4 items that need to be addressed by Ivan Gazidis

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So a couple or days on from our horror showing at Stoke and more bad news piled on as Spurs beat the tragically broken Cardiff. 6 points now lie between us and them, so we really do need to turn it on against them in a fee weeks, because the top four crush isn’t a good look for a team that has dominated so much of the season.

Today I’ll talk about the manager and the concern over his new contract. He might not sign. He didn’t sign when he absolutely could have a few months ago, now we’re a few games into the collapse, the jitters have set in amongst some fans and most likely, the people at the club. Rumours are the manager might not feel comfortable at interference from the club. He might see where we’re heading as the club looks to modernise and he might realise there will most likely be an assault on his control over the duration of the next three years as the club readies an infrastructure to secure Arsenal for the next ten years.

Firstly, it’s important to understand why he is being offered a new deal, because it certainly wouldn’t be because he’s batting it out the park with incredible trophy winning and football. It certainly wouldn’t be because of his 5 year vision either. It’ll be because he suits Stan Kroenke’s business vision.

The American isn’t a short term investor. Everything he does is for the long term. First and foremost, he’s a property man. He’ll find out where new Walmarts are going to pop up, then invest in real estate in that area and hold onto it over 20 years and watch its value rise. With Arsenal, he’s doesn’t have any sort of Abramovich style power vision. He’s bought an undervalued piece of real estate that he can hold onto, not invest in… then in 15 years time, it’ll be worth over a billion. Shrewd indeed… but for a man that shrewd, having a manager who sustains the bare minimum (top 4) without spending heaps of cash… Wenger is the dream ticket.

Stan would like to win something’s, sure… but he’s not going to take a risk to do it. Wenger is the sustainable business model. Because sustenance is reliant on minimum investment. It’s based on unspent surplus cash. It’s based on balance sheet first, glory second (if you fancy it). It’s a nightmare scenario, because our manager, though clearly very strong at many elements of his job, is sadly lacking in ambition and he’s having problems adapting to the realities of the modern game. He can’t kick teams over the finishing line because he’s managing the same way he was in 1998. The extra 5-10% we need in the final stretch of the season isn’t there because it’s been over trained, over played and under-educated.

So this is the deal for me. If it all collapses again, Arsene Wenger either accepts an internal inquiry from the club where they  assess how we operate versus other clubs in the league. From there, the findings are presented back and an actionable game plan is drawn up with regards to fixing the said issues.

Things I’d be looking at.

1. Scouting Network: Why are we being out manoeuvred in the transfer market consistently? How does our operation stack up against Dortmunds. They consistently uncover gems before others and they’re more constrained financially than Arsenal. What’s going on? Are we finding players and not acting on the recommendations, or is our approach old fashioned? A few cases I’d put to the manager. Last summer, the extent of our progress was to sign one of the best number 10s in the world, so hardly a major scouting win. We also brought an old player back who wasn’t wanted across Europe… and Sanogo. We didn’t manage to snare a single striker in the world. Oh, and there’s also the shambles of Viviano. So bad, he can’t even make the bench. In the whole of Europe, that’s the best potential number one we could come up with? Then there’s the mess that was January. Lose your best striker, your best box to box midfielder, end up with a team totally lacking in pace and power… and you sign an injured journeyman who is 2 years past the average peak.

In my line of work, recruitment disasters that end in the loss of revenue would end in an internal review. If you can’t recruit and the business suffers for it, there will be ramifications. What are those for Wenger? It doesn’t matter how legendary you are, there has to be accountability.

2. Fitness: Ok, so the state of our side this post December has been woeful. What’s going on here? We have the tech to see when players are ‘red-zoning’, but it doesn’t seem to get actioned. The performance of our side since Napoli has been poor. Stoke at the weekend wasn’t an unusual performance, we’ve had lots like that this year, we’ve just had the tools to get around those games. So what’s going on with the fitness department? Why are our players not recovering as fast as other teams? Why are our players dead on their feet? Why are our players breaking down when they’re coming back into the side?

Something must be going on behind the scenes that isn’t quite right. Teams like Bayern play at an outrageous tempo and they don’t seem to suffer the same injury problems we do. Chelsea have managed to keep their main men fit most of the year, Hazard and Ramires aren’t dipping at the action end of the season. Liverpool have managed to do the same, they are playing less games, but in fairness, they have less players. What is their approach to fitness and health?  What could we learn?

3. Game plan: I’ve come back to this time and time again over the past 3 years. What are we doing to arm our players with the details they need? What is our approach to video analysis. Lahm of Bayern recently said that lots of managers analyse but he’s doubtful any go into the detail Pep does. Arsenal don’t study opposition to the extent they should do and it shows. The same approach every game really. The craziest we go is the change up a few names. We never do anything surprising, bar maybe drop a rookie in against the best team in the world. That was a pleasant surprise against for Bayern, not the Arsenal. There’s no innovation with our game plan, which makes it pretty easy for the best managers to play against us. Which is why we struggle against the top 4. Technique and class beats small teams with no game plan, details and innovation is what wins against massive teams with similar financial power.

We need a more dynamic set up. We need someone working on scouting the opposition, not Stuart Houston pulling together a 1 pager he’s knocked together in Microsoft Paint. We need young, dynamic people injected into the set up. We need fresh ideas, we need fire, we need people working for us who want to change the world. Having a senior backroom team with a very high average age isn’t practical and it isn’t going to drive the club forward. Serious changes need to happen.

4. The Manager: There are lots of problems at the club that stem from Wenger. The side has batted well above its average this year, which is fantastic, but the plaster didn’t manage to stick for the whole season… or at least that’s what the gut feel is on this. There are core issues with the infrastructure of the club. The biggest road block is the manager. He has too much power and he’s incredibly sensitive about losing power. Simply put, I don’t believe we’ll progress to the promised land until we have a new set up.

The next manager who comes in doesn’t need to be a marquee signing. At the very highest, I’d go Klopp, because he seems like the perfect mix of visionary / intelligent / charismatic… he could shift our set up to the next level and I’d be confident he could make us as a serious competitor in the UK market. However, I don’t think we need to go down the big name route. 2 years ago, I’d be calling for a Van Gaal or a Mourinho. If we do that, we’ll be opening ourselves up to another sh*t sandwich. Massive backroom teams, massive egos with a massive salary. The first thing Ivan needs to do when Arsene eventually goes is to get control of the club again. It shouldn’t be owned by an indispensable manager.

He can build out a team of experts in the various departments and bring in a manager as a figure head who manages those departments. Everton have proved that you don’t need a big name to do big things. Martinez has stamped his plan over Everton. They’re playing great football, they’re well organised and they’re always prepared.

Forget David Moyes, he was never the man to takeover from Alex Ferguson. It wasn’t just a bad decision, it was a horrendous decision. He is not the benchmark for change. Arsenal need someone young, intelligent who wants to do something amazing. You need a man with charisma, a man with a plan… a man who players can get behind. Football management is less about the figure head these days and more about the team that sits behind him. You need a world class approach to scouting, a world class vision for fitness, the best medical staff, the best analysis team (along with a manager who is about the detail) and you need a man who is a leader and a motivator.

We don’t have those ingredients at the moment.

It’s a big challenge for the club, but there are plenty of people who can help Ivan make that decision. Southampton are the vision of how a club should operate both on and off the pitch. Layer that approach over Arsenal, treat the playing side of the club like you’d treat a business and you’d have something really amazing. The best run club from a business perspective needs to become the best run club behind the scenes.

So in short, if Arsene doesn’t sign on again, it isn’t a time for fear and panic. Give me a bumpy season and a new vision and a approach that’ll last the next ten years over the same game plan I’ve seen fail every season for the last ten… all. day. long.

Change is waiting in the wings and we shouldn’t fear it…

 

449 Responses to “4 items that need to be addressed by Ivan Gazidis”

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  1. Cesc Appeal

    tunny

    ty·rant (tī′rənt)
    n.
    1. An absolute ruler who governs without restrictions.
    2. An oppressive, harsh, arbitrary person.

    Nope, I’d said that’s slap bang on the money.

  2. TitsMcgee

    Does anyone think that the reason we don’t win things or fall away in March is because we don’t have as many world class players as other sides ? ”

    That is the major problem IMO. However the reason for that is we rather go into seasons poorly equipped than spend 1p more for a player we want i.e Wenger rather cut off his nose to spite his own face.

    Just going off of this past summer/winter alone. How would we have fared(how much more points would we have) if we had Higuain/Suarez up front instead of Giroud and bought a younger MF like Gustavo and backed him up with the ageing Flamini/Arteta. i.e look at Sanogo’s miss v Stoke. That’s a 2 point swing right there if he scores and we’re down by 3 pts to Chelsea instead of 4. Not to mention all of the sitters Giroud has missed this season(UTD). Fine margins.

  3. Phil

    Dan Ahern

    if he wasnt useless then we would have won something in 9 years (coming up for 10) i wonder if you started watching Arsenal at the start of the Great one’s tenure? jeez

    8 mill a year for mediocrity – most managers irrespective of business typewould have gone, gone gone gone

    i want to win something , do you? i doubt it

  4. MidwestGun

    Tunny –
    Im of the opinion we don’t need to wait til the summer to know we are not signing 3 WC players. Doubt we even sign players in positions of need. Just zero trust anymore, after no striker in the summer and Kim K. In the last tw. Dont want Arsene in charge of transfers ever again.

  5. Paddy got up

    Yaya Sanogo playing for the Arsenal!!!!
    Do I need to elaborate more on the decline of our once great club???
    EIE

  6. Dan Ahern

    Aaron Lemon
    “@Dan Ahern
    You kind of just showcased why people call Wenger useless.
    To the common man he clearly isn’t useless. Within the context of running one of the richest clubs in the world, he is useless! If he wasn’t then we wouldn’t face the same problems year in year out, regardless of opposition of players we have.”

    Nope, not buying it. That’s shamefully simplistic.
    He’s got plenty of issues that are holding the club back, sure, but quit with this hyperbole. I did not showcase that he is useless. I showcased his shortcomings. Massive difference.

  7. tunnygriffboy

    Midwest

    I want Wenger to have nothing to do with transfers ever again either other than identifying and possible speaking to them to convince them to come. Fees and contracts should be left to Gazidis and co.

    Cesc

    Sorry mate it’s a football club. Is he harsh or oppressive. Many posters say he’s too soft !

  8. TitsMcgee

    This January gone, the scene was set and the perfect opportunity to prove to all that Wenger has changed presented itself. We were top of the league with everything to play for and somehow (mainly through Ramsey’s efforts in the early months) we found ourselves doing really well but not having played too many big teams. Everyone could see we have what can only be regarded as a third rate striker leading two equally incapable or inexperienced ones. Not only that but the most damning of all; the number of key players lost to injury.What do you do? Well, any normal manager with a desire and passion to win would have been like a bat out of hell on 1st January trying to secure a world class striker if not one or two other positions. But what actually happened will now go into the annals of AFC football history as one of the most incompetent and laughable transfer windows ever. On the last hour of the window, we signed an injured over-the-hill player on loan who will probably never play.So now, a month later we find ourselves sliding down the slippery incline while Wenger sings us another tune about how we have a habit of finishing strongly. And it’s not a one-off either. We can go back years citing all sorts of quirky decisions that got us into trouble, lost us finals, lost us crucial matches, scuppered out chances of getting new players etc. etc.On what basis can anyone with half a brain think that our future should remain in the hands of this man?”

    Great post.

  9. Cesc Appeal

    tunny

    On the players, maybe he is too soft, on the fans – yeah I think so.

    Nope, i think that quite aptly describes Wenger, especially as none of them ever think of themselves as tyrannical.

  10. N5

    Of course Moyes was a bad choice. That is why Sir Alex hand picked him! The saying goes: ” to make yourself look beautiful, you need to hang out with ugly people.” Thus in this case, to make yourself seem brilliant have your successor fail with the same tools and players.

    Crap manager = Alex the legend

    Very elementary my good buddies…”

    You should make a conspiracy DVD like Michael Moore.

    What a load of rubbish. What ever happens with any manager in the world Fergie will always be regarded as one of the best managers ever, why would he pick a manager that would single handily rubbish the club that he loves! people like you make me die with your absolute absurdity.

  11. GoonerSam

    Dan
    Gazidis won’t/can’t offer Wenger anything not okayed by Stan.
    I think they’re just waiting to announce his new contract at the end of the season.
    I’m certain there’s no plan B to get any other new manager in.

  12. hackneylad

    Anyone else think Alan Pardew is abit of a legend? Nope just me then :S…

    In all honesty man’s feelings of violence and anger is wrapped up in competition and in Victory. Competition for me cannot be separated from thee primal urges and impulses and I wouldn’t want it to.

    Yes there needs to be order and regulations but at the same time we can’t whole life being complete pansies who never get into a fight or two.

    We are men we get a headbutt and give a headbutt or two in life! I have come from a fighting background so the thought of a few bruises doesn’t arise thought of fear and horror more kind of like shrug your shoulders and get on with life.

    What Alan Pardew did was wrong but for me it is understandable as I am competitive bastard and when I am involved in competition the beast comes out from time to time. But I think that beast is deep down the true nature of man.

  13. goona

    @tits..
    “Higuain/Suarez up front”….if only, both are quite simply on a different planet compared to the utter crap we have upfront. how many teams in the prem league would want sanogo or giroud? its bloody embarrassing neither should be anywhere near this club. if we had hig and suarez they would of won us the league by now…if they had the chances our french donkey has, er “narrowly” missed.

  14. Thomas

    One thing that people don’t talk about a lot is how small we are in the midfield. Something that’s very apparent when we play Chelsea.We have dwarfs like Cazorla and Wilshere. Before we had Vieira and Gilberto. No one fears us anymore.

  15. goona

    @thomas, totally agree far to many of our team are the same build, especially the midfield. until we get some really strong powerfull players to complement and protect the skillful ones we will never lift another trophy….far to many softees I’m affraid. if the current team played against adams keown vierra and co they would shit themselves in the tunnel before kick off

  16. hackneylad

    Thomas/ Le-Grove

    What you lot have to understand is we take our selves and our club so seriously but we are an utter joke and an embarrassment.

    We are an irrelevance tis why the pundits said we would win nothing all season.

    We are just that club that fails every year.

    To the fan base of Chelsea city Liverpool even we are just that unambitious club that doesn’t have the balls nor the desire nor the fight nor the heart to make it to the finish line.

    Even smaller clubs look at us as a joke. Go on to any football forum website or chat to any fan in the street who isn’t Arsenal they will tell you this.

    Chelsea might be seen as cunts and hated but everyone sees them as winners

    We are seen as a joke.

  17. tunnygriffboy

    Aaron Lem

    Loads of our goals are scored based on the principle of pass and movement. Obviously the Wilshere and Rosicky goals were similar but there have been many based on pass and move like Ox’s v Palace, Jack’s v Marseille, Gnabry’s v Swansea.

  18. hackneylad

    Our team is fielded by losers they share a common trait with Wenger.

    Cazorla Jack and Ozil are all highly skilled but there mentality is weak and fragile.

    Ozil becomes invisible, Jack and Cazorla get to flustered and swamped by the big occasions. In Cazorla’s case its rifleing off terrible shots instead of spotting the key pass and losing focus which effects his first touch, in Jack’s case its throwing tantrums, falling over and making poor decisions.

    Rosiscky has heart and he does help but his ability in the final third is lacking.

    Only attacking players with heart are the two injured Ramsey and Walcott and the much benched OX.

    Flamini is another one with heart but he lacks ability.

    It’s an odd case the players with the most ability technical that is are also the weakest mentally and the players with the most heart fight and desire are the strongest mentally are the weakest technically.

    It’s a crap mix to have.

    We need a beast like Yaya Toure he beat stoke through his power his presence and his warrior mentality just as much as skill.

  19. TitsMcgee

    “Loads of our goals are scored based on the principle of pass and movement. ”

    Versus anyone that we can bully. Everyone of the top teams know how to prepare for us.

    See Wenger’s recent run v the top clubs.

  20. Aaron Lemon

    @Dan Ahern

    I’m not on a warpath or anything but your arguing of semantics is rather pedantic when in all honesty Wenger’s repeated shortcomings indicate he’s useless.

    Admittedly they wouldn’t were they one-offs. But they aren’t. Consistent problems paints an altogether telling picture of not understand ones mistakes, be they in the form of formation, tactics, signings, whatever the remit, it’s the same mistakes every season. The problems we have now, we had in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Maybe even pre-those seasons too.

    So, while you pontificate semantics about useless or simply ‘with shortcomings’ I’ll save myself the dithering and cut straight to the chase.

    The same errors when it comes to signings, tactics, game plans, substitutions, handling of young players, winning against intelligent managers, getting the most out of his players, injuries….whatever other remit you can think of – the same errors every single damn year regardless of the players? That’s management. To never learn? That’s clueless. Dress up however you like mate. Sit there on blogs and argue that you think it’s shortcoming but not clueless all you like! Within the realm of top, top managers, he is clueless, and the back catalogue of repeat issues is testament to that.

    I don’t mind a good argument but I’ve no time for people who would rather argue semantics than the actual point. Wenger is done at the top level and this season alone proves it.

  21. hackneylad

    Arsenal logic 101

    Arsenal management:”Lets Hire that scout from QPR”

    Sane person:”What the one who was a large part of the reason for their relegation? The one who hired overrated mercenaries who played awfully all season and didn’t give a fuck when it came to crunch time?”

    AM:”Yes that same one”

    SP: “don’t you think then that may just be a bad idea?”

    AM “Why would you ever think that?”

    SP”Relegation QPR? Disaster fiasco of there transfer dealings?”

  22. Gooner63

    Dissenter

    Ozils loss of form is because of wengers tactics/team selection

    Ozil needs people who move off the ball, with pace – so he cant find gaps, and then find killer crosses and passes

    having Giroud the statue and players who cant be arsed to make runs like podolskii, cazorla, wilshire is ruining his abilities – notice how he was great when ramsey and walcott were around making the runs

    blame Wenger – not Ozil

  23. reality check

    Talksport interesting calls going on.

    One fan said I paid £140 against utd

    £120 at stoke

    (Costs)

    I feel like im getting mugged off..

    Feel for the die hard away lot. So much passion, so much loyalty. Its not being reciprocated. I rwally

  24. Dissenter

    Hackney,
    Maybe the Broomfield guy will give us access to Remy.
    These days, Arsenal is in a race to the bottom. Medical chief from Westham who signed Carroll with a foot injury and now the scout from QPR.

    We used to pride ourselves on being well run, however the Kallstrom signing suggests otherwise.

  25. reality check

    Talksport interesting calls going on.

    One fan said I paid £140 against utd

    £120 at stoke

    (Costs)

    I feel like im getting mugged off..

    Feel for the die hard away lot. So much passion, so much loyalty. Its not being reciprocated. I really think wenger looks at all this like, he’s doing us a favour

  26. hackneylad

    Everyone on this blog is to positive!

    Here’s why!

    Jose with Chelsea will be a dominant force his their for the long haul so expect them to dominate the league and become a major super power in the football world I am talking CL champions and maybe the next Man United of England This will gone on for a decade or maybe even longer.

    Now expect Man City to become the other dominate force they at the very least will be just as dominant in the league as Chelsea and if they sort out their European problems they will win a CL in no time. They also have the resources and are already finding ways to easily circumnavigate FFP.

    So Where does that leave us then the pluck underdogs who win a trophy here or there? Nope not even that Liverpool will quickly take our spot as the other club at the top end of the table. Rogers has the desire the ambition the steely will to be a success.

    So what happens next for us? Arsene Wenger retires the board find a replacement who will be their yes man whose sole task is generating profit and good balance sheets.

    We are based in the capital city London and have a large structure we can keep this circus going without winning trophies for many many many years, they will find fans to fill up the stadium no problem.

    So we will become a shadow of want we once were and disappear for a decade maybe two before maybe being taken over by either a rich benefactor who actually wants the team to win as Kroenke will sale for a massive profit. Even then we wont do well in lase we get a visionary manager by then we may no longer be an attractive option for an up and coming manager as we will be a regular Europa league team.

    There is no place for us at the top now, this season was the last chance we are going to have this decade.

    Our whole team needs to be revamped.

    Arteta, Flamini, Wilshere, Giroud, Cazorla and OZil (given the fact he doesn’t fit this set up with the players we have)

    We then have OX and Walcott who are good enough yet they are not Hazard or Bale they can’t win you things by themselves every top team needs players like that.

    Ramsey is great will he stay though?

    Kos is already talking of leaving…

    Mert is getting older.

    Sagna is gone, Rosiscky is old.

    Gibbs is to fragile

    Are whole team is fucked! It’s not that we need one or two players we need a whole squad change but the replacements when they happen will be bit part and not good enough.

    WE will buy more injury prone technical mentally weak midgets because that’s all we know now

  27. Invincibles

    Players regress under wenger, simple as that. People will point to kos and mert and say ooh ooh, he has made them WC. To that I will say bollocks, he’s made them good but very far from WC. Look at theo, almost 6 to 7 years and while we miss him because of how shit giroud is, he’s hardly made huge leaps has he. It’s taken Ozil 5 months to realise that wenger is shit and the board and owner have no ambition, so can you blame him for the way his body language is. Look at rvp, yes yes we all hate him, but I reckon the moment he wanted to jump ship was the united game at the Emirates when he took of oxo after the boy had single handedly dragged us back into the game. Rvp’s reaction spoke volumes and in my opinion he realised then that wenger was a busted flush. I’m telling you now Ozil will agitate for a move in the transfer window, especially if he is dropped from the german side. No way will Ozil be an Arsenal player next year.

  28. tunnygriffboy

    Amongst all the despondancy I’m still gutted we lost Theo and Rambo. Even more despondent that Walcotts pace wasn’t replaced. If we had these two available and firing I’d still have a buzz going into the run in. Now I’m just
    anxious as hell.

    Gooner63

    You right about Ozil being hampered without Theo and Rambo. Hopefully we will see Rambo again before not too long.

  29. tenerife gooner

    Pedro,please tell me Stewart Houston is a joke and he is not around the Emirates.That man used to make the train journey from Paddington to Devon so F—— miserable.I don’t go to games anymore,see most down here on TV. Can someone give their opinion on Coquelin,i was under the impression he was within touching distance of the 1st team.

  30. Dan Ahern

    Aaron Lemon — I’d take essentially the same argument and turn it on you. Instead identifying the areas to critique you make the blanket statement that he’s “useless”. You then qualified it as “within the context of running one of the richest club in the world”. So who’s arguing semantics here? Know what I mean?

    Anyhow, sorry you’re tired of the argument. I don’t mind the debate and enjoy people like you who give their line of reasoning. Sorry if I was too caustic with the response.

  31. 5am

    One other thing is how Kroenke might view Liverpool’s ascendency because of a direct US business competitor. The fact he’s been outsmarted over the Suarez contract and now pipped in the league could actually finally stir the silent one into action…..well, we can but hope!!

  32. Hunter

    Makes me laugh to think that Suarez staying at Liverpool will probably mean he gets CL football,whereas IF he had joined us he could only look forward to Europa games.We will be in total meltdown at the end of March,still not to worry we still have plenty of dish!and a manager who has a worldwide reputation of being the greatest thing since sliced bread.Our whole club sucks,talk about overhaul,we need new manager,new coaches,new medical team,new owners,new CEO at least 8 WC players,lower prices and a smaller trophy room,because with all theses changes that are needed but simply won’t happen,the trophy room will be empty for the foreseeable future.I predict that under this arsehole we will NEVER win another thing!This also has to be the poorest AFC squad/team I have ever watched,no fight,no guts,little talent,weak but paid a FORTUNE !when I die I want to come back as a wenger love child!

  33. follow the money

    I think Wenger is scared. I think he is scared because he suspects that if he quits a new manager will win something with his players (proving that as a manager he is shyte). I think he’s scared that Tottenham will pip us to fourth. Think about that for a second. A club with a first time manager who doesn’t even have his coaching badges, coaching a team of misfits he didn’t even have any say in signing, beats us to Wengers treasured fourth place trophy. That would be damning proof that Wenger is a fraud and a horrible manager, and I bet he is terrified of it happening. And to the Wenger apologists or even those preaching more patience, my view is not even about this season. I have been wanting Wenger to adapt or leave since 2007, when his numerous shortcomings as a manager and squad builder became readily apparent. Something has to change. Perrennial bridesmaids with no hope of winning anything is a ridiculous way to run a club. Liverpool did their time in the wasteland and look set now to move above us. The future looks bright for them. For us it’s always the same, enough skill players to beat the poor teams, enough skill players to hang around the top of the table until the second half of the season when teams actually start trying, but NEVER enough to beat the big teams, and NEVER enough to win anything. It’s sick and it must end

  34. Dissenter

    Hackney,
    Let me add to the projections for the top of the league.
    -Liverpool come third, they use the automatic CL spot and their offensive line to recruit world class talent. They’ll be challenging for the title in 1-2 seasons.
    -Spurs will get a world class coach, either Vaan Gaal or Prandelli. They have never been afraid to spend, maybe they’ll get it right eventually.
    -The story United’s demise will be changed next season, they’ll buy their way out of their slump.
    -City? Nothing to add to what you’ve already written.
    -Chelsea with Mourhino?. Nothing to add to what you’ve written already.

    If this season is frustrating, then wait till next season.
    We won’t buy until we qualify for the CL proper in late August. Wenger will dither and dither and eventually buy two kids and a good player (opportunistic buy from a distressed club).

    We’ll be having this same conversation in March 2015.

  35. Invincibles

    Every time I see le cunts face on tv now I just wish someone would smash it in. I loathe and detest the bottle job failure. A fucking sunday league manager aaargghhhh. Loathsome fucking slime ball

  36. Dissenter

    @5am,
    Stan Kroenke is not in sports for glory. It’s just business, no more no less.
    Arsenal is just the foreign branch of his American business. Over here in the states, a clubs standing/ income is guaranteed no matter what.

    Stan’s teams just occupy key markets for income purposes.
    The Liverpool guy is part of the Red sox turnaround. He’s different.

  37. tunnygriffboy

    Hackney lad

    That is a truly depressing post, it’s Johntyesque in its negativity. You always used to be fairly balanced in your views and were generally supportive of our players. You were even called an AKB at times which drove you bananas. You’ve been
    on LG too long and it’s brainwashed you lol ! ! !

    Genuinely do you really think the squad needs to be revamped ? Personally even before the season started I felt we needed another 3 top players, a striker, DM and a left sided forward with pace to be added to Ozil in the next two transfer
    windows to be competitive. That was without Theo and Rambo missing. I think adding to the squad rather than revamping it is what is required.

    Chin up mate. It’s not all bad. ( apart from Jan transfer debacle ) looool !

  38. Invincibles

    Look at the rambo incident, apart from the AKB’S who genuinely believed he’d only be out for 3 weeks? Fuck me I’m no doctor but it was obvious he was out for a couple of months and wankerwenger knew this but kept it quite till the last few days of the transfer window before coming up with the shit about
    him breaking down. That way he could use it as an excuse for not having bought anyone decent in the window. A lying cunt of a fraud manager.

  39. hackneylad

    Dissenter

    I agree with your comment but I feel Spurs will be on the same level as us. I just think Daniel Levy will sign the wrong manager again.

    They have wasted the money they have, they just can’t afford to buy WC talent with Europa football. Van Gaal is way out of their league.

    I think Arsenal’s and Spurs seasons highlight will be the derby matches. Which is a embarrassing and depressing for us.

  40. grooveydaddy

    I think the most encouraging thing I’ve noticed over the last two days is that nobody’s come forward with an outright defense of wenger.

    (Other than Keyser, who said he’d give him another year)

  41. Phil

    Dan Ahern

    At least you admit it

    now why dont you go an support your local pub team

    maybe why you are at it you can look at their books / finances & wax lyrical about what s good business model they have ?

  42. Invincibles

    Fuck me keyser uses posh words to pretend he knows what he’s talking about. Truth is he is like wenger full of shit. Trust me next year when we are all moaning about the same things we have done for last 5 to 6 years, he’ll be begging people to give wenger another year.

  43. follow the money

    @ dissenter. Spot on. John Henry wants to win because it increases the value of his clubs. Kroenke has never worked that way, he is an opportunist. He buys clubs that he knows will increase in value even if they lose and then just sits on them. No risk, no investment. He is a coward like Wenger. If things continue they way they are, Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City will occupy the top 3 spots for the forseeable future and we will be battling for fourth with Totts Everton and ManU. Oh joy

  44. hackneylad

    tunnygriff

    Sagna is gone, so we need a WC Right back, we might even need a back up Right back as Jenks will realise his not gonna make it at the top his what 23 going on 24 if he can’t take over from Sagna now his never going to be able to.

    so that’s 2 players right there.

    Arteta is shot and Flamini for me was always a 1 season stop gap!

    So that’s 2 players one of them a DM one of them a versatile holding player.

    so that’s another 2 not 1 we NEED 2 otherwise we once again will have no depth

    We have ox and theo on one wing so the right wing is covered.

    The left wing though with Cazorla and podolski isn’t

    We need pace on the left as Caz can’t be played against all opposition and Podolski I love the lad but his not a right fit for the team and his position has become untenable for me.

    So 1 player their.

    We then need to sell Giroud don’t want him anywhere near the team, bendtner is gone and Sanago is at least 2-3 seasons of the pace.

    So we will need 2 strikers a WC one and a really good second striker aka Carlos Vela level,Negredo level.

    So that’s 7 players now fab is off apparently so we need a back up goalkeeper.

    As well as a third choice CB because Sagna our 3choice is off so that’s one player there.

    WE NEED 9 players minimum. Otherwise we are going to go another season dropping out because of fatigue and injury we desperately need depth or we might as well not bother trying.

    WE need 9 players otherwise we are relying on arteta flamini and rosiscky whilst not having any WC talent that can win us games.

    If you compare are squad to City Bayern we just can’t hack it.

    We are so far of the pace its ridiculous its no longer the case of a 3 player fix its gone beyond that.

  45. Keyser

    *Warning graphic content.

    A horrifying crashing sound is heard, screams and the thud of a body falling to the ground, it’s late in the evening, just before dusk, and while most of the shops have closed for the day, there’s enough still open for a crowd to gather.

    A passing car has swerved into the railings along the High Street, knocking a teenage girl off her bike.

    ‘Mate is she ok..’

    ‘I don’t know, there’s blood streaming from her head, HELP, anyone know First Aid..’

    ‘Anyone..? Call an ambulance’.

    Three deep into the crowd there’s a slight bustling, the crowd parts, a man steps forward, everyone turns to look as he moves forward and kneels beside the girl, there’s an audible sigh of relief from several of the people as they realise someone knows what they’re doing.

    ‘Move aside, let me see her’ he says.

    ‘Are you a doctor mate ?’

    ‘I’m no doctor..

    .. but I can tell you she’s going to be out a while’

    ‘Wait, what ? who the fuck are you..’

    The man gets up, slowly wanders off, people anxiously looking at himas he waddles back off down the high street, just past Greggs, but before ‘The Three Ton’s’ on the corner.

    ‘Fucking AKB’s.’ he mutters, and with that he was gone.

  46. Invincibles

    A boot up his arse should be his leaving present. Off into the night he goes like the pied piper, his loyal AKB skipping along behind him while he mumbles about hand brake and mental strength as well as top top qualidee…..

  47. Jeff

    Dan,

    I don’t know about a performance based contract but it wouldn’t surprise me if Wenger himself wants to use the end of this particular contract to call it a day. There’s something a bit forlorn about his body language in front of the camera these days that tells me his heart is no longer in it.

    The board do not trust themselves to find a replacement so they’d prefer it if he stays. But I’ve always said: he will never be sacked. The only way he will go is by his own volition.

  48. hackneylad

    http://www.chelseafc.com/first-team

    http://www.mcfc.co.uk/players

    http://www.arsenal.com/first-team/players

    Are fabled midfield is a joke we have so little depth we have a 16 year old gedion included in the first team squad.

    Rosiscky Love they guy but past his peak and will be used as an excuse not to buy when we need to

    Mikel arteta way way way past his sell by date

    Jack Wilshere Utterly overrated, 2 goals and 2 assists a season player woop de doo
    Mesut Ozil, Great player but will fail here unless their radical changes in the squad and he needs to strengthen his willpower

    Aaron Ramsey love this guy! expect him to be sold probably to City

    Santi Cazorla 29 this should be his best year his having a bad bad season

    Flamini only ever a stop gap not got the necessary talent to be our DM

    Abou Diaby Fiasco.com

    Kim kallstrome had to include as his listed as first team fiascothesequel.com

    Forwards

    We have podolski Walcott giroud oxlade sanago bendtner gnarby miyachi gnarby

    Walcott and OX only very good players.

    Pod ain’t gonna make it here now I think most of us realise that

    Giroud is awful

    Sanago Bendtner miaychi fall into the who gives a shit why the fuck are feeling vital first place spots?

    gnarby looks good who knows what way that will go though.

  49. hackneylad

    Though to be fair on Park his our most clinical forward his got a hundred percent score rate!

    Park has captained the South Korea national team, for which he has enjoyed plenty of success. He scored a vital goal against Nigeria in the 2010 World Cup, and netted six times in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. In addition, he helped them to third place at the 2012 Olympic Games – scoring twice, including a goal in the bronze medal match. With his country having qualified for this summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil, he will have his eye on another exciting campaign at that level.

  50. Uchmangunnernaija

    Arteta, Giroud and Wilshere should never be starters next season. The first 2 should fuck off as a matter of fact. Flamini, Cazorla, Wilshere , Gibbs( glass ankles) should all be played against the smaller teams ONLY. We need youth and athleticism in the CB and DM positions. We obviously need a world class striker. Giroud is crap, Sanogo is still learning.
    I won’t fool myself into thinking we’ll address most or all of our issues. I’ve been fooled everytime I raise my hopes. It’s dam depressing where we’re headed but you still have fans telling us how great we are! Delusional

  51. Zorro

    What I don’t understand is why does Wenger need to prove everyone wrong all the time. Why does he have to prove he sees potential in a player, which nobody else could see but him alone!

  52. Jeff

    Invincibles,

    I know but his contract wasn’t up then. He doesn’t walk out of any contract. However this time the contract actually expires and rather than face another three years he might just go.

    To a large extent it probably is wishful thinking but I can’t believe he doesn’t sometimes think about jacking it all in. Maybe this year is the one.

  53. Dan Ahern

    Jeff — You’re right, he would never ever be sacked, but I could see him being nudged and leaving because of it. Say Gazidis wants to inhibit is power in some way, for example letting somebody else have final say on player purchase prices. Or requiring him to allow players to be paid more than himself. Basically, any small measures which empower Gazidis as the head of the club. I could see him trying to institute something like that and Wenger deciding he will not stand for it. Of course, I can also see IG knowing realistically AW will only stay a few more years and deciding to accommodate him once more.

  54. hackneylad

    It’s not just Wenger though it goes so far beyond that, its the ceo aswell its near impossible to be successful if a clubs ceo is a wrong’un it would make any new managers job impossible.

    It’s why we wont win another trophy while kroenke is here

  55. Dan Ahern

    lol Phil has obviously never read my comments before.

    In fact I’m pretty sure he hasn’t even read them today.

    In fact, I’m pretty sure reading at all causes him undue mental strain. That’s a rude thing to say but I’m confident he won’t make it this far.

  56. Jeff

    Dan,

    That last bit about letting him stay for one more session just for the sake of it is nothing less than a dereliction of duty if it proves to be the case. They have already let the club slide for so long that if he continues for another 3 years it will only take even longer to recover once he does go if indeed we recover at all.

    As I was saying yesterday, we really need to start the rebuilding process as soon as possible and this year seems perfect. All we have in the way of success are distant memories. More importantly there has been a repetition of the same mistakes year on year and it would be a huge mistake if Gazidis can’t see through it.

    The new manager will have an enormous task which cannot be completed over one or two seasons. A lot of bad practices have to be undone. New players have to be bought. Many existing players need to be released.

    I am under no illusion that once Wenger goes life for an Arsenal fan will be a bowl of cherries. It won’t but the point is we are in a rut and there is no prospect of escape unless and until Wenger goes. Very sad, but that’s how I see it.

  57. MarbleHall

    Wenger looked really out of his comfort zone when talking about tactics. He was bursting to say mental strength, togetherness, fighting spirit and super quality.

  58. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    My fellow gooners

    I have a dream
    Where arsenal will play attacking powefull football
    Where young players will be given a chance on merit
    A team where favourites don’t get picked just because ,,,

    A team where super players will join
    Where players get brought for what they can do rather than how much they cost .

    A team where if the good ain’t good enough they get moved on,
    Where constantly injured players get paid off
    Not living off expensive benefits street

    A captain that will lead as strong as the manager

    I have a dream

  59. Dan Ahern

    Jeff — Right on, Gazidis will know we’re underperforming and not utilising resources. That’s why I’m thinking he has some stipulations that have caused a delay in the new contract. I don’t see why Wenger wouldn’t have signed it a couple months ago otherwise.

  60. Dan Ahern

    Jeff — Right on, Gazidis will know we’re underperforming and not utilising resources. That’s why I’m thinking he has some stipulations that have caused a delay in the new contract. I don’t see why Wenger wouldn’t have signed it a couple months ago otherwise.

    Could be wrong, but there has to be some reason.

  61. reality check

    Lol

    Comedy gold tonight lads… well done

    No point crying anymore, might aswell laugh eh

    Hackney lad – some excellent points regarding our squad. When you break it down player by player. It really exposes how much wengers ways have f’d us up as a club going forward.

    We won’t achieve absolute failure, but we won’t achieve absolute success either. Just abit of both

  62. reality check

    ZorroMarch 3, 2014    20:19:20
    What I don’t understand is why does Wenger need to prove everyone wrong all the time. Why does he have to prove he sees potential in a player, which nobody else could see but him alone!

    This.

  63. MarbleHall

    Ideal scenario get dumped out of the cup and to suffer a couple more humiliating defeats making Wenger’s job untenable

    Alternatively go deep in to the cup competition secure the 4th place trophy and endure 3 more rudderless years under Wenger.

  64. Paddy got up

    Did you hear that Fat Pat was forced to stay as Wengers assistant for 5 years longer than he wanted. His main role was to accompany Wenger to lunch each day when he saw a superb deal he couldn’t resist..
    All you can eat buffet with Rice- £6
    Boom Boom

  65. reality check

    86 minutes

    Arsenal vs Stoke

    Oxo bursts down the right. Looks up.
    Cuts back a cross to who…..

    Giroud

    Before sanogos row zed. It was girouds weak tame effort. More or less from the same scenario.

    You guys probably analyzed it to death already, but I missed that one. Hey ho.

  66. The Procrastinater

    Arsenal sell their brand, their merchandise, season-tickets on the perception of illusion.
    The perception that occupying a place in the Top four of the PL is proof they are challenging, but in reality they’re only prepared to flirt on the peripherals.
    Every season since the stadium move, Arsene Wenger has insisted on taking Arsenal into the new campaign a few players short of what’s required. That isn’t a financial issue, that is a fundamental failing, one which even an 8-2 humiliation at Old Trafford hasn’t fixed. This season is testimony to that. By continually downgrading the quality in certain areas, all he has done is give Arsenal an inferiority complex against the bigger and better sides, which is why they choke and crumble each and every acid-test.
    As odious and classless as Mourinho is, who can argue with his statement on Wenger? Wenger himself waited until after the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace to respond, as if that one game had somehow proved Mourinho wrong. The sad truth is that Wenger has nothing left to defeat Mourinho’s claim, because no-one within the Arsenal hierarchy challenge him.
    Pedro called it yesterday, ‘ Arsenal; Built to fail’.
    There has been no progression since the stadium move, and for the last four years eliminated from the CL at the Round of 16. This for a massive club with the same wage-bill as Bayern Munich? It doesn’t add up. How can Arsenal have the same wage-bill as Bayern and yet be so far apart in overall quality?
    There is a genuine lack of intelligence at Arsenal, both from a football and a business perspective, and if it isn’t addressed with some sense of urgency, the club will fall further behind the leading pack and become irrelevant.

  67. Bermy boy

    At the Oscars last night…..Wengers acceptance speech……

    I would like to thank Ivan and all of the board members for letting me do what the fuck I like,I mean without you this wouldn’t be possible.

    I would also like to thank the fans for letting me screw them over and taking my shit for the last eight years,and with my new contract maybe three more.

    Last but not least my coaching staff for being afraid of me and giving me total freedom to coach the fucking way I like.

    Thank you ,thank you everyone I will cherish this award for the rest of my life and god bless you.

  68. Dale Rios

    Ah, thought i was the only one who noticed that, Wenger was just making it up as he went along. Man doesn’t know the first thing about tactics, let alone changing them.

  69. MidwestGun

    Dale –
    Wenger has tactics.-
    Pass slow, no slower.
    Don’t run forward until 2nd half.
    Do not shoot until you see the whites of the keeper’s eyes.
    Only dribble towards the middle of the field.
    If you dribble into more than 2 players and lose the ball, fall down, look at referee, and do not get up.
    Take free kicks directly into wall, maybe someone will move.
    All corner kicks must at some point touch Mertesacker’s head.
    All passes to Giroud must involve a flick return pass.
    When in doubt cross the ball to the opposing keeper.

    Im sure there are more. Just the ones I have noticed.

  70. iBee

    Let’s start a new Arsenal…..Football Manager should be able to help….

    Asides this. ….

    Nothing is changing at the Emirates for a while to come sure

  71. Ozenal

    Wenger is the value ticket in terms of wages too. 100k+ per week may sound a lot these days for manager but he has final say and a lot of control over many aspects of the club, youth, fitness, gym, scouting etc etc

    Not many continental managers would want to risk their golden 2year period at a big club by fiddling with guts of the club only to end up trophy less. They will want a whole ballroom team dedicated to it.

    Don’t you think Arsene’s ability is to be coherent in design.

    And do you really think he would oversee a new manager while he kicks back into a directors role?

    Unless Thierry or another son of his becomes manager I don’t think it is likely .

    Btw I think Thierry would make an amazing coach. He has great leadership skills, great communicator, an innovator and highly intelligent and adaptable. He was the first to adjust to the two phase offside rule and simply stayed offside. Giving defenders a real headache, it’s a tactics used by Aguero quite successfully this season.

  72. grooveydaddy

    Midwest-

    Sorry for the late reply. Crashed out for the night. Time difference and all that…

    Yep, still in Asia. Been living out here the last 15 years or so.

    Haven’t been posting much because there’s not been much to write about to be honest.

    How’s the winter over your Wr this year? (i definitely don’t miss those!!)

  73. MidwestGun

    Grooveydad-
    No prob. Ya time difference. Was just gonna ask if you’ve been able to catch all the games. If you missed Stoke match, count yourself lucky.

    Winter has been terrible. Record snow and sub-zero weather. Just got more ice and snow this week. Supposed to warm up next week. Im a building contractor so basically on vacation til weather breaks. Doing some indoor work. But im definately moving south eventually. Got a nice spot picked out on the beach in Texas.

    Do you get FA cup there? Should be a good match up. Season basically riding on it.

  74. follow the money

    the Sagna situation has highlighted everything that is wrong with the club. Awhile back he called out 9 year trophy drought embarrassing, and said he wanted to stay and help us end it—he has won nothing during his years with us. I cannot think of a more loyal servant to Arsenal than Bacary Sagna. And now he is leaving because Wenger doesn’t want to give him a three year contract. Wenger is fine with paying Diaby year after year but will not reward a stand up guy and loyal player who is rarely injured like Bac. This is sick and wrong and it makes me hate Wenger. The worst thing I can imagine is Totts beating us to fourth in the table but if that’s what it takes to get Wenger to leave then so be it. I simply cannot get excited about supporting Arsenal while he is here with his backwards views on how football should be played and how teams should be run

  75. Thank you and goodnight

    @Follow the money
    Spot on mate. Wenger has taken the enjoyment out of supporting Arsenal.

  76. Gladwyn

    Wish Arsene walks away before the end of his contract and the team atleast gets to try a different style of football under Bould till the end of the season.

  77. Ilerioluwa

    Your Comment Here
    Keyser trying to compare us to athletico

    They don’t have 120mil cash balance
    They don’t hhave inferior players on the same wage bill as bayern
    They didn’t adopt a project youth with overpaid players
    They bought falcao for 35m even though they don’t have much money yet we have only made one similar purchase despite being infintely richer than them.
    They are not the 6th richest club in the world, don’t charge the highest prices in europe and don’t make healthy profits yearly
    Prove me wrong

  78. Ilerioluwa

    Your Comment Here
    I put it to you that if athletico were in the same circumstances as arsenal, they would have come up much sooner than they did
    But they are debt laden and not too wealthy
    If we are only comparable to athletico how come we pay wages like bayern.
    I am sure the amount they used in buying players is somewhat near ours even though they arent half as rich
    Prove me wrong

  79. Gladwyn

    Keyser seems to be the only Pro-Wenger bloke still alive. Rev Kevin and the others (cant seem to remember the name of others.. wait there was a guy who came on here and said we’d take Utd apart at the Emirates and that Wenger was a tactical genius-Does anyone remember his name)have taken off since the Liverpool drubbing.

    Also read somewhere that Jack Wilshere was still thinking we could win the title. Wouldn’t blame him really, that’s how delusional you can get if you have Arsene Wenger as your manager

  80. Crusaderrabbit

    If you think there’s no one left supporting Wenger just head over twitter and there’s the usual ‘names’ still calling for patience. Tim Payton trotting out the line the manager just needs to change his approach. Jesus what does it take for some people to call for change, they pride themselves on being rational and moderate whereas in fact they’re just cowards

  81. Gladwyn

    @crusaderrabbit

    I meant here on LeGrove. Well most other blogs have Wenger trolls. There are some who worship him like he’s their salvation.

  82. Kwik fit

    Gladwyn

    In 09-11 I actually still felt he was the right man. It was only from 11 on-wards that it was obvious to anyone bar the AKB he had lost the plot.

  83. Johnty79

    You losers on here probably agree with rosicky signing a new deal. He has coincided with us being a loser club. Sagna as well a loser let him go.

    I can’t wait till we finish fifth and wenger leaves. Bergkamp the bottler shouldn’t get a staue either. He let man utd win the treble in 1999.loser.

  84. Crusaderrabbit

    @Gladwyn That’s the most depressing thing, just when you think there might be a groundswell of opinion enough to get him to walk, you realise there’s still thousands of numpties out there who still think he’s the man for the job!

  85. Bergkamplegend

    Terrible dream last night (I swear it’s true!!), we were trashing 30-15 (yes you read well, 30-15!! lol) by Bayern in the CL, but I think it was the final!!

    And THEN, right after the game, Wenger decided to quit…AT LAST!! lol

    You can’t invent fucked up dreams like this, so thanks again Arsène for the trauma you cause to the fans since 8 years!! LOL

  86. N5

    Johnty79 stepping up the cunt level!

    Johnty I would love to meet you in real life, out of all the people that have come and gone on this site, you are by far the biggest mug of them all and you really need knocking out.

    You speak more rubbish then anyone I’ve ever met online and in real life and your stupidity increases with every post.

    It won’t be long before your rocking in a corner, dribbling all over your spud shirt saying “Arsene out” over and over and over and over.

    Oh yeah and touching your cock to pictures of Samba!

  87. Gladwyn

    I can’t wait till we finish fifth and wenger leaves. – Cheers to that.

    Bergkamp the bottler shouldn’t get a staue either. He let man utd win the treble in 1999.loser.- Uncalled for. He gave us a few success moments,pretty much what we have held on to for the nine year drought.

  88. Bergkamplegend

    johnty : “”Bergkamp the bottler shouldn’t get a staue either. He let man utd win the treble in 1999.loser.”
    Is this irony ???
    No ?? Then FUCK OFF!!

  89. Evan

    Anyone that disrespects Bergkamp really doesn’t appreciate Football, let alone Arsenal. I think there are other players of old that should have a statue but Dennis is more world renowned

  90. Gladwyn

    We give spuds some reasons to smile at times as well.

    It won’t be long before your rocking in a corner, dribbling all over your spud shirt saying “Arsene out” over and over and over and over.
    Oh yeah and touching your cock to pictures of Samba!

    Trust that brings a smile to your sorry face Johnty