I’m losing my edge

by .

Someone gave that guy on the fountain chair a child to dance with...

Someone gave that guy on the fountain chair a child to dance with…

Happy 65th Arsene. The big 65. Wow. Huge achievement. You’ve done some things. Won stuff. Made some cash money. You’ve got it all.

Question though. I have questions. How long do you go on for? When is it right to hand over to someone new? When does continuity become detrimental? When are you just holding onto power because of ego? When do you say, ‘I can’t do this anymore’?

Interesting that I raised the age thing yesterday to great fanfare. When people question the age of the board, it’s cool. When you question the age of the manager and his relevance in football, it’s ageist.

So when it gets like that, you have to put numbers into the game. Before we play this, my view is this. Football is a young mans game these days. The sweet spot for great managers is between 42-55. I personally think the real talent lies at the lower end of that spectrum. Usually when managers have done their stint as an assistant and are ready to emerge with fresh ideas.

The reason young managers work well is they don’t have a formula. They have access to more tools. They’re part of a generation more accepting of technology and its evolution. They have more to prove. They also have more of a connection with the youth generation. Especially in football, where you’re trying to connect with teenagers.

The difference between football now and football of ten years ago is immense. It’s the same in marketing. My Dad ran a successful creative agency in the eighties and nineties, but things changed. Digital became more prominent, data became more of a focal point and the world went from less than ten channels to hundreds. When Wenger took over Arsenal, revolutionary was stopping players from drinking 10 pints, having a strong play on nutrition and raiding the French market for talent. 20 years on sport has changed. All clubs have access to the same tools. Tech is cheaper, smarter and it’s being mastered by experts rather than managers. Teams like Barca and City have video analysts sitting in the stands cutting video for half time. Prozone are integrating with Football manager to improve access to scouting. Football globalisation has lowered the barriers to entry to pretty much all the markets. Football is 80%+ faster than it was. The players are bigger and faster. Managers are more tactical and flexible. Clubs aren’t about the domineering manager who is jack of all trades, they’re built out so they own process IP… they’re built out into departments that are run by experts who feed into the main man who makes the decisions.

The game is a million miles away from where it was. Our manager, however, isn’t. He’s still sitting at the starting line refusing to purchase the bus ticket to the future.

Ok, so before I crack into this, there are a couple of anomalies. Firstly, Pelligrini. Personally, I don’t rate him. Also, he’s dealing with the Man City squad. Don’t come defending him to me if you’re the type of fan who uses City’s resource to defend Arsene. If Jose was at City, I think you’d see a far more dominant team. Ferguson is the exception but he’s retired. Heynckes was replaced by a Bayern Munich who understand what I’m making a point about here.

Pep G 43
Carlo A 55
L Enrique 44
R. Garcia 50
Conte 44
Allegri 47
Mourinho 51
Blanc 48
Klopp 47
Simeone 44
Unai Emery 42
Rogers 41
Lopetegui 48
Jardim 40
Pelligrini 62
Loew 54

So above are the best coaches in Europe, either by performance or job. I’ve left LVG out of the loop because, let’s be honest, he’s going to be a disaster. Wenger isn’t an elite coach anymore. The rest up there have all won something major or they’re doing a pretty major job. Allegri perhaps shouldn’t be there, but he’s the new man at Juve, so there’s something in his appointment.

Anyway, average age of a top football manager in Europe is 47.5. Wenger is 37% older than the average, even when you factor in the City manager. 34% older if you wanted to the throw LVG into the mix.

Now, I’m not for a minute suggesting you can’t be dynamic at that age. I’m just pointing out that the clear trend with football managers is to opt for the younger man. I’m saying our problems stem from not accepting the future. Refusing to adapt. Not adapting the core team of backroom leaders despite clear failings.

Steve Jobs believed creative contribution post 30 was a tough ask citing musicians and artists. He had to go out of his way to keep his thinking radical and ahead of the curve, namely by always asking questions of himself. Mark Zuckerberg had a similar mindset when he was starting out Facebook. Now, whilst these are extreme examples and probably misguided (I am thirty, I don’t want to be useless), there is something in the idea that there’s a top out point when it comes to being innovative. There has to be a point where you say enough is enough. Looking at all our failings as a club, that all centre around one man who has been here for too long.

65 is great. Even greater if you’re still in a job. Not great if you’re only in the job because you’ve built an impenetrable power base no one can break.


Enough on the birthday celebrations. What about the game tonight? Well, Koscielny won’t be about. Still injured. Ospina has some how managed to crock himself for the next three months. His injury powers are strong.

Arteta could be available as could Aaron Ramsey. That’s good news. The more bodies we can get back the better. We want people firing as soon as possible. Wondering when we’ll see Theo back in the mix.

You’d hope we have enough in the locker tonight. We’ve not responded well to anything this season. We’ve looked like we’re on a  permanent hangover all season. We need to wake up, we need to show a bit of passion and the manager needs to inject a bit of instruction into the side.

If you’re going, have fun. Stay safe. Drink all the Belgian beer!

I’ll leave you with this song by one of my favourite bands. I imagine Arsene Wenger singing the footballing equivalent of the below track in the shower.

885 Responses to “I’m losing my edge”

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  1. Mike adamski



    Man City at home . Assist and a goal .
    He’s not the only one struggling tonight . No one is shining for us .

    Need to step it up second half

  2. Roaaary

    Ramsey wilshere and cazorla have been crowded out by their tight midfield. Again that 17yr old has bossed us.

    We need width. Oxlade chamberlain or Walcott needed

  3. useroz

    Bloodly hell anyone wants to tak a shot?? Still passing in /around 18 yard box. Top forwards make a half yard and shoot…… What blunt instrument.

  4. MidwestGun

    0 to 0 at half. For Diss.

    Any other manager scraps this formation and gets some pace on the wing via Ox or Campbell at the half. Take off one of Rambo, JW or Santi and switch to double pivot.

  5. Mike adamski

    Bring on the ox .
    Would be tempted to bring rosicky on aswell .
    Take jack or rambo off .

    Bring Pod on , he might have a chance of shooting from distance

  6. Goonergirl

    That was a really disappointing half. So much for hoping for a good performance. We seriously need to wake up in the second half and play with conviction.

  7. Cesc Appeal

    Sounds as if I made the right choice!

    Madrid have been brilliant going forward, exhibition stuff there.

    Not so great at the back and Liverpool will continue to and have had good chances.

    Isco has been really wasteful in possession, keeps giving it away. Madrid’s full backs are not good enough either, no way.

    Ronaldo has been magnificent!

  8. Roaaary

    If theo isn’t on the bench get Campbell on. We need direct running and width. Midfield is so tight it’s not going to suit our short passing shit

  9. Mike adamski

    Five live are running a poll for what wenger should be given for his birthday ….

    His p45 ?

    I say give him his deserved statue and usher him out .

  10. Jaffa

    I’m so bored of watching this now. Same boring slow and predictable play. Please wenger just retire as the players we have can do better than this. I realise we have injuries but the players on the pitch look bereft of any passion and that comes from mis management.

  11. karim

    we re shit I hate to say it but we re shit
    Dortmund have 9 pts already, havent they ?
    Better win this one Arsenal !

  12. useroz

    Wilshere thinks big but limited in execution…..alwways nearly passes that u knew wouldn’t come off before they leave his foot.

    See another one……..

    Are we playing the almighty RM??

  13. N5

    Last league game we won was Palace and guess who was playing.

    There is more than one player in a team bob, shame the same can’t be said about your IQ.

  14. useroz

    Another wilshere’s nearly dribble……

    Somehow sanchez heads the ball more/better in the box at 5’7!! Wots welbeck doing??

    Also campbell looked more interesting in past rare appearances

  15. Jaffa

    Good call gooner girl anything to change this set up. Wenger just has no idea no plan b when things are at a stalemate he just won’t try anything adventurous at all.

  16. N5

    WPB I know mate, but his obsession is unhealthy. If you read through 4 months worth of Bobs posts you’ll see he never talks about anyone else. I think Jack has been terrible (bar City) and I personally wouldn’t play him, but Bob really needs to move on to a different subject for his own sanity.

  17. gonsterous


    It was on BBC 4.. just finished … Sorry for the late reply if u were really interested. There’s one abt wolves now if u wanna see it xD

  18. Wengers Plastic Bottle

    See thats the difference

    Viera wold of bounced off that kick that cazorla got

    and probably injured the other player

    we are too lighweight and the manager is accountable

  19. DUIFG

    If it wasn’t for Sanchez this season I think I would have stopped watching games. It’s like Groundhog Day, seen the same match played on loop for 3 months now, it’s utter hell.

  20. useroz

    Fuck off Wenger.

    JJust saying we couldn’t draw this……

    Within seconds Anderlecht scored.

    We make Anderlecht European giant,,,,,,

    Now Campbell. Always reactive.

  21. N5

    Why is he still just sitting there, this hasn’t worked for 70 minutes and now we’re one down. Make some fucking changes, earn your 8 million!!

  22. Joe

    Can’t wait for the AKBs excuse. Martinez in goal and Szez would of saved it hahaga

    Wenger. Fuck off.

    No statue. No legacy.

  23. Craigy

    Wenger and this team can go fuck themselves, they are a fucking disgrace, feel so sorry for Sanchez, he’s a top player that deserves better than a coach like wenger

  24. Guvnor

    Didn’t know he was injured!! He’s barely featured this season.. Never thought I’d ever wish for us to get beat but at this moment in time I feel and want anything that puts Arsene to either leave or at the very least wake up!

  25. Ozy

    What the fuck? I can’t take any more of this. This man is a joke. He’s assembled a team of mediocre players and its catching up to him.

    Fuck this. Even if we draw, this is fucking embarrassing.

    Wilshere is shit. Welbeck is shit. Monreal is shit. They’re all fucking shit. I feel bad for Sanchez and Ozil.

  26. Follow the money

    Hahahahahahaha!!!!! Surprise surprise! I know it’s not cool to want us to lose however I DO want Wenger to suffer for all the crap he’s put us thru

  27. gonsterous

    I wonder how the folks in untold are gonna react.. of course they are gonna defend the pensioner… Hell, they might even bring him a cake for his birthday!!

  28. Craigy

    Watching arsenal for the past few years has felt like a Chore, boring shit, were a bunch of fucking midgets that can hardly run! Half arsed fucks

  29. useroz

    Flamini made their cross too easy. Not clsoing down at all……rubbish DM for a very rich club.

    Where was fucking Gibbs?? Chasing back he was……so 3 players couldn’t stop the cross. And left chambErs dealing with the 2 of them……

    So another mad 10 min frenzy to claw something back.

    Lucky escape. Nearly 2 nil. Comical. All from a counter fr a loose ball fr Ox……..

  30. RJM

    this lot have only ever won a couple of cl games – ever!!
    lol – a laughing stock again. used to it now – doesnt even bother me anymore!

  31. Joe

    what did pep say about passing the ball just for the sake of it. That’s what wenger ball is. Then he can say “look, we had 70 % possession, one team came to play” blah blah blah bollocks

    This team with a real manager could win the league

  32. Goonergirl

    Today on twitter someone actually called Wenger the best manager in the world. You got to worry about these deluded people.

  33. Craigy

    Just knew these bunch of woukd bottle it! If we had a top manager working with this team we could get somewhere, never going to happen with this lunatic at the helm

  34. karaul

    OzyOctober 22, 2014 20:22:32
    Europa League here we come..

    I hope so after watching this game. Well and Arsenal this season. Really really don´t wanna see Wenger´s tactical plan against Bayern or Real in next round