Giving up the league Wenger’s master strategy for toppling Atletico

by .

Screen Shot 2018-04-02 at 21.24.01

Once again, Arsene Wenger finds himself in a situation where he can excuse the rapid decline of the club. His team tanked in blue again, losing 2-1 to a very average Newcastle side, but somehow, the press has brushed this off as a byproduct of searching for Europa League glory.

Partly, that could be seen as true. However, as is everything with Arsene Wenger, you need to have context. If this were off the back of a scintillating season, you could perhaps acknowledge the changing shape of our form. That’s not the case though. Our form is an illness that’s plagued the club for years now.

This season’s particular ailment happens to be away form. We just lost our 5th away game in a row this season, we’re the only club in the league to not have registered a single point away from home in 2018. In the home league table, we’d be third, in the away league table we’re bottom half. It’s staggering how damaged we are once we step off the away day bus. What makes this problem even worse, is Wenger has teed up the atmosphere at home as a reason for poor form in the past. Maybe the lack of fans > the lack of venom is our secret sauce for away games? Maybe away fans are the problem?

The game wasn’t much to write home about. Lacazette and Auba combined nicely inside the opening 15 minutes, Lacazette reaching a teasing cross at the back post. Then it all collapsed in a combination of low energy and silly defensive mistakes. The whole defense was beaten route one from a Shelvey hoof to Gayle, he held onto it, laid the ball off for a tidy front post cross finish by Perez. The second time Mustafi has been caught napping in a week, in exactly the same move.

Who spoke to him after he made the same mistake against Southampton?

The second came from a throw. Mustafi made a hash of it, Monreal made a double hash of it, Slimani nodded to Perez, who laid it into Ritchie, with the finish inevitable.

Losing 2-1 to Newcastle is shabby, they are Championship level. It does show you how good Rafa is as a coach. He’s taken a very poor group of players and crafted a masterful season, hats off to those boys.

But what does it say about Arsenal? Wenger has let the concentration handbrake off on the season. Burnley are closing in on us, terrible records are closing in on Arsenal. It’s really not looking good. Mourinho pulled this stunt towards the end of the last season, but his path to Europa glory was easy… but it was still a gamble.

Wenger now has Atleti in the semi-final. I’m not sure bombing the league is in his interest, because if he gets beaten, which seems likely, all he has to fall back on are the facts from the season.

> You spent a load of money

> You didn’t improve the team in any way

> We didn’t make Champions League again

> You didn’t win anything

How can the club possibly back him for another season like this?

Also, there’s an argument to say that when you’re still playing for something, as a player, you should be fighting for your place. Keeping your game sharp. It’s hardly helpful that Mustafi and Chambers are recording disaster classes on the regular. It’s not a positive to keep getting your ass handed to you. I think it’s arrogant. Sure, we’ve had an extra gear in the Europa League this season, but that’s only because the competition has been absolutely dross. The idea that we can switch off in the league in prep for playing one of the best teams in Europe is quite horrifying.

What all this shows is that Wenger doesn’t care about winning. He doesn’t know how to motivate players. He is utterly lost as an elite manager.

Worth noting that Atletico won 3-0 vs Levante as they cement 2nd place in La Liga. They’re up to 71 points, still pushing for a league they have next to no chance of winning. That’s proper coaching.

I guess if Wenger shows Simeone how it’s done over 2 legs, we really will have no argument over this season.

There’s also an ugly rumour doing the rounds that Wenger reckons he’s going nowhere, goading the club into trying to fire him.

Can you imagine being that arrogant about your future? Only Arsenal would be meek enough to have their next seasons plan geared around the hope their manager is self-aware enough to fire himself.


Right, see you in the comments. I’m back in England this week. Also, I have a treat coming up for you in a few weeks. I have a bonified expert in fitness, and he’s going to talk to us about red zones, player loads, j-curves and a host of other shit you had no idea about that goes into keeping players fit.

I am VERY excited about that.

Also, moving forward, no more drunk podcasts. I apologise for that.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Nice post, especially the bit about “United’s expensive brand of stodge”


“I live in a world governed by science and fact.”

Just like kim jong lol


Rambo Ramsey

“Wallace, why did you miss out the next Paragraph – ‘En route to winning the title and a League Cup Guardiola has spent £448m on players in two seasons, the greatest single transfer splurge in history.’”

Ronay’s already supplied my response…

“By contrast, the champions have been a rare gift, a reminder that for all its vested interests, its fixed hierarchies, elite modern football can still be a genuinely uplifting thing.”


It is so often said that to get success you need stability at a football club, allow the manager to create his own philosophy at the club and titles will come. In the last 5 years City and Chelsea have dominated the Premier league(Leicester are the exception) … Have they had stability at the top, not really… City have had 3 different managers in the last 6 years as have Chelsea.. Because Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger had so much success and they were the longest serving managers it is still assumed, at Arsenal anyway, that that is the best… Read more »


“he is what we need at this moment in time.”

And he’s exactly what we will not have.


“The perfect scenario for me is for Arsenal to win the Europa cup and then for Wenger to step down”

Have a much more realistic scenario for you: how about not winning the ELC, plus le senile twat is gonna stay ??


@PierreApril 17, 2018 09:35:36

Very good. Agree with most of that I have to say.

Champagne charlie

“Try and live for the moment and don’t rely on others to hold your hand. No wonder the world is in the state it’s in.”

What does that even mean? I swear your comments are more and more bizarre as the days pass


It’s pure poetry, without a doubt.


The divide in the fan-base presently is shockingly mind-boggling,you need not look beyond legrove to witness first-hand how the WOB’s have further evolved into what now looks like a ‘cult’.. this set of fans are violent in nature and are ready to let go of any credibility left in them an attempt to undermine the achievements of Wenger and wish all sorts of evil upon the man,they even claim he is mentally unstable(despite being our most successful manager to date)ridiculous enough?……wait for it The hatred is so strong and irrational that you’d be pilloried with all forms of insults when… Read more »


Victorious knows best, as usual.


Daily Mail reporting that low attendance at the Emirates has the board and ownership concerned enough that they will be reviewing Wenger’s status this summer.

Fingers crossed that we will be spared another season of dipshit.


We do have a board ?? Breaking news!!


Rumors that Pogba and Martial will both be sold this summer. If so, it will be interesting to see where each goes and at what valuation. Pogba’s stock has declineda bit, I think, Martial’s a little too, though his was so sky-high when he left Monaco that that might’ve been inevitable.


United made LESS playing in the CL this season (EUR 38.9) than they did from the EL (EUR 44.5) last season! The primary reason being teams who enter the CL via winning the EL are not eligible for a share of their nation’s CL TV pool. Obviously, they have done better overall as they have such enormous commercial revenue, and a lot of those contracts will only pay out in full if the club are offering CL exposure. Will be interesting to see the EL numbers for us. I think you can only make reasonable money from it by both… Read more »


Vicuntious the true fan has spoken lolololol. What an absolute dope.


The divide in the fan-base presently is shockingly mind-boggling

You’re an idiot.

you need not look beyond legrove to witness first-hand how the WOB’s have further evolved into what now looks like a ‘cult’.

Speaking of cults…you’re an idiot

you’d be pilloried with all forms of insults when you make a balance argument in his favor,its really a shocking and equally embarrassing situation

You’re so dumb. You’re more obsessed with terms like AKB and WOB than anyone else here. You’re a clown

Barking Arsene

“The primary reason being teams who enter the CL via winning the EL are not eligible for a share of their nation’s CL TV pool.” This is a really interesting point to note – the fact that we could gain entry to the CL via the back door doesn’t stack up financially – we are better off (from a financial perspective) competing in the Europa again next year and finishing top 4. Makes the “top four trophy” more important from a financial perspective. Maybe if Kroenke is all about money we should hope Wenger wins the Europa so Stan can… Read more »


City two days after coasting the league are being linked with Mbappe and Thiago. Already planning it seems


lol M’bappe is like kim jong, ain’t going anywhere.


Pogba on his way out, eh? I know Adidas pay Utd a truck load of money, and usually that’s where the buck stops. Howver, I don’t think they’ll be too happy to see him leave, so soon.

As for Martial, his days are numbered. I also read Rashford has refused to sign a new deal, while disillusioned at the amount of time he’s spending on the bench.

Mourinho really is a fun sponge.


MarkoApril 17, 2018 11:46:51

Who’s this in reference to?


I’ve got no love for Luis Enrique
Messi, Suarez and Neymar made him look good. Those three would flatter any manager including Wenger
He flunked out at Roma.

No Enrique. The premier league will eat him alive.

We have to start with a tactical that can make these current squad work. We aren’t a big money club.

Rafa is the best bet.
He knows the premier league very well.