Rise of the middle class | Arsenal fans fall for the new Wenger rhetoric

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So, all in all, a pretty positive weekend of scores heading into the international break of doom.

Chelsea lost. Always amazing. Liverpool lost. Always hilarious. Manchester United lost. DOUBLE GREAT ON BURNT TOAST.

All’s not well in the Premier League at the moment.

Well, that’s what the pundits will have you believe. Actually, this should be par the course this season. The rise of the middle class is what’s going on this year.

Basically, teams like West Brom and Swansea are taking the Arsenal approach of the late nineties and early noughties. They’re making smart gambles on good players that are either talented and floundering (Shaqiri) or on the sharp rise and in need of a stepping stone (Tadic).

When Arsenal and United were dominating the top two positions, the league maybe had 4 good teams to worry about. The rest were average, slow and very unfit. So Wenger’s ‘don’t drink booze before games’ approach combined with his ownership of France meant we could spank most teams at a canter because of incredible fitness combined with superior talent.

Now teams like Southampton can afford brilliant academies, the same technology, better scouting and they can now afford brilliant players. Just look at Crystal Palace. Steve Parish has turned them into a force. They have brilliant players, a good manager and they’re going to bully a lot of teams to defeat this year.

I don’t think this directly impacts Arsenal and their title aspirations, but it does really showcase that on the transfer front, we’re stuttering.

We just don’t react well to any sort of pressure. If there are other clubs in for players, we back off. If the name is a couple of million too expensive we back off. Sometimes we seem to miss out because we’re waiting for the half price dream to drop through the door.

I’m trying to rent out my flat at the moment, someone entered negotiations for three people the other day and offered me £15 per week short of my valuation. These people were the Arsene Wenger’s of the rental market. I told them no, they moved on. They offended me. I kind of feel that’s what Arsenal do every season.

Look at our options in the holding midfield role. We’ve let Kondogbia go to Inter, Schneiderlin go to United and Vidal go to Bayern. I mean, Illarramendi to Sociedad… how did we let him slip? There’s Rabiot, Bender and Carvahlo left in the market. Every single one of those players would supplement our midfield to a level we’re not at. Some of them would be an upgrade. Why haven’t we moved? Why does Wenger not think any of those players are good enough?

Now, Chelsea are in great need of a centre back. They’ve gone in hard for John Stones. Everton have said no. At this point, Arsene Wenger would finish his hunt. Not Chelsea, why? Because if you have a hole in your squad, waiting a season to rectify it, regardless of the money you save is totally negligent. It’s also a ready made excuse if things go badly. Well, at most clubs, it’d be a ready made excuse to fire the manager when it goes wrong. Not at Arsenal, we’ll accept the excuse and dish out a new deal.

Anyway, are Chelsea giving up? No.

They’re now raiding Monaco for the excellent Abdennour.

Ok, so he might not settle straight away, there might be a risk he isn’t great and ends up as successful as PSV’s Alex… but you know what, money is there to improve. If you’re not improving, you’re guaranteeing, in most cases, that you’re not planning to compete. At best you’re stagnating, at worst, you’re going backwards.

So onto the striker.

You have your category A strikers. Lewandowski, Suarez, Benzema… if you can’t get them, you have to look at your category B strikers like Fekir, Martinez, Lacazette, Higuain, Icardi, Bacca, Dzeko.

Hell, you could even have gone for category C strikers. The old boys. Robin Van Persie springs to mind or Aduriz at Bilbao.

Then if you can’t sign a goal scoring striker, you could look at converting a top class wideman into a front man. Reus, Dybala, Aubameyang, or Draxler are prime candidates for this type of treatment.

Our approach, thus far, has been to settle with what we’ve got… and it just totally lacks any sort of dynamism or creativity.

Arsenal fans, have now rather hilariously been pulled into Wenger’s latest round of nonsense where they’re foolishly telling themselves ‘we only buy world class’… guys and girls, you need to pull your heads out of your backsides because I can barely make out whether you’re bantering me or you’re f*cking serious?

You can’t have a transfer policy of ‘world class only’ even if you’re Madrid. You always need to supplement with players on the up, players that have been broken elsewhere and players you have a hunch on. I was hoping that the new money would allow for more luxurious signings, but mainly, I was hoping it would allow us to get back into our old markets and be able to afford the young players on the up we were losing out on to Chelsea and Co (Hazard).

For Arsenal fans to go from accepting we weren’t signing players because we didn’t have enough money (which was a loose premise) to now accepting we can’t sign players because we only sign world class is the biggest PR spin of all time. I mean, look at what we did last summer. Chambers, Debuchy, Welbeck, Ospina and Sanchez. You’d have a hard time convincing me that was a good summer. One success. One world class player out of 5 signings.

The reason we’re not landing players this summer has NOTHING to do with quality. It’s a lack of imagination, it’s a lack of balls and it’s a big fat dollop of dithering.

Players are there. Players have moved. We’re just not the sort of team who can move quick and make things happen when they need to.

Which, is why, generally, we’ll be also rans until the manager goes. I had dreams that we’d kick on this year. They were based on us signings a keeper, a DM and a striker. That didn’t happen and now it’s becoming apparent that we’re going to struggle for goals with Theo and Giroud. Not to mention the flimsy attitude.

We’ve been in a long term project for too long to continue to let our manager talk about building a squad to compete for tomorrow. The time is now. We have a few days left of the window. We’re desperately short.

There can be no more talk of ‘next year’ it needs to happen now. If it doesn’t, at the end of the season some serious conversations need to be happening about the final year of Wenger’s stint being the succession plan.

… because the last thing I want to hear right now is talk of another three years. He doesn’t deserve it.

840 Responses to “Rise of the middle class | Arsenal fans fall for the new Wenger rhetoric”

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  1. Crusaderrabbit

    One of your best posts – passionate and accurate (minus a few typos). The silver lining of this transfer window is that he’s left himself nowhere to hide. He’s failed completely – even the hardest AKBs are going to start to struggle to defend him. Cling to the hope this is the beginning of end

  2. gazzap

    Arsenal have gotten to the point now where we are seen as a top end club with money. Between 2006 and 2012, Wenger could get away with pleading poverty and tacking a punt on unproven players ie risky players that might turn out to be gems. But he got it all wrong. All his punts turned out to be donkeys – Park, Kallstrom, Sanogo etc.
    So now we’ve decided to start shopping in Harrods, and we’re just not very good at it. There is a skill to buying the more expensive proven players and we don’t seem to have the backroom staff who can manage it properly. I also think wenger has an ingrained fear of spending large sums of money.

  3. 3trice

    Can’t Wenger just step in and get Wanyama! Its obvious the saints don’t want him going to the spuds cos of the ex manager factor, so why don’t we do the double by getting us a quality holding midfielder and slap spurs in the face!!

  4. tunnygriffboy

    It’s Wengers squad. He thinks they have the potential to compete. The players believe they can

    There is money in the bank.

    If we fail to compete seriously and mess up in CL again then Wenger should face the wrath of the fans. Many former pro Wengerites like me have slowly moved to sitting on the fence and now are on the brink of teetering over the other side

    I do believe we have a good squad but we’re just two quality players short. I wouldn’t be too fed up if we didn’t get a CF as long as we got another midfielder.

    I also think the goals will start to come. Boys need a goal for confidence and they’ll be up and running. I don’t think anyone can argue that we’re a better side than we’ve shown so far this season

    Loved Cech’s tweet after the game on Saturday. ” Clean sheet …… 3points …….. job done ” Think he was concerned with winning and only winning even if it was ugly.

  5. Hitman

    Ouch. Pedro returns to reality after lengthy secondment.
    Wenger is a scared to anything old man – if you no longer have the balls to make big decisions then just retire.

  6. Bankz

    Whatever happened to Pedro’s optimism of how Arsenal and Wenger were going to win the EPL this season?
    I’ve been saying it for ages now, wenger is a fraud and incapable of competing for the big trophies.
    Why he stays on is beyond me because he knows he cannot win either the UCL or EPL again……so why stay on?

  7. roaaary

    Off topic but does anyone else find it hilarious that we only ever sing 3 songs at games and all are dull as fuck.

    What happened to the days when we were known for witty songs etc? Its pretty embarrassing hearing ‘by far the greatest team the world has ever seen’ belted out for the 10th time during a 1-0 win over a shite newcastle outfit

  8. underrated Coq

    Haha, this is rather funny:

    Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri was asked what qualities his new signing, Nathaniel Chalobah , would bring to the team yesterday, and he said: “I couldn’t tell you, as I don’t know anything about the player.”

    Need something like this if we are to see a new player come in, I feel. Get it done Gazidis, Dick !

  9. roaaary

    Im not even getting into transfers. We will sign a last minute joke of a player and he wont get off the bench until the 67th minute of a game in december

  10. Iceman

    Wenger is like a poor man, who for the whole of his life was careful with every penny. Then, one day he inherits a shit load of cash. He goes to Harrods, but the inner skin flint plays on his mind, and although he knows that the beautiful purchase he so desperately wants would bring him unheralded joy, he puts his money back in his pocket and decides – ‘The one I have at home will last a bit longer.’

  11. gary

    How can he b afraid to spend money when he brought sanchez n ozil…that’s what’s make s this Window even worse

  12. shad

    What a shit show Newcastle was. And against 10 men.

    And Wenger will talk bollocks about mental strength, not finding top, top, qualidee, the market being corrupted by Oligarchs, Houdini, aliens from Mars, Giroud’s hair gel etc but not his fucking myopic, egocentric self.

    We’ll struggle for top 4 and I hope we get bundled out of the UCL because it is embarrasing jow we approach it in the first place – with not a single hope or prayer to win it.

    Wenger OUT like 5 years ago!

  13. shad

    Even the players can tell that Wenger is a fraud. They won’t complain because he keeps them on socialist happy wages. Anh other coach would jave got rid of the deadwood and a huge chunk of our “deep bench” would either be sold or loaned out to championship teams.

  14. vicky

    Not trying to defend Wenger but he is just being extra cautious. City are willing to spend 50m for great prospects but Wenger will shell that kind of money only for proven talents. I mean the likes of Benzema, Suarez, Lewandoski fall in the category of players for whom Wenger may go mega. But he will not shell 30m+ for the likes of Jackson Martinez, Dybala, Icardi etc who are risky signings for the kind of money we are talking about. And the likes of Dzeko and Mandukic are just not worth it.

    I think Arsene should be looking at quality wingers who can score 15 goals a season. wingers don’t command astronomical fees like strikers and they can contribute in other ways as well if they do not bang in a lot of goals.

    in midfield, we should get one more body. For me this is the area where Wenger has missed a trick. Morgan, Cabaye, Kondogbia, Krychowiak… you name them. Wenger is overestimating the strength of his midfield. jack and Rosicky are not expected to feature in many games due to their injury concerns. we should not count Flamini at all and then we have Arteta who is past his sell by date. Ramsey has not been in good form.

    A midfielder and a winger can still save our window even if we don’t get a striker.

  15. DUIFG

    Great post, another awful summer, another wasted opportunity.

    4th placed finish best we can hope for, when will this end.

  16. tunnygriffboy

    Oh. One other thing. If we have any chance of seriously competing we need to have a sensible amount of injuries. So far we have :

    TR7
    Wilshere
    Welbeck
    Per with the lurgi

    and now Ozil.

    Sort it out ffs.

  17. LeMassiveCoq

    Best post for ages.

    Actually read this one.

    Like most, not signing a striker, I can kind of forgive. We should still be up there without signing a striker. We would not win the league even with a Benzema in my opinion. City look incredibly strong now.

    However…not signing back up to Coquelin when so many have slipped through the net is total incompetence and shows that Wenger is no longer fit for purpose. If/When Coquelin gets injured/burnt out and we have to rely on the likes of Arteta/Ramsay/Ox/injured JW to cover….then we are screwed. How Wenger cant see this is beyond belief.

  18. DUIFG

    Theo Walcott is my guy but you cannot want to be a CF and then when the opportunity comes you’re not ready.

    Not really surprising, you cant have a touch like his and play as a sole central striker, he has good movment coming in off the wing, he cant use his pace from central properly, or hold it up.

  19. Wallace

    “Look at our options in the holding midfield role. We’ve let Kondogbia go to Inter, Schneiderlin go to United and Vidal go to Bayern. I mean, Illarramendi to Sociedad…”

    why do people think Vidal’s a holding midfielder? just because he likes a tackle doesn’t make him a holding midfielder.

  20. kwik fit

    Just back from the Newcastle game. Fuck those Geordies know how to party!
    Delighted with the result but , in a funny way, the fact we lacked so much potency up top may well make Wenger do something at the last minute.

  21. tunnygriffboy

    Vicky

    I think Ramsey gets a tough time from our fans. He always looks to get on the ball and always looks forward for a pass. He makes runs into the box and gets hisshots off. Also his workrate is second to none. He’s been shunted out wide as well. He was our best offensive player yesterday. Also sooner or later some of his shots are going to start going in

    I just feel he needs a bit of a break as he always seems like the easy target to have a pop at.

  22. Dissenter

    Inter Milan just signed Ivan Perisic from Wolfsburg for £14 million.

    Icardi is coming to Arsenal. He’s been in London over the weekend and is expected to pass his medical today.
    Portuguese sources are reporting that we have agreed a deal to sign William Carvalho. Its not clear as to if he comes in now of January since he’s injured.

  23. Rocky Pires

    We dont need and out and out CDM , we need a CM/CDM who can play alongside Coq yet replace him or play with Arteta /Jack to close out games .

  24. vicky

    Underrated

    Yeah, Cech, Morgan and Pedro and I think not a single gooner would have complained.

    Cech: 11m
    Pedro: 21.2m
    Morgan: 25m

    Close to 55m signing fees and we must have got 5m from so many players leaving Emirates. I am sure we could have spent 50m without bothering one bit.

  25. shad

    @Vicky,

    City et al are paying the market rate. Wenger’s failure to address squad gaps is not out of caution, it is gross negligence. He said he couldn’t find a top, top player and guess what? In came Sanogoal who can’t even make the bench at Ajax, yet was played as CF against Bayern.

    Wenger’s arrogance to try and prove everyone wrong or that he is the sharpest tool in the shed while he had been blunt for years is what is killing us. How long before players like Alexis and Özil want out?

    Even getting a CF and CDM now doesn’t guarantee a turn up in prospects. But at least it’ll give the club, players and fans alike, a lift. Him blaming FFP and others spending habits and an eroded market is plain stupid. Especially since he is an economist.

    I want him gone. Even if we landed Messi and 2 CDMs, he’d still mismanage them as he will force square pegs in round holes. He’d probably play Messi at LB and another CDM as a winger.

  26. arsenal-steve

    Best article I have read for ages. Honest and nuanced. Wenger is a brilliant coach, great mentor to the players, but is so poor at the transfer market as to impact the teams capability. I remember not long ago on transfer deadline day, 1 September 2014, Wenger went to referee a charity match in Italy. That broke my heart. We got Welbeck by accident, stumbled on and signed at the last minute for Wenger to save face. Every transfer Window is diluted and totally heartbreaking for committed supporters. Unbelievable by anybody’s standards. He has had so much time this Window and we have watched, Kondogbia, Carvalho, Vidal, Imbula, Schnederlin etc etc, all go elserwhere. If Wenger would have actually bid and shown some personal communication and interest to any of these guys, they may well have come to our beloved club. My heart goes out to Coquelin who may be expected to play up to 65 games this season. If he cannot then Arteta/Flamini will be slowing our game by 5% and equalising the outcome of games even against the poorer sides. Wenger breaks my heart every transfer window. What is a matter with him? Something is wrong.

  27. Hitman

    Think it was utterly stupid to come out and say we cant compete with Man City & Chelsea so early in the season. It just gives all the players a reason/excuse not to bother. Hardly motivational. But not surprising. Wenger only interesting in protecting his reputation / cover up his failings even to the detriment of the team.

    If you cant compete financially, you try other ways, better academy, better scouting, better tactics. That’s what the middle class are going. I think Wenger has lost the will to compete as a person.

  28. gambon

    The phrase “I told you so” just doesnt seem to cut it really.

    While all others were losing their heads and converting to AKBs I was tellng you all over and over again that nothing has changed.

    We dont even consider these signings that City and Chelsea make, because we arent aiming to win the PL.

    Wenger genuinely doesnt see any difference between finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th………..as far as hes concerend its all the same.

    We are absolutely pathetic in the transfer window, scrapping around on the last day – yet this is the manager that constantly says he wants the window to end when the season starts.

    Arteta, Park, Mertesacker, Santos, Benayoun, Ozil, Flamini, Monreal, Gabriel all signed while the season was in full flow.

    Wenger is so heavily medicated he doesnt know whats going on.

  29. tunnygriffboy

    Dissenter

    Stop it, stop it, stop it. I’m not coping very well. Have resigned myself to not signing anyone. Stop giving me any sliver of hope 🙂

    Anyone notice the influence Ki had on that game yesterday 🙂

  30. Wenger's Plastic Bottle

    cardi is coming to Arsenal. He’s been in London over the weekend and is expected to pass his medical today.

    Where’s your source?

    All I see online is he staying at Inter.

  31. Captain wenger

    Dissenter what makes u think icardi is having a Medical today . All I’ve read is inter rejected a bid from arsenal

  32. Wallace

    “Anyone notice the influence Ki had on that game yesterday :)”

    yeah, excellent player in a very good side.

  33. Edmund Hill

    “I’m trying to rent out my flat at the moment, someone entered negotiations for three people the other day and offered me £15 per week short of my valuation. These people were the Arsene Wenger’s of the rental market. I told them no, they moved on. They offended me. I kind of feel that’s what Arsenal do every season.”

    You were offended that someone values your flat less than you do? Didn’t think you were that easily offended Peter.
    And I’m pretty sure the football world hates Wenger for offending them every season with his derisory offers. How dare he value their players less than what their profit-maximising minds do.

    Not so sure how the Stones/Chelsea situation proves how Mourinho never gives up. He clearly values Stones less than what Everton do, and he clearly won’t get to the offer-you-can’t-refuse method that is sometimes encouraged on here. Abdennour, if indeed the story is true, is clearly a plan B/fall-back option that he doesn’t actually want, but is forced into because he’s desperate and it’s a panic buy (Terry’s seeming rapid decline has forced his hand, even though Chelsea’s numbers in defence were always a bit short).

  34. N5


    Arsenal Transfer News: Coman loan deal agreed, Icardi ‘not for sale’, Yarmolenko talks

    STARSPORT bring you the latest transfer news and gossip.
    By Marc Williams / Published 31st August 2015

    Bayern Munich have signed Juventus winger and Arsenal target Kingsley Coman on a two-year loan deal.

    The German champions will pay £5m for the loan and can then buy the 19-year-old for £16m in 2017.

    Coman said: “Obviously I’m very happy indeed. It’s a dream come true. I always wanted to play for a really big club like FC Bayern.

    “The coach, the team, the way football’s played here – I think it’ll suit me.”

    Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Mauro Icardi.

    According to Italian journalist Emanuele Giulianelli, the north Londoners have been keen on Icardi but have failed to land him.

    He tweeted: “What has gone on behind the scenes after Benzema deal went off: Arsenal showed interest in Mauro Icardi but Inter refused to sell him.”

    Arsene Wenger has reportedly phoned Andriy Yarmolenko’s agent in an attempt to convince the forward to join Arsenal.

    The Ukrainian has been wanted by Barcelona and Everton this summer despite the player recently ruling out a move away from Dynamo Kiev this summer.

    But according to reports, it is claimed that Arsenal are desperate to sign him and have opened talks.”

  35. David Smith

    Wenger has just reverted to type as he always does. Lord Harris hints strongly that some of the board are frustrated, but they can do feck all with this owner.
    Ultimately, Stan is to blame for this , he will be behind the cash build up, the insistence on controlling the wage bill that led to us losing the likes of Nasri just when we needed him.
    But Wenger has been more than a willing passenger, to an owner who said from day one he would not invest a penny in club infrastructure. Then there are those who sold to Kronke.
    The way this club is run, players from elite clubs will see it as a step down, surely not helping when attracting players, no matter how Wenger tries to dress things up.
    But sadly, the next guy is bound to be Wenger lite while Stan owns this club.
    As for Chelsea’s attempts at signings, I agree with some of it, but a novel concept, maybe Jose can try and develop a youngster from their highly expensive academy……just for once??? I suspect his failure to do so will cause friction with their owner if it isn’t already
    Arsenal are in a horrible middle ground, they lack the ambition of those above and initiative and fresh approach of those below……a bit similar to our neighbours, must be something in the N London water.

  36. gazzap

    I don’t think you can develop a player on the wing where he can use the space to run into and then suddenly 8 years later throw him into a CF position where the centre backs are on top of you. It’s a completely different position and Theo is showing he cannot handle that position at this level.

  37. Dissenter

    Inter just signed Perisic, that is on the wires officially. Its done.
    Icardi missed the last inter game for a “thigh strain”
    Connect the dots. Icardi is the one play that can merge the strengths of Theo and Giroud.

  38. Jeff

    Sanchez and Ozil will languish in this club until they realise (like other top players in the past) what a horrible mistake they made by saying yes to Arsene.

    There’s a delicate balance in all great teams between the number of top class players and a few mediocrities dotted around. At Arsenal, average or below average players still far outweigh any goods ones we have. This is why we’re always craving for new signings. If we are absolutely honest about it, we need more than just a top striker and a top DM. What we need is a major clear out of players like Arteta, Flamini, Gibbs, Walcott, Campbell, Mertesacker , Chambers, Monreal and Debuchy, Welbeck. They need to be replaced by significant upgrades.

    As for Giroud, he needs to be second or third option on the bench so that he can sort out FA or league cup games.

    It’s not going to happen and we’re never winning PL or CL with these players. The AKBs can live in cloud cuckoo land for as long as they like in the first half of the season until reality kicks in every year around February when we’re out of both competitions. And then come all the excuses; the referee, the linesmen, the pitch, oil money, blah, blah, blah. It is absolute bloody madness.

  39. Tayo

    The lethargy displayed sometimes during the games so far is alarming.Sometimes you ask who is the leader in this team.?Noticed Arteta slamming someteam mates against Palace and before him everybody did as they pleased.Maybe we need him more in the team at the expense of Ramsey and Ox,whatever?We not going to sign a DM and only a last ditch will bring a striker,Yarmalenko?Good Lord.Another season of the usual beckons

  40. Rocky Pires

    Yeah that was my trail of thought Dissenter, even back in mid August when Persic and Jovetic were to be at Inter.
    They have brozovic, Palacio, Persic,Joetic, Militio, maybe The Pirate Borini.

    They would do well to keeep hold of Icardi with Champions League football coming knocking and the money they could force us to pay .

  41. Bamford10

    Good post, Pedro.

    Not sure about the “Arsenal fans fall for Wenger rhetoric,” though. Yes there will always be that contingent that laps up everything he says and imagines we have the best manager and squad in the world, but the sense I have is that the tide is turning — or at least that there are massive numbers of people who are now questioning/criticizing him.

    Anyways, agree with Crusaderrabbit: barring two late signings, this window has left Wenger nowhere to hide. If the team flounders — and it will flounder — he is in store for a shit-storm of questioning and criticism.

    If Arsenal were a properly-run club, Wenger would be dismissed immediately: the squad has obvious needs, the club plenty of cash, there is/was plenty of talent available, and yet he has done nothing — save give us lame excuses/rationales as to why he has done nothing.

    In truth Wenger should’ve been dismissed ages ago — as most here know. Humiliations, like the 8-2, 6-0, 6-3, 5-1; countless absurd pronouncements; inability to compete with top teams; repeated European failure: all would’ve earned a manager a dismissal at any other club.

    One can only hope that Wenger’s own dismissal day is coming (whatever form it takes).

    Wenger out.

  42. Radio Raheem

    Fekir is not a striker but I get your drift.

    I am bit sceptical of players from Italy. I can’t think of many that have transitioned well the last 10 years. (Yes Damian’s doing quite well at the moment but it is still early days.)

  43. Bamford10

    Hilarious that Coman is described as an “Arsenal target”. Makes me think this phrasing — “….. and Arsenal target” — is copied and pasted into every article on a signing or prospective signing, regardless.

  44. tunnygriffboy

    Walnut was great on the right. Makes brilliant runs from out to in between the LB and CB. Also often gets close to Giroud like a supplementary striker. That is his strength. Yesterday he missed two good chances. He got there with his pace, don’t think anyone else would have, but seemed to snatch at them

    Think he may be nervous trying to justify his wage and the fact he’s been allowed to play CF. I reckon once he gets one more will follow. I don’t expect us to keep missing the chances we are creating.

  45. Dissenter

    Haaaaaaaa.
    Just desperate and trying to connect the dots to cheer up the weary.

    The problem is the dots in Wenger’s mind aren’t in circulation anymore.

  46. Dissenter

    How did it get to this.
    Aren’t there people analyzing the performance of staff, like a yearly staff appraisal.
    We don’t seem to be learning from our mistakes.

  47. Bamford10

    Shad

    “Wenger’s arrogance to try and prove everyone wrong or that he is the sharpest tool in the shed while he had been blunt for years is what is killing us.

    How long before players like Alexis and Özil want out? ”

    Great posts this morning, Shad.

  48. Dream10

    Marko

    Mustafi is a very good player. Ideal replacement for Per as a right sided CB. He has pace as well. Added responsibility now that Otamendi has gone. Only 23.
    Likely to start at RB vs Poland in the qualifiers this week.

  49. Alex Cutter

    “Best article I have read for ages. Honest and nuanced. Wenger is a brilliant coach, great mentor to the players… ”

    Hmm. Don’t remember the part of the article that mentioned Wenger being brilliant or a great mentor?

    Maybe you’re just seeing what you want to see as an AKB?

  50. Marko

    Icardi is coming to Arsenal. He’s been in London over the weekend and is expected to pass his medical today.
    Portuguese sources are reporting that we have agreed a deal to sign William Carvalho. I

    If true I’m gonna find you Dissenter and I will hug you

  51. Bamford10

    Looking like Martial to United is happening. Kid looks the business. Expensive, yes, but looks the business.

    And what happened to Wenger’s vaunted knowledge of French prospects? Monaco have Martial, but we sign Yaya fucking Sanogo?

    Jesus Christ — it’s pathetic. Please go away, Wenger!

  52. Goondawg

    Good post. Went over to untold to see how they would counter. They believe Giroud is as good as Benzema. And we don’t need another striker because we had a terrific run half of last season with the same squad. And we scored two goals less than the champions therefore we don’t need a striker. I’m at a loss for words…

  53. reality check

    I’m sorry i dont get all the hype around januzaj last season, or this.

    Seems to me he only got promoted to the first team so quickly because Zaha wanted to play hide the pickle with Moyes’s daughter.

    It was simple, Zaha out, Januzaj in.

    Still abit light weight for me. The Ox pisses on him.

  54. DUIFG

    I dont understand how our transfer planning came down to the off chance real brought some megastar in we could pick up benzema, that was the sum total of our thinking. contingeent planning is non existent, im sorry but we are in no way good enought to claim that there is only 1 striker/forward in world football that could improve us

  55. Dissenter

    You’ll think Wenger of all people should understand the psychological impact of injecting new players into the squad, every year. After all, he’s had 50,000 substitutions.
    Not bringing in new players sends all the wrong messages.
    You’re telling the players, the good ones that this club is not in business.
    You’re reinforcing the mind set of the deluded ones that our current state of 3rd-4th is acceptable.
    You’re setting up a pressure free chamber where players like Walcott can have a bad game and still talk to Arsenal TV, expressing bullocks.

    Cohesion is just a synonym for complacency.
    We aren’t a well run football club. We can’t be if so much power is given to one man.

  56. Sean Williams

    Alex Cutter

    Why are you wasting time dissing other when you have nothing to say yourself. What we need is creatives not executioners. Pedro thanks for this really good post.

  57. Dissenter

    Where’s Mr. “escalation of financial power”?
    I bet that cash reserves that makes Gazidis look good is just the cumulation of Wenger’s unspent transfer funds over the year.

  58. Bamford10

    Anyone object to my re-posting Le Grove comments to Twitter? For example, Sam, I like your bit about what we’re thinking versus what Wenger is thinking.

    Or Shad, I like your point about Sanogo.

    I will attribute the comments to you and to Le Grove, so as to give you and Pedro the credit.

    Let me know.

  59. DUIFG

    Javier Hernandez ? More and more desperate.

    i want a name a too, but not this, as has been said before incrediblhy limited

  60. Marko

    Apparently in Martial 36.6 million pounds will get you someone who scored 8 in 31 league games last season. Make no mistake he’s only being bought cause of an extreme shortage out there in that area. He was literally a prospect barely playing at Lyon like a year or two ago

  61. InsideRight

    Bamford

    “Hilarious that Coman is described as an “Arsenal target”. Makes me think this phrasing — “….. and Arsenal target” — is copied and pasted into every article on a signing or prospective signing, regardless.”

    Exactly right. As soon as a player’s name comes up, even though not one outlet has ever mentioned him and Arsenal in the same breath, those immortal words “… Arsenal target” are dropped in. Naked clickbait.

  62. DUIFG

    Our major signings this summer were securing wally and OG on monster contracts. wenger honestly think securing these too was the coup of his summer, so misguided, too extremely limited players, squad players

  63. Harry671

    Excellent article, that not many could argue brings to the fore some good points.

    I too was very optimistic for the season, off the back of a very good finish to last and not forgetting the start of the previous season.

    I felt we had the foundations of a squad capable of a sustained PL challenge, after back to back cups, gave us the winning mentality and springboard for more trophies, which other clubs have done even just the Capital One was used a springboard for Mourinho.

    I agreed we needed that WC keeper, which was filled easily by Cech, despite his opening day howlers!!

    My then preference was a DM as back up to FC or maybe a truly WC one for FC to challenge for a place. Happy either way.

    My 3rd one was a WC clinical striker, which if purchased, truly would show our intention to challenge with ambition to be the best. Without another striker I still felt excited for season as we were 3rd highest scorers last season and Walcott had missed a majority of the season, so I felt we would challenge, but it would in hope a lot went our way.

    So at first looks the striker was the least important of the three needs this summer. if anything even promoting Akpom was an option, but letting him go, said to me that someone was coming in, so AW rightly didn’t want to stifle him.

    But by adding a WC striker we would really be saying we are coming for you, this is our time, so looking like a missed opportunity.

    We have had half hearted challenges in last 2 seasons, but there was a feeling all was coming together, a great pre-season added fuel to this fire. but for some reason we have started in 1st gear with the hand brake on tighter than Wenger’s Wallet!!.

    I am neither a AKB or a WOB, I think for myself and support my team, my manager whoever it is. His last contract extension, I sort of wasn’t fussed either way, he stayed, we have back to back cups, so that trophy monkey is off the backs. I think he deserved this one last crack.

    He has laid the foundations for a wonderful team and for the future we are more than prepared, he will go down as a great and remembered by most with affection. I honestly believe he believes he can take us to another title, but maybe he is blinded by the love he has for our club. I will challenge him and I will criticise him, but never will I insult or abuse him.

    But I agree now that without something happening in this market PDQ, we wont challenge City’s dominance and Wenger shouldn’t be awarded a new contract at the end of this tenure. It will be time for a change.

  64. SRG#FreeN5

    @tunny Do you think we created enough chances vs New Castle ?
    I cannot remember us creating too many chances . The one Theo missed was from a hopeful shot by Sanchez , other than that the Giroud chance . Nothing else comes to mind certainly not something which was because of our “attacking plan”.

    As some one else mentioned there were hardly passes in behind looking for Theo . For all the talk of our striker woes , we have hardly created good chances .

  65. karim

    Martial apparently in Manchester….
    Monaco refused a 55 m € offer last night but seems they are ok now.
    Football has definitely gone mental !

  66. N5

    L’Oreal’s reaction when asked about Arsenal being linked with Benzema.

    “It is not up to me to answer this question, the coach knows very well what he is doing, and sometimes you should not buy just to buy, and sometimes there are not players out there that you need, who are available. ”

    Well L’Oreal it is up for you to answer this question, if you were banging in the goals rather than scoring 1 our of 45 shots then you would be answering the question!!

    I love how this loser mentality has leaked down to the players! well done Wenger.

  67. Marko

    Karim isn’t he only at Monaco like a season and a half? I know they made a big deal about it at the time but I seem to remember him barely playing at Lyon. I’m sure he was a Lyon prospect. All this says to me is we should of tried for Dybala

  68. Micheal

    The way this club conducts its transfer business is a fucking disgrace. No other business – let alone football clubs – operate in this manner.

  69. tunnygriffboy

    F me. We go to Zagreb on the Wednesday before the Chelsea game. They play at home on the same day v Tel Aviv. Another great piece of fixture scheduling again. Why can’t that game be played on a Sunday. Ridiculous for both clubs.

  70. DUIFG

    why are some branding the money for martial mental? United know they are a long way off the pace and are tryign to rectify it within the confines of 36hrs left in the market.

    Its a hell of a lot better than knowing you are short, doing nothing, bleeding your fans for cash for 12 months then wheeling out some board member june time with”the warchest is available to spend this summer” and repeat. if they overspend 25%-30% what does it matter if it gets them where they need to be.

  71. Goondawg

    Tbf is United are spunking 40 mill on a 19 year old unproven striker, then you know the striker market is fucked and there is a real dearth of available quality out there..

  72. tunnygriffboy

    SRG

    Bellerin played Theo in early in first half. Good chance. There was the rebound from Alexis shot. It appeared to me after we scored the goal we were happy to play keep ball as Newcastle just sat back on their 18 yard line were well organised. We attacked sporadically but Newcastle weren’t interested in attacking looking for the goal they needed

    Interesting talk on Sunday supplement yesterday that more and more teams setting up defensively ie: parking the bus and now all teams have pacy forwards so they look to counter. Journos made the point it very difficult to break down. I think they said that there have only been 7 home wins so far this season. That tells a tale.

  73. Arsene's Nurse

    I can’t wait for the end of this retched transfer window. I’m just sick of all the bullshit.

    They should limit the window to 4 weeks. Get it all over and done with.

    One of the reasons we find ourselves in such as shit situation is Wenger’s refusal to spend when we had the money 5 years ago. It’s not just one window he fucks up but a series of them.

    The people who do our scouting must be laughing all the way to the bank. A quick 20 mins on youtube, list the player and his qualidees and then pass it on to Wenger knowing it will be filed in the waste paper bin. Rest of your day you can do what you want.

  74. InsideRight

    Louis van Gaal is acting like a kid in a sweetshop. I don’t believe for a second the Martial signing is anything other than spunking money up the wall more in hope than expectation.

  75. Iceman

    The war chest is under AW’s bed. Every night he counts it and works out how much from the tv revenue and player sales that he can add to it before he retires. Meanwhile somewhere in leafy Hertfordshire, a small boy wipes away tears and wonders…’Why don’t Arsenal sign players?’

  76. Colin

    From a 60 year Arsenal supporter – Good post from Pedro, the best for a long long time. Well done to all your comments. They were rational and to the point. I agree completely and have resigned myself to another year of same old, same old

  77. tunnygriffboy

    Goondawg

    I don’t know Martial. Is he worth £40 million ? Karim where are you? 🙂

    Does it put our search into some sort of context ? Still should have bought that midfielder though.

    Konman to Bayern. Gotze ?

  78. SRG#FreeN5

    This guy Martial apparently cost €80m . Is he the next Messi ?

    According to RMS Sport in France, the fee for Martial is an initial €60million and then €20million in add-ons. That’s potentially £58million.

  79. Dream10

    Jorge Mendes has personally guaranteed the transfer of De Gea to Real to Florentino Perez. The man has the football world in the palm of his hands.

  80. karim

    Marko/Dream

    He’s from the Lyon academy, was sold for peanuts
    ( 5 m € ) last year to Monaco, which infuriated the Lyon faithful who had been told for a while that the kid was mustard.

    Last night, Canal + revealed the United offer rumour.
    Vasilyev, Monaco’s DOF said he was staying but he’s now likely to join United who look pretty desperate.

    Martial never really played for Lyon, was clumsy for Monaco until Christmas but gained confidence after that and showed some good things, scoring 9 goals in the process.

    He was very good v Juve in the quarter final, had a terrific pre- season and was outstanding at the Mestalla v Valencia.

    The bid is so high Monaco would be crazy to turn it down, especially as they have lots of forwards but I can’t help thinking it’s too early and that he needed another year in France at least.

    Leading the line for Man U is a huge step forward and it might take a little time for him to shine but he will, I’m quite sure about it.

  81. SRG#FreeN5

    More than the signings performance our existing players is alarming.

    Multiple times Ox was dribbling himself and lost track of the ball completely. Looks like we are one man (Ozil) team .

    Koscielny was our most threatening attacking player.

  82. warchester

    martial will be the biggest dud ever…not sure if he’s any better than sanogo….I maybe wrong but he doesn’t look anything special from youtube videos

  83. Vintage Gun

    “Olivier Giroud has admitted that Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema would have been a welcome addition to the Arsenal squad this summer. ”

    Once he was 1000% sure Big Benz wasnt parking up in his spot at the Arsenal

  84. Rocky Pires

    Ya Bayern really are stockpiling wingers/attacking midfielders.
    – Thiago
    – Ribery
    – Martinez
    – Robben
    – Alonso
    – Gaudino
    – Gotze
    – Rode
    – Vidal
    – Dougal
    – Coman
    – Muller
    – Lahm

    How the hell do you keep all them happy?
    Maybe Lewa might move as Muller is currently playing up top? you would have to imagine Gotze or someone has to leave

  85. Dream10

    Spurs bid 10m euros for Martial at the start of the window. Monaco wanted 20m.
    Man Utd now signing him for 60m w/ Rojo reported to be going on loan the other way. They can afford it, so we’ll see how it goes

  86. karim

    Goondawg is right, Kingsley Coman is another example :
    Never played for Psg bar a few cameos, goes to Juve, plays a couple of games for them ( no more ), is given 20 minutes in the CL final and now joins Bayern for 20 million € !

  87. Dissenter

    The top English clubs have to go back to the basics.
    Its getting silly now.
    Monaco will be laughing their heads off.
    The casinos there will soon move into football because its more profitable.

  88. S Asoa

    Spot on and passionate post Pedro. That’s what we should have passion for football and love for our Club , no matter that similar sounding rag Arsene hanging at half mast . Great fraud and pretender.
    The time for Wenger to go was 7 years back .
    The time to kick out this Self fornicating Imbecile is NOW. Cry is
    WENGER OUT
    and may the Yankee Doodle shrink out of existence . Don’t spare this pimperao in your chants mates . Let’s do it for Arsenal
    WENGER OUT
    WENGER OUT
    WENGER OUT

  89. Johnty79

    Martial is only on a par with welbeck, I’m glad we haven’t signed him. Wenger would of turned him into sanago…all though he could be a superstar at united.

    On sonago I hear he isn’t ripping up trees at Ajax. No surprise there.

    Kondogbia I still can’t believe out bid us. It appears now any good player cost 30m. Even fakir at Lyon would cost this now.

  90. underrated Coq

    49 million for Sterling- an inconsistent and unproven talent.

    58 million pounds for de Bruyne who has had one amazing season. But you know,so did Ramsey.

    And I thought these two deals were insane. But this Martial deal could be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen in football.

    Over 40 million pounds for a 19 year old kid who has not even had much of regular football experience in Ligue 1 ?

  91. WrightIsGod

    In the words of The Rock: “Finally the Pedro has come back…. to Le Grove!”

    Great post, we must hold this position until Wenger leaves.

    I’d like to make a point to those who say ST wouldn’t win us the league and think why that is….. WE sold RVP to Man Utd, he scored 30+, they won the league with the worst Man Utd team to ever play for Sir Alex Ferguson.

    So, simply put, the only thing holding us back is Wenger himself. SAF could probably win the league with the squad as it is right now.

  92. karim

    Last rumours
    Chicharito to Leverkusen ( 16 m € )
    Djilobodji ( Nantes defender ) to Chelsea ( 3 m € )
    Lemina ( OM ) to Juve in a swap deal with Isla and De Sceglie.
    Blashikowski to Fiorentina.

    Arsenal ?

  93. WrightIsGod

    When Pedro talks about the selling clubs being offended he’s bang on. We’ve seen it with countless players we’ve tried to buy. Cahil, Samba Schwarzer, Mata and more (to a smaller extent) and Suarez on a larger extent.

    That £40m + £1 Suarez bid was an absolute calamity. There was infact a clause but because Arsenal were so ridiculously cheeky about it Liverpool despised us and chose to ignore it. That season he almost wins Liverpool the league and goes to Barca the season after and the rest is history.

    After all Wenger’s transfer calamities why are people standing by him?

  94. salparadisenyc

    Cracking post Pedro, such a wasted opportunity to step it up to next level.

    Wenger whom despises this deadline day being into the season may utilize it yet again to pull some dignity out of the summer. Can’t wrap my head around not pulling the most you can with what you’ve available. Strengthen like Schwarzenegger heading into Conan the Barbarian.

  95. Marko

    I mean something is likely. But it’ll be underwhelming and desperate and certainly won’t be enough. 2 is needed we may get one. 3 really is needed