not looking at the best young players in Europe anymore. Juventus and Dortmund are hoovering them up. He’s not raiding the Eastern European market where there’s a lot of value at the moment. He’s not attuned to South American superstar kids. He’s totally lost is way in the French league. Even the toddlers we struggle with.

Wenger should be desperate for a DOF, not to support him (or as The Times embarrassingly put it, ‘ease the burden’), but to help show him the way. There should be new coaching blood injected into the backroom team. We should be turfing out Tony Colbert, Gerry Peyton and Boro Priromac. We should be bulking up our analytics teams. We should rip out the scouting department and bring in someone to give it a new vision and a new chain of command so there’s more accountability for buying players.

There is so much that needs to be done, but you’re never going to make the changes you need while Wenger is here. Know this, he’ll never change.

Right, that’s me done.

P.S. Big thanks to Myles Palmer for his hat tip in Le Grove’s direction yesterday. One of the legendary writers on Arsenal. My favourite growing up, no doubt.

P.P.S Remember when all the muppets were ripping Le Grove for the RedZone and the ‘over training’ narrative I had for years. This is from Bournemouth.

“Jack has had a lot of overuse type injuries over the years. He’s had some traumatic ones as well, which every player can get, but he’s a player who is prone to break down if the load is too high.”

“Literally with Jack we would say, ‘this session he can do so many metres, that’s it, until we’ve built him up to a stage where he is able to cope with the load”

This is a prime example of what happens when you give Wenger the tools, but he doesn’t use them because he knows best. This is also why you should follow the narrative of Le Grove

*winky emoticon or something like that*