Arsenal make hard work of Preston | Thoughts on Ramsey, Giroud and Mustafi

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I was going to write a post yesterday, but I had to make sure I arrived at the airport 6 hours early after missing my flight to London a few weeks back.

Just tuned into the coverage for the FA Cup. Still amazed that pundits ask the question, ‘is it a massive risk for Klopp to rest players?’ Missing the point that you have a big squad to deal with smaller games like FA Cup 3rd Rounders.

It’s not disrespecting the cup, it’s dealing with the horrendous fixture list the Premier League dishes out each year. Also, we’re past the days of second string teams being terrible. The top teams have very good backup players these days. From a managerial perspective, it’s a chance to give some love to the young players, and it’s also a chance for the fringe crowd to make their mark.

I didn’t watch the game, but I took in extended highlights from the excellent Arsenalist.

So topline thoughts:


We’re through to the next round after a pretty ropey result in the week. Bar a sliced head for Gabriel, we came out of it relatively unscathed, a miracle considering how utterly terrible the team started out. The whole backline looked like they’d been drafted in from a local hockey team for a charity game. No shape, very little understanding and absolute chaos.

The defending for Preston’s opening was utterly car crash, no pressure in midfield, Gabriel falling over himself, Mustafi not quick off the mark, Monreal asleep at the wheel. Let’s be fair, that wasn’t Preston’s best chance, we made them look like kings for the opening 45. I’m hoping that the issue with Mustafi is just rustiness… my worry after a second awful game from him is that the first half of the season was predicated on flying confidence. He needs to get his shit together ASAP.

The second half was better, we found our feet, started to find Giroud and we opened on a flyer. Aaron Ramsey scored his first of the year. Iwobi picked up some scraps on the edge of the area, put on a Wiltord pirouette, jinking between jabbing legs, he found Aaron on the edge of the box, the Welshman crafted some space and let a low backlift rocket off into the top right. A lovely finish, much needed after picking up a lot of critique in the week.

The second came from, who else? Goal machine Olivier Giroud. He’d been causing problems with his bully boy antics and good runs, his reward came from a delightful Lucas Perez backheel into his path, he obliged and scuffed it into the back of the net. An aggressive, slightly less carry-on celebration. Another very important goal, you feel he’s slowly clawing back some lost love points after his horrendous run of nothing last season. Amazing what a bit of competition can do to focus the mind.


I only took in the highlights, so I can’t be sure this was a thing… but the looping crosses into the box felt tactical with Preston knowing our South American is not the best at dominating his box. Worth noting as we possibly swing into promotion / replacement time for the out of sorts Petr Cech.


Let’s never see Rambo at 10 again. It’s clear back-up in that position moving forward is Iwobi. He might make poor decisions, he might not always have the confidence we’d like, but he made some great contributions yesterday and he looks far more natural in that role than he does on the right or left.


Hold your horses people. Let’s see how he’s looking alongside Xhaka by the time Coquelin comes back into contention. The way I see it, Aaron dropped a superstar season a few years back, he was on the path to Gareth Bale like stardom. Then it all went to shit, but his head was still in the clouds dreaming of a fry-up in an Irish bar in Madrid. That’s been reflected in his play, playing the all action hero, thinking about himself a lot, not doing his job properly.

… and that has to stop. He has to remember he doesn’t have pedigree at elite levels right now. He has to earn that rep back. He won’t do that in the role he has for Wales, but he might do it next to Xhaka. Yesterday he scored a goal, floated the ball to Perez for his late assist. It’s minimal, but look, he has to build himself up again. I’d like to see what he can do. If it doesn’t work out, see ya later. If it does, and he can stay fit, we have a powerful player on out hands.

Yesterday will have worked his confidence the right way. Let’s see if he can take something incremental from that game and make it happen more often. Last chance saloon for him, but a good start.

Right, that’s it, onwards and upwards. A week off and Swansea up next, another new manager to play.


363 Responses to “Arsenal make hard work of Preston | Thoughts on Ramsey, Giroud and Mustafi”

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  1. Alexanderhenry

    Jim Lahey

    ‘I feel that Spurs will do with their new stadium what we should have been able to do with ours.’

    That is an excellent point and thank you for making it. I’ve mentioned this several times . Spurs are now in a similar position to arsenal ten years ago but
    when they move into their new stadium will they embark on a ten year austerity period?

    It’ll be interesting to see how it affects them. My guess is that they will spend more not less, despite the debt they incur.

  2. reality check

    RedtruthJanuary 8, 2017 21:23:25

    “Wenger may have earned the right to decide at a club like Spurs where success is viewed as a bonus but never at a great club like Arsenal.”

    “a great club like Arsenal.”

    Some may say Red is a deluded old fool… but i say he’s OUR deluded old fool. Similar to Wenger in many ways.

    No disrespect.

  3. rollen

    January 8, 2017 21:45:38

    If Ozil will only sign if Wenger gets a new deal then I am officially no longer on #TeamOzil.

    same here buddy

  4. Cesc Appeal


    Great article.

    So much detailed analysis but it echoes what many of us on here have been saying, there is no system at Arsenal, Wenger has no idea what he wants the team to do and nothing is done to maximise players values and minimise their weaknesses.

    Note from that article as well Ozil appears to be set wider, out of the way of the ‘tough’ work of the middle, as many on here have suggested.

  5. Cesc Appeal


    Interesting idea.

  6. Pedro

    CA, thought of you when I saw that.

    Wenger buys players he likes, rather than players that fit a system. No strategy to his buys, he’s never building to something.

  7. Cesc Appeal


    I think that is one of the central reasons for our lack of success, we play some form of 4-2-3-1, 4-5-1 sort of set up and just change around player names, there are not really any roles (evidenced by Xhaka basically saying he was told to be three different things in the short time he’s been here, evidenced by Ramsey, evidenced by Wilshere etc), so all you are ever going to have is eleven individuals on a pitch with the most defined role being the GK, RB, LB and two CB’s, the rest it is essentially ‘you are a midfielder’ and ‘you are an attacker,’ and then even those lines are blurred.

    When we bought Xhaka everyone was posting the comparison videos to Alonso and were thinking that we would see a change in system to having this ‘regista,’ a deep laying ‘definer’ of the team basically, tempo setting, distributing, counter starting player. But Xhaka is just basically a CM, with no role, no instruction, just run around a bit, pass the ball.

    Again, why so many people on here wanted to see one of Ramsey or Wilshere sold and Kante brought in, to be those legs, the all action cover for Xhaka to be able to be the regista, you combine that with Caz, or whoever is left out of Ramsey or Wilshere in the middle in front of Xhaka, with Ozil and another wideman, and then Bellerin and Monreal kicking on with Sanchez up front, you have a semblance of a system, everyone has a role, you then drill that system until it is honed.

    Sadly, we’re just going to get more of this slapping colour onto an already sopping canvas and Wenger continually asking ‘is it art yet?’

  8. Pedro

    I mean, nothing highlighted Wenger having no fucking clue what Xhaka was about more than the… ‘he’s a B2B’ earlier on in the season.

    Genuinely think if we had a more fiery character in the dressing room, who knew what he wanted from a system, we could challenge properly for the league with this squad and make a CL semi final.

    Really praying he fucks off. Tim Payton reckons he’ll be off in the summer. I do hope so. This sychophantic farewell tour gets weirder and weirder.

    One thing you have to give credit to him for… he still floats at top 4 despite the problems. His consistency is incredible by anyone’s standards

  9. Pedro

    … and if he had the balls to hire someone as a number two who could bring ideas to the table, you could still maintain his loose philosophy which is, what, beauty? And add some modern structure to it. He could lord all the credit and keep his gravy train going. Just like Fergie.

  10. Cesc Appeal

    Absolutely, no one can take away Wenger’s consistency.

    But the question you have to ask is, what is that consistency worth?

    Do you think that Wenger has it in him anymore to develop a team and to utilise tactics to win the EPL or UCL, do we need UCL qualification to keep the club afloat financially, has constant qualification to the UCL meant we’ve got any closer to the winning the EPL or UCL?

    The answer to all of those, in my opinion anyway, is no. Therefore, that consistency is meaningless really other than to Kroenke. To a fan, pretty meaningless. I always find it a bit cringe when people talk about us just being in the UCL conversation as it were, because we are the joke of that conversation.

  11. Cesc Appeal


    Had that exact conversation on here, if Wenger had allowed (utterly perverse a manager has to allow that sort of progression) in a top rate, modern DoF or equivalent, and updated his coaching staff with the best currently available, it is more than likely the weaknesses in every single one of this squads for the past twelve years which have been virtually identical would have been rubbed out and he would have won a league title.

  12. Pedro

    CA, it’s all about control. It says a lot about Wenger that he has to be king of everything. I speak to people who work at the club, and I’m told he’ll take on new ideas, then when things go well, he’ll revert back to type.

    His 10 year fight to prove that you can win it the way he wants to win it is bizarre. Like, if he does it his way, and he wins it, what will that have proved?

    Sadly, also says a lot about the people he surrounds himself with. Where’s the curiosity? Where’s the internal revolution? Where’s the ability of those around him to persuade him that there is a better way?

    Surrounding yourself with yes men only works when you’re winning. Badly exposes you when it goes to shit. Usually the fail safe for that is a CEO who can fire you, or have some form of control over you.

    Stan K was so bad for the club…

  13. Cesc Appeal



    More astounding is the people out there who want to credit him for the responsibility he takes on, and you think, are you serious? This is not some altruistic sacrifice of his, like that rubbish with him turning down PSG etc, Wenger has engineered the situation so that he has total control at Arsenal, no one can tell him what to do with his creation, and he has successfully managed to brainwash half the fan base into accept this new barometer of success he’s created of consistency and financial sustainability.

    Everything about the club tells you that it is just run wrong, listening to Gazidis’ excuses for not having Usmanov on the board because there is a ‘harmony’ at the club, that is the whole problem. Harmony, tranquillity and everyone nodding along to Wenger is the entire issue, its why our players are pathetic, its why we’re not evolving on the pitch or off it, its why all we ever speak about are business goals because Wenger knows he’s done at the top level but achieving fourth is far more doable and so make it as if he has to do that to keep the club alive.

    Sadly, Arsenal is not a club for the fans anymore, its Wenger’s club and Kroenke’s business, whilst the business does great it remains Wenger’s club because Kroenke won’t touch it, and that is the problem. One needs to go before the other is vulnerable, if Abromavich was owner Wenger would have been gone years ago, if Wenger leaves the sentimentally driven sedation of half the fan base is removed and Kroenke starts getting serious heat.

    We desperately need Wenger to not sign an extension in May.

  14. Pedro

    I’m always staggered by Stan, like, what satisfaction do you take from sport? He literally said at a conference last year that he thought it might be more fun if his teams won some things? How is that not the primary goal? If making money was his thing, surely there’s more value in buying undervalued businesses, making them better and selling them on.

    But more to the point, tells you a lot about Wenger that he’s cool to just take a whopping wage and ultimate control over running something that is the best.

    What I don’t understand is how Stan isn’t looking at the out of control commercial United are racking in and not correlating it to winning. As a sports person, he’s shite… but at least be the best at business… he’s not even doing that. He’s the master of the long term game… steady eddie. So fucking boring.

    I do wonder what it’d take for him to fuck off.

    That said, I really am confident once Wenger fucks off, it’ll be totally different… the next manager will be Ivan’s man and he’s having the same conversations we are behind the scenes. Just protecting his fuck off salary.

  15. Pedro

    … and as a businessman, you can’t blame him. He’s in it for the cash money and running a football club is about as fun as it gets in any industry.

  16. Colin

    If you look at the top five clubs you find they are playing with different degrees of consistency Chelsea and Conte new manager identify a problem with his first formation and quickly changes success, klopp at Liverpool getting more accustomed to the league and players imposing his style on team big improvement ,pep at man city just getting used to the club , culture, players but a very fast learner and brilliant manager can adjust to any situation, Mauricio at spurs knows the league more money to spend dealing with better quality players and getting the best out of younger players and finally arsene _al Wenger the all seeing all knowing wise one enjoys giving the impression that he has it all under control and I suppose after 20 years he should know what he’s doing but some how his players don’t seem to know,so the top 4 are consistent in trying different methods to bring about success while Mr wegner consistently does the same thing without much success . What’s the definition of insanity?

  17. Black Hei

    Sorry folks, got to disagree with the majority.

    Wenger did not engineer the situation. He coped with the situation.

    He did not ask for the Lehman debacle to occur just as the stadium was completed resulting in low receipts from the property sales.
    The financial situation in early 2008 to 2010 isn’t something to sniff at. Banks can go on a run when it comes to debt calls and bigger companies than Arsenal have fallen foul; especially when there are potential buyers on the side who wants assets on the cheap with cash saved up for volatile times. Many of them work hand in hand with banks to go after vulnerable companies with long term up sides.

    The austerity period was necessary.

    Nevertheless I will agree with many here that Wenger isn’t the guy to bring us to the next level. But the problem seems more deeply rooted. I doubt Stan is going to provide the next guy with the financial power to compete in both PL and the CL.

    The way to go looks like to knock yourself out of the Europe so that you can compete domestically in the next season.

  18. rollen

    I doubt Stan is going to provide the next guy with the financial power to compete in both PL and the CL.

    £90M spend and massive WB. Many manager could compete for PL and CL with this conditions.

  19. Sid

    Ozil said: “The club knows that I am here most of all because of Arsene Wenger. He is the one who signed me and he is the one whose trust I have. The club also knows that I want to be clear what the manager is going to [do in the future].”

    Congrats Gunners. This means Wenger is 100% going to sign a new deal.

  20. Sid

    This looks like a carefully played drama from both Ozil and Wenger. Ozil wants in excess of 200kp/w and Wenger wants a new deal. So this stunt will accomplish both the things.

  21. Wallace


    “Son just scored for Spurs, his movement for the goal is the type of movement that we are not seeing from our froward line. How many times has Monreal gotten behind the defence and not found a player with a ball? Our forward line are so static during the the game.”

    yeah, only thing with that is we’ve scored twice as many goals as the Spuds this season.

  22. qna

    Wallace: yeah, only thing with that is we’ve scored twice as many goals as the Spuds this season.

    With our defence we will need to score three times as many.

  23. mysticleaves

    Theres still hope yet, in that article, Ozil acknowledged Wenger as having brought him but didnt clearly say he Wanted him to stay..just said he needed to know what he will do in the future.

    Now its up to Sanchez and Ramsey to make sure they corrupt his mind about AW

  24. Black Hei

    “Many manager could compete for PL and CL with this conditions.”

    By this conditions you are referring to Pep and Wenger.

    Klopp and Conte are not even in Europa. Pochettino knocked Spurs out of CL in the group stages. Mourinho is behind.

  25. Wallace

    fun to observe the readjustment in posters positions after that Ozil quote. previously it was, ‘no way our two best players sign new deals if Wenger’s staying.’, now it’s, ‘ah, Ozil’s as useless as Wenger anyway…’.

  26. Ishola70

    Black Hei:
    ”By this conditions you are referring to Pep and Wenger. Klopp and Conte are not even in Europa. Pochettino knocked Spurs out of CL in the group stages. Mourinho is behind.”

    No I’m sure he means overall Black Hei.

    This we are in europe excuse and are suffering as a result is disingenuous and is getting boring.

    Wenger has the resources at his disposal to challenge for the EPL title.

    Why the we are playing in europe excuse is so lame is due to the nature of the EPL itself.

    I keep hearing this myth that the EPL is very competitive. It is not. Wenger even said recently that the lower ranked teams keep getting beaten. Look at the most recent EPL table. Does that indicate that the EPL is a very competitive league? No it doesn’t. Top six is certainly competitive but the league is made up of 20.

  27. Ishola70

    And Ozil can fvck off with Wenger.

    If he is more about what manager he is playing for than the badge of the club on his shirt then bye bye.

  28. Thank you and goodnight


    I’ll think you’ll find for a while now the fan base is split on Ozil. My personal opinion is get rid of

  29. Wallace


    “its being proven overtime now that Ozil is not one of our two best players.”

    we have 3 players with world class quality and Ozil’s one of them. if you think we progress by getting rid of him I’d disagree with you.

  30. Hunter

    So there we have it!Ozil will only sign an extension if Wenger is manager!So let’s get this right,he Dosent want to play for the club,he just wants to play for WENGER!,so NO allegiance to AFC just Wenger.I presume if Wenger left to manage say PSG,Ozil would follow.Basically he is holding us to ransom,well I say NO man is bigger than the club and if our club want to change manager they should and could despite these prima Donna players kicking off!.
    I have been anti Wenger for years and the thought of him remaining for another two years sickens me.I say screw Ozil and anyone else who puts Wenger before AFC,players come and players go but the club will always remain.
    I am sure many other fans feel the same and Ozils stance may be the last straw!

  31. mysticleaves


    Ozil is definitely one of our better managers, but if he says he will sign only if the manager stays (which i doubt is what he said) then fcuk him.

    His best place on our team now is not even in the middle, hypoyhetically anyway.

    Wenger need be gone and anybody that doesnt want that at this stage is an enemy of the Arsenal

  32. Thank you and goodnight

    ‘My future at Arsenal depends on Wenger staying’……..

    P45’s and a taxi for Messrs Ozil and wenger

  33. mysticleaves

    “I keep hearing this myth that the EPL is very competitive. It is not.”

    it is, Ishola. the big teams may win but that doesnt take away the competitiveness. you have to turn up 100% and exert yourself else u are going to be beat or get a draw. compare that with Spain for example, Barca and RM drop points sure, but its way easier for them. same as Germany. you feel they arent even out of gear 1

  34. Thank you and goodnight


    ‘2 more years if wenger’

    Just reading those words out loud induce nausea and I break out in a cold sweat. Fucking scarier than any horror movie I’ve seen

  35. Wallace

    “The attacking midfielder, who has 18 months left on his contract, said in an interview with the German football magazine Kicker: “I am very, very happy at Arsenal and have let the club know that I would be ready to sign a new contract. The fans want that I stay and now it is just down to the club.”

    Özil, who signed for Arsenal in 2013 after three years at Real Madrid, said it is not a financial decision: “The club knows that I am here most of all because of Arsène Wenger. He is the one who signed me and he is the one whose trust I have. The club also knows that I want to be clear what the manager is going to [in the future].” Wenger’s contract runs out this summer.”

    – Guardian

  36. Thank you and goodnight


    You have to turn up 100% and exert yourself…….

    So please tell me how many times a season do we turn up 100% and exert ourselves? Just read ramsey and Giroud’s comment about PNE surprising them with their work rate. Does that sound like a wenger team prepared 100% and exerting themselves?

  37. Wallace

    yeah, these days a big side will probably get 4-5 games a season that are pretty much a stroll. 10yrs ago it was more like 10-12 games.

  38. Black Hei


    Don’t mind me too much. I am just trolling “)

    Personally, my view is that Europe is indeed a handicap. It wasn’t in the past because the top teams (basically United and Arsenal) have the deepest squads anyway. The rest can’t afford the best talent nor a bigger squad because they are not in the CL. So we are back to square one.

    Nowadays it is different with TV money and to an extent prior to FFP, oil money.

    Though my own opinion is that Wenger should have less of that as an excuse because for his situation, it is counterpoised by stability. He has season after season to work with the same squad. Yes things have improved but the squad is always one piece short of a challenge and I mean that in the relative sense.

    If we have this squad for last season, I think we would have walked the league. But with standards raised, we are now missing that creative wide player.

    Me think it is time for Wenger to go at the end of the season. I do enjoy what he has built up and I do think that he has turned Arsenal into a very attractive club for the next manager. The AKB in me will never turn on this guy, heh.

  39. Ishola70

    ”it is, Ishola. the big teams may win but that doesnt take away the competitiveness. you have to turn up 100% and exert yourself else u are going to be beat or get a draw. compare that with Spain for example, Barca and RM drop points sure, but its way easier for them. same as Germany. you feel they arent even out of gear 1″

    Here we go again. I just knew someone would compare other leagues. The only problem with that is that I don’t hear many banging the drum about these other leagues and stating that they are very competitive. So the comparison is unnecessary and not needed.

    It’s all well and good Mystic stating that the league is very competitive and that teams have to break a back to get results but if these teams keep on winning while the majority keep on losing or hardly winning games all season then of course this highly competitive tag the EPL has (which by the way is heavily promoted by the TV companies that show EPL of course) will be rightly questioned.

    Conte is a complete rookie to the league and yet he goes on that massive winning streak just by reverting to a system he had used in Italy for years. Is that the sign of a highly competive league? Really?

    Pepe is only hitting some problems in his first season because he wants to begin a footballing revolution at Manchester City starting from scratch.

  40. Black Hei

    Hi all, let’s just calm down on the Ozil thing.

    Basically he just wants some clarity before signing. In other words, he will make the decision at the end of the season and not earlier.

    If Wenger goes and a new supportive manager comes in, I think Ozil will stay. If they sign LVG or Big Sam, then he goes. It is simple.

  41. Thank you and goodnight

    Big Sam would do a better job than wenger. In fact a turd dressed up in wenger’s coat and sitting next to bouldy would do a better job plus he wouldn’t stink up the place as much 😀

  42. Ishola70

    Black Hei:
    ” If we have this squad for last season, I think we would have walked the league. But with standards raised, we are now missing that creative wide player.”

    When you say standards raised they really couldn’t get lower with some clubs could they and we shouldn’t expect that they could for their standards be so poor for such a period of time.

    Wenger had his chance when these clubs were down and he didn’t take it.

  43. Dissenter

    Black Hei,
    You realize that Ozil will be calling all the shots if he waits until the end of the season to make his decision.
    It was stupid to let the contract of the best players and the manager run out as the same time.

    Wenger should have been given a deadline to commit publicly but hey he’s untouchable so commonsense be damned.

  44. Thank you and goodnight


    Exactly. When the stars and planets aligned in our favour we blew it and lost out to the mighty crisp empire Leicester city by 10 points. Yet these people think this time around when all the top teams are starting to hit form that wenger will somehow pull it off. Hahahahahahahahaha ha these people are comedians of the highest order. Kevin bridges would be jealous of their material

  45. Ishola70


    I don’t think they do believe really that Wenger can win the league now but they want to be seen as loyal to the club they support and this loyalty involves backing blindly whoever whatever.

    This loyalty from fans is manipulated by certain controlling elements/individuals within the club.

  46. mysticleaves

    “So please tell me how many times a season do we turn up 100% and exert ourselves? Just read ramsey and Giroud’s comment about PNE surprising them with their work rate. Does that sound like a wenger team prepared 100% and exerting themselves?”

    tyag, this actually helps my arguement. if you dont turn up in the epl you hardly win

  47. mysticleaves


    Conte have already lost 3 games this season and his position wasnt even sure less than 2months ago.

    If they say a league is more competitive for example, it most be in comparison to other leagues IMO

  48. Cesc Appeal



    Kroenke and Wenger are equally culpable for the stagnation and shift away from football ambition to business ambition we’ve seen.

    Kroenke is what he is, a businessmen who believes in, as you say, steady profit and steady running of his sports franchise.

    But as you say, Wenger is the worst out of the pair, because he has completed engineered the situation whereby he is the most powerful man at that club on the day to day, he now has a hands off owner who would only interfere if profits started to tumble or the club started to look in dire financial conditions, other than that Wenger gets the control he must have.

    Put it this way, would Wenger prefer Kroenke, who is hands off, but totally unambitious, or Usmanov, ‘creating’ commercial deals (as at City) putting large sums into the club, demanding top level talent come in and demanding we knock United, City and Chelsea off of their perches?

    The answer to that question is the problem, or rather exposes why Wenger is the problem.

    In answer to your other question, for Kroenke to go I personally think it would either need to be an offer from Usmanov, China or similar of stupid money, or, with Wenger gone the fans ire becomes too much for him if he and Gazidis f**k up the transition and he’s forced to sell.

    What worries me though is Kroenke is happy with the business, Wenger is happy with the control and could give a s**t about ambition, and so I can see an executive seat for Wenger after he steps down as manager, meaning basically this is us for the foreseeable, unambitious, playing by our own rules and setting our own standards for success, a divided fan base and no substantial progression.

  49. Thank you and goodnight


    Bloody hell mate don’t say that. Christ you’ll leave me at risk of topping myself if this is the case. Bollocks

  50. Cesc Appeal


    I don’t think fans quite appreciate the danger we’re in in potential ceasing to be a real football club with the ‘dynamic duo’ of Kroenke and Wenger here.

    You hear fans say, ‘danger’ or ‘stangntion, hardly what I would call twenty years of constant UCL qualification.’

    But as I was saying Pedro last night, whilst an achievement, what does it actually matter? You have to answer three questions:

    1) Do you believe, based off of his sides repeated and identical failures despite different personnel over the past twelve years, that Wenger can build a squad, utilise tactics and implement a system in a modern setting in a way that wins him the EPL, let alone the UCL?

    2) Do the club need UCL qualification to stay afloat financially?

    3) Has the past decade of constant UCL qualification financially or footballistically made it more likely that we would win the EPL or the UCL?

    The answer to all three is no for me, and therefore the qualification becomes meaningless. Yet it is held up as the reason Wenger should stay, yet is then also used as the excuse as for why he cannot win the league, obviously only when it suits though, because in the past ten years plenty of teams won the EPL whilst playing in the UCL.

    But this seems to have been accepted as an achievement, and Kroenke and Wenger will absolutely adore that. It means all they have to do is shoot for fourth, and Wenger is in such a groove with it that it is no bother to do.

    However, in the bad days we were competing with Spurs for fourth, you think 2011/12, 2012/13, or Everton in 2013/14 etc, clubs we completely financially dwarf, but the league is slowly getting harder and harder, sides like Everton are gaining increasing financial clout, sides like Spurs are evolving and have a manager in Pochettino who is better than Wenger.

    Over the past few seasons I’ve not really doubted that we would finish in the top four, but I can see the clubs position in a bit of trouble now, you cannot do the same thing every single year whilst everyone else gets better and stronger and expect to stay there forever.

    And that is my worry, Kroenke does not want to, or rather care if we do, if we finish 5th or 6th, provided we’re bringing in the money Kroenke just wants stability, and Wenger just wants power, so he will throw the club and fans under the bus to get it, Europa qualification will just be dressed up as success, or ‘fighting’ for UCL qualification etc

    Need change, badly.

  51. Jim Lahey

    “yeah, only thing with that is we’ve scored twice as many goals as the Spuds this season.”

    You see my friends, this is a classic example of a method of debate known as the straw man argument. A person takes what you have said and instead of debating you on the actual point you made they turn it into a point that you have not made and argue that instead…

    @Wallace – My post had nothing to do with Spurs having a better attack than Arsenal, it was simply that the movement made by Son for his goal last night was the type of movement I would like to see from our forward line.

  52. Jim Lahey

    @Black Hei

    “Wenger did not engineer the situation. He coped with the situation. He did not ask for the Lehman debacle to occur just as the stadium was completed resulting in low receipts from the property sales.
    The financial situation in early 2008 to 2010 isn’t something to sniff at.”

    I Don’t think that anyone will argue that the financial situation of the late 2000s was n’t detrimental to us especially with the stadium move, we could not have picked a worse time.

    But I would like to know what the club was bringing in during those years. I mean the stadium seemed to be full every week, and we were selling prized players nearly every summer. I will never claim to have an understanding of finer aspects of economy policy, it isn’t my wheelhouse! I would like to know if the level of austerity we saw during those years really necessary?

    Those years are the years that in the future we will look back on as the ones that did the most damage to the club. If we had pushed on and won a league or two, maybe won the CL in 09. We could, today, demand better sponsorship deals and really keep the ball rolling. Instead we are now always 5 years behind the rest in regards to the deals we are able to negotiate.

  53. Jim Lahey

    @MM –

    “But you seem to miss your own point Jim. Why aim to replicate what Spurs are doing in attack when ours is proving more effective and more productive?”

    You seem to have missed the point as well.. again.. It has nothing to do with Spurs! The point was the movement SON was making! He instinctively pulled back into space to slot home the ball last night, we are not seeing that from our forward line.

  54. Jim Lahey

    @Pedro –

    Is there any chance of getting an edit function for comments? Its a pain in the ass when you post a comment then notice a spelling mistake or use of incorrect grammar.