Wenger goodbye speech? | League Cup Preview

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Tuesday has landed and we are all happy because of it. Why? Because Arsenal play Reading in the League Cup. What does that mean?

Legend of Jeff continues… canny wait to see him play an ok game and think of a Messi like future.

Should be an interesting match-up this evening, Wenger has the chance to rest all his favourites, he has the chance to bring in some of the squad players in from the cold and he has the chance to blood some of our very talented youth.

We’ll have the chance to see a bit of Rob Holding, who in my opinion should probably spend some time out on loan in the second half of the season if he’s not seeing any action. We’ll get to see Maitland-Niles at right back. We’ll see Jeff. Maybe Chuba? Plenty of opportunity to try out new players.

A player we won’t see is Xhaka, he is thankfully allowed to waste a game of suspension on this evening. So who will we see in his place? Hopefully not Coquelin. I’d like to see Elneny given another run out, put paid to a pretty average performance at the weekend. Could we see Chamberlain support him in a confusing central role he’ll never land in the Premier League? It’d be very Wenger. Like letting Theo have one go at being a striker at year. Who will play in the number 10 role? Will Giroud land a start up front, or will he come on for Lucaz on 67minutes?

Guys and gals, I just don’t know. Hopefully it’ll be fun. I have 2 hours scratched out on my calendar to watch it because I am a badass.

The AGM was pretty lacking in excitement. Ivan Gazidis basically said what I said in my morning post… the ticket exchange is going to go mobile. About time too. Not sure how that will look, but we have IBM as a partner, so you’d hope it’d be pretty advanced.

Arsene Wenger gave a speech, that, according to some of his accolytes, sounded like goodbye. Sir Chips, a man kept highly salaried to embarrassingly pander to Wenger said he’d ideally like to keep him on for eternity because he got a lifestyle to support. What Ivan and Chipz both said was the deal talk was not on the table. However, it’s worth noting that Stan K gave a secret deal to his underperforming LA Rams manager… despite less than impressive performances by his side so far this season.

Someone pointed out here earlier that we’re damned if we do, damned if we don’t. If Wenger wins the league, he should really stay, but ideally, that’d be the most likely time for him to bow out. If he finishes a solid 3rd, which is par the course for him, he’ll likely stay on for two more years.

For me, this is a Bayern Munich like situation. Move him on at the end of the season, give him a fat salary to preside over something substantive, like perhaps helping to refresh a board bereft of youth… then let someone reshaped the club in a modern vision.

We’ll wait out the season, but regardless of progress over the next 9months, if it’s not title challenging, we’re just going to spend more years swimming around ‘nearly’… appreciate that might be nice for the coughers, but what’s the point in running a football club just for nice profit and loss figures?

Surely all a club the size of Arsenal should care about is making history every season, or at least making sure we’re always giving ourselves the best possible chance?

There are exciting coaches popping up all over the place. Julian Nagelsmann, the 29 year old Hoffenheim manager is pulling up trees in Germany at the moment. He doesn’t truly believe in the formation, he uses data to analyse how often you’re in the marking shadow, thinks tactics are 30% of the job, the other 70% is social competence. He talks of Ralf Rangnick’s new style of pressing where his teams give the ball away in particular areas to make getting it straight back advantageous… meta or what?

You have David Wagner, Jurgen Klopp’s old partner in crime doing exciting things over at Huddersfield. Lucian Favre earning his keep at Nice. Madrid sniffing around Tomas Tuchel. So many names bringing new thoughts to the beautiful game.

So an important year for Wenger. But if it’s his last season, I think that’s good news… I just hope we don’t play it super bland with a Ronald Koeman like signing.

Right, me done. See you in the comments.

235 Responses to “Wenger goodbye speech? | League Cup Preview”

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  1. naijagunner

    Annoying that anytime one comes up here its always other posters trying to explain to a silly fellow how his supposed team winning is a good thing.

    Has totally ruined this place.

  2. Pires7


    ‘He wasn’t even that good today. Go read all the comments today during the game. Bar the goals. All negative.’

    Lol why read the comments when you could of watched it with your own eyes?

    Stuck in a pumpkin patch again?

    Verratti more defensive than santi? From reading that it’s evident you’ve never seen him play.

  3. Wallace

    Wenger talking up the Ox’s renewed application & focus in the post-game. I don’t know, he is quite exhilarating to watch when he’s confident and running at defenders, but his decision making is still very erratic. He and Gabriel at the moment seem to lack that little bit of composure that the other players have. Whether that will come in time, with a run of games, i’m not sure.

  4. Wallace


    “‘He wasn’t even that good today. Go read all the comments today during the game. Bar the goals. All negative.’”

    yeah, that comment also had me wondering….with Joe though, whether he’s watched the game or not, doesn’t really make any difference.

  5. Pires7


    That’s the thing with the Ox if he sharpens up his decision making he’ll be a dangerous asset.

    How long have we been saying this and how long do we wait?

    Same as Theo though if he keeps up his renewed vigour and work rate while chipping in with the odd goal or assist you can’t ask for more.

    There’s a serious player in there if it all comes together.

  6. Wallace


    “That’s the thing with the Ox if he sharpens up his decision making he’ll be a dangerous asset. How long have we been saying this and how long do we wait?”

    I’m not even sure it’s something that can be sharpened up. when you see Iwobi come into the side and straight away he’s up to speed with that stuff.

    but like you say, if both he and Walcott keep chipping in with the goals and assists I’ll happily grit my teeth during the ‘what the f*ck’ moments.

  7. Wallace

    “…but when you see what Iwobi is capable of, it leaves you wondering.”

    yeah, kinda crazy how easily he adjusts to the ’10’ role. you’ve got to be a really good player to look at ease there.

  8. Pires7


    Probably phrased that wrong about sharpening up his decision making…think it’s more to do with improving confidence and maturing which in turn leads to making the right decision more than not.

    Yea get what you’re saying about Iwobi but in fairness I know they are competing for the same position but they are totally different and offer attributes to the team. Ox is a more direct risk taking player that looks a top level player when he knows what he wants to do in his own head but he’s looked awful when low on confidence and unsure of himself and what he wants to do with the ball. AI17 though can do the lot from what we’ve seen so far can link play with the main men, is comfortable wide and centrally, takes the ball under pressure in tight areas and isn’t careless in possession. At this moment in time, and rightly so, he’s in front of the Ox, this guy could be an absolute worldie if he keeps developing at the rate he is.

  9. Romford Ozil Pele

    Wallace, outrageous talent. Outside of özil and Santi, I’d say he has the best first touch in the squad. That’s telling. His close control is awesome. And while he isn’t Ox or Theo pace level he still has very good acceleration. The goals will come for him. The rest of his game is very good.

  10. Louis Almeida

    Portuguese press covering a lot on Mourinho today. Says he misses London, routinely travels there post matches as his family haven’t moved up to Manchester with him and he is still living out of a hotel. Not really ideal considering he’s been in Manchester since June.

  11. Rambo Ramsey

    Thank fuck Giroud’s back! We’ll finally have the option of attacking via crosses and set-pieces when Sanchez-Walcott axis isn’t working.

    How does Perez get into the side?

  12. Red&White4life

    Agree with you Rambo, L’oLreal is maybe an average striker, but he’s the only one player in the squad who can be efficient in the air on corners and free kicks.

  13. Rambo Ramsey

    Not only that, his flicks and one touch combinations in the opposition 18 yard have better chance of breaking down two decker buses than Sanchez’s efforts to make something happen from midfield.

  14. peanuts&monkeys

    “Agree with you Rambo, L’oLreal is maybe an average striker, but he’s the only one player in the squad who can be efficient in the air on corners and free kicks.”

    Complete waste of squad space considering there are only 11 players allowed on the pitch.

  15. peanuts&monkeys

    “Agree with you Rambo, L’oLreal is maybe an average striker, but he’s the only one player in the squad who can be efficient in the air on corners and free kicks.”

    Arsenal’s run of losses and 0-0 draws will start no sooner than Giroud starts.

  16. Red&White4life

    @Peanuts, stop moaning lol : the best strategy that wenger could adopt is to let L’oLreal on the bench, and then, IF we are stuck against the same kind of team than ‘Boro, and that there is not much time left, THEN he puts L’oLreal on the pitch.

  17. peanuts&monkeys

    “So many names bringing new thoughts to the beautiful game.

    So an important year for Wenger. But if it’s his last season, I think that’s good news… I just hope we don’t play it super bland with a Ronald Koeman like signing.”

    super stuff @pedro.

    Let the fossil win the treble (CL, not the EFL guys..;-) ). He still has to go. He has to get kicked out for all the pain and agony he has caused the fans for last 10 fucking years….and continuing.

  18. Bamford10

    Sounds like Holding and Iwobi were both good last night. Am glad to see that Ox scored twice, but I don’t think he is going to be able to fix what is wrong with his game. Talented player, but I don’t see him coming good.

  19. Bamford10

    Mourinho bemoaned his current life in Manchester — he is still living in a hotel room apparently — and told reporters that Pogba could be a good CB.

    Is he losing his mind?

  20. N5

    “i have to moan to keep the ball moving.”

    He alone is keeping the hate alive. He’s the Malcolm X of Wenger outs.


  21. Red&White4life

    @Bamford : Maureen is scared to become like arsène lol

    Reading’s goalkeeper had a great game, couple of great saves.
    Convinced by Holding and Jenkinson, Not convinced at all by Willock and Adelaide.
    Disapointed by Lucas. Not too sure about Elneny…

    Good return for L’oLreal, great opportunity with his header, but Al Habsi was on fire. And he gave the 2-0 ball to Ox.

  22. Jim Lahey

    @ROP – “Lol Mou says pogba can be a CB?! Is he ok?!”

    He has lost it… Buying a £100m midfielder and then even the suggestion that he could be a centre back is insane!

  23. duvee

    The good thing about Giroud is that he attacks balls into the box. I reckon 95% of his goals have been from him attacking a cross/ball into the box and hitting it first time (header or foot). No one else in the team does that. Giroud knows his limitations and sticks to what he does best. I think he will be an important part of the team this year.

  24. Rambo Ramsey

    “Both Elneny and Ox are good enough to start.”

    Nope, while Oxo is capable of the occasional spectacular, he is equally( or more, if we’re being honest )inclined to have these brain-fart moments. He is just as capable of scoring two goals as he is at over hitting 2 passes and killing the chances.

    As for Elneny, lets just say he is the guy you’d want to bring on when 2-0 up to slow the tempo and kill the game.

  25. Rambo Ramsey

    ” He has lost it… Buying a £100m midfielder and then even the suggestion that he could be a centre back is insane! ”

    Maybe he was being sarcastic?
    Or Maybe its a dig at Guardiola? Pep’s famous for this sort of thing, right?

  26. Dream10

    Rambo Ramsey

    You’re spot on regarding Ox. If he starts five consecutive matches, his performance
    will vary. A 9/10, a 3/10, a couple of 5/10 and a 6/10. He has no consistency.

  27. Dream10

    Our team still needs a CM and wide player/playmaker who can create through dribbling and open up more space for our fullbacks and Ozil, Sanchez.
    Kovacic and Douglas Costa have these qualities. Technical bravery is needed

  28. vicky

    Rambo, I think you’re being extremely critical of Ox. Yes, in all his matches he has moments where you wonder whether he is even a PL level footballer but then he also produces moments which let’s be fair very few if any other player in our team can produce. If you’re talking of pure footballing ability, he has got in him to be a successful PL player. Theo hasn’t got half the ability Ox has but still I see after 10 years of mediocre performances people batting for him but a couple of misplaced passes or crosses from Ox riles people here no end. And the funnier thing is some of Theo’s supporters want Ox to be sold for “he has no footballing brain”. Irony dying hundred deaths and all that. Ox will probably never become a consistent performer like Santi but if he works on his game and shows application, he can be a very impactful player.

  29. Vince

    Vicky. Absolutely correct. These guys need a good talking to. Potential alone isn’t enough. And another awesomely talented player I saw yesterday was Reine Adelaide. But oh my does he frustrate. it’s like he’s totally uninterested in being productive. He needs a good tutelage from the manager/football psychologist before he turns to the French Jay Jay Okocha.
    Bye aand large I even think most of our youths are stuck in that limbo. Ramsey I’m looking at you! The most indecisive player on planet earth. Make that the most tentative player in the world actually.

  30. Romford Ozil Pele

    Nah Elneny is fine man. He isn’t spectacular which is probably his problem. )3/ a continuity player but doesn’t have the range in his passing that Xhaka/Cazorla do. Will have to find that if he’s to be more threatening.

    Like Vicky says, Ox has more natural ability in his body than Theo does. That said Theo has made better use of his limited skill set. He’s obviously becoming a lot more confident. And as we’ve seen before, scoring goals seem to let people turn a blind eye to your misdemeanours.

  31. Romford Ozil Pele

    But yes, we could do with a bit more technique. Wouldn’t mind another dribbler which is why a mahrez could’ve been useful. Also this Alexis at CF falls down the moment Theo gets injured so we need to be ready with fallback options/formations.

  32. vicky

    Romford, forget Mahrez, get your boy Fekir in. Can dribble and beat players and also play #10 if Ozil is out of form.

    Vince, yes I was very disappointed by Adelaide yesterday. Can’t believe he is the same guy we saw 12 months ago.

  33. Romford Ozil Pele

    Vicky, haha yes how could I forget about my favourite, what a player! If he stays fit this season the big clubs will be swarming. Fantastic player though.

    RE Jeff, I think he’s gonna go the way of zelalem. Looks pretty but not really impactful. Chris willock excites me a lot more personally.

  34. Joe

    Wallace, Pires

    I watched the 2nd half. And if from that performance you really think ox was something different than an average player , so be it.


    You’re crazy if you think Elneny and oX should be starters for a club like Arsenal.

    I’ve seen veratti play a couple times in CL
    And I thought he has played more further back in the MF than santi does. I did love him the few times I’ve seen him play. Always stood out

  35. Rambo Ramsey


    I only said Oxo is inconsistent, which is not an uncommon opinion, and pending improvement in that regard he shouldn’t be starting PL matches. Extremely critical?

    That some are celebrating the fact that he’s broken his previous seasonal record of whooping 4 goals tells you all you need to know about how poor he’s been since he moved to Arsenal.

    The main difference between Walcott and Chamberlain is you know exactly what the former brings to the team whereas there remain question marks over the latter’s role in the team.

    As for comparisons between their inherent abilities, I’ve mentioned this before: Talent is only as good as you can harness it. There’s no point in having the highest IQ in the class if you don’t use it to perform in the exam. Do they give awards/scholarship just because you possess higher IQ?

    Walcott may not be as naturally gifted as Chamberlain, but nobody can deny he’s done a much better job at mastering the talent he possesses.

    Anyway, this matter of Ox having a better “footballing brain” is extremely subjective. Walcott gets into better positions, assists more, scores more, defends more. Can the Ox do this in the future or even this season? Lets see.

  36. Dream10

    vicky and Romford

    The Jeff seems too relaxed when in possession. More aggression and purpose is needed in his play. I like Maitland-Niles though. Disappointed that AW chose to play Jenkinson at RB instead of AMN.

  37. Romford Ozil Pele

    Joe, the season could potentially see you play 60 games so of course they can stay games otherwise they shouldn’t be here period. Would they make my best 11? No. But of course they’re good enough. Both are still 23 so there’s mileage to grow.

    Verrati is a great player but he already earns a shitload at PSG. Plus he’d be playing the role we bought Xhaka for so not really needed.

  38. Romford Ozil Pele

    Wenger has formed a niche for Theo by using him as an inside right. He can basically get into CF positions from there so he doesn’t need to be focused on being the main CF. Alexis is great in this regard due to his propensity to drop deep and create space which Theo then occupies.

    Jeff I’ve never really been big on tbh. Like you say his play is far too relaxed. Want to see more of Willock. AMN is a good little player and is versatile. Don’t think he’s a CM though, short passing game isn’t good enough. Think he’d excel as a RB though, can see him doing a Bellerin. Love Jenko’s passion for The Arsenal but he’s a trash player.

  39. Romford Ozil Pele

    Joe, Italians love being close to home too. He’s good enough for Real and Barca but they have no need in that position. With Alonso getting on it’d be interesting to see if Bayern register an interest.

  40. vicky

    Talking of Alonso, will he go down as the 3rd best midfielder behind Iniesta and Xavi in the wonderful galactico of midfielders Spain has produced in the last decade ?

  41. Romford Ozil Pele

    Rambo, yeah I like him, looks sharp. Unfortunately for him the team was a mesh of players last night so lacked any sort of cohesion. Would be interested to see what he looks like if he Alexis, Özil and iwobi behind him.

  42. Rambo Ramsey

    “Jeff I’ve never really been big on tbh. Like you say his play is far too relaxed.”

    Yeah, it was around this point last season when Adelaide and Iwobi both started in a milk cup game, Adelaide stole the show with his calmness and composure on the ball while Iwobi was rather average and looked like your general run-of-the-mill winger.

    For those of us who don’t follow the youth team,it came a major surprise when Iwobi got fast tracked to the first team and questioned Wenger’s thinking behind the decision.

    Boy, was I clueless!

  43. Danny

    So for 10 minutes last night we had 7 English players on the pitch including Iowbi:

    Been along time since that last happened.

  44. Romford Ozil Pele

    Iwobi’s biggest quality is his ability to improve the collective. The biggest compliment I can pay him is that a lot of the good football we’ve played so far this season is down to him. His ability to link play between the lines and in the final third has helped us to much greater dominance in games as well as us being more pleasing on the eye. I don’t think he’d thrive in United or chelsea’s system for example. That said I also think he has the individual ability as well. Probably needs some more confidence as Wenger said he looks a bit tentative in front of goal at the moment. That can easily be changed though. Cesc and Nasri both started to get the taste for it once they broke their duck. MÖ really looks to have the taste for it now too. Goals are really the only thing missing from his game because he can become our long-term 10 if he addresses that. Kudos to the lad though, literally nobody would’ve envisaged this a year ago.

  45. vicky


    Exactly my sentiments. I thought Jeff looked in a different league to Iwobi who played like James Milner, just running up and down and using his athleticism to force things. Now Iwobi looks like a creative and intelligent player while Jeff looks like he needs to work a lot on his game.

  46. Louis Almeida

    I’m not really convinced that Wenger has a bias against English players. If anything, I think he’s too sympathetic towards them. Look at how long he’s persisted with Theo as an example of that. He sent Campbell on loan so that he wouldn’t block either Ox or Theo. I definitely don’t think he has a vendetta. Some of them just haven’t been good enough/haven’t made the most of the chances Wenger has given them.

  47. Danny

    He sent Campbell on loan so that he wouldn’t block either Ox or Theo.
    It’s also business – how many shirts does Campbell sell as compared to those 2 english internationals?
    I’ve no idea but I guess not many!

  48. Jim Lahey

    Regarding the shirt sales, I would love to know what the deal is. I always thought the club didn’t see a penny of shirt sales. That when a company decides to sponsor a club they would be the sole owners of any profit generated from shirt sales… its makes sense.. right? Thats why Puma pay us £30m a year, so they can sell our shirts…

    Or have I got this totally wrong?!

  49. Pedro

    Shirt sales are massively important… if Adidas can make 190m from shirt sales, it’s a proof point United are a good investment.

  50. somerandomperson

    @Jim I dont think it works out quite like that. 190m will be revenues not profit.
    But in any case Adidas will be making profit on Man Utd sponsorship.

    There was some guardian article on shirt sales and how it impacts clubs. Basically Adidas will make way more money than the club , there was some stat saying something like Adidas yearly revenue is more than revenue of Man Utd’s revenue in its entire 100+ year history.

    Also the shirt sale of a player does not really mean the overall revenue will increase. The fans who bought Pogba shirt may anyways have invested in some Man U shirts if Pogba was signed.

    I guess Pedro’s point is if Adidas can sell shirts then they will be ready to be able to negotiate a better deal when the next time they negotiate for shit deal. But then you have used the sponsorship money and bought an expensive player to get a better/same sponsorship . Unless the player performs on the pitch, I am not sure whether club will be better off because of just shirt sales alone .

  51. arsene's used sock

    concerning that there is no replacement for cazorla
    i didnt really like the look of him when he first arrived honestly, but he seems to have made a solid santi shaped impression in the deeper midfield role next to coq

    don’t see us winning the league anymore tbh, arsene doesn’t like giroud at all anymore and wants to start playing towards özil’s strengths, good progression but it’s late imo, unless arsene is removing the training weights

  52. arsene's used sock

    arsene is smitten with iwobi though, I’m certain he wants to keep playing him just to see how good he can get