Massacre at the Lane. Will Wenger’s head roll?

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Hard to be anything other than thoroughly distraught at the embarrassing carry on at White Hart Lane. Part of me thought we’d win because it’s just so very Wenger to oversee a terrible season because of his antiquated thinking, then pull something out of the bag at the death that makes you feel great. The ultimate bully, dressing up progress as a lighter form of abuse.

Well, the usual well trodden path was not to be. Not this season. Our soft underbelly was well and truly exposed as Spurs missed gilt edge chances in the first half, but took them in the second with ruthless effectiveness. This was the reality of our changed formation. Sure, on the face of it, change looked aesthetically pleasing. It felt like a much-needed gasp of fresh oxygen in a stuffy room. But the cold hard reality of the situation is this: you can make surface changes, but in the big bad world of elite sport, if you don’t understand how to educate players on your system, it’ll only be so long before you’re aggressively exposed as a fraud again.

Arsene Wenger was taught a lesson by a better manager. His players were taught a lesson by lesser talents, though you have to say, after this season, it’s hard to call them lesser. They might cost half the money to keep happy, but they showed more fight, more technical prowess, and more guts to deal with the big game situations.

6 losses in 12 games for Arsenal. 5 losses in 6 away games. Our worst streak since Wenger took over. Not hard to see why. Starting with Olivier Giroud in a big game rarely pays dividends, especially not against good defences, namely, because he’s a bit shite and slow. He should have been sold last year. Kieran Gibbs on the left, I mean, are you f*cking kidding me? Biggest bottle job since Gallas sat on the halfway line vs Birmingham. Aaron Ramsey, it’s over for him, hasn’t scored in the league since Spurs last year. Mesut ‘big game’ Ozil nullified again, someone take that deal away from him, he’s not worth it, Jose was right, total coward. I mean, what a mess. The players were clueless, they pressed well for all of 23 minutes, then didn’t fancy it. When we finally conceded, we ploughed into full-on panic mode, falling back into standard Wenger. Nobody there to take a lead, no one taking accountability, and errors dropping like we were some sort of league newbies.

It’s clear we need a change. The board need to fire Wenger because that was another unacceptable black mark in a season packed full of them. He can’t train players how to be disciplined because he doesn’t know how to. He can’t train them in a modern 3 in the back, becuase he’s old fashioned. He can’t teach players to give a fuck because he doesn’t have an elite mentality and he’s a weak presence. Sportsmen sense that. They know there are no consequences, at worst, they’ll keep your £90k a week on loan at some pony south coast club.

We need to change the players, half of them aren’t fit to wear the shirt talent wise, the remainers are clearly done with the manager, and are part of the terrible culture of accepted mediocrity.

There needs to be a drastic rethink about our identity in the game.

To the outside world, we look like the personal fiefdom of an old man who needs to be put out to pasture. Wenger hasn’t lost the plot, he’s just not very good. There’s nothing wrong in him wanting to keep his job, but there’s something dreadfully corrupt in our owner wanting to give him a new contract.

Arsenal are not a sporting entity under Arsene Wenger. We stand for nothing. We exist for the pleasure of a demagogue. One that cares little for winning. One that has built Ivory towers so high and strong, he is accoutable to himself, and dissent from the CEO is reported on as a threat to the f*cking CEOs job. It’s a staggering when you think about it. We are being held hostage by a captor who has nowhere to go, which is why he’s so damn dangerous. Paralysed by fear of the afterlife – he’d rather take his reputation and the club down the toilet – than leave on something resembling a high.

You see, here’s the thing, I don’t want my Arsenal back, because that’s regressive thinking. I want an Arsenal I can believe in, one that has me thinking about it with pride, one that has me hooked on excitement all week. I want to know I’m connected to a club that cares about progress as much as I do. I want to know that this fire I have for the crest is worth something, because life is short. I want something I’ve been attached to for the majority of my life to be more than just a shining star in a dreary property portfolio.

Anyway, I’m kind of done with ranting about this. There is no argument about the green grass not tasting better elsewhere because we’re sinking into acidic fecal matter in a barren field next door to a beautiful green meadow called progress… and we can all see that field. Wenger has dodged the bullet of failure for the last 3  years. This season however, the ravens came home to roost, and now Wenger is naked. No armour, no excuses, just exposed, naked in the middle of the pitch at The Emirates, with Spurs fans singing song about him staying.

The massacre at the Lane should be his end game. His head should fall for that disgrace today. It won’t though, the king that never dies. The story that never ends. Such a sorry chapter in our clubs history.

What next? United at home. Southampton away. Stoke. The death spiral didn’t disappear, it just delayed by a week. The players are going to struggle to come back from that defeat, the fans won’t forgive yesterday, so we just have to see how bad this gets from here on in. Imagine the FA Cup final?

I’m thoroughly deflated. I have no more to give today. So I’ll see you in the comments.

Pete x

470 Responses to “Massacre at the Lane. Will Wenger’s head roll?”

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  1. Jim Lahey

    @Tits –

    The way I see the whole Kroenke Vs Arsene debate is that both are complicit in this shit show we have seen for years now. Wenger more so for me, due to the idea that its Marco Vs Micro. Kroneke is the marco, in a broad sense it all lies on his door as he has the power to change anything he likes within the club and isn’t doing so as he is happy with owning a club that has been VERY profitable for him so far, so why would he rock the boat?

    Wenger is the micro, he controls the day-to-day running of what matters to us fans, the team. He picks the players, he trains the players, he decides on formation and tactics before a game, he decides the starting line up and he controls everything in-game which is one again formation, tactics and substitutions. As we are all far too aware of, the game has passed him by and he is no longer able to keep up which is costing us dearly. He needs to go.

    So for me: Replacing Wenger with a good manager, getting in a DoF and new coaching team will dramatically improve this team. TO the point where I believe we can compete for the title with the resources we have.

    BUT.. if we want to push on and dominate, we need an owner that will put his hands in his pockets and Kroenke will not do that, for long term success such as winning a Champions League we need a new owner.

    Hope that makes sense!

  2. TitsMcGee


    In a perfect world we’d have our own Abramovic and a Simeone but as Bayern has shown or LCFC last season or Monaco or even Spurs this season you can win if you have a manager that gets 100% out of his squad and holds them responsible.

    Replace Kroenke with Usmanov but how realistic is this? (Wenger was failing before Kronke arrived)

    Another manager can do much better with £100 million than Wenger has.

  3. Jim Lahey

    @Tits –

    Yeah another manager could do better with the resources we have, but will they challenge City, Chelsea and United in the long run? Or be a force in the Champions League each year?

    Teams like Leicester, Monaco and Spurs are all exceptions to the rule (with the latter two not winning anything as of yet). But say Monaco and Spurs do win the league this year, what do you think will happen to them in the summer? We all know Monaco will be stripped of their best players by the clubs that can afford them, same could happen to Spurs. It somewhat happen to Leicester with Kante been taken from them, its happens at Dortmund and any other club that doesn’t have to financial power to keep their players.

    I understand what everyone is saying, as I have been saying it too, a new manager and system will get better results with the resources we have, but it is not enough to be among the elite. look at the winners of the PL and CL over the last decade, the teams that spend win..

  4. Tonyd

    What you both say makes sense and is realistic.

    I’m not so sure Stan is going to be happy next season with no CL income.

    I’ve already posted in the last week that, with eventually losing Sanchez on a free, the loss from TV and finishing place income together with other associated revenue, the club could lose more than £100 million.

    Add another 10 million from redundant Wenger’s salary and Stan will have to review the situation.

    There’s more to it with other clubs coming up.

    The only solution for Stan to keep his investment increasing is as we all say with the right new manager.

    We’ll see how smart Stan is in the next 2 months, and if he is smart, we’ll see Wenger go or at least have a contract with a great deal loss of power conditions and a DoF to run the transfers.

    The question is: is Stan smart enough to see what needs to be done to protect his accrued investment?

  5. Guns of Hackney

    The problem we have is, regardless of new players or (please, please) a new manager, we will be starting behind everyone else. Chelsea will go and spend £200m, they’ll also have a fantastic new stadia. Spurs will be able to splash out a bit and they too, will have a new stadia. Man Yoo will probably drop £200+. They won’t have another misfiring season and Jose will be in for a full season. City, another £200+. Pep in for a full season and his team. Liverpool will go and spend and klopp might have a bit more luck next time around.

    It leaves Arsenal in a very precarious position as the fifth/sixth best (ahem) team in the league. Reduced finances from tv and CL games will impact us badly but worse, we will have a lot of players surplus to requirements on very high wages and on long contracts. Our £200m wage will can’t just be cut overnight. Think Portsmouth a few years ago.

    Arsenal are in trouble any which way you look at it. I don’t think many of us actually realise the implications of what Wenger has been allowed to do. It will eventually sink in…but by then, the clubs around us will be long gone. It’ll be a long road back for Arsenal I think.

  6. TitsMcGee


    Fair points but we’ve never been a power money club.

    The best case scenario is we get in a manager who can maximize our potential as Wenger isn’t capable. Let’s face it Kronke ain’t going anywhere. The best case scenario is we appoint a manager that can do better with recruiting and the wage bill who defers to a DoF. That’s the best we can do. Changing the owner isn’t realistic

  7. TitsMcGee

    If it wasn’t for Wenger we wouldn’t be starting behind those other clubs. We’ve been standing still for a decade while those others try to reach for the stars.

    It’s gobsmacking that Wenger, Gazidas et al didn’t see this coming. Whatever advantage we had by getting the jump with the new stadium has been nullified

  8. Carts


    Real/ Barcelona have circa 100,000 members.

    They elect their president on cyclical basis; and elections are every, what, 3 to 4 seasons.

    Let’s say we go with 100,000 members as a starting point, then that means if we were to buy Stan out for £950m, each member would need to stump up £9,500.

    So how do we go about facilitating this idea?

  9. Tonyd

    Well said.

    I think some of us or maybe more than we realise have a good idea of just how bad it is even if we’re using some guess work.

    With Wenger even with conditions, there is no way back to be serious contenders again.

    What you’ve posted exactly points that out.

  10. TitsMcGee


    That’s exactly why we need the cancer gone now. Two more years and it’s going to be 5 years at best before we recover.

    (Assuming that Wenger does leave)

    …and that is best case. Realistic case (signing a dud manager afterwards ) might be closer to 10.

  11. Guns of Hackney


    It’s basic economics and anyone with a brain should be able to see where Arsenal are.

    Huge wage bill with players on long contracts
    Best player/s leaving
    No CL and reduced TV money
    Ability to attract players

    All of the above or combinations of the above are pretty damning for any business, let alone a sports club.

    It’s a perfect storm of shittness.

  12. Tonyd


    Good question.

    Another would be if we could buy the club, how much is needed to sort the mess out? Probably another 300 million to get rid of players paying off contracts etc, and bringing in new stars.

    Leveraging finance against assets or adding the 300 million to the buying of the club?

    That’s just off the top of my head sitting in the car detailer’s waiting room.

    Be interested to have others’ thoughts even if it’s just a pipe dream.

    Wonder what would happen to the share value if such a thing happened?

    Hire Wembley for the owners meetings?

    The mind boggles the more you think about it.

  13. Guns of Hackney


    I’m all over it. We need him gone asap. No ifs, no buts.

    We do have a major issue rebuilding the club for ALL of the reasons I highlighted.

    It’s like the fall of the Roman Empire…history does repeat itself ALOT…it always surprises me when people are taken aback by events they consider ‘new’. Nothing is new per se…it’s been done before. We have to know the past to be able to predict the future, or at least avoid the same mistakes.

    Basic stuff…but what do I know? I don’t get £8m to make the decisions.

  14. Champagne charlie


    You’re another one who continues to ignore what I’ve posted and instead you
    a) don’t get it and make stuff up
    b) use what’s said in a certain context and pretend it’s been said in another.

    You’ve stated I only wanted Wenger gone a month ago…. nonsense

    You’ve stated I think Stan is a bigger issue… nonsense

    Amazing how the former somehow makes someone’s point less relevant. Care to explain how if a fan decides tomorrow Wenger is no longer for the job he’s a “cretin”.

  15. reality check

    As if 200M is enough these days.

    Reus loves Dortmand, he sees himself as the last man standing after everybody left.

    The conundrum Wenger has made for himself goes;

    (WORLD CLASS PLAYER) = Transfer fee + 200k per week × British Core ÷ Socialist Wage Structure = Not bloody likely!

  16. Carts


    I agree, I’m just thinking out loud, and taking into considering the approach that was being mooted when that Red Knight group wanted to buy out the Glazier’s share.

    I read that Real and Barcelona spend what they make, which sounds very straight forward on the face of it.

    And essentially so would we – with the P&L element taken into account.

    What I can say is this, if we were fan owned, we’d have no fucking reason to have £200m in the kitty as WE ALL KNOW that that wouldn’t make economical sense.

    Our dithering alone say the value of our pot depreciate by a considerable amount. Proof, herein, was Mustafi. His proce jumped by £10m in the space of a week and Wenger still shelled out.

    It would need to be thought through, of course but it’s a model that works.

  17. Bamford10

    “Martin Keown says Ozil looks like he’s given up on his Arsenal teammates – but they’re the ones carrying him” – @MirrorFootball

  18. Dissenter

    People need to realize why it’s no longer right to just blame Wenger.
    We are way past the ‘Wenger is 100% to blame’
    Wenger is a pathetic egoistical stubborn fool who is afraid of retirement. So he stays on and on, reinventing his bull shit.
    Everyone can see he is no longer an elite manager so why still keep up the charade?
    Why was/is there a contract extension with an 18% salary increment. What has he done to earn a bonus? Why hasn’t he been fired after the Bayern trouncing?
    There’s a culture of mediocrity at Arsenal.that has been fostered by Kroenke who sees Arsenal as a long term investment that will grow regardless of success.
    There’s an absence of leadership and oversight by Gazidis and the BoDs who have enjoyed the paltry semblance of success because it kept us in the country club of big European football clubs. Why else is Gazidis on UEFA panels?
    You lot can stay focused on trees but many are now looking at the forest too.

    Who lets this sh*t continue now and is willing to prolong the misery?