Arsene Wenger delivers his final European disaster class™

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Well, this is tough.

It’s a real mixed bag of feelings when you step up to write a post about a manager who is dying a painful metaphorical death in an undignified manner. Arsene Wenger looked like a stray dog tonight. One hit by two cars on a Spanish motorway, writhing in agony, hoping a juggernaut would make it quick and easy.

It took 180minutes, but the outcome was never really in doubt. In 2018, there was to be no fairytale ending for Wenger. Simeone controlled the both legs, like a cat with a mouse between its paws. The real torture was giving fans hope that there was a chance of escape.

At every level, Arsene-al were exposed.

Madrid survived the first leg through dogged determination, exceptional planning and an intense dedication to the gospel of the clean sheet.

The second leg was a little simpler. Make it all about Diego Costa. The Spanish/Brazilian picked up where he left off at Chelsea (pre-cup final). In the opening 6 minutes, he brutalised our backline, proving he was the alpha male. From an Oblak hoof, he won the first ball brushing Koscielny over, then swatting Monreal away with ease for a lash at our goal. It was humiliating to watch, I felt like a troubled parent seeing his kids decked on the playground, I wanted to run onto the pitch with a blanket and shout ‘you monster’ at Diego for bullying my babies.

Sadly, no one could intervene in the inevitable, Thomas Partey (who was excellent) won the ball in the middle of the park finding Griezmann, the Frenchman released Costa in behind Bellerin, the chipped finish evaded Ospina, and flatlined our hopes. So predictable he’d have that sort of game against a team that’s never really come to grips with his real-life boogeyman persona. Almost cruel he’d do that in Wenger’s last European match.

I’d be foolish to put it all on bad Diego juju, but his leadership from the front inspired a world-class Atleti defensive performance that limited Arsenal to 1 Xhaka shot on target all evening. Really poor considering our MO is apparently attacking football. I will give credit to Chambers who performed really well after coming on for Kos, who sadly looks like he’s in very bad shape for the future.

Outside that, Arsenal struggled with the usual issues. Jack Wilshere and Xhaka failed to impact the game under harsh pressing from Atleti, Ozil melted into nothingness showing the club have indeed made a huge mistake giving him a mega-deal under duress this year, Lacazette was easily absorbed by towering performances from Godin and co. We didn’t have many options on the bench, not that Wenger had done any sort of scenario planning to chase the game if things weren’t going his way against a resolute defensive team.

There was one moment when a ricocheted ball found its way into Ramsey’s path, I counted 4 Atleti players who were alert to the ball, it was unreal focus and animalistic determination to keep the clean sheet that muzzled the chance. I miss that sort of care for defending.

It was an ‘almost’ game. One that we’ve seen so many times over the years against teams that don’t really like possession. You’re convinced there’s a shred of hope, but the reality is Atleti had a next level, Arsene Wenger’s side absolutely did not. Men against boys. We were totally schooled in tactics, intensity and desire.

What this exit did prove is this: The campaign to remove Wenger was entirely correct. The people that fought for his continuation in the face of damning evidence were enablers of the rot. Martin Keown made a brutal attack on Ozil after the game that’s stealing a lot of headlines.

“And it’s almost like somebody needed to grab him a long time ago and give him a shake and say ‘we’re trying to get the ball to you, we are working for you but you’re not working for us’.

“I bet he doesn’t play again this season. He’ll have some emotional breakdown and won’t be able to play at the weekend.

“I don’t know how many illnesses he’s had this season. The fella is not kidding me. That is not a proper performance. He’s not giving everything and there’s much more under the bonnet. Somebody else will find it.

I’m game for digging the German out for another insipid performance, but let’s take a step back, where was Keown when Wenger was tanking the side over the last 5 years?

This was him in 2015:

“Arsene Wenger decides when he leaves Arsenal. The topic of Wenger comes up all the time and I think we should allow the great man to decide when he goes,”

This was him Feb last year:

“If he was to go at the end of the season I’m not sure the club would be ready. Which manager they would turn to?

“We’ve seen Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola arrive at Liverpool and City and they’ve not been successful either in terms of winning trophies.”

Arsenal has missed out on so many great managers over the last 6 years because of enabling comments like the above, along with the consistent drumbeat of ‘well, who else is there?’ from so-called experts. Now where are we? Our team is in tatters, we’re 6th in the league with Burnley breathing down our necks and our rebirth job is going to need £200m, but we only have £50m to do it with because we wasted £150m on a manager who has been a disaster with the chequebook.

… but here’s the thing. At least the Arsene Wenger chapter of our story is now over. I’d take any scenario over his on-going tenure. If the cost of him leaving is a stand in his name, so be it. I’ll carve the name plaque tomorrow and arrange the party to announce it.

Being predictably humiliated in major competitions will now be a thing of the past. I’m not saying we won’t have bad moments, but we’ll have less of them, and if we’re being beaten consistently in the same way, the manager will pay a price. We’ll be like a real football club again.

We’ll hire a manager who can build a defence, imprint an attacking philosophy and provide innovative answers for the issues that happen on the pitch. We’ll move away from thinking values trump results. It’ll be magnificent.

I’m not saying I want a win-at-all-costs scumbag in charge, I’m just saying I want someone at the helm who can offer up an intelligent path forward for a club desperately lacking an identity. I want an exciting philosophy, I want a disciplined pressing style, I’d like someone to bring joy back to the Arsenal.

A club of our size and reported ambition should be fighting to be the best. We should be an excitement cauldron everyone wants to be bubbling in. We should be challenging past March. We should have a chance of winning major trophies when we’re in the semi-final. We should never be beaten before the game has started.

That’s coming.

Arsene going out of the Europa League a failure is sadly what he deserves, it’s what the club deserves. Why? Because sentimentality has no place in elite sport, and we’ve allowed the ‘thanks for the stadium’ tour go on for far too long. Our legendary manager had three chances of a glorious send-off over the past 4 years and he greedily middle fingered them all, with no one around him gutsy enough to tell him to quit while he had an open top bus parked outside Colney. Instead, he tried to make progress bend to his regressive whims, foolishly thinking the past was his future accountability. He treated the club like his own personal fiefdom and Arsenal became a weird lifestyle job for a rich old man no one could ask to leave. The ending was never going to be pretty, but now it’s well and truly over.

Wenger: 22 years in charge, 22 seasons of European football, 2 finals, 0 trophies.

A sorry return when all is said and done.

… but, I can promise you this, the next 22 years will deliver more.

We are The Arsenal, and things are about to start looking up. The future is bright, and now we can start getting truly excited for the next chapter.

See you in the comments.

330 Responses to “Arsene Wenger delivers his final European disaster class™”

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  1. Biggles

    Genuine question here.

    Who can think of Bosmans at the top level that have worked out? About the only one I can think of was Lewandowski.

  2. Freddie Ljungberg

    Sol Campbell did alright…

    Going to be more and more common place now when most of the power lies with the players and transfer fees are skyrocketing

  3. Carts

    Max Meyer on a free is a no brainer, but how exactly he’ll fit in would be interesting.

    Small, diminutive and quite technical, essentially spells the end of Wilshere.

    I suppose what will inform our player purchases will be what formation said coach/manager will opt for.

    3 midfielders in a 4-3-3 or 2 midfielders in a 4-2-3-1…

  4. champagne charlie

    What Freddie said…

    Players know if they run their deal down THEY are the beneficiary’s of the inflated market through their wages.

    Lewy, Ozil, Alexis, Goretzka…….. Can, Meyer, De vrij, Asamoah, Shaw are all ‘available’ the summer and would provide Arsenal possible solutions.

  5. WengerEagle

    Could care less about sexy names CC, I just don’t rate Meyer particularly highly.

    Think he’s good but we should be looking for better than good players if we truly are looking to be ambitious under a new gaffer.

  6. Rambo Ramsey

    ‘Either you’re stupid, or wilfully ignorant. Pick one and run with it, I don’t care which.’

    Says the numpty who claims Arsenal are ‘in great shape’. Not even a halfwit could come up with such stuff.

  7. TheBayingMob

    I watched all of Real v Bayern the other day, I was stuck in Houston’s IAH with a decent WiFi connection, very early for a flight. I was so impressed with quality of play from both teams, to be honest,Bayern especially. They were very, very good. All I could think is how far Arsenal have fallen from this level of performance, how far Wenger has dragged us down.

    It will be interesting to watch his next move.

    Will he just move into mega-paid punditry? He will undoubtedly take some undeserved shilling from the WC in Russia this summer.

    International management? It’s a possibility, and that would be interesting. International football is fucking boring to begin with, but defined another way it’s defensive and profoundly tactical, two things that Wenger is not. Would be a McClaren like disaster IMO.

    Will he move back into management? PSG seems obvious; I can see this going two ways, initially I can see him being successful moving to a club that someone else has built and coached to a level as he did with Arsenal in 1996/7, but I don’t see that period being as successful as it was then. At that time we had a back line that wasn’t going to leave and some stalwarts underpinning that in Bergkamp and to a lesser degree Parlour. Ray didn’t bring the panache, but he brought spirit and incredible graft. There’s also no ‘untapped’ French market about to win the WC and Euro’s back to back but also football has changed, it’s more year to year and it’s more transaction based now. I truly believe Arsene has lost it mentally, I don’t think he can bring the same qualities to a super funded club like PSG as he did to Arsenal twenty two years ago and it would also befit what a liar and fraud he is if he were to take over a ‘financially doped’ side, I almost full expect this.

    Writing that has made me melancholic. Fuck I was 26 when Wenger took over, where did all that time go?

  8. GunnerShabz

    I think that Watford midfielder Doucarye is someone we can buy this summer good box to box and strong on the ball

    that’s the level we looking at this summer now, I am guessing Watford will want around £30m for him

  9. Rambo Ramsey

    A free signing of a ”top performer” in the Bundesliga.

    That’s turned out well for us, third time’s the charm right?

  10. Freddie Ljungberg

    Wilshere can’t play as a defensive midfielder though, Meyer can, and have been for the last season, apparently doing a great job too. Would feel a lot more confident about him in there than Jack.

    He may not be the best player available, but since we get nothing for Jack and we also imo need to replace Xhaka then it’s a no brainer. Unless we get really ambitious and decide to splash the cash. Can’t see that happening though.

  11. Marko

    Do you still think I was far off for prioritizing a pacy and dribbling Winger over a central midfielder

    Priority for the summer the defence and midfield. After that sure a winger would be brilliant. But over sorting out the midfield? No way

  12. Marko

    DeVrij isn’t free this summer. He’s attainable though. Him Sokratis and the Turkish lad with Mustafi and Chambers leaving goes a long way to sorting out the defence for me. Potential pace issues with DeVrij and Sokratis but they’re proper defenders good tacklers and good reading of the game

  13. Marko

    Meyer as a Wilshere replacement would be good but as a starter I’m not so sure. Fabinho should be the priority this summer. After that someone like Kondogbia or Kovacic to play alongside him

  14. Freddie Ljungberg

    According to transfermarkt his contract expires in june. Wouldn’t mind him at all, but someone (gambon?) said he’s nailed on for Inter.

    A shame, him + Koulibaly would be fantastic business, giving us a massive presence at the back we haven’t had for ages.

  15. Freddie Ljungberg

    No way we’re spending 80-100 million in midfield this season, not even if we sold Ramsey and got a decent fee there. Just not going to happen. SAD

  16. champagne charlie

    Spitballing, but Emre Can has been heavily touted to go to Juventus. Should Allegri come here is there any possibility he’d sway Can to come south instead?

    Must’ve had some say in his recruitment/scouting.

  17. Marko

    de vrij is out of contract this summer

    Then what are we doing. Jesus Christ him Goretska, Can and Meyer would walk onto our team and strengthen us for nothing

  18. Marko

    Why would he go to inter though they’re shit and I’d be shocked if they don’t lose their best player this summer. Icardi is off for sure

  19. Bob

    Ramsay
    Wilshere
    Welbeck
    Holding
    Chambers
    Nelson
    Maitland-Niles

    That’s the list of shit.
    What top 6 club would want any of them?

  20. Marko

    “[My successor] will need to make this club the priority of his life and commit completely and totally like he owns the club.

    Spend money like it’s your money

  21. mysticleaves

    I think Costa did the same thing at Wanda that Laca did at Emirates. Strikers generally are more confident at home than away. It’s not big deal. Costa was also handled very well when we played the cup final even though he scored.

  22. Victorious

    Imagine the board shitting themselves right now on who next becomes the whipping boy when things go south.lol
    The scenes on here when Buvac who? is unveiled as the new manger.

  23. Waz

    Firstly I’m happy Wenger has gone and believe it’s 4 years too late.

    However, I think blaming him for having Ozil being an a huge contract is worrying, what was Gazidis, the board and Huss Fahmy doing to allow that!? Surely they share the blame give it was signed in Jan with the new team in place and arguably knowledge that this was Wengers last season. At best we have to blame the whole club.

    I agree the team is weak, lacks fight and physical dominance 100% bu Xhaka was not the worst player last night, sure he’s no DM but he kept us ticking. Wilshere was far worse. The forwards even worse and the fullbacks dreadful!

    In terms of Ozil, his application is terrible but he is a talent, did amazing at Real under a manager who’s ruthless and no reason why he can’t be made to apply himself or be benched. The commercial reality is it’s a huge wage but he sells a lot of shirts globally, every team needs one of those and we lost our only other.

    Big rebuild but I remember a crap team in the 80s, a new manager and proper focused transfer policy with a more tactical and ruthless mentality can turn some of these players around.

  24. Bob

    “Arsène Wenger on Arsenal’s European exit: ‘It’s very difficult to take”

    But it’s very difficult to watch iwobi and wilshere When you play them.

  25. Frankie Coffeecakes

    “Imagine the board shitting themselves right now on who next becomes the whipping boy when things go south.lol. The scenes on here when Buvac who? is unveiled as the new manger.”

    You and your buddies may be the only ones shitting yourselves, Vic. Pretty much everyone here is thrilled your buddy Wenger got the donkey hoof!

  26. Marko

    Imagine the board shitting themselves right now on who next becomes the whipping boy when things go south.lol
    The scenes on here when Buvac who? is unveiled as the new manger.

    He’s gone vic let it go it’s over

  27. azed

    “Imagine the board shitting themselves right now on who next becomes the whipping boy when things go south.lol
    The scenes on here when Buvac who? is unveiled as the new manger.”

    We have more talented players than Burnley but they have a better defence. The reason for that is Wenger.
    Just making this bunch of players accountable for their defensive action would give us an additional 12 points.

  28. Bob

    When asked if his replacement may struggle to bring in a big name during the transfer window, the Frenchman told Sky Sports News: “It is possible, yes. But I think we have enough quality inside the club.

    If they is enough quality in the club why are they 36points behind man city?

  29. Pierre

    Dont worry, Le Grove already has the next whipping boy..

    Mesut Özil

    Le grovellers just can’t get their heads around the fact that he has negotiated a good deal for himself so instead of Wenger and his 8 million a year it will be özil and his 350 grand a week…

    wages shouldn’t be the criteria on what özil is judged… It should be performance and performance alone.. Don’t let your little minds be overcome with jealousy and envy because he owns a bigger car, bigger house and is set for life… That’s what you get when you are talented and a world cup winner in a German side that probably regard özil as their most influential player over the past 5 years.
    But no, that’s not good enough for the bitter and twisted on here and the fact that he has created the most chances this season in the prem is not good enough.

  30. Zfree

    Champagne Charlie

    You talk sense on here, but you’ll have to explain how he’s leaving the club in great shape. Mavraporonos, mikki and auba weren’t his signings. Look back at his signings over the past 3 year. Look at player development (stagnation/regression in this case) over the last 5-7 years. Look at squad imbalance. For crissake look at the wages being dumped right now on santi and per!

    Look at how far behind the competition we’ve fallen, how we are scrapping for a Europa league spot.

  31. Zfree

    Pierre

    I’ve seen you say before that Ozil isn’t well suited for certain types of opponents or away game atmospheres. Can you provide a single other example from any sport where the star player, highest paid member at the organization doesn’t play in the tough games? I’ll wait

  32. Zfree

    I’d also like the star offensive player to occasionally take it upon himself to fuckin shoot.

  33. Gunner2301

    Pierre

    I think the point with the Ozil thing is that we dont have the resources to be carrying a player on those kind of wages especially when the knock on effect it has on the wages of others and i didnt see why we had to offer so high.

    I blame the club for that and Wenger for not dropping him for sub par perfomances. I might be wrong but he appears to play when he feels up for it, these kind of players i dont personally want to see wearing our shirt even if its just an impression hes giving it shows a lack of professionalism. I would have sold him personally but we are where we are.

  34. Champagne charlie

    Zfree

    Because the club is in great shape, that’s how I see it.

    Let’s be real, very rarely are managers changed because they’re doing a fantastic job. But beyond that what is the next manager walking into?

    Well at Arsenal we’re in the top league in Europe, we have money to spend, we have a global appeal to players, we have a squad who at present could challenge for top 4 next season with the introduction of a top manager.

    I’m not one for dramatising the current situation as many are doing, there’s plenty of good to work with in the current squad – our lack of success has been far more to do with a manager losing touch than the quality of player drastically decreasing.

    Some won’t fit a new philosophy, but the next guy coming in will be rubbing his hands at the possibilities to take a huge club into its next chapter. This talk of a “mess” is total rubbish, we’ve got stagnant, complacent, and pedestrian. A sea change is about to occur with one important appointment, that I have no doubt.

  35. Gunner2301

    On another note. I wouldnt want Mertesacker anywhere near the youth team. Hes entitled to express his feelings but for someone to say theyd rather be sat on the bench or in the stands rather than play whilst contracted i dont want anywhere near the club. Others may have felt the same but they havent come out and said it. He didnt need to be that honest and goes to show the culture that is rife at the club. Now you have to call into question every sicknote hes submitted even his performances (although i admit hes not the worst) but you get what i mean.

    What message is that sending to a youth player? When he tells them to push themselves harder all they have to do is hold that interview up to his face. Not someone i would want to go that extra mile for If his body wasnt up to it why not retire earlier hes made enough out of the game?

  36. Guns of SF

    We can judge Ozil on performance… sure. He has not made the type of impact the team needs for a player of his caliber- who negotiated a massive deal.
    His vanishing acts, Flu, etc wreak of someone who is not committed.

    I was a fan of his in the early days, but its clear he really struggles with our team, and has yet to change his game up. I would trade in the all the chances created for more hunger and more fight- thats what we need….. When we need the extra effort, the pressing, the needed movement off the ball, he goes missing. He wants to be the one with the killer pass, through ball, watch himself on his big screen on youtube…

    Again, there is a reason MADRID got rid of him! I think we are seeing it now. when he joined, we blamed it on the RM coach for not using him more or the right way… his performances for Arsenal corroborate what these coaches have been thinking… he is not a big game player or driven

    We are stuck with him its the reality. I hope the new coach does get more out of him… again the culture needs to change at the team. No more nonsense. Ban Selfies, and other shit of the modern footballer.

    The first and second year of the new coaches tenure should be to change the culture and work habits of the team….
    I want to see fighters,… and a more cohesive playing style. Better D…. the list goes on.

    Ozil is the player figure head. He gets his shit straight, and other players will follow…. Whether he likes it or not that is the reality.

  37. Frankie Coffeecakes

    Wenger to the end remains a disingenuous person. He’s sad for the players because he felt they deserved to go to the final, and on and on (the script is yellowing from overuse over the years).

    The truth lies where it lies, with Wenger. He wanted to beat Atletico, he wanted to win the Europa Trophy, he wanted the CL spot. Why? So he could use it to shove it down the throats of the media and supporters at his free will, to remind them of what they were losing and what he brought them, how great he was – look at me.

    Sure this could be spun in any direction, but if you’ve been observing Wenger over the years, really observing him, this narrative is the factual one. He so desperately wanted this for one last smack to the supporters collective faces. The very same supporters i might add that gave him his wealthy livelihood and secured financial future.

    Three more games to go…

  38. Frankie Coffeecakes

    Ozil is who he is, indifferent and mood driven. Of course he loved playing for Wenger, cause he never asked anything more of him than to just show up – occasionally.

    Not fussed about Ozil in the least, he will remain the pister child of all that was wrong with Wenger and his socialist regime. A new manager will not put up with Ozil’s soft play, he will do what any real manger should do, hold him accountable. Ozil’s world is about to get a lot tougher and his salary may not look as appealing to him soon enough.

  39. Pedro

    I’m with Charlie, Wenger isn’t leaving the squad in a good place, but the club is in good health.

  40. Bob

    Transfer market value:
    Héctor Bellerín who’s shit he’s value £36mil
    Jack wilshere English talisman value £16mil

  41. Leedsgunner

    “On another note. I wouldnt want Mertesacker anywhere near the youth team. Hes entitled to express his feelings but for someone to say theyd rather be sat on the bench or in the stands rather than play whilst contracted i dont want anywhere near the club. ”

    Hear, hear. Agree 100%. Per is a nice enough fella but I think Wenger gave Per the job because he didn’t rock the boat and his international track record.

    Isn’t Bergkamp available? Bring him back!!!!

  42. Guns of SF

    Ozil’s world is about to get a lot tougher and his salary may not look as appealing to him soon enough.

    Spot on…. this fella might even put in a transfer request before we know it! lol

  43. TR7

    I am no fanboy of Ozil, rather I have been one of his vocal critics on here but I don’t understand why people are criticizing his performance when the match was lost due to absolutely horrible performances from Monreal,Bellerin and Welbeck.

    I have lost count of instances in which Monreal had 4-5 team mates in the opposition box to pass/cross the ball to and he absolutely fluffed all those opportunities. We don’t have players who can dribble through the lines or even wingers who can beat their markers. Thus the only way to build attack is to ensure enough bodies in the opposition box and good crossing from fullbacks. Both Monreal and Bellerin absolutely botched all the opportunities.

    Now as for Welbeck, he is losing or rather not using his main quality -good movement. He was wandering around the pitch like a headless chicken as if he did not know what role he was supposed to play. Besides, against defensively solid teams such as Atletico as an attacking player you need to have the ability to keep the ball so that you keep the pressure on. Welbeck loses the ball very easily either due to his poor touch or indecisiveness. Absolutely not acceptable at this level.

  44. Leedsgunner

    My take on Özil is this? Would any of our rivals love to have him? If the answer is yes… he still has a purpose for us — although he has been very disappointing with his performances especially in the Europa Cup.

    If he wanted a supersize salary, he needed to understand that he needs to step it up and scruitny and criticism comes with the territory… especially as our marquee player.

    He has everything to suit him to a tee.

    Preferred position – check.
    Highest earner – check.
    Super mobile strikers to feed – check.
    Star player – check.

    He needs to be our talisman next year in the games that matter, no buts, ifs, or maybes.

  45. Champagne charlie

    Pedro

    I’m a bit baffled people think otherwise.

    Arsenal are sexy, we’re just that kind of awkward dude that was crazy popular in school but still dresses the same and uses wet look gel despite being a 10 underneath. We need a bit of wax, some new threads, and a splash of paco.

    We’re about to be Justin Timberlake of 2007, it’s happening.

  46. Gunner2301

    Leeds

    He is but i think it sets the wrong tone. Given that its not clear what the club stands for i can see how such a comment from someone who has captained the first team can be swept under the carpet. Hopefully a new manager with clear philosophy will change that and it will filter through the whole club.

  47. Guns of SF

    TR7
    you are right, the entire team played like hell… but we are talking about a well rested, hardly played, fit Ozil in the biggest game of his Arsenal career. We all should have some expectations of our players- especially our leader, and our superstar.
    With that big contract comes big game expectations. I just feel that Ozil would have been happy to give the assist that lead to the one goal…. even if we ended up losing. He is playing for himself. This man has taken no accountability this season. When we needed a big time performance from him, we get none.
    HE has no competition either in the team… I put that on Wenger.
    A big fish in small pond

  48. gonsterous

    poor Wenger. over the next couple years, he will have plenty of free time to reflect what went wrong and I’m sure he’ll find that he never build a back four strong enough to win the league, and that will fill him with regret…

  49. Bob

    Replace the shit of wilshere and Ramsay with draxler and Nabil Fekir and let’s see how ozil plays with world class players around him.

  50. Leedsgunner

    G2301

    I was amazed when Per’s comments first came to light… from our captain as well. Then I was even more amazed when Wenger and the Club didn’t reprimand him.

    Could you envisage Adams and PV4 saying such things?

    Wenger has utterly devalued the office of captain at our club. It used to mean so much, now it means you are a crock… and unlikely to feature in the season.

  51. Guns of SF

    we need dynamic midfielders. Bob I like your picks Add to that NZonzi or a strong tall DM and lets see what happens. Get another speedy winger in the mix…

    Replace back line
    Drax
    Fekir
    Nznozi
    Dembele

    Pipe dream but oh man!

  52. Zfree

    CC

    Do we really have money to spend? Top 4 is gonna be a dogfight next year. We could very well be staring at 3 years outside the CL if we don’t get things absolutely spot on next season.

    I do think arsenal is an appealing destination for a manager. Less appealing for world class footballers so we’ll have to rely on Sven there to find some diamonds.

    I’m more of the belief that Arsene is leaving the club in the sort of shape that it will take 2-3 seasons (hopefully on 2) to get back into CL and have a whiff at any trophies of significance.

  53. gambon

    Arsenal are a huge name, and will always be able to get big players and big managers (as long as the money is good),

    However there is no doubt Wenger has done an absolutely dreadful job in recent years. He has slowly decimated the quality in the squad, and we are not 6th because of bad luck, we are 6th because there are 5 teams with far better squads out there.

    While both Manchester clubs have a lot of money, there is absolutely no way we should just sit back and let Spurs, Liverpool and CHelsea build better squads than us.

    But when you actually think about just how unbalanced and poor our squad is, you really wonder what on earth Wenger has been thinking all these years.

    (I have said for a long time that I think Wenger may be mentally ill, and I wasnt in any way joking. I think he lost his mind in 2005/6/7 and its been a slow decline ever since)

    We dont have a single good goalkeeper.

    Our centre backs must be the least physical group of CBs in PL history. I have never seen a team with 3 out of 4 CBs that arent taller than 6′

    We also have absolutely no power in central midfield, as well as no defensive capability. There are lone DMs in Europe that have as much defensive output as the 3 guys that played last night.

    We dont have a single wide player in the squad. Not a single Winger. Why has no-one ever asked Wenger why he doesnt have a single natural wide player? We have 6, yes 6 players that want to play #10, not a single one that is a natural wide player. How has that been allowed to happen.

    Aubameyang is the only player in our squad that we can genuinely be excited about. He is top top class, but probably feels he made a huge mistake. Its also massively noticable that Aubas shots per game has dropped from 3.6 in Germany to 2.2 at Arsenal. For a player to be taking 40% less shots is worrying.

    The best CFs in the world take a lot of shots, simple as that. If Auba is getting 2.2 shots per game next season, he will not get anywhere near top scorer levels. Players like DeBruyne & Eriksen have more than that.

    Look at our bench most games, its an absolute mess. There was a game a few weeks ago where we had 4 defenders on the bench. Man Utd have Martial & Rashford…..we have Kolasinac and Chambers.

    The new manager has so much work to do, but the club have to be realistic.

    A 3 year run of CL football is worth c£300m, when you think about prize money, TV money, commercial money, ticket sales.

    The club really need to overspend the budget. If we just keep ticking along spending the same as Liverpool, Chelsea & a bit more than Spurs, nothing will change.

    We have missed out of so many great purchases in recent years. Salah, Mane, Firmino, Keita, Van Dijk, De Bruyne, Sterling, Sane, Jesus, Ederson, Kante, Matic, Martial, Alderweireld, Alli, Son.

    We have to be there signing guys like these in the future.

    Do you think our rivals fans are gutted they missed out on Cech, Mustafi, Holding, Xhaka, Ozil, Welbeck, Perez? Of course they arent.

  54. Marko

    I don’t understand why people are criticizing his performance when the match was lost due to absolutely horrible performances from Monreal,Bellerin and Welbeck.

    We needed a goal we struggled to create all night had one shot on target and for the wages he’s on he was awful and keep in mind he’s been rested a lot lately being kept for the Europa league. In saying that Ramsey was 10 times worse. But for some reason the focus is never really on him

  55. Marko

    Alderweirald is another who’s on a free this summer. No excuses really the defence should be sorted

  56. TR7

    People here say replacing Bellerin should not be at the top of our priority list as we have bigger issues in our squad. Ballerina is as big a liability in our squad as Mustafi and Xhaka. Got to be offloaded. Costa goal was entirely on him and he is horrible going forward. He has fucking average for over 2 seasons now.

  57. Marko

    Its also massively noticable that Aubas shots per game has dropped from 3.6 in Germany to 2.2 at Arsenal. For a player to be taking 40% less shots is worrying.

    We play tippy tappy shite and barely create or shoot. Once Wenger is gone that’ll be fixed. But yeah why does he hate signing legitimate wingers? Why has he never addressed the DM issue? Why has he been awful at recruiting defenders? Why has he never truly appreciated the goalkeeper position? Why did he last so long? How happy are we all now that he’s finally fucking off

  58. gambon

    Wenger doesnt in the slightest care about the captaincy. In fact, if you look at his ideas about socialist pay, and a lot of what he says, he probably despises the idea of someone being “in charge”. He probably got bummed by the prefect at boarding school, and thats driven his mindset ever since.

    Its just another of the little things Wenger has done to ruin the playing squad. Almost like “marginal losses”

    Imagine in 2004 after we won the double:

    ARSENAL BOARD: Arsene, spendid job. This team is incredible, we shouldnt change a thing.

    ARSENE:

    “No, I disagree. I have a new vision for football.

    I want to find really terrible goalkeepers, and when I realise they are terrible, I will play them for 4-5 years rather than admit the error.

    I want to buy only centre backs that are short, slow weak and those that make an incredibly high number of individual errors.

    I will tell my full backs to bomb forward with no cover.

    I will turn my back on physical midfielders. We need technical midgets, but most importantly they must be slow technical midgets.

    I will avoid wide players like the plague. I think we should find as many central attacking midfielders as possible and try to put them in the same team.

    Once we sell Thierry, we should avoid at all costs buying a quality striker.

    I do not want a strong captain any more. We will sell Vieira then completely disrespect the captaincy, giving it to anyone and everyone, but mostly players who dont ever play.

    Under no circumstances will we spend our budget. If I dont agree with the value of a player, we dont sign them.

    We should pay everyone the same wage, regardless of their ability levels. This will of course mean we cant sign great players, we lose those players that become world class, and we cant get rid of players that are terrible……but it will be worth it to see those darling players faces when they open their payslip. I may even get a blowjob or two . Of course I may break this rule and completely fuck the club over if a player is about to be out of contract and I want to save face after my best player forces his way out of the club.

    No-one will be held accountable for poor performances. I hate the idea of shouting at my babies, so the best thing we can do is pretend these performances didnt happen. Maybe to appease the fans, we will get one of the players to record a “It wont happen again” video.

    Most importantly, I want to stress to the squad to panic every time we have a lead in an important game. Panic is the important thing.”

  59. Guns of SF

    Gambon
    Your post was a classic 17:36!!!
    LOL

    I will turn my back on physical midfielders. We need technical midgets, but most importantly they must be slow technical midgets.

    I will avoid wide players like the plague. I think we should find as many central attacking midfielders as possible and try to put them in the same team.

  60. Marko

    “It’s possible yes,” Wenger told Sky Sports when asked whether an absence of Champions League football could affect Arsenal’s ability to make signings.

    “But I think we have enough quality inside the club, and you always find one or two players who are happy to join.

    Really going to miss him and his one or two max signings bullshit he’s always peddled. Good riddance

  61. Guns of SF

    I do feel that Wenger after the CL final, became delirious and copied the Barca blueprint of technical midgets.
    I mean we had some good ones for short time. Hleb, Cesc, TR were not too bad.
    Nasri…Arshavin

    It just never worked.

    Ive always said, he should never have diverted from the invincibles blueprint.

  62. steve

    @Gambon

    The beginning of the end for Wenger started when Mourinho came into the league in 2004. Wenger has been a nervous wreck ever since. Like you said before he’s probably been heavily medicated since then.

  63. Freddie Ljungberg

    So we have quality in the squad and only need 1 or 2 players? To do what exactly, scrap for 6th again next season?

    The clubs around us is not going to stand still, they will all work on improving their squads, so deluded. Thank Jebus we don’t have to endure another transfer window with him in charge, it’s been a nightmare every summer for yonks.

  64. gambon

    Steve

    Yeah, Ive always said Mourinho destroyed Wenger.

    Wenger built what he thought was the perfect team. Mourinho came in, eclipsed that team, showed Wenger no respect, constantly beat him, called him a voyeur and Wenger collapsed into a prison of his own mind.

    Ever since then hes been sitting in an old rocking chair dribbling, constantly saying ‘super super class’ to himself while wanking off to his picture of Abou Diaby.

  65. gambon

    As a bare minimum we need:

    GK
    2 x CBs
    2 x Full Backs
    2 x CMs
    1 x world class wide attacker

    Its not just about positions though, its about the characteristics needed.

    Everyone we bring in needs power, pace and work rate.

  66. Guns of SF

    Gambon
    Great ideas but also, ages 21-25…. we need younger! But not too young
    We need players who are of a different breed.
    I hate liverpool but lately, their blitzkreig style is awesome to watch. would love to have players of that strength and determination…

  67. Gunner2301

    Leeds

    Could you envisage Adams and PV4 saying such things?Wenger has utterly devalued the office of captain at our club. It used to mean so much, now it means you are a crock… and unlikely to feature in the season.

    I was thinking that that’s why I posted the comment and No I can’t. Did Per even play after that statement or did he play once? I haven’t been following. Nice if you can get it. We’re obviously running a charity/convalescent home.

  68. steve

    @Gambon

    “Ever since then hes been sitting in an old rocking chair dribbling, constantly saying ‘super super class’ to himself while wanking off to his picture of Abou Diaby.”

    Haha. It’s pathetic how Wenger just seemed to completely capitulate. Just gave up pretty much. He could only compete when it was a two horse race. Enter Mourinho and that was enough to finish Wenger off.

  69. gambon

    Steve

    Yep.

    It was a 2 horse race and we usually finished 2nd.

    It became a 3 horse race and we started finishing 2rd & 4th.

    It was a 1 horse race in 15/16 and we finished 2nd.

    Its now a 6 horse race, and we finish 6th.

    Wenger just rolls over and lets any new challenger finish ahead of us.

    If Everton had invested more in recent years Wenger wouldnt just accepted 7th.

  70. UTarse

    “we’re in great shape, people could do with just drawing a line and looking forward.”

    What a dumb comment.

  71. Gunner2301

    Gambon 17:36

    Cracker

    You missed this one from Keown when he was coaching the defence in 2006 and we all saw the difference it made and because Keown was getting the plaudits Wenger binned him.

    ‘There was one player who was making positional mistakes that were costing the team goals. I wanted to flag up these mistakes to the player by showing him the footage but Wenger did not want him to see it. ‘In Wenger’s view, if a player sees himself making mistakes the problem becomes even bigger in his own mind.”

    It kind of explains why we’re seeing what we’re seeing now.

    Wenger has gotten away with some shit in his time.

  72. salpardisenyc

    That is where it all went wrong, had Wenger gone a with a little extra in summer 2008 and brought in Xabi and a keeper, we are very close to winning a title. Instead he fucked Xabi by not upping £3m, never got a keeper and bought AA23 with that money late in January. And it all went south from there and major questions started to arise regarding Wenger’s ability to take us forward. I then found Le Grove.

  73. Gunner2301

    Sal

    As much as I loved Arshavin he was totally the wrong purchase given what we needed the stats at the time showed that we were suffering defensively therefore that needed addressing not any offensive position, but we seen this time and again over the years from the fraud.

  74. azed

    ” I then found Le Grove.”

    Would you say Le Grove was the birth place of the #WengerOut movement?

  75. salpardisenyc

    2301

    No doubt there, believe we fielded this back four in the semi at Old Trafford in 2009. Sagna, Toure, Silvestre, Gibbs with Almunia in net. Cost us the tie.

    Azed

    It was for me!

  76. Dissenter

    Would anyone take Marion Lemina from Southampton on a fire sale if they go down?
    He played for Juve before moving to Southampton and looked fantastic before he got injured.
    He still has four years left in his contract so won’t be cheap. He cost them £15 million from Juve.

  77. Freddie Ljungberg

    I’ve also been reading le grove from the start,
    I wasn’t hardcore Wenger out at the time but doubts was starting to creep in.

    Always enjoyed reading the more balanced posts from Pedro as opposed to Geoffs angry, sometimes incoherent rantings, but have always highly enjoyed reading the comments section, hugely entertaining for the most part:)

  78. Dissenter

    Southampton have had an eye for exceptionaly good value midfielders.
    Mario Lemina may be the next one off that escalator

  79. Rambo Ramsey

    It has been reported Rui Faria, 42, is on Arsenal’s shortlist to replace Arsene Wenger, who will leave at the end of the season after 22 years in charge- BBC

    Jose Mourinho’s assistant. The names we are being linked with is disgusting.

  80. Dissenter

    Arsenal are trying to get Burnley to agree to a guard of honor for Wenger in his last home game.
    Do we realise that Burnley aretrying to get that 6th. There’s money and avoiding Europa league qualification on the line. Burnley should reject the request.

    Guard if honor can be done after the game by former players.

  81. salpardisenyc

    Not to worry boys AVB has taken to running the Dakar rally so we can eliminate him from perspectives list.

  82. Dissenter

    “Dissenter Sounds like you want to suck Lemina off“

    Sounds like you got dropped on the head in infancy and then served as an alter boy in your local parish

  83. Guns of SF

    shit im tired of waiting to hear who the new coach is. 3 more weeks seems like an eternity.
    Im feeling more ok with Enrique and his massive salary… aside from that part, i do think he would be an massive upgrade and can pull some named players with him. I think he would have a vision of success that would be a good change. I mean others coaches would too, but I also feel he would bring the excitement factor too

  84. Dissenter

    Honestly if we are still at the lengthy shortlist stage in our search for manager then we are royally f* cked.
    We should be at the 2-3 names stage by now.

  85. Guns of SF

    are Arsenal allowed to talk to coaches currently under contract or have to wait until the season ends? I suppose they seek permission from the other clubs- but are there rules around this, that current coaches cannot talk until season ends?

  86. Bob

    Out:
    Welbeck
    Wilshere
    Ramsay
    IN:
    Nabil Fekir
    Draxler
    Dembela
    Let’s see if ozil can improve then

  87. TR7

    Rui Faria? Just fuck off!

    I wouldn’t have Mourinho as our manager, let alone his assistant – I mean I can’t think of a more underwhelming name for the job.

  88. Guns of SF

    The list is good Bob- just wish we can find the $$
    Ramsey needs to be sold. For his own sake. He is stagnating here. Jack too.
    Time to let them all go, if we are rebuilding.

    Ozil would be benched after a few weeks…
    Ozil is not the quickest player…

    I would like to see much more speed and power in the team and midfield. Ozil lacks both

  89. Bob

    Jack wilshere and Ramsay have had almost 9years at arsenal I’m sorry but time to go with Wenger. Jack has 8 league goals in 8years

  90. Guns of SF

    Danny- 15M
    Wilshere-15M
    Ramsey- 40M
    Mustafi- 20M
    Iwobi-10M
    Xhaka-30M

    There’s some money here . Plus the 50M
    180M money to spend

  91. Vintage Gun

    “poor Wenger. over the next couple years, he will have plenty of free time to reflect what went wrong and I’m sure he’ll find that he never build a back four strong enough to win the league, and that will fill him with regret…”

    You reckon?

    The only regret he’ll have is not following through on his plan to smear Novichok on Gazidi’s door knob before he got the chance to sack him.

    After all, it’s all Gazidi’s fault for coming to a “Mutual agreement” with Wenger for him to leave at the “wrong time” . (How’s that even possible?)

  92. Coach 15

    Just got hold of a copy of the match day souvenir for Sunday’s game.
    The front cover reads 22 Gun Salut,The remarkable 22 year career of Arsène Wenger.
    That’s stretching it in anyone’s language.

  93. Redtruth

    The players and not Wenger are to blame when they lose and the players and not Wenger are to be congratulated when they win…….spot on Victorious

  94. Ray in LA

    Thank you “gambon” [17:36:40] first genuine smile from me since the final whistle yesterday afternoon 🙂

    Cheers

  95. David Smith

    Only needs a couple candidates to fall through and Stan will probably rehire him for his final year!
    Won’t be paying any attention to the sentimental claptrap coming up this weekend, this is a sad selfish man who has made survival at this club his life’s mission at the expense of all else. His MO wasn’t to win things, it was to get as far up Stans Arse as possible and stay there.
    And despite it all, Stan had to send his son to do the dirty. Josh Ks words about not sugar coating things were telling, Wenger had clearly been pulling the wool over his old mans eyes, and he finally got found out. Josh didn’t even need the full three months of his review, would love to know what some told him . I would imagine shit tactics, shit training, shit coaches featured,in the discussion.
    Let’s hope Josh is far more engaged and determined for success than his dad.
    But time to be excited, despite the mess he has left, we have only a few short weeks of Wenger and his merry men.
    Really hope it will be Allegri, we deserve no less

  96. HillWood

    Bellerin only does 2things
    Gets 10yrds into opposition half and passes backward
    Or gets further forward and crosses to to absolutely no -one

  97. Buckhurst gun

    So , after yesterday’s game , Wenger states that the team doesn’t need wholesale changes to be competitive – this kind of thinking is exactly why he has suffocated this club – we have been turned over , year after year in the exact same manner and even with his final days as manager he’s still got his head stuck firmly in the sand – and who better to reiterate just why wenger is going and put an end to any Europa hope than Diego Costa , who , just like drogba , Rooney and absolutely any 17/18 year old making their debut for any club we come up against – absolutely tormented and bullied the Arsenal defence

  98. Bob

    Ozil a German on £350 aweek 3 British players wilshere,Ramsay,welbeck put together don’t earn as much as ozil in aweek.

    The britsh media find that hard to take.
    On top wilshere is offerd less money

  99. HighburyLegend

    “Mesut Ozil says he endured a “frustrating, sleepless night” as Arsenal crashed out of the Europa League.”

    You were sleeping on the pitch Mesut, that’s why you couldn’t sleep after the game.

  100. Dissenter

    Northern idiot
    Do you have any footballing contributions to make?
    You want to expound on your “risk averse open football”
    That’s what we played yesterday right?

    Come back when you’ve managed to dislodge Wenger’s dingus from your pharynx.

  101. Terraloon

    Buckhurst.

    The worry isn’t so much that AW is saying that it’s if the hierarchy at the club actually believe that and I get the feeling they actually do.
    The fact that Holding has been given a squeaky new contract, the fact that there is talk that Jack has an increased offer on the table and yes the rumoured £50 million budget suggests to me that they think the January window was better than it actually was.
    There is no way that more than a couple , maybe three at most players will be bought in in the summer and with that I suspect no more than the same number will be on their way out . It should be more but I wouldn’t bet a penny piece on it being more.

  102. MGooner

    We now hear that there is no money or only 50 million. Come on, even minnows like West Ham spend more than that and they do not charge the highest ticket prices in Europe.

    How is it possible that Wenger was not spending money when we were sitting on a pile of cash and now we have no money?

    PS. I was Wenger out since 2007. I was also for Usmanov, not Kronke.

  103. Vintage Gun

    @Buckhurst Gun

    Fully agree. He’s still peddling out that line like he’s still gonna be here next season!

    I got why he USED to say it (to pre warn fans that dismantling his failed team(s) ain’t happening during the summer(s) and thus keeping players who

  104. Vintage Gun

    @Buckhurst GunFully agree. He’s still peddling out that line like he’s still gonna be here next season!

    I got why he USED to say it (to pre warn fans that dismantling his failed team(s) ain’t happening during the summer(s) and thus keeping players who
    he trusted around him, regardless of their ability. All so he didn’t have to buy many proven players whom not only wouldn’t owe their career to him, but also would know what a modern tho club and training programmes should look like and thus exposing him much earlier.

    He knew what he was doing.

  105. HillWood

    If there are thousands of empty seats on Sunday Wenger will just shrug it off as being a Bank holiday weekend

  106. Buckhurst gun

    Terra

    I’m hoping that there’s no way , Sven and Raul are sitting there thinking the same as wenger – surely they are of sound enough mind to see what we’re lacking – Raul said he was excited by the project , that can’t involve not competing for the foreseeable future , can it ?

  107. MGooner

    Bring on Luis Enrique

    He would cost half of the transfer kitty for next year and deman at least 200 – 300 to build a new side.

    Therefore, AFC will say he is not fit for the role and poke holes in his CV.

  108. MGooner

    Vintage, the shit players you refer to allowed up to compete in the CL for 10 + 10 years. Look at the back 4 composition when we beat RM with Zidane, Beckham & co. We had SENDEROS and FLAMSTER in that back 4!!!

    We failed to make it to the CL when we bought “TOP PLAYERS” like Sanchez and Ozil.

    Sanchez destroyed our chances to be in the CL last year. His performance this year also was poor. With Lucas Perez and another average but committed midfielder in place of Ozil, we would have been in top 4 as usual.

  109. BacaryisGod

    In a strange way, Arsene has done the incoming manager a big favor. When Moyes replaced Fergie, Man United had just won the title and had the same squad in place.

    With Arsene leaving, his replacement will have Aubameyang for the full season along with a lot of very talented players (if someone told you 5 years ago we would have Auba, Mkhitaryan and Ozil in our starting XI everyone would be salivating). He’s also leaving the new manager with the following to compete against: 6th in the league (hopefully), EFL final and Europa League semi-final. That’s a pretty low bar all things considered.

  110. BacaryisGod

    So who are the main opposing players to cause Arsene so much anguish in the last 22 years. Off the top of my head there’s Drogba, Messi, Rooney, Costa, Harry Kane.

    Any others? Here’s a list of the most goals scored in Premier League by players against Arsene. Most of them don’t really register with me as being Voodoo players other than Drogba, Rooney and Kane.

    Rooney (12)
    Crouch (9)
    Drogba (8)
    Anelka (7)
    Bent (7)
    Hasselbaink (7)
    Kane (6)
    Sheringham (6)
    Yorke (6)

    The ones I remember most though are by players like Harewood, Carroll,
    Tiote, Bridge and Alex (last two in Champions League) in some infamous defeats or draws.

  111. Guns of SF

    Can someone tell me where this 50M (pure whole number) comes from? Has this been mentioned by IG? Is this the media?
    How is the 6th richest club in the world strapped with only 50m?
    I think we all tend to not question this stuff, as we have had a penny pinching manager for decades. But really…. where is the 50M coming from?

    with some player sales, and the 50M, we might be able to get 2 good CB’s and a Keeper…
    Keep Bell and Nacho

    Anyhow, Id like someone to actually verify this figure

  112. salpardisenyc

    Wenger’s also leaving new manager with a back 5 that needs replacing if were honest, not even touching on the MF or left side of attack. No question we need a new spine barring our central attack.

    Enrique’s no fool, he knows whats needed and with those demands very likely taken out of conversation.

    Gazidas surely has a man selected and my money’s on minimal experience with loads of ‘potential’. Which translates to less managerial wage and more power for Raul and Sven to maneuver. Those days of pure managerial ownership over all depart with Wenger as Gazidas new structure takes hold.

    Optimistically looks like those powers that be have no problem moving players on that don’t fit the bill and upgrading evidenced in January window. Feels like were in for a serious ride this summer. Lets hope new man can develop those players that stay in ways Wenger wasn’t able, notably Ozil.

  113. Guns of SF

    Sal

    The shit players were Wengers babies. Im glad that when he leaves, they are fair game to be sold. Sven Ivan and Raul have no strings attached to them.
    I am hoping we get a big name coach…. I think this club needs a kick up the ass and the last thing we need is a young coach getting run over by the larger personalities at the club…. everyone vying for more power and control.

  114. gnarleygeorge9

    I hope you are right Pedro with your call to arms!

    Allegri for me, tho I don’t trust the board to do the proper thing.

  115. salpardisenyc

    In this order for:

    Allegri
    Jardim

    If were going deep dive left field, fuck it the Bosnian. Imagine the banter when we turn Klopps Liverpool.

  116. leon

    The big question for me is how much power will the manager have because Wenger had far too u h power at club, I thi k they have brought in a technical directer. But one thing is clear they need someone who can motivate the players because I dontbsee any intensity or hunger from these players.

  117. Herb'sArmy

    This decision will make or break Gazidis in terms of his relationship with the fans.
    With season-tickets up for renewal, he has to get it right.
    Sacking Wenger is a bold move, especially with the cost involved, but to make such a statement and then gamble on a manager with no proven track-record could easily negate the Wenger decision and blow up in their faces.
    They are well aware that the fan-base is fractured and deeply disappointed, and for the club to have any success they will need the fans on-side.
    To really push Arsenal on though, and to ever have any realistic hope of catching Europe’s elite, we need different owners and a radically different mind-set.
    A mind-set like those of Henry Norris and Herbert Chapman, who made The Arsenal the best football club in the world.

  118. BacaryisGod

    The 50 million hasn’t been attributed directly to anyone but it’s probably a reflection of our recent net spend amounts plus the lack of Champions League. It doesn’t also specify if player salaries (eg. a Ramsey increase for renewal) is part of that 50 million.

    Probably fair to see that the 50m amount is probably nonsense. Ivan and his goons have a massive excel spreadsheet with all the different variables plugged in and its a fluid amount based on all kinds of things, including sponsorship changes, loans to and from other clubs, player negotiations and releasing various players. It’s just like any other business except Arsenal know that they won’t get additional investments or bailing out by the owner but they also know that Kroenke will want to turn an operating profit and have plenty of cash reserves.

  119. BacaryisGod

    The one major advantage we have is that Spurs are about to face a shitstorm. They have a large group of players who won’t accept taking second-tier salaries and they’ll have a stadium loan to repay.

    Right now, it looks like City are set for a period of dominance unless Pep walks away as he’s done at Barca and Bayern. Man United and Liverpool have the global brand recognition, ambitious owners to stay in the top 4 without too much stress. It leaves us fighting with Chelsea and Tottenham for that 4th spot and Abramovich seems to have tired of pumping money into the club (his divorce wouldn’t have helped).

    If Chelsea were stronger and Spurs not facing a perfect storm, I would be more negative but I can see us grabbing that Top 4 spot next year if we fix our keeper and add a strong CB and DCM.

    Let’s not forget that we squandered the extra rest our players got by being out of the Champions League. Still, I don’t see anything in Chelsea and Spurs that should frighten us too much.

  120. El Tel

    Good to see so many old Grovers return

    Pedders, will you scrap the Le from Le Grove when He is gone? The site will need rebranding

  121. Dissenter

    Zidane is a real prick for not allowing Real to gibe Barca the guard of honor when they meet in el-classico on Sunday.
    Apparently. Zidane is angered because Barcelona did not see his side out on to the pitch after they won the Club World Cup in December. There is not expectation to give a guard of honor in the middle of the season because Real won a Mickey Mouse competition.
    It’s astonishing because Barca are four games away from going an entire league season unbeaten.
    Barca gave Real the honour in 2008 when Real had just won the league.