Arsene Wenger finally admits this might be his last year. Good news.

by & filed under Match report, News Review.

I couldn’t be in attendance at the game yesterday, which is a shame, in a perverse way, even after finding out the result, I still wanted to be there. Win, lose or draw, there are always things you can take from actually soaking up the moment.

Yesterday’s moment looked quite horrible. Arsenal weren’t just beaten by Swansea, they were battered by the passing stick in front of a home crowd. That passing stick is supposed to be ours. However, after years of dismantling the core of a good team, Arsene has left himself in a situation where he doesn’t have a line up that is consistently capable of playing the game that way anymore.

The midfield of Jack, Cazorla and Arteta looks good on paper, however, the practicalities of the set up don’t seem to work. They just don’t click together. Maybe they’re all too similar, or maybe they’re just not being played in a system that works. Three tiny midfielders doesn’t really look right in the Premiership and certainly from a defensive perspective, it left us open all day yesterday. The amount of times Swansea waltzed through the middle of the park was frightening. The defense was an absolute mess. The only saving grace from the game yesterday was the keeper, who pulled off some top notch saves.

People were lambasting Wenger for dropping Giroud for the hopeless Gervinho, I think that’s the wrong angle to take. Players need to be rested. The question or rant should be, ‘why the only option outside Giroud is a winger?’

Anyway, the introduction of Giroud didn’t do much to the shape of the game. He nearly won himself a penalty, but the ref indicated the last man landed a touch on the ball.

The two goals that sunk us came very late in the game. The first came from a superb Michu finish, he picked the ball up in the middle of the park unchallenged, played a lovely one two around our centre backs and curled the ball into the top corner.

If you look in the shot above, there are four players heading to that ball on the left of the screen, Michu in the middle on his own. The defence isn’t in a flat line, a few moments later, one of our centre backs lunges in and loses out, then Mertesacker finds himself flat footed… in the end, neither of them chase back. They gave up. Now, there aren’t many things I remember from playing football as a child, but one was to always, always, always chase back… because you never know what could happen. If you were ever caught not doing that, you’d be dropped the next week for being lazy.

When pro footballers aren’t chasing back, you know there’s a problem.

Things got even worse few minutes later, Jenkinson found himself out wide on the right, he couldn’t find a pass, Nathan Dyer chased him, Jenks fell over, Dyer played Michu in… the Spaniard added to his already impressive tally with a cool finish. An spellbindingly bad piece of defending.

The boos around the stadium were loud. Even more so considering there were only about 14 people left at that point to partake. There’s something quite horrible about booing in your ground. It gives me the same feeling I get when I see an animal slaughtered or something. Macarbre I know, but that’s a club all those people love… and they’re booing. Something is seriously wrong.

Watching Wenger in the press conference after was also quite painful. We’ve been suggesting change here for the best part of 5  years, it doesn’t make it any easier to watch a once great manager basically admit he hasn’t got a clue what’s going on. He looked stressed, he doesn’t have answers and he’s relying on terrible excuses.

Sorry Arsene, being jaded physically in December doesn’t cut the mustard. You’re given a £140million budget. If you sliced that up between 25 players, you’d be able to give them each £107,000 a week. Now, I know I’m missing the fact we pay other staff out of that, but you get the picture. We have a budget that should allow for us to have a top notch squad with enough players to get to December without needing to complain about fatigue.

If you ask me, I think it’s more about mental tiredness with those guys. There’s no direction. They don’t know what they’re doing out on the pitch. New things the manager is trying clearly aren’t working. The quality isn’t there, the squad don’t look like a cohesive unit, so you end up with a mess of players who don’t really care about the end goal.

The spirit of that side hasn’t gone, because to be quite frank, I don’t think it was ever there. It’s been ripped out every summer for the last 5 years. We’re never in a stable position come September 1st. There comes a time when you have to stop building the foundations. That’s never happened. Team spirit is built over years, not months. This year, things haven’t clicked. Robin and Song going wasn’t the problem. It was failing to adequately replace them. It was allowing Theo to play on this year despite not being committed to the cause. All these things add up to a bad team… and make no mistake. That’s a bad team we’ve got out there.

Individually, they’re good players. The problem now is that the manager isn’t getting the most out of them. When I hear him say he’s considering his future. I’m glad. At least he’s finally realised there’s a problem. He told a story a few years ago about his time as a pro, it went something like this…

‘I told my chairman to let me know when it was time to hang up my boots. I didn’t want to continue on playing if I wasn’t doing a good job. Sometimes you need someone else to make that call’

I think Arsene’s time is coming to an end. Even if we do make the top four this season, it won’t be enough. Even if we win a cup, it won’t change a thing. We’re getting away with dated methods at the moment. The simple fact is, Arsene Wenger has forgotten how to win. If he goes, there’s no reason we can’t make a decent appointment. There’s no reason we have to go through what Liverpool are suffering with. There’s no reason the Arsenal story shouldn’t move to the next, more successful, more wealthy level.

People are scared of change, I think that’s a weak attitude to take. Be scared of stagnating. Be scared of failing consistently every year. Be scared of accepting mediocrity. Football and sport are about progress. We’re not progressing. We won’t progress under Arsene Wenger. He’s killed himself by failing to adapt to the modern game. Mourinho took coaching to a new level, that shock to the system took Fergie to a new level, but it left Wenger looking more and more antiquated. It’s time for a new man to take us forward. That change won’t happen now, but I think there’s a high chance it could at the end of the season.

Can we trust Ivan to make a world class decision with a new hire? That for me is the biggest question.


398 Responses to “Arsene Wenger finally admits this might be his last year. Good news.”

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  1. Bade

    Gambon

    Your statement of defence for deemed for failure

    1. It’s the CEO’s job to restrain the manager. I remember how Alex Fynn said when DD was saying to Arsene pick the players you want & don’t care for the money go coatch & bring trophies. What does Ivan do regarding the need to improve our squad quality & silverware cabenit, other than spouting his “ambitious” HS? He’s totally failed to do his job. Whether it’s down to too much power givwen to Arsene, or Ivan’s total incompetence is still debatable, but the bottom line is he failed tpo achieve what a CEO should have done for us.
    2. When I was talking about the American way, I wasn’t referring to MLS. Ivan was talking about leagues with ceiling of spending & minimum & maximum wages & there’s no relegations. That was my criticism against this structure
    3. Tell me you’re taking the piss there, re the commercials eh? upping the revenues by 3m’ (between 2009 & now) in almost 4 years is ridiculous, it barely covers his cost & his enlarged staff’s one. As for the new deals, we’re starting with the same deals most of the top teams have already for few years now. Which in a couple of years will see us again trailing behind. Our new deals are match only to Mancs shirt 7 training deals, not to mention their Nike deal. It’s still a massive improvement of the flat 8m’ a year deal, but let’s not kid ourselves as if Ivan made something special there. He didn’t pull any rabbit out of his hat

  2. geekpie

    the second last paragraph hits the nail on the head of our current predicament. well written.

    believe it or not i think gazidis does have it in him to appoint an inspirational successor. uefa see something in him. i guess we’ll just have to wait, hopefully not a long time.

  3. Thomas

    The cunt needs to leave ASAP. It’s painful watching him on the sidelines or in post match interviews. He’s done. Over.

    Get Guardiola, Mourinho or Klopp in. Joachim Low is another choice. Christ I’d take a donkey right now. Anything to get rid of the child snatcher.

  4. Jed

    Bade

    In a sane management structure the CEO should be at least on a par with the manager and ideally above him in the pecking order. That is not the case at AFC. It’s not Gazidis’ failure, it’s a product of the power vaccuum at the club.

    I’m no fan of Gazidis but I am certain he’s our ally in the business of getting Wenger out. If you lump the two of them together you are reducing our chances of getting rid of the Frenchman.

    The number 1 priority is to get Wenger out before he does any more damage. With him at the helm we are fucked, the same is not true of Gazidis.

  5. Bade

    Gambon & Keyser

    You’re both too quick posters for me

    Keyser,
    Stop making up “facts” about DD. As if he was harmful to the club

    Gambon,
    No one is taking down the burden of Arsene, but seriously, Ivan’s main job was to restrain the manager, to close deals for players, not to do nothing or dither with stupid negotiation tactics

    Like in Schwartzer case. DD would have probably tied up the deal. In Ivan’s era we missed on too many “ordinary” deals. Those are the deals that the CEO is the major responsible foe tying up.

    Now one can claim Arsene did the whole job & the whole decisions, but this is no less criminal from CEO’s point of view. What’s the point on having a CEO if the manager doing one of his two major assignments ?

    Arsene is to blame for severely bad execution of the team, Ivan blame for letting all this happen & not supervising & acting as a proper CEO would & should do

  6. Thomas

    Dan T

    Players we have lost in the last 4 years: Hleb, Flamini, Diarra, Gilberto, Toure, Adebayor, Gallas, Eduardo, Clichy, Nasri, Cesc, Song and Van Persie.

    And what’s up with all the shite players the cunt has bought in recent years? Silvestre, Bischoff, Squillaci, Chamakh, Gervinho, Park, Santons. Are you fucking kidding me?

    Fucking embarrassing how this club is run.

  7. Dan T

    @Keyser

    I’m not particularly bigging up gazidis – I just don’t think we have seen enough of him yet to blame the woes of Arsenal on him. I know you will probably tell me you can judge somebody on what they haven’t done aswell as what they have etc. etc. But for me, I think there has been a great platform provided for Wenger to do his job – It is Wengers decision not to use the platform.

  8. Bade

    Jed

    Manager first priority, I’ve been saying this for enough time now

    Have you never heard of the Judgement May Brigade yet?

    But I think Ivan should be next, unless he’s going to be reinvented with the new manager coming on

    It’s not only him being weaker than Arsene, which can be understandable in the case of Arsene’s massive stature, but my main concern is his failure to do the easier things, like negotiating a 4m’ deal for an essential keeper

  9. Dan T

    Thomas

    When did I say we hadn’t bought rubbish?

    I was making the same point saying we have let go great players and brought in average ones and yet the wage bill has gone up.

    Je ne comprends pas monsieur Wenger

  10. Jed

    Bade

    By May we’ll be completely stuffed, we won’t make 4th and the player exodus will continue. The rot has to stop now.

    Gazidis is an irrelevance and you are muddying the waters by going on about him. All he is doing is implementing the plan Kroenke has given him. AW calls the shots on transfers.

  11. Bade

    Just watched the Napoli highlights for their win against Piscara

    Cavani, Hamsik, Inler, Insigne

    Top players, can fit in any EPL team’s line up

  12. Jeff

    Johan Djourou £0
    Robin Van Persie £2,750,000
    Park Chu-Young £3,000,000
    Gervinho £10,600,000

    I was just going through the transfer history (all the way back to 95/96) and looking at who was brought in, when and for how much and there is definitely a pattern there which I think kind of explains the wage structure.

    In order to build a case I’m going to take as example the following acquisitions. It’s not exhaustive but it’s indicative of what Wenger was trying to do and is still trying to do even to this day:

    Who When How Much
    Djourou 03/04 0
    Van Persie 03/04 2.75m
    Clichy 03/04 250k
    Fabregas 03/04 Free
    Almunia 04/05 2.5m
    Bendtner 05/06 200k
    Mannone 05/06 350k
    Diaby 05/06 2m
    Fabianski 06/07 2m
    Chamakh 10/11 Free
    Squillaci 10/11 4m
    Miyaichi 10/11 Undisclosed
    Park Chu-Young 11/12 3m
    Sol Campbell 01/02 Free
    Henry 99/00 10.5m
    Ljunberg 98/99 3m
    Bergkamp 95/96 7.5m

    As you can see, in the list only Henry and Bergkamp cost over the odds for what Wenger would have considered reasonable at the time. All the rest are relatively small amounts and among them only Van Persie and Fabregas can be said to have cost next to nothing but eventually turned into world class players.

    Those who cost relatively small amounts and ended up on the books, like Djourou, Squillaci and Bendtner for example were awarded big long contracts and big wages without proving themselves first. The philosophy being that if you can buy a player cheaply and award them with lucrative contracts, you have lost nothing because you have not paid much in transfer fees. That will then, it is thought, give the player the impression of being world class and he might actually start acting like one. This is a classic case of a false economy and very risky because if those players turn out to be non-runners, you are locked into that contract and nobody will want to take the player off your hands because of the high wages.

    As it happens, in the last 8 or so years, the majority of those “cheap and astute” buys have in fact turned out to be duds or so injury prone as to render them unusable but the wages have to go on being paid.

    In the early days when we were having lots of success, Wenger was doing the usual cheap buys as well as expensive ones and there were always a set of redeeming players around to save our bacon. We were blessed with many experienced and well rounded players who probably managed themselves for the most part and all Wenger had to do was sit back and take the credit. But that’s fine because I don’t begrudge him that. A lot of joy was had and why should he not get the credit?

    Where it started to go wrong is when those influential and powerful players whose names are indelibly on our memory started to leave. This is going all the way back to Veira which is when the rot started. Then Henry left and it all began slowly to go downhill. As much as Wenger tried to keep the momentum going there was just too many leaving and not enough quality was found to replace them.

    Instead of adapting with the changing times and the climate, Wenger refused to be drawn into the world of buying expensive world class players and decided to go the other way even further by opting for cheap unproven acquisitions. This in turn diluted the team to such an extent that any existing talent began to wonder what they were doing playing in such a team. This led to an increase in the rate of exit of the best players leaving the club without any real firepower.

    The last vestige of hope drained away when Van Persie closed the door. None of the new acquisitions of this season will replace the battle hardened premiere league veterans we used to have. Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud are not bad players but they can’t perform miracles and they certainly cannot replace in one fell swoop what we had in the past. The worst part is that even the more expensive players such as Gervinho is turning out to be less than we hoped he would be.

    In order to return to any kind of success, we have to go back to basics. We must acquire world class players to complement the talent we already have and we must raise our aspirations over and above a mere CL place. At the same time, we have to release all of the non-performers on high wages. If we do all of that, we will proclaim to the world that we are in the running for EPL, CL and any other cup that is going. We have to mean business and say to the world; here are the new players to prove it. Only then will the motivation and desire return to the rest of the team because for any player, nothing beats lifting a trophy and receiving a winners’ medal.

    Who will do it? I don’t know. But certainly Wenger will not change his ways now and so it is unlikely to be him.

  13. dave

    Jeff

    Arshavin, Reyes, Wiltord.

    It’s all irrelevant. Wenger is a spent force. The fans know it, the media know it, even he knows it, but most importantly, the players know it

  14. Thundertinygooner

    Very good blog. I think anyone with a constructive view of the club is pained to see Wenger now. He has lost it and he knows it but won’t let himself admit it. Kevin Keegan wasn’t fit to clean Wenger’s boots as a manager but he had the humility to resign as England manager publicly admitting he wasn’t up to the job.
    The loss of Dein and Fiszman has caused a vacuum in decision- making which Gazidis needs to fill. But Wenger has too much power,more than any manager but Ferguson and he is virtually untouchable.
    This transfer window is his last chance to show he has anything left but even if we get top players in ( and with him in charge that is unlikely) can he motivate and coach them adequately?

  15. Keyser

    Dan T – A great platform ? It’s not about blaming Gazidis, but he is on significant wages and he’s almost been a non-entity, that’s not really his fault, but you can’t make out it’s Wenger that’s hindered him either.

  16. Jeff

    Bergkamp,

    Yes, you’re right he was brought in a year before Wenger’s time but you understand what I’m getting at I hope.

  17. Jeff

    Dave,

    The list doesn’t include everyone. It was just the glaring examples I picked to show that you may save a lot by buying cheap and then using the money to fund the wages in the hope that the player turns good. It hasn’t worked in the majority of cases and we are now stuck with those players.

    The ratio of bad and average players to outstanding ones has been getting bigger and bigger over the years and has now reached tipping point.

    I fully realise Wenger is a spent force because he has locked himself into this paradigm and it will be his undoing. But whoever comes in next has to consider all the options, the most important of which has to be a steady increase in talent. Otherwise we’ll be back to square one again.

  18. Johnty79

    Wenger probably score 8 out of 10 for his first 8 seasons. 4 out of 10 for his last 8 seasons. Overal 12 out of 20. Just above average. I will be glad when he goes but the board r so fucking useless they haven’t got a clue who to pick. They need some one who knows the premiership and will takes a salary of 3 m per season. That leaves only Martinez or laudrup. There is no other choice. Klopp would fail at arsenal but be a success at spurs. At arsenal wenger buys the players and manages them. At spurs Levi buys the players and lets the managers manage them. Overal just fuck off wenger you have wasted 50m a year per year or the last 5 seasons on shit players wages and got exceeding lucky that every other manager is shitter than you.

    The real sad thing is that I believe with spurs,chelseas,man u, citey, squad last season he would have won the title. Wenger getting involved with the finances has fucked with his mind and perceptions on reality.

  19. Maureen

    Evening folks…..much good comment on here today as usual. I asked the question the other night, all be it late, is Cunt losing the dressing room? Will he soon? It must surely be imminent?

    The players must look round and see there is no leadership, what the hell must he say to the players at half time? I think we have all been in work situations when we look at out boss and think ‘you have not got a fuckibg clue, you have lost the plot’.

    Surely that’s the place these guys must be in right now?

    The rot is actually over and we are into dissintegratio

  20. Maureen

    Disintegration phase now.

    A new broom sweeps clean, the problem is we need a broom so fucking big they don’t sell them on Amazon….maybe they do in the Armoury
    with a cheap club crest on!

  21. Joppa Road

    I briefly hinted at this yesterday, but I wonder what the interest would be in a fan club set up like they have done at FC United? I would love a Real Arsenal or FC Arsenal to go and watch. I am sick of the current Arsenal ‘Greed & Lies’ set up. I know a few of my friend like the idea too.

    I wonder if a fans group could set this up. FC United did a pretty good job and the hardcore fans enjoy watching them.

  22. Johnty79

    Wenger has mad mistakes for the last 13 years starting in 1999. Throwing away the treble. In total 1997, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2010,2011 leagues were thrown away. He blow the 2002 & 204 champs leagues buy not rotating his players when we did have a goodish squad.

    Uck off wenger you plank you ruined this club just like graham did in his last season. In our history we have had only one good manager and he died before he could finish what he started.

  23. gambon

    “Wenger has mad mistakes for the last 13 years starting in 1999. Throwing away the treble. In total 1997, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2010,2011 leagues were thrown away”

    Look i hate Wenger as much as anyone but lets not be historical revionists.

    How on earth did he throw anything away in 97?

    99, 03, 08 I agree, and you can add he bottled the CC in 2011, UEFA in 00, and maybe CL in 06.

    But 10 and 11? Come off it, we just werent good enough, not even close.

  24. Lordbergkamp

    Wenger is the football manger incarnation of a Ponzi scheme…..

    In the early years when all is well, you don’t notice, all is well and you think you’re gonna be a billionaire….

    Behind he scenes the foundations aren’t there. It’s an illusion.

    That’s where we are now, the crisis has hit and we have suddenly realised we’ve been had. The money has gone. There’s nothing left.

    I mean, for arsenal now will 2 more players in jan window help? It’s the equivalent of paying out when you know th scheme is crashing round your ears…

    The club needs a new broom. A top to bottom clear out. Wenger isn’t ruthless enough. Mourinho is. Ferguson is. Wenger isn’t. He’s a kind of bumbling uncle now who eveybody chuckles indulgently at, but doesn’t take seriously.

    He’s a joke. Our squad is a joke. Our wage bill is a bad joke. FFP is a joke.

    We are 5 years from being able to win the PL. We’ve gone backwards.

    Time to go Wenger. You don’t have it in you to fix this. Leave before the embarrassment is complete.

  25. TOLI83

    Bade I saw Napoli game, class act. We were linked with Inler ages ago I think he was at Udinese for a fee of 8 million. Just the player we’ve needed for as long as I can remember (since Gilberto/ Vieira left)…

  26. Lordbergkamp

    Kwik – there is a plan… If Wenger goes to PSG we could sell the entire squad to them for a billion quid, sign ronaldo, messi and falcao and job done…

    Please let it be true and he is leaving…he can take fucking diaby with him…

  27. bazza

    “Can we trust Ivan to make a world class decision with a new hire? That for me is the biggest question.”

    I agree this is the crux.

    Can Ivan come up with a solution or is he part of the problem?

  28. real g

    Pathetic article!! Why cant you and others like you SUPPORT the team and the manager for?? try booing the opposition yeah?? why do you want arsenal to turn into a soulless club like chelski or citeh who have no class? sure they win things but should they be congratulated? noway! they have acheived fuk all!! oh wow you spent billions on the best players and won a league cup…my heros!! yeah right!! teams like that are cheating! plain and simple! without the monies who the hell are chelsea? or man city? seriously? they were nothing and still are nothing! when their sugardaddies get bored, where will those clubs be? i will tell u! in the 3rd division, just like rangers!! lots of debt, bankrupt, no star players (at least rangers had some loyal players who wanna stay at rangers!) you think balotteli and hazard would stay at citeh or chelski if they got relegated? lol!
    ….and then you say…if arsenal finish in the top 4 with a cup thats not good enough? are u mad?? rememeber you lot all hate arsene and the players BECAUSE they havent won anything..yet u say u will still hate them even if they win? wtf is wrong with u? tells me you just want wenger out no matter what! what happened? did u get bullied by a frenchman when u were a child or sumthing?? why so much hate for wenger!?! and to those who say ‘we want our arsenal back’…u mean the wenger arsenal what won things? u do realise that was wengers team!!! or before that? 1 nil to the arsenal playing horrible football? u want that back do ya? or do u mean the 30 year trophy drought? that was fun werent it!?!? so what arsenal do u want back? :S and if u want silent stan out and gaszides out and wenger out…who will replace them? u want a knobhead like bruce buck instead? uzmanov some uzbeci gangster/scumbag/not a very nice person to put billions in so we can do what chelsea and citeh do? £50m for torres right? and then win a league cup..will u be happy then? u want rafa the factman as your manager? the grass is not always greener!! be careful what u wish for!!! or you know, do the real fans of arsenal football club a favour and all fuk off yeah! go support chelsea if u want a club like chelsea…do not ever disgrace the name of arsenal and want what chelsea are for my arsenal!! never ever do i want arsenal to turn into anything like those scumbags!!! arsenal fans used to be class but half of you are scum! dont even know how to support a team!! MUGS!!!

  29. Arsenal1886-2006

    Keyser December 2, 2012 20:40:57
    dave or do you prefer Rodney mate ? 3lb ? are you new here ?!

    Nice one.
    ————————————————————————–

    Cloggs.
    “I think we should start with cutting out the dead wood, ooh hang on….”

    Wicked and brilliant all in one..

    ————————————————————————–

    Keyser.
    On the Matt Scott piece about Theo pleading for coaching I had heard this before, about 3-4 years ago if my memory serves me right.

  30. WengersSweeties

    real g,

    Your post is so wrong I don’t know where to start…. maybe by pointing out you spell ‘something’ like that and not like ‘Sumthing’

    Idiot.

    Oh and when talking about Chelsea, I don’t agree entirely about their polices, but they will always be remembered as European Champions regardless.

  31. Gunner2301

    Pedro wicked post, very apt and eloquently delivered.

    Jeff

    I understand where you’re going with your theory, but a lot of those on the list weren’t bought as first teamers they were either sqaud players or academy so they shouldn’t cost that much and I’d expect that pattern of spending on players of that type. Someone mentioned the Wiltords, Reyes, AOC, Theo, Henry was a risk for what we paid.

    What may upset your theory is that even when the players didn’t come good Wenger continued to increase their salaries when he didn’t need to Djourou is a case in point who took an option to extend his contract recently WHY? Rosicky we should have been actively looking to get rid of in the Summer to lower the wage bill, but he got a new contract. Ramsey got an increase when he returned from his leg break having proven nothing, That wasn;t really necessary its not like we were under pressure to give him an increase nobody was after him and he looked average anyway.

    So I know where you’re coming from but there are anomolies with the theory.

  32. Arsenal1886-2006

    real g December 2, 2012 22:35:20

    ” why do you want arsenal to turn into a soulless club like chelski or citeh who have no class? sure they win things but should they be congratulated? noway! they have acheived fuk all!!”

    I take it you mean Chelsea the European champions and Man City the PL winners.
    ——————————————————————————–

    “teams like that are cheating! plain and simple!”

    No, they have owners who “Invest” in their business and Managers who are driven by succeeding.

    —————————————————————————–

    ‘when their sugardaddies get bored, where will those clubs be? i will tell u! in the 3rd division, just like rangers!! lots of debt, bankrupt, no star players (at least rangers had some loyal players who wanna stay at rangers!) you think balotteli and hazard would stay at citeh or chelski if they got relegated? lol!”

    Chelsea are debt free and are finally starting to post profits, they have done this with a pro-active owner and board.

    City have just started with their project and time will tell if they can succeed, and with Mourinho mooted to be the next manager I think they could well be a yes.

    Rangers players have stayed “loyal” by receiving illegal back door payments which are being investigated by the Scottish FA.

    —————————————————————————–

    “and to those who say ‘we want our arsenal back’…u mean the wenger arsenal what won things? u do realise that was wengers team!!! or before that? 1 nil to the arsenal playing horrible football? u want that back do ya? or do u mean the 30 year trophy drought? that was fun werent it!?!?”

    Yes the Wenger Arsenal with GG’s defence and BR’s Bergkamp.

    You mean the football where the team played as a unit and defended with their lives and fought for the shirt?

    And when was this 30 year trophy drought?

    ——————————————————————————

  33. Arsene's Nurse

    real g – I’ve told you that it’s bedtime! You’ve got school tomorrow. I shall also be having a word with your English teacher.

  34. Gunner2301

    real g

    You’ve obviously been living in a broom cupboard the last 3 years at least if you can’t see what’s wrong with the Club and how we arrived in the position we are in today. Do the walls virtually have to crumble around your ears for you to get it? Enjoy supporting PSG next season. 😆

  35. Limpar's Wand

    I confess this 140m wage bill thing is a mystery to me!

    It forms the basis for the OP’s argument – that, because we spend 140m a year on wages, we can legitimately expect a far better result than what we are currently seeing. This is a point I’d certainly agree with. If the 140m thing is true, that is.

    The problem however is that it’s probably mischievous to the extreme to point to this figure, and compare us to other clubs on that basis. The source for this is ofcourse the annual accounts we publish, which shows 143.4m in ‘wage (or staff) costs’. As the OP points out when he does his calculation, this also included other staff and not only players. It does indeed, close to 500 full time staff and 800 something temporary staff like stewards. 16m of it is social security costs, so 123.3 is listed as ‘wages and salaries’. And that is a block figure, without further analysis or itemisation. Furthermore it probably includes one off payments, specifically signing bonuses and performance bonuses.

    Finally, crucially, the way we calculate this figure for the accounts may be completely different to the way other clubs do it, as there is no uniformity in accounting practices across premier league clubs. So comparing us to man utd, for example, with this infamous “11 percent”, is also mischievous.

    I would really love to find out the real figures for what we pay our players, and how that compares to other clubs. So would all of us I imagine! But it’s worth remembering that the figures you hear quoted aren’t especially reliable or accurate.

    I hear alot about this idea we pay average players too much. We have a rigid idealistic system which rewards failure and fails to differentiate properly. Other posters and journalists go further and try to explain why this is the case. But I’m struggling to see what factual basis they are using, aside from that one off figure in the accounts and rumour about the likes of djourou or bendtner or theo which, while interesting, we probably shouldn’t trust in the slightest.

    What I am saying I guess is that the best argument really for saying our failures are down to the manager, and that he should be sacked, is this wage bill thing. In transfers it’s clear we are nowhere near our rivals, even clubs below us. so on that level the manager is doing a fine job objectively with the resources at his disposal. If we are to be fair judges, we really ought to know the precise figures before we draw concrete conclusions. Personally I have a suspicion that we don’t pay our players anywhere near as much as Man Utd, but again that’s just a suspicion and it’s not based on anything concrete. I base it on the fact that we spend so little on transfers, indeed we make a profit, and we have difficulty in negotiating contracts for potential targets and existing players. Only the board knows the exact figures, and so the truth about it all.

    I welcome all opinions about the arsenal. But (I hope) I am capable of distinguishing between opinion which is informed and grounded in fact, and opinion which is not, which is simply opinion. That here is the key. If we are going to make a decision with such huge ramifications for the club, a decision to sack arsene wenger, should we not really know the precise details before we make our decision? Do we really pay only marginally less than a club like Man Utd, who allegedly pay rvp double what we offered? Is this thing about Wenger’s wage structure really hampering us? Or is that we simply spend nowhere near as much as our rivals? I guess you can point to the scum, and how they pay less and have been performing on a par with us for a few seasons, and that’s a fair point. But if the manager has been consistently delivering top 4 positions and it turns out that the real figures prove we are even tighter than we first thought, which is what I suspect, wouldn’t that conversely show wenger to be quite a remarkably good manager after all?

  36. SUGA3

    Limpar’s Wand,

    we have just been dicked by Swansea and it has NOTHING to do with money spent…

    given that I can’t be bothered to go over the very same argument I have been participating in for the past few years on here, I rest my case…

  37. James

    Agree with it in pieces, but the headline doesn’t sit well, nor does the disrespect shown. What’s the ‘AKB Guide’ all about? Have a word. Some people want Arsene to leave, others don’t. Why try to create a division? It’s about opinions. I personally want him to stay, I think he still has a lot to offer and when ffp kicks in and the new deals in 2014, we’ll be much better placed. Wenger deserves to be around for that. Also don’t agree Mourinho took coaching to a new level. I respect his achievements but the guy is the ultimate chequebook manager. Anyway, looking forward to supporting the boys on Tuesday. Things are tough but let’s stick together. In Arsene I trust. Still.

  38. Jeff

    Gunner,

    I take your point about Djourou and Rosicsky and I am fully aware of the fact that Wenger has been persisting with players that have shown little or no promise. However, in his mind anyway, if he got rid of those squad players he would have had to go out and buy replacements. Quite a lot of his most recent acquisitions (particularly in the last 3 or 4 years) haven’t lived up to their expected potential and I think this has made him even more cautious than in previous years.

    As a result, he’s been proceeding on the basis of “better the devil you know” and a degree of laziness has also set in. Buying a new player involves considerably more effort and risk than extending the contract of an existing one. He is also a great believer in the power of developing players to their full potential and probably sees extending a contract and awarding a pay rise as a means to expedite that process. The problem there of course is that with most players, if the talent isn’t innate, you can spend as long as you like trying to develop them and it just won’t happen. The player reaches a point where they cannot improve any more.

    Added to that of course, for whatever reason, we have been cursed with many injuries to essential players over the years which have also taken their toll. What we need now is for some quick thinking and a dose of reality. A cull is required to rid the club of wage sapping personnel who are either not up to it or continually injured and then that money becomes available to sign some world class players. I know it sounds cruel but this is football. The balance has to be redressed.

    Club intention and aspiration is very important to players who are already at the club as well as any potential ones that we might want to buy. If we keep going on about fourth place, all we can hope to attract are wage hunters as opposed to trophy and medal seekers.

    I am mindful though that it is too late for Wenger to turn it around because it would mean undoing a lot of the things for which he and he alone is responsible. Only a new manager can rectify those mistakes and take us forward. Needless to say, we are in a hole and it will take time to get us out – after all we didn’t get here overnight did we?

  39. marcus

    Jeff

    Why not? Someone must tell it as it is. They are not kids. They should be able to hear the truth. They did let down the club… if it was me in charge, I would rip them all a new one and tell them they are all on the transfer market in january/summer if they do not get their act together.

  40. marcus

    Jeff

    Sorry… my dyslexia tricked me.. I know see that you wrote “Wouldn’t it be nice”… Thought you wrote “Would not be nice”…

    Never mind then =)

  41. elvido

    Players we have lost in the last 4 years: Hleb, Flamini, Diarra, Gilberto, Toure, Adebayor, Gallas, Eduardo, Clichy, Nasri, Cesc, Song and Van Persie.

    That’s a starting line up!
    Flamini, Toure, Gallas Clichy
    Gilberto Song
    Nasri, Cesc, Hleb
    Van Persie

  42. darren

    There are some very harsh comments on here. The fans also have to take some of the resposibility for this. The constant booing and jeering does nothing for the team no matter how much we spend. Look at Chelsea, a 50m striker did wonders for them didn’t it! The club needs to be strong, through thick which we have had and the thin which we are currently going through. Stay Wenger and just adapt to the changes. They have the money for 4 or 5 top players and there is dead wood that must go. Other than that there is no crisis at arsenal.

  43. SDE

    Limpars Wand

    After all is said & done..

    How do you square the entirety of your post, with the fact that we don’t make a profit..

    It is in fact player sales trading,that manages to bring us into profit..

    Is that an indication of a truly well run operation?

    Furthermore,how do you square that with our capitulation in the 2011 CC Final,against a relegated team..

    How do you square your post,with OGL telling us every season,he will buy quality since 2008..

    Only to rock up,with the likes of Silvestre,Squillaci,Ramsey,et al & aggressively recruiting through the ranks…

    Coupled with selling our best players every season,albeit to our rivals.

    Thus enhancing their title ambitions& simultaneously thwarting ours,before a ball has been kicked in anger..

    How do you square that with OGL,having no Plan B to counter the opposition,when a game needs changing, to unlock the opposition’s defense,or when we need to lock-up shop?

    How do you square your post,with the yearly dumbing down of expectations.?

    By first declaring I will sign up for 2nd place for the next 20 years..
    Then having failed to deliver that target,state that 4th place is a trophy?

    How do you square that with a manager that was the highest paid in England & is now roughly the 4th highest paid in Europe,who amongst his peers,has not delivered a single trophy in 8 years?

    How do you square your post,with the fact that the current set of players,are no longer motivated to play for him & are wondering without aim & purpose in games gone by?

    They look for leadership?
    Where is that highly paid leader,the commander-in-chief to provide that direction & motivation?

    I’m afraid the wage bill,might be a somewhat questionable point for you..

    But any rational fan,with a modicum of common sense, can take our performances,pronouncements & actions in the transfer market over years gone by,as a stated minimum condition,that the club are no longer ambitious.

    & the protagonists running the lunatic asylum,are detached from the modern realities of competing at the top level of football on the pitch..

    Rather they are more concerned with squirreling/siphoning as much money as they can,until the deck of cards,or the house that Jack built collapses..

    I’m afraid in the grand scheme of things,your argument holds no water,against the backdrop of all the machinations that have occurred over the past 8 years..

    Here my friend is where the problem lies within the Arsenal fan base..

    On one side of the spectrum,the irrational fans who are encapsulated by the words of the club & their cult hero OGL,that they are willing to only look inwardly & with rose-tinted glasses at the status quo..

    Questioning & casting doubt on issues (raised by opposing fans)that point to rank incompetence & dereliction of duty by the board..
    That even a blind man riding on a horse in thick fog,can even fathom..

    & on the other side,the rational fans,able to make well informed judgements & look at bigger picture from afar.

    I suggest you factor into your line of thinking,other attendant issues that have been prevalent for so long..
    Then maybe,your incessant doubts/suspicions,might start to become more well informed,rational arguments/opinions & facts..

    Have a good morning sir..

  44. Yippee Kai Yay

    There are many problems currently, But Wenger captured the overall theme himself when he said ‘you cannot sell your best players and be considered a big club’. just before selling cesc and samir. (verbatim quote from the man himself for any deniers: http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/transfer-news/Arsenal-no-longer-claim-to-be-big-club-if-sell-Cesc-Fabregas-and-Samir-Nasri-admits-Arsene-Wenger-article764500.html )

    This in itself is fine, but when the club are asking for more money from their fans to subsidise an overpaid and yet under-performing team (from top to bottom) they are in effect asking for ‘big club money’ from a ‘middle tier club’.

    No-one has a problem with paying Ferrari money to drive a Ferrari, but to pay Ferrari money to drive a ford focus?
    That’s more than galling, That’s taking the piss.

    And that is where the club finds itself today.

  45. Doublegooner

    McLintock speaking for all sensible fans on Talksport 10 mins ago.

    A few weeks ago I actually quoted on Untold what Frank had been saying & a girl on the there said, ‘he didnt know what he was talking about’ !!!

  46. useroz

    Lets do one thing at a time.

    Evidently Wenger is no longer good enough for AFC.

    We cannot accept “…judge me in May” attitude. That’s not how most if not all (except AFC) PL clubs function. Managers would be the first to go upon persistent ‘failure’, whatever that might be.

    The problem is AFC – with its Emirates project we’re supposed to be right up there however you look at it – considers Wenger god like and overlooks/ tolerates his many apparent mistakes.

    And worse of all, Wenger re-calibrates what success looks like that is absurd to most top tier execs of top football clubs.

  47. Scott

    @DoubleGooner a girl haha probably about 18 as well. Sums up our deluded fan base.
    Sorry any sensible older female goners.

  48. mano'gunner

    “Arsene Wenger finally admits this might be his last year”
    Sensationalism anyone? Nowhere in the article do you quote him saying anythng like that and the closest you get to talking about it is when you say “I think…”

  49. D

    People on here calling wenger a cunt? After what he’s done for arsenal all people here want to do is kick him when he’s down, as an arsenal supporter it makes me sick to read these vile comments. I really hope that the extreme opinions on here are a vocal minority. Whether he leaves at the end of the season or at the end of his contract, Wenger is an arsenal legend, up there with tony adams and bergkamp. Is he a cunt? A wanker? No. You are.

  50. goonerboy

    When Gazidis says the club has money available for transfers- it could mean anything from 5 to 10m- big deal!

    Yanks are the worst people possible to be in charge of a club like Arsenal. Yanks don’t get history, they don’t get football- they don’t get community they don’t really get supporters motivation- they get money/ profit and fuck all else.

    It is the sustainability policy of the Board which is directly responsible for the club opting out of the market for top players. The market has only ever been used to sell our best players not buy them. Gazidis is one of the chief proponents of this idiotic policy which has to be seriously softened or removed before this club goes down the toilet. As the architect of a failed policy- Gazidis must go.

    Wenger is one of the only top managers who is unrealistic enough to think he could succeed working under such a ridiculous constraint as having to sell a major player each year. That is why if he goes and the current Board is retained what we will see is another manager working under the same impossible constraints. Whats more they might do better initially- but we will never win anything until we can start competing for the top talent out there.

    I think Wenger will walk- because he has lost it- in every area- tired tactics- poor judgement- unable to motivate the team – his lame excuses are just embarrassing. He knows a lot, talks a good game but delivers a team in decline that is simply not working.

  51. p

    “mourinho changed the game” YES by having untold amount of money as has manchini.

    Wenger has to sell his players and replace with inferior because of the board.

    The writer of this article should be well aware that without wenger we would be worse off, wilshere is a product of wengers vision , the whole youth system is. We haven’t got the funds to spend on qulaity players.

    I support the potests before and after the game, the board has to give answers rather than being silent stan, i van has to go,

  52. Limpar's Wand

    SDE

    I wonder if you actually read what I wrote! I didn’t make any comment about anything like that. All I said was that the 140m wage bill thing which the OP used as a basis for his criticism of the manager MIGHT not be as it seems. That’s it.

    Where you get all this drivel from I have no idea. Pretty much everything you write is your opinion. I respect your opinion, but don’t accuse ME of being irrational and failing to have a factual basis when that is precisely what your post does!

    If you can address my argument and analyse why you disagree with me, fine, please do. I wasn’t insulting in any way and was trying to be constructive.

    I really do wonder about people sometimes. Fair enough, you’re not that hot on thinking. But surely you can read, no?

  53. alexanderhenry

    With or without wenger, there is no way anything will change at arsenal until the board spend some money. It’s as simple as that

  54. All-Weather-Fan

    @LordBergkamp

    “Wenger is the football manger incarnation of a Ponzi scheme…In the early years when all is well, you don’t notice, all is well and you think you’re gonna be a billionaire…Behind he scenes the foundations aren’t there. It’s an illusion.”

    That’s possibly the most ludicrous statement I have ever seen a so called Arsenal fan make. Yes, i’m sure the man who led a team to a whole league season unbeaten doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing. He fooled us all, just like he fooled the people at the IFFHS who awarded him World Coach of the Decade. All I can say is, he must be QUITE the illusionist!!

    Arsene has done absolutely amazing things for Arsenal… “fans” like you don’t deserve him.