Southampton roll over to the Wenger MVP road show

by .


I know, in sport, it’s Most Valuable Player, but in tech and advertising, it’s minimal viable product. That’s code for…

‘What’s the worst thing we could give to the public without an uproar’

Top 4. FA Cup final. That’s Wenger’s MVP and it looks like he’s ready to deliver it again. Arsenal romped to an easy 2-0 win over a Southampton that were far from at the races. We weren’t exactly firing on all cylinders, but a cheeky goal from Sanchez, and a simple header late on from Giroud secured 3 points and a little bit more pressure on Liverpool, United, and City.

Today’s podcast explores a few things.

  • Is this 3 at the back malarkey the real deal, or just Wenger going through the motions?
  • Is the new vision of Wenger realistic with the players we have at the club?
  • Out of Pep, Mourinho, and Wenger… who is the most past it?
  • Comments Corner: The best of the LG comments

I think it’s a good listen. You should too. LISTEN.

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232 Responses to “Southampton roll over to the Wenger MVP road show”

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  1. TonyD

    I hear you Jason.

    I’m beginning to think Redtruth has been right all along and all the recent press has been controlled leakage from the club in an effort to deflect our dissension.

    The winning of the last few games hasn’t helped, and I think this is more to do with teams winding down. Southampton’s performance was poor by their standards. Ditto United.

    The Chelsea final will be a good barometer as to how good our new system is. I’m expecting us to fail miserably and Chelsea will be more than up for it. Still see Wenger parking the bus and playing for penalties or a lucky goal in the last minute.

    Also wonder if the players are turning up because they don’t want Thursday night European football, and the want to play against the elite clubs no matter what.

    Also read somewhere than Santi is going to be offered a new contract despite him being injured all the time.

    What happened to not resigning players when they get to 30 or just offering them one year contracts? Surely Santi’s injury record alone would put an end to his Arsenal career. Even when fit, his abilities have dropped well below what’s needed from him.

    The nightmare continues!

  2. grooveydaddy


    I think we’d have to win 2, lose 1 with ‘pool drawing both their games


    we win 1, draw 1, lose 1 with ‘pool losing both their games

    Stranger things have happened…

  3. Jim Lahey

    @TonyD –

    “. Even when fit, his abilities have dropped well below what’s needed from him.”

    So I guess the fact that without him in our team our win rate has dropped from 67% to 39% without out is a complete coincidence?

  4. David Smith

    Really hope those stories in the telegraph by Jeremy Wilson are not true, if they are, means Stan has bottled it, and Ivan must resign

  5. Carts


    “Carts, what do you mean? We’ve gone pretty global over the last few years. The major driver of brand growth is trophies. That’s off Ivan’s plate, and down to Stan”.

    Far from being off of Ivan’s plate.

    It’s with in his remit as it is Wenger’s, to ensure that Arsenal are competitive on and off the pitch. Obviously the latter being fully in Ivan’s job description; and the former being fully in Wenger’s job description.

    The problem I have is that if your claims that Ivan has been road-blocked by Wenger…then why has he stuck around picking up a handsomely salary to the detriment of his own character?

    And why is it now that he’s piping up? where has this gumption emanated from? Cos if you’re insinuating that Wenger has the ear of Stan, more effectively than Ivan, then who’s blowing smoke up Ivan’s ass for him to start flexing?

  6. David Smith

    And I cannot see any self respecting DOF working under a Wenger with unabated power, Wenger would go out of his was to undermine him

  7. Jim Lahey

    @David –

    Is that the story about the club having no intention of restructuring the set up? Yeah I mean if that is the case I guess we can confirm what we have suspected for a number of years and that is that Ivan Gazidis is merely a mouth piece at the club and nothing more.

  8. Jim Lahey

    @Carts –

    “Far from being off of Ivan’s plate.”

    Yeah this is something which I am obviously just not understanding correctly.. How is Ivan not responsible for what happens on the field in terms of success? Wouldn’t any other CEO of a football team be held responsible for this?

    And this is something I honestly don’t know, so if anyone could enlighten me it would be great! What is Ivan’s job as CEO?

  9. Guns of Hackney

    Couldn’t agree more with an earlier poster. If Wenger even remains in the job (he will) Gazides must resign. The power that Wenger wields over The Arsenal is staggering and I don’t care what Peter says about Ivan being smart or playing the game, if Ivan wants to be taken seriously, he should find another job.

    We can sit here whining about players or DOF but all of it is moot if Wenger stays. We have had numerous players, different teams, different backroom staff…a different stadia for f sake but the one constant is Arsene.

    Things may change but they will remain the same.

  10. TR7

    I tell you GKBs (Gazidis knows best) are 10 times more deluded than so called AKBs who although late in the day have realized Wenger needs to go. At least Wenger has earned loyalty of a section of the fan base as opposed to Ivan who is nothing but a parasite.

  11. Guns of Hackney


    A parasite that ironically Wenger personally hired. This is why people who seem to think Ivan will save The Arsenal are so wrong…Wenger is his boss, not the other way around. How else could Wenger continually bait and completely go against the words coming from the (laughs) CEO?

    Ivan, Wenger and Kronke are a trifecter all working towards the same goal. It’s just not a sporting goal.

  12. TR7


    ‘Ivan, Wenger and Kronke are a trifecter all working towards the same goal. It’s just not a sporting goal.’

    Absolutely. I find it unbelievable how people who have been long time followers of AFC still talk about Stan, Ivan and Wenger in isolation.

  13. Carts


    Precisely what I’m trying to untangle. I have no qualms about the validity of Pedro insight. I commend him for the time and effort that goes into LG.

    Furthermore, I would be a bit concerned if even after all these years he didn’t have some kind of inside line into Colney – no matter how flaky it might be at time.

    But what Pedro should consider doing is using a different perspective before he absolves Ivan of all responsibility, instead pinning it on Stan and Wenger

  14. Rambo Ramsey

    I for one look forward to see the Kroenke apologists squirming. Wonder how they are gonna spin this.

  15. Carts

    “Gazidis is expected to take up many of the roles vacated by David Dein including negotiating transfers and overseeing current players contracts. This role will mean the South African will work closely with Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger and so his football knowledge will be deeply scrutinised by the meticulous Frenchman.”

    But, wait, there’s mooooore…was it not Dick Law’s job to to oversee player negotiations and contracts.

    I think I need to have a closer look at some of these timelines cos it’s making no sense.

    End of the day, until Dick or Ivan comes out and spills the beans, then as far as I’m concerned the trinity that is Stan, Ivan and Wenger are all complicit in the demise of Arsenal.

    As for Dick, he was just there to make up the number. Make no bones about it.

  16. Guns of Hackney


    I thought that article would provoke reaction. It all just looks a bit of a mess at Arsenal. No one has a defined role and the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

    Dick Law. Dick Head.

  17. Bamford10

    ‘Next protest by @LeGrove + @NoNewContract
    May 16
    Don’t sell tickets
    Take £40 hit to get Wenger out.’
    – @NoNewContract

  18. GoonerDave

    Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger are both employees of Kroenke. There is nothing difficult to understand. I don’t really understand the criticism of Ivan though, he has engaged with the fans and also has got some pretty big deals over the line. I think the power of some people at the club is over estimated.
    Just because the media kept bleating that AW made virtually every decision at the club – it was never true. Its academic now anyway, because Arsene has been poor on the footballing front and that is certainly his responsibility.
    Unless there is change which results in real improvement in the first team, we are being fooled again. Albeit by a team of people who are extremely good at it.
    Stan Kroenke is on the record saying he doesn’t care about winning. We are going to have to find a manager who can win despite him.

  19. Tonyd

    What’s the point of keeping Santi if he’s in the treatment room most of the time?

    My meaning was he needs replacing.

  20. Bamford10

    Sorry, gents, but it’s a bit obvious at this point that Gazidis and Wenger are at odds with one another. However, if the latest news reports are true, then it is also clear that Wenger still holds sway with the other decision makers. This would align with Dick Law’s recent remarks, where he said that Wenger “has strong backing from the board.”

    Gazidis seems to be the lone voice calling for change. As long as results are going his way, Wenger seems to have the balance of power.

  21. Carts


    It’s nothing short of shambolic, tbh!

    Let’s try our best to look like a serious club, while Wenger has carte blanche over pretty much everything.

    The minute anyone questions him is now being disrespectful and unappreciative.

  22. Jim Lahey

    @TonyD –

    I would give him a one year contract to see how he fairs next season, and if he can’t recover he would be on his way. At the moment he is the best footballer at the club and is integral to the way we play. The harsh reality is that he will not be replaced, Wenger feels he already has his replacement in Aaron Ramsey so I would be eager to keep hold of him for another season to see if he recovers, and if he doesn’t we are in for another season of struggle.

  23. Carts


    My question is: why is Ivan now getting above his station? The board is made up of relics and geriatrics., who bow down to Wenger. Stan is pally with Wenger. Fuck knows what his son does.

    But who’s siding with Ivan for him to become vocal?

  24. Bamford10


    That new set-up doesn’t really make sense either. The club needs to divide what Wenger has historically done into two positions (manager & DOF), and both need to be fulfilled by a “football man”.

    These guys can’t seem to get anything right. FFS.

  25. Bamford10


    The fans. The airplane. The season. The protests. Not to mention Gazidis has been quietly expressing his pov for some time now. This isn’t new. Indeed it was a few years ago (2010?) when he made the remark that the manager is “accountable to the fans” and that a bad relationship b/t the manager and fans was “unsustainable”.

  26. Jim Lahey

    @Bamford –

    “This isn’t new. Indeed it was a few years ago (2010?) when he made the remark that the manager is “accountable to the fans” and that a bad relationship b/t the manager and fans was “unsustainable”.”

    Followed up with this in 2013..

    ” We think we have got a fantastic manager who has seen us through moving to a new stadium, which is for many clubs a difficult period, with consistency and so we think we have got the right person to make the kinds of choices and decisions that we are going to have over this really significant period of the club’s development. So we are feeling very optimistic.”

  27. GoonerDave

    Your question is a bit strange, because I said that AW was responsible for the football front.
    However, all financial decisions, whether transfers, wages or contract renewal, are voted on by the board of directors and AW isn’t a member.
    The truth is that the media have implied for years now that AW made virtually every decision at the club, handled all negotiations, decided spending and nobody seems interested in how absolutely ridiculous that is.
    Plenty to blame him for outside that, but reality is reality. We have an owner who doesn’t care about winning. Far more damning in my opinion than a replaceable employee.

  28. Steveyg87

    Ivan has a big summer coming up, does he maintain status quo, and diplomatically spin his way out of the s**t? Or does he go against the grain and force change? in doing that, possibly losing his job. He will be much more respected by the fans in doing the latter, but sit without the cushy job he now holds. Tough situation for him to be in at the moment

  29. Guns of Hackney

    No one is getting it in the neck. Peter has hung himself out there with 100% backing for Gazides. We, as the onlooker, can’t see in Ivan what Peter can…it’s questioning peter’s sanity.

    If Ivan can oust Wenger and deliver us progression, I’ll be first to congratulate him. I’d ask why it took ten years, but I would pay him on the back.

  30. Carts


    I’d buy Ivan a beer if he left his position, due to the political wrangling, in what ever fashion he opts for.

    if he’s as genuine as Pedro proclaims, then there’s no doubt in my mind that him hanging about renders him complicit in this crap.

  31. Micheal

    Gooner Dave is right. A fish rots from the head.
    Kroenke controls the club and sets the tone for how it operates. If Wenger is an under-performing manager, it is because owner Kroenke allows him to under-perform. If Gazidis is an effectual CEO it is because Kroenke chooses to employ an ineffectual CEO.
    Wenger and Gazidis work for Kroenke. Wenger and Gazidis are the symptoms of failure.
    Kroenke’s lack of ambition, lack of interest in football and total failure to understand the ethos of our football club is the real cancer at the heart of Arsenal.

  32. Marko

    So what now people are hearing nothing’s gonna change just Ivan will take on more DOF responsibilities? I’m not buying. Look how anyone at the club can justify giving him a new contract is beyond ridiculous after this season but if they were to then give him a new deal and then talk their way out of hiring people to help behind the scenes that would be the ultimate slap to the face of fans. You’re opinions don’t matter and we don’t care about being ambitious is what that’d say. We care more about placating some beyond past it old man over the millions of fans worldwide.

    Again I think he’s gone end of season. Nothing like a Chelsea hammering to appease the fans

  33. Guns of Hackney


    I actually think Arsenal will beat Chelsea. I can’t give a sane reason as 99/100 Chelsea win this easy. But in a one off game and with potentially Arsene’s future on the line, Arsenal are like The Spartan Army.

  34. Bamford10


    The second quote was obviously nothing more than PR speak, obligatory for a man in his position. In no way does it NEGATE his other remarks. It simply highlights the fine line he has had to walk (b/t subtle criticism of the status quo on one hand, and obligatory company-speak on the other).


    Huh? You asked why is Gazidis speaking up now if no one else is. My point is that this season has been a breaking point in a number of obvious ways, none of which has to do with the voices on the board.


    Nonsense. Beyond the basic amount available for transfers and salaries, Wenger has been the decisive voice on every signing and the salary amount of every player. He is the deciding voice. The rest are yes men. You are attempting to allocate blame for decisions that were made by one man alone: Arsene Wenger. Did the board agree with this or that decision? Yes; as Chips told us: they back Wenger when he has a plan, and they back him when he doesn’t.

    As for the owner, you are yet another commenter who seems to think the owner is equal problem to Wenger. This is complete nonsense. If we had a proper manager — an Allegri, a Simeone, a Klopp — would the owner be a problem for this manager in any way shape or form? No. He allows the manager ample money to spend and complete freedom / power in which to operate. And no proper manager needs to be instructed to compete for titles, FFS. That is one of the dumbest recurring arguments one hears.

    The owner and board have made one recurring mistake: placing full and complete faith in Arsene Wenger. Beyond that, no one here or elsewhere has ever identified a single decision taken by these men that has been detrimental to the club. Every other important decision that has been taken by Wenger. Approved by these men, yes (tacitly or explicitly) but taken by Wenger.

    Wenger is the problem. Replace him with a proper manager (& DOF) and the owner is not a problem, whatever his limitations.

  35. Bamford10

    Steve & Guns

    Gazidis cannot force change. He can only recommend a direction. You lot are judging him on the basis of power he does not possess.

  36. Samesong

    Wenger – Out
    The Board – Out
    Fans – Out
    Player’s – out
    Stadium – Out

    There you go no club left.

  37. Jim Lahey

    @bamford –

    If the quotes in 2013 can be denounced as “nothing more than PR speak”. Then why can’t the quotes of 2010 be attributed to simple fan appeasement? Why believe anything he says?

  38. Jim Lahey

    @jason –

    “Here we go admonishing guilt on everyone else except Wenger, I really thought we had passed that stage on Le grove …”

    Who has suggested Wenger isn’t to blame?

  39. Steveyg87

    “Gazidis cannot force change. He can only recommend a direction. You lot are judging him on the basis of power he does not possess.”

    The little bit he does have, he does not utilize. He will look a complete fool if Wenger signs on. The little bit on credibility he does have will be out the window, and his last fan, Pedro, will turn on him

  40. Jim Lahey

    “Gazidis cannot force change. He can only recommend a direction.”

    So now we have decided that Gazidis doesn’t have any real power at the club? Doesn’t that make any statement regarding change an empty threat?

    I honestly thought a CEO of a football club would have the ability to hire and fire those beneath him, but it could be that the entire board need to come to a consensus on matters like that.

  41. jasongms


    I’m reading posts where the blame has again shifted back to the owner for not being a fan and wanting to win trophies, but instead, as the majority shareholder is concerned solely with the bottom line, god forbid!

    Bamford is 100% on the money here …

    Not sure if any of you have worked in the corporate world, but this is exactly the thing that happens, co-workers trying to out manoeuvre each other, this is completely normal and it’s exactly like a game of chess. Leaks to the press and subversive or perfidious statements are chess moves in the boardroom/ corporate world.

  42. Carts


    I’m asking why Ivan, just Ivan, is piping up now if the overwhelming majority of the board support Wenger? Who is supporting is message, or are we to assume that Ivan has, or is on the brink of going rogue?

    You’re attributing Ivan’s vocal stance with the fans, airplanes and demonstrations. When in fact there is no real correlation.

    Ivan speaks to us in piecemeal. And when he does, Wenger simply comes out are rebuttals him. It’s all a game.

  43. Jim Lahey

    @Jason –

    No one is “shifting” blame.. People are merely suggesting that more than one person is responsible for the shit show we are seeing. I haven’t seen anyone suggest that Wenger is 100% innocent due to the incompetence of the owner and the board.

    “Not sure if any of you have worked in the corporate world, but this is exactly the thing that happens”

    Yes I do, and the situation at Arsenal is unlike any corporate environment I have encountered.

  44. GoonerDave

    My initial point was not directed at you. I said the notion that AW controlled everything at the club was ridiculous. Which it is. All expenditure is voted on by a board of directors. Expenditure is closely linked to first team affairs.
    And I believe it is far more harmful to have an owner who doesn’t want to win than a manager we can and probably will replace.
    You disagree, judging by the tone of your replies, but it isn’t really clear what you disagree with.

  45. jasongms


    Not that I’m some corporate star, but I’ve witnessed this exact thing take place in companies that I’ve worked for … have a Valuation background and work in acquisitions

  46. jasongms

    @ Jim

    To some extent, yes

    where a long-standing employee hold a great deal of respect among his/her peers or superiors, usually the fallout over change is laborious

  47. Jim Lahey

    @Jason –

    That would be a truly extraordinary situation. Wenger has said a lot over the years that has been highly questionable but I could never have imagined that he would so publicly talk down to his employers, especially now given his position at the club is tenuous at best.

  48. GoonerDave

    If there is a power struggle going on with Ivan and AW both confident, then someone is going to get stabbed in the back by the board.
    Either Chips and co. have turned on Arsene, Stan has turned on Arsene, or they are trying to push out Ivan to make room for a DoF.
    That is, assuming there is a power struggle going on. Arsenal have often used the media as a mouthpiece before, don’t be too surprised if they are doing it again.

  49. Guns of Hackney

    The only power struggle or disagreement within Arsenal is whether to pay Arsene £10m a season or £12m. Oh, and the two year deal or five.

    Tough decisions.

  50. Redtruth

    The real culprits are the AKB’s and fence sitters not the board or Kroenke.
    The lame protests show the lack of ambition fans have for the club…

  51. Jim Lahey

    @Red –

    You live in north London right? How about popping down to the steps of the Emirates and pulling the old Vietnamese Buddhist monk bit? I’m sure that would get the attention of the higher ups at Arsenal!

  52. Barking Arsene

    I think for the first time Arsene has his back to the wall a little and is coming out fighting with Gazidis.

    This is a little different to a “normal” corporate situation in that Wenger has a contract which is due to expire, so can probably afford to be more aggressive.

    If he loses, he is out of contract. If he wins, Gazidis is gone as he will be if no use.

    If neither of them go, then they are complicit.

    Let’s wait and see.

  53. Tonyd

    Agree with what you say. I had no idea or just forgotRamsey is Wengers replacement; they are worlds apart in vision in skill sets.

    Santi is more than a yard off his younger pace, which was evident before he was injured.

    The problem with Santi is that he’s always needed a few games to get into his stride.
    So he can’t be used sparingly or as an impact sub to speed up or slow the tempo.

    As I said, the nightmare continues and looks to be thete for the long haul.

  54. SUGA3

    As of now, I am firmly in the position that it is all just a politics roadshow. Wenger either is covering his base in case they kick him out, so that he could roll out the ‘would not work with a DoF’ line as an excuse, or it is a public dick swinging contest between him and Ivan.

    The latter is either a real power struggle for Stan’s say so or just a bit of theatrics for the plebs. That would be us.

    I still think Gazidis won’t force Wenger out. He can’t force out diarrhoea 😆

  55. Barking Arsene


    Agree – I said the other day my gut instinct is Wenger is just sowing the seeds of a “they forced me out” narrative.

    He can afford to say whatever he likes, he is out of contract anyway and Ivan has decided (or so it seems) to have a go at forcing change.

    If it is all a big PR stunt we will soon find out soon enough – no way they both stay unless Wenger backs down.

  56. SUGA3


    Wenger can’t back down. Unless the plot is to hire a complete cuck of a DoF like Pires. I love Bobby, but his recent soundbites were touch cringeworthy.

  57. OleGunner

    Guns of HackneyMay 12, 2017 13:09:38
    “The only power struggle or disagreement within Arsenal is whether to pay Arsene £10m a season or £12m. Oh, and the two year deal or five. Tough decisions.”

    Yeah pretty much. Nothing is changing.
    Wenger is signing an extension whether we fail to get top 4 and lose FA cup.
    The man has absolute power, can’t think of a SINGLE reason Stan Kroenke would give him the boot.

    Wake me up in 2019 from Cryo-sleep.

  58. Carts

    Pa! $4m for the top role in MLS. Ivan, what are you waiting for, bruv?!

    Why be a beta under Wenger when you can run the MLS…

  59. Relieable Sauce

    Arsenal believe there is sufficient trust between the two men to reach some form of common understanding over any changes that are introduced, despite some sources claiming Wenger and Gazidis are barely speaking.

    “Arsenal”, believe !?!?

    ie. some unnamed, supposed spokesperson…??? For who?


  60. TR7

    I’ll believe all the Ivan Gazidis story only if he leaves Arsenal and goes somewhere else. I am not having any of his press leaks, the guy can put Goebbels to shame when it comes to PR.

  61. Jeff

    Everyone knows Gazidis is just another stooge – put there to cross the t’s and dot the i’s. Real power and control were promised to Wenger and he’s not letting go. Director of Football indeed! What bollocks to even entertain the possibility that Wenger’s going to bow down to some newcomer because he has a fancy title. Wenger’s job is as safe as houses unfortunately. He’ll decide when to go CL or no CL.

  62. Follow the money

    I don’t see anything changing unless the press gets overwhelmingly negative, and/or share price starts to suffer. Unfortunately that’s going to take relegation or the like. Anything short of that and Wenger will think he can spin public perception to make himself look good. I really believe he actually cares so little for Arsenal and winning that he won’t quit no matter what. I don’t see an end to this. If he stays many of the critical voices will just give up and go watch other teams, lowering the noise and allowing Wenger to carry on

  63. Tonyd

    Sir chips age 77
    Ken Friar age 82
    Lord Harris age 74
    Stan Kroenke age 67
    Wenger age 67

    The power mongers of our club.

    Is it any wonder the club is in the mess it’s in at the moment?

    The only football man lost the plot 12 years ago.

    The rest probably still use an abacus to count their money.

    I can’t see how any of the board still have the mental acuity to run a corporation or have any knowledge of the modern game.

    Josh at 36 is not a football man or brought up in our football culture.

    Ivan at 54 is an administrator who at least is allegedly trying to restructure the club to challenge again for the top honours, and failing abysmally and ready to jump ship.

    These are the facts we are trying to make a semblance of sense out of.

    It’s a mind numbing nightmare.

  64. China

    Neither will go.

    Small concessions made by arsene allowing a lame duck DoF to come in for fan PR.

    Ivan and arsene still here taking a combined 13 or so million out of the club’s pockets next season

    Mark my words!

  65. Tonyd

    Me, too.

    When the club is finally restructured the new board members have to have football or sports background with both parents still alive.

  66. ArseneisaFraud

    I totally agree that total restructuring will be required, but as has been said 50,000 times (see what I’ve done ;)), is we need to focus on AW. He leaves and we can finally have a manager who will a) care for the club and b) will be wanting to challenge for top honours.

    Fairs’ fair this may cost as we’ll need a new backroom staff but this can be paid (in part) for via the reduction in the managers salary. Then with time allow actual footballing men to be part of the BoD who can then ensure that footballing matters are being attended to.

    What the BoD need to realise that in the long run, we will be making even more money than they are currently making now thanks to the fact that sponsors will be more than happy to shell out as they will be seeing a team that is competing and therefore giving the visibility that sponsors crave for to increase their own markets.