Wenger taints opener with bizarre rant | Arsenal need to ride the Klopp opener

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You know when your partner has bought you tickets to the theatre or something like that, and they’re all excited about it, they’ve bought a new outfit, they’ve told all their work friends where they’re going… and you roll up to pick them up at 6pm, drunk, covered in kebab then you say something obnoxious about their outfit, try and calm the angst with ‘but it was just banter’…

‘You always have to ruin everything’, they say.

That’s Arsene Wenger in his UNREAL press conference before the game today.

After completely making a hash of #Summer2016, Wenger has come out on the offensive, he even made reference to one of my comments from yesterday.

Here are some of the choice quotes:

“We were the highest team in expected chances created. We were the highest team in quality of chances created in the final third.”

“Our finishing last year was of a worse quality than the year before and we had the same players. That means that it’s a bit cyclical.”

A bit cyclical? I mean, what the hell is that about? A bit cyclical? Like professional athletes go through seasonal changes, like in mother nature? I just can’t believe that the manager would make such a daft assessment. It shows that even though he’s trying to be a data master, he’s still all about the gut the feel.

Giroud, at 29, is going to come back on cycle… demonstrate more mobility, a calmer head in front of goal. Theo is somehow going to become the player we’d all hoped he would ten years. It’s almost not worth making comment on such a bizarre unprofessional parallel.

The same happens in the marketing game…

‘Consumers are averagely only watching 7 seconds of branded content’

‘What’s the solution?’

‘Get the brand logo in the first 3 seconds’

No one takes time out to ask why people who watch 3 hours of online content a day are switching out after 7 seconds, because the answer is hard.

‘Our content is shite’ does not go down well with people hiding from the truth. It’s the same with Arsene here. He says we created more than ever last season, we didn’t deliver and that’s not down to quality, it’s down to an intangible that is the cyclical nature of being rubbish.

Then there’s his customary comment, which comes in a cyclical wave…

“I think it’s linked with the fact that we had some players out for a long period last season and hopefully we will have everybody available for much longer this season.”

We had a pretty fine injury record last season. I mean, who were we missing? Danny Welbeck? He’s still gone. Giroud was there for a large chunk and still is. Sanchez was there for most of it. Who else am I missing? Santi Cazorla was a miss, but again, he’s getting on now, I’m seriously doubtful if we can count on a full season of fitness from him, nor can we count on him coming back the player he was. A bit of a nothing statement. Especially in light of having 3 players out long term and missing Jack Wilshere already. Also, players being out can be dealt with by having quality in reserve.

Then he dismisses vibrancy, an observation I made in yesterdays blog.

“Vibrancy doesn’t make you win games,”

“What makes you win game is the quality of the performance and the quality of your football. And you have to focus just on that.”

Now the manager is dismissing basic psychology? He is saying that the way players feel about the people they’re playing with doesn’t make you win games? Hmmm… I seriously beg to differ here. It’s not even really an argument. Freshness in the camp, buzz around new dynamics and a big bucket load of hope are SO important to a squad. I really can’t imagine many managers on the planet suggesting otherwise.

Then the big comment comes in… the, ‘who the fuck are you talking to?’

“That is very difficult in the modern game. There is always demand for new but new is just new.”

“What is new makes news. But apart from that it makes noise. But the noise is not necessarily always quality.”

“[United and City] signed a lot of players the year before as well… if you want to make everybody happy, then just buy 20 new players and everybody is full of hope until the first game starts and then we’re back to reality.”

The how dare you commentary.

Fans demand new because the game demands new.

Fans demand new because the old has consistently proven not to deliver quality.

The fans demand new because they have ambition.

All the best managers in the world deliver new. Tuchel in Dortmund bought 8 players, Juventus bought 6 or so players, United leveled our on 4 massive signings, Pep G is on 5 players and just sacked his number 1 keeper for Bravo of Barcelona, Klopp signed 5… the only manager who thinks new isn’t a good idea is the only manager you can pretty much guarantee won’t win the Champions League and the only manager who likely won’t get anywhere near the league.

Wenger’s philosophy of not addressing squad issues has delivered nothing of note, ever. His biggest successes have come off the back of buying in lots of names, bar 2004, but we had a world class squad that year.

Riling the fans again, because it’s his club. So depressing.

Saw this tweet, at least Donald is open about not changing.

Anyway, onto the game today.

We know the drill. Klopp is going to send his pretty average players out to decimate us in the first 30minutes with some pretty hardcore pressing. They’ve added pace to their lineup, a full summer of fitness so harsh it’s already pinging hamstrings and he’ll have injected a bit of winnertivity.

There will be two pockets we have to ride, the first 30minutes, then they’ll tire, then 10minutes in the second half when they’ll have a 10minute burst we’ll have to deal with.

I’d imagine we’ll opt for a strong midfield. Coquelin and Xhaka makes sense. Give our shaky defence a bit of cover. In the hole we’ll stick the blonde lightning rod Aaron Ramsey. I’m not sure who I’m thinking out on the right, but it’ll likely be Theo there with Sanchez on the left… or maybe Sanchez in the middle with Iwobi on the left? I’ve really no clue there on account of Arsenal not having a fit proven centre forward.

But hey, fuck the fans for believing in vibrancy and new players.

Our defence is in a bit of a pickle as well. Do you subject your new signing Rob Holding to a Liverpool onslaught? Or do you stick Debuchy or Monreal into the middle to give a bit of an experienced hand to the often shaky Callum Chambers?

Who knows what the manager will be thinking today.

I’m not sure how this match is going to pan out. We’re really not in good shape with our backline, so it could go either way. I don’t think Liverpool are that good a side, but we know they’re capable of being giant killers based on some of their preseason antics.

5 points out of the opening 9 will be a success. Watford and Leicester both had average starts yesterday, so a win today could make for 9. Big, big game that will set the tone for the season and sadly, how we play out the rest of the window. If we win, Mustafi and done. If we lose, I’d suspect you’ll see some panic buys to bring in some vibrancy and counter the cyclical nature of average.

Looks like a good day in London, I hope everyone is having a good beer before the game, I’ll be watching from Manhattan jealous as you like about not being there with family and friends!


1,218 Responses to “Wenger taints opener with bizarre rant | Arsenal need to ride the Klopp opener”

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  1. Jeff


    What’s even freakier is that it was your previous post that prompted me to write that. You’re right of course. The AKBs always think that getting fourth is actually very hard because they see so many teams in the PL failing to do so. And in the last couple of years even one or two big teams have failed to do it – so it must be hard.

    But in reality, when you can afford to drop around 40 – 44 points (which is basically what we’ve been doing for some time) – that’s actually no so bad – very achievable for a club like Arsenal. This is the great illusion that the AKBs suffer from. They think fourth is hard to achieve – it isn’t. It’s the minimum a club like Arsenal should be aiming at not the maximum. And therein lies the crux of the problem.

  2. Rocky7

    Oh dear , groundhog year.

    Look guys , all what you are witnessing now , I saw about 8/9 years ago clear as day. I noticed it wasn’t about the football, it was a bout the money. BANK OF ARSENAL PLC , and ARSENAL PROPERTY DEVELOPMENTS Just look at the board. If you didn’t know it was a football club they were running and had to guess what business is was, you would put your home on it being a bank . AFC has always been run by an ‘old etonian’ boys network. But at least B4 the Walmart – rug arrived the motive wasn’t money , it was on pitch success, as the major shareholders in those days had long term historical connections to the club.

    Yep of course AW gotta go , but that’s futile if we still have the same owner and board.

    And to be real here , the current regime are taking any paying supporters as mugs. They don’t give a f*** about you , why ? The concessions on the stadium have already paid the club before u walk in and buy a beer and every ticket is sold , even if the stadium is half full!!!

    If AW does go , you really think all of a sudden walmart rug and Ivan going to replace him with a winner or a book balancer.??

    Remember that Walmart rug is building the biggest stadium and moving a Nfl franchise to LA , I would be amazed if the hundreds of millions that’s been generatedfor this, has nothing to do with his interests here.

    It’s not about football anymore , …

    So, here’s my thoughts on a protest …

    Arrange in your hundreds and thousands ,
    Go and watch any other lower league London club , That needs your support, the press and social media will soon catch onto a few thousand red and white shirts ‘loaning’ there support to true spirit of football, whilst it’s gone missing from londons home of football.

    Just a thought . I think it could have a big impact .

  3. Emiratesstroller

    Souness summed up perfectly the situation at Arsenal since we moved to Emirates.

    The club should be one of the biggest on the planet, but they do not operate like one.

    We are not a million miles away from being a competitive club, but each season Wenger reacts the same way.

    We sit on our bank balance and show zero ambition in transfer market. As
    all three panelists pointed out Arsenal’s main transfer priorities this summer
    should have been a Centre Back and goalscoring Striker.

    As Souness said if you are going in the market then you do it at start of transfer window and not leave it late as Arsenal do habitually each summer. Also
    if you want to buy a match winner or prolific goalscorer it is going to cost you
    over the odds.

    Arsenal’s unwillingness or failure to compete in the market is now a major problem if the club wants genuinely to compete at top table.

    Most of the major clubs in World football do not operate like Man City or
    Man Utd by throwing huge sums of money at the transfer market, but when
    they need to make a major signing the money is available and they get their
    target. You see that situation at Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

    At Arsenal the management leave us always short rather than spend the money.

  4. kc

    That’s the thing about lying too much. Eventually you start to lose touch with reality and start believing your own BS. Wenger is spent.

  5. China

    Yeah Jeff.

    You can piss a LOT of points away and take a number of hammering a and embarrassing capitulation a along the way (memories of Newcastle a few years back) and it isn’t really important provided you have a few good spells along the way.

    When we get thrashed we see the drama and the crisis unfolding, but in the cold light of day and to Wenger, even a 5-0 defeat at home is just 3 out of 44 expendable points.

    We’ve always had a reasonable squad and the top 4 pretenders like Spurs and Everton bottle it almost annually because they’re over-awed by the thought of really making the CL, whereas our lot know it’s coming and won’t panic when dragging themselves over the line

    This had led it to being the case most seasons that only 3 teams compete at the top. Arsenal play in their own unique league seemingly with the 70 point target and you can usually bank on one top team having a bad year, as shit happens.

    In previous years I’ve never believed the le grove hype that were dropping out of the top 4 because Wenger is excellent at hiring 70 points (and not many more) and that will be enough. This is the only time when Liverpool city Chelsea and utd all look better than us, though. All certainly have better managers.

    Whilst he’ll probably hit his usual points targets, I wonder if this year the goal posts may be moved by improvements in our rivals (see utd, Liverpool, not Aston villa and Newcastle) and 70 might not be enough this time

  6. Jeff


    You could have said that 10 years ago and it would be just as valid then as it is now. We’ve all got it wrong. Wenger’s remit is not to challenge for trophies and Arsenal is no longer a football club. It’s a business that’s doing a good job of keeping afloat. The only thing is that they have to kick a ball around to keep it going. If there was a way of getting CL money without finishing fourth, we’d be first in the queue.

    Qualifying for CL has been disastrous for Arsenal. It is used as nothing more than a cash cow – something to collect as you pass go.

  7. Jeff


    I certainly think this season is like no other. The new managers that have come in have big reputations to maintain. They are hungry and will take no prisoners when competing. For all his words and assurances it is obvious even to a corpse that Wenger no longer has any hunger or desire.

    The probability of dropping out of top four this season certainly feels/seems higher than any previous one but we also know Wenger pulls it out of the bag somehow. But as for winning either the PL or CL, we have virtually no chance. Even the other domestic cups will probably prove to be a bridge too far this time.

  8. Jeff


    Where glory on the pitch is concerned, it could be argued quite easily that moving to the Emirates has given us no benefits at all. The only good thing is that once this set-up is done (starting with Wenger leaving), the new manager will have to rebuild practically from scratch and he will have 60,000 people behind him. But he will have to overturn the lax attitudes within the team. He’ll have to put an end to this “go out and express yourselves” bollocks. Bring in fresh blood where necessary and not worry about how much they cost or how much they will earn.

    It will take a few years in my view there is no other way. For the moment while Wenger still lingers, it’s all about damage limitation.

    As for Kroenke, he’s not going anywhere so it’s not even worth talking about that.

  9. Ishola70

    “Even the other domestic cups will probably prove to be a bridge too far this time.”

    Any half decent team can win the domestic cups. Remember Arsenal were on course to win the FA Cup three times in a row last season and this is with all the problems at the club that you correctly describe.

    Said it before but if Arsenal become domestic cup kings it will be a consequence of failing at the real top level.

  10. Mick Kartun

    Pep and Mou are probably will get the first and second end of the season.
    Conte will be certainly in Top 3 depend on how his team will blend.

    So it’s up to Poch, Klopp, Ranieri, and Old Wanker for the deluded 4th trophy and it wouldn’t be so easy like always been for wanker.

  11. China

    It’s true that the domestic cups could be won by anyone but as has been said, we have more elite managers this year than ever before. And all of them are working with squads at our level or higher. As well Liverpool utd and Chelsea don’t have the CL to worry about so will be fresher flans more motivated by the smaller cups than usual

  12. Rocky7

    The only trophy we will win this year is the much coveted , CASH IN BANK CUP, which we always win on April 1st.

  13. Daz

    I see number of people have wrote xhaka off already, firstly he was making his debut and had just watched his new team take a battering before being thrown on. Had he started the game and played the first half it may have given him time to settle or if he had come on during a good performance I’m sure he would not have been so nervous. Jury is still out but a bit harsh to write him off when he was given 25mins after we had already conceded 4

  14. TitsMcGee

    The maximum number of points you can gain in a season is 114 if you win all your games. We can get fourth with something like 70 points so we can afford to drop 44 points. ”

    Said this before.

    The bar is set so low that we can have multiple results like yesterday and still hit our target. That’s why Wenger is so laissez-faire. He knows that yesterday’s result does Nothing to dent his ultimate goal.

    The fans really need to wake up and smell the coffee.