Player unrest…

by & filed under News Review.

Danny WELBZ has cost us £8m a goal. Someone at one of the major papers is drawing a salary for that bit of analysis. Tells you loads, eh?

What a joke.

Things we need to know about WELBZ.

Firstly, he’s playing in a broken system. It’s tough out there. The squad has no balance at the moment. His supply has been pretty weak so far this season. We’re not creating much. Secondly, the team he’s playing in seems pretty flat on energy and so does he after playing in all the games. Thirdly, the lad is new.

I wanted to go for a better striker in the summer, but can’t say I’m upset with WELBZ. He’s talent. He’s raw, but he’s a worthwhile investment. If I was going to chop anyone, it’d be Giroud. He’s not getting any better and most of his weaknesses can’t be rectified. He’s also pushing close to his prime. A good moment to get shot and bring in something more elite.

A few people giving me grief about supporting Ivan. Give it a rest ya? All I’m saying is you need to give people a chance. He’s not had one really if you consider the situation from a normal working perception. The Arsene and Stan lockdown is a bit like trying to manage your bosses inept son. Sure there are question marks over his handling of staffing. The non integration of Shad is a worry and weak. This Joncker character seems cut from the same ‘me me me’ cloth as Van Gaal. I have no idea what our new scout is there to do or how we’ve utilised that £2m data system.

Ok, so some problems. But most caused by having an owner who worships at the feet of our manager.

Let’s see what happens when that problem is lifted. Let’s see how the club is reorganised in the post-Wenger apocalypse. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? 20 years in the darkness of irrelevance? Pfft! Stop being so fucking negative all the time…

United are next. I have the fear, do you? Can you imagine the most unbalanced side on the planet, in favour of attackers, taking on our back four in the state it’s in at the moment. I mean, we have to hope those lot have a seriously bad day and our lot have an inspired one. Di Maria, Robin, Rooney and Mata bringing it to us… worried. The only thing Van Gaal seems to have over Arsene is tactical nous, so he’ll have spotted the weaknesses. He probably sent an intern to run the report on us…

In other more wayward news, what I told you would happen with the players, seems to be happening. Tomas Rosicky has bemoaned the managers tinkering with the system and the output. He’s also complained that he’s not involved. Which for me, considering what a good player he is, is a perfectly valid complaint. Managing any setup is all about psychology. You can’t ostracise a whole group of talented players and expect them to stay motivated. There’s no reason to leave Tomas, Rosicky and Joel Campbell out the line up week in week out. It’s outrageous really. Especially as the offshoot of not using your squad is injuries. Now the complaining is starting to happen…

… but. One guy who is not complaining is Alexis. He put down some thoughts with AS that were almost comical in their bizarreness. It was like the interview was penned by Mark Gonnella.

‘Now that I’m here, sometimes I stop to look my teammates during the training session and I realise that I’m surrounded by a lot of quality stars. I have been impressed by their attitude and their talent. I know that with this team we can win many trophies in the coming years. I’m convinced.’

‘I love how they create spaces, their individual and collective movements. I tell you seriously: I like what I see so much that I have repeated myself many times, that if we have the required winning mentality, if we are positive and try to win every single game, I know we can win any competition.’

I mean, I like it. But that chat doesn’t really stack up with the reality of what we’re seeing. It’s true that we do have very good players, but I’m not sure I see much of what Alexis is seeing. That said, what do you expect a new boy to say?

‘Fuck me, it was better at Barca’

Obviously not.

That interview was by Ballague. Who is rumoured to be facing legal action after he leaked the story that Ronaldo’s nickname for Messi is ‘motherfucker’… I mean, it’s not really a nickname. There’s nothing creative about it, is there? I’d have gone for Gollum or something like that? Amusing regardless.

Hey, just wanted to ask everyone to stop making outrageous suggestions on the new manager. If I here another intelligent person suggest Thierry Henry or Dennis Bergkamp are acceptable names, I’m gonna, errr, disagree very strongly in a polite manner.

Thierry Henry to Arsenal is almost as terrible a suggestion as Alan Shearer to Newcastle back in the day. He’s not exactly management material from what I’ve read. He’s relatively insular, he’s not hugely popular and he has NO MANAGERIAL EXPERIENCE. Similar story with Bergkamp. I mean, I get that he’s had quite a lot of assistant time with Ajax, he has a good temperament but man can’t get on no plane. You hear me?

If we’re going with an explayer, it should be Steve Bould. He knows the set up, everyone loves him at the club, he has a presence, he knows what’s working, what’s not working… he was a brilliant player. You also know if you crossed him he could pin you through the wall. He’s another one similar to Ivan… he’s not had the chance to prove his worth because he’s working in an environment that doesn’t encourage innovation or putting your neck on the line.

‘But why doesn’t he just give it what for to Arsene’

Come on mate, would you give it some to your boss if you were in an industry where every other club close to where you live had an assistant manager? Would you risk your house on being a bit of a muppet to a manager you know won’t listen? Of course you wouldn’t. With certain managers, you have to play the game. I feel sorry for everyone at Arsenal. Working in an place that doesn’t encourage creative problem solving would kill me…



Ladies and gentlemen. I’ve been busted. Sorry.

Another thing I wanted to address was the protest stuff yesterday. I forget that when I’m writing this, I’m not talking to people in a pub. Personally, I’m not a protestor. I do find it a bit embarrassing, I don’t like the idea that the only way to get your point across is in militant fashion. In this country, we don’t protest for the things that are truly important, so the idea that we’d protest against a manager who is sustaining top four mediocrity feels a bit spoilt.

But the point is this, if lots of people want to do it. Who am I to critique or snipe? Ultimately, we’ve seen that all the bitching online doesn’t do anything. Sir Chips was staunchly proWenger / anti-fan at the AGM. I found his arrogance staggering. Maybe the only way people who are cocooned away from the real world can understand how much people care is to see a sea of united red and white faces making a point?

For me, the power doesn’t come right now. The power comes from making a stand at the end of the season. Anything that happens at this moment will be disruptive. The PR narrative isn’t right. But really, come the end of another disappointing season… would it be the worst idea if we’re overseeing another £8m seasons of failure that could have been rectified?

Who knows. It’s not up to me. I’m just not really to fussed either way this season. Nothing seems to penetrate the walls at Arsenal.


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Protest away | The new manager | Why the future is spectacular

by & filed under News Review.

Arsenal vs Bayern

Arsenal vs Bayern

Well happy good morning to you my dear friends. A day ago, I noticed some rust on some new scissors I bought as part of a pretty good knife set (I buy stuff like that now) . I tried to rub it out with a tea towel. The tea towel shredded and I sliced my finger open. Typing is tough, but I do this for you. My sacrifice. I’m like a saint or something better. Bergkamp? Too far?

Right, let’s crack into some BLOGGING.



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High level leaks show support for Wenger fading at club…

by & filed under News Review.


Oh my, tings be heating up in tha red hot kitchen that is Arsenal!

Matt Law, of Telegraph fame dropped a story yesterday that amounted to what I’d call a very high level leak. The jist of his story is that Arsenal coaching staff are dismayed by the tactics put forward by Arsenal. Quite an amazing piece. Why? Well, Arsenal don’t generally suffer from leaks that you’d classify as disruptive. Also, Matt is a Telegraph journo, he wouldn’t be making stuff up and he wouldn’t be seeding stories that could potentially damage his ability to gain future stories.

My guess, that leak has come from somewhere very reliable. I can’t remember a leak that substantial for years. Like I said yesterday, the players know exactly how bad it is and so do the coaching staff and so do the management at the club. The iron wall at Arsenal is starting to crack because people are bored of it all. It also feels like it’s come from somewhere reasonably high level because of the transfer storie slipped in after. It’s a bit of a shit sandwich.

‘It’s terrible at Arsenal, but everyone bar Arsene knows it. Oh, and to top of this shit sandwich, we are looking to spend some money on 3rd rate defenders’

All very interesting.

The tide is turning on Arsene Wenger. Finally.

I read a quote from Ian Wright yesterday that stated Steve Bould is often ignored and his suggestions are passed over.

Paul Merson fired back at the manager, making light of the fact that he was a manager and he never threw away a 3 goal lead in 30 minutes.

The worm is turning, press, finally awakening to what has been abundantly clear to most die hard gooners for years. Wenger is no longer elite, he’s holding on for dear life and he’s chipping away at his legacy with a JCB digger.

This is the interesting thing with our manager.

Why the hell would he leave?

Think about his situation, then palm that pretty face of yours, because it’s not good.

Arsene Wenger is entering his mid-sixties. Call me ageist, but at that period in your life, you’re not about the new project. You don’t have the drive and you don’t have the energy to relocate.

As Amy Lawrence said on the podcast I was on the other day, the man has no hobbies. His life is about football. Football. And more football. Imagine the dread he’s going to feel the day after he quits something he’s continuously done over the last 30 years. One day, he’s controlling the type of trainers the cleaning lady is wearing, the next, he’s sat in front of a TV with nothing to do bar some chores his wife has assigned him. That’s a pretty horrible feeling. Wenger isn’t a man content with spending an afternoon stripping wallpaper.

Then think of the power. The biggest fear of a man with all the power, is to have no power. One day, you’re king of the world, next day, no one gives a shit about you. That’s got to be pretty scary. Power is addictive. Status is alluring. The idea that one day, no one would care about what you think has got to weigh heavy on your mind. At Arsenal, he literally has it all. He controls everything. He has almost zero accountability. He’s not there to be questioned. Why would he leave?

Look at his behaviour of late. Incredulous Jacqui Oatley would ask him some pretty standard questions. Dismayed that Paul Merson would dare step up to him with legitimate complaints. I mean, how dare a pundit have an opinion on him! I can’t imagine what he thinks of the bloggers… but let me tell you Arsene, I’ve managed a Sunday League team for two very successful years, with zero transfer budget. I have all the rights to question you.

Anyway, look at all of the above. It’s the perfect storm. The perfect… ‘THERE’S NO WAY I’D EVER LEAVE’… storm. It’s pretty depressing.

It’s the same with Stan Kroenke. We have an owner who is sitting on a massive property in London. It doesn’t really matter what he does with the club, it goes up in value. He doesn’t have an interest in running it like a sporting enterprise and he doesn’t have an interest in selling it to someone with a ambition. He doesn’t have any interest making his manager accountable or analysing the total shit show he’s running. All he cares about it that big fat portfolio he’s running.

It’s sooooo depressing.

Thing is, Ivan Gazidis is a fan. I’m almost certain he sees what we see. He’s younger than Arsene by about 30 years. He’ll read the internetz. He’ll have spies around the training ground. He’ll hear what goes on. He’ll see the results on the pitch. He’ll know that Shad Forsythe has been put on cone duty and Tony Colbert is wearing that gold crown again for the bantz. He’ll know that Steve Rowley is scouting out the back of a 2006 copy of L’Quipe. But ultimately, until you break the cycle of Wenger and Stan. Until you stand up and go bold, we’ll just be a club that ticks over. A club that’s happy with average. A club that took the biggest risk of all time in moving stadium, then decided that risk was no longer an option.

I don’t mean to quote Nik Bendtner, but he said something interesting the other week when he was asked about those silly comments he made back in the day…

‘If you don’t want to be the best at whatever you do, why bother?’ sic

Damn straight Nik. Damn straight. Who sets out to be average? This doesn’t mean you’re a failure if you don’t achieve your goals, it just means you have to take stock, rethink, then go again. That’s the way of the world. That’s the way of sport.

Why doesn’t Wenger care about that now?

Why doesn’t Stan want his sports club to be the best?

What is Ivan doing to improve things? Why isn’t he stripping Wenger of his power? Why doesn’t he take advantage of Wenger having no clue. Why doesn’t he use this situation to his strategic advantage?

I’d be in there, sacking the old boys who aren’t delivering. I’d be empowering the young guys who want to make an impact and I’d be taking back the club cleaning lady trainer, by cleaning lady trainer. Because the problem now, is Arsene is running things. Badly. And no one is stepping in.

‘But he’d resign if he lost his power’

Firstly, no he wouldn’t. Secondly, who cares? If he’s immature to throw his toys out the pram when someone tries to make an improvement, then he’s not the right guy for us.

‘But he said no to Madrid and PSG’

Again, who cares? He’d have tanked at Madrid and he’d tank at PSG right now (actually, not sure if you can ever tank at PSG). Loyalty to the club was commendable. He’s done a great job over the years. But there comes a time when you have to move on. To my mind, I’d never, ever want a manager for 18 years again. It’s unhealthy in the extreme. The game moves to fast nowadays. If you’re somewhere for so long, you become entrenched, complacent and invincible. Arsenal are bigger than any man, we can never allow this situation to repeat.

Don’t fear him going. United have screwed themselves because they’ve made two very poor appointments. Spurs have screwed themselves because they brought in the wrong manager to deal with those players. City have a manager who I don’t rate. Chelsea got it right. We can get it right. Match the players to the manager and build out a world class infrastructure.

Again, this one is on you Ivan. Prove your worth when the manager goes and the fans will love you. But in my opinion, you should start now,  because the clean up operation post Wenger is looking like it’s going to be more and more expensive as each season passes.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts for today.