Wenger’s dismal attitude to squad management will cost us the league

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You can keep denying the reality of human physiology, but look, it doesn’t care what you did in the nineties and it’ll stab you with a stubborn blade when you’re not looking and leave you and your title aspirations in a crumpled miserable heap if you keep disrespecting it.

Arsenal have managed their players fitness badly this season. We firstly didn’t add enough depth to the squad in the summer despite knowing the realities of our injury prone players. Secondly, the manager seemed to have forgotten why his players were so good in the back half of last season… namely, he broke all his key players in the first half of last season, so they were very well rested for the run in. Thirdly, the manager refuses, despite a shit tonne of first hand experience, to give his players a break.

I am a layman.  I understand the basics of football and rotation. I understand that the Premier League is the most physical and intense league in the world. I understand that footballers are humans and if you don’t rest them, they start to play badly, then they fatigue, then they break.

It’s really simple.

Something else that, as a manager, you should consider… because look, bloggers aren’t the normal go to point for advice.

When a player picks up a slight injury, this is a warning sign.

“Sanchez had a little hamstring alarm but we will see how he recovers from that” (Wenger last week)

Not only is Sanchez over-played, he’s probably the player with the most air-miles on the clock this year and he’s one of the few who played in pretty much every game in the Copa America. Factor in the ridiculous intensity our Chilean superstar insists on playing at… well, you get the picture. He really shouldn’t have been playing today and even if he cried like a baby to get a start, the manager should be strong enough to see the long term impact a fresh Sanchez has to the side.

So the disaster that was today started out with Koscielny picking up an injury, apparently to the hip. Hip is one of those bollocks injuries that could be a week or it could be three months. That meant a game for Gabriel, who, after we took the lead through a lovely Ozil finish, conspired with Aaron Ramsey for an unjust equaliser.

Aaron allowed his man Brady inside him, our defence, primed deep for what they thought would be a cross allowed a goal side turn and poke home from 8 yards. Real car crash defending from Gabriel, but for me, the issue started with the amateur play from Aaron.

Things didn’t really pick up from there, Norwich had some pretty incredible chances to go ahead as we lost our minds in defence.

The injuries weren’t done. Alexis pulled up with a hamstring issue. If it’s grade one, we might see him back for Man City in 3 weeks, if it’s grade two we won’t see him until next year. That’s a real problem, I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that.

We also had a panics with Santi Cazorla who took a strike to the leg, with Wenger saying after the game he walked in on one leg.

Our subs weren’t exactly brimming with confidence. We brought on Chamberlain and Joel Campbell to chase the game and to say their impact was tepid is an understatement.

To sit and watch Norwich attack with more purpose is pretty disappointing, but when you lose your talisman and you’re introducing players a long way off the top of their game, you can understand why heads drop.

So we finished up 1-1. That’s pretty disappointing, but not because the points are the issue (even though we’ve dropped 4 easy points in two games), more because the long-term impact of losing the spine of your starting 11 will certainly affect your ability to challenge long-term.

Giroud:

Never thought I’d find myself saying I miss Theo through the middle, but I do. Luckily we might have him on the bench for the Olympiacos game in a week and a bit. Oli just isn’t there as a striker. He’s reverted to throwing himself at players to make it look like he’s contributing. There was a nice cross into the box that he couldn’t keep under the bar… exactly the sort of miss he makes under pressure, exactly the difference between world-class and what we have. We need a striker with power and pace… we had nothing to attack with when we were chasing the three points. Nothing new though, nothing new.

Bellerin:

He’s hit the skids. He’s been garbage the last two games. His attacking prowess has diminished and he’s making rookie mistakes. He looks tired and his legs look heavy. Not surprising either, because he plays all the games and he’s young. Really feel like we should be looking to rotate Debuchy back to form so there’s an option to rest the Spaniard.

Injuries:

The frustration here is that it’s so obvious. How much more data does the manager need; over how long a period, before he’ll start managing fitness properly. Even his pal Billy Beane is saying that keeping players fit longer is the new frontier in football analytics. That Sanchez injury was so obviously coming… he twinged himself last week. Why is our manager so unbelievably short-term with his team selections? Sure, we’ve got to win against Norwich, but surely our squad should be able to handle a rest against a team who have lost 5 of their last 6 games?

Add into the mix that Santi is into his thirties and he never gets a rest… Ozil plays every game. I mean, we are a disaster this season with player breakdowns and the manager just won’t listen to data, logic, professionals or look at his own vast experience of breaking players to make better informed decisions.

Squad Goals:

Look, I’m not a fan of Joel Campbell, but he had a very good game in the week and he was dropped straight to the bench for a Ramsey clearly short of match fitness. What does that do to the players confidence? It kills it and it tells the player you have no faith in them even if they play well and that you’d prefer an unfit player in their place. We have similar problems with Chambo. The manager doesn’t trust him which makes him play even worse.

This attitude to squad rotation is so bad for squad mentality… when we need to call on players, they feel out the loop and neglected which affects their confidence and their form. This happens all the time. We freeze players out until an injury happens, then the player coming in doesn’t perform and we all wonder why. You need to love your squad if you want it to work for you.

The Positives:

We are only a few points off the top. We have two pretty damn easy games coming up. We need to survive those and see where we are going into the City game. They looks shaky. We’ll have most of our squad back for that pending no more nightmares. Then we need to wrestle our way into January and make a much needed splash.

We’re letting this season escape us again and sadly, it’s once again because the manager doesn’t seem to correlate his poor decisions with our fitness issues.

… still, what’s new, he’s an old school manager with a stubborn view of what you have to do to win the league. It’s a shame that view is so baked in 2004 because this season can be rescued with a bit of purpose and some brutal self assessment from our internal teams.

Fingers crossed for the broken ones…

259 Responses to “Wenger’s dismal attitude to squad management will cost us the league”

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  1. Hunter

    What we need to remove WENGER is a players revolt.It would only take Sanchez,Ozil and Kos to demand a transfer and the shite would seriously hit the fan.All these players want success and If I was in their shoes I would have to recognise that our seriously deluded manager doesn’t.!Just picking up the wage packet won’t be enough,and you can often see it in their eyes that playing in our useless squad with bang average players isn’t doing it for them.Throw Chech and Coq into that scenario and Wenger would be in serious trouble.Lets face it Owner,Board,and fans don’t seem to be able to pressure him so how about the players.Its happened in other clubs so why not ours?.If we end up with nothing this season I can see all of those I’ve named handing in transfer requests,especially if you have the likes of Barca,Real,Bayern or either of the Manchester clubs showing an interest.These guys not only want the dosh they also want a full trophy cabinet to look back on at the end of their careers and they stay at AFC under the current scenario they won’t get it!

  2. Ashburton Patriot

    Hunter, our players seem happy enough, signing new contracts and all. plus top players leaving wouldnt make much difference. V.P, Nasri, Cesc Ade, all left because the felt restricted at arsenal and Wenger’s still here. Realistically, his contract is up after next season (If i’m not mistaken) so a couple more CL qualifications, another FA cup win maybe and there should be someone to replace him. So its not a desperate situation, could be much worse tbh.

    I just think that we really should be challenging for the title this year and it feels like we’ve blown a really good chance to be first. we always regret these kind of dropped points in May.

  3. DUIFG

    So damn predictable, midfiled of flam and cazorla really?
    why did it need to be like that? where is the cover? why rush rambo back?

    we have known girouds a carthorse for years again he is the only option, another game where he has produced absolutely nothing, cant crerate for himself, cant drag the teamup by creaating something out of nothing when we are playing shit. 3 years to replace this giuy yet he still starts, please lets get wally back and never see this buffoon again

  4. Rhys Jaggar

    RSPCA

    ‘No one can tell when my girlfriend will get pregnant.’

    ‘Perhaps not, but if you are both fertile, the more you screw without a condom or the pill, the more likely she will be up the duff within 6 months…’

    ‘I don’t want my girlfriend up the duff within six months….’

    ‘Then stop effin well screwing her without a condom, you bell end!!’

  5. Leedsgunner

    Injuries are a useful tool that Wenger uses to manipulate fan expectations and manage player acquisitions.

    Injury prevention? Wenger is not interested. If he was we could have gotten it sorted by now. We are one of the richest clubs in the world with one of the best medical facilities and staff… yet, Wenger lamely blames bad luck and accidents again. The truth seems to be that Wenger is turning a blind eye to the source of the culture that tolerates these injuries. Himself.

    He is the boss and he will play his favourites until they break… squad rotation in the Wenger playbook seems to mean playing the fringe players once his main stars get injured rather than keeping his main stars fit and at their peak for the most important games. Otherwise why play Sanchez on Sunday? He knew Sanchez was vulnerable but he CHOSE to risk Sanchez and gamble with one of our best players.

    Injuries in Wenger’s eyes are welcomed because it absolves him of responsibilities and addressing long standing problems.

    Bellerin is quoted in the press saying that the youngsters can step up over the injury crisis, but he’s missing the point. If our squad was man managed properly, there would not be an injury crisis YEAR after YEAR… and no need for the youngsters to step up.

    The incompetence is staggering and the fact that our Board continues to tolerate it shows a complete disregard for the club, her history and the fans who love Arsenal.

  6. diabyearnshownuch

    no excuses, playing Sanchez was wrong, a terrible error in judgement. if AW can’t see that he has to be sacked today

  7. Leedsgunner

    In one game we have our main attacking outlet (Sanchez) and our defensive rock (Kos) injured and our manager is allowed to walk away with the same excuses and the same indifferent Gallic shrug. When is the Board going to wake up and hold him accountable?

  8. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    What I’m not understanding is why someone senior to wenger ( there must be a person )
    Has not pulled him up on the scientific remark ..

    He is showing total disrespect to the medical staff an showing how isolated he he ,

  9. diabyearnshownuch

    AW’s idea of a squad is 11 first team players, 3 over the hill, 4 youngsters who could come good and a couple of bargain basement signings that could make him look good. he’s so past it now, a generation behind todays quality managers.

  10. Leedsgunner

    RSPCA

    Of course Wenger would. He is sticking his fat stubby fingers in his ears and screaming at the top of his voice…

    “BAD LUCK, BAD LUCK, BAD LUCK!!!”

  11. Cesc Appeal

    So annoying to still hear ‘the curse of November,’ or ‘bad luck.’

    Incredible people still go for that, but then, if you love Wenger, I suppose you’d rather make yourself look like a child and talk about ‘curses’ or ‘luck’ than actually face the reality.

  12. Kane

    WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT! WENGER OUT!

  13. vicky

    Injury crisis is merely a manifestation of our inaction in the transfer window. If we had added players in the summer and even then we faced a crisis like the one we are facing now, you could blame it on our bad luck.

  14. Jamie

    Wenger, the specialist in excuses.

    “We’re paying for a new stadium with our own resources.”

    “We have to sell our best players to balance the books.”

    “We can’t compete with oil money/oligarchs.”

    “We can compete with oil money/oligarchs but no one in world football is available.”

    “Alexis gets fitter the more he plays.”

    “I’m colour blind, so I can’t see the red zone.”

  15. Jamie

    “In fact, due to my colour blindness, the red zone looks like the green zone to me. Green means ‘go’.”

    “I take advice from my medical staff.”

  16. shad

    Show me one team that would not fire their manager for any of the following incompetencies [Take your pick];

    1. Failing to sign a single outfield player when Stevie Wonder and his dog could see we needed one pre-season.

    2. Bogus tactics.

    3. Signing a broken player in Jan.

    4. 19, now going into 20 years of management without being a credible threat in Europe.

    5. Selling best players to rival clubs.

    6. Extending the contracts of over-the-hill or perennial crocks. (Diaby, Arteta, Flamini, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Feo, Ox..)

    7. No trust in youth.

    8. Annoying, oversize coat.

    etc, etc.

  17. gambon

    While I agree with Pedro on everything he says, its kind of missing the point.

    WENGER DOESNT CARE ABOUT WINNING…..

    He knows he is running his players into the ground, he doesnt care.

    He knows Giroud/Walcott arent good enough strikers to win the league, he doesnt care.

    He knows Flamini & Arteta are shit, he doesnt care.

    The fact is, he knows he can run his players into the ground, get away without a top striker, have absolute shit squad players…..AND FINISH 4th.

    Wenger gave up on winning a long time ago. He leaves that up to the big clubs…..and im not talking about Arsenal as a big club, we were in the 30s, 40s, 70s, 80s, 90s etc……but in the current game we are Roma, we are Porto, we are a big name that dont compete at the very top.

    Wenger is scraping together a team that will always be favourites to finish top 4, but hes doing the bare minimum so he can proclaim himself a genius and ask for a huge salary.

  18. S Asoa

    Hunter
    The owner one Kroenke who runs AFC like a grocery store with eye yes only on the bottom line is in cahoots with Wenger who is paid beyond his entitlement and bonuses for 4th place optimized glory.
    Don’t tell me Kroenke can’t kick out or control Wenger.
    -unless quid pro quo for convincing Lady Jane to sell to the merchant instead of Usmanov
    Wenger Out

  19. Cesc Appeal

    I don’t think Wenger doesn’t care about winning, he wants to, but it’s more important to win his way than simply win…which is stupid.

    Wenger idealises the players he has, so he will convince himself Wilshere isn’t made of leaves, that Walcott can be an ST, that Oxlade is going to step up, that he can play Ozil and Sanchez 90 minutes twice a week all season long with no repercussions, that he doesn’t need to play by the same rules as every single other team in Europe in the the transfer window, that he doesn’t need to do tactics, that he doesn’t need to listen to medical opinion, that he doesn’t need to listen to any opinion.

    And to be fair, he’s right, there’s enough nodding dogs in our fan base that he knows he’s never going to face a revolt like other managers have at different clubs, he has the full backing of the silent owner who only cares about money and he delivers Arsenal into the ‘elite club’ every year, albeit we are an average member of that club.

    Wenger has the easiest job in world football, he knows it, he has tenure, he’s untouchable, that’s why he can tell you the muscle that is going to break on his star player midweek, for it then to happen and then he still goes on the offensive with the press for all the train spotting Geoff Arsenal’s to then back him.

    He’s got it made, on £8.5 Million a year as well. And worst, his sticky, deluded finger prints will likely be on the next manager as well, potentially, already sat in Villa’s dug out watching them get battered left right and centre.

  20. PieAFC

    The fact Wengers love child John Cross is now starting to actually say a few things negatively towards Wenger, the wool has pulled out of his eyes.

    Normally Cross was up his ass and couldn’t see no wrong.

    Hopefully the times changing now.

    We will not score two goals at Olympiacos…

  21. PieAFC

    CA, spot on mate.

    The bigger picture is horrible. Anyone in football related to Arsenal could see Garde’s appointment for his grooming to Arsenal.

    Fucking ridiculous.

  22. Cesc Appeal

    Has Bellerin become the new Arsenal mouthpiece or something, the new Djourou in that regard?

    This week he was saying we don’t need to make signings, another 4 players injured over the weekend and he’s saying the ‘youngsters’ can plug the gaps.

    Maybe they’ve decided it’s better coming from him, people throw things at screens with Arsene’s face on when he says ‘if something becomes available, we will see.’

  23. Carts

    Man, Arsenal just aren’t doing it for me anymore. The team is just one big mouthful of sigh. I lost interest in the first 10 minutes and instead watched James Degale v Lucien Bute on the Sky planner. I’ve virtually lost interest in Arsenal to the point where if there’s anything remotely interesting on the box – even another fixture on BT Sport – I’m flicking over. Long gone are the days of finding a grainy stream as well.

    As an Arsenal supporter I feel myself continuously getting mugged off by Wenger and Kroenke. The entire hierarchical structure is only fit for relics like Wenger. There’s no accountability – something so many of us on here has drummed on about, there’s no planning, no KPIs and absolutely zero oversight, though the inclusion of “Shad” will have you believe we’ve turned a corner. I mean, we had two experienced athlete in Ox and Walcott go off the muscle injuries in the same fucking game lol

    Even with a “fully fit squad” – as that’ll be the inevitable reason from AKBs as to why we didn’t win shit the league this season – we are miles of. We lack the necessary players to do anything worthwhile. We went through the entire summer with close to £200m and only managed to buy Cech. Like going to scandinavia all summer and only picking out one blonde.

  24. PieAFC

    The problem with Arsenal as so many clubs would love to be in position that we are in, I’ve had some fans even call me ungrateful. To some extent I get what they mean, it could be worse. But to be a club like Arsenal always on the peripheral and KNOW we can be better than we are is what pisses so many of us off!

  25. gambon

    Carts

    I dont even watch Arsenal anymore. I just keep an eye out for the results.

    Its so predictable, and I feel like I have been saying “I told you so” for the last 5 years.

    I already know exactly what will happen in the next 5 seasons, and so whats the point in actually watching?

    I havent watched a game since the FA Cup final.

    In the space of 8 years ive gone from being a Season Ticket holder, to going 10 times a season, to going to the odd away CL game, to going only to the Emirates cup, to not even watching Match of the Day. The same with a few of my friends.

  26. shad

    Here is Wenger’s management by crisis at its best:

    In pre-season, with a plethora of DMs to choose from, he’d have easily secured a Bender, Carvalho or Schneiderlin for between £15m to £20m. Fast forward to Jan, with a silly injury crisis of his own shit making, were he to dip into the TW for a similar stop gap, we’d be parting with £30m if we were lucky.

  27. Arsene's Nurse

    We will be down to the bare bones on Wednesday. If Cazorla is unfit, which it looks like he will be then we’ll be forced to play something like:

    Cech
    Bellerin Mert Gabs Monreal
    Ramsey Flamini
    Oxo Giroud Campbell

    The bench will be something like Ospina, Debuchy, Chambers, Jeff R-A, Gibbs (if fit) and then we are into the academy for the rest.

    What an absolute shambles, yet most of us realists saw it coming before a ball had been kicked this season.

  28. Cesc Appeal

    Good point, I said in the summer the ‘financial genius’ of Wenger was utter shit, cash is a bad investment with player prices inflating annually which will be exacerbated by the new EPL money. So our £50 Million this year, will be worth £40 Million next, arbitrary figures, but just making the point.

    Not only that, the injury crisis that no one could have seen coming, means if, and it’s a big if, Wenger is forced into the January window, you are going to be paying hyper-inflated prices.

    It’s a myth I think, Wenger’s financial nous. You look at that, our wages structure as well…

  29. shad

    A club brought down to the abyss of mediocrity by the 3 stooges of evil: A tight-fisted fake ass toupee-wearing bellend, a CEO who has balls made of Wilshere’s ankles and a Coach/Manager who should be zipped up in his sleeping bag jacket and thrown into a museum along with his ideals and training tactics., and be made to pay £8.5m a year for 10 years, and be used to subsidize ticket prices.

  30. Carts

    Gambon

    I remember you saying over a year ago that you stopped watching Arsenal games. I found it hard to believe, but now I’m almost in the same boat – I can definitely relate.

    I can honestly say that I haven’t watched an uninterrupted live Arsenal matched since around March. I used to record them if ever I was running late even that is pointless. If I switch on from 30th minute, I usually get bored around the hour mark.

    Never been a season ticket holder and never will be. I live in Old St, 10 min walk to Islington and never felt compelled to even go to stadium anymore, in recent times. It’s literally a drama what is going on over there.

    Now rumour of Nolito have surfaced. Panic much?!

  31. Dissenter

    Carts,
    Good point about the depreciation of that £200 million in the bank.
    Every selling club know we are desperate and will seek an “Arsenal-surcharge” from us.
    I only fear Wenger will use that as an excuse not to buy citing the costly nature of transfers.

    Wenger’s expectations aren’t as high as the fans, so long as we come fourth, he’s fine.

    Problem is if We and Chelsea/United don’t qualify for the CL last sixteen, then English clubs will probably lose that fourth CL spot pretty soon.

  32. Dissenter

    Sanchez is really an arse if it’s true that he’s claiming he pulled up grabbing his hamstrings because he was kicked.

    There was no contact with his thighs.
    He’s one player that needs to be saved from himself.

    That’s why you need an experienced manager who won’t rely on a players willingness to play as a pretext for running them into the ground.

  33. DUIFG

    So predictable all this, its a broken tape.

    No ST, no DM . glaringly obvious squad holes that have come back to bite us.

    The suppression of the welbeck injury was just sneaky as well.

  34. DUIFG

    flamini starting mid, thats piss poor, horrendous, didnt have to be like this.

    sanchez and ozil, trying to feed Giroud, they must be so annoyed.

  35. Cesc Appeal

    I find this whole defence of Wenger over Sanchez crazy, ‘Sanchez wants to play,’ ‘chain to him to a door,’ ‘Sanchez lied about his body.’

    So what, Arsene Wenger is a football manager, this his is job, he doesn’t have much to do, but this is one aspect he could easily do, the same arguments were forwarded about Ramsey a couple of seasons ago.

  36. DUIFG

    sanchez injury has been coming for a while.

    him being a tight arse means that he knows he neeeds to rest sanchez but he cant, he knows in an st in giroud and a dm in flam he literally has no room to rest big players.

    his lack of rotation is a direct result of putting himself in a box by having rank options in key positions

  37. Dissenter

    Why did Carzola even finish that match. I’ll bet his knee is swollen as my head this morning.
    The players are good professionals but there is no doubt they know their manager let them down last summer.

  38. Cesc Appeal

    Arsene Wenger: “I would have rested him but he said he was fine to play.”

    This bloke gets £8.5 Million a year.

  39. Carts

    Dissenter

    The Arsenal-surcharge will be inevitable.

    Put this into context: Skids could’ve had Martial for £20m but bulked at the offer.

    A Utd team – with sponsorship money leaking out their rectum – not to mention that Adidas deal, register an interest in the exact same player and end up paying almost 100% more for him; this was acknowledged and buttressed by LVG himself.

    Now let’s say we bring in a loan players and Nolito in January….that goes no way into addressing the real glaring holes. We’ll live to rue ever sitting on that pile of cash. Next summer will be a circus.

  40. Dissenter

    I don’t expect to see Sanchez on the bench for another 3-6 weeks but with Wenger you never know.
    His blatant disregard of common sense over the last 6-7 seasons has been staggering.

  41. vicky

    Wenger knows he can’t win matches without Sanchez. He is not in a position where he can rest Coq, Alexis,Ozil and Santi and he has nobody else to blame for this either.

  42. shad

    People touting Nolito, forget it. He won’t move in Jan unless we offer really silly money, and for a 29yr old in Jan, that’s a needless gamble.

    Then again, the Arsenal under Wenger has never been known to do things conventionally, on or off the pitch.

  43. gazzap

    Wenger has all the wrong ideas about players. He assumes if he buys a top striker or a top defensive midfielder, he kills Theo or kills Coquelin. But in reality good players really want other good players to play with.
    Right now Ozil and Sanchez are looking around at the mediocrity around them and thinking about whether they even want to stay at Arsenal if this is the level of ambition.
    In the summer had Arsenal bought a decent outfield player, in pretty much any position, it sends a positive signal to the players that we are still ambitious. By just sitting there all summer, Wenger showed he didn’t care about developing the team.

  44. shad

    @Dissenter,

    That doesn’t even grind my gears. My gripe is he failed to sign a single outfield player even when kids as young as 8 on Arsenal Fan TV were saying we were 2 players short of a proper team.

    Wenger should have gone at the end of the 08/09 season where he failed to strengthen in the TW (as usual) and we finished 3rd by I think 6 points off first. It was the culmination of a failed kid project and heightened arrogance, and a glaring admission by the board and manager that they were ok with not trying to win trophies. I have been Wenger out ever since.

  45. TheBayingMob

    Back in the UK for a few weeks, had to drive last night so was listening to the game on 5live haring down the M4. I shouldn’t be, but I was astonished and angered to hear once again that basically a players fitness it down to a question to the player.

    He asked Sanchez if he was OK to play, Sanchez said yes so he played.

    Quite unbelievable.

    8m + a year, the best experts at his disposal not to mention any diagnostic medical tools available (I’d imagine money is little object when it comes to keeping your multi million pound assets mobile!) and basically this cunt relic of manager asks his players whether they can play.

    That’s his fitness regime right there. 8m + a year. 20 years in the job and that’s the best excuse he can come up with for running his best players into the ground.

    I can’t believe that I was on here not four or five weeks ago basically saying we were just waiting for Sanchez top pull up with a hamstring. It’s so fucking frustrating because it’s obviously to the layman. This is Pedro’s point. We could all see it plain as day, Sanchez needed a rest. His performances were dropping. He was clearly knackered but Wenger just ran him into the ground and into injury.

    WENGER OUT!!

  46. shad

    @gazzap,

    And hence why he rewards mediocrity. Play well for 2 months and you are in for a contract renewal.

    It shows you how shit the club is run when Wenger extended Rosa’s contract and he has yet to kick a ball in anger..

  47. Bamford10

    Incompetence and mismanagement — no matter how obvious — will not be enough to get rid of Wenger, as he has been clearly mismanaging things for years now.

    Look at this summer: the one club in all of Europe not to sign an outfield player, despite obvious needs and loads of cash on hand.

    One of two things might help us get rid of this fraud: finishing outside of the top four or Spurs finishing above us.

    Only disaster of some kind can rid us of Wenger.

  48. underrated Coq

    Arsene Wenger: “I would have rested him but he said he was fine to play.”

    Even by Arsene Wenger’s ever decreasing standards, this statement is quite astonishing. Is he actually trying to absolve himself of deserved blame by putting it on the player?

    He’d rather throw his underling to the fire than face it himself. Height of managerial incompetence this. Its little wonder he is blind to the obvious issues at the club, when he seems incapable of self-introspection.

  49. shad

    @TheBayingMob,

    yep, that’s Wenger for you. Sanchez would probably break his legs and show up in crutches but say he is match fit and still get a run in over Joel Campbell, who would come on as sub in the 67th min..

  50. afcmacca

    the west brom game was a fluke owm goal 1 shot on target
    injuries missed pen and woodwork etc

    BUT

    yesterday Norwich fully deserved a point
    that is worrying but when arteta flamini and campbell get in this side we can have no complaints when things go wrong

    i have always stuck my wenger but this january window coming up will make or break wenger with all the fans currently on fence

  51. shad

    @Bamford,

    Strangely, I don’t think Spurs finishing above us will cause mutiny. But if we finish out of the top 4, trophyless and with one or 2 key players wanting out..then there’ll be mutiny.

  52. Bamford10

    And btw, Pedro, “will cost us the league” suggests that the league was ours at some point. It wasn’t. More accurate to say that Wenger’s idiocy is costing us “a chance” at the title.

  53. bennydevito

    gambon,

    Good to see you back. I know what you mean. Whilst never being a season ticket holder or regular match day goer, I would make every effort to pack my missus and kids off to the pub at weekends to watch the game, watch motd, find live streams online etc. I don’t bother anymore and I rarely watch motd or even listen to radio coverage either. Wenger has slowly but surely destroyed my passion for Arsenal – I can only just muster the energy to come here on a daily basis.

  54. Relieable Sauce

    Does this latest offering even make it into Wengers top 5 most bizarre statements of all time? Not sure it does.
    Still a very odd thing to say, I cant imagine Ancellotti saying it, more Pellegrini or McLaren.

  55. Carts

    I said a few weeks back that top 2 is already determined by virtue – City and Arsenal. I still that will be the case. With 3rd & 4th being up for grabs for anyone!

    Utd are actually taking the fucking piss with their performances and that psycho of a manager LVG will look to Giggs as if to say “why are my players playing like this?”. From a performance standpoint, they are worse than us. But in our case what you see is what we’ve been displaying for many seasons.

    Difference is that they’ve got players that are operating at 60% outputs. Where as we’ve got players who either are giving their all a la Sanchez, Coquelin and Bellerin, or players that simply aren’t good enough Arteta, Flamini, Campbell, Ramsey, Giroud.

  56. Thank you and goodnight

    You selfish bastards the lot of you. Wenger worked his nuts off day and night to build that stadium,sometimes in gale force winds and torrential rain while stripped to the waist singing “set my people free”…..and all this on a few measly million a year. Ungrateful bastards

  57. Relieable Sauce

    MU have a very good defensive base now and arguably the leagues best GK, if Guardiola joins he can focus on sorting out the MF and attack.
    Summer enquiries/offers for Muller and Neymar illustrate their ambition. We backed out of the MS deal, and then later scouted Krychowiak just before the window shut.

    Guardiola is said to have MU as his 1st choice of the Prem teams and he’ll get everything he needs to succeed. Have to say it looks a really good fit for both parties.

  58. TitsMcGee

    I seem to remember them all stipulating “if we dont have bad luck with injuries”. Dont mind the number of us on here that were guaranteeing more of the same in terms of our injury record”

    Lol

    Guys like Wallace put everything down to coincidence /bad luck.

    10 years of injuries are bad luck.
    10 years of no EPL title is coincidence .
    18 years no UCL is badincidence lol

    Just amazing the lengths people go to for defence of the man.

  59. TitsMcGee

    I don’t think Wenger doesn’t care about winning, he wants to, but it’s more important to win his way than simply win…which is stupid.”

    I dunno CA. I tend to agree with Gambon here.

    Everything Wenger does makes sense when you look at it from the standpoint that he’s not actually trying to win the league but finish top 4.

    For e.g

    How could any manager think that adding Cech alone would be enough to challenge?

    If you look at it from the standpoint that he’s trying to solidify top 4 then it makes sense. I.e I spend £7 million net and get top 4 rather than spend £65 and get 3rd/2nd. Which one makes me look better?

  60. TitsMcGee

    I see some misinformed nonsense about Arsenal’s medical staff. They have a very good team and yet, ultimately, it is Wenger who makes the decision whether or not to rest a player.

    Wenger decides how they train, when they train and whether they should play. By his own admission, Wenger has played players regularly through the “red zone” (the now familiar term to Arsenal fans for when the stats suggest they are jaded and vulnerable to injuries like hamstring pulls).”

    Pretty damning stuff from Cross but no surprise to anyone who follows Arsenal. Wenger is a control freak. Just imagine how much of a control freak you have to be to overrule physios/team doctors.

    How AFC ever let this guy run all over the club really is amazing. He must have naked pics of someone.

    Most managers listen to their physios and doctors more, they are less stubborn and rest even their star players more than Wenger.

  61. Cesc Appeal

    Watching Robbie on Arsenal Fan TV, you cannot win with the pro-Wenger crowd, our injuries are to blame according to him, someone points out City have lost Aguero, Kompany, Toure and Silva and are top having qualified in Europe.

    Robbie then says, but they’ve spent more than us.

    Hold on, Wenger can’t have it both ways, he can’t decide not to spend and then raise that as a shield.

    It’s like saying, you can’t blame me for failing this exam, I chose not to study yeah, fine, my mate got A’s, but he studied so you can’t compare us.

    Wenger literally cannot lose with some fans. Injuries are bad luck, so not only are they a neat excuse, there’s no blame attached to them, compare us to a team with bad injuries as well, like City or United who are doing better, they’ve spent more, even though our not spending was a choice.

    I don’t know whether it’s the fear of the unknown, having had Wenger for 20 years nearly maybe they just prefer this comfortability and the off chance Wenger will surprise. Instead of the potential risk, but also potential reward of a new and fresh manager.

    I always quote that FourFourTwo article, but it’s so true, ‘under a new manager Arsenal might finish 10th, or the might finish 1st, under Arsene Wenger they will do neither.’

  62. Goldinho

    Agree with everything pedro said except about ox,when he came on he put 5 very dangerous crosses into the box,but with that cart horse rolling about on the floor for most of the game,there was no one there to finish them.
    Anyone who thinks that tight fisted old miser is gonna spend in January is very misguided.
    I actually don’t want him to spend,his management of top class players has become very poor as in the case with Sanchez who he has broken by over playing.i would rather keep the money for the next manager to be able to build a genuine title challenging team

  63. Dissenter

    Why aren’t there people to ask difficult questions in the club regarding player contracts.

    Who’s the buffoon that decided to renew Theo’s contract. He will return in late December then disappear again by late January. All the while the myth of Theo-the great enhancer of Ozil and Sanchez continues to grow even larger.

    I’m waiting for when Jack’s contract is due. He will get a five year extension after putting together o run of 5-10 consecutive games.

    We don’t seem to learn from our mistakes.

  64. shad

    @CA,

    To be fair to Robbie he has to remain non-partisan in his interviews. He measures the response from the interviewee and asks based on their response. So in some cases he comes out as pro and anti Wenger. He does alright.

  65. MidwestGun

    Personally, for me the biggest misconception that annoys me is this idea that Wenger is working 365/ 24 scouring the world to upgrade our squad with top top quality. Clearly he is not.
    The evidence to me is he takes the path of least resistance. Only signs a player if they meet his valuation, have an agent that is acceptable, no other team is seriously competing for, and that player is willing to come to a team that hasn’t won their league in a decade. Otherwise, keep what we have, squeeeze the life out of them, or try and get potential out of a youth player.

    I hate when people say your not a top scout and are playing fantasy manager.
    Well, I might not be a professional scout but it doesn’t take much to see Giroud isn’t good enough for a team that wants to consider itself a top side when you compare him to the first line striker of any other serious team and whats more those teams have signed strikers recently.
    So I can’t take it seriously that we are scouring the earth but Wenger just hasn’t seen anyone better…… give me a break, already.

  66. shad

    @Dissenter,

    Wenger seems to have executive say on contracts. He is hell bent on developing the “British core” so he’ll jeopardize the clubs’ chances of glory just to play crocks that the media loves to hype. A lot of renewed contracts have not been merited at all; Wilshere, Gibbs, Ramsey, Ox, Feo, Jenks. Only Jenks is playing regularly and that’s on loan. Yet they were all signed up on long, obscene-waged contracts vis a vis player value.

  67. shad

    @Midwest,

    My biggest gripe with the club is that it’s led by a bunch of soulless, spineless, greedy, mediocre, arrogant board and manager. Top buck for predictable inconsistencies year in, year out.
    It’s like walking into a top tier hotel and ordering for the finest wine, only to be served with tap water in a clay mug that smells like piss. Every single time.
    Something has got to give.

  68. Relieable Sauce

    AKBs are bonkers, plain and simple, but there are too many gullible and apathetic fans willing to accept incompetance and a lack of ambition and accountability.
    When the penny drops, or when it finally becomes too much to endure we might see some change for the better.
    At the moment gooners get what they deserve (and gratefully accept) – mediocrity.

  69. MidwestGun

    I have stopped watching Arsenal fan Tv.., it’s too much of a wind up. That Ty dude with his sippy bottle going on like nothing is ever a problem and even Claude bellowing at everything and stammering are like cartoon characters.

    Just don’t need the aggrevation.

  70. Cesc Appeal

    MidWest

    That’s exactly it, path of least resistance, he goes about football like an arty lovey, it’s about the expression, and freedom, not the winning or common sense or logic.

    Shad

    Disagree, he comes across very pro-Wenger, in his individual vlogs he will make a criticism and then say ‘I don’t know, maybe the players weren’t out there’ or the like.

    TYAGN

    Especially when he makes a point, and you know you could so easily trash it, but the bloke being interviewed is either too pissed or not exactly loquacious, or skilled enough an orator to do it. More ‘nah mate and yes mate and spose mate.’

    Meanwhile though, the pro-Wenger’s have hurried to the train station, binoculars out, Thermoses on the bench next to them Marmite sandwiches at the ready.

  71. notthatSam

    I’m a Red member but haven’t been this season (have lost interest in Groundhog goings on) and no plans to go. Wish I’d not renewed as no doubt they don’t do refunds.
    I’m wondering what it would take for Kroenke to get fed up with Wenger tbh. The latter won’t resign as he has no dignity and is terrified by his own admission, of life after Arsenal.

  72. Thank you and goodnight

    @Cesc

    Ha ha ha ha….taking sips from their Arsene Wenger special edition water bottles. 😀 You know why they sip so often? it’s because like wenger the bottles are fucked holes in them everywhere….bit like Arsene’s plans for most matches

  73. Carts

    Cesc AppealNovember 30, 2015 14:49:28
    _________

    Nice post.

    Edit: I think Robbie rides the fence deliberately. He asks, imho, rhetorical questions – knowing full well what the REAL answer is – but simply encourages perspective to keep in anti and pro Wenger.

  74. salparadisenyc

    Have to say i’m with you Carts, not something I saw coming.
    But gradually my love is being sapped away from the predictability of it all. The anger no longer as strong.

    How Wenger neglects to see the on coming collision season after season notably our current is a baffler. Has to be more to it that whats on the surface.

  75. gunnergetyou

    Apparently Koz and Caz will be fit for the next game.

    I’d still be tempted to drop Cazorla to play Ramsey in the middle.

    It’s just a shame we’re stuck with Giroud up front. The Walcott come back news seems to have gone quiet all of a sudden. Must be one hell of a calf strain.

  76. TOLI83

    We look very average and it’s all going South. The average age of our team/squad is 28 now.

    When he leaves, the stark reality of an aging mediocre shell left behind is stark. Similarly to the decision making of Ferguson, if they are left with a squad they feel they can’t compete with they will leave.

    Difference is that when Ferguson left he did it because he felt he couldn’t challenge for Champions League and Title honours with United – when Wenger leaves it will be because he can’t get us 4th anymore. That won’t leave us in a good place!

  77. TheBayingMob

    Wouldn’t expect to see Walcott any time before Xmas or the New Year.

    Point I keep meaning to make on Wenger as well … he won’t buy because he has no room left in the wage bill. The socialist structure leaves him hamstrung. Why do you think we waited and waited and waited and waited for Diaby!? Because he was on a Kings Ransom for being a fucking crocked cunt. Wenger brings two players extra in on 100k a week (I would say that’s about standard for the quality we need) that’s an extra 10.4m on the wage bill without thinking pushing it well clear of 200m.

    Why no one takes Wenger to task on the wage bill is astonishing! How can it be so high for such little quality in depth?

    Well, we know the answer to that. It must be some coincidence or, bad wage luck or a referee conspiracy perhaps!??? It can’t be Wenger’s fault …

    GET HIM OUT!

  78. Wenker-wanger

    Like I said before the worst manager in the prem only able to half compete because of the sheer quality of top international players like Sanchez ozil etc and cesc rvp nasri etc in the recent past. Pulls out-foxes him and big Sam nullifies him. Teams with less than half our players ££ va!ue take points from us home and away on a regular basis. Stoke Blackburn Swansea Hull Sunderland and others have made Wenger’s predictable tippy-tappy look toothless and clueless. Give Wenger a Newcastle or villa to manage and he would plummet them quicker than anyone. Wenger’s a man stacked with resources yet fails to deliver time and again. He is the Ferrari driver unable to overtake the bog standard fiesta.