The good news simply keeps on rolling in for Arsene Wenger. Matty Debuchy, forgotten right back, is on a storming run at St. Etienne. This from Matt Spiro.
‘Just five weeks after leaving
#Arsenal, Mathieu Debuchy has scored two goals, lost no games, become cult hero at St Etienne, been nominated alongside Neymar for #Ligue1 player of month award, and got himself back in World Cup contention for France’
He was never a bad player, and people behind the scenes spoke highly of him, but a few bad injuries and the Wenger shutout sent his career the same way as that of Thomas Vermaelen.
Tony Cascarino has been skim reading the situation at Arsenal. At the weekend, he was basically saying Wenger’s biggest issue was not pressing Stan K for enough money. Yesterday, he went big on what he thinks we’ll see the directors running for the SACK button.
“Forget your demonstrations and phone-ins,”
“There is no way that Arsene Wenger will survive; in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if his fate is already decided, though I would love for him to come out this week and say he’s walking away.
“Nothing scares the directors more than empty seats.”
Now Tony, let me explain, the number of empty seats is not the key issue. We’ve had empty seats for years. The concern would be seats sold, and we always sell out.
The thing that’ll make the directors run for the hills is another season out of the Champions League. Bonuses will start to lighten, sponsors will offer less money for our new kit deal, and someone will be burning Wenger effigies outside fancy north London homes.
… and even when all that happens, Stan will still have a hard time pulling the trigger.
There’s a good stats blog from Matias Karen that paints the season in a deep musky shade of brown. A few good ones include:
We’re on the hook for our worst ever defensive year. The record is 49, we’re at 41. We’re also at the lowest win ratio, at 44%. Finish 6th or 7th, and it really will be tears all around.
Finally, I’m gonna ride a Segway scooter into the latest podcast with this Thierry quote.
“Listen, I’m a competitor, you don’t back down from a challenge.
“We are hypothetically speaking before people jump ahead of everything, [but] I have never backed down from a challenge since I was young.
“If I had listened to people who were talking about where I was going to be, I would not have been here.
“When I arrived at Arsenal, they said to me, ‘Why are you outside of the box, you will never score goals?’ with my position being on the left or whatever it was. You don’t back down from a challenge, you always think that you can.
“When I came back to play for Arsenal, everybody, all my friends were saying, ‘It can only tarnish your legacy, why are you going back there?’
“If you love a place and they ask — I repeat, they ask — for help, you are always going to say yes. What I am saying to you is again, we are talking about hypothetical thoughts.”
Thierry is more thirsty than Wayne Rooney on Day 1 of a Benidorm Stag Do. He’s literally dribbling over the job, someone call HR, we have an awkward situation going off and we need paper towels.
Jump into our podcast to hear more about this, but my hot take on it is I’m not sure you should ever meet your heroes… or maybe I mean, never let your heroes take over the Arsenal job.
We’re all very much in the ‘ANYONE BUT WENGER’ boat, and look, I’ve been in there rowing like a pro for 10 years… but someone needs to be rational here.
- You don’t give someone a burning dumpster as their first job in football, just ask Gary Neville
- I’m not sure he’s that qualified. He hasn’t coached anywhere decent, and he’s been expsosed to Belgium under Roberto Martinez
- I feel he’d be getting the job just because he’s mates with Josh K
- But, you know, can Thierry do wrong? Surely he’s just naturally good at things?
NO, be rationa. I love the man, a dream of a player, but it’d be a helluva risk.
Phillipe Auclair did paint him as a football obsessive. When he landed at Arsenal, they put 3 TVs in his hotel so he could immerse in football. Let me tell you, when I land in a hotel, that’s not what I’m doing with 3 TVs. Elite discipline for a man so young. He’s also played under Pep and he speaks a lot about tactical flexibility and using the mind to win games.
Anyway, we covered that off in our excellent new podcats.
- We talk about Wenger’s attempt at changing things up
- We talk about whether the players downed tools
- We discuss emotion in a world that doesn’t tolerate it: Namely, are tears ok in a sports work environment?
- We then take on the three most likely managerial scenarios that could happen
It’s a cracker, thanks to @Topical_Storm (Dan from the comments) for joining me again. Also, thanks for joining in record numbers this year! It’s like you all suddenly woke up and realised this is great contentz.
If you’re on iTunes, be kind, give us a 5* rating and tell us we’re beautiful. Please. I mean it.
P.S. Check out Gav’s new shop (@Shewore)! TheArsenalShirts.com