Arsenal: A fresh start without guarantees would be just fine

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Happy Tuesday PARTY PEOPLE.

What have we lined up for you today?

Rumours flying around the web that fans are going to cheer and clap on 12 minutes to signal their unhappiness at 12 years without a trophy.

Hmmm… reckon we should stick to banners.

Lots of upset and angst in the Arsenal ether at the moment. Another season of promise, down the toilet… with no excuses to cuddle up to.

This is it. This is 12 years of failure. This was, one of many seasons now, where we’re out the back-end of a stadium move. This was supposed to be when it all came good.

But, you know, the truth was always there, hiding in plain sight. Wenger’s failing over the past 12 years haven’t been down to money, they’ve been down to a particular management style decaying with time.

So many people thought the lack of cash was the issue… and look, partly, it was. However, it wasn’t the biggest problem.

Wenger struggled to push through into the modern era. He ignored his horrendous failings in the fitness department for so long. Part of this was down to squad management and sizing, part of this was failing to adopt technologies that could help him understand breakdown before it occurred. In fairness, the club has got notably better at managing the fitness of players… what it hasn’t got to grips with is signing players that are robust… sorry, it hasn’t got to grips with shifting on players that aren’t robust.

Our manager also struggled with tactical flexibility. When he was king, he had a defence that managed itself, blended with flair that was so damn good no one could compete.

Wenger didn’t adapt his approach to account for players that couldn’t play that way. We let our defence decline, we didn’t build a winning system of play that could compete with the bully boys of the league… and we were constantly turned over by our lack of interest in analysis up until last year.

We also started to fall away in the scouting department. In the mid-2000s, one of the biggest shifts in mindset for Wenger was moving away from power and pace, adopting a Barcelona light version of a squad. We signed players that weren’t up to the rigours of the league. We’ve done a better job signing power and pace over the last few  years, but we’re still not quite there.

This season felt like it could have been the one. Wenger accidentally discovered what happened when you played someone disciplined in midfield, we had creativity, we saw what pace could do in our line up… then the summer came and all we signed was a keeper.

All the money in the world, and the best we could do was sign a keeper?

Kind of said that the years feigning financial constraints (the last few years) might have been self-imposed…

Anyway, when you don’t add to a squad that finished third the year before, you kind of know what might happen.

The crazy thing was we nearly competed… all our elite rivals fell away… but we couldn’t capitalise. Leicester City and Spurs raced for the title instead.

… and that was the moment, when you saw a club doesn’t need to be Manchester City to compete. It just needs to be smart with money and even smarter with the set up.

The game has moved on rapidly. More money, better tech and smarter approaches dropping in from other sports. Those who were relevant 5 years ago are struggling to adapt. Managers coming through are chained to progress and are getting smarter and smarter about how they go about it. So our next manager doesn’t necessarily have to be one who has a Champions League medal, because we’re watching those guys die out at a rapid pace.

5 years ago, LVG was a top manager. Now he’s a dinosaur. 2 years ago, Jose Mourinho was king, then he was found out in brutal fashion. It’s getting more competitive and it’s only going to get more so. We need someone who is tuned into the new rules of the game. Someone who can progress the club on the pitch and behind the scenes. Who knows who that manager is, but there are plenty of exciting choices about.

… and I think that’s an important thing amongst fans. We’re getting so bored of the stasis, we’d literally take anyone who could offer up a fresh vision and a new direction for the club. People were harping on about me praising Brendan Rodgers a few seasons back, and look, think what you like about him, he had a pretty average Liverpool team playing some of the most exciting football the league has seen and he pushed Liverpool closer than Arsene has in 12 years.

He started to perform poorly, he was rightly chopped… now they’ve brought in a powerhouse of a manager who will have a go at making things right again. Which group of supporters are more excited right now, Arsenal fans who are sitting in 3rd, or Liverpool fans who are sitting in 9th?

Why is that? Because they have an exciting future. It’s not guaranteed they’ll win. But at least the club are having a go and stopping the rot.

… and that’s it for me. Everyone else is trying new things, and we’re just flogging the same old tired horse, with the same damn flog that’s been inept for 12 years.

Anyway, rant over, have a good day!

331 Responses to “Arsenal: A fresh start without guarantees would be just fine”

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  1. Joe


    It’s just pathetic that guys like ugh think wenger formed the club and we would be in 3rd division without him.

    We were a huge club before wenger. European champions in fact. And will be huge years after and wenger will be a blip in our memory as all people will remember is the last 12 seasons

    And I can guarantee ugh and his Akb buddies have no idea who Thomas is or know about that match.

    A match and title win that I will remember more than the invincible season.

  2. diabyearnshownuch

    Well it’s happened. I’ve sold my season ticket. I’ve had enough. I have some poor mug taking my ticket for the next few seasons, I’m done til Wenger fucks off.
    Ems has turned into a durge pit of poison. full of lemmings and corporates………well not full.

  3. STV

    Arsenal ‘open talks’ with Xhaka. We all know how this will turn out. Arsenal will ‘almost sign’ Xhaka. Then Wenger will ‘decide against it’..

  4. Leedsgunner

    Soon the transfer season will be with us. Here are 3 Qs to ask yourself when reading them:

    1. Is the player with a successful club? If so ask yourself why would this player leave such a club to come this club who has again allowed the title to slip through its fingers for reasons only known to the manager, the owner and the Board? Not just this year, but for the past 12 years.

    2. Is the player needed in our tactical set up? If so, you can almost guarantee Wenger won’t sign him. He never signs a player who is needed right now. Was such a player needed 2 seasons ago? If so, the chances of such a player coming to the club are much better.

    3. Is the player an unappreciated injury prone so-called “diamond in the rough”? Someone who will not question Wenger? Someone who needs a father figure? If so, the chances of the player being signed are very good.

    4. Is the player being signed being pursued by anyone else worth of note? If so, don’t be fooled. It will come to nothing.

    To be sure, the club will make the appropriate noises at the right time but in the end it will produce nothing of note but immense frustration. For this manager, the thrill is more in the chase rather than getting the deal done.

    5. Does the player replace or threaten a permanent injured player and their progress? All injured players are to be treated like active players even though they may only play 1 or 2 games at the very end of this season. This is Wenger’s eyes is equivalent to 20 or 30 games they will play in the next season… even if they get injured before the next season starts.

    This is down to bad luck, even though the same thing has happened 5 seasons previous. When questioned about it, the standard answer that the player is two or three weeks away will be given, if they are not.


    Most fans have very short term memories. They will not remember anything. They are to be treated with contempt.

  5. jwl

    Daily Telegraph:

    “Arsenal’s heralded British core is under increasing threat this summer, with the club preparing to listen to offers for both Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

    Arsenal are interested in renewing their British presence this summer by adding Ben Chilwell at left-back from Leicester City and Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham, as well as Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka, a centre-back and potentially a striker.”

  6. Carts

    One thing when is also renowned for is under-investing in defensive players.

    take our current defensive players and current attacking and what stands out is the mean price differential.

    Cech – £10m
    Ospina – £4
    Debuchy – £12m*
    Bellerin – few hundred thousand
    Kos – £10m
    Mert – £7m
    Gabriel – £10m
    Chamber – £16m*
    Gibbs – free
    Monreal – £7m
    Coquelin – free
    Elneny -£7m

    circa £83m (£28m*)
    Cazorla – £15m
    Ozil – £42.5m
    Walcott – £12m
    Sanchez – £35m
    Ox – £13m
    Giroud – £12m
    Welbeck – £16m
    JC – £1m
    Iwobi – Free

    circa £146.5

    That’s a difference in circa £63m. Wenger deliberately under-invested in defensive player, for why exactly?

    You could probably argue that at this moment in time he’s also flushed £28m (Debucy and Chambers) down the drain too.

    There is something fundamentally wrong in Wenger’s approach to certain aspect of player recruitment and investing. It really is alarming.

  7. Dissenter

    There’s tabloid talk that Southampton want Oxlade back at all cost.
    If it were left to me. I’ll propose Wanyama plus 10 million pounds for Oxlade.

    If they don’t bite, tell them to f**k off because it’s not like we need to sell anyway.
    Our midfield is set with the addition of Wanyama and Xhaka.
    Jack is just a bonus because we all know he’ll be broken again and again.

  8. Dissenter

    Andy Caroll has warned defenders that “‘I don’t think that anyone else is going to get it – so if that is unplayable, I am unplayable,’

    Someone should shush him and remind him that every game is not like dining with Santa claus; he wont be playing Arsenal every weekend.

  9. Relieable Sauce

    Players Player of the season shortlists are in.

    Vardy, Mahrez, Kante, Kane, Payet, Ozil.

    Young player – Kane, Alli, Lukaku, Barkley, Butland, Coutinho.

    The early vote can make a nonsense of the result. It should be one of Vardy, Mahrez or Kane depending on the outcome of the league but it may well go to Ozil.

    Top 3 bosses –

    Ranieri, Pochettino, Bilic.

    Top 3 players –


    Top 3 young players –

    Kane, Alli, Lukaku.

  10. Biggles

    I’m definitely in the Anybody But Arsene camp these days. And I really mean anybody.

    Hell, I’d take Big Sam. Bolton punched well above their weight with him around, he was known to use Prozone pretty early on and he always had a big backroom staff because he understands that you can’t micromanage everything. And he even knows Billy Beane, to score some extra management consultant buzzword points with Pedro.

    He’s certainly not somebody I would *want*, but it’s change when that’s the one thing we are aching for more than anything. I don’t care if we even end up in a relegation battle with a different manager, we just can’t be 4th forever. It’s bloody Groundhog Day being an Arsenal fan.

  11. shad


    I think we do need to sell, not because of having a weak hand financially – not anymore, but because these touted British core are actually flops. Feo is a headless chicken on pornographic wages, Ox has stagnated, Jenks is forever on loan and will only be filler for a mid table team, Gibbs is made of glass, Wilshere needs to quit football and cheap fights. Only Ramsey should remain and as a bench player. Welbz is ok, Chambers should be loaned out for a couple of seasons. The more they remain here, they eat up wages and add no value to the team.

  12. Carts

    “Strikers and attacking mids are costlier than defenders, genius.”

    Oh, so that explains why we sign shit defensive players. My bad.

  13. Dissenter

    I really think there’s a quiet revolution going on in the championship amongst British players. There are many nuggets to be had at that level.
    That’s where we need to shop for British lads not from Southampton academy.
    They will cost a fraction in wages and also fulfil the homegrown quota.

  14. Carts

    “There’s tabloid talk that Southampton want Oxlade back at all cost.
    If it were left to me. I’ll propose Wanyama plus 10 million pounds for Oxlade.”

    Wanyama doesn’t strike me as a player who has much going on between the ears. HIs disciplinary record has been barbaric this season.

    I can easily see him lining up for Spurs next season, though

  15. JJ

    If Athletico even look like they might win, the ref will adjust the scale with cards. If Athletico take the lead, the ref will find a way to send one of them off. It happens every year. Remember RVP getting sent off for kicking the ball after the whistle went? UEFA still wreaks of corruption.

  16. IvoryGoonz

    Yeah, still there and counting.
    Wenker out.
    Willy Wenger should go now, the more he stays, the worse it becomes. And if he cant see he’s damaging the club by not admitting he’s not fit for it anymore, who’s gonna make him realise it and take action?

  17. Dissenter

    “Wanyama doesn’t strike me as a player who has much going on between the ears. HIs disciplinary record has been barbaric this season.”

    He’s been unlucky..and maybe unfocused as well.
    Coquelin ought to have walked a lot this season. Four games come to mind when he came very close to getting that second yellow card.

  18. Bamford10

    “Simeone can replace Costa, Arda, Courtois, Miranda, etc and knock Barca out the CL while Wenger still hasn’t replaced RVP.”
    – @the5thofficial_

  19. Colonel Mustard

    I have a theory that modern players respect a manager not too older then them but not young enough to be one of them. Simeone would be like having George Graham back. Id love it. He was a similar age in 89 and the players would die for him.