Gut feel management is dead, that’s why we’re suffering | More thoughts on Swansea

by & filed under News Review.

Morning Grovers, let’s crack straight in to today’s post, no light hearted quips about the weather.

A few points raised about the game at the weekend.

We’re heading into a new era of football. There are a number of reasons Wenger can’t cope at the moment, the biggest issue I fear is his age. That, combined with  his reluctance to embrace the future and the realities of football in 2012.

When he took over at Arsenal, he was the man who raised the bar in the Premier League. He understood the importance of fitness and technical ability. He changed the regime at Arsenal, he stopped alcoholics drinking, he gave the best players more money and he supplemented winners with more winners. The result? A strong team of experienced leaders that had the magical flair of a continental side.

What was Ferguson’s response? Change. He brought in Carlos Queiroz. What happened to Arsenal over the next few years? Nothing. Ferguson dominated. Arsene had two more great league wins after 1998, still with the core of experienced heads. Every time, they were marked with a change by Alex Ferguson. Every time Arsenal won the Premiership, there was a response. An acceptance change had to occur, be that backroom staff or players.

Now we’re in the post Mourinho era. There are no experienced winners in the side. The legacy of any winning team has disappeared because Wenger sold them all off. He didn’t keep anything in the changing room for a rainy day. He hasn’t changed his backroom team. There’s very little know how in the side we have at the moment. When I say ‘know how’, I mean people who have been here through the good times and the bad. People who lead in the dressing room. People who manage themselves.

So are the players the only reason we’re struggling? No. The other reason we’re not what we used to be and the other less spoken about reason the Premier League seems to be of a lower standard is because of the teams below. Back when Arsene rocked onto the scene, lower league teams couldn’t match the big teams for fitness. You would turn out against players who’d been on the p*ss the night before. If you didn’t destroy them with quality, you’d certainly destroy them with fitness.

There’s a new type of manager coming through. Managers like Michael Laudrup, Paul Lambert, Chris Hughton, Brendan Rodgers who all understand the game. They all understand the benefits of technology and they all run incredibly tight ships at their clubs. Rodgers and Lambert are at new clubs, but make no mistake about it, they both have great reputations in the game and Rodgers especially will get it right at Liverpool. That was his team we played at the weekend. They passed better than us, they fought harder than us and they thought harder than us.

All those teams are now as fit as Arsenal. There’s no advantage on that front. So there is where the problem lies. We don’t always have the quality to take out these sides, because the people managing them can make up for the  lack of quality with a tactical master plan. Arsenal were out smarted by a team with a £17million wage bill this weekend. The same happened at Villa and the same happened at Norwich. Teams know how to screw us. Man mark our three person midfield and force Mertesacker to do the passing. Then press our full backs, look what happened to Jenkinson. It kills out width and it kills out movement in the centre of the park. Is Arsene working on a plan to stop this killing our flow? Very doubtful. Is he asking his backroom team to address the issue? Again, doubtful.

I keept a close eye on the Presidential election. Social media marketing is my thing. Now, one of the biggest focuses for my area of business over the next year is big data. Every tweet you send, every status update you make, every comment you contribute to a blog could be insight around a brand or a passion point and it could be harvested into an insight. The brands who use that data most effectively over the next few years are going to give themselves a huge advantage over everyone else. In the months building up to the last election, President Obama recognised the need to collect all this data and make sense of it. He created a super database that mashed up online and offline data to help them accurately model where he needed to apportion budget. He won the election at a canter. The long and short of this is gut feeling is dead in marketing. Not totally, but we’re moving to a new age where creativity and decisions will all be underpinned by hard data.

Football is moving this way. Young managers get this. The days of having a feeling about how tired a player have been replaced by scientific certainty. Every single statistic about a team is logged, analysed and turned into something that can be used as an insight. But is it at Arsenal? I don’t believe so. We’re still living off the days of gut feel. Well, here’s a bit of gut feel for you. How many games has a 32 year old Arteta played so far this season? Nearly all of them to the tune of 90 minutes. How long is he going to last until he has a breakdown? Even if he stays fit, what about his mental fatigue? Wenger is still working off gut feel and that’s why he’s being outsmarted so reguarly.

Who at the club is going to challenge him on this? He’s a dictator. The club know this, which is why they should be using this down period to assess what’s going on. The players know how we operate isn’t right because they have friends who they talk to. That’s why all our stars leave. We don’t refresh our backroom staff. If Wenger had it his way, I’ve no doubt Pat Rice would have been tied down to a forever contract like Diaby. Wenger doesn’t want to be challenged, you can see that by his comments about his 1,600 games. Sure, you used to know the way to win, but things never stand still. Technology moves on, training regimes improve and the game evolves. Ferguson delegates tasks at United, he knows he doesn’t have all the answers so he trusts his experts. That’s why he’s survived. Arsene Wenger doesn’t delegate, he’s still manning the whistle at training.

Another example of something I’m sure we don’t do. AVB was the away scout at Chelsea under Mourinho, that would involve him going out to all of the teams they were about to play, analysing how they play and feeding this information back into the manager. He’d then help put a DVD together which would be given to the players. Who is our away day man? I’m pretty sure it’s Stuart Houston. Yeah, the caretaker manager from the George Graham days. No offense to the man, but what is he going to know about the modern game? What insight is he going to bring to the table? How many Stuart Houston DVD’s have been given to the players this season?

Then there’s the scouting network. What the hell has happened there over the past few years? Is it the case that once again we’ve been caught up? No. It’s the case that we’ve been beaten again. Look at the players we’ve brought in over the past few seasons. Hardly any of them are true rough diamond gems. Why are we missing out on so many good unknown players these days? Why are other teams with less resource doing to much better on that front. What did Michu cost Swansea? Why weren’t we in for Rangel this summer for £3million. He looked like a very  Arsenal like player. What about Cabaye, Tiote, Ba and Cisse?  Or the players at Everton like Mirallas, Oviedo and Fellaini. We’re being out played at our own game… and rough diamonds is most certainly our MO.

I’m not saying we should be landing them all, but we’re missing out on a serious amount of good players who would vastly improve our offering for a very low price. The problem with this type of management is that even if we do climb into third, we’re not addressing the issues at the club. Each year that passes contributes another £20million to the ‘what we’d have to spend to get back to the top’ pot. Theo leaving will be a hammer blow to our squad, not because he’s the greatest player on the planet, no, it’s because he’s one of the few players we have who can take the ball round players. We’re static and pedestrian at the moment. We don’t have the flair we should have in the squad.

This is why I’d opt for the young manager option. My first choice would be Guardiola, my second would be Jurgen Kloop. Pep would relish the job at Arsenal. Why people say he wouldn’t is a total mystery to me. He’d be on £7.5m a year. That doesn’t really matter though, Pep isn’t about money, he’s about the project.

Let’s look at what makes Arsenal appealing

  • Money: Some of the biggest deals in football are about to drop, plus he has £70m banked
  • Training facilities: We have some of the best in the world. Don’t doubt the pulling power of this factor
  • Stadium: Incredible stadium
  • Legacy: Arsenal are a big club. The 4th biggest in the world. We have a deep and rich history
  • Baseline: Take over from Ferguson and you’re taking over from a ‘now’ winner. Perhaps the greatest. Who’d go to Chelsea? City might be interesting but you’re on a time limit. At Arsenal you’re starting from a pretty low baseline. The only way is up. Nothing modern is being trialled.
  • Control: We have a history of giving autonomy to our managers. This is another huge pulling factor
  • Time: We’re about the long term with our managers. You know there won’t be any knee jerk reactions. He’ll be given time to impose himself on the brand.

All those above factors will ensure we get a manager of excellent pedigree. But you know what, I wouldn’t mind us picking up a manager who just had an excellent vision and a CV which showed they could do it, even at a small club.

This is the thing, do you want to sit and watch 5 more years of what we’ve been served up over the last 8? Or would you prefer to watch someone who had a passion for trying something new? I know what I want to see at the club. It’s a new project, it’s a new vision and that’s only going to happen with a young manager…

Let me know your thoughts in the comments…

527 Responses to “Gut feel management is dead, that’s why we’re suffering | More thoughts on Swansea”

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  1. Scott

    I agree Joppa I wouldn’t go on the march for the same reasons. I do blame Wenger and yes I do want him to go.
    I respect him for what he has done for the club but he has wrecked all thus by being a stupid stubborn fool.
    8 years and £7.5m a year it’s ridiculous and we could easily buy Cavani or Falcao and their wages if we stopped giving shit like DJourou and shitmack £50k and £80k per week.
    What about that crap Park we bought. How on earth people can still defend Wenger is beyond me.

  2. mystic

    And your point is?

    That RvP 1oo% DEFINITELY couldn’t have achieve anything at a club with incoming players that had over 150 international caps for very significant nations? RvP had a contract with 12 months to run, the club cashed in on the fact that he wanted to break it.

    The fact they are fucking twats at the top, doesn’t alter how a player should behave. As Arsenal supporter why the fuck do I care if former players score goals for other teams, when hanging around they might have done so for the gunners?

  3. Scott

    “We can’t compete with the oil rich man city and Chelsea” oh yes we can. All this FFP bollocks we had 18 first team players out on loan last season. How’s that economic. Any other business the manager would be fired for something like that.
    Arshavin, Denilson, Squid, DJourou ,Shitmack, Park, Almunia, Bendtner, Vela to name a few of the hit he signed and perceived with for far too long. What a waste of money and resources and yet he’s got a degree in economics.

  4. Keyser

    Scott – Fair play to you, as soon as a March that closer suits your demands becomes available I’m sure you’ll be booked right on it.

    So that’s two for the Joppa conarmy.

  5. mystic

    Ric December 3, 2012 12:09:22
    ‘You on the other hand I remember would torch Gunnersauros as long as you had a friend nearby to call him traitor.’

    Not me mate, though perhaps that’s why we seldom see SS at games, he is hiding in a dragon suit!

    guns of hackney
    mate I admire your persistence in defending Wenger, just don’t know how you can sleep at night knowing you have done so.

  6. Joppa Road

    Nice to see a St George at the protest as well. You that’s our national flag and yet it’s not allowed to be flown / shown at the Emirates. Our own national flag banned – I still cannot get my head around it. Can you imagine any other country in the world banning it’s own national flag. I wonder what the law is on this. Imagine that happening in America for example – no chance.

  7. mystic

    Arse&Nose© December 3, 2012 12:30:13
    So fellow Arsenal Members, what did you make of the “Managers email” in your
    inbox today?’

    Twats obviously don’t like me as my inbox is clean. (actually the fact it is clean, maybe means they do like me!)

  8. Hunter

    Your Comment HereI must say pedro,that was a very honest and to the point post today,well done mate only thing i would say is that I don’t think its anything to do with his age at all,afterall Alex fergusson seems to cope ok.I think its more to do with wengers complete arrogance and stubborness and his non willigness to take advice or help from anyone other than his own ego.Yes times have moved on and younger men have some great ideas but lets be honest the basics are definately still there in his mind.he isnt a bad coach but he has turned out to be a man that has lost connection with the team and is unable to motivate them at all.I am glad that Steve bollocked them all,its about time someone did,wenger has been very very weak in this regard,they are not school kids but hardened proffessionals now,however the trouble is they are mostly mediocre players,we dont have a world class player on our books IMO,ok some might say wilshere(hasn’t convinced me yet)some might say Carzorla(to be judged at end of season) but they would be wrong to suggest that they are our saviours.I have never seen anAFC team so weak in midfield or completely lost Upfront.The defence can be worked on and we do have options but midfield and forwards are a major problem.Our three best players in midfield are to similar,both in size,stature and ability,there is noone who can bully the opposition and upfront,well its an embarassment,wallnut(useless)Gerviniho(pathetic)Podolski(lethargic) and Giroud(hopeful) none of which could even get into the spuds side and certailny at best should only be bench players for the Arsenal,NOT first choice.Today Wenger says that a solution to all our problems must be found internally before he makes any january purchases,just what the hell can he do with the selection of players he has to choose from?Its most likely that all the games before january are possible nightmares for us and to be honest i cant see us winning any of them.Confidence is so low and injuries are on the horizon too you can bet your bottom dollar on that!I truly fear for us ,teams no longer fear us and in fact look forward to playing against us now,you just know even if we go 2-0 up we are always likely to concede 3 or more.WENGER OUT!!

  9. Keyser

    Joppa – Yeah, you sit around calling Arsenal fans cunts, yet can’t be arsed to get up off your arse to do something about it, it’s fucking funny, National flag ? You could get a special suit made up of it and walk in.

    What about that ? As you hand out leaflets with your own personal demands.

  10. mystic

    Yep Arsene is really trying to win the CL group, squad includes:
    Zak Ansah
    Elton Monteiro
    Jernade Meade
    Sead Hajrovic
    Chuba Akpom
    Martin Angha

    No offence to any of them as I don’t watch the Reserves (assuming they play in the Reserves and not the youth side?) football and have no idea how good/bad they are.

  11. Keyser

    Actually don’t read that, if you haven’t understand that by now, you’d have to be a proper dopey cunt.

    Sometimes I hope ACLF or Untold have sent in these ironic mental midgets posters as imposters.

  12. Ollie

    David Moyes, every day of the week for me. He’s done wonders at Everton, he makes good signings with little money, he organises teams so well and they work hard for him.
    Plus he’d jump at the chance to manage a top four club, we’d also have to pay very little compensation as he’s not yet signed a new contract.
    He’d be my choice if Wenger was going.

  13. gambon

    Zak Ansah – Wont make it, good player though
    Elton Monteiro – No chance
    Jernade Meade – No chance
    Sead Hajrovic – No chance
    Chuba Akpom – Definite potential, big 3 years for him
    Martin Angha – Nope, will follow the Bartley route

  14. Keyser

    mystic – Did you read the ‘Bould lets rip’ article.

    “It is also understood Arsenal players were given the chance to air views in front of their team-mates.

    Certain players are believed to have complained that the club’s busy fixture list has left them leg weary in recent weeks.”

    “The players who complained of tiredness are likely to get a rest in Europe this week.

    Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Lukas Podolski will not fly to Greece on Monday afternoon for the Champions League tie against Olympiacos and Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta could also be rested.”

    Could be bullshit, knowing that we’d probably rest players anyway having already qualified.

  15. Keyser

    Maybe I’m not giving you enough credit Joppa, maybe you realise how silly your posts are, and you’re just on a bit of a wind-up, that’d be even funnier, you’d have really got me then.

  16. bergkamp63

    Wenger has been making the same mistake for the last few years in the CL,

    We keep resting players before the job is completed, we finish 2nd in the group, draw Barcelona or another top team and go out !!

    Groundhog day !!

  17. Keyser

    gambon – I’m not sure Bartley was ever on a route into the first team, I think Angha will at least be given a chance, he looks pretty athletic and versatile in comparison.

  18. Ric

    bergkamp63December 3, 2012 12:17:45
    gambonDecember 3, 2012 12:19:33

    Okay I don’t remember every word that was said back then anyways, but we are of the same oppinion now at least and thats what matters most.

    Neither do I remember any of you two guys calling me a traitior or a spud, so I guess you’re still alright in that department as well.

    Even if Gambon’s a racist:-)

  19. Keyser

    Joppa – Haha, muppet, only if you meet my demands, get off your arse and get me a Cheese and Onion pasty, march there mate.

    Also ask gamby what he wants to. Meet his demands, don’t suck his cock though, that’ll be him joking.

  20. Joppa Road

    Main points I have made on LeGrove over last few years Keyser.

    1. Wenger should be questioned.
    2. The dumbing down at Arsenal is not acceptable.
    3. Board have no respect for the fans.
    4. Selling of star players year after year – how is this sustainable?
    5. Re-branding of the badge – disgrace.
    6. No national flags allowed in the stadium – lawful?
    7. Investment in the likes of Parker, Baines, Defoe, Young, Given. English core if possible.
    8. Questions on the continuous dross we buy.
    9. Progressive change – Usmanov IN. Current set up out.

    Keyser. what specifically do you disagree with in the above so much?

  21. Cloggs

    My point? As an Arsenal supporter it fucking hurts to see our top players leaving to clubs that show and have the same ambition as they have while we go on year after year swallowing the spin and drivel of the Elsacer frog and his merry band of sycophants, paying thru our noses to watch the same shit all over again. Our ambition? Qualifying for CL and cash the money.
    They left because they knew it isn’t just going to happen with Willie Wonga and his chocolate factory. Those cunts hurling abused towards RvP are deluded wankers who refuse to see the bigger picture or are too lame to show some menztal strengwth and point their frustration towards the bloke responsible, The Elsacer Frog.
    My two cents.

  22. Cesc Appeal

    Santi Cazorla and Luka Podolski apparently complain about Wenger’s training method.

    Having played for other UCL clubs the pair are said to be shocked at how rigorous the training still is even in the midst of a busy schedule.

    I’ve heard that for a long time, the Arsenal training is just too hard for some players and that’s why we have so many knee, ankle, calf injuries. The sheer amount of running they do.

    A few have raised this issue on here as well over the years.

    Might explain how our players always break.

    RVP had his own training last year didn’t here? Or at least broke away at points to work by himself?

  23. bergkamp63

    Arteta – “We must stick together now”

    If I hear that fucking phrase one more time from an Arsenal player !!

  24. Joppa Road

    Why are comments not posting?

    Main points I have made on LeGrove over last few years Keyser.

    1. Wenger should be questioned.
    2. The dumbing down at Arsenal is not acceptable.
    3. Board have no respect for the fans.
    4. Selling of star players year after year – how is this sustainable?
    5. Re-branding of the badge – disgrace.
    6. No national flags allowed in the stadium – lawful?
    7. Investment in the likes of Parker, Baines, Defoe, Young, Given. English core if possible.
    8. Questions on the continuous dross we buy.
    9. Progressive change – Usmanov IN. Current set up out.

    Keyser. what specifically do you disagree with in the above so much?

  25. Joppa Road

    Why can i not post?

    Main points I have made on LeGrove over last few years Keyser.

    1. Wenger should be questioned.
    2. The dumbing down at Arsenal is not acceptable.
    3. Board have no respect for the fans.
    4. Selling of star players year after year – how is this sustainable?
    5. Re-branding of the badge – disgrace.
    6. No national flags allowed in the stadium – lawful?
    7. Investment in the likes of Parker, Baines, Defoe, Young, Given. English core if possible.
    8. Questions on the continuous dross we buy.
    9. Progressive change – Usmanov IN. Current set up out.

    Keyser. what specifically do you disagree with in the above so much?

  26. gambon


    You dont get it. Keyser doesnt have an opinion, he just disagrees with everyone.

    If you say we need more English he will say we dont, If you will say we need less English he will disagree.

  27. mystic

    Yep I did read the article and it is a fucking joke that some of the players are winging:
    “Certain players are believed to have complained that the club’s busy fixture list has left them leg weary in recent weeks.”

    For fucks sake, can you imagine walking up to your boss and telling him that you are feeling knackered because you have been forced to go to work 5 days a week and could you please have a rest.

    Or is it “Hi I know I am on circa £50k a week, but I am not paid enough to take responsibility for my shit actions”.

    How much do you want to bet that if Arsenal were on the verge of winning the title, CL and FA cup, that these players wouldn’t be crying over a hard schedule.

    Fucking overpaid, over privileged, lazy, crap excuse making tossers.

  28. Wolfgang

    The buck stops with Wenger. He i s responsible for everything. his project y has not delivered and tactically he has lost it.
    Reports have linked him with the job at PSG, Rest assured if results are not good ,he could be axed by season’s end.
    He must reassess his policies and take the necessary steps to change some of them. If not I fear Arsenal will be like Liverpool who are trying to get back into cl contention the last four years. Once you are out of cl reckoning,getting back could be a mountainous task.

  29. Keyser

    Joppa – Post what you want, but you’re calling fellow Arsenal fans Cunts and muppets and then when they actually get together to do something about it.. Doublegooner’s been trying for years btw.

    You say ‘you know what, that’s kind of what I wanted to say, but erm not quite’

    Don’t you see the hypocrisy there ?! Seriously I begin to worry sometimes about what goes through people’s heads.

    “Progressive change”

    Yeah because that’s not part of the BSM’s views is it ?!

  30. useroz

    Good post.

    Wenger is a ‘has been’ based on what we can see.

    Lacking modern day PL ‘know how’…hummm, for SS’s benefit, that’s no ‘wherewithal’ as the way US folks put it

    Time for change; in fact, 3 years too late but we can wait till summer 2013

    We’d deal with IG then…

  31. Keyser

    gambon you fat cunt, don’t cloud his mind now, this is crucial, he was going to get you a pasty or something from Greggs aswell.

    Also I see you with the Van Persie stuff, heh, like no-one remembers far back enough.

  32. David

    Some interesting comments in the article, but as a Jack I can’t agree with the remarks about Brendan Rogers. Only four (five with Moore) players from last season’s regular team took the field on Saturday. Although we felt sick when Brendan moved to Liverpool, we can now see that we had to lose him and Allen to get to the next level. It is Laudrup’s team now, and not only is there a Plan B but C and D too. In the first half against West Brom last week we looked the real deal.

  33. Maureen

    From the Online Gooner:

    He has gone from a manager we were so proud to have at our club to a figure of comedy. His ridiculous excuses and pitch-side behaviour have become painful to watch. He has started to have the feel of a gambler who just wants to stay at the table until he wins his money back.

    Absolutely spot on I think.

  34. Keyser

    Joppa – Oh well, I tried, I refer you back to my comment calling you a muppet.

    Maybe you can’t be questioned because you’ve made 30 substitions and been coaching for 2 full years or more.

  35. Cloggs

    Wenger’s comment after the CC final defeat against Birmingham (yes, the ones that relegated that season!!!!) :..Some of our players were a bit nervous because they played at Wembley for their first time…”

  36. Joppa Road

    From the Online Gooner:

    He has gone from a manager we were so proud to have at our club to a figure of comedy. His ridiculous excuses and pitch-side behaviour have become painful to watch. He has started to have the feel of a gambler who just wants to stay at the table until he wins his money back.Absolutely spot on I think.

    Very good comment, thanks Maureen.

  37. gambon


    Not sure I agree with that.

    These days footballers are elite athletes. Its not like 1980 where they would run 7km mainly at a job.

    These days its a lot more sophisticated. They are stronger, more powerful and then run 12km per game mainly at high intensity.

    If they are knackered its a training/rotation problem. They are being run into the ground, just like RVP was last year, just like Jack was, just like Cesc was, just like PV04 & Henry were.

    Arsene Wenger doesnt build squads, he builds teams. I would imagine his training methods are pretty outdated as well.

  38. Joppa Road

    Very good comment, thanks Maureen.

    From the Online Gooner:

    He has gone from a manager we were so proud to have at our club to a figure of comedy. His ridiculous excuses and pitch-side behaviour have become painful to watch. He has started to have the feel of a gambler who just wants to stay at the table until he wins his money back.Absolutely spot on I think.

  39. Daryl

    Spot on. Arsene has to go and who replaces him will be of equal (if not more)Importance. I would welcome a Guardiola project or even a Mourhino one.

    Outside of those two choices, I’m really not sure who else is worthy of coaching the Arsenal.

    Although at this point, they could bring in Dennis Bergkamp and it’d be an improvement.

  40. Cloggs

    A little bit jaded, nervous, mental stwenghz, zee team has to mature,.injuries,we couldn;t get in our game, ze playing field was very bad (Defeat against Wigan)..we are building on ze new team,.. you can judge me in may.. I never had such a good team… ze fixture list is not good for us…we need zee rest after playing cl midweek..these players coming back from injury are like ze new signings!.. he has been injured for zee long time so he can’t play zee whole match….
    Arsene knows!!

  41. Cesc Appeal


    It was one of the more disreputable ones, or something.

    Wasn’t so much interested in that though, I’ve heard that before, Arsenal have the hardest training, the most tiring.

    Would explain a lot.

    RVP did his own last year and lasted a full course.

    Yet to break down at United yet.

    Fabregas we all said was a crock, ‘his knee was gone, calf, quad blah blah’ and yet he did alright.

    I think our training is a problem. The intensity of it.

  42. useroz

    The problem is not Pop not wanting to take on the Arsenal project….

    Wenger will squat for as long as he could get away with..

    …and our fucking retarded BoDs have no guts to boot Wenger out…they never had guts anyway

    In short, there is no vacancy!!!!

  43. Keyser

    mystic – If they can’t hack it or the schedule they need to own up, Cazorla miss-hit several passes, I think the Dyer chance where Vermaelen got back to make an excellant tackle was because of that, he tried a 30 yard ball he underhit that was easily intercepted.

    If you watch the game, something I think Pedro mentioned but missed out on and crtiticised th wrong aspects, we did up the tempo, we tried to push on, but were beginning to tire in the last 10 minutes and the midfield no longer had the legs to track back, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are tired,

    They don’t need less games, they need to be more clinical and concentrated on what they’re supposed to be good at, stop playing speculative balls when we’ve got players committed going forward. Arteta misplaced at least two balls 30-40 yards out from goal, and he’s supposed to be the deepest player so it left him having to track back against pacy players.

  44. Keyser

    Cesc Appeal – We’ve been over this loads of times really on here, Pedro’s probably had several posts if you go back.

    Van Persie’s last major injury was when he got kicked by Chiellini playing for Holland, since then he’d put on more muscle, improved his right side, and I think that helped massively, rather than all the pressure going through his left foot, he became more balanced.

    Fabregas played a shedload of games for us and I think 3 consecutive seasons he went away with Spain to, how many caps has he got 40 ? At Barcelona he has less pressure in terms of responsibility and he was a sub for several games, just not the same workload in a different league compared to the Premiership, he’s also older reaching his physical peak more than likely.

    I don’t think it really applies to this team, we’ve got 3 technical midget types in midfield, who aren’t physically dominant, so they need to be smarter and use their skill, Wilshere’s just come back from 17 months out, Cazorla’s first season here and Arteta’s a lot older.

  45. Ric

    For all of you screaming for either of;





    Let me just re-iterate the simple nugget of fact that our beloved “Best manager in the world over the last decade” actually came to us from the little known Japanese side; Nagoya Grampus Eight…

    My point simply being; we could probably take any manager out of the Championship and he’ll instantly look like a genius after having control of Wengers funds for about a week.

  46. Radio Raheem

    Not sure if anyone else noticed that instead of starting Pablo, Laudraup went for the more pacy Dyer. If Pablo wasn’t injured then it might point to a perceived weakness we have to pacy players.

    When I called it in the summer that RvP would move to manure I made the point that I expect him to be playing at a high level for the next 3 to 4 years. Until now his injuries has meant that he has had a long lay off so has not over-stretched himself physically. Offering him a 4 year deal wasn’t that big a risk.

  47. paul mc daid

    Football and Winning went out the door at Arsenal with David Dein and wont ever be back as long as we are being run by Has beens ( Wenger ) never beens (MR 1 % ) and never will be,s ( Ivan the Clown and Stan the Wank ),everyone of these lying,cheating,fools and losers have got to be shown the door,everyone.

  48. Radio Raheem

    Not that I think Martinez should be our next manager (I have called for Radio Raheem after all) but Jose managed a smaller club where was not spectacular before he moved to Porto. #justsaying

  49. Scott

    Keyser your point is what exactly?
    Another 20 odd year old keyboard warrior. Heard a muppet on 5 live on Saturday saying the other caller on the line was boring to hear him moan about Wenger. Yet he himself was 26 and started supporting Arsenal when he was 10. Same time Wenger joined.
    Hmm was there a club before Wenger came along??

  50. Keyser

    Hernandez was injured, he’s pretty quick anyway, and probably more of a threat.

    Swansea were always going to be tough, they outpassed our midfield last year and we had Song and Van Persie then, though I think we were far better at home against them, just struggled to break them down.

    For 35-40 minutes after half-time we increased the tempo and Swansea couldn’t match it, we just had fuckall going forward and we wasted a few chances, the more desperate we got, the easier it was for Swansea to break and they caught us out.

  51. Ric

    Here’s some Irony for you people though;

    I’ve been harping on about the fact that no one has ever scored more than 15 in their first season in the PL right… (Mostly in relation to how there is no chance IMO that Pod and Giroud even combined will make up for RVP goals).

    I find it somewhat ironic to think that with his two goals against us, Michu is now actually on track to beat that record.

    A dude Swansea got for 2 mill, is doing something a 107K pw footballer and the top scorer in France cannot.

    I find that a bit Ironic.

  52. Keyser

    Scott – Points simple, you want change, you want to do something, they organised a march with a 1000 odd people.

    Don’t come out with bullshit like you don’t agree with they want, it’s the same result.

  53. gambon

    The Michu thing really highlights what someone on here said the other day.

    Arsene Wanker relies totally on the calibre of player available in Ligue 1.

  54. Keyser

    Dunno about average, they were poor, but I think Rayo are the team with a 3 sided stadium ? They’re pretty much all out attack, regardless of who they played, he was always going to score goals at Swansea.

  55. Ric

    Radio RaheemDecember 3, 2012 14:05:04

    Its about fifteen from the go in your first PL season.

    I don’t doubt there’s plenty of players capable of sneaking in 15 over the course of an entire season in some of the smaller leagues. In the PL on the other hand…

  56. JamesH

    to : feedback
    Cc : Ivan Gazidis,
    Cc : Head of Merchandise

    It is very disappointing not to receive a constructive reply to my emails. Whether I am a new fan or fan of thirty years you really need to learn to listen to what you would describe as customers. The worst thing you can do is ignore emails and comments which are meant to be constructive.

    The whole idea of trying to sell out of date birthday cards or even send my children supporters packs with out of date players is distasteful.

    To then ignore genuine complaints is appalling. The whole Americanisation of the Club has ripped the soul out of my football club and whilst I
    have always given the Club the benefit of doubt your silence speaks volumes for your disregard for me.

    Ultimately all you are achieving is alienating the supporters who care so far for the Club. The hubris you display is simply shocking.

    This is my last email on the subject as there are more important matter in life but please reflect for five minutes on what you have really
    achieved in your working day.


  57. DSThomas6

    Totally agree with what you say in this. Didn’t think I’d get to a point where I’d want Wenger to go, but unfortunately it seems you are right, fresh blood is needed.

  58. Johnty79

    How about piers Morgon as the new CEO at arsenal. What ever you say about him he knows what a shit player is would get rid of the crap.

  59. bazza

    Your post is spot on.
    It’s not just the fans that have low moral it’s the team.
    What sort of message does it send to the younger players when we sell our last 4 captains? What sort of message did it send to the players last Friday when Wenger wasn’t at the team hotel the day b4 a key game?
    I really believe that Wenger mentally is already out of the club.
    The problem I have is that I also believe Gazidis is incapable of identifying or negotiating a deal with a suitable replacement. As for the Board……….

  60. Radio Raheem


    Take your point but teams in the premier seem to have given up on defending well with far too much merit put on ‘the right way of playing’. I am probably one of the few nutters that actually enjoyed Houllier’s Liverpool.

  61. Keyser

    It needed to be said that they were poor, but their style was always going to create chances.

    Michu scored from two breakaway goals, clean through against the keeper, I think we’ve got players who can do that, we need strikers that can do it consistently against teams who defend in numbers.

  62. Scott

    It’s not the same result. Black scarf clearly stated before the march that it wasn’t an anti Wenger nor Wenger out protest.
    Both of which I want, therefore I attended the match on Saturday but not the march. It’s quite simple.
    Can’t you get that?

  63. Ric

    December 3, 2012 14:15:17

    Nice one.

    I’m sending them another copy of it. We should all send the exact same copy from different mails. Or just have Pedro write us up a statement we can poll into existence and send them one copy of it each. Every single day until serious change has happened.

    If they haven’t gotten the message by Christmas then they never will.

  64. mystic

    Gambon, I know what you are saying but to be honest I think we are all getting taken in by a few players who are trying to excuse themselves for under performing. I’m afraid this ‘too many games’ business doesn’t wash with me.

    As I said I’ll bet you that if Arsenal were on the verge of winning something they would all be fit and fighting to go. Were the manager to drop any of them they would be complaining – they are trying to blame something for their own poor showing when it suits them to do so.

    You read about athletes training umpteen hours a day, often AFTER they have come home from a day at work, you don’t hear them suggesting to the selectors that they want to be in major championships but are too tired to attend Trials.

    If they want to earn extortionate weekly wages (and I have no problem with them getting a share of the revenue spoils) they need to showing willing, but after a third of the season complaining of tiredness just doesn’t wash with me.

  65. Arse&Nose©

    Keyser, agree. Every striker in our team would have scored from those chances. However, we don’t get our strikers in clear one on one positions because our build up is to slow and laboured.

  66. Jamie Ireland

    Absolutely brilliant post.
    I have been a keen follower of Le Grove for about two years now, the work that Klopp is doing at Dortmund is excellent and he and his young team are now pushing Bayern Munchen at the top of the Bundesliga. However, I don’t think that he would come to Arsenal, German managers normally move from club to club in Germany and keep everyting in house.

    Guardiola would be best case scenario but the only thing I am wondering is, what becomes of Steve Bould?

  67. David White

    “Pep would relish the job at Arsenal.” Sorry, but sadly I think you are very wrong here. Like it or not, the business model at Arsenal (and it is now a business) is to qualify for the champions league at the lowest possible cost. In other words, to finish fourth. The board is not going to invest the extra 30m+ pounds a year needed to compete for trophies, they are going to pocket it instead. Unfortunately that is not going to be attractive to Pep, or any other top class manager who actually, god forbid, still wants to win stuff.

  68. Ric

    Radio RaheemDecember 3, 2012 14:22:38

    This might sound strange, but I didn’t mind Benitez either, there was less footie than Houilliers side had, but when it worked it was both fast and explosive,Rafa’s defence always was a bit shaky though.

    Honestly speaking though the invincible 442 is by far the best football I’ve ever witnessed though. Bergkamp as hanging SS with Henry askewed up front, glorious footie, played by a proffesional team so accustomed to it they knew eachothers runs blindly. But they surely had more space to play the way they did knowing the people guarding their goal was a full on Graham Behemoth.

  69. bergkamp63

    From the Online Gooner:

    He has gone from a manager we were so proud to have at our club to a figure of comedy. His ridiculous excuses and pitch-side behaviour have become painful to watch. He has started to have the feel of a gambler who just wants to stay at the table until he wins his money back.

    This is what we should all be e-mailing the clubs website !! it’s one of the best lines I have seen on any blog !!

  70. Cesc Appeal

    There are STILL some AKB’s out there saying, if you want Wenger out you’re deluded, we’re just in a bad run of form…’

    Holy shit.

    Fans like this make me feel there is no hope.

  71. Radio Raheem

    Michu seems to have a timing in being at the right place at the right time…which is one of the reasons he scores goals. Whether anyone else would have scored those goals is neither here or there. Pointless.

    It is even more tenous stating his former team was poor. The main point like I have said before, and Pedro states today, is that even under prudent housing keeping we could still find better value in the market for players.

  72. EX-Gooner

    Stop dreaming guys.

    The Great Dictator is going nowhere.

    Just like Hitler, he’ll fight it till the bitter end.

  73. bergkamp63

    “if you want Wenger out you’re deluded, we’re just in a bad run of form”

    it’s true, we were in a bad run of form in:

    2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 201zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  74. Arse&Nose©

    Agree, in an ideal world we’d have physical power and composure on the ball. At the moment we have no power in midfield at all. Our only 6ft + midfielder is out injured, why haven’t we got any back up!? That’s the real question, why is our squad always 1 injury away from a crisis?

  75. Cesc Appeal


    There is no arguing with these people though, they genuinely believe that he will turn it around.

    The Guardian has a list of 13 players we could do with….we need them all!

    Maybe substitute one of the strikers for another play maker but we literally need a £100 Million spend to fill not just the starting eleven but the squad.

  76. Radio Raheem


    Don’t know why I am saying this but one of my fav matches ever is AC Milan Vs Barcelona in the 1994 champions league final. In that match he can see how a much fancied side can be nullified using…that barca side had Romario Stoichlov Koeman…Milan won 5-1 I think with Desailly scoring the fifth

  77. Le Roi

    Good Post,

    Only going to disagree about Rodgers. That Swansea team is not his the whole philosophy and tactics are from Roberto Martinez’s reign.

    Simply put Wenger is too scared to ask for help.

  78. TOLI83

    Lot of paper talk in UK and France saying PSG are getting rid of Ancelotti and eyeing up Wenger.

    Love it to happen but can’t see him leaving his contract to go there whatever the money.

    Arse&Nose I agree, was evident in a lot of games this year where we get shrugged off the ball. If we had a small midfield that passed and moved and wasn’t so static it might be different but as it is we lack power and movement. Trouble is if you ask Wenger about our lack of power in midfield he would simply reply ‘that will of course change when Diaby returns’… Grrrrr

  79. gambon


    To some extent I agree.

    Cazorla & Arteta for me are examples of players that clearly have been affected by being played constantly. Cazorla in particular is in a new league that is more physical and has been absolutely run into the ground. Arteta is at the stage of his career where he shouldnt be playing literally every single game, hes also in a position im not sure he should be playing.

    Podolski is similar. You shouldnt bring these guys in from overseas and just constantly play them.

    Tiredness is also just a wenger excuse. While I do think Wenger is just about the worse “Manager” in the league, the fact is guys like Ramsey, Gibbs, Gervinho, Koscielny have no excuse.

    Wenger will never admit to himself that players arent good enough, he doesntthink a players ability is overly important. He thinks his coaching ability, mental strengz and beleeeeef are most important, as well as paying a shit player £50k per week, which he thinks makes them a great player.

    He just has some very, very weird ideas about how to manage a club. He wanted to change the game, but now just looks pathetic and like a mentally ill dickhead on a mission.

  80. bergkamp63


    I’m sorry to say £100m will simply not be enough for us to compete at the top level,

    We have maybe 4 or 5 players in the entire club that might be acceptable as squad players, the rest (possibly with the exception of JW ?) need to be replaced.

    IMO we need 15 players minimum including 11 first team players. We are looking at £250m in order to compete again.

  81. Cesc Appeal

    It’s quite scary to think about what we actually need as a side.

    Schwarzer/Fridel type keeper.
    Hummels/Rami commanding CB
    M’Vila/De Rossi commanding, ball winning CDM
    Gotze type playmaker, to play the roll Nasri did on the front line.
    Cavani quality striker.
    And probably a real, real quality winger, I like that James chappy at Porto.

    That is a hell of a lot of money. A £100 Million +.

    But to become a relevant power again that’s what we need.

  82. Keyser

    Radio Raheem – You mentioned him scoring 15 goals in an ‘Average’ side, where you really mean’t shit, implying what ? Heh, either way you’ve justd escribed you’re own point as tenuous, Podolski scored more for a side that got relegated. If you watch Vallecano they’re a very attacking team.

    The timing comment is pointless, he’s a striker, you’ll have seen our strikers get into those positions and finish, we need to get them in those positions in the first place, which is tough against teams that are happy to sit back and wait for us to take the emphasis, people use these player examples all the time, that’s tenuous.

  83. Cesc Appeal


    Totally agree.

    We need squad buys as well as starting eleven buys.

    Gazidis, Wenger etc have pushed for years to get that £35 Million UCL money with the thinnest cheapest squad possible…this is what they are left with.

    He must have turned and looked at the bench against Swansea and somewhere, past all his arrogance and posturing thought – I fucked up here. This team is dog shit.

    Maybe not in those words but….

  84. Keyser

    It was 4-0, think Desailly was rampant there aswell, scored a goal like Ljungberg’s against Chelsea in the FA Cup. or maybe like Henry’s first against Southampton.

  85. bergkamp63

    The only reason we are making the round of 16 in the CL is because of our past performances.

    If Man City’s team can’t get near the best teams in Europe, where the fuck does that leave us ?

  86. Rrobbins

    Great blog says it all. No football people in decision making capacity except wenger . He deserves great credit for the past; but seems so blind to building a management team. Cannot keep or attract the best if you are not dedicated to winning on the pitch. Great blog

  87. gambon


    I wouldnt say we need 15 players.

    In terms of what i want to see on Aug 1st 2013, ready for next deason:

    GK – ??????????
    GK – Szczesny
    GK – Martinez

    DEF – Sagna
    DEF – Jenkinson
    DEF – ????????? (First choice CB)
    DEF – Mertesacker
    DEF – Vermaelen
    DEF – Koscielny
    DEF – ?????????? (First choice LB)
    DEF – Gibbs
    DEF – Miguel

    MID – ??????? (DM)
    MID – Arteta
    MID – ???????? (Powerful MF)
    MID – ????????? (Central MF)
    MID – Wilshere
    MID – Cazorla
    MID – ???????? (Creative AM)
    MID – Chamberlain

    ST – ????????? (World class CF)
    ST – Giroud
    ST – Podolski
    ST- Walcott
    ST- ???????? (Gervinho replacement)

    So for me thats 9 players.

    The players that would be replaced are:

    Fabianski & Mannone
    Djourou & Squaillaci
    Coquelin, Ramsey, Diaby & Rosicky
    Chamakh, Gervinho

    Lets face it these guys are an absolute waste of time, money & effort, they are appalling.

    We could also sell off so much dead wood to reduce the wage bill, and bring some money is.

    Namely a lot of kids, Denilson, Bendtner, Frimpong, Park, Campbell, Miyaichi.

    If we do this i reckon we can keep our wage bill roughly the same, so lets say £150m.

    We could easily spend £100m net if we do this. We made £30m from property this summer, TV money goes up by £30m next season, Emirates are paying us money upfront, so we barely need to touch whats in the bank to spend £100m. Not to mention that £100m of players means about £40m paid now, and the rest in the next 2-3 years.

    Who would I sign?

    Keeper – Reina/Muslera/Vorm
    Centre back – Rami/Hummells/Subotic
    Left Back – Baines
    DM – MVila/Capoue/Tiote
    Powerful CM – Has to be Fellaini
    CM – Cabaye
    AM – Isco/Gotze/Eriksen
    ST – Cavani/Falcao
    Wide ST – I would take a punt on Zaha

    Now try and tell me this isnt a vastly improved squad?

    We would have competeition in goal which would keep who ever is number 1 on their toes.

    We would have much more competition at CB, a great LB who tackles and scores.

    We would have a physical and powerful MF, not to mention rotation for Arteta, jack & Cazorla.

    We would have goals in Cabaye, Fellaini & Cavani, and much more creativity rather than relying on Cazorla.

    We would also have a truely deadly striker, someone that would certainly win the golden boot in his first few years.

    Whats more important, having £200m in the bank, or £80m plus this squad ive just suggested!

  88. wenker-wanger

    this current pathetic run of performances does not surprise me at all. Peformances have got steadily worse since the best players were sold for profit. Last season RVP virtually single-handedly got wenger out of jail and into the champs league. Before that cesc and nasri put in stellar performances to achieve wengers 4th place trophy. Cazorla wont do the same this season as the team isnt good enough and in any event it looks like wenger has lost the dressing room completely. Who would be motivated by that idiot anyway?.
    Wenger should leave the club now and go to his only refuge ; france. Staying on untill the end of the season will just make our average team even worse and will probably consequence in cazorla and maybe willshire leaving.
    Arsenal are in bad shape and its down to wenger almost entirely.
    This over-cautious, feeble,gutless and distant charlatan has wrecked arsenal with his incredibly poor judgement from choice of expensive “bargain” players to his lack of tactical nous. He is way out of control now and just comments from the sidelines like an irritated observer.
    hE should go now to save himself from the abuse and ridicule he will get when results get even worse.
    Cheer up everybody…..wengers time may soon be up!

  89. ritesh

    Ohhh fook…

    Its already difficult following Arsenal without having LG start its targeted withhunt against the gaffer.

    There is no money to spend if you consider that we have negative operating income. The owners are as responsible as the gaffer.

    Last time LG did this, Pedro got some nice media coverage but I think it the comments section became very lethargic.

    Please dont make my daily read of LG become a pain.

  90. salparadiseNYC

    Your in a hot patch Pedro, another great assessment of our situation.
    Agreed regarding Pep, without doubt best candidate for job and I think he’d jump at the project, for those whom doubt this need to understand how cherry the job is, top 5 in the world, not to mention job security!
    He’d get the best out our players and if he couldn’t they’d be shipped out and replaced, novel idea. Were running thin in every area, pure negligence and ego to blame.

  91. Radio Raheem


    I think you are trying too hard now. I said average you say poor…the fact is he played for a less fancied side. Agree? I am not sure why you are splitting hairs here. If you are suggesting that he could well end up like Podolski has for us then there
    is a better way of making that point.

    Personally, I don’t think so. Michu is an attacking mid or plays behind the striker. Physically you could argue he might be better suited playing in a central position than Podolski.

    To break down teams that sit back do you think timing of runs, pass or whatever else can be beneficial?

  92. Cesc Appeal


    What do you reckon on James Rodriguez?

    I could see us getting Rami for obvious reasons. Rami and M’Vila certainly add some serious toughness to our team.

    We don’t have the skill to outplay most teams now, and we don’t have the players to bully them into letting us do our thing…we use to have both.

  93. Cesc Appeal


    I would love that.

    Imagine all the AKB, what would they say? How could they argue with Usmanov taking over?

    They’d still probably find a way.

    We all forced him out the club…drove him crazy or something

  94. bergkamp63


    I agree with most of that, I still think we should be looking at a new RB, Sagna is coming to the end of his time IMO, if he was a CB or DM or CM his age would be fine but the modern RB needs to get up and down the flanks a lot more and someone around 23 or 24 years old would be my first choice.

    Verm & Kosc I’m not convinced about but maybe as squad players ?

    Pod, Giroud, no thanks, cazorla maybe, Arteta no thanks, walcott no thanks.

    Within 2 years we should be able to have a £200m wage bill and still not go into the red ?

  95. Cesc Appeal


    Find it hard to disagree.

    Verm I think people still love and that maybe clouds their judgement. He’s been utterly poor.

    Koz – gone back to his usual shit.

    Mert – excellent defensive mind, too slow.

    Gibbs – meh. Might be good but shouldn’t be relied on.

    Sagna – is a quality player.

    Jenkinson – great player in there, but we shouldn’t be relying on him.

    Arteta – good player but starting to age, looks physically jaded and like he isn’t enjoying one second of life at Arsenal at the moment.

    Cazorla – looks exhausted, looks like he has too much weight on his shoulders and teams have realised shut him down, you shut Arsenal down.

    Jack – just got back from injury and there’s a look of shell shock at how poor the players around him are.

    Podolski – been good in spells, excellent finisher when given the chance but for me should be a squad player at Arsenal.

    Giroud – same again, big strong, good at his job but squad player.

    Walcott – very hit and miss. Doesn’t show up a lot of the time but carries a threat. Wouldn’t mind losing him if we were Tottenham, United, City or Chelsea who replace players – but we’re not.

    Ox – needs to be bred, coached, honed, trained to become our Rooney. With Wenger at the helm he’ll be wasted and turn into a middle version of Theo.

    Ramsey – shit, needs to go.

    Gervinho – bought from Lille as the cheaper option to Hazard. Shit, one of the worst footballers I’ve ever seen, needs to go.

    Chamakh – another stain on Wenger. Hanging around for his £70 000 a week as Wenger does his £140 000.

    Djourou – shit, needs to go.

    Arshavin – feels a bit wasted. Needs to go.

    Honestly, right now out of our starting eleven if I had a large transfer pot I’d keep Shez, Sagna, Wilshere out of our starting eleven.

    That is sad.

  96. Keyser

    Radio Raheem – I’m not sure how much effort you’re puting in, it doesn’t matter much if they were average of poor, they were a very attacking side, they were going to score goals regardless. Even their current manager criticised Celtic’s approach to their game against Barcelona.

    There is always a massive step up, Michu had acres of space because as we tired in the final minutes, we were going all out for the win, where else was he going to be.

    You say personally you don’t think Michu will fail, then you need examples where he’s fashioned space and time in congested areas against team that Swansea were struggling to break down, why would you use his goals against us ?!

    Maybe we’ll go full cycle and teams will now think of us as a soft touch after several years and go for the win, giving us the space to break them down, a bit like West Ham, they had the chances couldn’t convert and ended up being caught.

    Think about how many times Swansea gave up the space, West Ham did on the counter.