Ray Parlour accidentally highlights what a luddite Arsene Wenger is…

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What a horrible morning it is in London. Wet, cold and more wet. FA Cup final weekend here we come!

Ok, so what do we have first?

Oh yeah, Lukas Podolski has left Arsenal to join Inter on loan for the rest of the season. If you’ve been following the site for the last few years, you’ll know that the club has been interested in seeing Lukas gone for at least two seasons. The only thing holding a move back has been the mega cash money he’s been on.

Well, this window, the perfect storm was set… he’s been complaining incessantly that he wants to play, we’ve degraded him to 6minute bench starts, we’ve been putting the hapless Yaya in front of him and Inter finally came in with an offer that suited all parties.

I’m game for him going on a personal level, professional? Not so sure…

I also mentioned yesterday that I think that ‘injury’ was one of the mind. A few people expressing disappointment at this, but I totally disagree. I talk about rotation a lot. I talk about football like it’s a business. It’s easy to relate that way and I think we, as fans, often forget that players are people as well. Lukas is a good player. He’s not the answer for us through the middle, but he offers quite a lot out wide and he can offer a lot in any game coming on to chase a goal. He’s deadly. One of the meanest finishes in the world.

Point here, he’s not perfect, but he’s a very capable squad player. He has a use.

So when you have a squad of players, you have to keep them interested. Rotation isn’t just about keeping your first choice 11 fit. It’s keeping your fringe players interested and feeling valued. Arsene does nothing of the sort. So when his fringe names are called upon because of injuries, they’re not interested. Case in point, Vermaelen last season. Totally ostracised, then when called upon he didn’t give a fu*k because he’d been badly managed.

If Lukas feigned injury to escape the club, who can blame him? Wenger managed him badly from a talent perspective right the way through to the mental side of the game.

… and look, we apparently scout players 450,000 times before they join. How did we not pick up on his lack of suitability? I sat at an awards do with a Bundesliga expert right before he signed and I was told me he didn’t think he’d be right for us. What were our scouts thinking?

I find the move to Inter a touch bizarre as well. I mean, we’re a squad that’s ‘decimated’ and the manager is once again letting World Cup talent leave the club without having an alternative in place. This is what he did with Vermaelen in the summer. Should a club in a desperate state be lending out it’s players? Should we not wait for the in before the out?

The other item to note is that if we do replace him, what position are we looking at? The Cavani stories are interesting, because if they’re a reaction to Podolski leaving, they’re kind of missing the point. He was a wide left player for us, not a striker. Why would we sign a striker when we have Welbeck and Giroud? Unless Wenger has given up on WELBZ through the middle?

I love Cavani, have done for years. However, if our transfer pot isn’t what we’d hoped (£20m was the leak to the press), you’d have to say that spending our money on a striker when what we need is two defensively minded midfielders and a world class centre back would be beyond the pale.

… but because it’s beyond the pale, it’s perfectly possible.

I’ve read before that when Arsenal signed Ozil, we needed a creative player. I love how panic buys can be reimagined. Sure, we might have needed a creative player, but what we’d needed for two years was a world class striker. If we’d needed a creative player, it certainly wasn’t one who could only handle 60minutes of football in a lesser league.

What we need now is some serious attention in the aformentioned positions. A striker isn’t going to save our season now. If we did decide to replace Podolski, it should be with a proper wide player like Shaqiri or Pedro.

I also don’t understand why we haven’t nailed off our business nice and early? Atletico had Torres done before new years day. We’ve known about our lack of centre backs since May… where is the solution?

Is the manager dithering again?

We should be moving heaven an earth to bring in bodies, because even the players are whining about the lack of bodies. Per Mertesacker is complaining…

“It’s not that easy,”

“One [player] came back from a long-term injury and then he is just fit for two or three days, and then he has to play. For example Laurent, he has to play. He cannot train for two or three weeks because we have no players left. It’s always tough at the moment. Players come back but they have to play immediately. There is no time or room for building automatic understanding or the kind of things you need to prepare for.”

Read the desperation in those comments. Arsene Wenger has no idea what he’s doing. He’s playing with players careers with his backward ways and no one is stepping in to do something about it. The fear and ignorance of the people who manage the manager is staggering. Someone should roll in right now and say, sorry Arsene, enough is enough, your way no longer works and you’re head of fitness is costing the club too much in lost salary… we’re removing him from action and giving Shad full control until the end of the season. We’re also going to monitor how you use the advice, because if it’s not used, we’ll discuss why in a review at the end of the year.

This is the amazing thing, Wenger fans say things like, ‘I can’t believe a manager as visionary as Arsene wouldn’t be looking into the injury mess’… you don’t have to take my word for it, look at what you see with your eyes. Read what the players say. Look at what you see on the pitch. Look at the repeat injuries to overplayed players. If Wenger was seriously looking at the injury problem, you wouldn’t be seeing the consistent car crash you see every year.

There was a really amusing quote online yesterday from Ray Parlour, he said he went back to the training ground recently and the operation was exactly as it was when he played. A few people ignorantly tweeted me like this showed everything was down to luck, because Wenger is doing things the same way he was when we were winning. Ray Parlour, who is still close to the club accidentally threw the manager under the bus. The training is the same, but the game isn’t the same. It’s absolutely incredible things haven’t evolved. The game is 40% faster than it was 4 years ago, 80% faster than it was 8 years ago. He retired 10.5 years ago!

Players are finely tuned athletes, sport science has jumped light years ahead, GPS tracking technology gets more advanced every year, the people analysing the data get smarter, diets are more effective, recovery has jumped up a grade, scouting focus is speed and power, other clubs have become smarter, other teams are using the TV money to load their teams with more top players so you don’t get easy games, and the overall understanding of the game has become far more scientific.

Training shouldn’t be the same. You should never be able to go back to any enterprising company and see the same things you did a decade ago. I don’t think I’ve ever read a comment more innocently sum up the problems at the club than that one (it also sums up why you don’t just dump ex players into management jobs).

Right, that’s my moan for the day out. Have a great FA Cup day, see you tomorrow!

375 Responses to “Ray Parlour accidentally highlights what a luddite Arsene Wenger is…”

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  1. Gunner2301

    Apparently this is the worst start counting the first 20 games under Wenger he obviously doesn’t want to leave until he breaks even more records.

    Goondawg you only need to look at what’s been going on to see that Wenger has not moved with the times and because of that all other areas of the club is suffering I.e scouting, performance, preparation and most evident tactics which Wenger displays such a level of naivety it’s embarrassing the players must feel like they’re dancing with their nan knowing what goes on at other clubs and how far ahead of us they are.

  2. lordsnotty

    Why is Wenger still being judged by many on his past achievements of 10 to 17 years ago? Whatever he did back then, he is clearly shite now. Past it, lost the plot, a busted flush. Just wake up and smell the coffee guys. Open your eyes and observe what’s going on at this club. A rotten dictatorship led by a delusional and narcisistic old fool. It is so clear that change is required. Sweep away this rotten regime and bring in fresh faces, fresh ideas. Onwards and upwards. WENGER OUT – COYG!

  3. Max85

    Gunner2301 – Yeah mate. Was thinking in my head £22m for Schneiderlin, around £8m for Witsel bearing in mind they would otherwise have to terminate his contract. This is assuming this is still the case come summer.

    Cesc, 100% Pep for me.

  4. Gunner2301


    Great post very well thought through. I know you used to post more of these types of comments but alas you can get worn down and lose the will to live. I’m in the couldn’t care less mode for now and will remain there till Wenger leaves. I stopped going 5 years ago when the writing was on the wall. I’m glad my finances aren’t supporting the whitest that’s going on at the club nowadays.

  5. MidwestGun

    Cesc –
    Guardiola…. proven record. Name recognition. Knowledge of German and Spanish Leagues and attention to detail. Not as crazy about his playing style as say a Simeone but would be a good fit with our current players.

    That’s my vote.
    Altho, I wanted to answer yes, please.

  6. Gunner2301


    Zenit paid 30 a couple of seasons ago. Could they come down to 8? Are they that desperate? Maybe. Schneiderlin signed a long term contract in 2013 so although he wants out can’t see it happening for less than 20 maybe 24 which would rule us out I believe.

  7. MidwestGun

    Rspc –
    Anti Arsenal Agenda. Because to them Arsene and Arsenal are the same thing.

    Stateside tho.., and really humerously it’s well known AAA is the American Auto Association. So it shows their really limited knowledge of world views and narrow-mindedness using an acronym already well associated with another thing. Everytime I read anything with that I keep trying to figure out why they want their car towed?

  8. Cesc Appeal

    Yeah I got to say Guardiola would be mu number one pick.

    Though I do have a slight worry in that he’s always been manager of a very strong side that dominates the league. More so Munich than Barcelona.

    But then from what you read, see and hear he seems like he’d be perfect for us. Would still keep the attractive football we’re all use to but would add analysis and tactics, a pressing game as well, possession with purpose and also he’s not afraid to make moves in the transfer market.

    Imagine moving from Munich to Arsenal though…jeeesh…squad shock or what!

  9. MidwestGun

    Personally, I think they should go with Untold Conspiracies. As every article is statistics compiled by somebody at their own site determining whether a referee’s decision is correct or not. And whether they missed a call. Id Imagine a team blog of another team would probably have the opposite results, but hey ho …….carry on. Any excuse in a storm.

  10. Gunner2301


    In that order. Pep is the best and were gonna need an uber manager to sort this shit out not just on the field. Plus there are more Bayern players I’d like to see come across ahead of Dortmund or Athletico 🙂

  11. Gunner2301


    I think it’s a bit early to be starting him. I’d prefer to see him off the bench for 20 minutes for 3 or 4 games before starting him. but then again not sure what the injury situation is and if it’s a necessity to start him.

  12. N5

    Not that I have seen Middy, it’s gonna be interesting who he lines up.

    2301, agreed mate. He looked out of it against Southampton, I don’t think he’s ready to be back yet, he needs some reserve time first I think, but you know Wenger knows best.

  13. Gunner2301


    I can see after the set back and Walcott is out for the rest of the season Wenger might admit that he brought him back too early. He only demonstrates hindsight logic, no foresight whatsoever.

  14. N5

    Agreed 2301 and also never seems to learn from past mistakes which is odd, when you have so many examples in his historical hindsight or errors.

  15. Keyser

    Lol at Stuart Robson..

    We’re at home, even with our problems with fluidity we should be able to be a little more adventurous than normal, if Walcott needed reserve games he’d be playing them, Walcott most likely ‘looked out of it’ because he was literally ‘Out of it’ in that because we have no cohesive attack he’s trying to fit in where he can.

  16. Keyser

    Also I’d really worry about Stoke, we struggled against Hull, Tottenham and others and we had a fair few less offensive injuries back then.

  17. Justice4 Sonogo

    ”Stateside tho.., and really humerously it’s well known AAA is the American Auto Association. So it shows their really limited knowledge of world views and narrow-mindedness using an acronym already well associated with another thing. Everytime I read anything with that I keep trying to figure out why they want their car towed?”

    This is very funny mate it’s well known in USA sure but that’s doesn’t mean is known globally.. Plus Arsenal FC is a global brand your American car asssosiations isn’t.
    And to be clear I want Wenger out tonight

  18. Cesc Appeal


    That worries me, the board/owner set up we have.

    Really do have a precarious future ahead of us, the bloke in charge of the football at Arsenal is way, way past it but we don’t really have anyone else with a modicum of football knowledge on that board to decide what’s best for the club.

    That’s why I have a horrible feeling Arsene will be invited to the board as some sort of DoF on steroids and will get to choose the next manager and will keep sticking his nose in even when he’s gone from the touchline.

    I think as a man he craves the attention and reverence that comes with being in the position he is. Which is why I don’t believe him when he says “when I walk away I’ll walk away for good.”

  19. MidwestGun

    Justice –
    Haha. I’ve said before maybe it’s only humerous to me. But the AAA has been around since 1902 here. Not sure when Untold came up with it.

    But I get your point. Wish I knew the number of American Arsenal supporters but I know during the Red bulls game they were estimating 15 -20 mill. Not sure anyone knows tho.

  20. Highbury Daze

    AFC fans/supporters are the most passive in the world if this shit went down in any other top club there would be demonstrations in the streets, in the stands, it would be on the 6.00pm news, and they would all be demanding the same thing, the manager’s resignation/sacking

    Not taking it up the arse then saying thank you to the club

  21. MidwestGun

    For some reason I keep thinking they will just promote Bould. Hope I’m wrong. For awhile Pedro kept talking about that being an ok option. Glad he got over that. I think.

  22. Marko

    Wenger ‘s like 80% of the problem (other 20 is yes men who just care about the money that comes in). Once he goes and someone comes in with a clear vision for the club and ambition then the board will get with it cause simply put they’ll have to.

  23. Highbury Daze

    Moh, I’m sure you read Le Grove, go back in time and view that video you did with Robbie, about how the suits were fucking up the club, you rambled on about not getting value for your money, not much has changed, same as Chris his rant was a true reflection on this club under these pricks, why have you two not maintained the rage, have they got to you as well

  24. tunnygriffboy

    If Walcott isn’t ready to start now, when will he be. He’s been on the bench for weeks. He says he’s fit, Wenger says he’s fit but needs game time. Tomorrow is the chance to give him an hour. He’s obviously doing full training and has been for a while. He may break down but with all the signs being that he’s fit when do we actually let him play ?

  25. Highbury Daze

    We are stuck with this manager until death, he pays the players high wages, buys their loyalty, so he knows there will be no internal player revolution, no dressing room bust ups, the fans keep taking it up the backside, high ticket prices that will be even higher next time around when you miss the top 4, will the fans still be appreciative then, or will they do what should have been done years ago and start making some fucking noise about marking time,

    Bully Claude Moh and all the fans who bleat about the way things are, but still go to watch the game at the Emirates, the fans are the problem, we know Wenger is the problem, but the fans perpetuate this groundhog day, it’s time to break the cycle

    The attending fans are responsible for this 10 years of fucking brutality, what Wenger has dished up these mugs have accepted, bent over and said, keep fucking me over, I love it

  26. Gunner2301


    Nothing’s gonna change. Wenger already said if we lost the FA Cup he would have stayed. Can you believe the audacity of the man? There might have been more murmurings but not enough action to topple the dictator and he’s clear he’s digging in.

    The fans will not take action just moan and then cheer the next win as fickle as they are. The club know the waiting list is 40k strong so they will listen to no-one while there is another warm body ready to fill the space of the dissenter.

    Wenger will go at a time of his own choosing there isn’t anything that I’ve seen or heard that would indicate otherwise. That said the best way for you to deal with this is to withdraw from the club yourself and try not to get wound up about the situation. He still has 2 years left and its gonna be a long slog if you let it get to you.

    The only blessing we have is he can’t live forever and will move on at some point. Until,then the fans will get what they deserve.

  27. SteveBNYC

    Been reading the blog for a long while now… First post.

    On whether Wenger should go or not. I don’t want him to go unlike many others on this blog but if I said he is not testing my patience big time I would be lying. I feel most of the criticism going on this blog is unwarranted towards him… BUT truth be told the very fact that Arteta/Flamini has been penciled in as a starting DM for the last 2 freaking years is a sackable offense in itself.

    I accept the fact that the club will not go out there and spend 100 mil on something like Cavani+Hummels+a damn good DM but SURELY they can freaking spend 20-25 mil on a DM that can PLAY!!!. I mean WTF a way passed it Arteta (never good enough against the better clubs to begin with) and a garbage squad filler like Flamini are starting game in and game out. You’ve got to be kidding me. How freaking hard is it to spend 20-25 mil to get a real player in there. Just one freaking player so when I look at the lineup I don’t have to cringe. So when we play the top sides we can actually have a chance, a real chance. WTF is going on.

  28. David Smith

    Is Walcott the nest podolski/ Arshavin?
    Think wenger will chuck the FA cup first excuse, willing to bet this deluded man thinks he can win the champions league, this season!

  29. David Smith

    Gunner2301, Wenger earns a lot, but Stan will not pay the wages such managers will demand on initial appointment.
    When wenger goes , my money is on either Martinez, Bould, or at best, de boer and Dennis.
    I do not rate wenger these days, but unless someone can get to Stan, Io do worry about our future until he sells. But having said that, he allegedly borrows at preferential rates on the strength of Arsenal, so has a vested interest in the top four at least, possibly no more and does it show. Is staying 4th more profitable than aiming above? I would guess in Stans world it may well be,and wenger seems more than happy to oblige.
    Wengers legacy will be making a rich American even richer, gaining massive personal wealth in doing so, but at quite a cost to the reputation of a man once used to success.

  30. Highbury Daze

    Great personal wealth, what good is it to them when the worms are licking their bones, you would think there’s more to life than collecting fucking money, when yoy already have billions, get a fucking a life Kroenke, you sad fucking case

  31. Highbury Daze

    Kroenke a billionaire, his wife a billionaire, and this low life takes out 3 million quid from the club, has there been a lower fucking act from a money grubbing cunt, hang your head in shame Kroenke you are a fucking disgrace to billionaires, you should be putting money into the running of the club you low parasite

  32. Highbury Daze

    These motherfucker forget it’s a football club, you put money in, you do not take it out, if you want to make a killing try the stock exchange you fucking reptile

  33. Highbury Daze

    I don’t need Ray Parlour to tell me that Pedro, I have been saying this for years, this manager is using the same everything he used in 1998 right up until now, twists and contorts his face wondering why it’s not working, sacre bleu, it worked for me in 2001 why is it not working now, he uses the same game plan for 18 years, he thinks it worked with Henry Pires and Vieira, why is it going wrong now

    this cunt is certifiable

  34. Highbury Daze

    There was some idiot here stating his job here was done, I beg to differ, the latrines have not been cleaned yet, proffa, come back and finish what you started, there’s a good boy

  35. Highbury Daze

    And when you done that, there are a few dicks you need to polish up in the board room, take this cushion for your knees

  36. Highbury Daze

    I said Wenger would chuck this FA Cup, then I go and read this, he is getting his excuses in early

    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger fears the hectic Christmas schedule, and the number of injuries at the club, could end his chances of defending the FA Cup – the only trophy he has won in the last nine years

    Well done Wenger you pea heart squib

  37. Highbury Daze

    What did you expect, with 6 defenders on your books, have you learnt nothing in the 30 years you spent in this game, listen to yourself Wenger, you senile dribbling contradictory cum stain

  38. Highbury Daze

    Hull 2 Arsenal 2, replay at Hull, more strain on the 6 defenders, either that or Hull blow this weak lot of overpaid rabble away

    Herbert Chapman is turning in his grave, this Amerikan chancer is slowly ridiculing this club in his constant pursuit of money, Stan this is England not Colorado, you disdainful little wig wearing pansy

  39. goona

    Wengers the most negative manager in world football. Making excuses before a ball is even kicked he’s a complete arsehole of a looser. Total whip, he’s got zero interest in winning anything.

    His attitude rubs off on the players.

    Sanchez won’t put up with this shite for more than another season, he will be sold at a profit….This club, and only this club will see this as good business……then wenger will get the customary weaker, cheaper replacement and so the monotony continues……..

    It used to be exciting watching the gooners, getting ready for the match, the build up, the anticipation. ….now its a chore.

    Wenger out

  40. Thank you and goodnight

    @Gunner2301 00.19

    Very well said. It’s why I no longer give 2 hoots about our results anymore. If we win…yay. If we lose…..oh dear.

    Andy Dunn lays into both wenger and scez today and basically says the fact wenger doesn’t sort Gk situation out is reason we’re irrelevant in title race. I’m not a complete hater of scez as I believe somewhere in their is the makings of a very good keeper. Problem is the complacency. But that accusation could be labelled at a lot of our young players and wenger’s to blame. By constantly avoiding buying competition for positions in case he upsets players, means they know no matter how shit they might be over a run of games there is no fear of being dropped. We’ve had the most average no 1 and no2 gk for a number of years now. I don’t rate ospina either and am amazed wenger hasn’t dug deep and gone for begovic, who’s proven to be in the top 5 gk in the league for a number of years now. That’s a great feat considering who he plays for.

  41. Santos

    Happy new year guys!!!!

    I have not been on Le Grove for a long time. Those of you expecting signings should brace yourselves for disappointment.
    I am out of adjectives for Wenger. Everything has been said over and over again. Sadly, he will not be sacked until his contract ‘likely’ ends in 2017.

  42. Santos

    We are at a poor league position and if you consider our usual team fatigue when the going gets tough, we may not even qualify for champions league. Seriously, our CL performance/record is abysmal- Wenger has proven is not among elite managers: he just has a catchy name.

  43. Wallace

    thinking about a team for today i can’t even come up with a partner for Coquelin in midfield. Arteta, Ramsey, Wilshere, Flamini all injured…surely he won’t play Rosicky twice in three days…guessing the Ox will be most likely if Walcott’s back. and it would be a gamble, but wouldn’t mind seeing Akpom get a game up top.

  44. Rockypires

    What will the team be. With the same squad from Southampton I think

    Theo–akpom –Campbell

  45. Dusty Kart

    Who cares what team we put out its going to be another pitiful display from a bunch of overpaid pansy’s!!

    Wenger’s teams these days just roll over and take it up the shitter!!

    Wenger out!!
    Anyone in!!

  46. Gregg

    No idea what the side will be today. The interesting thing from Per’s comments is that the players seem fed up with it all and that Kos is having a real moan off.

  47. Highbury Daze

    Who starts a new 19 year old 2nd choice RB Chambers, as a 1st choice DM against an in form Saints who drew with Chelsea, you all know the “demented one” I think Bellerin will start, if anybody needs a rest it’s Per, not sure he will get it, be prepared for a second string team, today, the big game is next week v Stoke and, stupid will want his number one 11 ready for that, so today is chuck day

  48. Highbury Daze

    Have a look how far we have fallen, and it is fuck all to do with money, compare this
    Seaman, Jens,= Chez
    Adams,Campbell, Keown, Toure = Kos Per
    Cole Lauren = Gibbs Debuchy
    Vieira, Gilberto, = Arteta, Flamini
    Ljunberg Pires = Walcott Poldi Sanchez
    Bergkamp = Ozil
    Henry = Giroud, Welbeck Sanogo Campbell

    We have 2 players who would get into the old Arsenal, Ozil and Sanchez

    This is bottom of the basement squad, thanks Arsene

  49. Highbury Daze

    Kos will be off to Bayern real soon, Sanchez will not last long can you imagine, Barcelona for this, Ozil Real Madrid for this, these poor cunts are numb with terror playing for a 65 year old fucking nut case

  50. Highbury Daze

    Sanchez is used to tearing down the wing looking up and seeing Messi, Innestia, Xavi, now he tears down the wing and looks up and is frozen with fear, he sees, Giroud, Sanogo,Welbeck,Flamini Arteta, and thinks, what the fuck am I doing here how did I end up at this shit fight

  51. Highbury Daze

    It’s like Burnley signing Ronaldo, or Messi playing for Stoke, it’s like cricket in the rain, it’s not on

  52. Highbury Daze

    What this manager should do is swap Sanchez for Pogba, there needs to be some steel added to the middle of the park has this shit manager forgotten that

  53. Highbury Daze

    And while he’s at it sack the whole scouts, they couldn’t find Varane, Pogba, the one place he used to raid France and they missed those 2

  54. Adeyinka Olumide

    @Watt. Make up your mind. I thought by general opinion on @le.grove Sanogo is no good and below Arsenal quality. Why are you now mourning his possible departure on loan? Whatever he does, Wenger is damned in the incurably jaundiced eyes of some too-know fans.