Average squad, average manager, average season coming.

by .

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With all the familiarity of a curry stained pair of tracksuit bottoms, Arsenal coasted into second gear with lackadaisical ease. Our manager is so predictable these days, you can actually plot how the season is going to roll on a monthly basis. We don’t prep for the season properly, and we always pay the price in August. Most accountable managers, after the 6th poor season of starts, would make a plan to attack the season differently, not Arsene. Same training, same core coaching staff, no Director of Football, no major impact on the squad, same dismal start.

Even the problems are predictable, I literally wrote yesterday that it’d be nice to go through a game without Xhaka contributing to the loss of a goal. Right on cue, the great hope in our midfield spilled the ball to a Stoke player, instead of holding his ground (because he’s so slow) he lunged into getting the ball back, made a hash of it, and who in our midfield was behind him making sure we weren’t exposed? No one. Aaron Ramsey up front trying to be action man as usual. Stoke breezed our midfield because it wasn’t there, then made a mockery of our backline. It was simply too easy.

Weird thing is, I commented after the game that the performance wasn’t that bad. Any other club fighting for elite status, you’d have been horrified with what was on show yesterday, but somehow, that was a good loss in comparison to shockers like Crystal Palace away.

… and that’s the thing here, we’re not a top team these days. We’re a team who will finish 5th to 7th this season. Sometimes we’ll win games like yesterday 3-1, sometimes we’ll lose 0-1. We’re exactly what Spurs and Liverpool have been for 10 years. How could we not be? Arsene Wenger has 6 players who have one year left on their deal, from a team spirit perspective, nothing tells you the players aren’t united quite like that number. Watching The Ox play Holywood passes and take potshots from ridiculous positions tells you all you need to know about his headspace. Ozil was completely awful again, he couldn’t look any less interested, and that’s going some for him.

Arsene Wenger has 6 players who have one year left on their deal, from a team spirit perspective, nothing tells you the players aren’t united quite like the number of names unwilling to commit. Watching The Ox play Holywood passes and take potshots from ridiculous positions tells you all you need to know about his headspace. Ozil was completely awful again, he couldn’t look any less interested, and that’s going some for him. Sanchez isn’t even around becasue he’s faking an injury to land a move to PSG or City.

Then you have the quality of our players. I love Danny Welbeck, he literally has it all, athleticism by the bucket load, a good read of the game, tremendous workrate, but put that ball in front of him when he’s near the goal and he collapses like it’s basted in striker kryptonite. We’ve been watching this for years, he’s just not good enough in when it comes down to the business of being clinical and he appears to be getting worse.

Aaron Ramsey is everywhere and nowhere. He looks like he’s doing an incredible job, but most of the time, he’s playing for himself or MOTD goal of the week. Where was he for the Stoke goal? Upfront, where he wants to live. He’s not good enough to play with such disregard for discipline. His strike rate doesn’t match up to how often he’s out of position exposing the defence. But who is telling him? This isn’t a new issue here.

What the hell is Wenger thinking with a back three of centre backs that contains two left backs, with one playing in the centre? If Mustafi can’t be trusted in his natural position, why is he still here? Why didn’t Per Mertesacker start? Why did we spend preseason playing Elneney in central defence if we had no intention of using him there during the season?

Wenger has himself in a quite terrible mess at the moment. He has a squad of players he doesn’t trust or want. He doesn’t add value to players now, so we have team of expensive duffers. The last player we sold for over £15m was Robin Van Persie in 2012. Can you believe that? In a market that just saw Bentaleb go for £19m, we haven’t sold anyone for over £15m in 5 years.

Be real here. If you had a proper manager at Arsenal over the last 5 years, Gibbs would be a £35m player, no doubt. Fast, English, silky on the ball, with a good cross. Jack Wilshere would be a £50m player, he’d be fit, and he’d be motivated. Both players have not been managed properly behind the scenes from a playing perspective, and from a psychological perspective. How are we in a situation where so many players lose all their value? How have the club landed themselves in a situation where we’re only just thinking about who to sell? How have we arrived in the 17/18 season with a squad so bloated and average?

… because there’s no plan. The plan is what Wenger has now. Our manager doesn’t know what he’s doing, and it’s been on show for years now. He has no clue how to find the next level. He has no vision for what a modern team should look like. He knows he’s a dead man walking.

Our season is over before it started because the club allowed a failing manager to go unchallenged. We deserve what we’re going to be served this season. I just hope we don’t have to wait two years to see the manager leave. He needs to be pushed, and the board need to put a plan in place right now for who they want to replace him.


690 Responses to “Average squad, average manager, average season coming.”

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  1. WestLondonGoon


    Yep. he has 14 days till the ban kicks in though, I think. 3 games if it’s reported violent conduct.

  2. Kc

    This blogs comments are getting harder to read by the day. Arsenal fans with half a brain know it was over for Wenger years ago. The only nutters left to care about this season are Wenger Apologists. RIP Arsenal FC.

  3. WestLondonGoon


    I hadn’t seen it until just now….they could try to gine him 4 or 5 games cos he’s got previous.

  4. WestLondonGoon

    Wow.! Just seen the detaails of the Jenkinson deal: £45K per week till July 2020.

    At least we’ll have him locked in when he has his breakthrough year.

  5. ArseneisaFraud


    Ornstein has just got in touch with me and wants this story to make the headlines!

    Next up: the Storming of Colney by the WOBs!

  6. Bamford10

    I think Pep needs to drop this formation in which he plays both Aguero & Gabriel Jesus at the same time. He should only play one up top — make those two compete for that spot — and De Bruyne, Silva, Sane and Bernardo Silva should always play. IMO.

  7. Emiratesstroller


    When did Arsenal extend contract for Jenkinson to 2020? I understood that when he signed contract alongside Wilshire, Gibbs, Ramsey and Ox it would expire in 2018.

    If they have extended it now before loaning him out to Birmingham it demonstrates just what a bunch of idiots are actually running the club.

    Jenkinson is not remotely the calibre of player we should be recruiting let alone extending his contract.

  8. Phallasaurus

    Agreed, the man is a complete liability.

    An excuse I often hear is that he thinks he’s doing the best we can with the owner we have. As if Wenger is shielding his beloved Arsenal from a much worse fate and we should commend him on his loyalty. Be careful what you wish for etc etc..

    Except that’s not the case here is it, load of shite in fact. He’s stroking his own ego whilst earning a kings ransome and charging down the same route as senile Brian Clough decades before him.

    Oh and this Gazidis chap, what does he actually do exactly?

  9. kristoman

    Champagne charlie
    August 21, 2017 18:26:53
    Well how can Lemar be “too
    expensive” but it not be a
    case of Kroenke holding back
    funds? Do Arsenal have the 65
    mil it would likely take? Yes, so
    why hasn’t he been added?
    Who is mandating that players
    need sold before we buy? If
    you believe it to be Wenger
    you’ve got some serious
    convincing to do. Financial
    matters are the only think
    Kroenke involves himself with,
    he vetoes all transfers in terms
    of money. We all know these
    players are here because
    Wenger bought them, but stop
    blurring the question and
    answer why we can’t buy X
    or Y until we sell.

    Well charlie you shot yourself in the foot there. inability to buy lemar has nothing to do with keronke but wenger who think 65m pounds is too much for him thus the dithering by wenger.

  10. WestLondonGoon


    Yes you’re right, he is only contracted till 2018. The £45k is true, but the contract length was for the purpose of my irony!

  11. Bamford10


    Completely agree re how Pep is getting the city formation/XI wrong. Not dynamic enough with both Aguero and Gabriel up top.

  12. Emiratesstroller


    According to Transfermarkt his contract with Arsenal expires in 2020 as you originally suggested.

  13. kristoman

    I think pep is learning about this league the hard way. He has balance it out btw flair and physicallity or else he is not going to make it here.

  14. Bamford10

    Wenger has had ample money to spend on transfers for years now. Kroenke is not limiting him in the least. When Wenger has not spent, as in the summer of 2015, that was Wenger’s decision and Wenger’s decision alone. He could easily have spent another £100m in that window and no one (incl. Kroenke) would even have blinked.

    When he has spent, he hasn’t spent well.

    It is incredible that there are people who are still trying to cover over Wenger’s failings. And this doesn’t even touch upon his failings as a tactician, a motivator, a manager of personnel, a manager of contracts.

  15. Cesc Appeal


    Case of Guardiola trying to be too clever, yet again. Wenger like trait he has there.

    When Danilo came on they instantly looked more balanced, sort of slap on the thighs moment, a wing back playing wing back makes you better and more balanced?

    Hard to fully adjudge because of the red card, but in future they certainly need two of Walker, Danilo or Mendy playing wing backs and only one of Gabriel or Aguero playing ST probably with De Bruyne and Silva playing attacking midfield.

    Only a brief look at Silva, bit rusty and getting up to speed, but worked well in very tight spaces.

  16. Champagne charlie


    Wouldn’t go there mate, your own failings were patently obvious today when talking about Kane and Man United.

    Take a seat for a change, you’ve used up your dumb comment quota for the week already.

  17. Marko

    CA it’ s unbelievable. 128 million and Moura for Mbappe and what 70 million for Fabinho? And to think Fabinho would be perfect for us and we were linked with Mbappe. Stuff of dreams

  18. kristoman

    August 21, 2017 22:52:06
    201 million pounds plus Lucas
    Moura for Mbappe and Fabinho
    apparently. Holy fucking shit

    According to which newspaper again?
    Are you this gullible to believe this story. Just because they spent 200m on neymar the media we make you believe they every player on this planet for 200m and above. Well guess what it might be news to you but not me. Even psg are not that stupid to pay those value you just quoted even for messi or ronaldo Not to talk of a 19yrs old Mbappe

  19. Cesc Appeal


    Monaco have just had their central midfield ripped out this summer, one of their ST’s and future star, their star RM and United may well take their LM along with Mendy having gone.

    Over to you Jardim.

    PSG just became every FIFA players new team of choice.

  20. Cesc Appeal

    That is some response to someone questioning your ambition, Neymar, Fabinho and Mbappe in one summer (if the deals come off).

  21. Cesc Appeal

    Did the Barcelona douchebag and Verratti awaken the sleeping giant in PSG’s ownership?

    Emery must surely be tasked with delivering the UCL now. Or he is gone.

    And Wenger will take over. Haha

  22. Bamford10


    Actually, I’m right about both Kane and Man United. Re the former, call me when he starts for a big club, call me when he receives an obscene valuation, call me when he wins something big. He’ll do none of these things, because he’s not really all that great.

    As for United, they are big financially and big in terms of their history, but PSG are the bigger and better team in Europe at present. This is obvious. You’re just living in the past.

    Call me when United make a CL semi or when they’re in the discussion for winning the CL. Until then, you can take their history and shove it up your ass, because it doesn’t mean squat. PSG are way, way better in the present. And they have been for several years now.

    So, no. I’m right; you’re wrong. Thanks.

  23. Redtruth

    Comparing Wenger to Clough is disgusting.
    Clouth took a small underachieving club and made them Kings of Europe while Wenger took a Giant club and made them the laughing stock of Europe.

  24. Elmo

    As I’ve said before, the toad Gazidis should be establishing a strong rapport with Jardim right now.

    Wenger is on a sticky wicket and is essentially on a 1 year rolling contract (assuming the club are seeking to avoid another farce of a long-term manager entering the final year). If this season goes badly (6th or 7th, and no EL win) and Sanchez, Ozil and the Ox all walk for nothing, there’s an outside chance the club might encourage him to retire.

    We should have the relationship in place for Jardim to be appointed the next day, seeing as he may be the only accomplished coach who would leave their current role for the messy rebuild at Arsenal.

  25. graham62


    How do you expect them to grow balls, when they have little or no concept of what you’re on about?

    Great post though.

  26. Redtruth

    Lets face it ..a dementia ridden 90 year old could do no worse than the current incumbent…i mean, what’s so difficult in repeating mental strength after every game..

  27. Bamford10


    Well, regardless what PSG spend in the end, they still have Madrid to contend with for the CL. And that is a tall order, as Madrid look excellent at the moment.

    That could be a great CL final, though.

  28. Champagne charlie


    Yea funnily enough you ducked every question I put forward to you earlier in classic football fraud fashion.

    Your criteria changes to suit your narrative and you’re talking about guaranteeing shit regarding the future. Absolute scenes.

    When Harry Kane leaves Spurs for stupid money and does all those things you’re guaranteeing he won’t, I really hope it’s the time you finally go pick up a racket of sorts.

    170lb defender for Harvard in the 90’s and you’re on here giving Pep Guardiola a dressing down in management. Banter

  29. Cesc Appeal

    That is how PSG will get around a big spend then, knock it onto next year.

    Still obviously spent a fortune, around £300 Million this window if Fabinho goes through.

  30. Bamford10


    “When Harry Kane leaves Spurs for stupid money and does all those things you’re guaranteeing he won’t, I really hope it’s the time you finally go pick up a racket of sorts.”

    Hilarious!!! He’ll do none of those things. And I’ve changed no parameters. And you’ve asked no questions even worth considering.

  31. Bamford10

    Two games, two goals for Wayne Rooney. And quite a good finish from Raheem Sterling. City did not win, of course, but they do play highly watchable football.

  32. peanuts&monkeys

    Does any AKB here have kne fucking reason why Rooney could not be brought in to replace Sanchez. Gimme one fucking reason.

    The only reason could be: Arsenal can sell their lead striker to ManU. But ManU cant sell their third-best striker to Arsenal.

  33. peanuts&monkeys

    Wilshere is staying till he is injured again. He cud be seen playing alongside Arteta II to keep pushing balls forward.

    Goal shd be to keep Wilshere going till Cazorla returns in December.

    But guys…,,,XHAKA IS UTTER SHIT. He is a complete misfit in Arsene XI. The MFRsene doesn’t have a clue what to do with him, yet he can’t sell him. Cos, if even Xhaka is sold then 52 million of the purchases (Xhaka + LP) is proven to be waste. Oh what a sorry state for Akbs who are trying their best chances to make this 68 yr old evil yo prove the PL world wrong.

  34. gonsterous

    wilshere dint get sent off.. he was subbed off at the 73rd min… what are people talking about ? or have I missed something after he was subbed…

  35. gonsterous

    I think rooney hates us with a passion. he is from a era where you do not under any circumstances join your rivals…

  36. raptora

    Gonsterous, the link to Wilshere’s red card has been posted to one of the last comments on the previous page.

    When Jacky boy was growing up his huge desire and joy to play the game was one of the things that were making him stand out from the rest of the youngsters. I can’t for the life of me, recognize this person. What has happened that made him change? Sad…

  37. gonsterous


    having potential and getting there are two different things.. see the difference between world class players and average ones with potential. it takes hard work to be the difference maker in a squad. players like Ronald messy sanchez, they work extra hard In training and the gym. they are not content with being good, they want to win, they want to go that extra mile. they want to stay back and work on their flaws… does any arsenal player do that ??

  38. WestLondonGoon

    They just said on the radio that cards picked up in u23 games no longer carry over to the Prem. Makes no difference, shows he still can’t keep his cool.

  39. ArseneisaFraud

    they want to stay back and work on their flaws… does any arsenal player do that ??

    Cf: Rambo, the Ox, Walcott and now Bellerin… players who have yet to iron out their errors and who have all regressed! What great coaching they’re getting from AW!

  40. raptora

    I agree that most of the English core have regressed or stayed at the same level at the very best. All of them! That’s a massive failure for the whole club. Some of the brightest academy products (Wilshere, Gibbs, Szczesny), some players brought in for massive money after looking like the real deal at teenage years (Walcott, Ramsey, Ox, Chambers). It’s a huge disaster.

  41. Wenker-wanger

    Wengers “hope” forr improving arsenal into real contenders was based on the formation change to a back 3. Winning many matches ar the back end of the season( many against teams with nothing to play for), and beating chelsea in the final seemed to have helped wenger to decide to stay and indulge his selfish hobby.
    This season, as pedro suggests will be no different. How can it be?
    Youve got the same faces( probably without sanchez) plus a few that will soon be wengerised and accept mediocrity.
    Wengers hope is delusional, compared to the ruthless mourinho that is realistic in his quest for success . The 2 managers are polar opposites. No wonder they appear to hate each other.

  42. Don


    I think the ox has excelled recently.
    To me he looks our brightest player going forward
    He took a bit of stick on here from some quarters but he put in some dangerous crosses which should have led to goals and he played some lovely little chipped passes on the edge of the area too. He was dangerous.

  43. graham62


    Problem with Wiltshire is four fold –

    1. ill-disciplined
    2 Injuries
    3 Believed in his own hype
    4 Clueless manager overseeing him

    The life was sucked out of him, but basically it was down to him. Talented, yes, but not prepared to go that extra mile. Needed a stronger manager.

  44. Don


    Watch that bet boyo!!
    Told you
    City and Chelsea are gonna tank this year
    It’s all about spurs and united (and maybe us) if we can find the net a bit more and play an actual centre back in position

  45. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    Seen it all before
    Remember jacks youth wonder goal against West Ham ?

    Whatever the kid has will be drained by wenger

  46. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Oh don do leave orf

    Spurs united an us ….

    We have no chance

    Let’s analyse your previous predictions

    Xhara next iniesta
    0/5 on that one

    An now we could win the league

    As Clinton baptise would say I’m getting the word deluded ,
    Sounds a bit like little man syndrome …

    When will you people realise the club will only prosper once wenger has gone .

  47. Wallace

    “Coming from him, that is a surprise – the way he talks to me, you wouldn’t think I’m his inspiration!” Iwobi told Arsenal Player.

    “Last season when Reiss was training with us you could see he was a special talent. He’s got good feet, good awareness, his technique is amazing – he’s definitely one for the future.

    “Most young players when they come into the first team, they look nervous, you normally have to introduce them and make it easy for them. But straight away he was calling for the ball, he’s demanding things – he plays like he’s mature, he’s comfortable. It’s good for him.”

    – Iwobi on Nelson

  48. Wenker-wanger

    Welcome to the next 2 years of the wenger shit-show.
    And there is no reason to logically assume he will opt to leave then.
    5th is now acceptable, 6th or 7th surely can be tolerated.
    He cant live forever is onecomforting thought.

  49. Don


    Has anybody actually seen the red card
    Fucking joke
    Little prick went steaming in then went down like a sack of shit after a little shove. Which he deserved for that. It’s a friendly for fucks sake.
    Then some other arse hole steams in.
    Reports say wilshire was the best player on the pitch and had a tidy assist at that point
    We were beating city 4-1.
    He should have reacted like he did but that little wanker deserved

    Also what’s uriah rennie sending him off for? It’s a little bit of afters
    Doubt a prem red would send him off for that so why is this mug pulling out reds in trading matches
    Typical mug ref looking to make himself the centre of attention
    Looks like he’d be more suited to being a traffic warden.
    Like Bamford l. He’d make a great traffic warden

  50. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    If the ox had a good agent he will sign

    A pre contract with Chelsea in Jan an next June will be getting 150,000 a week

    Good luck to the lad

    Best for him he leaves the sinking wenger ship

  51. Phallasaurus


    My comparison to Clough was alluding to his final often desperate moves whilst struggling with his own mental demons.

    Just as our Wenger can’t accept his done and has been for some time. Along with the way one man can ruin his own legacy and pretty much ruin a clubs standing. Never recovered either have they, I fear we’ve now missed the top table boat also, forever 2nd tier.

    Of course Wenger is nowhere near the man Clough was, nowhere near as successful or respected.

    The similarities are in the final delusion and the damage to both man & club.

  52. graham62


    “(and maybe us) if we can find the net a bit more and play an actual center back in position” lol

    Only in your dreams.


  53. Don

    But of a bromance going on there with nelson and iwobi but fucking idol? He’s done nothing
    In footballing terms iwobi is still an amoeba. Has such potential though
    High hopes for both. I know what’s coming next so save your fucking breath you predictable sacks of shite!!!!

  54. Don


    We scored plenty of goals last year
    It was defence that needed to tighten up
    4 goals in two games this year doesn’t bode well though

  55. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    Who gives a monkeys over a two bob under 23 friendly game
    Involving youth players that will rarely play for the first team

  56. graham62


    You sometimes come across as a knowledgable bloke……………..and then you ruin it all by saying this!

  57. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    See cough demise
    See wenger demise

    Same as howArd Kendall terry venables , and all those ilk managers wenger is

    Class manager for time

    Sir Alex
    Bob paisley
    Bill shankly

    Wenger will never be in the same class ad those

    He has an never will win a Euro trophy
    Let alone the big cup

  58. Wallace

    “juventus are currently beating a number of European and English teams in the race to sign Arsenal’s 18-year-old midfield prospect Marcus McGuane, who is inside the last year of his contract.

    While the London club still want to agree a new deal with the highly-rated teenager, they now must fend off intense interest from the Serie A champions, as well as Manchester United, Manchester City, Napoli and a series of Championship clubs willing to offer the prospect of first-team football straight away.

    McGuane last season captained England under-18s and is widely expected to eventually follow Reiss Nelson into the Arsenal first-team squad, having already started regularly appearing for the under-23s”

    – Independent

    we really need a new contracts guy…

  59. Richard robbins

    Your Comment Here good analysis, non withstanding number embellishment. A director of football with 100%. Focus would not be in this position. A good manager knowing the past starts to previous seasons would not allow such mediocre play. Deja Vu. He has ten days to get his crap together. That dilutes attention to the pitch. I guess someone will point out the two positions need separate 100% focus and attention. With Sanchez on the pitch, the other players are made better and given more space. We still need a talented midfielder with focus and something between their ears. Deja Vu all over again. Sad