Striker fail | Wenger to sign soon | The backroom rebuild continues…

by .


Lots of news that does feel like an effort to reprint this morning.

Where are the sweet chunks of transfer gossip?

Vucinic fell by the wayside, Inter swapped one of their best players for him yesterday in a deal only two Italian clubs could conceive. So no more him.

In Arsenal related bluster, Stan Kroenke has flown over to seal a new deal for Arsene Wenger. No surprising really. You’d like to think the owner was interested enough to fly over to tie the most expensive person at the club down to a new deal. Apparently they’re suggesting £24m over 3 years. A whopper of a deal we’re led to believe is laced with incentives on the winning trophies front. Hopefully we can say no to part time business accountant Wenger and welcome a new ‘purchase within your means but don’t worry about building a surplus’ Wenger.

Arsenal continued to ramp up their back room efforts snaring Jonker as the youth team coach. He comes over from Wolfsburg and has an excellent reputation globally for masterminding youth set ups. I don’t know if he’s a Wenger purchase, or someone the club have found themselves. However we landed him, it’s great we’ve opted for experience and a superb CV over and expro who barely has qualifications to read.

I wonder if Arsenal are going to spend the next three years building a new backroom team behind the scenes with a view to employing the next manager and team from within. Cortese at Southampton was such a flying success because he took big business values and layered them over a football club. He built the best backroom team he could based on market knowledge rather than tapping into the old boys network that pervades so many managerial recruitment policies.

Replacing Wenger from within could be a smart move. Barca did it with Rijkaard (replaced him with Pep) a then again with Pep Guardiola (replaced with Tito). It’s easier for a number two with talent to step up because he’ll know the infrastructure, have a good idea of the strengths and the weaknesses, have a good relationship with the players and they’ll have the trust of everyone internally.

Not just that, but Ivan will be king maker. The club maintain control of the manager. The way it’s supposed to be. Hopefully the days of Arsenal managers building Ivory Towers are behind us. I think the massive advantage of having American owners is they are quite attuned to advancements in the game. The purchase of that data company gives you a clue the sort of direction we’ll take post Wenger and maybe in the final years of his contract.

I’m quite happy for Wenger to take on a new deal. Things are moving in a good direction at the moment. It helps we’re at the top of the league, obviously. Because we’re in a winning position, people have forgotten what has gone before, which I won’t delve into, but needless to say, summer 2013 wasn’t the first year the club lifted the shackles of purchasing power off Wenger’s shoulders and let’s not kid ourselves, a lot of our issues over the years haven’t been just because we couldn’t spunk £40m on players, but people will spin how they want to spin.

However, we’re where we want to be. We’re buying mega players, we’ve paid attention to the defence, we’ve shifted out deadwood, Wenger has become more ruthless (poor Podolski), sport science is taking more of a front seat, our medical team is flourishing comparably and the project youth nightmare has been largely rebranded to a more realistic offering. I’ve mostly always said that I don’t want a new manager if Arsene can change his ways. Well, it seems he’s doing that one flaw at a time.

Let’s see if he can drive some silverware this season. Without wishing to put a negative spin on the season, we’re top, but we’re still only 8 points off Spurs. Things can turn on a sixpence. We’re going to have to drive absolute consistency through this season if we want to win the league. A massive ask… but hey, when is winning the league not a massive ask?

More tomorrow!

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831 Responses to “Striker fail | Wenger to sign soon | The backroom rebuild continues…”

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  1. Kjafc

    That Gervinho goal is quality. He clearly had ambition but our fans never really took to him. That miss against Bradford was something else! My Mum would have scored that!

    It’s all about confidence.

  2. hackneylad


    I have a solution to that problem. After each game bundle him into a self contained bubble shaped “birk” suit and roll him out. Then roll him into the dressing room just before kickoff of the next game. Simples.


    ADE for Isolation as his very presence is contagious.
    Mans a true arsehole and I get the sense his the type that loves being hated.

  3. hackneylad


    His arrogant for sure! As for stubborn I actually think his working on it.

    As for Gervinho comment.

    Wenger put his arms legs and torso wrapped around Ramsey. He does support his players that can be a plus and a weakness at times.

    Its odd because he can be ruthless and also far to weak on certain players.

    I think its down to attitude, he gives the harder workers more of a chance.

  4. Kjafc

    I think Leedsgunner, Norfolk and Invincibles were the ones that showed class.

    I guess I am a bit sensitive because of the volunteer work I do with disadvantaged and mildly disabled kids. It’s mostly really rewarding but sometimes it’s bloody sad! There but for the grace of god and all that.

    Anyway, let’s move on what’s done is done.

    You going Friday or is it a bit tough with the journey in a Friday night from Hastings? Stupid time to play the game, should be Saturday.

  5. N5

    Kj, I hope you are not annoyed with me over it as if I had seen it at the time of him posting it I would have said he should have apologised and it lacked any class.

    I’ve had my fill of arguments on here sticking up for different groups, so I wouldn’t avoid that confrontation just because it was gambon.

    I will be going up Friday yes, I don’t like the idea of it, but it will be no different to a midweek game. I tend to drive now and I park in the school just up from the Arsenal Fish Bar which I can get in and out of quite quickly. if we finish at 10 I’m normally back him by 11:45 which isn’t to bad.

  6. Leedsgunner


    Kjafc satirised him… gambon took umbrage and retaliated by saying things about the disabled he really shouldn’t have. A few people asked to apologise, he said no. He insisted on his right to be a birk.

  7. Dialtriangle

    I guarantee no one gives a toss about mongs or Simon Weston. You lot just saw an opportunity to pick on gambon and jumped on it. Worse than a group of secondary schoolgirls, some of you. Piss on your AKB clique.

  8. Kjafc

    Don’t be silly N5, not at all. Some great guys here who I would happily share a beer with, irrespective of the side of the fence they occupy. I just logged off and did what I pay myself to do and worked!

    I live in Essex mate and rely on my sons and their mates for access to games. Used to be ST at highbury back in the days but I played at a decent level on Saturdays so missed a lot of games when I was early twenties. I may be going Friday, hoping to. I come from Cannonbury Road and my grandad lived just off the Holloway Road and he got all the family into the Arsenal. He would have loved the Wenger era he hated George Graham’s football!

  9. N5

    Cheers Kj.

    My dad is from West London, close to QPR but he was taken to an Arsenal match as a boy and fell in love with them, I was born in Southwark but grew up in Walworth and only went to football to be with my dad. I’m glad I did though because no other club has made me feel anything like Arsenal does.

    I remember the George Graham highs and lows and the football now is so much nicer to watch but I’ll never forgot Anfield 89! that was my all time high.

    My dad runs the East Sussex Arsenal Supporters Club Kj, we have a website, if you are ever struggling for tickets you can always contact me through there and I will be able to get you some which can be picked up from Pat at the ticket office. If you ever need them give me a shout and i’ll send you the web address.

  10. Leedsgunner


    You guarantee no one gives a toss, huh? I gave a toss so that’s why I asked him to apologise.

    If you read over my posts you would know I’m no AKB…

    In fact I regularly agree on FOOTBALL matters what gambon has to say.

    I reckon gambon is more than defending himself on here. I took exception to him bringing derogatory terms toward people who wouldn’t be able to defend themselves that’s all. If you think me wrong for that so be it… that’s a matter for you.

  11. Harry Redknapp

    i thought george grahams football was great, well definantly the title winning teams. the cup winning teams were m,eaner all over the pitch but the title teams were exciting

  12. Sam

    I am happy for Gervinho
    Unfortunately Wenger surrendered to haters and showed him the door.
    I hope Giroud picks up soon……………………..for arsenal.

  13. Kjafc

    That’s good of you mate, much appreciated. I will check the website. Great story about your dad running the supporters club that must be great fun but hard work. I have been to 6 home games this season so far.

    Actually the GG team was okay, they played good football at times. It could be as dull as dishwater too, let’s be honest about that. But Anfield 89 will never be forgotten, we were written off big time. When Thomas scored we all erupted, had a house full of people. Only time I ever heard my late Grandmother swear, as she jumped up and screamed at the telly. We all went mad.

    I think I told you about the number 8 story. I was eight when we did the double in 1971. My eldest was 8 when we won the second double and my youngest was 8 when we won the second. Really clutching at straws here but our cat is 8 this year! 🙂

  14. GoonerDave

    I hated the abuse Gervinho got and it was OTT in my opinion.
    But he missed an absolute bag of chances. He was quick and unpredictable but also fell on his arse a lot. Giroud may or may not improve, but unlike Gerv, there really is a place in the squad for Giroud in my opinion.
    Here’s hoping he surprises everyone and scores a bucket load.

  15. zeus

    Would Jose seriously do a Mata to United deal?

    He couldn’t sanction that surely……..

    I mean, he wouldn’t give us Ba.

  16. Kjafc

    Grasp it! Blimey, it’s alI I have been clutching onto for the last couple of years! The wife is convinced the cat is 8 but I am going to have to make sure and check his passport, I don’t want anymore false dawns.

  17. Sam


    This is the premiership, I am surprised many fans lose patience quickly on newcomers. Look at Dzeko now.
    They also want Podolski out

  18. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    So what was denilison ?

    Certainly not a hard worker ?
    Certainly not a flamboyant cavalier player ?

    Weird one

    I remember being happy when we signed him the same day as gallas last day of transfer window

    If only he gave Lansbury as much time an commitment

  19. Rhys Jaggar

    Lots of interesting views about Arshavin. Different people seem to have different takes on what motivates people, what drives managers and what power relationships certain people favour.

    Let me tell from personal experience how certain not very good managers behaved when signing me on (no, I’m not a Thierry Henry, but what I was good at I was very good at).

    1. To begin with, they make a great play about how they want to sign you on. You ask where they see you fitting in, as it is clear that in one scenario there is no match, but in another both parties could do well. They don’t put themselves in a corner but insinuate that all will be well…..
    2. When you’ve signed up, you then take the lead in doing what you presumed you would be doing, namely winning their firm business which will earn them a lot of money for very little effort and will further your own career too.
    3. You then discover that, far from them being keen on this taking place, that they seem to actually want to undermine your efforts and actively stop the business development efforts being successful. The first time they slag you off in the beauty parade, the second time, they don’t contribute the bits that only they as owner can contribute, despite repeatedly asking them so to do and the third time, they want you to make them the star of the show despite them having contributed nothing to the bid.
    4. Finally, it becomes clear that what drives them is control and power. They want to be surrounded by yes-men, people who serve them. They actively can’t abide others building something with them. It all has to come from them, even if what you were offering would earn them £300k profits for no work in a company of less than 10 people.

    After giving your all for 12 months, it is clear that this is going nowhere and the best thing you can do is leave. Their attitude to that is it’s fine as long as you mention nothing, but one word from you and they will kibosh things.

    All this might have cogency if they were paying you £100k+ a year. They weren’t. They were just very good at getting the best out of school leavers, not experienced pros with two higher degrees. Of course, you can’t say that overtly, but it’s clear to all around.

    Bosses who want entrepreneurial people in a company environment need a management style which shares credit, encourages corporate entrepreneurship and doesn’t need to play pathetic power games to keep people small.

    For those that want subservient yes-folks, you’ll find that a company led by them will grow only so far before it goes into crisis due to lack of strong enough drives across large enough parts of the organisation.

    I’ll leave others to judge what pertains inside Arsenal FC. I have my own opinions, but evidence to back it up or refute it is lacking as I don’t have contacts inside the club and the media is hardly ‘evidence’ which would stand up in court, is it??!!

    All I will say about Arshavin is this:

    1. He effectively took a pay cut to come to Arsenal as the tax rates in Russia are so low in comparison. He did that in his peak earning years, which wasn’t exactly master planning financially.
    2. It’s mighty strange to me to hire a guy at the height of his powers and then play him out of position. It’s insulting and begs the question as to why you hired him in the first place. If you didn’t need a Number Ten, why break the club’s transfer record to buy him??
    3. I said a few years ago that Wenger calling his players ‘intelligent’ when they hoofed up high balls to Arshavin was rather like calling Mrs Thatcher the Pope of reconciliation. If I’d been manager watching that I’d have given those players a bollocking they’d never forget. If they were told to do that, then it says that winning football matches was less important to certain Arsenal officials than winning power games. Perhaps they should have refunded season tickets if that were the case??
    4. I think Arshavin wanted another Russian in the club with him. Most other foreign nations had two or more representatives: two Polish keepers, a gaggle of Frenchmen, Mertesacker and Podolski came together, van Persie, van Bronckhorst from Holland, Fabregas, Reyes from Spain, Denilson and Gilberto from Brazil. He actually wanted Wenger to buy Dzagoev, but clearly it wasn’t on Wenger’s to do list. I don’t think that helped, although it’s not a decisive factor in how a player performs. Not unless promises were made which weren’t honoured. That’s life, but it breaks trust and respect which are important in a player-manager relationship.
    5. I suspect that Arshavin prefers to be the main man in a slightly smaller club (Zenit was hardly small time, after all – they won the UEFA Cup with Arshavin as the main man) than a malleable cog at a big one. It’s something you need to be sure of before you sign someone if you want an ‘I’ll play wherever you want, sir’ type of player. Once you’ve been the main man for a few years, it’s very hard to go back, at least, not until your powers are demonstrably waning.

    Who knows what went on behind the scenes, but I suspect that both parties, namely the club’s recruitment strategy and the player’s understanding of what he was signing up to, may in retrospect have been slightly off the mark.

    It’s water under the bridge now. Arshavin wasn’t a master signing, but nor was he a disaster. The player suffered more than the club I suspect, which is a shame as I liked him as a player and was sad to see him regress during his time at the club.

  20. N5

    “I’ll take dull as dishwater winning football over tippy tappy losers football all day long.”

    So are you only in it for the glory?

  21. Harry Redknapp

    winning football will do me, i cant remember particuarily enjoyin the way we play at all the last few years it became boring, but have to say iv been impressed by the defence this season.

  22. Kjafc

    Yes some players just don’t settle, it’s always a risk signing a player from another country. He used to claim to be homesick and that can’t have helped.

    Bottom line is he under performed and regressed for whatever reason. The fans got on his back and the rest is history.

    For every failure there is a success and that won’t ever change.

  23. Norfolk

    LeedsgunnerJanuary 21, 2014 23:01:02
    DialYou guarantee no one gives a toss, huh? I gave a toss so that’s why I asked him to apologise.If you read over my posts you would know I’m no AKB…In fact I regularly agree on FOOTBALL matters what gambon has to say. I reckon gambon is more than defending himself on here. I took exception to him bringing derogatory terms toward people who wouldn’t be able to defend themselves that’s all. If you think me wrong for that so be it… that’s a matter for you.

    Good post.
    That sums up exactly my position.

  24. Nasri's Mouth

    Arshavin being played out of position on the wing?

    That’ll never happen now he’s back at Zenit.

    Well, yes, actually it would. Weird huh?

  25. N5

    No marble you said you would rather play boring and win then what we have now, so yes, that is in it just for the glory! the 8 years is just something that has happened, but you would sacrifice it all to go back to GG football and trophies!

  26. Bamford13


    “Cesc is a bigger and better player than Ozil.”

    A second error from gambon. I’m flummoxed.

    No, gambon, you may prefer Cesc, but he’s not “bigger and better” than Ozil. As good as Cesc is, he would start for neither Madrid nor the German National team. Nor would a manager of Mourinho’s caliber call him “the best #10 in the world.”

    Cesc is a bit quicker, more incisive, maybe even more inventive, but he is also more inconsistent, makes more mistakes, and loses the ball more.

    You may prefer Cesc, but that doesn’t make him the better player.

  27. Cesc Appeal

    Mata to United will be a game changer for Moyes I think.

    Will get the fans behind him and galvanize the squad the same way Ozil did for us.

    Papers say United are supremely confident and talks are in an advanced stage – but are Chelsea really that stupid…really?

  28. Nasri's Mouth

    Apparently the Sun are claiming we’ve offered £20m + Podolski for Draxler

    This is the Podolski the big FC Koln fan. Seems unlikely

    Possibly The Sun could have done a little more homework there.

  29. Nasri's Mouth

    @Cesc Appeal

    Not sure Chelsea being stupid.
    They don’t need Mata.
    They might need the money.
    Giving Mata to Utd isn’t going to hurt them on the pitch this season.
    Might hurt them on the pitch next season but ManU were always going to strengthen in the summer anyway
    Might make the Rooney to Chelsea transfer easier in the summer
    Not sure Mata is going to help ManU on the pitch too much They can’t fit Kagawa in there. They play Rooney in the no.10 position when RvP is fit. Mata isn’t a ball winner, which is the player ManU need
    It might give them an Ozil sized lift mentally of course, but that’s still not going to hurt Chelsea this season

  30. Cesc Appeal


    It’s incredibly short sighted.

    Rooney and RVP are scheduled to come back within a couple of weeks, Mata in behind them, that’s an incredible trio.

    United would certainly be a different prospect to play.

  31. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah this year.

    Sell him abroad.

    Stupid decision, why prop up a team you were fiercely competitive with when they’re at their lowest ebb in years?

    Bad news for us, another team that will be fighting had in the maelstrom of 4th/3rd along with Everton, Liverpool and Spurs.

  32. Cesc Appeal


    It’s bad for us this year though. We’ve got to do something this window now in terms of our striker force, someone who can bring some goals.

    We will start fade away toward the end of the season, I’d lay money on it. We just don’t have the squad or the quality in depth aside from the middle.

  33. Nasri's Mouth

    @Cesc Appeal

    It’s not going to help us or ManC. A draw rather than a win against ManU might make the difference.

    Makes you want to agree with Wenger when he says the Jan transfer window should be scrapped.

    Personally I think we’ll struggle (unsurprisingly) in feb/march, then come good at the end. Just depends how close we are

    As for signing someone, we’ve been linked to Vucini, Draxler and Rodrigo today so who knows 😉

  34. BacaryisGod

    Gambon’s earlier comment:

    UTD, with their £170m wage bill, can pay £250k per week to multiple players.

    Arsenal, with their wage bill of £153m, 10% lower, can only offer £100k per week, or 60% lower wage ceiling?


    Ok, so let’s think about this. The difference between Arsenal and Man U’s wage bill is essentially the cost of Rooney and Van Persie. For the wage amounts to be about equal, we would need to take on Rooney and his salary.

    Now look at the squads for the two teams and assume Rooney as an Arsenal player and United without him. I think it’s fair to argue we might just be managing our wage bill just a little bit better.

  35. Bamford13


    His point is that they pay two players 250k — RVP and Rooney — and still only spend a little more than we do.

    As for whether we’re managing our money better, that depends on whether we win anything. They won the league last season, remember. We haven’t won anything yet — nor have we won anything in a long time.

  36. Dark Hei

    Initially I thought Costa is an old bloke. Turns out he is only 25. For 32M bucks, I think he is a valid option. Though that will hamper our spending in other positions.

    Whatever the case is, there don’t seem to be anyone in the market who is a serious challenge to Giroud’s first team slot, this January. Any “Vucinic” we sign is just for numbers. A “Rodrigo” isn’t going to be suddenly a better option than Giroud (though he will give us different options).

    A “Rodrigo” will be nice, but it will certainly mean no “Costa” style signing in the summer.

  37. Gustav Graves

    Mata would go to Athletico IMO…makes too much sense for him as Manu is a sinking ship. It could help sweeten the relationship between them and Chelski for any summer moves Mourinho would be interested in (Costa).

  38. Revving Kevin

    Be careful comparing the wage bills. The wage bill Arsenal shows includes not just players. There is a good article on this which I will try to find. Just got in so knackered but I will try.

  39. gambon

    “Be careful comparing the wage bills. The wage bill Arsenal shows includes not just players.”

    Which is the same for every club.

    Dont believe the bollocks Wenger spouts to justify his trophyless years.

  40. gambon

    “Now look at the squads for the two teams and assume Rooney as an Arsenal player and United without him. I think it’s fair to argue we might just be managing our wage bill just a little bit better.”

    Lol, you have absolutely zero idea what youre talking about.

    OK, so lets ask a few questions?

    1- When was the last time Arsenal, with our excellently managed wage bill, won a trophy?

    A- 9 years ago

    2- When was the last time UTD won a trophy?

    A – Last season

    3- How many trophies have UTD won since Arsenal last did?

    A – 9 trophies (including 5 PLs and the CL)

    4- What is Arsenals wagebill to turnover ratio?

    A – 60%

    5- What is UTDs?

    A – 50%

    Yeah, pretty good argument there.

  41. Revving Kevin


    Firstly I corrected my error.

    Secondly, Humility is something you should read up on. Along with respect for other people, especially those less fortunate than yourself.

    Thirdly, Stop being so aggressive on here. You have some neck, give you that. You embarrassed your self yesterday taking the piss out of disabled kids, that was really disgusting. I hope you stick your hand in your pocket and give a donation to a charity as you refused to apologise. Oh sorry, you’re such a cunt you couldn’t give a toss.

  42. Simon


    You can tell a lot from such a simple thing.

    Bottom line on all this wage stuff is we need to earn more. We are doing well this season having spent less in real terms. Percentages don’t matter if you are a lot smaller. Sure it’s nice for Manu to have economies of scale but it means diddly to us. We need to generate more commercial income. Attracting and buying a few world class players would help… We might even win something and that would help even more. We’ve started up the engine now it’s time to put some fuel in the tank.

  43. gambon

    If Mata goes to UTD, Rooney will go to CHelsea in the summer. No doubt.

    There is no way in the world Chelsea would sell Mata to UTD if there was nothing in it for them. They wouldnt even loan us Demba Ba.

  44. Norfolk

    Who wants to explain why AW sold RVP to our rivals and why CFC would sell to ManUre who is also a rival team imho.

    Perhaps people would say they are not rivals – lol