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. Sam

    Pato is my favourite this summer and Witsel, if we sign him I can tell Wenger reads my Le grove posts.
    and he’s a party animal he can hook up with Ozil on and off the pitch

    Makes sense!!

  2. Cesc Appeal


    Not to mention this is a guy who bitches about artificial prices etc all the time, leaving it until the last minute means those sorts of prices are all you will get.

    Guy is done. He’s out of time, a manager now out of time.

  3. Ozy

    That’s what I don’t understand, sal

    We have the money! We’re an attractive prospect for most players not already playing at elite teams! London! There is absolutely no excuse. I’m counting the days until Wenger’s contract is up.. and the days until that inevitable renewal is up..

  4. Bamford10


    “If Martial is going for 36million, how much will slightly more proven players like Fekir and Lacazette go for?”

    I think people are misunderstanding this Martial valuation and its implications. Half that valuation is upside/promise, and 6m of it is a “last-minute mark-up”.

    Lacazette may be more “proven,” but no one thinks he’ll be all that much better next season than he is this.

    And Fekir, who is far more talented than Lacazette, may still have upside, but he’s not a lone CF (so he doesn’t get that premium) and I’m not sure people think he has the athleticism upside that Martial has. Even if Fekir scores, say, 18 goals in Ligue 1 this season, he’ll probably never fetch more than 35m.

  5. Bamford10


    “All unhappy supporters, just convince yourself klopp (or whoever you fancy really) will arrive next summer after Wenger retires one year early.”

    Thank you for this, JWL. This has improved my mood, and I will use it going forward to sustain a more cheerful view of things.

    Instead of “Serenity Now,” my mantra will be, “Klopp next season, Klopp next season ….”

  6. Bamford10


    “Hope you do know some of them [Chelsea supporters] post on here, though.”

    Please identify some of these posters/posts, then. We’re all ears.

  7. jwl


    I also support Toronto Maple Leafs so i have lots of practice with denial.

    Wenger said last summer that he seriously thought about quitting and letting someone else take over but decided to carry on.

  8. Bamford10


    Witsel would be great. No doubt. Pato pre-injury would’ve been fantastic, but I just don’t know what he is like these days.

    I read an article that said that he is beginning to look his old self, and given his low price and the late date, he might be worth a punt, but sad that we even have to consider such a long shot.

    Bottom line is the window is closed. Wenger failed fucking miserably. This squad isn’t going to achieve anything, and we’re looking at another absolutely pointless season.

    Things are this way for one reason alone: Arsene Wenger and his fucking idiocy. Absolutely incredible that an organization of Arsenal’s size and stature is run this way. Just insane.

  9. jwl

    Hit post comment by mistake.

    I think Wenger will quit unexpectedly, he won’t want long goodbye like Gerard or Jeter, so I think Wenger will quit next summer, Either that, or he’s staying for another three or four years and I will no longer feel serene because my head will have exploded with frustration if my vision doesn’t happen next summer.

  10. Follow the money

    Here’s what’s going to happen. We’ll sign no one, fall out of contention at the usual places, then the lads will start playing like world beaters. This is how Wenger gets away with doing nothing. But the facts remain we are horrible against our rivals, the other top teams, and in big games. Only when there’s little pressure do we play well. Ronald de Boer called Sanogo “useless” loool. That’s what Wenger wants to sign. AKBs will tell you winning the possession and shots stats will eventually lead to wins. It’s not true.

  11. Follow the money

    We don’t need to sign a striker we have Sanogo!! I wish a journo would ask him why he hasn’t been recalled

  12. Champagne charlie

    Not to be that guy but….

    Pato now follows Arsenal on Twitter, one of two football teams. Us and Sao Paulo. I’d sign him now just because he seems like a guy with a sense of humour.

  13. Sam

    Time to sleep now

    No news of players coming for medicals
    No news of deals going on or bid being made by Arsenal
    tired of reading about other clubs.

  14. tallest-tiz

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  15. gonsterous

    Hope you guys dint stay up the whole night looking to see who would come in. Wenger was on holiday if you dint hear.. he was in Monaco for a lovely last day of summer party.. I have to stop watching games now coz it’s gotten so boring and the team looks so dead.. But no worries, 4th place is in the bag ( I mean, that’s what’s important right )..

  16. Leedsgunner

    Here is the irony.

    Arsene’s standards are SO high that NOT one outfield player in all of WORLD FOOTBALL can improve us…


    then strangely at the end of the season….

    we celebrate coming 3rd or 4th in the league like it means something.

  17. Wallace


    re Martial – i like him, but i don’t think you can even begin to try justifying that fee.

    “According to French football journalist Philippe Auclair, the size of the transfer fee has left “people speechless in France”.

    “He’s got good technique, good skills, he’s a good finisher, but he is still a raw product,” added Auclair. “We don’t know how far he can go.”

  18. mysticleaves

    inter buying players like a supermarket trolley dash! we can still pick Icardi can’t we? they will need some cash to balance up.

  19. Leedsgunner

    If Martial is worth £37m + add ons, Lacazette will be worth £50m+ if he has another prolific season. It means he’ll be out of reach. No doubt Wenger will say he tried to sign him…


  20. Leedsgunner

    Arsene’s standards are SO high that NOT one outfield player in all of WORLD FOOTBALL can improve us…


    he sees it fit to extend the contract of someone like Arteta…

    Only at Arsene’s Arsenal.

  21. Leedsgunner

    Arsene’s standards are SO high that NOT one outfield player in all of WORLD FOOTBALL can improve us…


    we can afford to wait for Walcott and Giroud to remember how to score as they go game after game without scoring.

  22. vicky

    I think we will buy one of the many DM PSG have.

    Can’t see them lettin Cavani go when they can’t even replace him. He scored 2 goals a couple of days ago.

    Rabiot the most likely signing.

  23. naijagunner

    @ Bamford
    You can draw your own conclusions on who said Chelsea fans are…u seem to know everything. And please spare us the Martial love in …i have never heard u mention him as an option or someone with great potential now all of a sudden he is a 58 million pound striker.

  24. Leedsgunner

    There is a silver lining to the outrageous fee that Monaco is receiving for Martial… now they are flush with cash they can give us £50m for Sanogo next January.. after all, he’s the next £50m striker.

  25. carts


    Whenever Monaco sell someone, its followed by an article saying “due to FFP….” its almost as if their lack of gate receipts or commercial income is being compensated with these mahoosive, overblown, sales. We’re talking €100m on two “promising” players.

  26. Leedsgunner

    I wonder if Wenger will be congratulating himself for his commercial acumen for picking up Park CY for a mere £9m from Monaco… nevermind he only played about 9 minutes for the club in four years!

    You just know he’s arrogant enough to! We can’t compete with the big boys for stars but we CAN afford to waste millions on players like him!

  27. Sam

    Not bothered with Anthony Martial, he’s not better than Akpom.
    Van Gaal is a silly spender, the extreme opposite of Wenger. Both old twats should retire from football.

  28. carts


    I’d be flabbergasted if PSG sold anyone too. AW had all the time in the fucking world. Now he thinks the Arab Billi’ are going to sell Rabiot and Cavani while maintaining a belief that they’ll win the CL with an aging Zlatan

  29. SRG#FreeN5

    Bamford is Man U apologist. Man U had scored lesser goals than us then he comes up with their front six and tells us how much better it is.

    Apparently Man Utd had better players and better manager but they did not want to finish ahead of Arsenal because Bamford is Arsenal supporter.

  30. Sam

    At least our January signing Gabriel helped fix our back 5 problems
    Now we have problem with the front 5 and the old twat doesn’t wanna do anything about it.

  31. Sam

    Alexandra Pato will not be joining spurs just like Axel Witsel yesterday
    Twattenham are also extreme opposite of Arsenal
    trying hard to sign top players n getting turned down
    Arsenal are trying hard not to sign any player at all.

  32. Wallace

    a lot of Utd fans very unimpressed with van Gaal right now. they were never all that clever when buying from abroad under Ferguson, but at least they were seen as the top dogs when it came to young English talent. now they just seem to be lobbing vast amounts at okay/unproven players.

  33. Sam

    Even though I don’t wish them to get any
    Spurs manager can identify top talents but Arsene Wenger is blind as a bat he can’t see any

  34. vicky

    While Garry Neville is very smart and intelligent, the same can’t be said about Phil Neville. He speaks utter tosh most of the time. Apparently he feels Anthony Martial is worth 40m and is a better bet than Cavani. What a tool Phil is.

  35. Leedsgunner


    I’m bemused more than anything. According to Wenger he’s given up his summer holidays this year working 24:7 on transfers… yeah right Atsene, it shows, it shows.

    He’s empty of ideas. At least we’re not signing deadwood.

  36. Thank you and goodnight


    According to some of our more knowledgeable fans ( ha ha ha), kallstrom was a great signing when he joined on loan!

  37. Leedsgunner

    “Arsenal fans are once again running out of patience with the transfer window. After too many years of coming third or fourth they now have a squad not far off being title challengers. Two or three quality additions this summer would have set things up perfectly. It all started well with Petr Cech but then nothing with the consensus being a defensive midfielder and top striker were the key positions. Arsenal have for many years now not utilised all of their financial resources much to the frustration of fans who pay the highest ticket prices in the game. Transfer deadline days of 2013 and 2014 brought Ozil and Welbeck respectively. A similar boost is required this Tuesday evening.”

    Tim Payton (Arsenal Supporters Trust)

    1. Why stay so quiet until now?
    2. Is this the same Welbeck who’s hobbled by injuries?

  38. Sam

    Moutinho moving to Zenit could be sign that Axel Witsel will exit today


    Chelsea? Juve? could be even Man utd

    Surely not us

  39. Emiratesstroller

    If ever there is a lesson why you should do your transfer business as early as possible the Real Madrid and Man Utd botch up over De Gea is clearly a lesson to be learned.

    The outcome is that neither club but Man Utd in particular have a satisfactory outcome. Frankly I suspect that De Gea will now be unplayable until the next transfer window in January and Man Utd are left with a dodgy first choice goalkeeper in Romero and a backup goalkeeper who is unwanted in Valdes.

    That is hardly the best scenario for any club and when you factor in their problems with striker position where they are clearly in worse shape than us
    it does not suggest that they are going to be in frame to win anything this season.

    I think that most fans at Arsenal are more DISAPPOINTED about our lack of
    activity in this Summer’s Transfer Window than they see a major crisis. After
    all we won all our pre season games including against Chelsea and Everton
    and we have lost just one game out of 4 in EPL.

    Despite not playing particularly well we have played 9 won 7 drawn 1 and lost 1 in this cycle.

    Defensively we had a poor game against West Ham and a shaky first half against Liverpool in absence of Mertesacker and Koscielny. However, the
    reality is that we have not conceded a goal in 6 out of 9 games.

    Our major concern is our goalscoring record since the Wolfsburg game. We
    have managed just 5 goals in last 6 games, which is less than we scored against
    Lyon. You have to ask why this has happened?

    Most will argue that the problem lies as usual with Giroud and Walcott, but
    my view is that it has a lot to do with the style of play and our formation as well.
    Sanchez is clearly not in great form at moment and if he is not scoring goals
    then our goalscoring options are limited. Giroud is not a solution if we are
    TOTALLY reliant on him alone to deliver goals.

    The sad fact is that our midfield is not taking responsibility to score goals and
    the delivery to our forwards has been poor. Our midfield has played with no
    width and is over elaborate in its passing.

    Bluntly whilst we could do with a World Class Striker at club as indeed do many other clubs the reality is also that our midfield needs freshening up as
    well. I don’t know how good Rabiot is but he is a ‘big boy’ well over 6 foot tall
    and he seems to be fairly versatile i.e. can play defensively, centrally or in
    attacking positions as well. Maybe he will be a solution to our midfield concerns if we can secure his services.

    Personally I would be very surprised if Arsenal are able to buy a striker today.
    I cannot see either PSG or Napoli offloading Cavani or Higuain in this window
    and I don’t see many alternatives who are better than what we have got.

    What I would like to see in the future is a somewhat better and more imaginative scouting programme than we have got and more proactive negotiations
    at beginning rather than end of transfer window. The De Gea story is a salutary lesson for Wenger to learn.

  40. karim

    Mourinho made a phone call to Jorge Campos, who works with Monaco, in order to know more about Djilobodji as he had never heard anything about the player his club had just bought.

    Some strange activities during the window…..

  41. Klauspoppe

    “The De Gea story is a salutary lesson for Wenger to learn.”

    Wenger is incapable of learning now.

    The guy is closer to shitting his pants in a nursery than to learn anything anymore.

  42. Klauspoppe

    Djilobodji is decent backup. Certainly better value than 40m for stones. Another hyped up English talent.

    Thank god Abdennour didn’t join Chelsea. Now he is a talent. Great replacement for Otamendi for Valencia.

  43. wenker-wanger

    When a system grinds along for years it becomes difficult to break. Moreso when the end product is acceptable and has a modicum of success. Its a bit like an ageing car that is still getting you to work to earn money. Somehow you feel its best left alone to work rather than change it for a newer and maybe riskier model. This is wengers arsenal……a tried and trusted average workable model that will secure 4th place without the risk of mid-table or worse. Cautious and dependable to achieve acceptable success with low investment….an economist’s dream.
    But football is about passion, winning and unpredictability. Sadly the boring economist has turned arsenal into a 4th place machine with the added bonus of serious FA Cup winning expectations to really cement his case and stimulate the hordes of willing AKB zealots eager to praise their master’s philosophy.
    Almost Everything about wengers arsenal is dull, lifeless and uninspiring…just like the wankger managing it.

  44. Mickey G

    Is it possible that Klopp is being lined up to replace Wenger at the end of the season. With Wenger to move upstairs? Ah that’d be that bastard “hope” again. Fuck off hope.

  45. Emiratesstroller

    Down under gunner

    There is always a lot of criticism about Giroud, but you cannot always load all
    the blame on him. He is actually a very good striker, albeit he lacks pace. Are there better players than him? Yes of course there are, but frankly very few and at moment none on the market.

    Most of the names who have been mentioned this summer are at tail end of their careers so spending £40-60 million on a 28-29 year old is not necessarily
    a long term solution.

    Personally I would have offloaded Walcott and brought in a younger goalscoring winger this summer. Walcott if and when he is fit plays perhaps one good
    game in ten and his input in most games is in my view negligible. He is for
    me nothing better than a bench player, but for that role you do not pay him £140k pw.

    What is becoming increasingly clear to me is that Arsenal needs to freshen up
    its scouting programme, because most of the players that we seem to be interested in this summer are well known established name rather than emerging talent.

  46. SomeRandomGunner

    Our transfer window is a lost cause, lets better discuss something else.

    What is up with Chelsea they no longer seem like the top dogs in the transfer market ?
    Did Abrohomovich got bored and asked the club to sustain itself ?

  47. Leedsgunner

    If Wenger goes it has to be a complete break. If Wenger moved upstairs he would undermine the new manager.

    Perhaps by telling everyone who would listen about if he was the manager how he would have signed this player or that player… you just know he would.

    I mean seriously the man just loves the sound of his voice.

  48. VP

    We’re close to getting Cavani apparently.

    Lol. This is all it will take for all to be forgiven and forgotten….. and we’ll back to the same old shit.

    I for one hope that no one is brought in and things get to boiling point in the
    coming weeks. Even the die hard AKB’s would find the lack of signings difficult to

    I don’t get a lot of the folks on here. They want a rainbow without the rain and this isn’t going to happen.

  49. Cech's Big Black Helmet


    ‘I wonder if Wenger will be congratulating himself for his commercial acumen for picking up Park CY for a mere £9m from Monaco… nevermind he only played about 9 minutes for the club in four years’

    Don’t let the truth of £3m get in the way of a good story now will you? You’d probably do well to get your facts straight on all things arsenal before you start on your emotional ramblings.

    ‘I mean seriously the man just loves the sound of his voice.’

    Oh the irony. Never has anyone posted so much without actually saying something.

  50. Josip Skoblar

    I was reading the French newspapers this morning: no one can believe and understand Martial’s transfer fee. He’s such a raw product. Van Gaals’s a genius? You can’t be serious!

  51. Marko

    No offense to Pedro best give the old blog a miss today fellas nothing’s gonna happen. Just bullshit rumours and click bait stories will do the rounds till the window closes. Nothing changes till there’s a new manager

  52. vicky

    Lynsey Hooper @lynseyhooper

    I’m told not to read much in to Wenger being in Paris. No deals expected at #Arsenal. Other deals may trigger something but looking v quiet

  53. qna

    Wonder if there will be another fan poll of supporters, in particular season ticket holders within the next few days. At the end of last season, I read that polling was showing Wenger was very heavily supported by the fans. I wonder if that will still be the case, even though nothing has really changed since the end of last season.

    As for me, the thought of two more years of wenger is doing my head in. Worse still, I think the owners are more likely to extend his two years, than not extend.

    Transfer deadline day is almost always the worst day of the year 😉 especially summer transfer deadline day.

  54. Zoran

    The old twat can’t even see that Teo is not the solution to our striker problems. Neither is L’Oreal. What a miracle it would be if he sells those two overpriced players and sign Cavani and Carvalho.
    Every good team has two very strong holding midfielders. Chelsea and City are more than good teams, and this only because they have the names like Ramirez and Matic, or Toure and Fernandinho in that position. That’s why they are battling between themselves for the titles.
    We, we don’t have not even one. Coq is a decent upgrade on Arteta, but not the class that will bring us titles.