New manager update | Wenger’s misery is self-inflicted | Watford preview

by & filed under News Review.


Did I tell you? Great news on Joachim Löw is there’s not much meat to it. I have it on good authority from a few places that the rumour doesn’t carry much weight, and why would it? It’d be a daft decision. DAFT. Daft. Daft. Yer DaaaFT.

I think Conte’s agent said it best when he remarked that the smartest deals are done in the daft.

Wenger summed up the issue the fans have with him perfectly.

‘It’s not the person they hate, they hate the manager who doesn’t deliver the performance’

When fans say I personally hate Wenger, they’re so very wrong. People that know him have always told me I’d like him on a personal level. He’s charismatic, funny, intelligent, and loves to talk football. How could you hate that?

Do I hate his management performance? Heeeeell yes. If he turned that around, you think I’d be complaining? Heeeeeell no.

I really need to stop adding in these Americanisms into my writing… I asked someone if they could reach out to a person at work because they were butthurt yesterday.

Someone get British Airways on the blower, tell them I need a ticket back and my special food requirement is a marmite sandwich, some Jammy Dodgers and 3 pints of ‘GET IT TOGETHER SON.’

Back to the manager.

What you’re seeing here are the various stages of Wenger grief. First it’s not really a problem, then it’s a problem for the spoilt fans minds, then it’s a problem and the fans are to blame, then he realises that fans are important, then it’s about how sad he feels when there’s a problem and fans are right to be sad.

“But I’m just unhappy that we lose the games. I want to win, win with style even, so it’s very ambitious. When we don’t do it of course I’m suffering like everyone else.

“Arsenal is 30 million people, it’s not the suffering of one person, you want to make 30 million people happy and that’s what you care about.”

“It’s part of the job (a lack of sleep). It is surviving disappointments and finding solutions, it can make you a better manager to face crisis.”

I don’t care much for shared misery. When you control the situation soup to nuts, feeling sad about it is kind of pathetic.

… and that’s my issue, if Wenger truly cared about Arsenal winning, he’d try and solve the problems. He’d put his ego in Vik Akers store cupboard, he’d throw Boro Priromac and Gerry P in there too, and he’d seek help.

He doesn’t do that. He doubles down on his failing methods, and spends his time fending off attempts to help because they’re seen as attacks on his power structure. Remember, power is his drug of choice, that’s why he doesn’t go to Madrid or PSG. He can’t resist the buzz of a delicious line of authoritarian control. He’s the most important man at the club, he makes all the decisions, and he’s not accountable to anyone bar the guilt of Stan Kroenke.

He’s not serious about winning because he’s been trotting out lines like the above for 10 years. The fake end of season reviews, the ‘I’m going to make changes’ press, the war chest PR, and the occasional changeup of a formation. He’s needed ruthless backroom changes for years, he should have insisted on a new Chief Scout and DoF. He couldn’t handle it, it had to be forced upon him.

So as much as I feel for a man who is out of ideas, I can’t feel too sorry for him. We should be a fact-based football club and make data led decisions. Operating on sentiment is getting us nowhere, hopefully, the board carry out the difficult job of dispatching the manager this summer.

WE PLAY WATFORD TOMORROW. A player I will mostly be keeping my eye on Abdoulaye Doucouré, the Watford midfielder who is dropping stats like STATTO from classic TV series Fantasy Football League from back in the day (ahh, sweet memories).



Look at those numbers. He’s an all action hero! Apparently, Wenger likes him. Question is, could he make the jump to a solid midtable side like Arsenal (stole that joke from Twitter)?

The real eyes will be on Troy ‘I’m double aaaaard son’ Deeney. Watford sit 9 points behind us, which is comical really because they’ve been utterly shite since the last time we played them. Their season rapidly derailed BECAUSE NO ONE SLAGS ARSENAL, also, their manager fluttered his eyelashes at Everton, which rocked the squad’s interest in playing for him.

I expect we’ll take our scintillating form from Milan into this game and take them down. My main worry is Watford didn’t play midweek, so a slow start from a team that’s coming to bruise us could make things difficult.

Let’s see what happens. Arsenal need to course correct because the pack of crap behind us can smell an achievement. This won’t be as easy as Milan, let’s see what Wenger has in store.

See you in the comments.

627 Responses to “New manager update | Wenger’s misery is self-inflicted | Watford preview”

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  1. Wallace

    probably the only league game left that I care about tomorrow. would be delighted to see a couple of red card-worthy challenges flying in Deeney’s direction. if he makes the starting eleven.

  2. Bamford10


    No, it’s Wenger the man I hate, and for good reason. He’s petty, arrogant, blinkered, dishonest, deluded and full of shit. If he were simply the village priest, or the village librarian, or a pedantic but harmless schoolmaster, I imagine I could put up with his idiocy, but he isn’t those things; he is manager of Arsenal Football Club, and his personal failings have been hindering the club for a decade now, not to mention irritating the fuck out of everyone who has to watch and listen to him.

    Arsene Wenger is one of those few instances in life where disliking the man (as opposed to the role) is actually appropriate.

  3. Bamford10

    “Wenger playing the usual victim card, reminding everyone how much he loves the club and how it affects him when we lose. Year after year instead of competing, it’s all about Wenger, the Wenger show! It really is Arsene FC, and not in a good way. Hate the fraud! Wenger out.” – @redandwhite7

    Good tweet.

  4. Pierre

    “. petty, arrogant, blinkered, dishonest, deluded and full of shit.”

    Are you sure you are not talking about yourself?

  5. David Smith

    Wenger has nothing left in store, if we play well, it is down to the players waking up for some reason.
    Wenger would denilsonize that Watford MF.

  6. TonyD

    Wenger is a sociopath: falsely nice around people but happy to kill our club and have no conscience when doing it.

    You’re right in that he has been a garbage manager for 14 years. If he hadn’t had David Dein and inherited such great player/leaders, he probably would have failed as he did at Grampus 8 and Monaco.

    He got lucky and held on to it and milked for all it’s worth then hoodwinked Kroenke for 2 more years on the back of helping Stan buy the club and ensuring profits while running down the club to a shadow of what it was 16 years ago.

    More of the same if he isn’t kicked out.

  7. Bamford10


    Doucoure does look interesting. Surprised there hasn’t been more talk of him here. Did he feature in our last game against them?

  8. HillWood

    If Wenger only focuses on the next game as he keeps telling us, how are the team going to learn from previous failings?
    As Einstein said -insanity is repeating the same things over and over but expecting different results

  9. Bamford10

    Doucoure did play against us back in October. I don’t remember him from that match, but he looks like a real presence. A little rough around the edges in terms of some of his touches, but plenty of athleticism and quality.

  10. Bamford10

    “Says the stark raving mad narcissist who is dragging Arsenal FC down for personal gain & to satisfy his massively inflated ego. Nope, plenty of fans actually DO hate you personally [Arsene].” – @JohnJig

  11. NorthernGoon


    ‘No, it’s Wenger the man I hate, and for good reason.’

    This shows the measure of you as man and a person. You’re a pompous fuck with your faux outrage sitting behind you computer like the Emirates Virgin you are.

    I wouldn’t expect you to have any respect for past achievements seeing as you’re a Jonny come lately.

    You continue hating from behind your computer screen doing absolutely nothing but been bitter.

  12. Bamford10


    Right, except that many, many old-timers and north Londoners feel precisely the same way. See the tweets above, for example, not to mention many who comment here or on AFTV or elsewhere.

    So, no.

  13. Wallace


    “Doucoure does look interesting. Surprised there hasn’t been more talk of him here. Did he feature in our last game against them?”

    I think so, although don’t recall him standing out much that day. can look a bit scrappy at times,but has that power and aggression that we currently lack in there.

  14. Leftsidesanch

    Most people I come across detest Wenger as a man. He shouldn’t make sweeping statements like this because he really has no clue.

  15. steve

    “charismatic, funny, intelligent”

    Lol at this. You’re wrong on this one Pedro. Not only do we hate him as a manager. We hate him as a human being as well.

  16. steve

    Lol look how Bamfords comment hurt Pierre and NorthernCunts feelings. Two of Wankers most devoted groupies.

  17. NorthernGoon


    Not surprised that a cretin like you wouldn’t know what respect was if it came up and strangled you.

  18. alexanderhenry


    The Milan result points to an ‘oh so arsenalesque’ end of season winning run, so I’ll go for a comfortable victory on Sunday with a star performance from Ozil.

    It’s all academic at this stage.

    On creeping Americanisms:

    I agree. I’m not being at all anti american here, but I do feel that some of these transatlantic terms are taking over and being imposed on us.

    Ironically, I particularly hate:

    ‘Reaching out’

    ..which you used yourself. I’m not having a go because you live there and I’m guilty of it myself sometimes, dude.

    Here’s a broader view on it. Worth a read.

  19. Victorious

    “No, it’s Wenger the man I hate,
    and for good reason. He’s petty,
    arrogant, blinkered, dishonest,
    deluded and full of shit.”

    Why you’d hold so much contempt for Wenger and continue to Suck off Kroenke(yank cunt) who is truely killing the club boggles the mind

  20. Victorious

    “Wenger is a sociopath: falsely nice
    around people but happy to kill
    our club and have no conscience
    when doing it.”

    Says the clown who is sent on here by Daily Mail to troll the blog and spout endless bullshit everyday,what a hero

  21. GunnerDNA

    Is it possible to hate Arsene Wenger without knowing him personally or do you hate the way he operates as Arsenal manager. Hate is a strong word.

  22. Jackie

    Redtruth March 9, 2018 13:23:37

    I see Milan beating Arsenal at the Emirates it just depends on whether they can keep a clean sheet to go through overall.

    They dont need a clean sheet you mug. They could win 3-1 and still go

  23. Samesong

    I spoke about Dacoure before got that gangly long strides can move up and down pitch and very effective.


    Yes Wenger want’s to be loved.
    Evidently his antics at half time going
    down the tunnel at Milan are i am told
    not normal for a man of his age and position.
    Desperately holding on to any small victory.?

  25. Samesong

    Why you’d hold so much contempt for Wenger and continue to Suck off Kroenke(yank cunt) who is truely killing the club boggles the mind

    Difference is Bamford don’t call Wenger a French cunt!

  26. Jackie

    Dont know why people fall for the troll Northern ****.He is a slimy rat who comes here to abuse anyone who is critical of Wengker and fucks off back to Wengker’s backside once he is presented with facts. Twat

    Atleast the likes of Champagne and Pierre can converse with decency.

  27. Goongoonergone

    Don’t be conned by how nice Wenger is around people. That’s part of his preferred PR style to get people onto his side.
    If you want to know him really, review how he holds people and fans. in particular, in contempt. How does a good man speak utter bollocks so often?
    The Bard summed up Wenger perfectly: “Look like the rose but be the serpent underneath it”.

  28. Leftsidesanch

    You say its hard to hate someone personally you don’t know but I doubt a man like Wenger switches on and off. He holds the views of others in contempt, is deceitful, arrogant without cause, patronising and aggressive.

    Ironically, most of his supporters (for reference – Ty from Arsenal Fan TV, Northern, “Victorious” and the fans that defend him with their fists who I’ve seen in the stadium) share a lot of these traits too. Wenger isn’t a threat in footballing terms anymore and is a parody of himself. People look at him with pity, even though hes more wealthy than most of us all. Imagine that.

  29. Bamford10


    Right, unlike Steve, you value “dignity”. I mean, just look at your comment to me: “yank cunt,” “suck him off”. Very dignified.

    As for Kroenke, I have criticized him plenty; I just don’t criticize him for things he hasn’t done or that he isn’t responsible for. I also don’t have an animus against him because he’s an outsider or an American.

    Lastly, it’s “truly,” not “truely”. Cheers.

  30. Leedsgunner

    If Arsene Wenger cared about Arsenal he would walk.

    As it happens, he cares only about himself so he won’t. Why? He thinks he is bigger than the club. In fact, it’s worse, he thinks he is the club.

    That’s why I want him to go. He holds the club and her fans in contempt.

  31. Rainman

    ‘It’s not the person they hate, they hate the manager who doesn’t deliver the performance’

    Yes Wenger, it IS the person we hate, we hate you.

  32. Carts

    If I possessed the same character traits as Wenger, I, too, would be spewing philosophical nonsense as a means of getting the detractors off my back.

    Moreover, make no mistake about it, what he’s saying isn’t actually wrong. The issue is that that his own circumstance is of an isolated one. No other manager is in a predicament like Wenger hence no precedent has been set.

    He lacks the cutting edge to ever be relevant again. He’s been given carte blance for seasons-on-end; he was also given plenty of money to spend when we were hoarding obscene amounts of money. None of tht paid dividends.

    Sadly, due to Stan not ever having the pleasure of someone like Wenger, ever, he’s been bmboozeld by Wenger’s spin and deflection . Hence why Stan is non-comittal with regards to Wenger’s future.

  33. Guns of Brixton

    Rashford is very good.

    Honestly from a purely footballing perspective i hope that Mourhino foesnt ruin him

  34. Bamford10

    Paulinho may have to revise his assessment of Rashford. He may have a relatively simple game, but the kid can score goals.

  35. TonyD

    We have a lot of ground to make up to challenge Manure & bin dippers over a season.

    Not going to happen under Wenger

  36. Bamford10

    Xhaka was apparently saying “fuck off” to Wilshere the other night, not to Wenger. The two argued for some time after Xhaka skied that shot well over the bar from thirty yards out.

  37. Redtruth

    Redtruth March 9, 2018 13:27:02
    “Milan can easily win 2-1 at the Emirates, i just have my doubts on whether they can score enough goals to go through.”

    Jackie lol lol lol

  38. Jamie

    Oxlade would be world-class if he wasn’t so shit.

    Has the ability to skip past 3 players with liquid skills, drives forward, then almost always loses possession. Reminds me of Gervinho, except Ox is just doing it through the middle rather than on the flank now.

  39. Dissenter

    Paulinho will never revise his views on anyone unless they have Ramsey as a first name.
    He repeatedly disparaged Rashford even though he lad is just 20 year old and is still learning his trade.
    Don’t hold your breath for Paulinho to acknowledged that he’s as fallible as the rest of us.

  40. Dissenter

    It’s just cringe worthy to see Wenger trying to turn on the gears of his bull-shittery machine.
    He really does believe that he’s Arsenal FC.
    He deserves all the grief he gets.

  41. WengerEagle

    Most goals of players out of Europes top 5 leagues:

    1) Harry Kane- 38 apps, 35 goals.
    2) Cristiano Ronaldo- 34 apps. 33 goals.
    3) Ciro Immobile- 35 apps, 33 goals. (Plays in Europa League UCL)
    4) Edinson Cavani- 38 apps, 33 goals.
    5) Mo Salah- 39 apps, 32 goals.
    6) Lionel Messi- 41 apps, 32 goals.
    7) Sergio Aguero- 36 apps, 30 goals.

    Still of the opinion that Harry Kane doesn’t belong up there Bamford?

  42. Jasongms

    What happens if we play Atletico in the Europa final, they win yet have already qualified through their league position, do we still qualify for the CL ?

  43. Paulinho

    Bamford – Not really, When I criticised him I didn’t expect him to go scoreless for the rest of his career.

    Also he was garbage and eventually got dropped for about two months after I criticised him, so basically everything since my initial criticism has backed me up what I said about him, not the opposite.

    And look, not surprisingly, he’s faded out of the game as per and been taken off.

    He’s always a threat at the very start of matches or a sub. I said that from the start about him.

  44. Paulinho

    Lukaku has been superb though. Really showing the results of trying to incrementally improve his overall game rather than fixating on goals.

  45. Jamie

    Jasongms –

    No, we don’t. The only way 5 teams from the same league qualify for the CL is if one of the 5 teams both wins the Europa League and finishes outside the top 4.

  46. HighburyLegend

    A draw against Watford = “we were a bit tired after our awesome display at San Siro.”
    —>> lolZ.

  47. Paulinho

    Yeah, Chambo being Chambo today.

    Met a bit of resistance in midfield today and we saw the result. In the last few games he just seemed to continually pick up the ball in acres of space and just run into it.

  48. Carts


    credit where credit’s due, Ronaldo has adopted his game massively. At what, 32, he’s s effective as the spread of chlamydia on a university campus.

    Of rumours that Utd want him back, at close to 33, could he still do the boogie till 36? Not inconceivable, put it tht way.

  49. grooveydaddy


    If the EL winner has already qualified for CL via league placing, then their spot goes to the next in line from the 5th rated league, which I think would be the 3rd place team from the French league (who would normally have to qualify through the play-offs).

  50. WengerEagle

    Are people willing to hold their hands up about Alvaro Morata now btw?

    Heard numerous times off a hoard of posters on here that he’s a top class CF and just needs minutes/a starting berth to show his class.

    Has been complete rubbish after a decent start, match against us at the Emirates in early Jan he should have buried at least 3.

    12 goals in 36 apps is an incredibly average return in his first season as the main CF with Chelsea alongside the best player in the league in Eden Hazard.

  51. Jasongms

    Cheers Jamie, would have been just like Arsene to lose the final and still find a way back into the CL ..

  52. WengerEagle

    Lol Carts nice analogy.

    He’s already 33 mate, insane really as he’s really hit his purple patch just like this time last season, 17 goals in his last 10.

    I think that he’ll still be a Real Madrid player next season unless he noticeably physically declines over the summer, why get rid of him when he’s still averaging a goal a game?

    He’s carried their brand for close to a decade now too.

  53. Guns of Hackney

    The fake Ronaldo, although a knobhead, is an athlete. Doesn’t drink, doesn’t party…just trains.

    Being an athlete is a full time job.

    He still isn’t as good as most people think. Nor is Messi. Bully boys in a very weak league.

  54. WengerEagle


    How can you say that when Ronaldo has won back to back Champions League titles scoring 28 goals?

    116 goals in the UCL, 60 in the knockout stages, won it 4 times, scored hat-ricks against Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, brace against Juventus in the Final.

  55. TR7

    Ronaldo is an over hyped player. Adds very little to overall play, hangs on the shoulders of defenders like a poacher and shoots meaninglessly.

  56. Bamford10

    One, what new news do we have re Morata? I must have missed whatever it is that has people talking about him this morning. Please share.

    Two, I still like his game, but I never said he was “top class,” if by “top class” we mean one of the top CFs in the world. Of course he’s not that. I do like his game more than I like Lacazette’s or Lukaku’s, though.

    What say you, Paulinho, about Rashford? Any interest in revising your opinion there?

  57. TR7


    Yes, Ronaldo shoots at the goal meaninglessly in situations where the team would be better served from a normal pass/throughball. Takes too many shots to not score odd ones in a while and yet people go gaga over him. On the other hand every touch,pass and long range hits of Messi is so measured, it’s unbelievable.

  58. Champagne Charlie

    Rashford is decent, but the hyperbole is ridiculous. First game he’s started for United in 2018, good couple of goals, but that’s it.

    English fans will be claiming he should start at the WC after today alone. Ironically, when we’re likely to hear about anything Rashford does again from today.

  59. Bamford10


    Yeah, I definitely disagree with you re Rashford. He’s an excellent goal-scorer. Give him a chance or two and he gives you a goal. There are not a lot of players like that.

    I also don’t think he went to the bench because he had been “poor”. I’d say that was more Jose Mourinho fiddling with a squad that has a lot of attacking options — Martial often doesn’t even start — and maybe not even getting his selections right.

    United were better today because Rashford was in the XI. No question.

    As for Lukaku, he impressed you today? Because he headed a couple of balls on? Sorry, but I remain totally unconvinced by him. What does he do with the ball at his feet? Very little. A big athlete but not enough of a footballer for my taste.

  60. Guns of Hackney


    The fake Ronaldo’s stats are great, as is Messi’s. But…they are artificially pumped up in a very weak league. Yes the CL stats are also great but not ALL of his 116 goals have come against the top teams.

    Stats are deceptive.

    Two excellent players who are head and shoulders above their peers but I do not think that the current quality of footballers across the globe is that great. Football is probably as poor, quality wise, as I can remember.

  61. Bamford10

    I don’t get this claim about the “hyperbole” around Rashford. Can someone please tell us a little about these hyperbolic claims that are being made about him? Maybe these claims are being made in the English press, but they certainly aren’t being made by anyone here.

  62. WengerEagle


    I’ve always been a huge Messi fan but come on man, how can you disrespect Ronaldo like that?

    Sure he takes too many ill-advised shots and doesn’t possess the ability to run 1 vs 1 at defenders anymore but his positioning and the timing of his runs not to mention his all-round ability to finish off either foot or with his head (best header of a ball in Europe) is unmatched even by Messi.

    Re people going gaga over him, I don’t think they are I’m sure most people you ask would tell you that Messi is the better player and it’s not close after goalscoring.

    But how can you ignore/not pay respect to what he’s been doing this last year and in the UCL these past few seasons where he’s been out-scoring Messi at a drastic rate and winning multiple UCL titles?

  63. Paulinho

    Bamford – Rashford to me is that another variety of Theo Walcott. Bit more about him, with being taller, but ultimately lacking substance.

    How often has Walcott been on the bench over the years, started or come on as sub, and then showed incredible shooting technique when scoring a goal? Then he starts and we don’t see those goals again? Until he gets dropped of course and the cycle repeats itself.

    Lukaku keeps going. Doesn’t give up like the likes of Rashford and Walcott do once their initial speed advantage has wore off. Palace the other night perfect example. Kept going. Give me that any day over the flashy but shallow.

    The second goal was all Lukaku and and he set up the first; putting Rashford in the only position he’s consistently shown he can be a threat in his career so far.

  64. WengerEagle


    Disagree, that’s nostalgia kicking in.

    The UCL this past decade have been the highest quality football that I’ve ever seen by a distance, I loved the Henry/Ronaldinho/Shevchenko/Ronaldo9/Nedved era of football but they don’t even come close to what we’re witnessing with Messi and Ronaldo season after season.

    And I’m sorry but that’s complete nonsense re Ronaldo. He’s scored by far the most knockout stage goals in the UCL, more than 20 more than Messi in 2nd, he dwarfs Messi in QF/SF goals, he’s been the top goalscorer in all 4 of his UCL triumphs (something Messi cannot even boast of), last season was the most clutch string of UCL knockout performances that’s ever been seen with Ronaldo scoring 10 goals in 5 knockout stage matches from the QF onwards including hat-ricks vs Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich and a brace in the Final against Juventus.

    Juventus and Atleti are both widely regarded as the best defensive sides on the planet.

  65. Champagne Charlie


    Pretty clear where the hyperbole comes from, it’s everywhere regarding Rashford. Particularly England.

    Obvious you miss it because your source for everything is yourself. Being an oracle and all.

  66. Bamford10


    I don’t think anyone who watches Messi regularly would conclude that he is “overrated” in any way whatsoever. People who don’t watch him regularly and think the argument is about stats are a little in the dark, IMO.

    I am a massive Maradona fan, and I have long had debates with friends of mine who think Messi is head and shoulders above anyone who has every played. While I don’t agree with that assessment, and while I think there are things that a Maradona had that Messi lacks — such as power, strength, force — I think the superlatives used to describe Messi are definitely merited. He is unbelievable in close spaces, unbelievable with the ball at his feet, maybe the best passer in the world, absolutely clinical in front of goal, an incredible taker of free kicks. The list goes on and on.

    As for the argument that he plays in a weak league, this is a bit bogus. Many of the “minnows” in La Liga manage to give Barca, Madrid and Atletico a harder time than Arsenal would, and the PL is overrated a great deal by those who watch the PL primarily, IMO.

    Messi is phenomenal. To say anything less about him, IMO, is a mistake.

  67. WengerEagle

    Re stats, of course they can be deceptive but they can also confirm suspicions that you have about players.

    I always felt that Henry and Ibrahimovic were both poor (by their own incredible standards) in the UCL knckout stages, throughout trophy-laden careers with Henry actually winning the Champions League and competing in another Final, they scored 9 and 10 knockout stage goals respectively with 41 and 38 group stage goals.

  68. Bamford10


    Well, I follow many, many different football periodicals and pundits on Twitter, actually, and I read a good many publications and blogs. I have not seen all of this Rashford hyperbole. If it’s so ever-present, why don’t you give us a few examples of it? I am not really even doubting that it exists, but given that no one here is peddling it, I’m a little confused as to why it’s always brought up.

    Paulinho – What are some of the overstated claims that have been made about Rashford, IYO?

  69. WengerEagle

    Yeah Rashford to me is a very good finisher but not a lot else, reminds me of Javier Hernandez back in the day for United not positionally exactly but the way he could ghost in and score after doing nothing for most of the match, Walcott’s another good example.

    Ultimately these are players that you love to have on your bench but cannot start if you’re serious about competing for titles, Rashford strikes me as thinking that he’s better than he is like Hernandez did as well so not sure how long he’ll be happy to sit on the bench.

  70. Paulinho

    WE – Yeah certain players that are undoubtedly great, but you never felt threatened by them in Europe.

    Totti a prime example. We played Roma a few times, so did Liverpool back then, and he never looked a threat. Too slow, dropped deep time and time again, and was easily subdued. Only had to worry about the ball falling to him because his shooting abilty was incredible. Still a great player in my book, but that little asterisk there regardless.

    Juan Carlos Valeron different story, yet you don’t hear a squeak about him when discussing the top echelons of players around that time. Nightmare player to contain from deeper positions.

  71. Bamford10


    Rashford = Walcott? No. Absolutely not. Unlike Walcott, Rashford can dribble, can beat defenders from the dribble. Look at the Cruyff cut he used to beat the defender on his first goal today. That was excellent. Walcott didn’t have and doesn’t have that ability.

    I’ll get to Lukaku in a second.

  72. Champagne Charlie


    Figures. You pick sources that suit your way of humming, this compounding your narrow view of things. Makes a lot of sense.

    No, I’m not going to give examples at your say so. Your idea Rashford is an “excellent goal scorer” is hyperbolic in itself. He’s scored 23 in 93, which is decent. Not close to excellent.

    He’s English, scored a brace against Arsenal on his prem debut, and a brace against Liverpool in a high profile derby. These situations feed hyperbole, expand your football circle and you’d be aware of such. Being in the dark about something like that is plain odd.

  73. WengerEagle

    I maintain that Walcott lost a yard of pace circa 2012-13 for us too, people sometimes forget how electric he was in his late teens/early 20’s for us.

    That UCL goal away to Shakhtar sticks out in particular.

  74. Paulinho

    Bamford – You mentioned it, english press mostly and muppet fans watching him do a few step overs when playing for England in a few friendlies.

    There was strong clamour a few months back he should start for England in the World Cup. That’s hyperbolic for me. Sterling, Kane, and Alli are far more mature and proven over longer periods of time.

    As a sub, possibly, but he needs to consistently start games for United and stop fading every single time before I’m impressed by him. Michael Owen was quick but had the brain to be effective even when defences were sitting deep, so he could score at any point during a match. That intuition was always there.

  75. WengerEagle


    It’s why I rated Kaka so highly, was a player that raised his game in the crunch moments in Europe. Like an elite version of the Park/Ramsey examples that you were talking about, didn’t blow you away with his stats in Serie A even if they were outstanding for a midfielder but once he played in Europe he kicked it up a notch.

    Complete chaos to contain, only player I’ve ever seen that destroyed Fergie’s United in 2 back to back legs besides the real Ronaldo in 2003, put them to the sword in OT.

  76. Paulinho

    ” Rashford can dribble, can beat defenders from the dribble”

    As a sub, at the very start of matches he can do that, but after that he becomes a kick and run merchant as defenders get used to his pace. Very little dribbling ability at all once he loses physical sharpness.

  77. Bamford10


    I see. I agree with you there, then: he shouldn’t be starting over Kane, Alli or Sterling, and calling for him to do so would be “hyperbolic”.

    I do think you understate his qualities, though. He has more to his game than a Walcott, IMO.

  78. WengerEagle

    Deportivo were great in those early to mid 2000 years.

    Valeron, Roy Makaay, Pandiani, Andrade.

    That 4-0 battering of Ancelotti’s great Milan side was legendary.

  79. Paulinho

    WE – Agree on Kaka. Zidane as well. Both of them had mediocre stats but could pick the ball up in midfield and just cut a swathe through midfield when they felt like it.

    Teams just backed off from that moment on when they realised what they could do.

  80. TR7


    Of course Ronaldo’s goalscoring record is great and he will go down in the history as a great goalscorer but his overall game leaves a lot to be desired. I know there is no way to measure it but many goals of Ronaldo come at the expense of overall level of team play. Not the kind of player that catches my fancy.

  81. Paulinho

    Bamford – He has something I agree. It’s big call, but that’s the fun of it. I think ultimately he won’t reach the levels expected, and that can be difference between being a United regular and dropping off the face of the earth in football.

    Problem with Rashford is that I can see him being even worse for a lesser side. Think he will get well and truly found out if he drops a level. Because he hasn’t got the basics.

  82. WengerEagle


    I don’t know how you can say that with all he’s won though, Real Madrid had not won a UCL title in 7 years when he joined and had not even advanced past the last 16, since 2009 they’ve won 3 UCL trophies (more than anyone) and have at least made the SF in every season (only team).

    Man United were inferior to Arsenal and Chelsea at the time Ronaldo joined United, as he got older and improved he led them to 3 consecutive league triumphs before he left for Spain.

    You’re absolutely selling him short and are being a bit of a prisoner of the moment, he’s only properly physicall declined the past few seasons, and not like RM are suffering because of it.

  83. Bamford10


    I agree that his game is relatively simple, but I think if he is deployed correctly — for example, in a two-forward set-up — he can be very dangerous. He’s not going to be a great all-around footballer, no, but I do think he could be a very good goalscorer.

  84. WengerEagle

    Zidane was the ultimate big game player Paulinho.

    Ribery is another that always brings his A game as is Andres Iniesta.

    Much more valuable players than the flat-track bully boys that will destroy over the course of a season imo because the best teams tend to have enough in the attacking arsenal to beat most sides over the course of a season, these are the guys that you need to go far in the UCL and to win on the biggest stage.

  85. Paulinho

    WE – Robben as well.

    Think Kaka, Robben, Iniesta, and Zidane are my favourites out of all them. Ronaldinho as well. His performance against Chelsea back in 05 at Stamford Bridge was unreal.

    That middle third area of pitch, just melting the congestion in there with dribbling and general ability and completely opening up the game for their teammates.

  86. WengerEagle


    I think that Iniesta and Zidane in particular stand slightly above the rest of that pack, the amount of times they’ve made the difference in SF/Finals at club and international level is insane.

    Rooney’s quotes on Iniesta after the 2009 UCL Final still stick out to me. That goal vs Chelsea in the SF, the World Cup winner, his MOTM performance at the Bernabeu in the 4-0 demolition of RM in 2015, his masterclass in the 5-0 humiliation of Mourinho’s RM side, etc.

    Don’t even need to go into ZZ’s history chapter, his international and UCL exploits speak for themselves.

    Robben’s a funny one, he’s gone through a fair few stages of his career. Was beastly at Chelsea as a kid winning back to back titles and then faded a bit after his RM move, very similar to Wesley Sneijder.

    Then became elite at Bayern although he suffered his fair share of bridesmaid moments there, culminating in 2012 where I think he came 2nd in every comp to Dortmund domestically and Chelsea in the UCL in Munich, missing a penalty in both Finals.

    2012/13 must have been cathartic for him, finally put to bed those demons and who better than Dortmund themselves in the UCL Final as revenge.

    Think he earned a new level of repect off the footy world when he carried a sub-par Netherlands to within a cunt hair of the World Cup Final in 2014.

  87. TR7

    Regarding Milan Vs Arsenal, I thought Welbeck was immense. Ran their accomplished defenders ragged. The guy would have been some player if he could score. Also noticeable Xhaka looked so comfortable against a slow Italian opponent. I guess he should move over to Seria A.

  88. Bamford10


    Pull up whatever quotes you like. I rated him over Lukaku and Lacazette. I liked his game. I still do. He’s been in England for what, 7 months? Has had injuries. It’s a little early to be saying anyone got him right or wrong. Not to mention neither Lukaku nor Lacazette has pulled up trees either, so I’m not sure those who preferred those players have much to sing about.

  89. Dissenter

    I love the way Mourhino is managing Pogba’s nonsensical behaviors.
    He’s not taking any nonsense from him. I

  90. Bamford10


    The one way in which I agree with you re Ronaldo is that there isn’t as much to his game as there is to, say, Messi’s game. For example, is Ronaldo a great passer of the ball? No. Great in combination with others? No.

    However, when it comes to what he does possess — athleticism, scoring, nous — he is pretty damn fantastic. You don’t accrue the goals he has accrued without being great.

    He isn’t really my cup of tea either, but he remains a great player.

  91. TR7


    Everyone talks about Messi benefitting a lot from playing alongside Xavi and Iniesta, in fact so much so that some people claimed Messi would not be the player he is if not for them. But rarely anyone talks about how much has Ronaldo benefitted from having Marcelo and Benzema playing alongside him. Sure they are not at the level of Xavi-Iniesta but their whole game is geared towards making Ronaldo tick. In fact Benzema has to subvert his own game to help Ronaldo. You could say the same for Xavi and Iniesta. They played their own game. I don’t even need to explain how having a rampaging Marcelo on the left side has helped Ronaldo. The guy is so good offensively that Ronaldo can vacate his left wing position and hang in and around the box knowing Marcelo will somehow manage to make a cross /pass to him.