Arsenal summer review | Who could replace Wenger? | Jack to where?

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It’s absolutely drizzling it down lightly here. You know the type of rain, not heavy, not light, but drenching all the same.

So what have we today?

Jack Wilshere heeded my advice and made the move down to Bournemouth to play under the youthful Eddie Howe. I think it makes sense. Howe has an interesting football philosophy, he plays good ball and he’s plotted up fairly local to London, if you think 3 hours by train is local to London.

Good thing is he’ll get games. He’ll be the star. My worry is that he’s not really going to better himself there like he would if he went and plied his trade at Juventus, Milan or Valencia. But hey, at least he’ll be in the Premier League, at the ready to score against us and not celebrate. Cannot wait for that.

Pretty much no more action from us late on in the window. Plenty from other clubs that was kind of laughable. Chelsea re-signed the defensive equivalent of Nik Bendtner for £30m. Can’t for the life of me understand what made them think Luiz would be a good move (He’s 29!). Spurs rocked in with Sissokho for £30m, which is banter because he’s been begging Arsenal for a move for years. Samir Nasri fled the league to play for Sevilla.

Sadly, Daniel Sturridge did not get the loan move to Arsenal he was looking for.

So what have we learned?

That you don’t really get value in the last weeks of the transfer window. You get shafted. Do your business early. Don’t wait until the end.  I’d like to think Arsenal will learn from their experiences this summer, but I have my doubts.

I think the big learning for me this year was that Arsene Wenger is no longer a heavyweight draw. We missed out on key targets mainly down to his lack of ambition and the fact that you’d be hard pushed to think Wenger would deliver you major trophies. So basically, we’ve made Leicester City like signings (look at them nicking Sporting’s two star names!). We’ve gone for players where there’s a chunk of risk attached.

I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I have to say, it’s those sort of signings I’ve yearned for for years. If you can’t get your plan A, work out a plan b, if plan B is £60m, then take a punt on someone that has the attributes, but maybe not the experience. I like the Perez signing, I really do. Mainly because it’s an unknown based on what the club think is sound research. I’d preferred to have signed Draxler and converted him to a striker. He’s taller, more polished and will no doubt carry more value being younger. But I’m happy with Perez.

Xhaka was no doubt an incredible signing. The poise of Arteta, the aggression of Vieira, the build of a Roy Keane, the fight of an Eastern European and the thuggish looks of an Essex boy in Time & Envy circa 2002.

I think another ‘like a new signing’ is Elneny. Can’t tell you how impressed I am with that man. Unbelievable engine, great discipline and an accomplished passer. A real solid addition.

Jury is out on Mustafi. We’ve signed solid German engineering. His statistics are pretty similar to Jonny Evans, but he’s younger and he’s internationally capped by World Cup winners. Jury is not out on Rob Holding, I think he’s an excellent buy, genuinely upset he didn’t cost £50m, but what are you going to do? Think we have 3 very good centre backs.

Now it’s up to Wenger. Is he going to utilize all of this talent and experiment? Or is he going to line the team up the same for every game like he normally does? Because we have loan striker capabilities on the counter. We have the big man up front. We could play 2 up top in the same way France did with Giroud and Griezmann. We can stifle teams with 3 very defensively minded midfielders to choose from. We have legs for days in the middle.

Challenge for Wenger is how it makes it all click. But, you know what, he’s given himself a chance. Big question is whether he has the quality throughout, or will he pay for not upgrading broken bits?

At least it’s an unknown now…

Interesting reading people talking about our next manager. I think people know that Wenger is far from a dead cert to stay next season, which is great news.

There’s talk of Eddie Howe because he took Jack on loan. Now, not that I think he’s a bad manager, I just think he might need the pressure of a bigger club before he makes the jump. Wenger didn’t start at Monaco, he worked at smaller places and built his career. However, it’s important to note that coming from Bournemouth doesn’t mean players won’t respect you. If you have energy, great ideas, belief and charisma, players will come along for the ride.

I think the front-runners right now to replace would be Diego Simeone, just because he’s absolute hot shit at the moment (has had quite a career as a manager if you read up). He’s a proven winner, a massive talent draw and we’re a bigger club than Atletico. It’d be a major step up and an opportunity to win our first mega trophy in the Emirates.

Thomas Tuchel is my favourite name at the moment. Everything about him oozes Arsene of yesteryear. An innovator, quiet charisma and a football intellect (he really is smart if you read up on him and his ways). I’ll be watching what he does at Dortmund this season, because now the team is very much in his vision. Part of the Mainz factory of managers, he has to be one for consideration.

I also wonder if Allegri of Juventus might be on the list. He’s worked wonders with Juventus. Tactically excellent, great presence and an eye for emerging talent. He’s going on an all out assault on the Champions League this season and he has a helluva exciting team there. We’re not as big a club as Juventus, but our league is way, way bigger than Serie A and the attraction of the competition would be a draw.

Then there are managers that are around the Premier League. It’s very hard to ignore what Slaven Billic is doing at West Ham. A trained lawyer, a man who has injected style, power and aggression into a flat West Ham squad, a man who has played in world cups. A man who looks like he’d kill your babies if you crossed him. There’s Ronald Koeman who really doesn’t excite me at all, but hopefully Everton will keep him away from us.

Point is, Arsenal are a mega club. The bar isn’t as high as it was for United. We’ll have learned from their mistakes. We’ll have a good infrastructure. We’ll have loads of cash. Loads of opportunity.

So don’t rule out anyone, we are a massive draw and we will attract the best of the best. No doubt.

Exciting.

Right, see you tomorrow!

1,483 Responses to “Arsenal summer review | Who could replace Wenger? | Jack to where?”

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  1. alexanderhenry

    STV

    ‘Show me proof Kroenke meddles with club financial (matters)’

    Well, it’s his club. He owns it. It’s hardly ‘meddling’. It belongs to him. He bought it.

  2. alexanderhenry

    Marc

    ‘conjure some villain who is all to blame for the issues.’

    It’s not ‘conjuring’, is it, and kroenke is not ‘some villain’. He is the owner of arsenal. If you google ‘arsenal’ you’ll see.

  3. alexanderhenry

    STV

    ‘How is Kroenke who do not have much idea what’s going on at Arsenal waded in with the budget??’

    He owns arsenal. I’m sure he has a pretty damn good idea what’s going on .

  4. Grinko

    Alex

    Out of curiosity do you believe Wenger then only had the £10 mill that he spent on cech last year and nothing more ?

  5. Jim Lahey

    Is Kroenke the one who plays players out of position? Is he the one that gives mediocre players way too much time in the first team? Is he the one that sets up the same team and tactics week after week? Is he the one who can not make a tactical sub until after the 68th minute?

    Look Wenger has done amazing things at the club he really has, but do you honestly think anyone on here would be questioning his position if in the past decade he had won maybe 2 more league titles, lets say in 08 and 14 and a CL in 09 with the two FA Cups we won? No we would all be behind him 100%. But he hasn’t we haven’t even been competitive for the last 10 years.

  6. Marc

    Alexander

    Google “Wenger has whatever funds he needs”

    You made a position, have then tried to alter facts to meet it. Give up and say the words “Wenger is a tight old bastard”

    By the way why haven’t you told me to Google “Kroenke denies Wenger money”?

  7. alexanderhenry

    I didn’t want to get into this yet again but you’ve all forced my hand.

    So,

    Where does the theory that Stanley Kroenke has absolutely nothing to do with arsenal come from?

    How can anyone in their right mind actually think that an owner of any enterprise has nothing to do with the running of that enterprise, and has no idea about the nature of it , and has no involvement with it?

    Why would any sane person absolve the owner of an institution from any blame at all when things go wrong?

    These are rhetorical questions but feel free to answer them…except
    Bamford.

    I’d rather poke my own eyes out than waste another moment of my precious life answering that pompous, creepy simpleton.

  8. BacaryisGod

    Can’t believe that people are criticizing Jack for going to Bournemouth.

    The move makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons.

    1. He’ll be playing maximum minutes that his fitness allows..
    2. He’ll be out of London and his normal routine.
    3. He can measure up against the league’s best in a weaker side
    4. He’s only 24. This is a great time to recharge and hopefully come back to us stronger.

  9. Marc

    Alexander

    By the way Kroenke doesn’t own Arsenal – he’s the majority share holder.

    Don’t try and get smart with me with sarcastic comments – you really aren’t anyway near bright enough.

  10. Grinko

    Redtruth

    Im curious how he’d explain the 50 odd million or there abouts that Wenger would’ve used which every man and his dog knows that he tried to spend on benzema that window

  11. alexanderhenry

    Marc

    I know that, but he has a controlling stake, so to all intents and purposes he is the owner. Usmanov has no say whatsoever.

    Also, he is not ‘conjured’ and he is not ‘some villain’. Really, if you post stuff like that, you deserve the sarcasm.

  12. Marc

    Alexander

    No one has ever stated that Kroenke has nothing to do with Arsenal. It’s you who has stated that he has restricted the funds available to Wenger with no evidence to back that up, when facts then prove you wrong you then claim that he (Kroenke) has changed his position again with no evidence.

    Just admit you are wrong and it will be forgotten.

  13. Grinko

    Alex

    Cmon a lot of bollocks transfers do get linked but that one was quite obvious , he never even denied it . In defence of him if he couldn’t get a top target striker I’d agree there was no point in wasting 30 mill on the likes of benteke and his ilk but he should’ve then targeted a world class player in another position say like a wide right player . There was strong rumours reus was available for 60 that window and I’m sure Wenger would’ve been allowed a 70 mill budget

  14. Marc

    Alexander

    Once again getting the facts wrong. Usmanov has a blocking share-holding, something he stated was his intention. He never said it but obviously to protect his investment.

  15. Grinko

    Alex

    Look kronke is far from the perfect owner in fact he needs removing asap but as you say Wenger only had a 10mill budget that window you seriously believe that Arsenal had the smallest transfer budget in the premier league that season ? I honestly struggle to seriously believe that

  16. gonsterous

    Ive given up on trying to convince Alex Henry that Wenger is in charge of the finances. The board has always said the money is there and Wenger as always acknowledged this and stated that if they find a 300 m player he would use it ( which was a bit exaggerated but there’s still a point in there ).. but I can’t do this anymore and I urge the people not to go into the who controls the money debate with Alex Henry cause he won’t budge from his belief !

  17. gonsterous

    At this point it’s kinda like watching the father of a son who murdered someone and all the evidence points to it.. just the father going ” not my son.. he would never do it” ..

  18. N5

    Why do you all keep replying to Alex the slag? he got caught with his trousers down and you’re all still giving him oxygen. Fuck him off and soon he’ll be back on Untold getting his upvotes.

    Mug.

  19. Marc

    gonsterous

    I know what you mean but I can’t help it. Crazy thing is Gazidis came out with statements (as well as other directors) about money available. Some people just can’t get through there heads that company directors can’t go about making statements like this if not true.

    Waiting for Alexander to claim the following:

    i) we never went to the moon

    ii) little green men are kidnapping people for experimentation

    iii) Elvis lives on Pluto

    iv) Stan Kroenke stole my transfer budget

  20. Grinko

    Fair enough Wenger wouldn’t be given the whole cash reserves to spend as if it went wrong kronke would’ve then had to bail us out with his own cash , hell maybe this window was his entire budget give or take a bit . I could see 90 being about what he’s allowed I could be wrong but that’s believable but not 10 the previous summer , absolutely no way he only had that

  21. alexanderhenry

    Marc

    Let’s keep this civilised- apologies for the sarcasm.

    Allow me to state my position clearly.

    I think we all agree that arsenal football club has underinvested in players since the stadium move. While our rivals were spending hundreds of millions, there were some seasons where we were actually posting profits in the transfer window making us one of the lowest nett spenders in the entire premier league.

    Over the past few seasons the club has spent more but we still lag way behind our bigger rivals, and we all know that there is a huge amount of available cash in the bank.

    The question is why .There are two possible reasons:

    1) Wenger has refused to spend big on principle, preferring to try and prove he can win major trophies with youth players and cheap buys. Despite offering him the money, the club has been happy to let him do this instead of replacing him with a coach who would hypothetically spend and win. Kroenke may not know much about the game of football, but I’m sure he knows what winning is and what trophies are.

    2) Kroenke has withheld the funds, preferring to keep cash in the club. This ensures the stadium debt is essentially paid off by the fans and he is guaranteed a return on his initial investment. It also can provide collateral for his LA Rams move.

    I opt for 2). I’m sorry but I think the idea that wenger has been able ‘not spend on principle’ at all, let alone for ten years is totally far fetched. It would essentially make both him and Kroenke insane. So, unless the club is being run by a madman, I don’t think it’s possible.

    The club have been consistently evasive and contradictory when it comes to finance. Have a look at Gazidis’ statements since he became CEO. One minute he says we can compete with bayern munich, the next minute we ‘can’t compete’ and have to buy players from the lower leagues. Look at how wenger is constantly having to field questions about money. There is no other PL coach I can think of who is expected to act like a coach and a financial spokesman.
    Why don’t we hear more from Kroenke and the BOD on these matters?

    Also, have a look at kroenke’s record as a club owner and his reputation in the US.
    Does he strike you as the right person to lead arsenal?
    Are you happy with arsenal being one ‘franchise’ in his sports chain?
    What evidence is there that shows him to be a committed club owner, dedicated to winning?

  22. STV

    Gonsterous,

    “Ive given up on trying to convince Alex Henry that Wenger is in charge of the finances.”

    Exactly my feelings too. I understand engaging with him will bore people here but there’s just so much info abt Kroenke lack of involvement at Arsenal matters. He’s the silent, majority share hokder! Wenger board members and Kroenke himself stated manytines that Arsenal runs itself. And the clubs financial records are accessible to public too..

    And when you ask Alexander Henry abt thes, he says “well, he’s the owner” before continuing the nonsensical drivel.

    Kroenke is a problem everybody knows that. However he’s not the reason why we failed on the pitch or lost on the transfer front. Wenger is..

    There’s no doubt who was ever in charge at Arsenal matters from here

    https://www.theguardian.com/football/2011/apr/16/stan-kroenke-arsenal-arsene-wenger

    untill now

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/arsenal-arsene-wenger-insists-ambitious-stan-kroenke-has-always-backed-him-transfer-market-1557538.

  23. tom

    Alex has a bit of an obsession with this SK thing.
    Other than that there’s nothing much wrong.
    Any chance we can just move past it?
    You know, except his idiosyncrasy?

    Maybe we can see it like this;

    Agree that Wenger works to budget.

    Accept that the budget is figured based on what profit we have generated.

    SK does not inject any additional funds and skims a small consultancy.

    Wenger is happy with the arrangement.
    SK is happy with the arrangement.

    I happen to be happy with it too.

    Alexander doesn’t understand the arrangement .

    Many Grovers would prefer it if SK would finance more expenditure.

    Many Grovers would prefer Wenger to spend every penny available in every TW.

    That’s about the size of it.

    Can’t really figure why Alex’s misconceptions cause such hostility..l

    There are dozens of others that fly by without comment.

  24. Marc

    Alexander

    i) I do not think Kroenke is some amazing owner. He’s hands off and happy whilst the value of the club is increasing. By the way where did anyone think the money was coming from to pay for the new stadium?

    ii) Couldn’t give a shit what Kroenke does with his other teams

    iii) Protect his initial investment? What did he pay for his share holding and what is it worth now?

    iv) He can’t borrow against the clubs assets only his shareholding.

    v) no one thinks Wenger has had money for 10 years only the last couple, as per the business plan. It’s strange that the minute Wenger is under pressure we spend – most fans would happily see Kroenke gone whether that’s a £10 million spend or £100 million.

    When will you admit Wenger is past it?

  25. STV

    “Can’t really figure why Alex’s misconceptions cause such hostility..”

    In this day and age most people can recognize propaganda.

  26. Marc

    Tom

    Really?

    a) Budget is £100 million spends £10 million = has worked within it (maybe I should have said well within it)

    b) Budget is £100 million spends £98 million = has worked to it

  27. alexanderhenry

    Marc

    ‘i) I do not think Kroenke is some amazing owner. He’s hands off and happy whilst the value of the club is increasing. By the way where did anyone think the money was coming from to pay for the new stadium?’

    In the end, not from him which wrong. When he bought the club he also bought the debt on the stadium. It’s his debt therefore but the fans will end up paying for it.

    ‘ii) Couldn’t give a shit what Kroenke does with his other teams’

    You should. I certainly do.

    ‘iii) Protect his initial investment? What did he pay for his share holding and what is it worth now?’

    A lot more than he paid for it.

    ‘iv) He can’t borrow against the clubs assets only his shareholding.’

    Yes, but I’m sure his rock solid investment in arsenal stood him in good stead when he secured the loan for the LA Rams new stadium.

    ‘v) no one thinks Wenger has had money for 10 years only the last couple, as per the business plan. It’s strange that the minute Wenger is under pressure we spend – most fans would happily see Kroenke gone whether that’s a £10 million spend or £100 million.’

    Plenty of fans think that wenger has had money to spend all along. The simpleton, Bamford for example.

    ‘When will you admit Wenger is past it?’

    That’s a good question.
    Well, despite everything, I like the look of our current team. For the first time in ages, we might have a squad capable of winning the PL
    If he pulls it off, then no he isn’t past it.

  28. tom

    Propaganda?

    No.

    I think Alexander is doing his best to defend Wenger , who he respects , with a defense that can’t work.

    Shame because Wenger does need his advocates here and Alex is a decent gooner of long standing and there are many valid defenses which he could have chosen.

  29. Marc

    Alexander

    Really can’t be bothered to go through all of the points (I’ve a Bolognese sauce to cook) but:

    a) So if Kroenke hadn’t of bought the club and we’d stayed in the old ownership model who would have paid for the stadium then?

    b) Some simpleton’s think Wenger has had money all along – well I think they’re as delusional as you are just on a different wavelength.

  30. tom

    I not certain but I think that there is some kind of Club Constitution that prevents major shareholders stripping assets.

    A codicil that says profit must be reinvested.

    Can anyone confirm?

  31. tom

    Interesting to see Manu Petit turn out after his slightly iffy behaviour of late.

    I guess Arsene isn’t as sensitive and vindictive as portrayed.

    Dude needs a haircut, ffs.

  32. loyika

    Tom

    I don’t think AW has issues with any ex player (except probably Robson and Paddy, but I think with Paddy it’s more to do with him feeling that the red carpet should be rolled out for him to just waltz back into Arsenal and pick any coaching job he chooses,which wasn’t the case and so I believe he feels slighted by that. I doubt AW loses much sleep from the criticism from his ex players. He get more riled up from comments by ex Mancs and Pool players)

    Even folks that have been critical of the gaffer are still seen regularly at the EM – Ian Wright, Manu and Titi.

  33. tom

    You mean they weren’t yacking it up on the side line, Karim?

    Is that meaningful?

    Loyika,

    Maybe you are right about Paddy.
    I bet he’s over it now though.

  34. loyika

    Errr!? Not true Karim

    He was coaching so doubt he would be busy sharing banter with the ex players at that time (same as Capello)

    Like I said, apart from Paddy V and Stuart Robson I doubt AW has a problem with any ex Arsenal player. Titi and Bergy couldn’t be at the game due to coaching duties (i doubt Merse or Adams could even tie up footie boots talk less of playing, all though “Big Tone” hardly regards the Em as one of his favorite hang outs)

    Only person missing was Ian Wright.

  35. loyika

    @ Tom

    I don’t think so. I know Robson has an agenda with his anti-Arsene rants, but I think Paddy still bears a grudge as he sees himself as heir apparent to taking over at Arsenal amd believe he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves (as in Titi and Big Tone have statues and all whereas Paddy apart from being featured on the general players mural has nought else as a symbol of his time here)

  36. tom

    Tony Adams is in China.

    Hardly likely to fly back for charity match.

    I don’t think any of them have justification to feel hard done by.

    They were offered ins and chose not to take them.

    Wonder how far Kwami Ampadu might go.

    Bould is a legend in a senior position.

    Brady too.

  37. tom

    Paddy ducked out a season or two early, otherwise he’d have a statue too.

    Surely now he’s a proper manager he has grown up a bit.

    If he really is the type to take things so hard he might not be good for a pressure cooker like AFC.

  38. Champagne charlie

    Wilshere is likely done at Arsenal, if he proves some kind of fitness at Bournemouth we can get top dollar in the summer and should be all over that.

    Xhaka- Coquelin
    Elneny- Ramsey
    Ozil- Cazorla

    Have the midfield locked down and plenty covered for the foreseeable. All are durable enough to have significant input, and Elneny/Xhaka have serious scope to improve. Sell Jack and hopefully get a player like Isco or Draxler to come in and let Santi phase out.

  39. loyika

    @ STV

    Nope with Merse it’s more of like Titi at SS. Privately there are no issues between Merse and AW.

    Merse only says things as he sees them, not with an agenda like Robson does.

    Merse wants Arsene to succeed and just wonders aloud why he doesn’t give himself the tools to achieve success.

  40. loyika

    @ CC

    it would be a travesty if Wilshire wasn’t given a chance to succeed at Arsenal. He is seen by majority of the fans as a true Arsenal product from the Academy. So for him not to be given that chance would just be sad.

    I believe despite injuries there is a gem of a player with Jack and I also believe if he does well at Bournemouth Arsene will bring him back like he did with Alex Song.

  41. Samesong

    Wilshere has had many chances?
    It’s crazy how some people think on here to much sentiment towards a player that really has only scored one of the best link up goals I’ve ever seen. Apart from that what does Wilshere really offer ? I hardly notice when he did play and the overun the ball thing what he used to do holding on to long probably has a lot to do with his injuries.

    Time to move on give someone else a chance.

  42. tunnygriffboy

    There’s a lovely welsh word that describes Merse. TWP 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Champagne

    Jack stays fit and has an unbelievably good season. Does he come back as Santi getting older ?

    If we as a club have a great season then will Wenger stay ? If so I reckon he’s got a contingency fund that he won’t spend and it’s saved for a player of ridiculous quality that may become available in a position we need to fill. Eg Greizmann

  43. tunnygriffboy

    So Mesut has started contract talks. He says they will continue after the international break. He’s also set his eyes on the number 10 shirt. He says that no that it is available he wants access to it and really wants it

    He has already given people at Arsenal a signal that he wants it as it is the play makers number and it is right for him. He said great players like Zidane, Maradonna and Pele wore it.

    Give him £200k a week and the number 10 if need be to get him to stay 🙂 🙂

  44. tom

    Yes, Ozil needs sweet deal and the number.

    By this time next year 200,000 will be no big deal.

    All the big players are going to use Pogba as the benchmark.

    Expect mediocre players on 100 plus.

  45. Keef Petrovic

    You have to admire how Arseblog, day in, day out, provides quality content with a consistent ongoing theme by 9 am day by day, year after year – even if he has been a bit pro-Wenger for my liking. Really professional job and reaps the rewards deservedly.

    However some bloggers clearly don’t have time any more and post half baked uninformed contradictory stuff every 2 or 3 days so maybe it’s time to bow out gracefully and take the plaudits for all the great work done and move on like Wenger should?

  46. tom

    Love this quote from spur’s new striker.
    So enthusiastic!!

    This is what Janssen told to press about his move to Spurs.

    “I would have been happy to play in Holland for a big club, but I can see the point of selling me to an English club.
    It’s very simple: Dutch clubs are not going to spend £16m on a player like me.
    AZ went for the highest bidder.”

  47. Emiratesstroller

    STRIKERS

    Apart from possibly Higuain no ‘World Class Strikers’ were sold in this transfer window.

    Realistically the difference between Lacazette and Perez was marginal. Both
    scored a similar number of goals in their respective leagues last season and
    Perez scored his in what might be considered the stronger league.

    The real difference is the transfer fee. One cost £17 million and the other would have cost £50 million. If Perez does not succeed then the worst scenario is that he will play second fiddle to Giroud. On the other hand had we spent
    £50 million on a player who turned out to be a dud I think that there would have been a lot of complaints.

    My view is that neither is a solution to our medium to long term problem. It
    might better to wait until next manager arrives at club and allow him to spend
    the mega bucks on the player we really need.

  48. DivineSherlock

    Emiratestroller

    People are still complaining about the last striker we bought from French league . Suffice to say Players bought from Spanish league have been more reliable for us in the past few seasons . Cazorla, Monreal, Ozil , Sanchez .

  49. karim

    Tom / Loyika

    Use the zoom, it’s not Napoleon, it’s the Little Mozart from Czech Republic, Thomas Rosicky !

    Re Wenger, it did strike me that everyone looked relax and smiling while the former looked as tight as usual.

    As for coaching, do me a favour, did you watch the game lol ?

  50. China

    It won’t be a travesty if wilshere doesn’t get more chances – he’s been on the books (besides the Bolton loan) since 2008! He’s been playing with us since the Beijing bloody Olympics were on! Two Olympics later and we’re waiting for his breakout season at the elite level.

    In what other job can two Olympics pass without progress and people still think you need more chances????

  51. China

    imo this kind of thinking is damaging to our chances of success as a club

    We are not CL winners with the luxury of a dominant squad where we can afford to give an underwhelming player chance after chance knowing that the rest of the team will do enough to win regardless

    This persistence with giving chances to players who haven’t taken them for close to a decade is one of the key reasons Arsenal aren’t successful. To a club that doesn’t compete and wins very little it doesn’t mean anything at all that he’s born and bred Arsenal. Let’s save the ‘he’s one of us’ motivation for when we’re winning things and can afford to give these chances away

    Right now we’re just not good enough to piss points away on wilshere based on sentimentality. If you want to hit 90 points sentiment will do us no favours at all

  52. Thank you and goodnight

    The new founded optimism makes me laugh just cause we signed 2 more players. Doesn’t matter if we signed a total new first eleven….the elephant in the room is wenger and nothing will change till he’s gone. Most WC managers give an extra 10% to their team…..wenger brings minus 15-20 points each every season.

  53. Emiratesstroller

    STRIKERS

    World Class Strikers capable of scoring 30+ goals are a rare commodity.

    Furthermore if such players appear today in the market there are in my view at least 5 clubs who would probably be able to secure their services ahead of us namely Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man City, Man Utd and Bayern Munich. This would be achieved both on world status and ego.

    Arsenal have an additional disadvantage and that is the likely cost of such a player. In future such players in their prime will cost in excess of £100 million.

    Will Wenger and Arsenal both known for their prudence in transfer market be prepared to commit such a sum plus £250K pw wages on such a strategy?

    My view is that Arsenal are more likely to invest elsewhere in the team where
    they can buy top class players and leave the ego striker position to other clubs.

    Arsenal should of course always be prepared to buy the best players including strikers they can afford, but compensate their ambition to building a top class
    overall team/squad rather than relying on a ‘one trick pony’.

  54. SUGA3

    China,

    Very true, I’ve said many times on here that being too nice does not win you shit. One of my grudges with AFC management setup is that it is lacking a seriously powerful figure, like Dein was. Once he had left, we have become soft touch overall.

    All started with Adebayor: one brilliant season, peeps up about being paid like Henry, gets his wages tripled, discipline goes out of the window. Worst possible resolution. Any manager worth his salt would have a number of options lined up and put the gobby Togolese in the stiffs for a couple of months, so that he would come back cap in hand begging for minutes. Otherwise his career withers away and dies. Simple.

    There were other instances where we were not ruthless enough. Selling Cesc on the cheap. Selling RvP to Fergie, thus making massive dents in the brand value. Definitely worth more than the £25M fee in the latter case.

  55. China

    I know I sound hard on wilshere because I say so much negative stuff but I do accept he has some talent and if he has a good loan he has an outside chance of doing something for us in the future

    The difference is I accept that is nothing more than hope! We’ve been building our team on hope rather than pragmatism for such a long time that all my hope has been stripped lol

    Speaking of cesc it still saddens me that we couldn’t have kept him forever. In another world things would’ve been different 🙁

    Imo he was such a special player for us. He dominated games on a weekly basis, dragged the team to results when the rest of the team was so underwhelming and had such top top kwalidee. Just as Henry and co were irreplaceable I think cesc was too

  56. SUGA3

    China,

    The thing with top talents is that they see the dross around them for the dross that it is. Going from playing with Vieira to playing with Denilson, where Wenger tried to prove everyone wrong that he was not only adequate, but also kwalidee must fuck with your mind a little. In the end, I think that the Milk Cup final against Birmingham was the breaking point for Cesc. He saw how inherently mentally weak this team was and knew that he is not winning shit with them anytime soon.

    Granted, he behaved like a cunt in the end. I can’t for the life of me understand why he is not getting the stick RvP is. Is it going to the rival club? It’s Wenger who actually sanctioned that in the end…

  57. Emiratesstroller

    China

    Early in his career at Arsenal Wenger suggested that it was highly unlikely that footballers would have ‘lifetime careers’ at a club such as Tony Adams enjoyed.

    It is therefore somewhat ironic that Arsene Wenger himself has worked 20 years at Arsenal when most of his contemporary managers manage two or
    three years in a job if they are lucky.

    The reality is that football is a ‘short term career’ for most people who work in
    it.

    SUGA3

    There is a huge difference between being ‘ruthless’ and the capacity to make
    ‘difficult decisions when needed’.

    When I wrote yesterday about Wilshere having made a decision to move it
    was based on something said to me by someone in a professional capacity. The
    same person also discussed with me the appalling behaviour by Mourinho towards Schweinsteiger.

    One of the reasons Mourinho is a short term manager is his character. Leaving aside his behaviour towards Wenger I doubt many of his former clubs and
    players who worked under him have good feelings towards him once he left.
    There are of course the exceptions.

    Wenger has a lot of faults and as I have said he has stayed too long in the job.
    Perhaps he should have followed his own early opinion, but I don’t think poor
    behaviour is one of them. Most people in football respect him. He is not a
    “marmite figure” like Mourinho.

    When you discuss Denilson he was rated as a youngster very highly and not
    just by Arsenal. The real point about this player was that he failed to progress
    from being promising as a youngster to a top league player as a senior.

    Wenger’s fault not just with Denilson but many others as well is that he does
    have a tendency to hang onto such players too long. However, the counterargument is that at least he is willing to give them a chance if he feels that they
    are late developers.

    The weakness in my view is that Wenger’s judgment has been too often blurred by ill conceived sentimentality or misplaced loyalty.

  58. useroz

    Can’t agree more with top guns seeing dross scenario… Happened to several Arsenal nearly-teams in the last decade. However these talent left didn’t matter anymore. Fact is, they chose to go elsewhere and won trophies most of ’em!

    It’s sad we still have a dross/baby-centric culture.

    Sanogo in our squad ffs?!

    Iwobi is good but a dozen or so good games (and how many goals??) and paid 35k pw, that is 70% of what last season’s top scorer is paid!!

    Kane reportedly at 50k wage and, rightfully, askin g for 100k. But then, our baby Theo is at 140k for at least 2 years…

    For iwobi surel 20 to 25k pw would have been more than motivatting for ‘kids’ with less than a full season. @20k, you are still talking 1m pa; he probably would have got 10k at man utd (wonder what Rasford’s on?).

    Wenger has made our academy a millionnaire factory and taken away the desire and fight in the babies…

  59. SUGA3

    Stroller,

    I admit that Denilson has always been a bit of my pet hate, given how gash he was. For me he is just a symptom of a wider problem. The problem being Wenger trying to buy the loyalty of players, thus ending up unable to shift them when it became apparent that they were not good enough. We had quite a few of these in that generation of players. We had to finance quite a few useless players until their deals ran out.

    This stemmed from clauses in the stadium loan agreement stating that we were to invest a significant proportion of profits into the playing squad. Instead of buying some real quality, Wenger would put the money into wages, thus ending up with Denilsons and Bendtners on unwarranted wages.

    Denilson was just not a very good footballer. So, he was Brazil U17 captain. So was Sanogo for France. Reeks of lazy scouting.

  60. SUGA3

    useroz,

    Hear, hear!

    The whole ‘too young, too much, too soon’ culture is what is stifling the youth productivity at AFC, IMO. If you want to pay dudes in early 20s serious five figure sums, you also need to hire a shrink to keep them in check mentally.

  61. sam

    Kane = 50K
    Walcott = 140K

    mind the foking gap

    We didn’t win the league but got bigger prize money n tv money than Leceister.
    who da fok watch tottenham in Malaysia?

  62. sam

    All Kane has to do is jump on 29 bus to go join the biggest club in London
    He’ll immediately start earning more than Theo( no doubt) n his shirts will be sold worldwide.

  63. Emiratesstroller

    SUGA3

    I agree 100% with you that the wage structure at Arsenal and also probably at
    the other major clubs is skewed.

    Paying young players after a couple of dozen games the wages we do is not only unhealthy, but creates the problems that you and many others have expressed the culture, where they are difficult to offload if they fail to progress.

    The main problem is of course ‘the fear factor’ that if we don’t pay them the wages the agent will tootle off to another club and do a deal. Let’s face it there
    is not much ethic in football.

    We have just seen such a situation with departure of Gnabry. Just as he showed a performance he has forced Arsenal to sell him, because he had only one year left on his contract.

    The real issue is “judgment”. The club should be able to identify better real talent and make sure that they hold onto such players, whilst offloading those
    players who are unlikely to make the grade by not overpaying them.

  64. SUGA3

    Stroller,

    The thing is that so far, none of the young prospects have impressed, bar Cesc. And actually, I think a few of them would develop better, had they been exposed to no nonsense pay the going rate for youth environment. The saved cash should then be invested into better coaching staff.

    There is no point overpaying young players. Cesc had an eight year deal on good money when he forced the move to Barca. As for Gnabry, either he was not that good, or Wenger would not give him promises of playing time ahead of, let’s say AOC. So it is either good decision to move him the fuck on (and really, what has he done for AFC?) or another error of judgment if he is actually any good.

  65. Emiratesstroller

    SUGA3

    It may be true that no home grown talent has been of the same calibre as Fabregas in recent times, but there were some excellent young players developed here
    who have gone on to be ‘valuable’ assets elsewhere.

    Ozyakup for example now plays for Turkey and would fetch a decent transfer fee if sold and I would put money on Gnabry playing for senior German Team in the not too distant future and then being sold for a large transfer fee to a major club.

    The ‘bosman’ ruling has created the problem, because the only protection that
    it has at moment is the contract and paying market rate in wages for a player.

  66. SUGA3

    Stroller,

    actually, I think the whole socialist wage structure we had, and to a certain extent we still have is counterproductive on two levels:

    – one is seeing substandard players like Denilson being put on wages they are not likely to get anywhere else in their lifetime. Not only it makes them impossible to shift and thus a burden on the budget, but it also takes away anything to aspire to. If you see that a top star at the club is on not much more than you are, you feel that you have made it. There is no hunger, because why would you bust a gut? Not like it will yield you much more than you already have. It’s natural for your performances to go down a peg or two.

    – it also pretty much encourages better players to seek their fortunes elsewhere. Because no matter what you do, you will not go above a certain figure on your payslip and you are expected to carry the less talented players for fuck all good effect.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for paying true gems a lot of money. But out of the whole Herbert Youth Project, only Cesc could be considered as such. The rest of them should not go above £20-30K per week tops at any point.

  67. SUGA3

    …so, all in all, my point is that pissing so much money up the wall on these ‘prospects’, whilst pleading poverty and blabbing on about ‘socialist wage structure’ at the same time is nothing short of grotesque, IMO. Instead of 6 ‘prospects’, I would take 2 actual ‘here and now’ serviceable players. We would spend quite a lot of money on these prospects’ transfers too. No idea what the fuck they were smoking when they decided to drop 16 large ones on Chambers, most lately.

    Yeah, we have trimmed this overblown ‘experiment’ pretty well. We still have a few remnants we are trying to get ride of. Chambers has obviously been shown he has no future here. Good thing is that it has only taken a couple of seasons to get there.

  68. China

    Imo the cesc and rvp cases were a bit different

    The n1 problem with cesc is that his dna was the same as those winning every trophy in the universe whilst playing insanely good football

    If he’d been born and raised in Malaga then barca came knocking I think Wenger may have managed to convince him to stay. Cesc used to talk about owing arsene so much, seeing him as a father figure and having so much respect for him. Regardless of if arsene doesn’t warrant that reverence now, I think Wenger still carried a lot of credit with him until the end of his time here.

    It doesn’t help when on international duty he got taller up by the entire barca squad

    Consequently if he’d managed to stay a few more years and we’d started bringing in ozil and Sanchez etc I think he’d have felt the squad was worth sticking by despite some dross

    He would have been worth 10 points a season to us more than we currently got since he left and I think quality like his is exactly how you win big when you have a manager who doesn’t really know anything about management…

  69. Ughelligunner

    Yesterday, people where questioning why i asked Bamford and Joe not to criticise players because they played football. Yes, the reason is if they really played the game as they said, then the question about Wenger not being able to coach walcot to dribble won’t be there. Okocha, among other names branded yesterday were natural. It comes naturally. When somebody claims to play a brief professional football and still comes out to make some statement, you wonder why these statement didn’t pertain to yourself.

    Like Joe said he was shit at football, but he was adamant Wenger could’nt coach Walcot to dribble or improve. That’s why i put the question to him, if it was his manager who was not good enough, or himself.

    They make statements about players that are very astonishing, and you wonder if they really played the game. Just like Gary Neville who thought managing a side was just putting the cones out and drawing formations and lineup. He learnt his lesson in a bitter way.

  70. Ughelligunner

    Just like Denilson, they were very good at youth level, but could’nt hack it as they became older, Wenger’s fault is his continuing persistence with them, not his ability to make them better. Weather it was due to his financial constraint or his nature we cant tell. But we all agree he was average. Same as Almunia and Hoyte brothers lol, Sylvester, Senderos (this guy played for top footballing sides, his agent did wonders), to name but a few. Including RVP to some extent, his injury would have discouraged a manager like Mourhino to give him time. All these are faults we can lay at wenger, and not teaching a player how to dribble.

  71. SUGA3

    Ugh,

    I agree that dribbling is something that can’t be coached into a player if there is no natural talent. But it is your job as the manager to figure out what the player’s strength is and tell him to polish that attribute. In Walcott’s case, it is obviously his pace. If he has no talent to dribble, he should practice nutmegging the opponent, or simply knocking the ball out of his reach. so that he would be able to use it in consistent reliable manner. And yes, you can coach that. Sure, no one expects it to work all the time, but it could keep the defender on his toes, knowing that it is something likely to happen and that Theo is capable of doing it with good technique, etc.

    Same goes for crossing, shooting, etc. This can be coached into a player. If there are no visible improvements, sell.

  72. Ughelligunner

    Stv, theo improved his crossing and running in behind players before his injury in that amazing 2 nil win over totenham. It was his bigheadedness of being a striker that made him lose some edges. He tied the club down to the spot when debating his contract. Remember he even started taking corner kicks, freekicks because he wanted to prove people wrong. Fans where singing sign him up. Liverpool where bidding for him. People on here too, compared him to Hazard and Bale. He was given a new improved contract, his crossing and wind play stopped, because he started learning a new trade to become a striker. That is partly wenger’s fault for allowing Walcot to dictate to him. But we can all agree that his running in behind and crossing improved during RVP stay and the next year. Was that the manager who improved him?

  73. SUGA3

    Who the fuck compared Theo to Hazard and Bale? It is obvious that both these players have WAY more in their lockers than Theo ever did or will. And really, it should not really be about what HE wants, but about what the manager tells him to.

    Pray tell, how many of his corners and freekicks ever resulted in a goal? He obviously must have been smashing them in every training session, eh? I am being sarcastic here, it is just poor team management.

    Another thing is that we really don’t get a lot out of set plays, do we? Someone said on here once that we can neither score from them, nor defend against them very well. And these are two intertwined things: how can you defend against a good set play, if you don’t know what a good set play is? Teams are happy for us to get a corner, knowing full well that the ball will not clear the first opposition player 8 times out of 10.

  74. Ughelligunner

    “This is my opinion, but when you see all the names at Arsenal,
    the quality is unbelie-vable. Believe me, because sometimes
    I’m training with the guys, and the team is very, very good. We
    need maybe a bit of luck for this season, and I hope less injuries.” Robert Pires

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/robert-pires-believes-arsenal-can-win-title-this-season-1579591

    if he says this, i dont care what Merson or any other person who doesn’t train or sees them training says. Unless Pires is lying.

  75. Ughelligunner

    Sugar, then you missed alot of debates then. They know themselves. Would’nt call names, unless they are Bamford or Joey lol.

  76. SUGA3

    Pires is an Arsenal Foundation Ambassador, what do you expect him to say?

    And actually, I think this squad is pretty close to being genuine challengers. This does depend on how it is utilised. We could actually be up there, if we can make the team at least as good as sum of the squad parts. I want to see more smart rotation and less favouritism. More tactical variety and flexibility. Better man management. All this stuff which squeezes small percentages out of the squad here and there. It is all about fine margins afterall…

  77. Redtruth

    grooveydaddy
    “same goes for sticking with a manager who’s only taken us above 80 pts once in the last 12 yrs.”

    And that was only because Utd.had already sown up the league and Arsenal went on to win their last 4 games when the pressure was off.

  78. SUGA3

    Ugh,

    I know there are a few Theo fanboys around here, but comparing him to Bale and Hazard (to a lesser extent) is just plain silly. Actually, there is a serviceable player in there somewhere, but he needs to work hard and have the correct attitude slapped into him if need be. His best season somehow coincided with him wanting a payrise and a new contract. Once he got that, he simply reverted to type. Diaby managed a season of 30+ games when he needed an extension too. Just saying.

  79. DaleDaGooner

    Interesting that once Wilshere got out of the way, Ozil seems optimistic in signing a new contract. I’ve always felt the number 10 shirt was not befitting Wilshere and Ozil would want it..

  80. DaleDaGooner

    I’ve recently been pissed at Theo Walcott, but make no mistake, he’s done more for us than Wilshere or Ramsey. He’s scored important goals, his problem started when he thought he was this next coming of Henry. Wilshere has been given a dose of reality, Ramsey, Wenger’s pet, will have to do a lot to justify being over Xhaka, Elneny, Santi and Ozil.

  81. SUGA3

    Dale,

    Always thought that giving Theo Henry’s shirt number shortly after the latter had left was a bit of a pisstake. Also thought that giving Wilshere Bergy’s no. 10 was more of the same. Kind of ‘fake til you make it’ nonsense. Surely, there was nothing wrong with them two wearing 32 and 19 respectively until they actually proved themselves a bit?

  82. DaleDaGooner

    Sug, I agree, but to be fair, 14 would have been another ordinary number if it wasnt made legend by Henry. Henry wanted 12 and could not get it, I believe he was convinced that a certain world class legend wore 14 for Barca and Netherlands. But regarding the 10 for Wilshere, should not have been. Then again RvP left it for no one and England had already started talking Wilshere up as future captain and world class player. Wenger only followed suit. Giving Gallas the 10 shirt was the grand piss take IMO

  83. DaleDaGooner

    My highlight of the season transfer would be Ozil re-signing and getting the 10 shirt, that 11 just looks off on him. These little things can make a difference. Özil’s game might go a notch up if he felt a tad bit special…

  84. Bamford10

    Jesus fucking Christ, the level of stupidity of some posters here — read, Ughe — is STAGGERING.

    Moron – One, I played the game and played at a high level, but I did not play professionally and never claimed that I did. This is a claim YOU wrongly attributed to me.

    Two, while different players have differing natural aptitude for dribbling, it is totally and absolutely false to say that that dribbling is entirely innate and not a learned skill or a taught skill.

    Absolutely false.

    None of the best dribblers in the world would be the dribblers they are if they had not touched the ball 2-3,000 times a day every day between the ages of 5 and 22. This is how they got to be what they are. Did they have natural talent? Of course they did. Were they born the dribbler they are today? No.

    Can Mesut Ozil dribble? Yes, he can. Did you like the Cruyff he pulled on the sideline in our first game? You should have. You know how he learned to do that? In training sessions where he did cut after cut after cut after cut, Cruyff after Cruyff after Cruyff after Cruyff.

    Were there other players doing the same who didn’t end up as good? Yes, but that doesn’t for one second change the fact that dribbling is a learned and a taught skill.

    If Theo Walcott was so uncoordinated, so poor with his feet that he couldn’t be taught even one or two basic moves from age 17 to 22, then he should never have been playing professional football in the first place.

    But this is absurd: of course he could’ve improved his dribbling. He just didn’t work on it with any intent, nor did Wenger insist that he do so.

  85. Samesong

    The verdict is out on Harry Kane for me. While he has produced in the past he has not been impressive at all this season and his robot style is annoying.

  86. STV

    Samesong we e need to raid the spuds for all their good players. Destroy and show them who’s the boss. Ive never been the fan of Wengers sissy approach when it comes to dealing with rivals. Fucker sold RVP to Ferguson as a goodwill gesture!

  87. STV

    Ugh I kind of get what you’re saying. Walcott biggest problem has been his inability to get past the players. For a guy whos blessed with pace its a frustrating characteristic. A good coach brings the best out of players. Like you say he did improve some aspects but far from the level that’s required.

    Re. the dribbling debate I partly agreed with Bamford. It really is a skill that can be practiced polished and mastered. Ofcourse if you’re a natural talent everything become so much easier and better. Like any sports skills. But I strongly disagree with those saying dribbling comes only naturally. Each player will have their own strengths though.

  88. Samesong

    I would add to Bamford comment that a lot of players that have great dribblig ability played street football and put the hours in at and after training and just improved on their technique with better facilities. Look at the Brazilians way back.

  89. Samesong

    Can’t be bothered to watch the England match but I’m seeing online that Lallana is missing a few chances. England are so boring to watch so mechanical with not one player that looks outstanding in class.