Two choices for Arsene: Leave now or cede power and collaborate

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Another big game. Another flunked test. Arsenal are now in serious jeopardy of losing out on 4th place.

We knew what Everton’s game plan was going to be. Arsene Wenger didn’t. They came at us with the objective of destroying us in the first half an hour, and sure enough, that’s what they did.

They were mentally prepared, tactically aware, drilled and packed with energy.

Comments like, ‘they wanted it more’, don’t really work for me. All footballers want to win. That extra zip those players had over ours is baked into the Everton set up. They’ve been built to play at that tempo. Last week, they would have been trained so they could play at that pace. No training ground beasting for those guys. It showed as well, they were ferocious in the way they picked off our sorry group of players.

We had nothing to offer the game. We had no shape and no awareness of what was going on. Our defending was shambolic, our reaction was pathetic and we caved to a better team who have a far better manager.

… and that’s it people. Martinez, at the moment, is a better manager than Arsene Wenger. Our relic of leader has no idea what’s going on. He’s utterly clueless. He can’t see what’s coming because he doesn’t check. He can’t react to what’s going on because he’s a creature of habit (waiting until the 65th minute to change the game was embarrassing). He can’t win against top sides these days because at the highest level, it’s about the manager and the marginal gains he offers you.

On our travels this year against the top 5 sides, we’re 20-4 down.

Take a moment. Digest that figure. Now ask yourself this, how can we possibly sign Arsene Wenger up for another two years? How can anyone defend the stagnation? How can Arsenal football club allow him to sign up to the new deal?

He has to go. In fact, if he loses against Wigan, he might decide to leave. Really though, the FA Cup isn’t sugar coating anything. The reality here is that Arsene has taken us from top of the league in February to fighting for our lives for Champions League football. Harry Redknapp was sacked for less. Where is the quality control here?

Who is going to say, ‘Arsene, enough is enough’…

Player reaction

What will be interesting is the reaction from the players. Are they sick of the b*llshit? Are they sick of having no game plan? I know for a fact the players bemoan the lack of planning behind the scenes. Will the players fight for the manager next week against Wigan, or will they bend over? How can they motivate themselves to play for someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing.

… and look, players are like fans. They can see what’s going wrong. Did you see Theo’s face when Sky asked him what he thought about signing Ozil? Did you see his face when asked about the surprise in not signing a striker in January? He knows.  Players speak to their pals at Barca and Madrid, they know what goes into prep. They know how meticulous Martinez, Rodgers and Mourninho are. They know that Wenger isn’t going to change. So what are they there fighting for?

What will the reaction look like at Wigan? They’re a Cup winning side. We’re totally deflated and we don’t have enough players to rotate in some enthusiasm. Sometimes, players just cave. It’s not said verbally, you can just see that they’ve given up. I watched Milan players do it earlier in the season against Sassuolo when they lost 4-3. Could that happen to Arsene’s men? Or can they muster something special for a last hurrah?

The Reality

Two more years of stagnation shouldn’t be an option. The second half of the season has felt like watching your dad taking a nicely humoured beating in the pub. You can’t step in either. You know he can’t fight back anymore, he’s trying, still bullish he can overturn it, but simple fact is he’s had it. He doesn’t have to tools to get out of this one. What’s worse is he doesn’t have the pride to walk away.

The press can defend him and tell Arsenal fans they’re ungrateful. They can say things like ‘Arsenal have had injuries that put context against their demise’… and never explore the reasons why we have those injuries. They can complain the players don’t have the bottle, without ever taking time to understand what a nonsensical statement that is when you look at the players we have. They can bemoan the lack of pace and never put that to Wenger And ask why he doesn’t have power in his squad. However, what they can’t ever get away from is that he’s failed another season. Outside of cute quotes and a brand of football that draws sympathetic ‘oh, but at least they try to play the right way’, what have we got in Arsene Wenger nowadays?

Don’t be dumbed down into the harsh realities of what we’re dealing with here. Don’t accept turgid statements like ‘ there weren’t the players’, ‘it’s bad luck’ or ‘the players have let Arsene down’.

Demise and Delusion

Hell, if you want any further indicator of Wenger’s slide into delusion, think about his statement yesterday about hair supplements causing additional injury. What scientific basis did he have for that statement? Who was he talking about? That comment was an absolute sh*t show. Players aren’t taking drugs on the side and they aren’t impacting injuries. He’s looking at the 1% chance over the 90% chance that the reason his players are ruined is because he kills them.

Add this all up and you have incompetence. It’s not purposeful incompetence, it’s incompetence that has degenerated his abilities over the course of ten years. Wenger challenges hair supplements because he knows no better. He overplays because he thinks he knows players and their bodies better than the experts. He doesn’t have a game plan because he doesn’t know how to have one. He doesn’t buy in power because he’s being advised badly. I mean, when is someone going to challenge Wenger’s mindset that you can’t bulk up players because they lose their mobility? Anyone showed him Matic? Does he remember Drogba? Has he seen Yaya Toure? Did he watch Lukaku destroy us? Did he watch our players constantly disposessed by bigger / faster players? When is someone going to sit with Wenger and explain to him that his incredibly poor record against top teams is all about his lack of a match plan. How can a man, so intelligent, not see that if you line up the same way every week, it makes you predictable and easy to play against?

The Choices

So do you give him the chance to rebuild? Does Ivan step in and force change? Can the manager accept he’s being let down by hangers on intent on self preservation? Does Wenger have the bottle and the gumption to have one final last push at trying management 2.0?

It’ll be major upheaval whichever route he takes. We’re already as bad as it gets in modern football. It’s an miracle we managed to sustain a challenge for so long doing things the old fashioned way. It was always going to fall apart though.You can fight toe to toe doing things badly, but at some point, the pressure will tell and you’ll have no fall back mechanism.

My view is that the manager should walk away. My view is that he might just do that. Look at him on the sidelines at Swansea, he didn’t stand up for 65minutes. Yesterday, he hardly stood at all. He just sat there. He looked almost delirious. He doesn’t know what’s going on and no one will be frank with him. He’s built a backroom team around him that doesn’t pride itself on great work. Instead of building a culture of excellence, where you celebrate pushing your department on, he’s built a backroom team that care only about preserving their futures. Having the favour of the manager is about agreeing with him, not about telling him there’s a different way of doing things that might yield 9 extra points a season because we lower our player down time by 8%. We need hungry, young, talented people working all over the club.

To do that, the manager needs to take a back seat. He needs to understand that he can’t be chief scout, financial director, 1st team coach, tactician and the fitness coach. If you can’t be the best, build the best around you. Feed off their enthusiasm. Fuck it, learn something. I’m 29, I work in social marketing (3 years ago), when I started, I did everything (insights, content, community, outreach, planning)… now I do nothing. I have a team of people that wipe the floor with me, all working as specialists within the aforementioned disciplines. I remember the days where you did it all. Now, I’m a relic, thriving off the talent that works for me. Arsene’s job shouldn’t be about being the expert in  it all, it should be about taking that information and turning it into something special. Empower talent and you’ll reap the rewards. Football and business are the same, though football, in general, is struggling to accept the evolution.

This isn’t revolutionary stuff in general. This is how Lyon operated so successfully, this is why Barca are where they are, it’s what they’ve been implementing at Manchester City, it’s the structure David Moyes destroyed at United, it’s the approach Rogers has taken that’s given Liverpool a chance at the title… it’s the way a modern club operates. The manager is the figurehead. He’s there, taking all the expert data and crafting it into a final 11. The department heads don’t fear challenging the manager and kicking things on, because ultimately, departmental excellence is their job and the only person who can sack them is the CEO. This is how all the best clubs work. It’s a collaboration, not a dictatorship. The only fear you have in your job is not being the best you can be. That’s how you kick on a company. That’s how you kick on a football backroom team.

That’s why I’m not sure Arsene has it in him to change. That’s why I’d be game for someone like Steve Bould taking over. I don’t think we need a massive name. Football isn’t that game anymore. We need someone who is young, eager to impress, of the right stature and most importantly, someone Ivan Gazidis has control over.  Bring in Bould, give him a deal and tell him he has the full backing under stipulations. Steve Bould is the right age, he’s a beast of a man but with a very likeable edge. He’s a legend as well, he’s one two Premier Leagues (I think he was here for the second) and two 1st Divisions, countless cups. He knows the club inside out and he’ll no doubt have an opinion about what’s going on. I simply refuse to believe he’s not sitting on the touchlines facepalming inside. The other important aspect about Steve Bould is that firstly, the players all like him and secondly, he’ll have the fans on his side. Barca lost Frank Rijkaard and put in their B team manager. He’s now one of the greatest managers of all time. He left the club and they brought in Villanova who upped it again for the club. You bring in someone internally, they know the politics of the club, they know the players and they’ll have the power to upgrade.

If we go outside the club, you have to look at what Martinez has done and be impressed. He has a vision, he has charisma and he’s delivering a brand of football at Everton I’d love to see at Arsenal. You have other managers like Thomas Tuchel who has a tremendous reputation in Germany for the work he’s doing with Mainz. There’s obviously someone like Klopp who is everyone’s dream. I just worry that he’s a bit crazy and he has some similarities with Wenger. He’s played with a tiny squad this year and he’s suffered some pretty horrendous injuries. Could be a one off, could be something deeper. My issue with an appointment like Klopp is that he’s an ego. He’s been there and done it… could be a masterstroke, could be a disaster. Point is, how much power can the club have over a global superstar manager?

So we are where we are. I don’t think this season has been hugely different to the last four or five. I’ve been putting these arguments up for the best part of 7 years. What changed this year is categorically, all Wenger’s usual fall back excuses were removed. For the first time, he’s been fully accountable. The 10 year wait for money, ironically, has been Wenger’s demise. Wenger had £100m to spend, he didn’t buy a striker, didn’t buy pace or power and then made it even worse by complaining about the existence of the January transfer window. His lack of drive to make the Premiership his this year will be the legacy of this season.

Question is, what does Arsene want his legacy to be? Because he’s killing it. He’ll always be remembered as the man who brought greatness to Arsenal, but will that be tinged with the following comment… ‘but he did go a bit Brian Clough in the end’… Wenger has two choices. Bow out on a cup win and hand over the reins, or cede power and collaboratively build a modern football club for the next manager.

Watching this one pan out will be interesting…

Thoughts in the comments section.

 

782 Responses to “Two choices for Arsene: Leave now or cede power and collaborate”

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  1. Le Wisham Gooner

    Arsenal were never a grade c club when Arsene took over. Graham won trophies, we sold out 38k every week, we had good players, we had money.
    Right now we are not a grade a club.
    No one in the league considers us serious challengers: no one in the champions league considers us serious challengers. We make up the numbers. Were not a top club.

  2. BlackSnake

    I dont know how some people can defend Wenger. For £7mil a year there is no excusing the glaring errors that us “idiots” spotted at the start of the season. How can he find a reason not to strengthen the team or flap about in his own shit and buy Kallstrom last minute. It’s almost like he doesn’t want to win the league and is happy just to finish top 4. Then on the other hand I dont understand keeping Diaby on the books as he hasnt contributed anything surely they could’ve shipped him out and made more profit!

    Lastly – how can the club justify a 3% price rise for the same dismal shit every season? Ok so they froze the price last year but that’s no excuse so kick the life blood of the club in the pills. It’s seems that they are content to price out the working class supporters in favour of the non-verbal, more affluent “fans” that leave the stadium at 80mins. They dont even need the extra 3% and it’s not like it’s going to buy success!

  3. Bjblaze05

    @eyemsick

    Its really hard to understand the way you reason. Wenger did not make arsenal rich, winning trophies in recent times would surely have contributed.

    Wenger and arsenal have lost the plot, you know it is mediocrity when your manager and board celebrate 4th place when they termed a “Big Club”. Wenger continues to bring shame to arsenal and is not the most successful manager if you take and average his time spent at the club versus trophies won. Like mourinho said he epitomizes failiure if in 9years he is unable to pass an exam.

  4. N5

    Top 4 isn’t even certain this year and all this after IG came out and said at the beginning of the season about how for the first time in years we have no financial restriction on the club! so why didn’t we buy in Jan, why didn’t we get players in the positions required in June?

    Of course Eyemsick has an excuse, but you can bet your bottom dollar it isn’t Wenger’s fault. As far as he is concerned all Wenger does is manage the cleaning staff and the day to day dealings of the club finances such as paying off bank loans! but this doesn’t involve managing the match or player purchases and basically anything that goes wrong obviously wasn’t within Wenger’s jurisdiction to dea with.

    He has had money this year, lots of it and even if we give the benefit of the doubt about the other years the fact still remains, we needed at the very least a forward in Jan and we got KK on a free!

    I would have been happy with 3rd this year after £42 million pound lay out all I would ask for is a slight improvement, I’m not asking for the treble or even expecting it. But to remain in the same if not a worse position than every other season is just not acceptable, not when we have no financial restrictions on us this season is span by IG.

  5. tunnygriffboy

    N5

    Agree about spending money and improving squad. A lot of us said at the beginning of the season we were 3 or 4 good players short of competing for the title. Now the injuries have happened that has proved to be correct. We didn’t have the quality to replace Walcott, Ramsey etc . . .

    In all honesty too many of those players on sunday should be squad players and not starting. That team that started is mid table at best. We don’t have enough quality in depth to keep up a concerted challenge. It too one paced, could see pace of our game increase when Rambo and Ox came on.

    Strange thing is we beat this Everton team 4 – 1 in the cup, Ozil and Ox our best players

  6. N5

    100% agreed BlackSnake but it completely goes against the AKBs argument that we’ve not had money to spend.

    It’s all diversionary anyway, anything to point the blame away for lord and supreme being Wenger.

  7. Jeff

    Let’s all become AKBs for a day to make the delusional happy. I declare today the national day of the AKB. Hooray!

  8. N5

    Eyemsick: ”

    watching you talk arsenal and wenger is like watching paris hilton trying to teach raikonnen and alonso how to drive…. 🙂

    know your place…”

    Pathetic.

    Superiority complex from an absolute headcase!

  9. Paddy got up

    I now check Le Grove every morning so I can connect with people who have the same addiction as me.. Namely Arsenal
    Yes this is now become a self help group!!
    Sky just showed the league table in Argentina. Arsenal are 5th over there. Looks like even in Argentina they’ve fucked it up!!!

    Got my brown bag… And breath..

  10. N5

    TYAG, I didn’t get much sleep to be honest so was already touchy, but I’ve just read through the comments since I signed off and the way Eyemsick talks to Cesc calling him a cunt and then talking down to him really pissed me off.

    Cesc never calls people names and resort to childish tit for tat arguments and Eyemadick, who has been sitting on his high horse about how people address him then reacts in exactly the same manner to one of the only people that hasn’t called him a cunt!

    I’m almost certain he’s DanC or a troll!!

  11. Ronnygun

    This is the best insight into the Arsenal farce yet: not motivated by spite,but clarity of thought and factual analysis.
    Pedro for next Gunner’s manager.

  12. N5

    I blame him for everything. Andy1886 blamed him for Andy being 20 years older than Pedro and aging badly 😀

    I blame him for my hateful wife, my lack of money and the fact I have to work today!! 😡

  13. Al

    It’s the constant lies that killing the club.

    Lies from the manager about how big and great his squad is when every single fan can see it’s shortcomings.

    Lies from the board about its willingness to compete and ambition

    Lies from the manager about signing players

    Lies from the manager and board about selling players

    Lies from the club about injuries. Especially around January when they know a player is going to be out for 3 months buy lie and say only a few weeks so they don’t have to spend during the transfer windows

    Lies from the manger about his actual ambitions because it clearly never was to win the title

  14. Salvage

    N5 April 8, 2014 08:34:22

    TYAG, I didn’t get much sleep to be honest so was already touchy, but I’ve just read through the comments since I signed off and the way *Eyemsick* talks to Cesc calling him a cunt and then talking down to him really pissed me off.

    I’m almost certain he’s DanC or a troll!!
    ———————————————————-
    The name Eyemsick, which should be another way of saying I am Sick, tells me he is here to just troll and wind people up. He probably doesnt believe in all he is saying but just taking the piss his own way. 🙂 . Its annoying though …

  15. Salvage

    Al April 8, 2014 08:49:43

    It’s the constant lies that killing the club.
    ———————————————————————-
    They just do us anywhich way they like.

    Someone in the medical team conspired with Wenger to tell us initially ,that Ramsy was out for 4-6weeks . But he ended up being out for over three months.

  16. N5

    gonsterous, I’m not sure if you mean you will pimp me a new one or you will take her off my hands. She’s a pretty hot French woman but after 10 years I think I’m starting to get to her! hence the constant hitting me with a frying pan! 😀

  17. Bergkamplegend

    I just took a look on eyemsick’s previous posts…
    The man is clearly senile, just like wenger.

  18. American Gooner

    The Wenger-haters seem to be in force here, with their usual nonsensical assumptions about who Arsenal and and cannot buy (with the amusing delusions of the post author that he has some inside knowledge that the rest of us don’t have. – From Theo to his gardener to his greengrocer to the local chemist to the chemist’s son to you, I’m sure). It must have a been a miserable first 4 months to the season for them, with the Gunners at the top of the table. Even now, I’m sure they live in fear that Arsenal will win the FA Cup and Wenger will stay on another decade.

    Arsenal have had some howlers to be sure this season, and the problem seems to be their away psychology. But they’ve also drawn Bayern away, which few teams have managed. They have an estimated 100 million in the transfer kitty, and the stadium financing is (finally) not getting in the way of the transfer budget.

    The problem with you lot is you think it’s all tactics and buying players. It’s not. It’s money and planning and scouting. Liverpool are on top for the first time in 20 years but they have no firm stadium plans and their defense is on average more porous than Arsenal’s. As soon as teams figure out how to isolate Suarez (or he jaunts off to Real, because as the Liverpool owner says, “Contracts don’t mean anything”) they’ll get found out. City and Chelsea will continue to spend their way to the top until their owners get bored with football, and Everton are enjoying a good streak from a manager that couldn’t keep a sharp Wigan side in the Prem.

    It’s delusional (I’d write “senile” but I suspect the average commenter on here is under 20) to imagine Arsenal can just go out and buy any player they want. Why not Messi and Ronaldo then? Surely, the billionaire owner could spare the 300 million pounds and physical torturing of their owners it would take to pry them loose – not to mention the hypnosis required to get them to move to England.

    No, players cannot just be bought. They have to be wooed, the way Ramsey was out from under the nose of Sir Alex. There will always be some mercenaries who will only respond to cash (Na$ri, Van Per$ie, etc.) but players have to believe in the system. One thing Wenger brings is beautiful football and a commitment to it. If Arsenal hire a mercenary coach like Jose, they will just be another club looking for short term gains, only with less money. Wenger is one of the pluses for players when they come to the Emirates.

    And if clubs don’t want to sell (even apparently if the contract requires it – see the Reds) then Arsenal have to convince them or go elsewhere. Most of the people criticizing Wenger (by most, I mean everyone not professionally involved in football and a fair few who are) don’t have a clue as to what is involved and how much more difficult it is since the crazy money infected the sport.

    But by all means, go ahead at rant. The rest of us are pulling for Wembley glory.

  19. Phil Wells

    I couldn’t agree more with the majority of posts about AW, what concerns me the most is AW screwing around with his contract? if he feels 4th place and an FA Cup is a good result he is totally deluded. He had a chance in Jan to buy a world class striker and DM so we could actually fight for the title and instead bought a playmate for his other buy a kid who also had a broken back,
    As for the players can you imagine how they felt when they had given everything for 6 months to put us on the top of the league and then saw that with half the team crocked or knackered and pretty much all of them playing
    in the redzone! they knew there was no way they could now compete for titles and CL so all of their hard work in the first half of the season was for nothing!
    Weve been here before, thats why RVP, Clichy, Nasri & Cesc left, same shit every year, all promise with no reward, thats what Arsenal have become.

    It is also no easy run as people make out, at this moment in time with the fragile mental state of the team even the return of Rambo may not be enough.
    AW seems to play the same players in every game so the chance of the players on the bench playing for the majority of games is almost zero.
    Lets face it AW has not brought through one success from the reserves or youth teams in years. All of our current top young players were bought, Southampton have been producing outstanding young players for years, how comes Arsenal cannot do the same, AW thats why? he has no where to hide, he is a busted flush.

    If AW is going we should know now, as leaving it till the last minute will only cripple the next manager, so AW can then say, they didnt appreciate how lucky they were to have me, as I said earlier deluded! We will be like Man U & Moyes in his first year. Talking of Man U, if we drop 6 more points and they win all of their games. which at the moment they look likely to do we will finish below them, squeaky bum time me thinks! can you imagine if this transpires, and we end up with no European football, the best players demanding they leave, and we will be left with the squad players and reserves who we all know are pretty useless, and then trying to lure quality players to come to Arsenal, this would obviously be a disaster.
    However a recent story to emerge of AW wants to sign a young kid who has not scored a goal in 50 games sounds about right, so hes staying, we will be promised big signings and at the last minute we will get this terrific young prospect and another midfielder, whatever, we all know this summer will be laughable, all of our targets will look at the demise of Arsenal over the last 5 years and will not come near us. Frightening prospect but do you know something, rather that, than 2 more years of feeling totally shit as I have since that transfer window closed! Even though we have all been in Groundhog day for over 5 years now so knew the score before this season even started,
    But when we had the real chance of winning the League and even the CL if we had bought a world class holding midfielder and striker, whatever the cost was simply unforgivable. It was at the moment I felt crushed and realised that the glory days are well and truly over and Kroenke will continue to suck us dry for years to come!!

    As for the FA Cup, we seem to forget how Wigan turned over Man City and will be fired up to do the same to us. That Wembly Pitch will expose our tired players and set up allowing teams to roam down the flanks and on the left AW expects Monreal & Padolski to defend, its insanity, but if he sets up this way it will not surprise me. As we all know the man is blind to any other system of play other than his!

    I truly hope the team have it in them to give us a great day and a Cup so we can no longer be beaten by the media stick at how we have won no Cups or titles for 9 years and restore a little pride in the debacle of a season. As for AW just go, before you end up hated, which would only hurt us fans even more.