Pep a massive failure? | Spurs creeping | Mustafi tied to PR campaign of acceptance?

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WELL, WELL, WELL! Did I enjoy the weekend of football? Yes, yes I did.

January was set up as a month for us to catch up some of the lost ground in December and so far, it’s looking okay-ish. We picked up 3 points during a Super Sunday weekend when we weren’t part of the Super.

That meant major teams would drop points. Chelsea didn’t, nor did Spurs… but the major half surprise was that City were destroyed by Everton away from home. Then in the game TV have been trying to build as the UKs biggest derby delivered despite it not being so, delivered us as a draw.

So what did we learn? Well, to me it looked pretty clear that the two Manchester sides are going to struggle the most to make Top 4. The two teams that spent the most money this summer look inadequately equipped to break into the elite competition places. Manchester City looked disjointed, their squad somehow looks weak and their spirit isn’t quite there. Quite an achievement from Pep considering he dropped £160m last summer, quietly usurping United as the biggest spenders.

United look uninspired. Mourinho built a Ferrari and his driving it offroad, eating a cheeseburger from Wimpy, listening to One Direction’s first album . They’re not very good with the ball on the ground, they’re massively into the long ball and after Mourinho gave up on Carrick who was having a good game, they ceded to old instincts and suddenly that long ball to the big man was back into gear. Horrible to watch.

I know this sounds so Alan Shearer, but I can’t help but think all the hype around Paul Pogba isn’t helping his game. They’ve branded his haircut. They have a special TwitterEmoji, that by the way, is not cheap to buy. They flash his name around the billboards, in a move that ironically does more to highlight he’s playing than his game. Pogba plays like a man who thinks he needs to dab to be deemed talent. The stupid decisions, the shots from 35 yards, the Hollywood balls every 5minutes. He looks very unfocused in my opinion and I’m surprised pragmatist Jose Mourinho is tolerating the interference of the club here.

Liverpool looked smarter and Klopp certainly sounded pleased after the game when he said they held back from the high press to deal with a United who ‘play with the ball in the air 25% of the time.’ They defended reasonably well, Simon Mignolet looking kind of like a real keeper. I thought they were unlucky to concede from Lurker-in-Chief, Zlatan, quite late on. He’s proved me wrong big time this season, cap doffed, humble pie consumed or whatever… still wouldn’t have taken him at Arsenal. Giroud has been banging them in as our #2 and Sanchez is a GOD through the middle.

I think some of the press around Pep is a little laughable. Sure, I agree with you that he’s not impressed. He underestimated the league and he hasn’t sacrificed enough of his artistic tendencies to make an impact. He also bought badly. Anyone could have told him Bravo was a bad signing, he’s not made the most of John Stones (who I still think will come good) and Ilkay Gundogan is a super player but it was pretty clear he was a massive injury risk. His team is also very old considering how he wants to play. Kolarov 31, Yaya 33, Clichy 31, Sagna 33, Aguerro 29, Silva 31… no spring chickens.

… but let’s not lose our minds here. Speak to anyone who knows their sausages in the game and they’ll tell you he’s the king. I know English people in particular get hard at the prospect of some pony foreigner failing in A LEAGUE OF MEN FUCK OFF BACK TO PORTUGAL YOU SPANISH MUG. But let me tell you English fans, Claudio Ranieri bossed the f*ck out of our league last year with Leicester City. If the tinkerer, a man who had never won the league before that, can crack it… Pep might just do as well.

Still, what is exciting is there’s 6 contenders for the league this year. There are some of the best managers in the world battling it out, and we’re still in the mix. We’re still looking good for top 4 and we’re still in the Champions League, albeit for only a month or so. So we can’t complain, because we know the league is beyond us every year.

I thought this post from Rhys Jaggar on the thing we don’t want to talk about was interesting.

Spurs vs Arsenal debate:

Firstly, Spurs have almost as much bang for £110m as Arsenal get for £200m. You cannot argue otherwise: two seasons running the equal of Arsenal on half the wage bill.

Secondly have demonstrably mastered two playing formations, namely 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-3. BBC pundits said the Spurs 3-4-3 is better than Chelsea’s, who won 13 backto-back. Their manager is clearly tactically astute, flexible and a master of more than one formation. He is certainly the equal of Wenger and more on that score.

As for ‘wasting’ the Bale money, well, they made an accounting loss on the 7 replacements to be sure, but I wonder what accounting profit you would put on Alderweireld, Kane, Alli, Dier and Winks right now? I would put it north of £150m, so in the round they have grown their player asset base since 2013.

Would you say Arsenal have done the same? Bellerin certainly a huge accounting profit, Iwobi with potential to become that but not yet at peak valuation, Sanchez value increased, Ozil not sure (but probably declined much either), Koscielny probably a big paper profit but not for more than 18 months going forward.

As for the new WHL stadium, the big difference is revenues are now much higher relative to build cost. Top estimates suggest double cost of Emirates stadium, but revenues for clubs like Spurs could be 5-6 fold higher by 2020 compared to 2005. Their match day revenue will rise £60-70m like Arsenal’s did to cover half the mortgage, a £20-25m a year sponsorship deal could do the rest. All the TV money will go on wages, not the mortgage, I think……as will other commercials. Big discriminator will be whether Spurs see stadium as a 365 day a year asset, design it that way and bring in revenues as a result. Hiring wifi-enabled boxes by the hr, day, week etc to business can transform office space in Tottenham without other building occurring. Who knows their plans, but Arsenal saw theirs as a football stadium, not a piece of commercial real estate. Time will tell which approach makes best sense….

Let that sink in.

Petr Cech says if Arsenal continue to win, he thinks Mesut and Ozil might stay on and lead us into temptation…

“I think for us it is important to show them how much we need them in the team and to show them how much we want to win,” he told Standard Sport.

“Then obviously it will make their decision easier. If they see that we are competitive, everybody is ready to win things together and they know how important they are for our team, then this will make their decision easier.”

BETTER GET WINNING THEN PETEY!

Finally, the PR train is gathering steam and you have to imagine our vision for a Wengerless 2018 are dying faster than those little lizards born into a FUCKING SNAKE PIT on Planet Eart 2. Mustafi had this to say to Goal on why he joined Arsenal.

“Sometimes you don’t know how good a coach is if you’re not training him with day in, day out”

“Him being the boss of Arsenal was important in the fact that I knew he’s been here a long time and there’s a structure.”

“Playing for Valencia and Sampdoria every 12 months I had a new coach and that’s difficult because every time, new coach, different idea, different kind of football.”

I mean, more acceptable to me than Ozil. Valencia are a shit show and so are the Italians. But all these interviews are adding up to one thing…

Right, I’m thinking of maybe recording a podcast a little later today, based on your feedback.

If it’s good, you’ll have a little gift tomorrow.

HAVE A GOOD DAY x

274 Responses to “Pep a massive failure? | Spurs creeping | Mustafi tied to PR campaign of acceptance?”

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  1. Joe

    Charlie Nick

    The RvP deal sealed it for me. Lost all faith and trust in wenger and from
    Then on he was an absolute cunt in my eyes.

    There was no coming back after that.

    The dislike started much before then with the ” can’t buy so and so because it will
    Kill so and so”.

    The 8-2. And trolley dash that followed. Showed he was full of crap and that the money was available. He just chose not to spend it.

    He’s a fraud. End of.

    And that still believe that crap he spews is cult like behaviour. Stockholm
    Syndrome type stuff. Pavlovs dogs.

    🙂

  2. Wallace

    Charlie Nick

    “Selling RVP, Cesq, Nasri etc added to the feeling that we are happy to do the bare minimum.”

    you think we could genuinely have kept any of them? Utd & Barcelona, always have been, always will be bigger clubs than us, and City have been throwing money around like crazy the last 10yrs. think we might have had a shot at keeping Nasri, but I’d imagine City doubled his wages when he moved.

  3. Charlie Nick

    The smug spin that comes out of Arsenal now would put new labour to shame!
    Sanogo is/was a disgusting joke. Fair enough have a punt on a player when he is clearly a back up to proven quality but saying sanogo is a starter/first teamer is an insult to our intelligence. AW has a problem with wanting to be proved right even when common sense is staring him in the face. Park, Sanogo, Chamakh are all examples of this. In his early days we had punts on strikers like Diawara , Danevilicus, Caballero but they were balanced by having Dennis, Wrighty, Anelka etc all ahead of them in the pecking order. Nowadays they would be starting every week and kept on for three seasons!

  4. Thank you and goodnight

    @Wallace

    Yes we could of kept Nasri and RVP but not Cesc. Both Nasri and RVP stated that the club didn’t match their ambitions in going for titles and they weren’t wrong were they. When all that vitriol was aimed at rvp I thought, why?, the man’s being honest. I still state to this day that it was the Utd game when he questioned wenger’s substitution of oxlade that made his mind up and he lost faith in wenger’s abilities as a top coach. Just like Alexis anger after the city game was his wake up call. I’d genuinely really be surprised if Alexis stays.

  5. Cesc Appeal

    Wenger has got away with some comments over the years that not many other managers would.

    The Fabregas and Nasri one, about you cannot claim to be ambitious.

    The RVP one, about knowing he had won United the title with that sale, begs the question, why could you not win it with RVP then.

    The fourth place is a trophy one.

    The offering him second for the next twenty years one.

    The all go to show that he does not play by the same rules as his colleagues at top clubs. Hints at the man behind the facade that Arsenal will try to spin, the super-duper ambition of the club etc, why it is so important we move on from him as we enter into an era of ultra competitiveness and financial muscle.

  6. Thank you and goodnight

    @Charlie Nick

    Just like giving almunia the captaincy. Fuck me a blind man could see he wasn’t good enough and if we’d had a better goalkeeper in CL final than him we would of won that game. I blamed him at least for one of those goals. Wasn’t he beaten at his near post? Memory bit foggy these days lol

  7. Charlie Nick

    Wallace – There will always be rich clubs willing to chuck cash around. RVP and Cesq left due to the stagnation of progress, the money was secondary. Nasri I reckon was a mercenary so I agree with you there. during the successful years we kept our coveted stars despite others offering more financially. If you are constantly parading the 4th place trophy, getting KO’d in Rd 16 of the CL and hoping for a run in the FA Cup to save your season every year, the grass is going to look greener. I think we con ourselves that anyone who leaves is a money grubbing mercenary. Sagna, Clichy, Nasri, Cesq, RVP have all won something substantial after leaving. Sanchez is now pointing to on field success rather than extra cash as his motivation. I fear history may repeat itself.

  8. Charlie Nick

    TYAG – Both CL goals were near post I think (E’too and Belotti)
    Almunia was awful but again AW knows best. I’m all for not flip flopping and following opinion but there has to be a limit. AW turned down Shay Given on trial and picked Almunia! Fabianski isn’t much better!

  9. London gunner

    Peps just had it to easy for me.

    No matter what other posters says every team he has managed he has literally managed he best squads and teams in the world bar city and look what’s happening with city….

    I’d even say mourinho has been more impressive to me with his success with Porto and inter Milan.

    Peps basically been given teams where he should be expected to win. Unlike klopp, simeone and mourinho. Who have all at some stage of their careers won big trophies with underdog teams.

  10. Wallace

    Charlie Nick

    “during the successful years we kept our coveted stars despite others offering more financially.”

    Anelka? he’s still the one whose departure hit me hardest.

  11. London gunner

    Wenger eagle

    I would hardly say pep had a mammoth task at Barca if anything it was set up
    Nicely for him as he was very lucky to inherit one of the greatest footballing squad of all times.

    As for fergie having the best squad in 2008 doubtful

    I’d say barcelonas puyol ineista xavi Ronaldinho deco zambrotta messi Henry thuram eto is a crazzzzy team.

  12. Thank you and goodnight

    Flappyhandski, how could I have forgotten him. Hahahaha. After Seaman and Lehmann comes Almunia and Flappy.

  13. Wallace

    Lahm’s been around a while and his view was that Pep’s on a different level to everyone else when it comes to tactics & prep.

  14. Thank you and goodnight

    I wonder if we would of bought terry henry if we’d kept anelka. Fuck that would of been a frightening combination.

  15. Thank you and goodnight

    @Wallace

    He probably is. Like I said it’s only my opinion, maybe he’ll prove me wrong. Time will tell

  16. Charlie Nick

    Joe – I think your comment on the cult like behaviour rings true. I have numerous mates who all chant the same mantra when I say it’s time for change. “But who else could run Arsenal” as if we are somehow immune from the realities of football. I always say probably someone who can run any one of the top English clubs.
    I’m always suspicious when he mentions “mental strength” as if mentioning it constantly will make it true even though anyone taking an interest in us can see it’s plainly not. Also interesting that he has recruited the psych expert who worked with the All Blacks. I’m struggling to remember significant games when we have beaten a top side after being behind. He should go to the EU and not PSG if/when he ever finishes with us. His talents would be ideal. Come to think of it he looks a bit like that Legarde at the IMF too. Wonder if they’ve ever been seen together!

  17. Joe

    Man U lost pogba and pique. It’s not only poor old arsene fucking wenger who loses players.

    Don’t make It sound wenger is complicit in them leaving. Rvp, nasri , cesc would not have left if wenger had shown ambition and won, sorry competed for the league while they were here.

    It was wenger’s choice to let them leave. Fergie even personally called wenger to push the deal through. Do you think fergie would have sold wenger rooney, rio etc? ?

    Nope only Sylvester.

    Jose would even loan us Ba for fuck sakes.

    But you’re right. Wenger had no choice.

    Bollocks

  18. WengerEagle

    London Gunner

    Doubtful? Who had a better side that season then?

    Great names on paper but Thuram as over the hill, Ronaldinho had become more of a hindrance on the collective than a help like Henry had for us in 2006/07, Henry had a very average debut season and hadn’t performed at a world class level for 2 seasons, Deco and Zambrotta were past there best and neither featured in his side.

    He inherited a monster in Messi and two amazing midfielders in Xavi and Iniesta, also an excellent and capable CB in Puyol, a brilliant midfielder in Yaya and a world class CF in Eto’o, this is true.

    It’s also true that they finished 3rd the previous season a massive 18 points off Real Madrid and 10 off Villarreal in 2nd place. And were well beaten by Liverpool in the UCL.

    Hardly an amazing situation he was taking over was it?

    He absolutely transformed that side, by 2011 at their peak the team included Alves, Pique, Busquets, Pedro, David Villa all of which were players he brought to/through the club.

    And you don’t think that he played a crucial role in Messi’s development like Fergie did in Ronaldo’s?

  19. Charlie Nick

    Wallace – Yep fair point Anelka did jump ship. I wonder if he ever thinks what might have been as he never really hit the heights despite playing for Real, City etc. He is certainly never mentioned in the same breath as Henry, Dennis, PV4 and Bobby P.
    Still on the upside his departure did pay for a new facility to injure our players in plush surroundings!

  20. Thank you and goodnight

    Pep guardiola my arse. Avram grant was better than him. And who can forget Christian Gross and his train ticket.

  21. Redtruth

    Seaman Blunders:

    Koeman’s dinky free-kick for Holland, Hamann’s daisy cutter for Germany at Wembley.
    Ronaldinho’s cross come shot free-kick for Brazil.
    Conceding TWO goals direct from corners for England.
    Seaman cost Arsenal TWO Doubles in 91 (Lineker shot and Gascoigne free-kick) and in 99 ( Giggs winner)
    Lobbed from half-way line by Nayim which cost us the 95 Cup Winners Cup.

    These are just some of the high profile blunders made by Seaman

    I won’t go through the mishaps he made in league and cup games as it would take too long.

  22. Charlie Nick

    Redtruth – Yep he made some howlers but Giggs shot was hit well despite it being near post. Nayim wouldn’t put that ball right under the bar if you gave him a thousand tries to do it again. He made some wonder saves too I think there was one away at the end of 91 (Sunderland or Middlesbro) and the grab on the line in the cup semi. Keepers are always in the spotlight so mistakes are amplified. I think a lot of their worth comes from being steady rather than spectacular and doing the basics well like organising defence and narrowing angles. He was streets ahead of Lukasz, Almunia, Sczezney and even Rami Shabazz!

  23. Charlie Nick

    It’s a shame some of his successors weren’t more “involuntary”!
    Lehmann aside they have been fairly average.

  24. Charlie Nick

    Not sure how rating Dave Seaman above Manuel Almunia qualifies me as an AKB.
    One had stacks of international caps for England and one couldn’t get a game for England despite denying he was Spanish!

  25. Charlie Nick

    I do wonder what we would have done with Alex Manninger in sticks instead of Dave Seaman for the a while. I thought he looked the business.

  26. Charlie Nick

    Yep – I remember the OT game when we won with Overmars goal, Manniger was superb that day plus a couple of cup matches en route to Wembley (West Ham?)
    He’s now at Liverpool I think as 3rd keeper.

  27. WrightIsGod

    And though I think Almunia was the worst Arsenal no1 in history let’s not forget it was Lehman who got himself sent off in the Champions League final, bringing us down to 10 men in like the first 10 mins for Gods sake.

    Lehman was a liability in himself.

  28. WrightIsGod

    Jesus, Joe and Redtruth I agree with you on occasion but some of the stuff you spew as if it’s matter of fact is dangerous.

    It’s like giving the power of the world and its nuclear codes to a crazed fake tanned maniac with a wig…. Wait a minute..

  29. WrightIsGod

    Sorry Joe and Redtruth but you’re talking utter cack about England’s no1.

    http://youtu.be/whHyHXnLCIw

    And that was towards the end of his career when his decision making and catching the flight of the ball started becoming an issue. Manniger was a worthy no2 but never Seaman.

  30. WrightIsGod

    Also I believe Almunia to be Arsenal worst keeper in history, however you’ll find it was Lehman who got himself sent off and us down to 10 men in like the first 10 minutes. Almunia was his no2 at the time and came in from the bench and had a decent game up until the last 15 minutes.

    Lehman was a liability in his own right on many occasions.

  31. WrightIsGod

    Honestly, Joe and Redtruth,I agree with you on occasion but the way you spew things like its a matter of fact is dangerous. Especially around those who clearly don’t know what they are talking about.

    It’s like giving all the power in the world and the nuclear codes to a crazed maniac with a fake tan and a wig… Oh wait….

  32. WrightIsGod

    Seaman, Arsenal’s most decorated and respected keeper reduced to nothing on Le Grove. Joke.

    It’s in the same mould as stating George Graham was a shit manager. Another nonsense that gets spouted by he AKB because they forget the relevance and importance of what came before.

    Honestly, when you have idiosyncratic extremes on both sides no wonder people get turned away from here..

  33. Redtruth

    Exclusive
    Arsenal is bigger than one man
    By Emmanuel Fyle

    The case for a change of manager
    Arsène Wenger is in a unique position when compared to the “elite” cabal of Premier League managers. It is only correct, considering Wenger’s wages (£8.5 million basic plus bonuses; only Mourinho is on more), that he is numbered among the elite. We also need to consider that Arsenal fans are charged more than any others in European football, so the expectation- benchmark absolutely has to be higher, with a minimum of excuses.

    We need to analyse Arsène Wenger’s tenure factually over an extended period. The past two to three years would be the most relevant but, for the sake of a full picture, we can take a snapshot of ten years and analyse, without any emotional baggage, whether there is any justifiable case for offering Wenger a contract extension.

    So, let’s look at the key metrics on which any elite manager should be judged. If there is disagreement with using such ambitious metrics, that in itself will offer up a whole new question about why a club charging world-class prices should tell its supporters to harbor Everton-like expectations.

    Trophies (real ones, not virtual ones)
    The main benchmark for assessing elite managers has, and always will be, trophies. Not fourth-place trophies, but the big ones on which elite managers are judged – the PL and the CL. If the FA Cup was ever going to be a benchmark of managerial excellence, then Tim Sherwood, Steve Bruce, Harry Redknapp and Alan Pardew – who have between them managed four of the worst Premier League sides in recent history – would still be in jobs. As would Louis Van Gaal, who actually won the thing (and was then sacked).

    Arsène Wenger has failed completely in the Premier League, as seen by his record of zero trophies in over a decade. Plenty of his diminishing band of excuse-makers like to use “financial resources” as an excuse for the failure here, but Claudio Ranieri pretty much put this laughable argument to rest by winning the Premier League title with a team that cost less than one Mesut Ozil. Further, Leicester’s wage bill of £48m in their title season, is exactly half what the Arsenal wage bill was as far back as 2008, two years after moving into the Emirates. In that time, elite managers like Ancelotti, Mourinho, Ferguson, as well as Pellegrini and Mancini, have all won the title numerous times. In fact, in a unique season where Manchester United, Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea all unbelievably took the season off, Wenger still managed to finish ten points behind Leicester City.

    To add insult to injury, in a decade, Arsenal under Wenger have not put in one single credible title challenge – which is scandalous, considering Brendan Rodgers managed one, as did Pochettino last season. For all avoidance of doubt, a “title challenge” involves having a mathematical chance of winning the league title in April (not being top in October). This has not been the case at Arsenal for over ten years, which is unacceptable.

  34. Redtruth

    Part 2:

    The CL record is even more ridiculous. Wenger likes to boast about his “qualification record” but oddly enough fails ever to mention how many times he has actually won the CL. So I’m here to help; Arsène Wenger has never won the CL. In fact, his record over the past six or seven years has been so pathetic that Arsenal have a worse progression record in that period than APOEL Nicosia, Spurs, Porto, Monaco, PSV, Atletico (all financially inferior teams, all quarter-finalists in that period).

    Arsenal are consistently eliminated the minute they face a quality team in the last 16; and this will almost certainly happen again this season. In that period they have faced easy knock-out draws against the likes of Deportivo, PSV, Monaco and have lost every single one. Wenger’s lack of tactical ability and intelligence is the only reason that a manager who once had a team with Bergkamp, Vieira, Henry, Cole, Campbell, Pires etc could not win it in a season that Porto and Monaco contested the final. For a manager on £8.5 million a year, this is beyond unacceptable.

    Player recruitment and management
    I think it’s safe to say that Arsène Wenger’s performances in the transfer window have become an exemplary study in how not to use the window. Again, the evidence here is enormous, but the ones that come to mind are the ludicrous Suarez debacle, the refusal to pay Madrid the £30m asking-fee for Higuain (he was then sold for more than double that a few years later), the ridiculous desperate trolley-dash after the infamous 8-2 at Old Trafford that saw the club waste money on a number of players who delivered nothing for the club.

    In terms of managing big personalities and ego, it has become abundantly clear that since the last great leader left Arsenal (Patrick Vieira), Arsène Wenger has led a rudderless ship. That there is no leadership on the field, or off, is apparent to all but the most blinkered. The number of league titles Wenger has managed since shunning true leadership in Vieira, speaks volumes. The most alarming thing has been the haemorrhaging of the few world-class players Arsenal have had, and the damaging effect it has had on the perception of Wenger and the club’s mindset.

    Fabregas leaves, and has won two league titles since (and is now on the verge of a third). Nasri left the same summer and again, won two league titles at City. Ashley Cole was unforgivably sold to Chelsea and won the Champions League and various league titles. Robin Van Persie (the last quality striker the club had) was gift-wrapped to Alex Ferguson and immediately picked up a league title. It is becoming apparent that Alexis Sanchez will follow suit and rightly so – any ambitious player of top quality will not waste his time under Wenger as the standards are too low.

    Wenger’s management of players is detrimental and the constant glut of muscle injuries in the same manner at the same stage of every season is not coincidental. Nor is it coincidental that Jack Wilshere has managed more minutes in four months at Bournemouth than he did over two years under Wenger. Wenger runs players into the ground without rest, and then reacts with surprise when they break down. His in-game management is beyond unacceptable for a so-called elite manager. His effect on matches is negligible, half-time team talks often seem to make the team worse (see Everton away and City this season), substitutions are pre-planned for the 70th minute and do not ever seem to reflect the reality of the match taking place.

  35. Thank you and goodnight

    @Redtruth

    When your not trying to pick fights it’s obvious your very knowledgeable and you make some excellent points in which I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  36. Redtruth

    Part 3:

    Individual results

    The multitude of scandalous results this past decade cannot go unmentioned – drawing 4-4 at Newcastle despite being 4-0 up. Losing 8-2 at Manchester United would see any elite manager sacked on the spot, no excuses. Losing at Old Trafford to David Moyes’ Manchester United such is the weak mentality of Wenger (the only top-seven side to lose to Moyes that season). Losing 6-3 at City, then 5-1 at Anfield, then 6-0 at Stamford Bridge all in the same season (the 6-0 was on his 1000th game).

    He was also thrashed 3-0 at Everton that same season. Drawing 4-4 at home to Spurs despite being 4-2 up in stoppage time, Van Persie scoring a 105th minute stoppage time penalty against Liverpool and failing to win the game, getting knocked out of the CL at Anfield by conceding 30 seconds after being through on away goals after scoring an 89th minute equalizer, a number of thrashings at Bayern, losing at home to Olympiakos (no English side had ever lost at home to them), losing at Zagreb in the CL (they had not won a single CL game in a decade), drawing 4-4 at Anfield despite Arshavin scoring a 90th minute winner, drawing 3-3 at home to Anderlecht despite being 3-0 up etc… no manager can call himself elite, and yet oversee such a farcical string of results over a sustained period. It is shameful.

    As recently as last week we had the comical spectre of Wenger praising his team’s “mental resilience” for coming back from 3-0 down away to Bournemouth. The same Bournemouth who get beaten at home by Sunderland and whose entire first eleven that day cost less than Alexis Sanchez.

  37. Thank you and goodnight

    Now when it’s put like that how the fucking hell can any akb fucking still back wenger? Absolute fucking madness. If he’s given 2 more years the fans need to burn the fucking stadium down. Scandalous absolutely Scandalous.

  38. Redtruth

    Part 4:

    Finances

    The irony of Arsène Wenger often moaning about the television deal and money in football, is that he has managed to constantly award himself huge pay rises based on little to no success. Big money in football is terrible, unless it’s going into his pockets. Arsène Wenger is paid more than any player at Arsenal, and is one of four highest-paid managers in Europe. Arsenal’s wage bill is over £200m – indeed, in 2014, the Arsenal wage bill overtook “oil money” Chelsea for the first time. Even as far back as 2008, when the Arsenal wage bill passed £100m for the first time, that was still double the wage bill with which Ranieri managed to win a title.

    The worst part about a high wage bill is the slew of mediocre players, totally undeserving of playing for a club of Arsenal’s stature draining the club – Eboué, Denilson, Diaby, Bendtner, Song, Bischoff, Flamini (twice), Almunia, Park-Chu Young, Squillaci, Chamakh, Andre Santos. Look at that list of highly-paid players and see where their careers progressed to after they’d finally stopped draining the Arsenal wage bill. These are, and always will be, nobodies in the European football world of quality players. Yes, every manager makes mistakes – but few compound that with the arrogance Wenger does, rewarding such awful players with contract extensions.

    Right now, a similar scenario is developing with mediocre players such as Walcott (due a testimonial!), Ramsey, Mertesacker, Gibbs and so on, all draining huge amounts off the Arsenal wage bill, whereas amateur-level players like Sanogo and Jenkinson are somehow paid-employees. It is no wonder Sanchez demands doubling of his wages when he sees such collective wastage.

    Arsene Wenger spent almost £100million over the summer window, and has somehow managed to take Arsenal backwards. The £38m spent on Xhaka seems especially foolish given that superior players moved for far less (Wanyama and Kante spring to mind). Wenger’s team sits in fifth, having won just one match against an elite-level side all season. PSG, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, PSG again, Spurs, Everton have yielded not a single win. An out-of-sorts Chelsea was the exception, and that result won’t be repeated at Stamford Bridge, one suspects. Managers have been sacked at big clubs for wasting lesser sums than this.

    With all of these undeniable facts taken into consideration, Arsène Wenger absolutely cannot be offered a contract extension under any circumstances. His sky-high wages mean fans should demand the absolute best – not satisfaction with fourth-place finishes, the odd FA Cup and plucky draws against big bad Bournemouth. Failing in the exact same way, year after year, is unacceptable. If Conte showed the intelligence of a humble manager, acknowledging his mistakes after the Arsenal beating, Wenger continues to show the worst facets of blind arrogance and a refusal to adapt. Arsenal fans have lowered their standards enormously, and the rows of empty seats that appear at the same point each year (usually mid-March) are a sign of the structural malaise and indifference that have now taken hold. Many fans are bored, dejected and have no passion for this club under the current manager. Of course, there are many zombified fans who are content to finish “Top Four” every season and witness Groundhog Day repeat itself endlessly. The board’s decision to reward him unconditionally with zero accountability for 12 years, has seen them generally labelled an incompetent group of money-trousering swindlers.

    Quite what Gazidis and Kroenke add to Arsenal, is anyone’s guess. What they take from Arsenal however, is patently obvious. However…they are now in a unique position where Wenger can leave “nicely” – note, I don’t say with his reputation intact, for it is already damaged. The board don’t have to pay Wenger compensation, or sack him. His contract can run out, and Allegri, Simeone (personal choice), Tuchel or Low can be approached to take over the biggest club, in the richest league, in the biggest European city.

    Wenger’s mediocrity is further contrasted when you look at the tools Antonio Conte, Klopp and Pochettino have had to work with.
    • Conte took over a club in disarray that had finished mid-table, with its star players on the verge of mutiny (Costa, Fabregas, Hazard). If you look at the fact he’s new to English football, and wasn’t even able to get any of his primary transfer-targets in, the job he’s done so far is fabulous. Hazard is totally transformed, Costa no longer a walking, snarling yellow card machine but a deadly number nine; whilst the signing of Kante (far superior to Xhaka yet cost less, go figure) has taken them to the next level.
    • Klopp is a manager Arsenal missed out on. Again, he took over the disastrous Rodgers leftovers with a group of derided players. Bar Mane and Wijnaldum as big-money signings, none of the players is his and yet… he easily took care of Arsenal in the opening weekend of the season, and is putting in a credible title tilt.
    • Pochettino took over a Spurs squad where Baldini had pilfered all the Bale money on rubbish. He came in, instantly disbanded the bad influences (at Arsenal they get new contracts) and signed intelligently (e.g. Wanyama). The performance improvement in the likes of Eriksen, Dembele and signings like Alderweireld have turned Spurs into more than the usual Premier League joke we’ve been accustomed to. He’s put in more realistic title challenges in two years than Wenger has managed in twelve, which is a shocking contrast to the manner talented players like Oxlade, Wilshere and Gnabry have failed to flourish under Wenger.

  39. Redtruth

    Part 5:

    A good cook never blames his tools. Wenger has blamed financial doping, referees, the fourth official, Brexit, injuries, opposition tactics, good defending, the global financial crisis, and has gone as far as blaming the fans themselves for his unique ability to fail in the same manner every season. The concept of taking responsibility doesn’t exist at Arsenal, another thing unique among Europe’s big clubs. I’ve always wondered how any self-respecting business could allow a highly-paid employee to make the kind of embarrassing comments Wenger and his players make without censure.

    He has no excuses about being new to English football, all the players are his and he’s had over 12 years to do something of relevance – you’re lucky if you get 12 months at a Real Madrid or Bayern. Which makes me giggle whenever Wenger “reminds” us of the offers he’s turned down. I wonder how long Madrid or Bayern fans would tolerate Almunia in goal, or fourth place, or an 8-2 defeat!

    Then again, the whole mentality from the top down reeks at Arsenal and that is a by-product of Wenger. Off the top of my head there was the fourth place jubilant celebrations on the final day at St James Park, Arsenal fans jubilantly celebrating pipping Spurs to second place last season (ignoring that Wenger managed to blow the easiest title in history), Giroud celebrating with his scorpion dance (fair enough if you’d scored the winner – was it, though?), the players turning up to the league cup-final against Birmingham in tracksuit bottoms and t-shirts (shocking complacency, ended up losing the game), Ramsey and Walcott giving numerous loudmouth interviews to the media which always come back to bite the club, Oxlade-Chamberlain dancing like a clown literally just before a big game (imagine the consequences if Fergie or Pep ever caught one of their players doing that).

    This appalling mentality has been allowed to fester for so long that it has now become accepted by many fans that low standards (fourth place, the odd FA Cup) are to be tolerated, whilst the myth of “Wengerball” (basically, football that looks nice at home to Palace or West Brom, but is totally ineffective against anyone with very good players) persists.
    • Stan Kroenke up until recently, took out £2 million every year for “strategic advisory fees”. If the advice was on how to promote mediocrity, it’s money well earned.
    • Ivan Gazidis laughably picks up £2m a year as a CEO, even though virtually nobody could tell you what he actually does. He does talk about nice little interior decoration suggestions for the Emirates, mind…just ignore Arsenal’s stagnant commercial revenues compared to the big clubs and the fact he somehow answers to the guy he’s supposed to be scrutinizing. Only at Arsenal…
    • Arsène Wenger picks up £8.5m a year but at least we all know what it’s for – CL qualification pure and simple. And that is a shocking benchmark, when you consider that he shells out north of £200m a year on a wage bill. Frankly, CL qualification should be achievable by anybody on that kind of budget.
    Kroenke and Gazidis are thoroughly unpopular and distrusted by the majority of Arsenal fans. Many Arsenal fans are fed up of Arsène Wenger; it isn’t an overwhelming majority but it’s close to a majority.

    The difference is between those with the courage to vocalise that boredom, and those who fear “out of respect” that they should be quiet. If anything, people need to remember that Wenger isn’t Arsenal. He’s keen to remind us that the club was bigger than RvP, Cesc, Nasri and Cole. So it is also bigger than him. Before Wenger joined Arsenal, he was a nobody in football, which is what makes all the “who would you replace him with” questions so idiotic. How many of Wenger’s dwindling fan-club knew who he was before he joined? Exactly. The club still managed to seek him out and will act again once he goes.

    The board are now in a unique position to get rid of him without having to sack him unceremoniously. That way, Wenger’s ego can protect whatever’s left of his “legacy”. There is now no excuse for Kroenke and Gazidis to keep him (though I’m sure they’re desperately rummaging around for one). In fact, keeping Wenger would be shocking business sense since there are managers everywhere outperforming him on lower salaries (Simeone, Klopp, Conte, Pochettino, Joachim Low, Allegri, Thomas Tuchel) and much lower wage bills (Ranieri, Simeone, Klopp, Allegri, Conte). The board’s cowardice meant Arsenal missed out on Klopp. Diego Simeone should be the top choice but I accept he will be hard to prise away. Allegri is completely gettable and wants the job. Joachim Low is an excellent manager who has won a World Cup, Thomas Tuchel is a gamble but, then again, Arsenal fans have gone 12 years without coming close to a title-challenge. So the next man will be afforded the patience – so long as that next man is not Arsène Wenger. And to all those modern-day Wenger fans who think he’s bigger than the club and that the club cannot survive without him? Well, they will be more than welcome to follow Wenger out the door, seeing as Arsenal FC will be dead without him. Right?

  40. qna

    Fantastic Article. Absolutely spot on. Well done Emmanuel Fyle. Nice post Red.

    This divide between Arsenal fans who are awake to these facts and those whose heads are still buried in the sand is fracturing this club. The effects of this will split the unity and fabric of this club for many years after Wenger leaves. Fans on both sides already look at each other wondering whether they are freind or foe. Part of the problem or one of the sane ones. The club is being destroyed from the inside out and we will shortly get confirmation of a 2 year extension to this madness.

  41. Mick Kartun

    Thank you and goodnight
    January 17, 2017 02:36:06

    Now when it’s put like that how the fucking hell can any akb fucking still back wenger? Absolute fucking madness. If he’s given 2 more years the fans need to burn the fucking stadium down. Scandalous absolutely Scandalous.

    TYAG- Talk is cheap if no real action taken. Please lead the movement you londoners and I will spend any of my last dime to get there from overseas to follow.

  42. Joe

    That is THE best article written about wenger and the lost decade under his management.

    It is absolutely spot on. Well written and all factual.

    And yet you still have people like Wallace saying “if this season fizzles out , he would be ok with wenger not getting a new deal”

    Hahaha are you kidding me?? This season?

    And godfather saying last night ” there is no one better than wenger”

    It’s fans like these that have kept wenger here for the last decade. 10 years too long.

    And they are to blame just as much as wenger.

    Red.

    Thanks for that article.

    That should be at the top of le grove as it’s mantra.

  43. Black Hei

    “No matter what other posters says every team he has managed he has literally managed he best squads and teams in the world bar city and look what’s happening with city….”

    The answer is somewhere in-between.

    His feat with Barcelona on the surface is about building a winning machine.

    But he will be best remembered for tactical innovation that was against the grain at that point in history. Remember, both Xavi and Iniesta were not regulars in the first team setup. It was Pep that turned them into crucial pieces.

    The trend back then in football was Greece’s Euro counterattacking template and hyperforwarded by Jose’s attrition style football via Chelsea.

    Pep, buckled the trend and made possession football competitive once more. The influence was so great it permeated the Spanish team and turned them into record breaking champs.

    So yeah. Managers that win stuff with big money teams comes and go. But there are times when someone rare comes into the game and make such profound directional switch in footballing trends.

  44. Black Hei

    “It’s fans like these that have kept wenger here for the last decade. 10 years too long. ”

    Ha ha. Not sure why.

    I don’t attend live games and do not pay for cable. I watch games post live on Arsenal.com

    I don’t see how my contribution is able to keep Wenger in his job.

  45. Joe

    Pep, buckled the trend and made possession football competitive once more. The influence was so great it permeated the Spanish team and turned them into record breaking champs. So yeah. Managers that win stuff with big money teams comes and go. But there are times when someone rare comes into the game and make such profound directional switch in footballing trends.

    Agree.

    Pep was a game changer.

    Now put wenger in charge of that same team. Do you really think they see the same success as they did with pep?

    Not a chance

  46. Joe

    Black Hei

    After reading that article, is there anything you diasagree and do you think wenger should get an extension( not based on the article, just your opinion)

  47. Black Hei

    Joe

    Wenger is no Pep. Pep’s influence on the game is really remarkable, far more than Jose though Jose has the trophies.

    I disagree with the article completely. But I do not think Wenger should get an extension. Nor do I think Wenger actually wants one.

  48. The Godfather

    “As recently as last week we had the comical spectre of Wenger praising his team’s “mental resilience” for coming back from 3-0 down away to Bournemouth. The same Bournemouth who get beaten at home by Sunderland and whose entire first eleven that day cost less than Alexis Sanchez.”

    Yeah the same Bournemouth that the Great Juergen Klopp choked against smh …. the same great Flopp that couldn’t beat Plymouth Argyle at home and couldn’t even make it to the champions league in the mighty Bundesliga … ok lol

  49. Redtruth

    The Codfather

    “Klopp is a manager Arsenal missed out on. Again, he took over the disastrous Rodgers leftovers with a group of derided players. Bar Mane and Wijnaldum as big-money signings, none of the players is his and yet… he easily took care of Arsenal in the opening weekend of the season, and is putting in a credible title tilt.”

    Suck on that..lol

  50. qna

    Godfather: Yeah the same Bournemouth that the Great Juergen Klopp choked against smh …. the same great Flopp that couldn’t beat Plymouth Argyle at home and couldn’t even make it to the champions league in the mighty Bundesliga … ok lol

    Stupid comment as usual. Our loss to Bournemouth was just one in a long line of many, many, many failures. Taken in isolation, most fans would have put that 3-3 result into the “mental resilience” basket. But it is not an isolated case of failure is it.

    How Klopp does or doesnt do against Bournemouth has no relevance to over a decade of failures by Wenger.

  51. Joe

    Trying to justify wenger’s exsistance as Arsenal manager because he drew v bmouth and klopp lost

    Hahahaha

    It’s either very funny or very sad a grown man thinks like this.

  52. Wallace

    sorry, but that Fyle piece is guff. like something Joe might have written.

    “Plenty of his diminishing band of excuse-makers like to use “financial resources” as an excuse for the failure here, but Claudio Ranieri pretty much put this laughable argument to rest”

    it’s ‘laughable’ to think that the teams with the big money will always be the favourites?

  53. OleGunner

    Thanks for the podcast Pedro.
    Nice to have a new one to slot into my weekly rotation!

    Gonna listen to it this morn at work.
    ______________________________________

    On another note, has anyone heard the online whispers that Wenger has already signed a two year contract extension? Apparently the board and other club officials are just waiting for the “appropriate” time to announce the deal.

    Hilarious stuff twofold, because there is no appropriate time to say a failure like Wenger is staying in charge and the club is fucked until 2019.

  54. Thank you and goodnight

    Fucking hell…..still people come on in the morning and accuse it to be rubbish. The facts are laid out in black and white. The guy didn’t make it up. Fuck lord help us, please strike the man down if he doesn’t leave this year because with fans like Wallace and the godfather we will never be clear of this buffoon. Rather than saying it’s bollocks give your reasons in black and white why it’s all guff.

  55. Wallace

    Joe

    “It is absolutely spot on. Well written and all factual. ”

    it’s someone’s opinion, Joe. just because it’s an opinion you share, that doesn’t make it a fact.

  56. Thank you and goodnight

    Come on. Put your reasons a cross why it’s guff…..or maybe you lot can’t or is it to early in the morning to try and come up with excuses? I just cannot fathom or understand your love for him. 12years ago I could because we were all zombified like you lot.

  57. Thank you and goodnight

    Of course it’s fact. Did we not lose those games? Do we not collapse against the better teams as usual? Do we not play average players vast sums? Has he not wasted millions in transfers and wages? Have we not had the worst injury record in the EPL in the last 12 years. FFS WAKEY WAKEY people.

  58. Wallace

    “Arsène Wenger picks up £8.5m a year but at least we all know what it’s for – CL qualification pure and simple. And that is a shocking benchmark, when you consider that he shells out north of £200m a year on a wage bill.”

    last round of financials our wage bill was 190m. it’s never been ‘north of 200m’. needs to get his facts straight if he wants people to take his article seriously.

  59. OleGunner

    Wallace.

    Yeah he should have put 190m but our wage bill is still way to high for the meager crumbs we receive as supporters in terms of a title challenge.

    It’s damning that we’ve been mathematically out of the title race in April for 10 years straight.

    I’m not asking to win it every year, but the pathetic way we can’t hang with the big boys despite our monstrous elite wage bill is depressing.

  60. Thank you and goodnight

    Oh it’s ok people. The guy overstated the wages. Oh thank God that’s been cleared up for us. Wenger can go on to win the EPL and CL now everyone knows the truth. He’s been so upset over ten odd 10 million extra people have put on the wages he hasn’t been able to concentrate on what he gets paid 8.5 million for.

  61. Wallace

    “Wenger’s mediocrity is further contrasted when you look at the tools Antonio Conte, Klopp and Pochettino have had to work with.”

    Poch’s done a great job at the Spuds, no argument. same with Klopp. but he makes it sound like these guy were taking over perennial basement dwellers. Conte inherited a squad that’s had hundreds of millions lavished on it as well as the league’s best player – Hazard – and arguably its best striker in Costa.

  62. Thank you and goodnight

    No the AKB’S are right. We expect too much. I mean FFS palace have never won the EPL so how dare we question wenger. Let’s hope palace don’t win next year guys or we’ll need another excuse.

  63. Wallace

    Olegunner

    “I’m not asking to win it every year, but the pathetic way we can’t hang with the big boys despite our monstrous elite wage bill is depressing.”

    ‘our monstrous wage bill’ is still only the 4th biggest in the league. and it’s still the most reliable indicator of where a team will finish season after season.

  64. peanuts&monkeys

    Tottenham is two spots and 4 points ahead of ArsenaLosers. Ha Ha Ha. Who knows, they could be winninng teh league. Coz, if there is anyone who is challenging and has challenged Chelsea in year, it is Spurs. Arsenal with their fossilised, egoistic moving zombie manager, should finish 6th or below so that the dead is buried for once and all.

    Dead brain fucking Arsenal fans.

  65. Thank you and goodnight

    You got the AKB’S at the bottom end of the gene pool…..with one wob that got away…peanuts and monkeys.

  66. Samesong

    it’s ‘laughable’ to think that the teams with the big money will always be the favourites?

    That statement right there is laughable.

  67. Thank you and goodnight

    @Jeff

    That’s me done as a gooner then mate. I’ll support my local club Brighton. The fact the board want wenger tells you all you need to know about what they think of the fans. Fucking Scandalous.

  68. gonsterous

    If someone offered 50-60 m for Sanchez would you guys sell him ?? Wenger would bite their hands off for giving him another reason to show he’s a brilliant money manager !!

  69. Frank Mc

    TYAG,

    surely no one can be happy with the news that Wenger is staying for another two years??

    As you say it’s “fucking scandalous!”

  70. qna

    We should sell Sanchez (but for more than £50m). Sell Ozil and sell Bellerin. We could replace internally (Welbeck, Wilshere and Chambers).

    I reckon that would bring our cash balances to over £400m. We would be the envy of all the big clubs. They would be so jeolous. Man it would be awesome.

  71. Thank you and goodnight

    @Frank Mc

    The AKB’S will be very happy mate. Even when you show them facts they still can’t see the woods for trees. These cultists will be delighted. Me I’m done mate, sick of this crap. By the time he leaves we’ll be so far behind our rivals it will take years to right the shit he’s turned this club into.

  72. Thank you and goodnight

    @Qna
    Hahahaha

    We could start a new chant to the big boys….you might have the trophies but show me the money….

  73. Rambo Ramsey

    Does this clown Wenger have no shame? Why would a 65 year old man want to carry on this way? Atleast with Fergie, he was in it to win it, to enjoy the challenge and the rush of adrenaline that comes with competitiveness. What joy does Wenger get out of this bland, gutless management of his?

  74. Chika

    Pep is not struggling because he underestimated the league, he’s struggling because this is his toughest job so far.

    Can he turn it turn around?Probably. Time will tell.

    Trying to defend Pep by suggesting he underestimated the league is complete bullocks, why would any sensible coach do that?

  75. Jeff

    TYAG,

    The prison sentence has only been extended, we’re not in for life – and that’s just about all the positive you can take from it.

  76. Thank you and goodnight

    @Jeff

    Don’t bet on it. The cunts will stuff him when he’s dead and put him on the bench on match days. You’ll probably get the same results and the AKB’S will be happy. Even though you’ll point out he’s actually dead they’re argument will be ‘ yeah but who could replace him”

  77. Frank Mc

    “What joy does Wenger get out of this bland, gutless management of his?”

    £8.5m p.a
    Zero pressure.
    Total control.
    All in all a fucking cushty life…

  78. WrightIsGod

    Redtruth

    Trying to mug Seaman off by showing his mistakes is pathetic. How many games did he play? Everyone makes mistakes. Why aren’t you wheeling out the mistakes of the other keepers? It doesn’t prove your point that’s why.

    Seaman is Arsenal’s most decorated keeper. That proves my point.

  79. WrightIsGod

    Wenger killed Arsharvin.

    Played him out of position and when Arsharvin spoke out in the media about wanting new signings Wenger slapped him down and endured his future would be on the bench.

    This is Arsharvin who offered to help fund his love to us in that January window.

    Lambasted because he expected more from Wenger. I agree he shouldn’t have given up, but he was clearly fed up by the end of it. Look at the shite he had to play with.

  80. ughelligunner

    What did the article say that is new? Most here have been saying the samething everyday. There is no need for any article. Minds have been made up, nothing would change that. Even fans have concluded that any player who supports wenger can go to hell with him. So the article isnt new because it was posted online. Teams lose and win everyday. Leicester won the league, and so what? 10points gap..They won chelsea, won liverpool, city and drew Man utd. That’s the 10points difference there. Yes, most would say but we couldnt win these teams, yes because they prepared more against us than against leiciester, because they were playing a rival team. This season, teams now gear up when facing leicester and they dont take them lightly like last season. Its a cycle, ones every year the unexpected happens. Arsenal isnt part of the unexpected.

  81. ughelligunner

    This is the problem with fans, they know wenger might get a new contract, what should they do? Who should they blame?
    Same wenger. Nobody is going to be paid 8.5m per anum for finnishing top 4 and walk away. Our voices, pedro’s pen should be geared at the owner not at a staff who created a legacy for himself and he is dancing at the rewards.

    Wenger has created a leagacy for himself, he earned it. He has the greatest power a manager shouldnt have, but it was well earned. His boss should be targeted not the staff.

    The truth is, nobody here will see a comfy job paying so high and will walk away. There is a reason Mourhino envies him, but we all know that he is a manager who wouldnt manage mediocrity because they will both sink to relegation.

  82. WrightIsGod

    Qna

    “We should sell Sanchez (but for more than £50m). Sell Ozil and sell Bellerin. We could replace internally (Welbeck, Wilshere and Chambers).I reckon that would bring our cash balances to over £400m. We would be the envy of all the big clubs. They would be so jeolous. Man it would be awesome.”

    Top rate banter there mate.

  83. WrightIsGod

    Pedro

    Yeah Redtruth believes out most decorated and celebrated keeper in Arsenal history was rubbish.

    Honestly, you can’t pick your readers eh Peds…

  84. Ovie

    I am baffled by the comments here. Is this the time to talk about Almunia Seaman Sanogo RVP etc Arsenal fans or a good percentage of them are masochists.