Arsene loves winning.

by .

Instagram Via @mada_lawrence

Instagram Via @mada_lawrence

Happy good morning to you this fine Wednesday!

It’s the build up for a mega match and there’s been very little to talk about so far.

I read this article via The Guardian yesterday. It’s Arsene love on a biblical level. It’s 50 Shades of Arsene. A beautifully written piece in honour of the Messiah.

Agree or disagree with the words captured within, what you have to salute is the fact that Arsene Wenger can inspire that sort of love from a writer who’s been into the game for half of his tenure. The passion and the interest in Arsenal / the manager is a sight to behold even if I do think it’s a bit ‘only the winners write history’. That sort of love for Arsenal should be saluted all the way. That’s why I get seriously hacked off when people slag off tourists when they come over to Arsenal… like they’re they’re the main issue behind the lack of noise at Arsenal these days.

Arsenal are global and Arsene is a massive draw for people.

I also think it’s quite amusing that the whole undertone of the article is that Arsene sees winning as a secondary priority. Not sure that’s the real story and I reckon if you asked anyone who works with him / knows him if that’s his attitude, they might have something to say on that.

… he might have indicated that was his philosophy when we were skint, but I’m pretty certain he wants to win more than anyone.

In other news, there’s a police probe into the songs at the Greenman pub at the weekend. Arsenal fans were captured on video singing something along the lines of ‘Ashley Cole is a batty batty boy’… in reference to the rumours of Ashley Cole rumours of yesteryear.

I don’t really know what to say here. The song is very crass and it’s very football. I don’t think the people singing along are homophobes and I don’t think it was a hate crime… I think it sits there with the ‘yiddo’ chanting. It’s a football culture thing, which sadly is a bit backwards and people are far more accepting of that sort of commentary when it’s geared around football.

If we’re up in arms about Chelsea fans singing about their love for being racist, we need to be firm on homophobia or any sort of chanting that marginalises minority groups.

Some positive news, Arsenal have hired Michael Johnson to look after the fitness of our kids. He was a total monster back in the day and he certainly knows a thing or two about being well fast. He’d need to as well, he’s training a right back who is faster than Usain Bolt. What a job he has on his hands. It’s a further example of progress and an acceptance we need to gain those marginal gains if we want to be winners (obviously winning still sits second to fucking sexy football).

I also took time out to watch the Bayern game last night. Aside form the obvious, that Porto were a total disgrace, it was good to see that Pep Guardiola isn’t a terrible coach all of a sudden. His side were so good it disgusted me. Such beauty. Such technical brilliance. Total perfection.

Right, that’s me done! Have a beautiful day!

376 Responses to “Arsene loves winning.”

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  1. Keyser

    Kondogbia tried but he looked a little lost later in the game, and/or fatigued. Just ended up sitting too deep and you saw massive gaps between Monaco’s defence and attack where their midfield should be.

  2. Keyser

    “the competition wasn’t that great. Arsenal were a top club, and with the quality of the players we brought in, we really ought to have been challenging at the top.”

    I don’t think this is fair and fuck me have the other commenters been tedious, I really don’t think anyone should have to even bother to refute some of their stuff.

    Anyway to the above, by the time Wenger comes about, Fergus has been their a decade, and while Graham was busy destroying anything good he’d established, Fergus was well on his way to domination. As were United on and off the field.

    In 90/91 we were set up to take on the money influx from Sky, England were to be re-instated back into Europe and you could’ve had Arsenal plastered all over the Champions League as Englands premier club, instead United were and they milked it for every penny and haven’t looked back.

    I mean one of the first things Fergus did was rid the club of the drinking culture, sending Mcgrath on his way, while Graham was during a season where he’s 1 game away from his own Invincibles has his Captain imprisoned for Drink Driving, did he think ‘Do you know what, Tony might have a problem..’

  3. karim

    Kondogbia as the rest of the team was very good in the first half, they managed to keep the whole Juve side in their own 35 yards at different times.
    They simply didn’t have enough energy to finish the game with the same attitude, hence Juve controlling the end of the game.
    Main problem was their lack of realism, as Keyser mentionned, a James or a Falcao see them through tonight.
    But their attitude was good, they really went for it.
    Juve just didn’t create anything and they really should have been playing with 10 men after 30 minutes.

  4. Keyser

    “They simply didn’t have enough energy to finish the game with the same attitude”

    I think this is the key point, why didn’t they ?

    The same for PSG, Jardim and Blanc may have done good jobs, but because both play inherently defensive gameplans, their teams can’t raise themselves above the average to be greater than the sum of their parts, FFP or whatever reason, it’s why your league is still competitive up until this far into the season, while other leagues are almost wrapped up.

    Marseille and Lyon might not have the same level of talent, but you’ll probably say they have better teams ? I think Juventus might have let it run close, but if Monaco had gone to Turin with a goal lead they would probably still have likely gone out.

  5. Leedsgunner

    I actually think this is a good idea… it will actually reward teams who are champions of their respective leagues — although I think EPL should be weighted more than the Russian League though…

    It shouldn’t really bother Arsene I suspect apparently he really loves winning.

    At least these changes will put that into practice.

  6. BacaryisGone

    Arsenal’s 19 Transfer Seasons Under Wenger-Ranking From Worst to First

    Here’s a quick overview of the 19 transfer seasons under Wenger and where I think they rank. Plenty of room for disagreement, but they broke down fairly simply to 7 good to great transfer seasons, 7 marginal transfer seasons and 5 poor to appalling transfer seasons.

    Here they are along with bullet points:

    19th: 2006-2007 (Invincibles Henry, Cole, Campbell and Lauren leave. Ill-fated arrivals include Gallas, Denilson and Eduardo.

    18th: 2011-2012 (Fabregas, Nasri and Clichy leave. Several signings disappoint, including Gervinho, Park Chu Young and Santos. The highlight is Thierry’s return but more for nostalgia than tangible results. Van Persie saves the season.)

    17th: 2010-2011 (Squillaci only signing! Campbell, Gallas, Eduardo and Lehmann leave)

    16th: 2005-2006 (Three waning legends in Vieira, Pires and the retiring Bergkamp. Several signings generally disappoint either through injury (Rosicky, Walcott, Diaby), or attitude (Adebayor and Bendtner).

    15th: 2004-2005 (Several ageing legends/veterans depart in Keown, Parlour, Kanu, Wiltord plus Edu on a free. Incoming players include Eboue and Almunia. Only Flamini eventually exceeds expectations until his sneaky departure on a free to AC Milan).

    14th: 2008-2009: (Declining good guy Gilberto Silva leaves but it still feels a year or two early, Barcelona sign soon-to-flop Hleb and Flamini sneaks out on a free. Bring in ultimately disappointing Arshavin and Silvestre. Szczesny arrives but fails to fulfill promise. Nasri is a success but three years later forces a move to a rival club).

    13th: 1997-1998 (No significant arrivals or departures. About a million pounds in total going in both directions. The perfect neutral baseline to judge other transfer seasons against).

    12th: 2002-2003 (Club legends Adams and Dixon end their stay. Gilberto Silva a great success but Shaaban and Cygan undisputed failures).

    11th: 2009-2010 (Three centre backs bought in. Vermaelen’s Arsenal career starts strongly but fades badly, Koscielny’s starts shakily but he soon grows to be a pivotal defender for us and Sol Campbell’s return is mostly a feel good one. We lose Adebayor and Toure to Man City but get a good price for both.)

    10th: 2007-2008 (Sagna arrives and locks down the right-back spot consistently well for several seasons. Ramsey shows promise before having his career Shawcrossed. Potential for greatness still there and scored the Cup Final winner. We say goodbye to Invincibles Ljunberg, Reyes and Lehmann and have to endure the bizarre arrival and departure of Diarra).

    9th: 2013-2014 (Spend 42,5 million on 3 contributing players. Ozil for 42.5 million and Flamini and Sanogo for free. Big positives is the removal of much of our deadwood (Denilson, Arshavin, Squillaci, Santos and Djourou) although disappointingly lose Sanga and Fabianski on free transfers.

    8th: 2012-2013 (The loss of Van Persie was a punch in the gut to all of us who thought the little boy inside of him was an Arsenal fan. Losing him to Man U and Fergie after his appalling open letter made the even even more distressing. Selling Song to Barcelona was also somewhat surprising. The silver lining came in the arrival of three excellent Spaniards (Cazorla, Bellerin and the ever improving Monreal) and a nuisance of a centre forward in Giroud, mostly to opponents but sometimes to his fans. Podolski will probably go down as a disappointment based on his pedigree and salary, but with some glorious moments

  7. Keyser

    Leedsgunner – If at the start of last season you were saying we’d be top going into January, you’d have a point, but I seriously doubt this was the case so what are you on about. You can’t have it both ways, you can’t criticise Wenger for his methods, and then criticise him again when they actually start to work.

  8. Leedsgunner

    “You can’t have it both ways, you can’t criticise Wenger for his methods, and then criticise him again when they actually start to work.”

    Granted we are on a good run, I will give you that… But “start to work?” What do you mean, is the season over? Have we played the final for the FA CUP when I wasn’t looking? Have we actually won something? (that actually matters that is… I’m not referring to the Charity Shield or the hallowed 4th place trophy.)

    For the premise, “Wenger loves winning…” to work, shouldn’t he actually demonstrate a history of winning something?

    1 trophy in 10 years makes such a claim sound hollow to me.

    In any case, good to see you back Keyser, variety is the spice of life and all that jazz 🙂

  9. BacaryisGone

    (cont) too.

    7th: 2001-2002: (Pires, Edu and Wiltord join. Overmars and Petit leave but for a massive combined fee. Viewed as a trade, I would take Pires, Edu, Wiltord and 10 million for the injury-prone Overmars and Petit)

    6th: 1998-1999 (Ljunberg and Kanu strengthen the squad with a slowing down Ian Wright leaving).

    5th: 2014-2015 (Perhaps too soon to tell but signing experienced Internationals in Alexis, Debuchy, Ospina and Welbeck along with the upside potential of Gabriel, Chambers and Bielik should go down as one of our finest incoming years under Wenger. We somehow got 15 million for Vermaelen who promptly missed the entire season for Barcelona through injury. Also, a correction to 2013-2014. This was the year we lost Fabianski and Sagna but nevertheless a net spend of 75 million was a massive and much-needed statement of intent from both Arsene and the board.

    4th: 2001-2002: (Even though Van Bronkhorst didn’t thrive with us, signing Campbell on a free and Kolo for next to nothing is probably Arsene’s greatest one-two punch in the transfer market. Even losing Sylvinho allowed Ashley Cole to shine at left back.)

    3rd: 2003-2004 (Even though they eventually broke our hearts, signing Fabregas and Van Persie for less than a combined 3 million was a remarkable coup for Arsene. Lehmann and Reyes become important parts of our undefeated run and Clichy also helped to soften the loss of Cole even if he was capable of some awful moments including during one of the club’s darkest days at Birmingham where we lost a star striker, a captain and probably the title over a 90 minutes period. The only negative was the signing of Senderos but even he was an important part of our tight defence in the Champions League run to the final in 2006.

    2nd: 1999-2000 (Thierry Henry alone would put this year in the Top 3 but it moves up a spot with the addition of the excellent Lauren. Losing Anelka prevents this from being our finest year even if we did make a huge profit on the deal.)

    1st: 1996-1997 (The best year has to be the first year. Even if Arsene wasn’t at the club for Vieira’s signing, his fingerprints were all over it. In his first year, we bought Vieira, Petit, Overmars and Anelka for under 15 million, got most of their their best years out of them and recouped about 75 million in return. That year we also sold fan favourite Paul Merson, Paul Dickov, Eddie McGoldrick, Matthew Rose and a lumbering but effective target man John Hartson for a combined 10 million). There were a few relatively inexpensive duds this year (Upson, Mendez, Garde etc) but nothing can tarnish the brilliance of Arsene’s first transfer season. It really was that spectacular.

  10. BacaryisGone

    Sorry about the delay on that Ozy and Leeds! In my rush, I should have edited it as I see two back to back ‘Even though’ beginnings. I’m sure there’s also one or two factual errors but as I hadn’t seen anything like this out there I figured someone had to do it!

  11. Keyser

    Leedsgunner – Look you mentalist, I did reference us being top in January, so maybe I was talking about last season, actually not ‘maybe’, I can definitely assure you I was, and I referenced it because you were talking about last seasons January transfer window. Sorry I should have quoted you.

    We were only top because Wenger had kept faith with certain players, ie Ramsey, if you were saying at the start of last year ‘This team will be top in January..’ you’d have a point, if not you don’t have one.

    Also your response to Pedro’s idea that Wenger loves winning is flawed anyway, for the reason above, and that you have no idea how we would’ve done had we gone into the transfer market in January, just a vague guess, and this is highlighted by this season, in that 6 months later, we bought 5 players, and spent 90 million.

  12. Leedsgunner

    If I caused you offence Keyser, apologies.

    Honestly, it’s too late for a row, and I have don’t what your on about. What is a mentalist anyway, is that supposed to be an insult? If so, it’s new to me.

  13. Keyser

    “Is that why last January during the transfer window, even though we had been leading the league for months and months — the only player he chose to bring in was a loan, and a player who was injured with a broken back for weeks? Even though he knew that his most potent midfielders in Ramsey and Walcott were long term injuries and his only striking option was Giroud?

    Last January, we could have acted from a position of strength and signed a striker and a DM to push us on to victory. Wenger chose instead to panic sign Fatty Kim Kallstrom — one of the worst signings Wenger has ever made.”

  14. Wallace

    “Wenger sees things very differently. His basic philosophy is to concentrate on Arsenal’s strengths and he always sends his side out with the freedom to impose their style of play on the game, rather than trying to specifically negate the opposition. When you have clearly the better team, uncluttering the players’ minds of added instruction often works. Yet when the differences in quality are more marginal – or your players are actually inferior – Arsenal can be ruthlessly exposed. It is easy enough to identify the specific tactics that Mourinho has employed.

    Press high up the pitch, restrict Arsenal space if not necessarily possession and strike with rapid counter-attacks whenever they lose the ball and their shape. Few expect either manager to approach things differently on Sunday although the big caveat this time is that, for once, Arsenal just possibly do have the personnel and momentum to simply out-play Chelsea.”

    – Telegraph

  15. Wallace

    links to both Wanyama and Gündogan in the tabloids. would prefer the latter but either one of them over Schneiderlin.

  16. mysticleaves

    “I don’t know about his future there. To be fair to
    him, he doesn’t usually play. Tonight was his
    opportunity and we don’t even know if he’s going to
    play after that,” Henry told Sky Sports.
    “He had a couple of chances in the game before that
    but I can tell you he can thank Ronaldo tonight. I
    know he went on to celebrate alone and everything
    but he can thank Ronaldo. For me, he has to.
    “That is, for me, Ronaldo’s goal. What I don’t like
    after [the goal] is it seems like he won the World Cup
    [with his celebration]. Turn around and celebrate with

    That’s a bit of cunting from Henry there. Can he say that on the countless occasions where Ronaldo gets set up by others and wheels away?

  17. alexanderhenry

    Midwest,surely you’re not one of those crack pots who think that wenger had money all along and chose not to spend on principle. Maybe you haven’t been paying attention but there was an extended – I think unnecessary- austerity period at arsenal FC . Wenger has admitted it, gazidis has spoken about it on several occasions albeit reluctantly. It has been acknowledged by journalists, pundits and ex players. The fact that it is ignored on this particular blog says a lot about this blogand the egos of its author and most of the posters on here. That is all.

  18. WengerEagle

    Not even just Ronaldo mystic, how many times has TH14 himself celebrated on his own in an arrogant fashion for us and Barcelona over the years?

    I thought that it was harsh and uncalled for tbh.

  19. mysticleaves

    Exactly, even in meaningless situations too.

    Hernandez scored a very important goal for the team. Emotions were high, that’s pretty much the only stage someone could wheel away

  20. WengerEagle

    Yeah true mystic, it wasn’t exactly a Walcott 2008 Liverpool assist where he ran the pitch from Ronaldo either and I don’t ever remember Henry coming out to criticise Adebayor for celebrating on his own.

    He’s not a great pundit tbh, prefer Neville in terms of the quality he brings to the table.

    Hopefully he makes a better manager than pundit.

  21. leon

    i feel that although this team has done well so far they have a long long way to go before i would consider them top team. they are clearly extremley top heavy in terms of possession players no enough dynamic midfielders in the team clearly not enough depth in dm position and they need another top keeper. in my view there is still lack of leadership in the team also they dont play direct enough and use they pace they have in the team

  22. Blsany

    Morning lads
    Yeah the comments were quite bizarre regarding Hernandez.The boy has been marginalised barely played and the he scores a winner against Atleti.He is entitled to celebrate in any way he wants.

  23. Nasri's Mouth


    I’ve never been convinced that Henry will make a top manager. I don’t think his attitude is quite right yet. Certainly as a player, he was too emotional, and while he has mellowed, I don’t think he’s fully there.

    Not that it really matters. Whether he makes it as a top manager or not is immaterial, he will always be amongst Arsenals great players, and that’s fine by me.

    (Arteta is my best bet for a manager out of the current crop)

  24. Nasri's Mouth


    Yeah, of the current squad, he would definitely be my 2nd choice.

    People talk about Bergkamp but I wonder about his desire to manage at the top level. He’s 46 in a few weeks and I suspect he’s happier as an assistant coaching attacking rather than managing a squad. Reading his book he didn’t claim any burning ambition to manage at the top, and given the pressures of the job, I think you need to be pretty bloody determined. Dennis definitely knows what he wants, but he’s more concerned with honing players skils I think.

    Henry seems to have that desire, and there are aspects about him that fit the manager mould, but his humility score is still a little low IMO

  25. Blsany

    That’s shame regarding Bergkamp. I think he is the same age as Cholo as well.Nasri do you think defensive minded players make better coaches than attacking players?Like Ancelotti,Lippi who were defenders,Guardiola,Del bosque who were Dm’s

  26. peanuts&monkeys

    The only player who isn’t great on the ball is Coquelin: Pedro

    Giroud? Ball player? The world knows he is a worse ball player than Sceszny. And, i hope some you do not think that even ‘that is not his job’.

  27. Wallace

    Premier League table in 2015:

    1. Arsenal – 33pts from 13 games
    2. Chelsea – 30pts from 13 games
    3. Manchester United – 29pts from 14 games
    4. Liverpool – 29pts from 13 games
    5. Crystal Palace – 26pts from 14 games
    6. Tottenham Hotspur – 26pts from 14 games
    7. Southampton – 23pts from 14 games
    8. Manchester City – 21pts from 14 games
    9. Stoke City – 21pts from 14 games
    10. Everton – 20pts from 14 games

    if we can beat Chelsea on Sunday(i think a draw’s most likely) we’ll probably end up quite comfortably the best team of the 2nd half of the season in terms of pts.

  28. peanuts&monkeys

    “Not sure I agree, Ferguson, Jupp Heynckes, Ottmar Hitzfeld, Cryuff, Clough and Roberto Mancini were all CF’s in their playing days.”

    Wenger waas a CB.

    Central Banker

  29. Wallace


    Cruyff and Mancini more no. 10s than strikers. i’d imagine those who played at the base of the midfield and those who played at 10 make up the majority of the best managers.

  30. Nasri's Mouth


    There’s the thing about players at the back seeing more of the game and how it develops, which I guess if you’d had 10-15 years watching play build in front of you, allows you to learn a fair bit, but it also depends on the style of the player themselves.

    I don’t think personal skill means a lot either way though.

    Bergkamp probably focuses more on the individual than the team, (or so it seems from his book) so he’s more attuned to coaching than managing, but someone like Ozil probably sees the game as a whole better than Dennis, so attackers can be managers.

    I think Arteta reads the game very well, and he has a reputation of looking after the player very well. He’s calm, calculating and very focused.

  31. Blsany

    “if we can beat Chelsea on Sunday(i think a draw’s most likely) we’ll probably end up quite comfortably the best team of the 2nd half of the season in terms of pts.”

    You are really ambitious mate.Just like last year and the year before that.Wenger is just awesome is he not?

  32. Thomas

    April 23, 2015 09:17:31

    Premier League table in 2015:

    1. Arsenal – 33pts from 13 games
    2. Chelsea – 30pts from 13 games
    3. Manchester United – 29pts from 14 games
    4. Liverpool – 29pts from 13 games
    5. Crystal Palace – 26pts from 14 games
    6. Tottenham Hotspur – 26pts from 14 games
    7. Southampton – 23pts from 14 games
    8. Manchester City – 21pts from 14 games
    9. Stoke City – 21pts from 14 games
    10. Everton – 20pts from 14 games

    if we can beat Chelsea on Sunday(i think a draw’s most likely) we’ll probably end up quite comfortably the best team of the 2nd half of the season in terms of pts.


    Too bad a season is played form August and not January. Lol akbs and their imaginary trophies looking for any little thing to celebrate. “Most points in a calender-year”, “Most days at top of the league”, “Most points in the 2nd half”. Fucking hell soon it will be “Best team in that particular month”.

  33. Nasri's Mouth

    While I’ll be celebrating madly if we win on sunday because a) it’s Chelsea, b) it’s another monkey off our back, and c) it’s 3 points towards 2nd in the league, it’s also about how we play.

    If we’re going to win the league next season, we need to get rid of the tactical naivety we’ve shown too many times. This season we’ve taken some big steps, but I don’t think we’ve exorcised the demon quite yet.

    When we played Chelsea at the beginning of the season, we actually played pretty well, and it took a moment of magic from Hazard to make the difference. That’s something you can’t really plan for, you just have to hold your hands up and admit you got beat by skill.

    But what I don’t want to see is the utter capitulation when we don’t set up properly (chelsea 6-0) or we lose our heads( at home to Monaco), or we don’t turn up (1st half to Stoke)

  34. Wallace


    “if we can beat Chelsea on Sunday(i think a draw’s most likely) we’ll probably end up quite comfortably the best team of the 2nd half of the season in terms of pts.”

    You are really ambitious mate.Just like last year and the year before that.Wenger is just awesome is he not?

    well, top until Jan last season, and best team from December onwards this season. stick in two consecutive Cup Final appearances…suggests we’re getting closer, does it not?

  35. OnlyCameToSeeEboue

    Thomas, can you please explain how appreciating we’ve been in good form makes someone an akb? Thanks.

  36. Goondawg

    Victor Wanyama went and refuted those claims by the Sun on twitter
    I have to make it clear that I have not said what as been brought up today am professional and will never say that.

  37. Wallace


    “While I’ll be celebrating madly if we win on sunday because a) it’s Chelsea, b) it’s another monkey off our back, and c) it’s 3 points towards 2nd in the league, it’s also about how we play. ”

    i’d agree with you if i didn’t think Mourinho will come for the draw. fairly sure there’ll only be one team trying to win the game on Sunday. Chelsea away would have been a far more interesting game at this point in time.

  38. Nasri's Mouth


    I think he’ll set up defensively and try to draw us in to hit us on the counter, but I don’t think he’ll play for the draw per se.

    If our performance is good enough ,I’d take a draw though

  39. Goondawg

    Mourinho will set out to stifle us and first and foremost not concede, rotational niggling fouls like last time, Zouma in midfield no doubt. Hazard on the break to counter attack. Really glad Mert is missing this one, Gabriel chucked in the deep end on this one, love to see who comes out tops

  40. MidwestGun

    AlexanderHenry –
    Wherever, you are. No I’m one of those crackpots that believes Wenger isn’t God. And doesn’t argue “facts” with someone who said Wenger had “no money” to spend. Hyperbole much? Clearly he did, unless you think he bought nobody for ten years. Perhaps, the huge cash reserve was a myth, too? So period of Austerity is the new code words for excuse to be average.
    Ok then. Would that be the period of Austerity trophy? I suppose it’s not bad to have on your resume. Moyes seems to get employed.
    Kidding aside… was the period of Austerity responsible for getting beaten 6-0 last season or for our poor start this one? or did it convienently end a few months ago or whenever it best fits your narrative. Worshipping Wenger is not a requirement to be a fan…. fyi.
    The notion that if Wenger had the same budget as Chelsea he would have won trophy upon trophy is speculation at best, also, and I find it strange that this is your arguement when you want to deal in facts. That is all.

  41. Leedsgunner

    “Arsenal fans should give Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas a good welcome… I wish he had never left us, says Arsene Wenger.”

    If you felt that way about him while didn’t you sign him in the summer especially with Ramsey and Wilshere being so injury prone? Sounds hollow to me.

  42. Willow Wilson


    “Wenger did a solid job at Arsenal when he took the reigns. But without George Graham’s back five, I very much doubt it ever would have happened. He’s vastly overrated and the club needs to move on if it wants to compete for major trophies – as it ALWAYS has done throughout its history.”

    Oh no, not this old chestnut again. I am with Wallace, what a load of tripe.

    We are all lead to believe that this GG defence was so good that any manager could win the title with it. It didn’t exactly guarantee league success pre-Wenger did it. When Graham was sacked for accepting a bung, Stewart Houston and Bruce Rioch both struggled with that back 5. That bung was the best thing that ever happened to the Arsenal.

    League positions
    1992-93 – 10th
    1993-4 – 4th
    1994-5 = 12th
    1995-6 = 5th

    Then along came Wenger and in his first FULL season(1997-8) he won the double, with that back 5 which he combined with the new additions and created a more attacking way of playing.

    The invincible team contained none of the GG back five.

    Pre-Stadium and without the money of an Oligarch, Wenger took on the might of Manchester Utd and gave us success, some incredible players and an attacking brand of football we had not enjoyed under GG or his replacements. The taunts of ‘Boring, boring Arsenal’ was finally laid to rest.

    Apart from the 3 league titles, 2 doubles and going an entire league season unbeaten, we never finished below 2nd position prior to the restrictions and the arrival of the Chelsea and Man City owners.

    Mourinhos Money
    If Wenger had enjoyed the same unlimited budget Mourinho had we would have had major success. Wenger would have been able to keep hold of players (the likes of Cole, Nasri and RVP would not have been sold to ‘rivals’) not just because he could match the wages on offer but also because the probability of success would have been higher. It is all relative.

    So retaining our best players and being able to buy the best players in the world, would have made a bit of a difference, don’t you think? There would have been no need to embark on project youth or recruit second tier lower priced ‘potential’ players. So of course the money would have made a difference. To say otherwise is ignorant guff and is actually pretty stupid.

  43. Nasri's Mouth


    If Fabregas hadn’t left we wouldn’t have needed to sign Ozil. However once we signed him, there was little reason to bring Cesc back

  44. Nasri's Mouth

    Jordan Henderson getting captaincy and 5 year deal at Liverpool at £100k/wk

    Hmmm, I smell someone taking advantage of a club with squad issues

  45. Willow Wilson

    I agree regarding your comments about speculation. ‘What if’ scenarios are just fantasy that can never be proved. This blog is probably 95% speculation, there is little fact its all guess work. That is not a criticism, it is what it is. We are all mere amateurs, speculating, guessing and making wild assumptions the vast majority of which cannot be proved or disproved.

    However, what cannot be denied is the relationship between money and success in football.

    The Billion quid the Russian mafia man invested in Chelsea was an era defining moment and provided Chelsea with a financial advantage that only Manchester Utd before them had ever enjoyed. The results of this investment are there for us all to see.

    Even without the huge financial restrains of our fantastic stadium move, it was never going to be easy to compete with Chelsea. I would argue that any top manager given the money Chelsea had to spend would have achieved the success Chelsea enjoyed and more. This is why people refer to Chelseas success as ‘bought’ and they will never receive the same credit as other clubs. Trying to put cheque book managers like Mourinho on a plinth to worship at their feet, while slating Wenger is ridiculous for the obvious reasons.

  46. Willow Wilson

    Nasri’s MouthApril 23, 2015 11:22:43
    “If Fabregas hadn’t left we wouldn’t have needed to sign Ozil. However once we signed him, there was little reason to bring Cesc back”


  47. London gunner

    I think we need to calm it on the wenger love. I mean sure what he is doing with the team right now is very good, but you have to look at what klopp and Diego have done in recent years from a financially disadvantaged position.

    Wenger for me is now punching well for his weight class, but he is not punching above his weight, at least not yet.

  48. Blsany

    George Graham 9 years in charge
    2 Division One titles, 1 FA Cup, 2 League Cups, 1 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup
    Arsene Wenger 18 years in charge
    3 Premier League titles, 4 FA Cups No European winners medal.
    and countless top4 trophies.

  49. alexanderhenry

    Midwestern, so you are one of those crackpots then. You think that wenger was being offered hundreds of millions to spend and turned it down in order to prove that he could win without spending. ..or maybe you don’t . Your answer is ambiguous. Either way ,you reside in the crackpot section of arsenal fans if you think either a) he refused to spend on principle or b) think wenger could have done better than 4th or 3rd and win the odd cup in the face of city’s , utd’s and Chelsea’s vast spending .

  50. alexanderhenry

    Willow, very well said especially as far as this blog goes. What is now ‘fact’ however ,is that for 8 years at least wenger had to operate with a nett transfer budget of zero. What is a disgrace is that the club was never explicit about this ,which mislead and confused arsenal fans causing the current ‘wenger in, wenger out ‘schism. The good news is that those days are over and now the club can spend relatively freely as long as kroeke sticks to his word. . It’s a watershed moment for arsenal FC and one that this blog has almost totally ignored.

  51. Willow Wilson

    A lot of the ignorance from a section of fans is due to the media narrative. It is also replicated on social media.

    I can remember when Jeremy Wilson lied about our wages being ‘more than’ Chelsea. Any person with half a brain knew that could not be true. Yet the same fans who believed that fairy tale and went on social media crying and recycling the comment, are the same ones that think Wenger had money to spend and the stadium was paid for from a money tree.

  52. alexanderhenry

    Willow , I also blame the club. I remember peter hill wood saying there was money for wenger to spend whenever he wanted it. That was a lie. Gazidis and kroenke also evaded questions about money for years, leaving wenger to take the flak and the blame. Wenger himself was asked about finances more than once by the press. Managers should not be fielding questions about a football club’s internal finances even if they do have a degree in economics. Now that we know more about all this , the better wenger appears . On and off the field he’s been a superb asset to the club and it’s worth remembering that he could have walked into jobs at real Madrid or bayern Munich during this period. He stuck with us though thank god , and fully earned his salary (no wonder it was so big).

  53. Emiratesstroller

    Many years ago Wenger expressed the view that relationships between clubs and players had changed and I think that point of view has been reinforced over what has happened over last 15 years.

    1. There are very few local players making the grade at top clubs. Rooney for
    example was supposed to be a fanatical supporter of Everton but that was not
    a strong enough pull to keep him there and he moved on to Man Utd.

    2. Foreign players have absolutely no affinity to the clubs in England. From
    time to time you see a player like Henry or Pires with a genuine affection to
    a club or a manager. Conversely the norm is players like Vieira or Nasri
    where there is little or no sentimentality.

    3. The Bosman ruling combined with the agent system has also been
    instrumental in changing dynamics of relationships. One has to recognise
    that careers are relatively short and in most cases young footballers are not
    exactly the brightest people on the planet when it comes to business matters.

    4. This brings me to Fabregas. He had obviously a soft spot for Barcelona his
    local club and from Wenger’s recent response it is pretty clear that we were
    put over a barrel when he wanted to leave. His performance level in last
    season was poor and I suspect his injury track record was also suspect as well
    My view is that his so called emotional attachment to Arsenal and the
    Manager was fairly superficial. The truth is Fabregas did what he wanted to
    do and whilst he did not close door on Arsenal when he was forced out of
    Barcelona I think that there is fairly strong evidence that he would always
    go to the highest bidder when it came to his wages.

    5.When there was discussion on this website during Summer my view was
    that Arsenal made a mistake in not exercising the option to buy him back
    and allowing him to go to Chelsea thus strengthening a rival.

    6. The bottom line is that Arsenal landed up selling him below market and also
    allowing a rival to buy him fairly cheap as well. The main problem in recent
    years is that we hand led our transfer business pretty badly.