AGM: Choreographed to perfection. Almost.

by .


Welcome to the Friday edition of Le Grove. It’s going to be great.

Yesterday’s AGM wasn’t. That’s for sure. Sir Chips is the new boy in town (he may have been compere at the last one) and he’s not as fun as PHW. Not that being funny is of key importance, but it definitely lessened the event. He even had to ask for a round of applause, talk about despo.

For the first time ever at an AGM, questions were dodged. The less than positive show of hands for new boy Josh Kroenke wasn’t even acknowledged. The output of the questioning was tired.

Key thing we learned yesterday is that Arsene Wenger’s transfer market incompetence is now being clouded with the…

‘The cash being put forward in the media isn’t accurate, but we won’t tell you how much it is. But we told The Telegraph what we want you to think it is. And we want you to think it’s low so you’re unsure whether it’s acceptable to critique what we do.’

Nice. All those promises of catching Bayern. All the talk of self sustaining utopia post deal expiration. Nonsense. We’re still skint. Apparently.

I have so little belief in this line of fire. The concern for me as a fan is that when everyone was disappointed Arsene signed on, the club were keen to push that he had £100m to play with, because Jeremy Wilson put it in his paper. Now they’re back bitching on about how other clubs have more money than us.

Arsene Wenger is always an interesting character to listen to. The two hours is pretty boring, but that 15minutes of Wenger speaking is always a great barometer of where he is mentally (he’s also a very assured public speaker, which is a credit to him). First observations for me is he’s starting to look very tired, and he’s talking like an older man suffering a confidence crisis. Each year that passes, he gets more apologetic, more attuned to the disgruntled nature of the fan base and almost incredulous at the critique.

His chat was the same as it always is… he did admit he maybe needs one more defender and they’ll do that in December (have that, to the people who think you can’t make a deal earlier than the window opening).

The really interesting point was when a fan came to the mike and slagged off the situation in which we sold Vermaelen and didn’t buy in a defender. Sir Chips said something like…

‘We back the manager when he has a plan, we keep quiet when he doesn’t have one’

That for me people, is the line that sums up all our problems. It sums up 5 years of me moaning on. There’s no plan. There’s no one to tell Wenger that not having a plan is a very bad idea. So we end up in a situation where the manager is blaming ‘accidental injuries’ which is just simply not on.

Ivan used PowerPointing to explain why the 3% rise on ticket prices was fine. His first slide mapped how club revenues have grown since 2006. Like, massively for TV and commercial but only £9m on tickets. Then his second slide mapped all of the price explosions we’re dealing with, like wages etc… and he mapped the ticket price as basically flat.

The trick of his slide is he mapped the shocking rise in wages, but negated to put the staggering rises in revenues on the same graph. The ticket price increase is unnecessary when you’re banging in deals left right and centre and you’re making a killing on TV. He also failed to allude to the fact that our ticket prices are ridiculous compared to the rest of the world from a starting point. So it was a bit weak.

Not as weak as his ‘it’s up to the Government’ on the London Living Wage.

You can read the detail here if you need it…

Good news is that Neil Ashton’s translation for the Daily Mail was apparently doctored. Wenger didn’t know anything about it until they went out to play. So he’s exonerated and I apologise for attacking the comments with such aggression… because sadly, it’s exactly the sort of thing I could imagine him saying. Anyway, more good news is Ozil might be back in 6 weeks rather than 12. Hooray!

Right, that’s me done today. See you on the other side…


275 Responses to “AGM: Choreographed to perfection. Almost.”

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  1. Moe

    Anyone else think these next 6 weeks will bring the best back out of Cazorla. Pacy players left right and centre, better defensively than Ozil and good enough job as our number ten til ozil comes back. Plus may look less tired as he doesn’t have to cover as much ground. He may even play to impress other clubs benefiting us.All falls down if Mr Wenger persists with 4-1-4-1 tho which sadly he will.

  2. VP

    Great Post Pedro!!

    The poor Corporate Governance (lack of accountability and transparency is nothing short of a joke). The lack of diversity and Independence at board level resembles that of an internally-family dominated organization, and./or unquoted company based in a developing country. How the club is allowed to be run this way and undermine so many underpinning best practice recommendations is beyond belief

    The fact that the board did not feel it necessary the requirement to define the scope & requirements in advance so that a formal invitation to tender could be issued for competitive and transparent purposes for the strategic services sought shows one or the other of

    1) Just sheer incompetence
    2) or perhaps more worryingly, and more likely- total disregard of Cooperate Social Responsibility to fans, and other the stakeholders (such as fellow shareholders).

    It tells you everything you need to know about the poor procurement process that we have at the club, which can equally applies to our inability to bring in players. Everything’s done on an ad-hoc basis, with no plan and no review to ensure that lessons are learnt.

    We’re becoming a laughing stock in the footballing world and the Business world. The saddest part of it is that the owner and the board are in on the joke.

  3. Rhys Jaggar

    ‘Hitchy October 17, 2014 11:11:04

    Was anyone else underwhelmed by the financial increases over the last 7 years?
    Considering the bulk was made up of TV rights which we have very little control over.

    I didn’t think the commercial and matchday revenue’s growth was anything to shout about…’

    Matchday revenues are hard to get above £100m unless you have extraordinary runs in the Champions League (like to the Semi-finals) and quite a few home ties in the domestic cups. What has never been explicitly documented is whether the stadium asset is being sweated on the 330 days a year when it’s not staging football matches. Like how many wedding receptions happen on Club Deck, do the Club Deck restaurants open on days Arsenal are playing away for fans to have a day at the stadium watching on TV (if demand were there), have they got revenues using Club Deck as a multi-set up venue for snooker, darts, bowls etc? Conferences, nursery, business meetings in boxes, corporate dinners etc etc.

    Commercials have been pretty pathetic until the Puma deal was done. I get the impresion from what Gazidis has said in the past that Arsenal needed to collect enough information digitally about their fan base to really leverage that to do good deals, so the test is the next 4 years, not the past four. But you don’t need to be Einstein to see that Arsenal are £100m a year behind Real and City on commercials now and £150m behind Utd and Bayern. That’s not just unimpressive, it is a joke for a club parroting the line that they wish to be a Top 5 club. Thing is, they needed 2003/4 to have been in 2011/12: then they would have one helluva story to pitch. AS it is, no European Cup, two minor European trophies in the depths of time and hardly any trophies for a decade won’t get a £750m deal from Adidas. Utd have 3 European Cups plus a Cup Winners Cup, 20 League Titles including 13 in the last 25 years. Bayern have won countless Bundesliga titles, 5 European Cups and both senior management and several players are World Cup winners with Germany/West Germany. Arsenal can’t compete with that.

    To be honest, it would do Arsenal good to win the Europa League rather than constantly losing in the last 16 of the champions League. Apart from anything, that would guarantee qualification for the Group Stages of the Champions League without a qualifying round, which would make signings early in the summer one heck of a lot easier. Then you can go after your Hummels, Khedira, whoever knowing they’ll start pre-season with the rest, rather than joining on 29th August with the season already underway. It would up the Arsenal story, keep the season interesting right to the end. After all, back in the day, Liverpool won two UEFA Cups in 4 years prior to their decade of European domination. And they won another one 4 years prior to winning their fifth Champions League/European Cup title. Porto did the same under Mourinho a decade ago, beating Celtic the season before winning the Champions League. Atletico won it twice before almost winning the champions league last year too. It seems to be a harbinger for doing well in the big one, actually winning the smaller one.

  4. Leedsgunner

    Wenger is definitely NOT an idiot. Someone who manages to convince his paymasters that he’s worth £8m per annum whilst having nothing to show for years on end, is a genius.

    Shame he doesn’t sign, train players and execute tactics like he used to.

  5. TitsMcgee

    And some of the elementary mistakes he’s made have been nothing short of shambolic. The most recent being our CB crisis. Surprisingly his stock on the continent is still high but I think clubs who hire him would be in for a rude awakening soon enough.”

    You see I actually think those “mistakes” are calculated based off of his goals. He knows the days of him winning the league are long gone so he doesn’t spunk money wildly but rather does just enough based on how our main competitors for 4th have strengthened.

    He figures “hey we are short at the back but I could probably get to 4th by mixing and matching the guys I have there now so no need to spend money there unless I feel like I won’t make 4th”.

    Make 4th- get UCL money, don’t buy a CB, save money, net profit for club, solidify my main(only) value to the club.

  6. Leedsgunner

    “Good news is that N.eil Ashton’s translation for the Daily Mail was apparently doctored. Wenger didn’t know anything about it until they went out to play. So he’s exonerated and I apologise for attacking the comments with such aggression… because sadly, it’s exactly the sort of thing I could imagine him saying. ”

    I’ll echo those sentiments. Fair dues to the manager if he has been hard done by via journalists.

    However does this mean he is blameless in this? Not really, his decision to pass on Cesc looks more and more silly by the day.

  7. leprofessorknowsbest

    During the AGM, wenger had his face on the big screen.

    That’s why he has wet his pants, as he often does.

    (AMG // when he sees Maureen == >> NOT the same reasons!! lol)

  8. Romford Pele

    Tits, you may well be right. I don’t really know what it is tbh. I do think the way Wenger sets up his team is fundamentally flawed so maybe he’s just playing it safe like you say. Bad thing is that there’s nobody ruthless at board level to act.

  9. Romford Pele

    Just saw Hayden in the training pictures. Really hope he starts tomorrow. Obviously still inexperienced but he’s the kind of physical brute you need in the team.

  10. andy1886

    One hundred percent behind you re Hayden RP. Only one way to gain experience – play matches. And it’s Hull FFS – okay not a terrible team but a good game to make your first league start in. I’m sure he’ll play Natcho though in which case Hayden has every right to ask Wenger if he’s ever going to be part of his future plans.

  11. Hitchy


    Thanks for the broader look at things, I only saw some peoples live-tweets who were at the AGM yesterday and looking at a picture taken of a power-point slide, on a phone with a badly cracked screen, so isn’t exactly the best way to make judgments!.

    Your line “Commercials have been pretty pathetic until the Puma deal was done” was my feeling as well.

  12. Romford Pele

    Andy, I agree, especially when you look at all the novices that Van Gaal has played in defence for United this season. If our attack is on job then it should make it easier for him. Monreal even said at the start of the season that playing at CB is strange for him. Madness of Wenger.

    All that said, Hull aren’t a joke team. They made us s*** our pants in the cup final. Back then Jelavic was ineligible. And they’ve recruited well in Livermore, Diame, Hernandez, Ramirez and Ben Arfa. Good signings.

  13. nigel tufnel

    Didnt we net spend 2nd most in europe after man u? Yes we blew it by not getting defender/dm.. thats a separate issue.

    So why do we have to constantly debate about these financial issues. I know why…because some of us like it, it generates web site hits… and some of us like to think we are financial experts.

    Our team is spending better than we could have dreamed just 2 or 3 yrs ago. not doing it perfectly, clearly, but can we stop pretending we know eveything.

  14. Carts

    It weird because here, we have Isaac Hayden, same age as Calum Chambers. Difference being Hayden has been with us much more longer that Chambers. Chambers on the other hand cost £16m from Soton.

    Chambers, based on around a dozen performances, was deemed fit and proper for the Arsenal 1st team. Where as Hayden, who’s been trained by Arsenal pretty much all his footballing life can’t even get a loan move, or a feature in the first team.

    I know he’s been on the bench a few times but there seems to be zero confidence in him at this moment in time. I look at players like Blackett, McNair and there’s been next to no overcomplicating of the situation. ‘Here’s your chance…go and take it’.

    I hope Hayden get’s a feature tomorrow, i really do.

  15. andy1886

    Following recent comments it seems very clear that AW only has plans to recruit a back up CB in January (nicely supported by Ivan’s sudden pleas of poverty I might add). I’m sure we’d also like a beast of a midfielder too, but the message seemed to be ‘no chance’ on that one.

    Here’s an alternative plan (check out the dictionary Arsene if you have trouble with that term).

    We have an opening for a CB on Saturday. We give our young CB a shot AND if he’s any good we rest Kos when we have low grade opposition and give the new guy some games.

    IF he proves to be okay we ditch the recruitment of a Squillaci, Djourou, Silvestre in January.

    We then go the extra mile and spend that cash plus a little extra to obtain that beast of a midfielder we also need but who it seems we cannot afford in addition to a CB (which we now don’t need to buy).

    Seems simple, why wouldn’t we give it a try?

  16. Romford Pele

    Lol I can’t believe we actually bought Silvestre!

    Yeah just give Hayden a go, it’ll be no worse than Monreal. He held his own in the CC against the Saints. Two things I like about him:

    1) He isn’t a midget
    2) He doesn’t take c***. Remember him in the CC game against WBA last season, nearly broke someone in two.

  17. Gregg

    I doubt he’d be brave enough to play Hayden aswell as Bellerin. Two novices at the same time ? no chance.

    That said, i’m sure Brucie has the Hull boys salivating at the prospect of meeting this back four.

  18. leprofessorknowsbest

    “IF he proves to be okay we ditch the recruitment of a Squillaci, Djourou, Silvestre in January.”

    I am probably the only one who find that it’s a bit harsh to put Djourou in the same bag than the 2 other jokeheads lol

  19. Dissenter

    Wenger has been on a nostalgic tour recently.
    He’s been talking so much about what could have been and the invincibles.

    Can this be an indication that he’s about to walk out at the end of the season?

    I hope do because there’s no fire left in Wenger. He’s just plodding on and making it up as he staggers around.

  20. Cesc Appeal

    Like to see this for Hull:

    Bellerin, Mert, Hayden, Gibbs
    Coquelin, Wilshere
    Oxalde, Cazorla, Sanchez

    Give Coquelin a go in CDM, we know what Arteta and Flamini will serve up.

    Given the defensive neglect suffered I think Hayden is a better option than Monreal.

    Just see what happens, if we lose we lose, be more interested in seeing some new faces get a run out instead of the tired, lethargic performances we’ve seen so far this season.

  21. andy1886

    Probably not Leprof, there are probably many better examples littering our history (Tavlaridis anyone?). To be honest although I wasn’t a huge fan of Djourou I have no idea why Wenger gave him a new contract (with pay rise) then shipped him out on loan and sold him when we were short of CB’s.

    Someone should have held him to account on that one……oh yeah….

  22. leprofessorknowsbest

    ” I have no idea why Wenger gave him a new contract (with pay rise)”

    If only Djourou had been the only one in that case lol

  23. Nasri's Mouth

    Djourou isn’t a bad player. He had some pretty good performances at CB. When he played at full back he looked poor and got rightly criticised. Whether that criticism affected his confidence, or whether he wanted first team football, which he wasn’t good for at Arsenal, who knows. Sometimes a player just needs to move on.

  24. Cesc Appeal

    I don’t know, Djourou is pretty bad – he had a decent spell at CB for us in 2010/11 was it?

    But he’s a calamity waiting to happen, bit of a gormless player.

    That’s another one who was on a nice fat contract that was hopeless out of proportion to his talents as a player. Gazidis or just SOMEONE needs to get a hold of that issue. Our wage bill compared to squad depth and quality is ludicrous.

  25. leprofessorknowsbest

    “Sometimes a player just needs to move on.”

    And sometimes a manager needs to move on as well… Exept he DON’T WANT TO lol

  26. Carts

    Gregg – there’s no dubt about it. I standby the fact that Wenger has zero confidence in our youth. Even the much heralded Zelalem can’t make the bench. And he arrived with so much hype. then reality set in: yep, he’s not ready. Heck, we’ve got Ollson out on loan and that kid is a baller: ooops…there’s no room for him. Arteta, Diaby and Flamini are beasting the middle of the park right now

  27. Ben

    Cesc Appeal

    Did you see him against Argentina? Kept Higuain and Messi quiet. Under a proper coach who coached him he was actually looked a solid CB.

  28. Romford Pele

    Djorou, Miquel, TV5 and Sagna – all possible CB options departed within the last 6 months. Only Chambers in. Mad

  29. Nasri's Mouth

    @Cesc Appeal

    He’s first choice in the Bundesliga and now captaining his team. Obviously it depends on your definition but I’d say someone who is playing at that level isn’t “pretty bad”

  30. salparadisenyc

    When Big Sam starts chiming in with opion and its makes sense surely the writing is on the wall?

    One would of thought.. But then here we are making the same transfer mistakes if not worse. Covering the tracks, Sir Chips zinger is all anyone needs to know. Wenger is fully in charge for better or worse, but the mere fact he opened the door is a sign that maybe he’s not fully invincible. Tomorrow I fully expect Chippy getting the sack. Rust never sleeps.

  31. Nasri's Mouth


    Well, personally, I think it’s more about us not buying a replacement than letting Djourou go. I think the deal was agreed at the start of the year.

    You could argue we should have waited till we’d got in a replacement, but I doubt it would have been a smart move forcing him back to Arsenal where he wouldn’t be 1st choice, or indeed a crowd favourite. Potential for all sorts of nasties there.

    We were right to let him go, but very wrong not to buy someone else

  32. Cesc Appeal


    Well I haven’t seen him recently. At Arsenal he was a heart attack in shorts for fans.

    Makes you wonder if he’s suddenly so great…

  33. WengerEagle

    ‘He’s first choice in the Bundesliga and now captaining his team. Obviously it depends on your definition but I’d say someone who is playing at that level isn’t “pretty bad”

    I dunno mate he was at the heart of the hands down worst Bundesliga defence in the league last season for Hamburg. They conceded 75 goals in 34 matches!

    He’s a pretty poor CB.

  34. Cesc Appeal


    Are you on Online Gooner as well?

    Never really read that site, just stumbled on it and saw your handle in the comments.

    Is that a genuine quote about the “what can be in doubt is who runs the club…Wenger” thing?

    If so at least that’s another defence we can put to bed of him.

  35. N5

    Talking of our CB situation. Cesc Appeal do you remember back in the summer when we were discussing the likelihood of having to play Monreal at CB due to negligence in the transfer market!!

    That is looking very very likely, should we not just give up our day jobs and become advisers to Wenger, that he wont listen too?

  36. Carts

    “Djorou, Miquel, TV5 and Sagna – all possible CB options departed within the last 6 months. Only Chambers in. Mad”

    Mad? Complete and utter negligence of the highest order.

  37. Cesc Appeal


    Ha! To be fair that would be a great job.

    Due to the ridiculous wage structure and others earning fortunes to do nothing we’d likely be on £60 000 a week like Diaby.

    To be honest all you have to have done was watch the last decade of Wenger and you could see this self inflicted crisis coming.

    I mean who have we lost? Debuchy to injury. Koscielny (we’ve known about his problem since the summer) who now needs resting or will break and then a 19 year old with less than 30 EPL games who’s suspended.

    And we’re talking about throwing an average LB into CB or an inexperienced youngster. It isn’t good enough. But what can you do.

    If the club Chairman doesn’t question the mighty Wenger’s plan, who are we peasant to…

  38. Romford Pele

    Lol i’m looking forward to Debuchy back, I like him. He’s a hustler, always looks like he’s ready for a fight! Shame he’s not younger but i’d envisage Bellerin will be ready to take over from him.

  39. andy1886

    Yeah Cesc, I’m rarely on there but Sir Chips did say that – apparently he then finished by turning to Arsene and said “I hope I didn’t embarass you Arsene” and Arsene merely said “No”.

  40. andy1886

    Here’s what Sir Chips said Cesc:

    “Don’t doubt who calls the shots at Arsenal Football Club. It’s not the board, it’s not the fans, it’s Mr Arsene Wenger.”

    Kinda nails the myth that AKB’s put about that Arsene is some kind of benign victim of the BoD’s parsimony.

  41. Cesc Appeal



    Yep. Well and truly puts that one to bed doesn’t it? I think it was a pretty weak attempt at a defence anyway.

    ‘Hope I didn’t embarrass you Arsene?”

    “No you bastard, but you’ve just put my head on the block and no mistakes!”

  42. Jeff


    I think the AKBs are working hard on trying to come up with some mitigating circumstance that made Chips say those words. Maybe he said them glibly or as a joke – something like that. I mean we all knew it but the admission in front of Wenger by a senior representative like that leaves no room for any doubt whatsoever. But the AKBs will find one.

    Even worse than this in my opinion is the second statement about what happens when Wenger has a plan and when he doesn’t. How can anyone stand up and say they just keep quiet if there is no plan?

    “Have you got a plan Mr Wenger?”

    “No, go away and leave me alone.”

    “Of course sir” 😆

  43. Romford Pele

    Quiet evening for me. Tomorrow i’m off to the game then taking my girlfriend to meet the family at my cousin’s birthday. Dreading it.

  44. Jeff


    Meeting the family. There is nothing more awkward. You start to behave differently around them and they start to behave differently around you: it’s hilarious. Long past all that thankfully.

  45. Dissenter

    The board chairman to the employee: “I hope I didn’t embarrass you?”

    What if Wenger has said “yes”. Sir Chips would have probably begged him.

    All that talk of Arsenal being well run is bollocks.
    There’s no strateti vision going forwards.

    Wenger is flawed, no doubt but he’s surrounded by yes men and charlatans who are only there to front for Kroenke.

    We are going to be in the doldrums after he’s gone.
    There’s no vision other than Wenger’s.

  46. WengerEagle

    Moyesie’s back bitches!

    In all seriousness I can definitely see him taking over from Pardew at Newcastle. Would suit him as he’s a very good mid-table manager, he overachieved at Everton in some respects.

    Hard to believe how badly Newcastle have started the season, they actually bought well in the summer.

  47. Leedsgunner

    Wenger Eagle…

    I think your comment equally applies to Arsene. The table does not lie, due to Wenger’s continual failure to address longstanding positional deficiencies we are well on the well to become a mid-table club. Arsene to his credit has overachieved at Arsenal.

  48. Dan Ahern

    Agree with everything, Pedro. Shades of North Korea with the amount of spin on display. I only experience the AGM from fine people like you lot on this blog and twitter, but I was left feeling completely frustrated all the same.

    It was so transparently un-transparent. Like, to the point of showing contempt for fans–some of whom, let’s not forget, are stakeholders.

    This wasn’t, “Thank you for your interest in our affairs.” It was, “Our affairs are ours, so kindly piss off.”

  49. Dan Ahern

    Also, re: Özil incident, credit to the poster the other day who kept pointing out Ashton is a cunt. It may have been Nasri’s Mouth but I can’t remember. It’s a real shame when we can’t even go off quotes in papers.

  50. Judekani

    Anybody that thinks Gnabry is better than campbell need their head examined!!! This is one of the stars of the world cup!!! A beast who dominated Uruguayan and italian defences with Godin, Lugano, Chellini & co!!! Arsene wenger is an idiot! Jack Wilshere is a crap player and what his latest obsession with the English Core! Everybody know Englishmen aint good footballers!!! Imagine benching Cazorla! Rosicky for wilshere! Rubbish!!! Won’t bother my heart with Arsenal this season! The players get paid 4 being crap! Wenger collects 7.5 million pounds a year for coming 4th!!! Madness!! Mediocrity!!! Delusional!!! What exactly r they smoking in the Emirate?!!

  51. Dissenter

    Is it true that it’s cheaper to get a Real Madrid season ticket and fly to every game (from London) that to pay for an Arsenal season ticket?

    That doesn’t sound right but the Metro jus still running this story today.

  52. Nasri's Mouth

    @Dan Ahern

    Re: Ashton

    Yeah it was me, but he’s got previous so it wasn’t totally unexpected,

    Even if they’re not trying to sell a story you’ll often find slightly different versions of apparently genuine quotes from different journos, so the only completely 100% reliable version is the actual video. That way you hear the actual question, and the nuances behind it.

    The suggestion that Wenger only wanted Welbeck on loan being a recent example.

  53. carts

    Andy1886 – one of my Arsenal pals tried to argue that quite from Sir Chips, so many time in the past.

    If you’re not an AKB twat, you’d know, based of how we so often fucking shit up, – on the pitch and in the transfer market – that Wenger runs the Bank of Arsenal

  54. Nasri's Mouth


    Seems unlikely.

    Even if the RM season ticket was free that would mean return flights to Madrid were less than £39

  55. Wallace

    i think Bellerin & Hayden tomorrow would be a gamble. i’d stick Monreal at right-back and play Hayden in the middle.

  56. Romford Pele

    Lol Jeff it should be fine. My family just like to embarrass people. Hopefully Goonerette can hold out!

    Have a good weekend chaps, three points tomorrow hopefully.

  57. Nasri's Mouth

    It was a pretty shoddy answer from Sir Chips.

    I’d imagine if someone had a close up on Gazidis at the time, you’d see him rolling his eyes. He’s probably giving him lessons on spin right now.

    Arsenal are in a pretty unique situation, because there are few managers who don’t want and try desperately to spend every penny (and more) that their club has. Pretty much every other club doesn’t need someone to force the manager to buy players.

  58. Gunner2301

    How embarrassing for a club of our stature to find out Wenger isn’t accountable to anyone in terms of planning. So if there’s no plan there can by omission be no strategy. Fuck Me!

    So all they’ve been telling us previously is bollocks and it’s all being done on a wing and a prayer, which explains a lot of the incoherent contradictory and plain stupid decisions Wenger has made over the years.

    Including the one where he allowed Djourou to insert a clause in his previous contract that would allow him to automatically renew his last one without any input from Wenger or the Club. Maybe this was for all the media work he did for Arsenal Player.

    For anyone forgetting how shit he was, go look at the last few internationals he’s played for Switzerland it’s like he’s at fault for a goal a game same old calamitous mistakes. Fucking shocking.

    What about selling some of the players that are sat around collecting dust and wages to finance some proper players who are going to contribute. That’d be an idea.


  59. salparadisenyc

    Walnuts in the under 21s this evening. Anyway you skin it that’s good news. If the pace is still there, a front three of Walcott, Welbeck and Sanchez is dangerous to any defense.

    Just need to score more than our thrown together back four concedes. Monreal scares the shit out of me at CB.

  60. Cesc Appeal


    Super, super speedy. Welbeck and Sanchez bring incredible industry as well.

    Only thing is, Wenger will insist on one of his front line being a CAM basically.

    Whereas I would make sure that my CAM/No.10 was good enough to do the role on his on own behind the attackers (Ozil is every inch that good if played correctly) and then have a strong middle base behind him.

    And obviously more than a handful of defenders for a season.

    But we can sit and talk about what we’d do until the cows come home; Sir Chips finally confirmed what we all knew, there’s only one bloke that calls the shots. And that’s the guy who left the cupboard bare on the defence, saw no need in a CDM, has destroyed the “best No.10 in the world” and refuses to even do the basics like playing to the teams strengths in terms of formations and (lol) tactics.

    That’s why as I say tomorrow I’d just like to see some new faces get a go. Throw Coquelin in there, Bellerin, Hayden etc and have a look at them.

  61. Follow the money

    Even if there’s only 20 million to spend (and I don’t buy that for a second) so what? Use it for Hummels etc sell or buy out Diaby Rosicky Arteta Campbell and you’d have plenty for a Magic/Yaya type player. Wenger’s nonsense is so boring.

  62. luke

    I can’t believe we let Sagna go…He is the perfect utility defender. Played at LB for us too. I bet he wouldn’t be terribly uncomfortable at CDM (ala Lahm transition) either. If there was a player worth the wages that we let go, it was ole Bacary.

  63. Nasri's Mouth

    @follow the money

    I think the Hummels rumours are BS. I just can’t see him being allowed to go or us paying the money he’d cost.

    Someone like van Dijk is more likely

  64. Cesc Appeal


    Oh right.

    Would have said otherwise throw him in.

    Have you read John cross’s piece in the Mirror on Arsenal’s start to the season. Usually a bit of a Wenger choirboy but in places he’s summed up the feeling quite well I think. Stated what he though was wrong, the 4-1-4-1 and the bad squad management. But he also described the situation the fan base is in, frustrated, disillusioned, disappointed and whilst he says (accurately I think) most Arsenal fans will still back Wenger there are a growing number who’ve utterly fallen out of love with him and grow more frustrated by the day.

    Weird feeling in the Arsenal fan base right now when you look at different blogs, comments sections of news sites and what have you.

  65. Nasri's Mouth

    @Cesc Appeal

    I feel weird too.

    On one hand we’ve just won the FA Cup
    On the other we finished 4th when for a long time we could have finished higher
    On the other we were just 2 points behind CFC and closer to the PL winners once again
    On the other we’ve gone into the season short of at least one CB
    On the other we’ve spent more money in a summer than we ever have before (even with player inflation) and bought some really exciting players
    Add into that the concern over Kroenke starting to take cash out of the club, the ridiculous injuries and frustration over formations and its hard to know what to think.

    Or my feelings of weirdness might be down to suddenly having half a dozen hands

  66. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah your circulatory system must be struggling with those additions.

    How is you have all those hands yet Arsenal have a defender and a half! 😉

    It’s the age old thing with Arsenal AGAIN though; you can see the talent, see the potential, see the base for a strong side but we never push on. The required additions are never made, we always naively play into the “big boys” hands, we always, always get struck with injuries and end up bottling it when push come to shove. I mean we so very nearly did against Hull in the final.

    I think that’s the problem, FA Cup, Sanchez’s arrival and people started drawing inferences that a fire had been relit under Wenger for success. That maybe with the curtain dropping on his tenure (hopefully) in the foreseeable future he wanted a last stab at UCL success or another league title.

    But more of the same has been served up really.

    So as you say first time in a decade we’ve got silverware, spent more than we have before; but I feel that’s all trumped by the same predictable failings in the team and manager.

    The positives seem cosmetic almost, on the surface, covering up the still rotten core. Like pretty red apples growing on a poisoned tree, might look the part but they’ll be ruined by the tree they’re growing on.

    Was thinking about it today and the 2010/11 side; one of my favourites sides of the second half of Wenger’s reign and the fact you could make a lot of the complaints against that squad that you can now, loads of promise, missing a few vital ingredients, Wenger skimping on the area he doesn’t like (defensive players), tactical naivety and bottling it in big games.

    That’s what I mean. I think that is what is really eroding away at his support; the been there, done that feel Arsenal fans have now. Me and N5 were saying earlier, it’s brutally and laughably easy to see where we’re going to fall down of a season when you’re still in the summer!

  67. Nasri's Mouth


    I’ve never been a fan of Campbell to be honest. Good player, but limited. Gnabry might turn out to be no better, but given where he’s at in his development, there’s greater potential there.

  68. Gunner2301

    I don’t think Joel does a lot when he hasn’t got the ball seems quite lazy. I don’t know if it’s a fitness thing but I noticed in the World Cup he was struggling toward the end of matches.

  69. Nasri's Mouth

    @Cesc Appeal

    There are definitely a lot of things happening.
    The change in the socialist squad payment structure
    The massive overhaul in youth development, (a few years ago we’d have promoted from within, now rightly or wrongly, we’re bringing in someone who should be an expert and he’s bringing in his staff too) which is a tacit admittance that things needed a big change.
    Bringing in Shad, again, not small scale tinkering, but a big chance

    I wonder whether the signing of McDermott is a tacit admittance of failings elsewhere?

  70. Cesc Appeal


    Well I think the wage structure still needs looking at big time. Our wage bill is totally out of proportion to our squad quality and depth.

    Not sure on McDermott – isn’t he only contracted until May? To be fair many, many people on here have banged on about our ageing internal structures at the club for a long time, fitness, medical, board, scouting etc.

    The club needs a big freshen up, we sort of saw the first tentative steps of that this summer – but I do honestly believe Wenger is massive stumbling block in that respect. It’s clear he has a massive, massive say at the club. Maybe even overriding. And he seems to like things the way he’s had them since his arrival in North London.

    I feel often the club reflects the manager at Arsenal. Ageing, out of touch with the modern world, fails to adapt, approaches things with naivety now.

  71. Gunner2301

    When we managed to get rid of the dross Almunia Bendtner etc I’d assumed we were addressing the wage bill over that period. Pedro even posted about it at that time. To say our wage bill is bigger than Chelsea’s and we are struggling to assemble a first 11 and outside of attacking midfielders we are fairly thin its a ridiculous situation and shows what happens when you hand all the responsibility over to a manager who seeks to buy loyalty.

    Jack must be laughing his cock off at what we’re paying him and there are many others less deserving. Things will not change until Wenger is gone we can get rid of some of the players who are overpaid and we can implement a merit based system like everyone else.
    That’s part of the reason why Wenger cannot be moved upstairs. We need a clean break from his influence.

  72. andy1886

    The first thing we should do is get rid of £65k a week Diaby when his contract expires, if we can get someone stupid enough to take Sanogo that’s another £25k a week off the books too. Poldi will go I think, much as I like his personality he’s a waste of another £100k a week.

    That said the first thing that came to mind when Sir Chips came up with his nonsense was ‘that’s a new contract for Abou, probably a pay rise too’.

  73. Gunner2301


    I can see Diaby putting in 10-15 games this season and WENGER extending his contract. He says way too much about how courageous Diaby is and how it’s a tragedy the injuries he’s had to pass up a contract opportunity as soon as it surfaces.

  74. Dissenter

    What do you guys think of City’s nex training complex?
    Whatever you think of the Abu Dhabi group that runs city, it’s still commendable the money they are pouring into the local economy in Manchester. It has to be great for England in the long term. They probably have the best academy in England too.

    Contrast this to Kreonke who still won’t reveal whether he used leveraged funds to take over Arsenal.

  75. Gunner2301


    He’s a decent player but given the financial constraints we’ve been under we can’t afford to be carrying passengers so we should have got rid.

    The John cross article is reasonable considering he’s a disciple. The scrutiny of what is really at play within Arsenal is missing. There are some great journalistic stories there if a journalist was interested enough to take a look.

  76. Gunner2301


    They’ve partnered with the council to regenerate Manchester and build 6000 new homes over the next 10 years. You can’t knock that type of commitment really, wish we had the same.

  77. andy1886

    Diss, can’t someone convince the Abu Dhabi group that what they really need is a player actually called Abou? Never mind the playing side, what a great PR opportunity.

  78. andy1886

    Fair play to them then 2301, funny how these ‘foreigners’ come in with their modern ideas and a club in the most civilised city in the world is still stuck in the last century (or in Sir Chips’ case in the one before that).

  79. Gunner2301


    Ironically as innovative as Wenger was he’s now seriously holding us back, which shows how far he’s regressed over the last 10 years.

    We need a complete overhaul top to bottom when he leaves. Bring back some of the old guard to take up various coaching positions and on the board like Bayern do. Build a new vision and be ruthless with overhauling the playing staff. If we’re in the wilderness for a while whilst we’re doing that fine as long as we have some direction.

  80. andy1886

    Absolutely agree – if we have to fall back a bit to rebuild then so be it. The quotes from the board made it clear that they know sweet FA about the game, which is why they cannot question the slightest thing that Wenger does.

    Thing is most board members are effectively Stan’s poodles, they vote him a ‘consultancy fee’ and take his son on board who also knows jack about the club. The only thing they’ve done for us is sell their shares at a handsome profit to Stan who rewards them with their seats on the BoD.

    I’d have George Graham on the board. I know that that can’t happen because of his past, but he’s the one who knows the club inside out and wouldn’t be afraid to chew Arsene out if he thought he needed to.

  81. Marc

    Quite simply Wenger got old.

    I don’t like the Wenger’s a cunt, never done anything for the club attitude voiced by some.

    He should have gone last summer having lifted the first trophy won whilst at the Emirates. Now all I can see is him being hounded out of the club and remembered for all of the bad things not the good he achieved.

  82. Gunner2301

    You’re right he should have gone, WENGER is Mugabe incarnate, but like any dictator there will need to be an uprising against him and if that happens so be it. He’s had the opportunity to leave of his own accord and hasn’t taken it. Ivan said a few years ago that the fans would need to get him out if they wanted him out as the board wouldn’t do it so we have been briefed.

  83. andy1886

    I’m sure it’s been posted here before but I wish someone would frame this Pep quote and stick it on Wenger’s wall:

    But Guardiola told Perarnau: “I loathe all that passing for the sake of it, all that tiki-taka. It’s so much rubbish and has no purpose. You have to pass the ball with a clear intention, with the aim of making it into the opposition’s goal. It’s not about passing for the sake of it.

  84. Cesc Appeal

    Watching on YouTube the final day at Highbury, Henry afterwards:

    “It has not been an easy season for us, it’s been a struggle and we manage to finish fourth; which is not what we do.”

    Oh Thierry…

  85. nasri's mouth

    Sturridge injured again in training and out for another 7 weeks. I wonder what Raymond Verheijen will say about “forward thinking” and “educated” Brendan now?

  86. moray

    @Gunner2301: “When we managed to get rid of the dross Almunia Bendtner etc I’d assumed we were addressing the wage bill over that period. Pedro even posted about it at that time. To say our wage bill is bigger than Chelsea’s and we are struggling to assemble a first 11 and outside of attacking midfielders we are fairly thin its a ridiculous situation and shows what happens when you hand all the responsibility over to a manager who seeks to buy loyalty. Jack must be laughing his cock off at what we’re paying him and there are many others less deserving. Things will not change until Wenger is gone we can get rid of some of the players who are overpaid and we can implement a merit based system like everyone else.”

    Well put – also worth pointing out that Theo held us over a barrel when his renewal came up, due to our poor transfer policy and inability to re-sign early contracts with anyone unless they’re shit, in which case we’re all over them (case in point Giroud – watch this space).

  87. Arsenal 1886-2006

    Pep Guardiola’s hatred of tiki-taka and Manchester United dream

    Barcelona’s ability to dominate teams and possession with their tiki-taka passing style won them plaudits around the world.
    But Guardiola told Perarnau: “I loathe all that passing for the sake of it, all that tiki-taka. It’s so much rubbish and has no purpose. You have to pass the ball with a clear intention, with the aim of making it into the opposition’s goal. It’s not about passing for the sake of it.
    “Don’t believe what people say. Barca didn’t do tiki-taka! It’s completely made up! Don’t believe a word of it! In all team sports, the secret is to overload one side of the pitch so that the opponent must tilt its own defence to cope.
    “You overload on one side and draw them in so that they leave the other side weak. And when we’ve done all that, we attack and score from the other side.
    “That’s why you have to pass the ball, but only if you’re doing it with a clear intention. It’s only to overload the opponent, to draw them in and then to hit them with the sucker punch. That’s what our game needs to be. Nothing to do with tiki-taka.”

    You ain’t the only one son, you ain’t the only one.

    I wonder what he thinks of us?

  88. Moray

    I think Pep is more respectful to Wenger than many, but even he must laugh at our possession game of the last few years, particularly in the big games, where we typically have very little end product, either goals or shots on goal.

  89. Moray

    Actually, barca were only so effective because they were so disciplined, well drilled, talented and skillful of course. You take one small component away and you get Spain 2014 or last decade Arsenal. The difference between total
    Possession football and tiki taka is a very fine one IMO.

    As I mentioned before, not enough mention is made of barca’s pressing game or the high tempo they played at off the ball, or recycling the ball. It was this ultimately that separated them from us in terms of trophies. Some of the best games I saw us play in the last decade (normally in Europe actually) was when we started high tempo from the off. This is one of our great failings these days and I think only partly due to our lack of physicality.

  90. Wallace


    “As I mentioned before, not enough mention is made of barca’s pressing game or the high tempo they played at off the ball, or recycling the ball. It was this ultimately that separated them from us in terms of trophies. Some of the best games I saw us play in the last decade (normally in Europe actually) was when we started high tempo from the off.”

    but i wonder how sustainable that pressing game is. only Barca have been able to do it over a period of time. but then there are the allegations of doping coming out of Spain. Dortmund are excellent at it, but you wonder if it’s responsible for their chronic injury list of the last 2/3yrs. even Liverpool last season with their one game a week, it became a question of could they score enough in the first 30mins to get them through the last 15mins of the game when they were out on their feet.

    i think you have to be able to do it(and as you say, it’s only in Europe we’ve pressed effectively), but maybe be selective about when you do it.

  91. Drey

    Fancying myself for some football bets today,I beed your advice guys:
    City v Spurs – 1
    Arsenal v Hull – >2.5
    Palace v Chelsea – handicap (0-1)
    Everton v Villa – <2.5
    Levante v Madrid – handicap (0-2)
    Barca v Eibar – handicap (0-2)
    …. and some few championship games … how will I fare?