Wenger bristles at the Colney power shift, here’s what’s happening

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New kid on the block

New kid on the block

Arsene Wenger is not adapting well to the new era that’s being ushered in under the instruction of Ivan Gazidis. Our latest signing, Konstantinos Mavropanos, was brought in by Sven and Raul, and Wenger doesn’t like that credit for new players is heading elsewhere, nor does he like that he’s being challenged and he can’t do anything about it.

“It is important to find a new balance.”

“For them it is more difficult than me because they have to adapt to a new environment, a different structure.”

“Overall, at the moment it is a bit new and unusual. It is an important period but we are not used to working together.”

So much to take from these comments. Wenger is trying to strike a cordial tone, without losing track that he is the king, and it is the new people that need to adapt to his ways of working.

I’m sorry Arsene, that’s absolutely not how it’s going to work. No doubt there will be a few months of bedding in. Sven and Raul are coming into a broken setup, but like in any business, you have to first learn the culture, then you have to work out who represents talent, and who needs to be moved on.

“For Sven it is important to know all the scouts. We have a big scouting system, he has to meet everybody and explain how it works.

“That’s why it’s very time consuming at the moment.”

Every sentence dripping in disdain for this hire. Wenger thinks having a big scouting network is enough. He sees the introduction of a new man to ‘his’ team as time-consuming, which would indicate he’s not very happy about the news services he basically told the press he was instrumental in.

“We know the players. We knew every single player in Europe before Sven arrived.”

“Sometimes in a little club in Germany he might know somebody that we might ignore.”

The above comment is interesting because it’s probably partly true. But here’s the thing, there’s plenty of passionate Twitter accounts that can tell you the names of the best in Europe, I mean, let’s be real here, the guys in the Le Grove comments section are talking about big names before they enter the mainstream hype. Knowing players exist isn’t the talent we’re lacking, knowing who to pull the trigger on absolutely is.

Two seasons ago, it was pretty clear that we lacked a powerhouse centre midfielder who could control or drive a game. There were choices out there, in particular, the hot name was N’golo Kante. A Frenchman, a league winner, massively interested in joining Arsenal. What did we do? We opted for Granit Xhaka who was statistically one the best passers in Europe at the time, and Francis Coquelin, who statistically, had the best defensive numbers in the league for tackles and interceptions.

Marry a fancy passer, with a brutal tackler was the thought.

Well, it was a terrible decision. Anyone who had watched Coquelin knew his limitations. He could bulldoze, but he couldn’t pass and he was prone to terrible decisions. If anyone had taken time out to watch Granit Xhaka, they would have seen that he was playing in an unbelievably rigid tactical system, and not just that, he boasted none of the physical skills you absolutely need to survive the Premier League. You cannot be weak and slow at the base of midfield, and look, Wenger thought Xhaka was a b2b player.

We let the opportunity with Kante disappear, and the rest is history.

Sven Mislentat isn’t coming to Arsenal to identify players and leave it at that. He’s coming in to redesign the team, create an actual process for player identification and squad needs, and make smart decisions quickly with Raul Sahnelli to bring in the names. Will Wenger be involved in the decision making? Undoubtedly. However, he won’t have veto power like he has in the past. Everything is being professionalised and experts are being empowered to do their job for the CEO, not just the manager.

The scouting system under Steve Rowley stagnated horrendously. One day, I’ll share some of the names we’ve missed out on over the last 5 years and the reasons why and you’ll want to cry. Needless to say, I’d imagine the argument to Stan Kroenke was a simple one.

‘We’ve literally missed out on £300m worth of talent because of poor decision making’

… and the sell on Sven was probably quite easy.

‘Dortmund were revived under Sven, and he picked up Dembele for £15m, and sold him for £150m a year later’

While over at Arsenal, we’re dropping £131m on Xhaka, Mustafi, Debuchy, Chambers, Perez and Welbeck (thanks Gambon).

Wenger doesn’t have the magic touch, but worse, even when he’s given major talent he doesn’t know how to develop it. That’ll be the ultimate kicker when we’re talking about what happens after this summer.

But look, better players mean better results. Some of the basics that need to be restored to Arsenal are the simple premise that power and pace have to be key to any player you sign. We’ve wandered down this weird path where we sign player wholly unsuited to the league. That’ll all change. I’m very excited about that.

What I’m most excited about though is this: The only way I see Wenger leaving early is if his power is disrupted. There’s going to be a massive clash coming this summer, he might walk if he feels damaged by the shift in power.

A long shot, but fingers crossed regardless.

Right, see you in the comments.

P.S. We’re doing a new podcast tomorrow, would be great if you have any topics or questions you’d like covered.

375 Responses to “Wenger bristles at the Colney power shift, here’s what’s happening”

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  1. TonyD

    No point dwelling on the past that limits you now and the future. Don’t waste energy on what you can’t change.

    Look to diversify with your business to turn market weaknesses into strengths.

    That’s where your energy should be directed not at what the government did or is doing.

    Anyway back to football …………….

  2. Bob

    This English home grown player rule should on apply to championship and below they should lev the premier league for the very best players in the world.

  3. Bob

    The Mirror reports that Wenger has a clause in the deal that will allow him to review his situation at the end of the season.
    Good bye
    And take the British core crap with you.

  4. Bamford10

    If Arsenal sign Evans — reports say this is imminent — then we will have signed four CBs in the past two years (Holding, Mustafi, Mavropanos, Evans) and will have another three (Koscielny, Mertesacker, Chambers) in the squad.

    Someone doesn’t know what he’s doing.

  5. ArseneisaFraud


    According to SSNs’ rumour gathering AW has effectively a clause in his contract where both parties can review the situation at the end of the season.

    And apparently he would’ve handpicked his successor who is, wait for it…. Mikel Arteta.

    Are we finally going to see some form of light at the end of the summer? Impossible to say considering AW is so obsessed with power.

  6. Bamford10

    Reports on Twitter that Wenger wants to select his replacement and then move upstairs.

    Absolutely not.

    Wenger must go, he must go ASAP, he must have no say in who replaces him & he must have no role whatsoever going forward.

    Wenger completely out.

  7. Gooner63

    Wenger to join the board lol

    So now the guy who doesnt like to spend or compete at the top level – gets a vote on what we spend and how the club goes forward

    So about 20 yrs till we finally have our club back

  8. Cesc Appeal

    No way should Wenger select his replacement and then move upstairs. That is the worst case scenario just behind him signing on for another two or three years.

    Who does this man think he is?

    The patheticness as well of this notion that Arsenal without Wenger is impossible. What do we want him on the board for? His fresh ideas, tactical nous, economic understanding, eye for a player, connection with the fans?

    Just f**k him off. He has had more than enough money and power from Arsenal the fact he wants to stay at Arsenal so badly tells you everything you need to know about his priorities and the set up of the club.

  9. Dissenter

    Arteta will be doomed from the outset if he’s appointed based on Wenger’s say-so.
    Let Arsenal do due diligence and conduct a proper search. An experienced manager like Ancelotti needs to steady the boat before we throw the dice on a rookie manager like Arteta.
    A team of Achelotti with Arteta assisting him will be nice.
    I don’t think it will happen because why will Arteta leave the classroom of Guardiola for the shit show we have going on?

  10. Bamford10


    Again, Stan Kroenke did not bring the self-sustainability model to Arsenal or impose it upon Arsenal. The self-sustainability model was adopted prior to Kroenke and Kroenke was required to agree to keep to it when he became majority.

    Secondly, the implication of your remark is that it is self-sustainability and our level of spending that is holding us back. This is nonsense. We spend plenty of money. See the £50m for Lacazette, the £35m for Xhaka, the £32m for Mustafi, the £32m for Sanchez, the £42m for Ozil and the wage bill.

    The problem is not how much we spend or self-sustainability; the problem is who is spending the money (Arsene Wenger) and who is managing the team (Arsene Wenger).

  11. Marc


    Firstly I’d take anything in the media with a pinch of salt and anything on twitter with a couple of lorry loads of salt. If there is any truth to it I wouldn’t be surprised if this is Wenger leaking it to save face – we’ve already been linked with Arteta as a replacement and if Wenger is beginning to realise that there’s a sea change around the club he might know what’s coming.

    If the reports are true about him going on the board it’ll be in an ambassadorial role with no real input into the day to day running of the club.

  12. TonyD

    2nd worst thing that can happen after Wenger signing a contract extension.

    Wouldn’t put either out of the question with this club , especially Stan K.

  13. Dissenter

    We need a clean break from Wenger. He’s going to suffocate any new manager if he’s on the board especially since he will be the only football man there.
    Near-absolute power is difficult to relinquish. Hopefully the lure of le-blue will be too strong for him in the summer. The position of manager of the French national team will be available after the World Cup.

  14. Marko

    I don’t buy into the notion that if windbag moves upstairs that he’ll still be wielding influence. One why would any manager take the job only to be undermined by a has been and two why would the board allow it? If he ends up moving behind the scenes it’ll be nothing more than ceremonial imo. And it can’t happen soon enough. And absolutely no way should the next manager be Arteta he’s zero experience and he’s absolutely not ready. Make him an assistant if you like but not manager what are we a total joke

  15. Cesc Appeal


    I cannot see Wenger going to the board and being hands off, the man is an egotistical, stubborn control freak who I do think honestly believes the club is indebted to him or that he is almost a part owner.

  16. Bamford10


    Whether we’ve spent 3rd most, 4th most, 5th most or 6th most, the bottom line is that we’ve spent plenty and we spend plenty.

    We should be able to contend given what we spend and what we have spent.

    The reason we are not competing is because our spending hasn’t been intelligent enough and because our manager doesn’t organize, instruct or motivate the team properly.

    It is all on Wenger.

  17. Marc


    Within a week of Wenger moving out of the manager’s position Sanllehi’s title will change to DOF. Do you really think this guy would be joining us to have no power or influence in running the club?

  18. TonyD

    Ambassadorial role Marc that’s just wishful thinking.

    No way Wenger is going to accept a powerless role in the club.

    Wenger is not done with us/our club any time soon.

  19. Carts

    It’s been nothing more than a systematic ploy to reduce expectation among Arsenal supporters.

    Done in a very subtle way, using distraction tactics and adopting a victim & blame mentality, to justify ineptitude’s.

    if you attempt to untangle the web or dishonesty as well as arrogance and lack of preparation by wenger, you’re considered to be disrespectful and ungrateful.

    No one is asking for yearly championship medals or reaching the final of the CL; we just want to know why everything is done without urgency and with a lack of strategy.

  20. Dissenter

    You think a manager who’s had his hands in every pot for the past 22 years will just go to the board and not weird any influence.
    You really think the manager who’s hand the CEO and the entire board in the palm of his hands will just be the “ambassador”?
    The manager that can shush the board chairman or even rebuke the minority owner publicly?

    Like I said, I hope the position of manager of the French national team is available in the summer. I can’t think of a more deserving French man than Wenger.

  21. Marc


    You do know that Wenger doesn’t actually own the club. He won’t accept a role without power – he’s got to be offered one with power first.

  22. Marko

    He’s going to suffocate any new manager if he’s on the board especially since he will be the only football man there

    Very true but I don’t necessarily think the board would be involved in the next manager because they haven’t got a clue. I’d imagine Ivan, Raul and a possibility of Marc Overmars might be involved in the process. Certainly I hope Wenger has no input because he’d try to insist on some other cunt with “values” but to be honest there’s literally no one that comes to mind like Arsene Wenger who could possibly insist on running the club like that fucker does. I honestly can’t think of a manager who’s afraid to spend, afraid to address squad issues and who’s utterly inept when it comes to tactics and training methods. He’s truly one of a kind thankfully so we should be okay once he finally fucks off

  23. Marc


    “even rebuke the minority owner publicly?” what does that mean. Usmanov owns 30 odd percent of the club it gives him certain powers but he can’t even get a seat on the board.

  24. Bob

    Martin Keown.
    He’s as good as Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez’ – Arsene Wenger told to build Arsenal around Jack Wilshere.

    This English media when will they stop

  25. TheBayingMob

    “Reports on Twitter that Wenger wants to select his replacement and then move upstairs.

    Absolutely not.

    Wenger must go, he must go ASAP, he must have no say in who replaces him & he must have no role whatsoever going forward.

    Wenger completely out.”

    My sentiments exactly. Any situation where Wenger hangs around having an influence will mean nothing will change, the new man should have a clear table to work with without Wenger lauding it over him.

    We need a strong personality to come in, not Wanker choosig one of his former yes men. It would be a disaster.

    The only situation he should hang around in is one where the the new manager intends to completely humiliate him in every level for being such a power drunk old cunt …

  26. TonyD

    “Do you really think this guy would be joining us to have no power or influence in running the club?“

    Clearly you do Marc and I wish I could share your optimism on this, but people always have agendas and we’ve yet to see what Raul’s are.

    Once Wenger moves on to pastures new we will have a better idea of where the club is heading.

    I see many more dramas unfolding before that happens.

  27. Marko

    Dissenter I have a distinct feeling that there’s more than a few people at the club who are waiting for the opportunity to wrestle back influence from the man. AndI do believe that a new manager coming in wouldn’t allow himself to be a puppet for Wenger cause i think thats silly and the idea that the windbag would still have an influence on transfers or lack thereof over the new manager and DOF isn’t something I believe. It’ll be a big change for him whatever happens but he’ll have to deal with being irrelevant

  28. Dissenter

    You’re a really funny dude.
    I know you seem most of us as overly negative but don’t you think you’re too accepting of failure.
    You used to pride the club for placing top-4 on the league table. Now you’ve ;lowered the bar to Arsenal playing “the 4 most entertaining games in the prem this season have been at the Emirates and you must regard yourself as being fortunate to attend such attacking, end to end matches”

    Stop lowering the bar.

  29. Marko

    Not sure what role Overmars would come into.

    I’d imagine one that works closely with a manager on recruitment and has the ear of the board. It’s something new clubs have been trying out in Europe called a Director of Football. I know what you’re thinking another person who helps with player recruitment how can this be Arsene Wenger has been able to do it all by himself for years but it’s true it does exist and its been very successful at other clubs

  30. Marko

    Oh you definitely can’t take Pierre seriously especially after he recently said that we should be judged not on how we do in the league but how we perform in the cups. Very convenient and stupid I thought but hey it’s just another excuse pulled from the hat of a shameful Arsene apologist

  31. Marc


    What do you think Sanllehi’s going to be doing?

    Using sarcasm when you short of the facts isn’t the brightest thing to do.

  32. Dissenter

    In 2015 Usmanov criticized Wenger for placing values over ambition during an interview with CNBC.
    Wenger replied him in a. press conference saying “In the 18 years I have been here I have shown that I can take criticism. Everybody has the right to have an opinion,” said the Frenchman.

    “Having said that, we have values at this club. The first one is when we go through a difficult patch, we show solidarity. That is a very important one. The second one is that, when you have something to say to each other, we say it face to face. We don’t need to go to the newspapers.

    “I don’t take [it] personally at all. But when you’re from this club, you’re from this club. You’re in or out, you cannot be both. We know the rules of the game, we know how it works. What is important is how close we are together inside the club and how much we can respond to people who question our quality.”

    It’s immaterial that Usmanov does not have a seat on the board. He has hundreds of millions of his money in Arsenal and an employee of that club should bot be acting in that manner. Wenger acts like Arsenal;l didn’t exist before him and won’t survive after him.

    Don’t you think any other employee wouldn’t be jeopardizing their position by attacking a key stock holder of the company they work for?

  33. TonyD

    Nah Bob we should pay Wilshire £300k a week to keep him, don’t you think?

    Guess you might run out of insults starting with the letter D soon. But keep it going it’s very amusing to see the extent of your vocabulary.

    See if you can get over 4 letters then I’ll really be impressed.

  34. Marko

    What do you think Sanllehi’s going to be doing?

    What do you mean? He’s a negotiator so he’ll be a negotiator. He’s not going to be DOF over here he’ll be responsible for player negotiations and contract negotiations… he starts on February 1st so this month is being written off

  35. Marc


    Under usual circumstances yes but when you effectively have two blocks of shareholders who hate each other Wenger could get away with it because Kroenke probably liked it.

    I’m not suggesting it’s acceptable behaviour but we’re not living under usual circumstances.

  36. Bob

    Tony pub
    £300k for a Bournemouth reject.
    You guys in the pub must wish someone had come in for wilshere with a offer that big.
    Your country’s best midfielder is a Bournemouth reject.

  37. Bamford10

    I like this tweet from Barney Ronay, but I’m wondering if one of the Brits here can tell me what he means by “cod” in this context:

    “ ‘The crazy gang have beaten the culture club’ is still the weirdest piece of classic commentary. A Culture Club only has one meaning: cod reggae cross-dressing pop band.”

  38. Pierre

    “Oh you definitely can’t take Pierre seriously especially after he recently said that we should be judged not on how we do in the league but how we perform in the cups.”

    Marko… Let me give you some advice

    If you are going to quote me then it would be better if you use a quote that I actually said..

  39. Herb's Army


    We’re splitting hairs, whether or not Kroenke imposed the self-sustaining model matters little, he is a safety-first, cautious low risk investor who is only interested in profit.
    I agree with you about Wenger having more than enough resources to build a squad capable of challenging for both the PL title and CL, but as I commented yesterday, he is an extremely limited, short-sighted manager who was in his comfort zone at Highbury, but in a much bigger environment he has been exposed as being completely out of his depth.
    The whole Arsenal story has to be one of the strangest in modern football.

  40. TonyD

    Sorry Bob no points for pub. You’re looking for D-dog letter words.

    You obviously didn’t get the memo I live in Thailand 7 hours ahead of you.

    Don’t do pubs or bars as they are known here I prefer the company of intellectual Thai and western friends from the Rotary Club going to dinner in good restaurants with my wife.

    Fancy Wishire to bag another goal today and maybe an assist or two?

  41. ArseneisaFraud

    I agree that if ever AW is moved up to the BoD, and it may very well happen, it only should be in an non-executive role. It would be a total disaster to leave him with any ounce of power as he is incapable of bringing any progressive ideas. A favourite word that AW likes to use springs to mind in this case: handbrake.

  42. Bob

    All the English are upset that Barcelona didn’t want free wilshere but happy to pay £145mil for philippe coutinho.

    Both no.10 one Bournemouth reject one Barcelona £145m buy.

  43. Bamford10


    I don’t really agree that it’s hair-splitting, but we agree enough re the situation at Arsenal that I am happy to leave it there. Cheers.

  44. TonyD

    Looks like we’ll have to wait for that admission Bob as it seems Jacky boy is getting a deserved rest.

    You’ve got quite an English selection to choose from, though.

    Enjoy the game.

  45. graham62


    As I highlighted two days back, there are several levels of AKB supporters.

    I standby my statement that anyone who invests dirctly into the club –
    STH/Member/ Shareholder/Merchandise purchaser etc, is an AKB.

    Why promote to other posters that these are my views. ‘PLEASE SIR, STEVEN TOOK MY PENCIL!!” Pretty pathetic really.

    As for your assumption that all WOB’s are obsessed by Wenger, not true. Just highlighting things that are blatantly obvious and destroying the club. We are all different(thank God) but your argument, which tends to go along the lines of “accept it, as there’s nothing you can do about it” says more about you as a human being, rather than me as an “anti-Wenger obsessive”.

    Your roughly my age. Same generation/same historical upbringing/same Arsenal memories and yet we are oceans apart on our perceptions of the wrongs and rights of Arsenal Football club.

    Psychological weaknesses come in many forms. However, it is clear to me that when you continue to come out with daily comments that lack both logic and understanding (such as your take on the FA Cup) I just have to sit back and accept that you are either CLUELESS /IGNORANT/BLIND, or someone with their own “set agend” to just wind others up.

    Whatever the answer, you are, without doubt, an exceptionally annoying individual.

    I have a feeling your old school reports would have confirmed this.

  46. TonyD

    Graham don’t upset little P he’s got high hopes for this meaningless cup game tonight.

    Anyone got thoughts on the score?

  47. TonyD

    As much as I’m not bothered about the cup it’ll be interesting to see how the midfield line up plays.

    Welbeck supported by Iwobi and Walcott up front must be having Pierre salivating.

    Holding with Per and Debuchy at the back kind of reminds me of Swiss cheese.

  48. Marko

    If you are going to quote me then it would be better if you use a quote that I actually said..

    Oh you definitely said it Pierre

  49. TonyD

    I was thinking 1:1 as Walcott is on Southampton’s radar for a supposed £20 million, so might get on the scoresheet.

    Willock and Nelson could do with good games now Xhaka is out injured.

  50. R.S.P.C.Arsenal


    Enjoyed the read

    Don’t be a tease elaborate on players we have missed out in last years although we can guess