Wenger replacement a total curve ball?

by .

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Sorry, not having it.

Leave it.

Stop it!

I’m not pining over Alex fucking Song. Please, stop doing it. It’s like the worst kind of revisionism.

‘Oh, but he made some nice assists in his last season’

Yeah, sure he did. In his last season with us, he decided he’d play the Cesc role at the expense of his duties at the back. He landed 12 assists, which is excellent. But let’s layer some perspective over this, that season, all you needed to do was put any ball within 5 yards of Robin and he’d score. Let’s also remember that season was one of the worst defensively we’ve had under Arsene Wenger. I think we conceded 48 goals. The next season, when he left, we conceded 38.

Alex Song is a good footballer, is he a great one? Hell no. He looks great at West Ham because he’s a big fish in a little pond. He’s found his level. He has virtually no pace, his positional sense is atrocious and his attitude behind the scenes was allegedly questionable and I had that from multiple sources.

Don’t regret him as a loss. Ask yourself why we didn’t land Matic. That’s the best practice model you need in a modern super team. Tall, wide, mobile and rapid over ten metres. Not Alex Song, a midfielder so casual he could easily pass off as an extra in a stoner film.

Some really interesting stories floating around in Spain about Arsenal’s successor to Wenger being Paul Clement, Head Coach of Real Madrid. The Englishman has followed Ancellotti around the globe and originates from Wandsworth. The article suggests Wenger will be replaced at the end of the season, which would excite me. Sounds a bit fanciful to me, but it certainly feels like an interesting move if true.

This is the thing with modern management. You don’t need a big name with a big ego. You need a man with a vision, a plan and hunger by the bucket load. In Paul Clement, you have a winner who has been tutored by two of  the best in the business (Jose and Carlo). He’ll have trophies galore and he’ll have worked at clubs who operate in a modern way. I’d totally game for a curve ball signing like Clement. You don’t need a big name, you need a smart name. You need someone who is going to come in, rip out the old set up, input a new regime that is co-created with the CEO.

He’s 42 years old, he’s been around the block and he’d certainly be a statement from the club. I appreciate Quieroz didn’t work out with Madrid, but hey, there are lots of big names that don’t work out when they moved to big clubs. I’d rather take a calculated risk with someone we can be king maker with, than punt it on an ego that could just as easily bomb. Football has changed, so has the way you recruit. I’m not sure I fully believe the story, but I  wouldn’t be against the thinking behind such an appointment.

I pray to the football gods we don’t put Wenger up stairs or give him any power.

My big hope is that he goes at the end of the season. That would be massive for Arsenal. Massive and needed. Fingers crossed.

Before I go, my pal and his firm WHP Finishes did this to a kids bedroom. Pretty fucking cool. There was a moment of horror when I thought he’d done that to his living room.

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379 Responses to “Wenger replacement a total curve ball?”

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  1. Jeff

    NM,

    You can demonstrate easily that you are not an AKB by agreeing with the statement I made in my previous post to you. The absence of it is proof enough.

  2. Jeff

    Wallace,

    You see this is the problem. It’s all in your phraseology. You ask the question “Do you agree that winning the PL during the years 2005-13 when we were spending 5m a year (average over the period) on transfers would have been an exceptional achievement? ”

    We had money to spend (not as much as now) even as far back as 2009. We chose not to spend it, not to invest. We had players that we sold and didn’t replace either at all or replaced with inferior quality. And you want to wash all that under the carpet and cap it all with “under the circumstances Wenger has done well”. No I don’t agree with that at all. We could have done better.

    I think Wenger is solely responsible for not even challenging in the last 5/6 seasons. The variety of reasons is all there to see; whether it’s in the form of what he does or doesn’t do on the pitch or in the transfer market.

    But now we are seeing big money being spent on big players and we are still not getting anywhere because (as he has been doing for the past 6 years) he doesn’t address everything that’s wrong but only part of it. If it’s not the attack falling short it’s the defence and vice versa. It’s always been like that for the past 6 years.

    We had this sort of discussion before and everything wrong in Wenger’s decision making you tried to attribute to one of those four excuses. I categorically do not subscribe to that at all.

  3. Dark Hei

    Wallace

    “do you agree that winning the PL during the years 2005-13 when we were spending 5m a year(average over the period) on transfers would have been an exceptional achievement? ”

    A better analysis would be to throw in wages alongside transfers fees for a more holistic picture.

  4. Wallace

    Jeff

    “We had money to spend (not as much as now) even as far back as 2009. We chose not to spend it, not to invest. We had players that we sold and didn’t replace either at all or replaced with inferior quality.”

    the above would suggest money was an issue.

    i think whether he’s capable of winning the PL anymore or not, the majority of Arsenal fans are happy for him to have a couple of seasons of spending serious money after all the years he spent operating on a shoestring budget. if he’s not up to it then fair enough. but i think he’s earned the right to a shot.

  5. Dark Hei

    Jeff

    Wenger made a big mistake which chain reacted itself post 2008.

    It was clear that we had a very talented young team. But they were too good for themselves and had everything too early. What they lack was professionalism. Adebayor, Bendter, Denilson, Nasri, Song stank the place out with their attitude. I do not think Denilson is a terrible player. Nor is Bendter one. Adebayor was world class once upon a time. They were just highly paid at a young age and took things for granted.

    Wenger tried to correct this post-Cesc with experienced buys and it helped in the professional aspect. Signings like Arteta steadied the ship. He isn’t super talented but he was a good example to the younglings. You can’t accuse the new batch of having the prima donna syndrome. Maybe Gallas is just a terrible act to follow.

    While the 2008 team was unbalanced in the maturity aspect. The current team is unbalanced in the footballing aspect. We have too many ball playing midfielders which seems to take the efficiency out of our football. The current Wenger is solving one problem and allowing another to pop up.

    Frustrating really.

  6. Jeff

    Wallace,

    The bottom line is that I don’t think the last 10 years have any reason to merit another 3 years. I cannot extrapolate anything but more failure in the future by looking at the recent past.

    Wenger no longer has anything to offer. He can buy whoever he likes, I just don’t think he can prepare a team to win difficult matches. We play only one way and never change. That is our biggest Achilles Heal and so it will remain.

  7. Jim Lahey

    @Jeff – I agree with you, no matter the personnel in the team, I don’t think Wenger is tactically astute enough to win another league, the game has passed him by.

  8. Dorobucci

    Its funny when some people still feel the need to defend wenger.By this time next year we ll still be lacking in a particular position and wenger will over look it.
    Most of you that think we ve stopped selling are actually deluded, we dont have stand out players that can command high transfers other than 15 mil again. If we stopped selling then we would av told vermalean he ain’t going anywhere until we find his replacement. Alexis and Ozil are still new here so dont count,We are still the same old arsenal of 2005 2013 albeit an FA cup trophy and the community shield. Wenger please go.

  9. Dark Hei

    Wallace

    I will disagree with Jeff’s assessment on $$ being available. In 2009, you have no $$ unless you are a oil baron. 2009, there was no credit available in the market. The only way to get cash is to sell something to China and what China wanted was oil, steel and copper (the metal part collapsed partly in 2009, post Olympics, I remembered the prices nose dived).

    While Arsenal was about football, they had a big pile of debt relative to cash. They were bleeding $$ on the operational part and the property prices were going south. Match day income is not catching up with player wages despite the larger capacity due to rich owner driven inflation.

    Wenger was clearly, IMO, given orders to stay in the black. It is no coincidence that net transfer $$ was keeping Arsenal out of the red.

  10. Jeff

    Dark Hei,

    Agree with that and I think it is plain to see that it is the manager’s responsibility to mitigate all those problems you stated. If a player starts to get an “attitude”, it has to be stamped out. And paying big money to young non-established players (i.e. more than they deserve) is a huge mistake in any job – not just football.

    But you rightly point out, we did waste an awful lot of money paying big wages to players who did not deserve or merit it.

  11. Wallace

    Jeff

    “The bottom line is that I don’t think the last 10 years have any reason to merit another 3 years. I cannot extrapolate anything but more failure in the future by looking at the recent past.”

    hmm…we did win the FA Cup five months ago.

  12. Dorobucci

    How much did diego simeone spend to beat barca and madrid to the title? .Our current squad have players whose contributions will not be more than 5 games a season and they are taking home millions annually. The amount we blow on wages alone can give us a competitive squad in the league.

  13. Loyika

    @ Dorobucci

    1. And Vermaleen is doing what at Barca!? If he was still around would he not still be injured!?
    2. All be it an FA Cup!? Was that given to us freely or did we win it!?

    A little perspective in our postings would go a long way (no matter what part of the divide you stand on)

  14. Emiratesstroller

    Wallace

    I am afraid that I don’t agree with you that Arsenal cannot match Man City for
    ‘squad depth’.

    We may not be able to buy the ‘very best players’ on the market, but that is an
    entirely different factor.

    Let’s be honest the only player at Man City whom we cannot perhaps afford is
    Aguero. Most of the other players in their squad are not better than what we have got or can afford.

    Arsenal’s problem in recent years is having a Manager who has ‘underinvested’ in our squad and that is not because the funds were not available, but because they were either not released or spent.

  15. Jeff

    Wallace,

    One FA cup win does not undo the 8 years of nothing. For every excuse you find in favour of Wenger in the last 10 years for us not winning anything major, I can find just as many excuses for getting him lucky in that FA cup. It so happened that the big teams all got knocked out either by each other or lesser sides and we landed Hull. We did our best to lose that too mind, and only managed a win in extra time. Not exactly a resounding victory was it? We played them again just the other day; couldn’t beat them in 90 minutes.

    Why should my excuses be any less valid than yours? What is your excuse for our abysmal record against top four sides? Is it all bad luck, lack of money, Kroenke, oil men?

  16. andy1886

    DH – Great comment, I think it’s fair to say we had less money than a couple of other clubs but didn’t spend all of what we had plus wasted more on silly wages for inferior players. In summary we could have done better with the resources we had but obviously you couldn’t say if we would have won the league or not – it’s impossible to prove either way.

  17. Wallace

    ES

    “I am afraid that I don’t agree with you that Arsenal cannot match Man City for
    ‘squad depth’

    i disagree. from 12 to 24 City probably have most of those players on 100k+ pw. we’ve probably got about 15/16 good players. City will have 23/24.

  18. Dorobucci

    @Loyika
    Granted Vermy is still injured,Isn’t that our making? ,if he was here you sure know he ll be touted as a new signing.
    The FA cup was more of a lucky ride.End of this season will prove that, even portsmouth somehow also nipped a cup before going under same as birmingham and our shitty neighbors.
    Its not a new thing its nature. Once in every ten years from now on with wenger we will still get a capital one or FA cup trophy, nothing more nothing less.

  19. Jeff

    Jim,

    As hard as it may be to believe, I actually put Arsenal above all of them. I won’t break my back to defend a manager who is happy to finish fourth for 20 years, who can’t be challenged, who can’t be sacked, who can’t be questioned and who has no integrity to resign himself.

    Though for some of our brethren, he is still the best manager we’ve had and even if he has no major success post 2005, it will not matter one jot.

  20. Jim Lahey

    @Jeff – Don’t you know that Arsené died for our sins on that cross?! And on the third day. much like a zombie, he rose….

    Wait … wait.. I think I’m confusing him with another fella!

  21. Jeff

    Wallace,

    Three more years of no wins under Wenger, and you’ll still be going on about no money, Kroenke, oil men and bad luck.

  22. Jim Lahey

    @Andy – Someone nailed the Easter Bunny to a cross? Bit harsh, but thats the price you pay I guess for breaking and entering to leave chocolate for small children..

  23. peanuts&monkeys

    Is this Wallace a kid? Are you in still in school, Mr Wallace? You call that mickey mouse competition against a Donald Duck team in the final a trophy???

    Are you Wenger yourself? I doubt if there is anyone with Arsenal in his heart who can justify Wenger for last 10 years with this FA cup trophy, except wenger himself…who again does not have arsenal at his heart ANYMORE.

  24. Wallace

    Jeff

    “Three more years of no wins under Wenger, and you’ll still be going on about no money, Kroenke, oil men and bad luck.”

    no, as i explained earlier. from last summer we’re back in the game. if he can’t mount a serious challenge then we should be looking for someone who can.

  25. peanuts&monkeys

    “Though for some of our brethren, he is still the best manager we’ve had and even if he has no major success post 2005, it will not matter one jot.”

    They are not our brethren. We cannot count donkeys in our fraternity.

  26. Jeff

    Wallace,

    Alright then. Let’s see what you’re really thinking. What is “back in the game”?

    1. Finishing fourth
    2. Winning EPL
    3. Winning ECL
    4. Winning a domestic cup

    What exactly is success in your book; the failure of which will finally make your mind up that he should be replaced?

  27. Emiratesstroller

    Wallace

    Man City have currently a squad of just 24 players. We have an enlarged squad of 31.

    Arsenal’s squad includes 4-5 players who are likely to play for U21s rather than
    first team and I suspect that is reflected in their wages.

    A team with ambition to win the League as opposed to finishing in top 4 needs
    two players in each position who are good enough to play on a fairly regular basis in first team.

    My assessment is that we are currently about 4 players short of that number
    if I factor in that we are at least one cb and one dmf short.

    There are probably 7 players in the current squad [excluding those out on loan] who are neither good enough for starting line up or squad or more importantly surplus to requirements.

    These are:
    Flamini
    Coquelin
    Diaby
    Rosicky
    Podolski
    Campbell [good enough but too many options in positions he plays].
    Sanogo

    Leaving aside current weaknesses the squad needs to recruit better calibre,
    physically stronger and more dynamic players than what we have got at moment so that there may be additional players who need to be offloaded in medium to long term.

    Man City on the other hand are likely to need to offload a very high proportion
    of their squad in the next two to three years. That may be rather difficult to achieve when you factor in age of players, length of their contracts, wages and
    almost zero resale value.

  28. peanuts&monkeys

    “if he can’t mount a serious challenge then we should be looking for someone who can.”

    Where will he launch that challenge from? From the shoulders of Arteta, Diaby, Sceszeny?

  29. peanuts&monkeys

    Wenger, you are dead for many Arsenal fans. Many Arsenal fans hate you so much that they pray Arsenal lose match after match so that the dead man with your name can be buried.

    I dont care if you say u are still alive, i can still get you buried. Or, better still sent you to Baghdad.

  30. N5

    Penutsack answer my question please? How am I an AKB? You say it enough and then run away. Please advise where I’ve ever bigger up Wenger you silly cunt!

  31. Wallace

    Jeff

    “Alright then. Let’s see what you’re really thinking. What is “back in the game”?”

    seriously challenging for the title. not expecting to win it. but being up there by the time April/May rolls around. i know you think we employ a barely competent manager and the title’s ours. but i think that’s a view that reflects your unrealistic take on things.

  32. Jeff

    Wallace,

    You mean option 1, i.e. finish fourth. That to you would be success and license to carry on. Therein lies the problem.

  33. Wallace

    Jeff

    “You mean option 1, i.e. finish fourth. That to you would be success and license to carry on. Therein lies the problem.”

    i’m re-reading my last post and struggling to see how you draw that conclusion. go read what i said again and get back to me.

  34. Jeff

    Wallace,

    Pick an option 1 to 4 then and stop being so vague. Being right up there in April doesn’t mean anything to me. What’s the end result. Being deliberately vague is obtuse.

  35. Wallace

    ES

    i can see what you’re saying, but they nicked our starting RB, doubled his wages, and told him to sit on the bench. we’re never going to be in a situation where we can afford to do that.

  36. Jeff

    Wallace,

    That has nothing to do with the question in hand. I asked you what your thought success was and you said being right up there in April. I asked what you meant by that and now you are asking me if replacing Wenger automatically makes us favourite for the PL. This is childish because you have returned to Wenger when the question was what you considered as success. Tut,tut.

  37. Jeff

    “do you think if we replace Wenger with a good manager we automatically become favourites for the PL?”

    In case you think I’m avoiding the question I’ll answer it. Absolutely not. But that is because I don’t know with whom we are replacing him. If I knew that, I’d be able to tell you so a silly question really.

  38. Jeff

    And in case we are talking about this season, no manager on the planet can win the PL for us now. We lost that in the summer window. This season is over as far as PL or CL is concerned.

    The only thing we can win now is the FA cup again as we got knocked out of the League Cup by Southampton, but we will not get the same sort of luck as we did last year when all the big sides got knocked out and we were left with Hull. So, the likeliest outcome is probably another fourth and no trophies. Not good enough.

  39. reality check

    Answer the question wallace. What is success to you now that we are back in the game. Being up there, is vague. Do you basically mean what liverpool did last year?

  40. Alfie

    “Wenger, you are dead for many Arsenal fans. Many Arsenal fans hate you so much that they pray Arsenal lose match after match so that the dead man with your name can be buried.

    I dont care if you say u are still alive, i can still get you buried. Or, better still sent you to Baghdad.”

    Psychopathic.

  41. Wallace

    Jeff

    “That has nothing to do with the question in hand. I asked you what your thought success was and you said being right up there in April. I asked what you meant by that”

    you can take what i said literally.

    can we win the league? – yes.

    would we start the season favourites to win the league? – no

    who would we start behind? – Man Utd, Man City & Chelsea

    that’s my take. read into it what you will.

  42. Emiratesstroller

    Jeff

    We may not be ‘favourites’ to win the EPL but I would suggest that we will have
    a better chance in future if Wenger does stand down.

    The club’s football management, coaching,scouting and support staff is frankly
    rather ‘stale’ and does need ‘refreshing’.

  43. Jeff

    Wallace,

    So in a multiple choice exam, do you make up your own questions and answer those instead of the ones being asked?

  44. Jeff

    Emirates,

    “We may not be ‘favourites’ to win the EPL but I would suggest that we will have
    a better chance in future if Wenger does stand down.”

    My assertion that no manager can win us the PL was only for this season. Looking further ahead and with Wenger standing down, I agree completely of course.

  45. Emiratesstroller

    Jeff

    Our horizon this season should be 2nd or 3rd place and qualification for last 16
    in Champions League. Anything else is frankly a bonus. You should not forget
    that we have already won one trophy i.e. Charity Shield!

    The simple facts are that Chelsea will win the title this season unless they implode or have an abnormally large injury crisis. They are the best team in League by a mile.

    However, I do think that we are capable of achieving 2nd place and that would be progression. To achieve that we need to strengthen our defensive resources [cb and dmf] in January.

  46. Sam

    does your kid get charged £84 plus admin fee to go into his bedroom now? 🙂

    Wenger’s not going anywhere. Pass up on £8mill more a year for another 2 years?! Je ne le crois pas.

  47. Bamford13

    It’s quite simple, really: not only is Wenger no longer capable of leading Arsenal to an EPL or CL title, he isn’t even interested in doing so.

    How can I make such a claim? Simple: he has stuck with a substandard CDM and CF — Arteta and Giroud — for two years, complementing them with even weaker players, Flamini and Sanogo.

    No reasonable person believes Arsenal can win the EPL or CL with both Arteta and Giroud in the first XI, yet Wenger stuck with them. Why? Because he cares more about doing things a certain way — i.e., with players he is loyal to, with players the world doesn’t really rate, without spending “too much” money (even if he has it to spend), without following the “ways of the world,” i.e., the ways of everyone else.

    Any reasonable and competent manager would long ago have gotten us a class CDM and CF and have us competing for a title.

  48. Jeff

    ES,

    Our horizon this year, even with the best will in the world, should have been to be thereabouts now and not ride behind Southampton and West Ham. Of course those teams will drop off but we’ve lost so much ground and Man City still have a very strong team. Man U will, I’m sure, put up a better performance this season than they did last but that just means they will be there instead of Liverpool who are losing ground even faster than we are. If I was to predict the top four I might go something like this:

    1. Chelsea
    2. Man City
    3. Man U
    4. Us

  49. Emiratesstroller

    Another point only 2 teams won trophies last season and they were Man City
    [League/League Cup] and Arsenal [FA Cup].

    Chelsea will win League and are the only team in England with realistic chance of winning Champions League. Therefore we are talking about positions 2-4 in
    EPL and FAC and LC be available to other clubs.

  50. Bamford13

    My post should’ve read:

    Because he cares more about doing things a certain way — i.e., with players he is loyal to, with players the world doesn’t really rate, without spending “too much” money (even if he has it to spend), without following the “ways of the world,” i.e., the ways of everyone else — than he does about winning a title.

    Any reasonable and competent manager would long ago have gotten us a class CDM and CF and have us competing for a title.

  51. Emiratesstroller

    Jeff

    Man City will finish in top 4 but not necessarily in second place. Man Utd are
    at moment a very average team and in my view beatable. They are certainly not better than us when you factor in our list of injuries.

    Both teams need to improve their defence.

  52. Jeff

    ES,

    Last season we were beating most of the the smaller sides conclusively but failing to beat the bigger ones. Now we are still failing to beat the big ones but we are also losing or drawing with the smaller sides as well. So I can’t see us finishing further than fourth.

    I know we have a lot of injuries but even when everyone is fully fit, we are still lacking in the most needy areas such as the ones occupied by Arteta and Flamini as most people point out. I have no confidence that Wenger will address that in January. We’d be lucky if he gets in a CB which I think he said he might in the AGM. He never goes all out in January so he won’t this season either.

  53. Wallace

    Emirates

    “Chelsea will win League and are the only team in England with realistic chance of winning Champions League.”

    c’mon, man. still in October and you’re already handing Chelsea the title? not saying they won’t, but if Costa’s hamstring does finally pop Remy’s a far less intimidating proposition. they’ve been able to name pretty much their first choice side every PL game so far.

  54. Bamford13

    Would this side compete for a title?
    Shez
    Debuchy Mertesacker Koscielny Gibbs
    SCHNEIDERLIN
    Ramsey* Ozil
    Walcott LEWANDOWSKI Oxlade

    I’d love to say ‘yes,’ as my argument is what we need is a better CDM and CF, but even the above — sans Sanchez, obviously — is not going to do it.

    You probably need another quality wide player (in place of one of the two above) and a quality CB (in place of Mert).

    Nonetheless, without a quality CDM and CF, it’s pointless.

  55. reality check

    Chelsea will win League and are the only team in England with realistic chance of winning Champions League. Therefore we are talking about positions 2-4 in
    EPL and FAC and LC be available to other clubs.

    @es

    So arsenal won’t win the league anytime soon then. Wenger has 3 years. In that time chelsea, City, Utd get stronger and stronger.

    So what do we as a club have to achieve by giving Wenger 3 more years? If he can’t do it now. Will it be any different within the next 3 years.

    Wasn’t the Fa cup the perfect opportunity for Wenger to leave on a high, take all the plaudits, then hand the job over to a worthy manager to rebuild into the next 3 years?

    What more can he do, if you want to say he’s been a great servant to the club, fine.

    But enough is enough .

  56. Ustynobaba

    Imagine what one man just one man ”Wenger” is doing to grown men…arguing up and down without any headway

    Wenger go away

  57. Jeff

    Ozrus,

    It only seems dark to you because we don’t all bow down in endless praise of Wenger singing “Hosanna in the highest” day in day out like they do on some other sites. Nevertheless you are welcome to say just about anything you like here but we wouldn’t be there – would we? So which blogs are dark and which are light is all about how you choose to view things – e.g. through rose tinted glasses or in the realistic cold light of day?

  58. Jeff

    “arguing up and down without any headway”

    Name me any other argument that did make “any headway” and if you can, explain what the headway was.

  59. Jeff

    No, Le Grove is definitely the most tolerant, the most inclusive and the most awakened site of them all. It even has an AKB guide which I’ve not seen on any other Arsenal blog sites. Everything about it is good and I commend Pedro for being the voice of dissonance in an otherwise sterile empty world of blogging on most other Arsenal sites. Here everyone gets a chance to say their peace regardless of orientation with regard to Wenger.

  60. WindyCityArse

    It’s obvious that Wenger has to go – the sooner the better. Kroenke has to faack off as well as I just don’t think his ambition for the club is the same as the fans….
    ‘Thank you for your interest in our affairs’…. PHW. Says it all.