Santa gave Wenger the gift of rotation. He said no.

by .

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Back in the hood today, the Essex Hood. I knew my brother was at home when I landed at my parents house last night…


The Christmas Kebab… such a mistake. I know some of you made it last night. It’s so tempting. What you don’t realise is that it increases your hangover by at least 32%. I steered well away, which is why I can deliver a relatively sober post this morning.

BIG GAME tomorrow against QPR. Well, it shouldn’t be, but because Charlie Austin is scoring so many goals and it’s a London Derby, you never know what can happen. My guess is this will be a relatively straight forward win for us. It all works in our favour. They have us, Palace and Swansea over the next 7 or so days. They have a low chance of taking points from us. So I’d imagine they’ll keep some players back for freshness against the teams they should be looking for higher points gains.

Wenger is talking about rotation. It’s always interesting listening to him talking about something he really hasn’t ever been good at. He sounds so authoritative.

“The difficulty is finding the right balance between rotation and the balance of the side without destabilising it. Therefore you sometimes have to limit the numbers of rotation,”

“Secondly, it’s easier to rotate in the offensive positions than in the defensive positions, where the understanding of each other is very important. You try to combine and you also have to look at the individual fatigue factor.”

We rarely find the right balance. The point of a squad is you use it. Wenger doesn’t like to, and we normally suffer. We’ve suffered because we’ve fatigued players all season. When the crunch comes, we suffer because we’re crippled. The first point there is that for a game like QPR, you could easily introduce Campbell, Podolski and Rosicky. There’s no reason you couldn’t. They’d all be up for it, they’d all be fresh because they’ve had zero minutes… then you could bring the calvary on if need be after 60minutes. That’d make sense and wouldn’t disrupt anything. QPR really have been poor this season.


The second point, when he talks about difficulty in rotating defenders. Well, it’s not really a point. We have a right back playing at centre back, we have a kid playing right back and we have a left back with no understanding of how to fit into a system. We don’t rotate because we don’t have the bodies to do so. But, if we did, there’s no reason we couldn’t be sharing out the work load for games like this.

I read a Telegraph interview where an inside source of the author says ‘overplaying is a bit of a myth’… kind of a curve ball insider quote to drop because the nature of the word indicates too much of something. It’s never ok to overplay someone. Chelsea don’t overplay their players, they manage their fitness so they can handle more games. If you have a computer game style health bar, you can use that how you want, 60% in games 40% in training… but if you add 60% to training, you might have problems.

It’s interesting watching how the media works to convince you that there’s more to our fitness issues than just nailing down the total basics. Put a famous paper above an article and any old bollocks carries weight. I’m not suggesting it’s easy to sort our problems, all I’m saying is that when you have a club with the resource of Arsenal, it shouldn’t be difficult to find someone who can nail it.

BUT IT’S CHRISTMAS. So let’s forget about all that nonsense until tomorrow!

This is the big Christmas thank you. This is the moment I tell you you’re all amazing. This is when I tell you that I can’t believe we’re moving into our 8th year of writing daily.

Honestly, the best Christmas gift I could receive is you knocking on the Le Grove door every morning at 9am (ish). I’ve been told my server needs to be upgraded to handle you all. It’s an honour and a privilege to write for so many great people. It’s been a tough old slog at time this year, but jeez, there’s nothing more fun than getting up every morning to chat to you lot. There’s nothing better than meeting people who share the same passion for Arsenal we do… from all over the world.

Merry Christmas, thanks for making Arsenal so f*cking bearable, and let’s toast to a better Arsenal… because I promise you, when this is all over, we’ll reach the promised land and we’ll look back on these years and laugh!


BIG LOVE from all at Le Grove xxx

98 Responses to “Santa gave Wenger the gift of rotation. He said no.”

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  1. N5

    Merry Christmas Le Grove! All except Lives by the River have a wonderful day. River I hope Santa shat down your chimney.

    Thanks once again Pedro. You sir are amazingly devoted and my hat is well and truly tipped to you.

    Kwik great Spud kid picture on the last blog. Love you man.

  2. Mersonsacker

    Merry Christmas Pedders,

    Le Grove is my must read everyday – Thank you and may you enjoy much turkey and Peroni

  3. pliget

    Merry Christmas Pedro and all you Grovers from sunny Sussex.

    Here’s to the change and LeGrove supporting Lord Pep (one can hope) in all he does and Untold blaming all the bad results on him and the good results to favouritism by the referees.

  4. Hitman

    I don’t celebrate Xmas (nor did Jesus, so I am in good company)
    but good will to all men, even AW , as long as he reciprocates by going forth.

  5. Ughelligunner

    Pedro Merry Christmas.

    And a special shout out to Adam .A Carbarundum, for his well thought out post to me. I never knew i touched your life so much. And i think Keyser would be grateful too.

    Merry Christmas to all .

  6. tenerife gooner

    The problem with reaching the Promised land Pedro.Me and a few others have had a few more Christmas Dinners than our current Manager.

  7. S. Asoa

    For Christmas

    I wish Santa would take away Wenger in is empty bag .
    The man is frozen in time so should be comfortable at the North Pole
    which also rhymes with what he is Arsehole

    Merry Christmas to all

  8. David Smith

    We ain’t reaching no promised land while Stan is there no matter who the next manager is.
    Wenger has just morphed into what he knows Stan wants, just to make himself bombproof for a few years, the next manager will be chosen to fit the qualities Stan wants ie ECL football, minimum cost. Wenger is a morphed, lucky for him he answered to Dein and Danny F for a few years, men who demanded success at least at the time.
    Wenger, for all his faults is only one of many problems at this club, they start with the owner.
    Bah hum bug.

  9. jwl

    Merry Christmas – hope everyone is well and enjoying themselves.

    And thanks to Pedro for giving us an agreeable place to whinge about Arsenal.

  10. Relieable sauce

    Good health & happiness to all. Especially for those that cant enjoy Christmas for whatever reason.

    Thanks for the great site Pedro & Geoff & to Alex & the other guest bloggers.
    Cheers! To a better Arsenal.

  11. Relieable sauce

    Good health & happiness to all. Especially for those that cant enjoy Christmas for whatever reason.

    Thanks for the great site Pedro & Geoff & to Alex & the other guest bloggers.
    Cheers! To a better Arsenal.

  12. GoonerInNY

    @David Smith

    I agree that Kroenke is the real problem, and the new manager won’t be allowed to spend as much as he should.

    But, a new manager, money aside, should be able to make huge gains over Wenger on squad construction, rotation, fitness, video preparation, game planning, in-game tactics and substitutions.

    So I will take it. Hopefully sooner than later.

  13. N5

    @Ustynobaba, you to my friend. Have a lovely day with your friends and family.

    CA, goodbye law degree, see you in the civil service soon lol.

  14. Cesc Appeal


    Long dark curtains isn’t it…just going through the process of setting it up now, but pissed it’s proving a Da Vinci Code type challenge

  15. Gunner2301

    Merry Christmas Pedro and all Grovers and Arsenal fans all over the globe. Stop and remember the real reason for Christmas and enjoy and appreciate your family and friends. My thought for the day -:)

  16. Thank you and goodnight

    Merry Christmas to my fellow grovers. N5, Cesc, Kwik, Romford, midi, Gregg and many many more hope your having a great day guys. Love to you and your families…….yes I’m pissed. But the missus wants sex so it’s a necessity 😀

  17. Cesc Appeal


    Happy Christmas to you too mate.

    Went a bit heavy Christmas Eve and ended up having a horrid nights sleep, so more alcohol today combined with being extremely sleep deprived is…interesting

  18. bennydevito

    Afternoon Pedro and Merry Christmas, afternoon Grovers and Merry Christmas to you all, and for all you Grovers of other faiths or non religious ones; happy holiday and peace be with you.

  19. Thank you and goodnight


    See Ebenezer has just turned up for his one post rant then fuck off. 😀
    Merry Christmas to you my good man. May the dry crusty shit entwined in your anal hairs give you as much pain as your posts give us 😀

  20. N5

    Merry Christmas Chyke buddy, I hope you are well.

    TYAG, you lucky sod. It must be Christmas.

    CA, I would give up two presents to watch you drunkenly set up the PS4, I bet you’ve plugged it into the toaster and put some WHAM CD in the disc drive!! 😀

  21. N5

    Lololololololol. Ha ha ha ha ha. I cant tell you how funny it is in my head, you holding a galaxy and wondering why the controller is so non responsive!!

  22. Dusty Kart

    Cesc appeal@

    My son has been trying to set up his ps4 for about a hour apparently the psn network is down due to hackers or something my boys giving up so good luck!!

  23. NYCgooner

    Merry Christmas to all gooners wherever in the world you may be.

    Where are all these cavani to arsenal rumors coming from? It’s even on espn now.

  24. Ustynobaba

    NYC,when its close to TW like this alot of shit are made up just so the poor fans will increase thier traffic,its so annoying to even believe the news when in reality it wont happen…..but anything can happen,its still The Wenger Show
    Merry christmas to you

  25. tunnygriffboy


    Must have depth and equal quality in positions

    Must have a fully fit squad. Too many injuries means horrendous lack of continuity. Too many top players injured means that to rotate second stringers in weakens team further. Ironic that had we had a fit squad Podolski and Campbell may have played more. To rotate them in while Kos, Arteta, Ramsey, Jack, Ozil, Giroud, Walcott, Debuchy out means replacing Welbeck or Sanchez. Too much of a risk with the team drastically weakened.

    Hope you all having a great day and best wishes to all for the New Year.

  26. drunk fanboy

    merry christmas to all gooners. don’t forget today is about 2 things Family / friends and alcohol…lots of alcohol

  27. Zaco

    Merry christmas Pedro and the entire Le-grove team, and to you fellow readers, wishing you all the best.

    lets cap our celebration with a big win tomorrow

  28. canuck1945

    Merry Xmas from Arsenal supporters in Canada. Thanks to Pedro and all his helpers for their efforts during the past year. You’re great.

  29. Ozy

    I’m a little late but Merry Christmas to all of you. You’re all a great lot. Thanks everybody.

    Hope you’ve all been having an amazing holiday.

  30. Bristles

    A very Beery Xmas greeting to all you lovely LeGrovers from a London exile in Bristol! And a big thank you to Pedro for writing a blog that tells it like it is! Have a good one and fingers crossed for tomorrow…

  31. Highbury Daze

    Myles thinks Wenger will manage AFC until he dies, I just can’t wait for the day I come on here and the news is he dropped dead, best fucking news I could get, stick that in your stocking Venger

  32. Highbury Daze

    Wenger went into a new season with two CB knowing Per had not much respite from WC , Wenger comes out now with an outrageous piece of crap trying to defend Per for ducking his defensive duties, we pay you 70-80k a week Per not to duck, but to put your head there, or die trying, you fucking coward, and Wenger is a bigger coward

  33. Highbury Daze

    The reason they duck is because they have photo shoots coming up, they don’t want to get hurt, if you do the job you are paid to, you keep your eye on the ball, you challenge for it, if you miss it, that’s fine, at least fucking challenge for it, 6feet 6 inches and this guy is ducking, fuck off

  34. Highbury Daze

    What you saw there with that Mertesacker cowardly act is what is wrong with AFC no balls no steel no courage, no fucking commitment players with hearts the size of a pea this whole organisation is putrid it needs cleansing from the top down

  35. Highbury Daze

    Have a look at Steve Bruce’s face, that’s what a defender should look like, squashed noses scarred face from putting his head where it should be, he got that playing for Manchester United, do you think SAF would have been so kind had he ducked from the ball like Wenger was on Per, he would’ve shredded him and it would have been the last time he did it, or he would be playing elsewhere I have lost all love and respect for this club under this weak cowardly fucking manager

  36. Highbury Daze

    Wenger sure talks a good game, we hear about mental strength, spirit, togetherness and the rest of the fucking garbage, not once have I heard the words COURAGE DETERMINATION HEART

  37. Bamford10

    Great post, Pedro.

    Merry Xmas, again, and thank you for all of the effort you pour into Le Grove.

    How sweet life will be — and how sweet Le Grove will be — when Arsenal are great again.

    Until then … at least we have Le Grove. 😉

  38. Highbury Daze

    Typical Wenger sells Poldoski a WC winner and buys another 16 year old kid, he can sell later down the track, that’s the business model, buy cheap kids sell them for millions of quid, all under the cover of a football club

    Maybe no one will notice we don’t care about silverware. trophies, well the real ones anyway, not the fabricated bullshit 4th place trophy

    This once was a football club, now it is masquerading as one, for 18 years it has been bringing in cheap and in some cases free kids, paying their parent club a pittance in compensation, then selling that player for massive profit, later on, FOOTBALL HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE AFC AND WENGER MODEL

  39. Highbury Daze

    If they did this anywhere else it would be considered child slavery taking kids at 9 years old, not to be a football star but to me moved around the world, club to club, to club, the smartest at this practice is Arsene Wenger, Dan Crowley cost a million quid from Villa, watch down the track how much he will be sold on for making massive profit, who has retired at AFC

    I can only recall one player Dennis Bergkamp, testimonial for him, every other player is sold for profit, Wenger makes sure of the resale value, that turns him on, gets his jollies from it, not from winning that is secondary to the business side, makes me sad after following this club for a big part of my life, to see it reduced to a flesh market is depressing, and selling Vieira Henry Pires et al is a kick in the nuts to those players who were the invincible’s

    Why did they not retire at the club, well they were burned out and Wenger made profit on Vieira and Henry, sold for more than the purchase price, that’s why they never retired at the club

    Fucking disgraceful really

    Wenger has no loyalty in him, he goes on about it but it’s complete crap

  40. Relieable sauce

    Full on today, didnt have a drop of alchohol til about 5pm with all the cooking & cleaning. Hats off to the ladies (& gents) who always do it day in day out 365 days a year, I know how you feel. No wonder Nigella needs a bit of the Bolivian marching powder from time to time.
    I’d hate to see a crimbo break for the epl, not becauase I dont think the players deserve it but how long can anyone endure Bond, Shrek, Harry Potter, Eastenders specials & that God awful choir fad fest etc…not to mention the family. : / plus I’m a football junkie.
    What on eath do they do in Germany ? (league restarts on Feb 2nd). Holidays I guess for the players but what about the poor addicts???
    Anyhow, the only cold turkey I’ll be having is literal & there’s not long to wait…however I’ve finished the beer & the last of the single malt…bleach does contain alchohol doesn’t it?

  41. Wallace

    “I don’t think we have gone backwards in the quality of our squad because if you look at the five players that we bought, you cannot say that one of the five players is a failure,” Wenger said. “I can’t deny that we are behind much more than last year because we have had a depleted squad since the start of the season, and the fact that we got so many important injuries at the back cost us too much. We lost Debuchy and Koscielny at the same period for three months. It’s too much.”

    as much as i defend Wenger on here that last bit is just rubbish. losing Debuchy so soon was unlucky, but Koscienly was already struggling so going into the season with 6 defenders was just plain dumb.

  42. Highbury Daze

    What it shows to the astute fan, that winning the title was never an option, never, not with that squad, it was assembled to finish in the top 4, that’s all, just to struggle into 4th again for the CL cash, the fans are getting it up the arse constantly

  43. Highbury Daze

    Some like it because they are masochists, the smart ones don’t they see the laissez faire attitude to the squad, I could understand if the club fell on hard times, if they were struggling financially, or any other legitimate excuse

    But for this fucking manager to say fuck you to the fans this is my squad of 6 defenders, to go into a 9 month season, then use the fucking excuse we had a few injuries is appalling and atrocious, this guy is ANAL RETENTIVE, AND SHOULD BE MEDICATED

  44. GuNZ

    I don’t think I have stopped drinking since the Liverpool game. It has been a warm and sunny Boxing Day here in New Zealand but a strange one. A light plane crashed into the Raglan Harbour (luckily all survived), then an accident blocked road access to and from the surf beaches, then my missus blew up the nutri-bullet I got her for Xmas. The last is a good thing as it means I can still have beer for breakfast instead of some pulverised root vegetable glop. But my point, the one I am trying to make, is that I will have to get up at 6.30 am (my time) to listen to the game on Arsenal Player and I am scared. I am scared of QPR. And I am scared of West Ham and Southampton away after that. I think I shall remain in my cups until it is all over and I wake up in a land populated by speaking animals who inform me that Arsenal have a wonderful, stable defence and that Giroud has been informed (in English, French, Swahili – I really don’t care which as long as he gets it) that it really is OK to net more than one frecking opportunity in 50.
    Stay safe all you Gooners everywhere.

  45. Johnty79

    I don’t any fan can support arsenal with wenger in charge..the last 20 years with him have been the worst years of supporting arsenal.

    Even in the early years he made mistake after mistake but got away with it because of Henry and vieira.

  46. Highbury Daze

    He does not care we lose 6-0 to Chelsea, 5-1 to Liverpool 6-3 to City, because with those horrific results last season he still finished 4th, because the EPL is piss weak, outside the top 4, and he is banking on the same result this season, hence the JUDGE ME IN MAY SHIT HE SPOUTS

  47. useroz

    Why did Wenger not docus on the five players he should/could/outght to have bought??

    Behind and backward do not make a fucking difference to fans.u put a shit squad and losing/drawing games unnecessarily. That’s all it matters. Dumbass. We can but don’t like semantics when it comes to Arsenal winning games and we thought the PL table doesn’t lie??

    Btw, did Wenger no braf about his so mamy leaders on the pitch? Where have they been? Oh…. so these leaders only operate outisde our 18 yard box?

    We better beatQpr and see a rotated starting 11.