Chink in the Arsenal armour exposed by leaks

by .

Welcome to Saturday my darlings, what have we on the frying plate today?

Well, we might as well continue talking about miserable things because why not.

I think one of the sub-narratives of the mess that we’re in at the moment is leadership at the very top of Arsenal.

We’re still in a very messy era. There are some very positive things going on at the club, but there a number of things that still don’t quite sit right.

The death of Don Raul last summer saw some pretty decisive moves. We used the cover of the pandemic to move on a lot of underperformers. Our scouting network was obliterated and we canned Huss Fahmy just a few weeks ago. Lots of positive moves, but we didn’t quite cut to the bone where we needed to, and I think the blunt knife we used in some areas might be problematic.

One of the least surgical decisions we made, almost immediately, was to promote Mikel Arteta to manager. The first sniff of ‘rock star’ and we caved.

On paper, it’s not a big deal. Coaches fuss about it. Pochettino went from wearing fancy threads to rolling with a tracksuit when he felt he wasn’t being listened to.

‘I might as well be coach’

It’s a power thing. When you are a coach, you take what you are given and you make it work. When you are a manager, you are in control of more things. Now, I don’t know what Arteta’s remit is inside the club, but it’s certainly not just coaching.

I would imagine on the face of it, the decision was the fairly logical view: Arteta knows what good looks like, let’s give him a bigger remit to make good elsewhere.

For me, this was a bad move. In advertising, if you are an elite creative, there’s making the work, then there’s everything else. You want your best creatives focused on making the work. Not fussing over structure, recruitment, and PDPs.

We promoted someone before they’d really done something. Arteta should be focused on the work, not the PDP for the new Gunnersaurus. This move set a tone we’ve seen before.

‘Trust in the manager’

We spend 10 years trying to escape the clutches of a manager that filled the power vacuum in the mightiest of ways. At least Wenger had won 3 league titles before things got out of hand.

The most worrying thing about the current structure is it was put in counter weaknesses we have elsewhere in our football leadership team.

This is Tony Adams last week.

“I think it got lost, this one, in the transition of the chief scout at Arsenal going out.

“He was spotted very early on, not by me, by the Arsenal recruitment office.

“The chief scout was absolutely bowled over by him and the great prospect that he is.

“He had more or less done the deal, but at that moment the new sporting director Edu came in from Brazil and had no European experience and no UK experience.

“I think it got lost in the transition, Edu didn’t know nothing about this player.”

Maybe we could give Edu a pass on Bellingham because of Raul. Maybe we could ignore our old scouts crying in the press because let’s be honest, their taste levels had been wide of the mark for about a decade (Park, Perez, Asana, Jenkinson, Yaya, Ryo, Campbell). What you can’t ignore is the fact Adams is being very pointed in his attack here.

He is saying these things because there’s weakness in the Arsenal armour and a lot of people know it and talk about it. Vinnai put Arteta on the same level as Edu, not because Arteta is a god, but because they are picking up slack for the questionable tenure of Edu so far. Expect more stories like the one from Adams to creep out of the next 6 months.

Leaks are always strategic. Follow the money. No one ever leaked against Arsene because he was literally seen as a god at Arsenal and player, agents, and coaches knew that there was no way to ever remove him. A direct attack from a legend is not good, especially when the same person was full of compliments for Arteta the week before. People know the regard Arteta is held in, they don’t fear ramifications of crossing the Technical Director.

That said. Arteta should not be on the same level as the Technical Director. That’s not how it works. Leadership structures are there for a reason. You need clarity when it comes to R&R. Someone always needs to be the boss. There has to be someone that makes tough decisions. Not every conversation can be a negotiation.

If we had Luis Campos or Ralph Rangnick running Arsenal, do you think either would have sanctioned the deal on Willian this summer? Absolutely not. Do you think Arteta would have lobbied for the deal? Absolutely. But strong leadership would have seen that sort of signing as unacceptable at a club that has haemorrhaged cash consistently over the last 5 years.

Arsenal should have stripped back this summer, made themselves lean at the cost of short term success, then built back better. We didn’t. We are still the same bloated monster we were last year. We simply prolonged the same failed football strategy we’ve been working to since 2017 when we chased Top 4 by topping up on expensive players that weren’t quite right.

A strong Technical Director would have said, ‘look, we have been hit hard by poor investments over the past 5 years. We’re going to fix it. We ripped out the scouting desk. We’re prioritising elite young players we can grow. If we’re buying senior players, they’ll need to have resale value. We installed a young developmental coach for the longterm, he will grow with the players.’

Instead, we’ve found that horrible half-space where we semi-go at being a big club. You sign a big player, but you only land one. You sign a player that does what you need… but probably way better 6 years ago. You miss out on a creative talent altogether.

None of this is to say that we haven’t made some good signings. Thomas Partey and Gabriel were laser-focused, elite, and they solved actual problems we’ve had for years. The point of the post is that if we truly believe in creating a high-performance culture, we have to make sure the leadership structure is correct. We cannot have precocious talent unfocused during the formative years. We cannot drag deadweight. We cannot shirk making difficult decisions.

I don’t have all the information on Saliba. I know mostly why he didn’t make the squad this year. What I don’t understand is why the situation has been so messy. The player has a good profile in Europe, he started training with Arsenal well before preseason started, it must have been clear that he wasn’t right this year. So where was the loan move? We have a loans manager? Now, it could have been many things. The player might not have wanted Brentford, West Ham, or whoever the club was. It might have been the club felt they needed to build him physically. It might have been a late problem with St Etienne. Whatever it was, it looks like a fuck up. Now the narrative has been lost to the fans and it’s an unwelcome grey cloud that is arguably more toxic than Ozil.

What I think you should watch for is whether Vinnai makes moves next summer. Is he a ruthless operator, or is he passive like Ivan Gazidis. The simple truth is this: If Edu were the Technical Director we believed he was, he wouldn’t have taken a demotion this summer. If I were Edu, I’d have resigned on the spot at the disrespect. Sadly, we live in a world where only the good people take news like that with a smile on their face.

Anyway, there’s not a lot that can be done right now. I still firmly believe we’ll fix the problems. There’s a way to unlock our attack and the sign of a good young coach is how they deal with adversity. The good thing is that we’re in our adverse moment now and we’re only 6 points off the top of the league. We either solve it like Wenger did in his early career, or we flunk, and we have an Emery moment. If we find a run like we did last year, all this drama will be forgotten… but we really need to fix up fast. Poor in attack, a press that has lost intensity, and boring football… a lot of fixing.

Over to you, Mikel.

297 Responses to “Chink in the Arsenal armour exposed by leaks”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. andy1886

    Bunch of absolute fucking idiots (the protesters, not Le Grovers obs). I see that half-wit Farage is sticking his oar in, it’s like listening to Arthur Daley on how to build a space station.

  2. Marc

    andy

    Farage whether you love or hate him was very good with his BREXIT campaign.

    What you have now is someone who’s had a taste of the limelight and is now looking for a way to stay in it.

  3. Venga, Dani

    Agreed re: Dein, Pedro. What Arteta has done brilliantly is come in to a club at an absolute low that had lost a lot of its identity and culture and completely turn around the atmosphere and club culture.

    The problem is that we cannot hinge our club culture on one manager – that’s a repeat of the Wenger days. We need a leader behind the scenes too – like a Rangnick or Luis Campos type. Not only does that take some of the burden off the manager, but it allows the club to effectively plan long term without staking everything on who the manager is at that time.

    This isn’t rocket science and it’s sad that we’ve seen how effective this set up can be at other clubs and STILL have not gotten it in place. Over to Vinnai I guess…

  4. andy1886

    Marc, don’t forget that he’s tied to that other orange moron Trump. Thinks that we should keep burning those fossil fuels until the planet is a toxic desert just as long as there is money in it. Seems to have passed him by that leaders in clean energy will make an absolute killing even if you’re not bothered about destroying the planet for your kids and grandkids.

  5. Pedro

    Valentin, you need to frame these sorts of comments with: ‘this is all my opinion’ versus ‘this is what is happening’

    Having exacting standards is good leadership.

    Being difficult to work with is not. That comment is baseless.

    The decision on Partey was made based on losing out on Aouar.

  6. Marc

    andy

    The argument against Global Warming / do so called green house gas emissions ie CO2 cause it has always staggered me because I’ve never heard any of the scientists ask the deniers the most simple blatant 2 questions that prove that it does.

  7. andy1886

    Marc, it does make you wonder where we’re heading. Obviously these nutters didn’t just pop out of the woodwork overnight, they must have always been there in the background. Must be related to the rise of social media over the last decade or so and the way they are going they are going to cause the very thing that they fear when governments suppress these platforms.

  8. Marc

    andy

    We seem to have been seeing a rise in the “nut jobs” for some time now – the Kennedy assassination was the first major conspiracy, Roswell that’d been long forgotten jumped up next, 9 11 just hyped it up to a crazy level and now it’s anything and everything.

    Still I’m glad I live in a country that allows everyone no matter how completely lala to have a vote and opinion.

  9. Swkmoon

    Pedro
    “At least Wenger had won 3 league titles before things got out of hand”.
    Wenger didn’t just win 3 titles and then things got ‘out of hand’. He created a style, a brand, an elegance that we all now associate with the “Arsenal way”. It didn’t get out of hand because that is what we are all striving for now. The Arsenal way is not the win over Parma but the beautiful football that literally came out of nowhere… Yeah we stopped winning titles, and Christ, Wenger deserved more, but it is what it is. We all knew it was time to move on and, personally, I think Arteta will come good. But, despite the lack of trophies, (although as an oldie and an FA Cup lover who cried at Wembley as a boy when we lost a typically boring Arsenal game to Ipswich, I loved the later FA Cup victories ), I would like to see the great man held in slightly greater esteem. Here’s hoping our current manager and players can dispel the fear of losing and enjoy the game for what it is. For that is the way that beauty lies…peace.

  10. Valentin

    Pedro,

    Good leadership is having exacting standard, but also be ready to listen and apply personal touch to your relationship with others.

    If you apply standards only to the people you disagree with or want to get rid of, then it is not really standard just hypocrisy.
    What is the standard expected of Saliba so he can be on the bench instead of Holding? Same thing with Willock who despite his performance in the Europa League does not even make the bench in the premiership when it is clear that we need a goal from midfield.

    You are really naive if you really believe that Arteta is easy to work with on a daily basis. That control freakery you see on the touchline is not just for games. It extends to behind the scene behaviour. You don’t have to shout or insult people to be difficult to work with. You make incessant demands or unrealistic demands, refuse to compromise. Why do you think some managers (Pep, Mourinho, Van gaal, …) can only work in the same place for a few years. They just consume people around them.

    And if you don’t believe that Arteta is a PR and network man, remind yourself of the gift to Gazidis. Arteta as Captain collected fines from players. Those fines were usually spend on charity or on gifts to less privileged members of staff. However Arteta chose to purchase an expensive watch as a gift to Gazidis.

    You attach yourself to Arteta like the saviour, the Arsenal Messiah, but be aware there has been multiple false prophets before.

  11. andy1886

    Marc, agreed, but are they counting all the votes? Lol, just kidding, and there are no large islands left in the southern hemisphere to ship them off to anyway.

  12. Pedro

    Swkmoon, it did get out of hand.

    Art over pragmatism.
    Stasis over innovation
    Self-preservation over risk

    He invented The Arsenal Way, we’ll get there, but it’ll come with a lot of ups and downs.

  13. Pedro

    Valentin,

    Your entire opinion and narrative is based around your upset about a 19-year-old defender being dropped.

    You write like you have an inside track and you don’t. You guess.

    There’s nothing to suggest Arteta is difficult to work with. He has high standards for a club that has low standards. He has consistently shown empathy, he never throws players under the bus, and his methods have paid off with the loyalty everyone has shown him.

    You are making things up to suit your angry agenda over a player the club is trying to protect. Who gives a fuck about a watch. He turned down Wenger’s offer, learned his trade at City, landed at Arsenal without Gazidis and won an FA Cup the hard way in his first season.

    He’s not a prophet, he’s a top young manager I think will move us forward, it’s that simple.

  14. Pedro

    ‘You make incessant demands or unrealistic demands, refuse to compromise. Why do you think some managers (Pep, Mourinho, Van gaal, …) can only work in the same place for a few years.’

    You know another manager who said players get bored of managers? Klopp.

    If Mikel gives us 5 years like these guys at their peak, who the fuck cares if people are upset by the demands. What a ‘warning’ you’ve given us there.

  15. Pedro

    Marc, it’ll be great to be back in the ground by next season.

    My lawyer just said my visa gets me back into the UK. Can’t wait.

  16. Marc

    ” I would like to see the great man held in slightly greater esteem.”

    He will be after there’s been enough of a break. Wenger broke the golden rule – always leave with them wanting more / get out whilst you’re at the top etc.

  17. Pedro

    Valentin, just to really double down on your nonsense comment here.

    Regarding this personal touch you now don’t think exists. This from David Luiz.

    “We have been given assignments just like in school and at university,”

    “I spent an hour and a half on a video call with Arteta, analysing games and training sessions from this season.

    “‘Tell me about this game without watching it, David,’ he would say. Afterwards we would watch and see we were tying to do something good, but couldn’t execute it, or we thought it was bad, but in this case good.

    “This discussion is good and will help us a lot in the future.”

  18. Marc

    ” it’ll be great to be back in the ground by next season.”

    I’m hoping we make a few games at the end of this season – don’t think it’ll be loads but there’s a chance.

  19. Pedro

    Auba on the personal touch.

    “Since he came in he has brought an atmosphere that everyone feels like they are at home – so everyone has to do the homework as well!”

    “The mentality around the club is going very, very well and everyone is going in the same way, which is very important. Everyone has the same objective, the goal is to bring the club back where it belongs.”

  20. Marc

    andy

    Put it this way – if it was a porn film it’d be called “Marketing dude gets fisted”

    My issue is (I’m really getting banned this time!) I think Pedro might lose his sense of humour when they make the sequel on his flight back to New York

  21. Pierre

    Pedro
    Only the entitled fans believed it got out of hand..

    The more realistic fan recognised that the standards had dropped a little from the exceedingly high level that wenger created…

    The only thing that got out of hand was the WOBS and the last 2 years have shown us how wrong they were to bring shame on the club ..

    Arsenal fans are now desperate to return to the football that Wenger provided even in his last 2 seasons..

    Who could have predicted it would turn out like this and we would be subjected to such turgid, boring football.

  22. andy1886

    Pedro, agree about Wenger. The ‘style’ he is associated with by many isn’t the one that won all the big trophies, it’s the pass to death one that was ultimately toothless against big teams. If you want art go to the theatre, if you want to be competitive in sport you need strength as well as technical ability.

  23. Marc

    Pierre

    “Who could have predicted it would turn out like this and we would be subjected to such turgid, boring football.”

    Are there any other managers in world football that play exciting, attractive football?

    The mistake wasn’t ousting Wenger it was 1) letting it go too long 2) not getting the replacement (s) right.

    Wenger destroyed his own legacy and it’s a genuine sorrow for all Gooner’s. No one should be able to say a bad word about him because he never should have allowed things to go so far.

  24. Pedro

    Pierre, the people that crushed the club were the enablers that thought an old man who lost touch with football was entitled to a neverending run at Arsenal without control. The AKBs, that dominated the corrupt MSM, crashed Arsenal. If they’d held their hands up when we could have saved Arsenal, we’d be competing now.

    Entitlement is part of sport, in fact, it’s fucking essential to being an elite club.

    Problem with AKBs is they weren’t in it for sport, they were in it for the man, and here we are… rebuilding again.

    Biggest clue that the WOABs were right? Wenger still can’t get a job… and his book was shite.

  25. Pedro

    Andy, Wenger lost the plot when he gave up on power and pace. Still baffles me to this day that he couldn’t recognize what made him great.

  26. Marc

    ” Still baffles me to this day that he couldn’t recognize what made him great.”

    I think he saw something he thought could be purer – that was always his downfall. Fergie just wanted to win – Wenger (and there is something admirable in it although flawed) wanted to win in a beautiful way.

  27. Pedro

    Andy, thing with Pierre is he’s a really good analyst of the game… but has the most outrageous blindspot for Wenger and Mesut.

    What does that tell me? He doesn’t understand high-performance culture. These AKBs are very against the brutality of elite sport, which is why they like Arsene. These folk were the deriding ‘pashun’ merchants before Klopp made it cool.

    Pierre is/was a solo worker. An artist, actor, musician, or writer. Lives in a nice area, Crouch End or London Fields, surrounds himself with intellectual friends with trust funds… certainly not a pints man, but will have a story about an IPA he drinks occasionally. Has an Arsenal shirt, but it’s a replica from the seventies. Certainly has a story about meeting a player from the 71 cup team in a pub toilet in the 80s. Possibly attended Glastonbury before it went mainstream.

    Just my guess of course… but I know these AKBs and what drives them.

  28. andy1886

    Absolutely Pedro, agree 100%. Unfortunately the invincible season gave him carte blanche to create his own little project and play the game the way he believed it should be played which is arrogant nonsense. There is no one ‘right way’ to play the game.

    P.S. beware of sweaty Spanish spivs with latex gloves when passing through customs…

  29. Ishola70

    Wenger narrates his book on audible for nearly 7 hours.

    tbh ten minutes of his press conferences during his last period as manager was enough for me to listen to him.

  30. Ishola70

    On the five minute sample of his book on audible it’s an old man moaning about new developments in football and seeming to yearn for the bygone days,

    Sort of sums up the situation with him.

  31. Champagne charlie

    Pedro

    You obviously haven’t received the memo on Val. He’s playing everything into his ‘a great coach doesn’t mean a great manager’ prophecy he laid out two weeks in.

    Man loves to circle back for an I told you so moment, will warp reality to get there too. Elite sources though..

  32. Pedro

    Andy after the Queen Of Suburbia debacle, I wouldn’t guess who anyone is… but I think Pierre is probably a normal person that owns a glass blowing studio in Barnsbury

  33. Pedro

    CC, I see.

    The personal touch thing was a wonderful ‘has he been paying attention’ moment.

    I wouldn’t have made Arteta a manager, but the angles he’s going at here are all wrong.

    Imagine trying to make the case against Arteta by citing the most successful managers in history as a warning.

  34. Pedro

    Marc, one of two women to ever blog here.

    She was on Twitter as well.

    Super-woke. Told people on another blog that Le Grove was a problem, and that we had called in death threats at her home. Really odd. She’d also do the cancel thing on insecure men.

    Her husband added me on LinkedIn once and asked if I’d be interested in some business or something.

    Anyway, one of the guys on Twitter swung into her shop in the Midlands to say hi… the woman he met, Dani, was like ‘who the fuck are you?’

    Turned out QoS was a guy pretending to be a woman on the internet for 8 years. The actual wife didn’t have a clue.

  35. Champagne charlie

    Pedro

    I made the comment the other day, too much matter of fact is said by folk as if they’re down Colney 5 days a week, versus a basic ‘I think this because…’.

    Just beautiful irony that today you have someone dismissing word from someone who is literally down Colney 5 days a week.

    Wonders never do cease and all that.

  36. Marc

    Pedro

    Company I was at a few years ago had a stand at a trade show at the Excel venue. There’s a few members of management kicking about, me and one or two of the sales team and a handful of the marketing staff – one of which was a girl in her early twenties, bright bubbly and really good at her job.

    Anyway me and the other sales guy had noticed a guy in drag drift past the stand a couple of times (I should make the point that I’m not prejudice on anything like that but this guy looked like a Glaswegian dock worker in a dress) anyway he wondered onto the stand and cornered this marketing girl who didn’t realise for about 5 minutes who she was talking to – the look on her face as it suddenly clicked was hysterical – she tried to keep it together but was caught between shock, embarrassment and basic what the fuck.

    Meanwhile me and the other sales guy have the Sales Director asking us why we’re off the stand and whats so funny – I’d been with the company 6 weeks!

  37. Kaz

    If Wenger does manage again he will be a lot better.

    I think he has recognised he got a little too stubborn over certain things and this stubbornness is what led to his demise.

    I’d love to see him manage again, possibly even the England job.

  38. Pedro

    CC, the militancy people take over these things is quite something.

    Like the Saliba stuff, sure it could be handled better, but this idea that there’s a conspiracy against a 19-year-old that started 17 games in Ligue 1 is quite the thing this season

  39. Champagne charlie

    Pedro

    It’s rampant. Not enough to be critical of a situation or pass judgement about what you’d prefer to see, instead there’s always some nefarious undertones.

    Had it with Guendouzi, it’s clear now… Arteta hates young frenchman. He’s a bigot. Got there.

  40. Dissenter

    Pedro
    Arteta is a ditherer and the club fucked up by elevating him as co-equal to Edu.
    We have an untenable situation at the club because we put too much on his plate.

    For all the mistakes he’s making with team selection and tactics, his biggest flaws have been in the squad decisions he’s made.

  41. Moray

    Good post, Pedro.

    We’ve gone from being helmed by Sonny Corleone to Fredo overnight. And just at the time we required strong and decisive leadership, clever PR and long-term thinking. It’s not about a race back to top four but about a strategy to get there and stay.

    We really needed to take every player sale offer we received in the summer. It looks like we kicked them all back. There are going to be bargains galore in January and next summer, where a long COViD tail, reduced or zero gate receipts and backlash on media such as Sky will punish many club’s accounts and mean bargains galore for those with cash. That won’t be us considering what our outlay was this summer, particularly those long contracts for poor or old players.

    Edu and Arteta are still inexperienced. So is our CEO. Josh Kroenke is also young. I hope there is an adult somewhere to take the wheel.

  42. Moray

    “If Wenger does manage again he will be a lot better.”

    Kaz, you think Wenger has suddenly discovered humility in his 70s? The most remarkable thing about him was that he had a winning formula and philosophy and spent the best part of decade deconstructing it (or arguably taking it to the extreme). And, unlike say Clough who was defeated by booze and time, Wenger was destroyed by hubris alone.

  43. China1

    Farage is the sort of bellend who would fit right in in American politics. A single issue moron who peddles fear hate and lies to A marginalized base to try and get his five minutes of fame

    One of the biggest hypocrites of all. Who can forget his rambling about EU politicians taking money for nothing and being unaccountable whilst he frequently didn’t even show up in Brussels when representing us and funnily enough used to hire his wife on a tasty tax payer funded salary to be his ‘secretary’

    He’s an Absolute scumbag Regardless of whether leaving the EU was the right decision or not

  44. Sid

    Diet Pep is a passive aggressive type(avoid them at all cost at work and relationships), already scheming behind Edu’s back,
    This will not end well for Arsenal.

    You heard it here 1st!

  45. Sid

    I know who should be moved it not the one that got us Martinelli and Magalhaes
    its the one that worked with Mari and thought Soares was a great addition, objected the sale of AMN then does not play him because of AMNs thoughts on Ozil.

  46. Graham62

    I see Pierre has been on his imaginary high horse yet again.

    “Entitled ones”
    “Obsessives”

    My take on Pierre remains the same. He is a figment of his own imagination. Everything is a facade.

    An 8 handicap golfer. No frigging chance.
    A French moniker. That’s a piss take.
    64 years of age. Pull the other one.

    He admits his a troll.

    Just accept that some folk are attention seekers.

  47. Pierre

    Pedro
    “Pierre is/was a solo worker. An artist, actor, musician, or writer. Lives in a nice area, Crouch End or London Fields, surrounds himself with intellectual friends with trust funds… certainly not a pints man, but will have a story about an IPA he drinks occasionally. Has an Arsenal shirt, but it’s a replica from the seventies. Certainly has a story about meeting a player from the 71 cup team in a pub toilet in the 80s. Possibly attended Glastonbury before it went mainstream.”

    You’re confusing me with Nick Hornby …

    I just like watching quality players play quality football, and I’d prefer it to be Arsenal ..
    This will normally result in winning trophies or at least competing for trophies…

    The main reason i will defend Wenger against many of the accusations, and I’m not saying he’s perfect, is due to Chelsea and City arriving with their pots of money just as Wenger’s team was ready to carry on the domination of the premier league , along with United.

    He had basically replaced the invincibles without spending a penny and the team of cesc, ade, rvp , nasri, Rosicky, hleb, diaby , Ramsey, eduardo etc were playing superb football of the highest quality and but for the arrival of city and Chelsea’s billions, we would have won more titles.

    Also, taking into account the horrendous tackles on Diaby, Eduardo and Ramsey , that is another reason i will defend Wenger as those injuries and the lack of protection on his players had a massive effect on the team..

    So yes , i will defend Wenger as i think he was treated with total lack of respect by the minority of fans..

    My defence of Wenger is being vindicated with every passing week as we slip down the table whilst playing
    such drab football .

    My defence of Ozil is also being vindicated with each passing week as we create less and less, our strikers must be desperate to see the return of a player who can provide the link between midfield and attack..

    It won’t happen , but if Arteta brought Ozil back , it would be the spark that would ignite the team …i know it and the majority on le grove know it ,but of course they wouldn’t admit it.

    Arteta is a very lucky man that there are no fans in the ground, the match going fans want to see quality on the pitch, and that means Ozil ..

  48. Sid

    NORGNovember 15, 2020 08:01:35
    Sid – you seem to have the situation summed up – interestingly it is Edu who makes frequent trips to Columbus.

    I will be proven right,
    You can take this to the bank!

  49. Chris

    I must admit, overall I was left underwhelmed by Wenger’s autobiography. He went into very little detail, even about the glory years. I found the chapter on his formative years interesting, clear how he developed his ideals. However a lot of seasons at Arsenal for example were mentioned only on passing and some glossed over completely. He likely has enough for 2 or 3 books, one could have been on Arsenal alone.

    I realise it isn’t his character to dish out the dirt but the book really was squeaky clean, and as a result, a little bit dull. It also had a few factual errors, in the stats section, which really should have been noticed before publication.

  50. Sid

    Pierre is one of those upper management types that messed up and given the option of resigning ‘under mutual agreement’.
    No way is he an actor, artist or musician.

  51. Pierre

    Sid
    “Pierre is the antithesis to Tony”

    Thank you for the compliment..

    Young Thai bride….slightly dodgy and embarrassing

    Weight training and bragging of the size of his………gym. is a sign of a desperate man hanging on to his youth.

  52. S Asoa

    Wenger afiliados, afinados
    That power hungry obsolescence was passe 5 -12 years back. The current warts can be removed ,but do you guys not see dense comments Wenger makes as soon as a vacancy crops up in a top Club ?
    Wenger obsession with power will always make him undesirable

  53. S Asoa

    Pedro being roasted today. His mistake is keeping on turning up with retorts. That way gets baked crispy .
    So listen. No point becoming a stick – in – the – mud like Valentin says Arteta is.

    😀😂😂
    Enjoying myself

  54. Graham62

    From 2006 Arsenal FC lived off excuses.

    The Staduim.

    Financial restrictions.

    Chelski and MC.

    Refereeing conspiracies.

    Injuries to players.

    etc etc.

    It was just one excuse after the other.

    Agreed we had an excellent core of top players but we surrounded them with weak minded and make do players. Wenger never protected our technical magicians.

    Wenger could/should have acted on our frailties but he never did.

    Peak Cahill, peak Samba or peak Nzonzi are prime examples of what we could have had.

    Not surprising his book was so tame. What he considers to be important and interesting, is frustratingly unimportant and boring as far as fans are concerned.

    That became the norm with Wenger.

  55. Pierre

    Graham

    Out of interest…would you prefer to be watching Wenger’s football or Arteta/Emery’s football…

    Football management is not quite as easy as it appears is it.

  56. andy1886

    Pierre, Ade, Nasri and Rosicky never played together, which team were you talking about? As Graham mentions we also had Almunia, Eboue, Denilson, Song and Gallas who I’m afraid were sub-standard or mentally weak.

    We should have won the title in 2007/8 but Wenger declared in January that he was happy with the team and did not need to buy. We all know how that went. Downhill.

  57. Graham62

    Pierre

    That’s not the point is it.

    What I do know is that Wenger and fans like you lived off excuses for over a decade.

    We had the resources and players but Wenger wasn’t prepared to adapt to all those things that changed the culture of the game.

    Yes the football could be exhilarating but more often than not, because he didn’t adapt, we failed when it really mattered.

    Are you telling me that players like Cahill/Samba/ Nzonzi would not have made a difference?

    Even you must have found it frustrating when all that great football went to waste.

    That’s why I’ll never consider Wenger to be a truly great manager.

    Why do you think our top players decided to leave?

  58. Graham62

    After Wenger we needed someone to come in and steady the ship.

    That’s why I wanted Carlo Ancelotti.

    Emery was not the answer.

    As for Arteta, the jury is still out.

  59. Herb'sArmy

    Graham

    I understand where you’re coming from with Rangers, basically in the early 1900’s they saved us from extinction by buying some shares. A special bond was formed between the two clubs, and during the 1930’s when we ruled the waves, there were regular friendlies played at Highbury and Ibrox.
    To thank them for their generosity in our hour of need, we gave them a gift of a solid gold cannon.
    Arsenal has to be one of the strangest football stories ever, the club has had so many identities.
    The first incarnation from David Danskin and his fellow factory workers in Woolwich really struggled to make their mark, and only survived thanks to Glasgow Rangers.
    When Henry Norris bought Arsenal, his original idea was to merge Arsenal with Fulham, because Fulham were in Div.1, Arsenal in Div.2. It is a blessing that the football powers blocked this, because after the WW1, Arsenal were a club reborn. Sure it took quite a few seasons, but we were in the top tier and holding our own. Things fell into place with the arrival of Chapman (fresh from winning three consecutive 1st Division titles with Huddersfield Town, who have never won it since).
    It was the perfect union, the country’s best manager at that time and an owner prepared to completely back him financially. Norris’ money and Chapman’s vision made Arsenal the greatest club side in the world, the ‘Bank of England’ club who set standards that were the envy of every one of our rivals.
    Arsenal changed identity again after WWII, gone was the aggressive will to be the best, the Hill-Wood’s and Bracewell-Smith’s remodelled the club to become a lot more cautious and austere in their approach.
    If you look at the trophies Arsenal have won since WWII, before George Graham’s little spree, the returns are very poor.
    The legacy of those glory years during the 1930’s would have left us in an incredibly powerful position, and it looks like the generations of Arsenal fans that came along after the war have been victims of a dereliction of duty from the clubs Old Etonian owners, who willingly surrendered Arsenal’s sporting obligations to make themselves even wealthier.
    That’s why we’re in this mess today.

  60. Pierre

    Andy
    “Ade, Nasri and Rosicky never ayed together ”

    They did, but that is irrelevant .

    My point was that the football we played during the period after the invincibles was top quality and wenger built those sides and made a profit.

    We would have competed for the league but heads were turned by clubs offering better wages…çesc the exception, i believe he would have stayed if wenger had kept that side together.

    Cole
    Ade
    Nasri
    Hleb
    Toure
    Cliche
    Song
    Rvp
    Cesc

  61. Gonsterous

    Sid

    I know who should be moved it not the one that got us Martinelli and Magalhaes
    its the one that worked with Mari and thought Soares was a great addition, objected the sale of AMN then does not play him because of AMNs thoughts on Ozil.

    Lmao, spitting truth here. Add in Willian and my man luiz for his extension though 😂😂

  62. NORG

    Pierre

    In 2008 the AFC midfield were magnificent and the show was orchestrated by CESC. The dressing room was his and not Wengers. That was the problem. Cesc had planned to leave when he was 27 – that was his intention for years. I will not read Wengers book because the real stories do not appear in it.

  63. Graham62

    Pierre

    Oops!

    There you go again.

    Yet another excuse.

    We could argue all day long on this but, I think you’d agree, we have far more pressing issues to solve than look back at Wenger’s failings.

    Namely, can Arteta adapt.

  64. Gonsterous

    Should have got cesc back from barca, picture him saying with a prime sanchez and ozil. That would have never got wenger the sack.

  65. Sid

    Pierre ‘Thank you for the compliment..Young Thai bride….slightly dodgy and embarrassing’

    Everyone has their negatives, you are a slippery one. Theres a hint of spiv about you.

  66. raptora

    We didn’t bring back Cesc cause Ozil was like 1 year into his stay with us. Another reason to hate the Fortnite player. Cesc was going to be so much more important for us than this amoeba. I’m getting upset just thinking about it.

  67. China1

    A hint of spiv LOL

    It’s also true that cesc with Sanchez and ozil would’ve done serious things

    I don’t think Sanchez would’ve even left and his form wouldn’t have gone off as a cliff. Cesc begins ozil doing dirty work and dominating from deep would’ve been a game changer for us.

  68. andy1886

    Pierre: “Andy
    “Ade, Nasri and Rosicky never played together ”They did, but that is irrelevant”

    Actually you are wrong Pierre.

    Nasri joined Arsenal in July 2008. Rosicky was injured for the entire 2008/9 season (played zero games) and Ade left Arsenal for City in July 2009.

    So no, you’re wrong the three of them never played together.

    As for Clichy the best thing about him was that he wasn’t Ashley Cole which is why AFC fans over rated him. Another error-prone player who was poor under pressure.

  69. China1

    Don’t insult pierres commentary. Guy is classy as fook

    67 year old guy who comes on here just to troll about ozil every day. Elite stuff

  70. raptora

    F1 is such a sport that drivers are never in equal terms. Because of it, you can never know with certainty who performed better than another. Car is probably more than half of the equation and Hamilton was lucky enough to drive for the team with consistently the best car in the competition for years running. When McLaren/Merdeces was shit Lewis could even make the podium of the year.

    It’s why I don’t watch F1 as much. Driver difference isn’t as big as car difference.

    I’d rather watch Tennis, Snooker, Golf, Boxing and obviously Football.

    In all of them skill is the only thing that matters. If you are the best, you are going to win.

    In F1 a bottom team driver can have the absolute best performance driver wise, make 0 mistakes, flawless driving etc and still not even get a single point. Cause car/team difference. Garbage sport. Personal opinion of course.

  71. Pierre

    Jamie
    “Pierre the snide attacking someone’s wife. Basement level commentary”

    Raptora
    “Really low of Pierre to say those things. I do not condone”

    Sid
    “Everyone has their negatives, you are a slippery one. Theres a hint of spiv about you.”

    Double standards on here…..you all need to take a look at yourselves.

    This from Tony a few days ago and this is only the tip of the iceberg , smutty , schoolgirl humour at it’s best…with a derogatory mention of my wife for good measure.

    “TonyNovember 11, 2020 02:07:18
    “pierre..
    At least you have your monogramed, stained socks to keep you happy.Are you allowed to put them in the washing machine or does Mrs Pierre make you wash them by hand?”

  72. Jamie

    Raptora –

    For sure the car/team makes a huge difference to a driver’s success on the track. Hard to argue Hamilton isn’t a great driver, though. Bottas is nowhere near him and they drive the same car.

    Of all his former teammates, Fernando Alonso is the only one who comes close in terms of skill.

    For sure, all but 3 teams don’t have much of a chance of winning anything of note. But the same can be said for most team/league sports. A few dominant teams, but most of the others battle against themselves because they’ll never catch the big boys.

    I still think Hamilton needs to win another championship or two to really be considered the GOAT, even though the numbers already seem to confirm it.

    Pierre –

    When you get a little older and more mature, you’ll learn that two wrongs don’t make a right because that’s really dumb. Hopefully.

  73. raptora

    If we include red face Ferguson he wins it for me. By far the best manager in the EPL because of his adaptability and longevity. 2 UCLs too. I agree Manure were the refs team but he was still absolutely phenomenal for them.

  74. raptora

    Jamie,
    We know that teams have a #1 driver and #2. All the good stuff and the close decisions go in favor of the #1. Lewis is obviously a great driver, I just think that Mercedes’ domination in the last years has been disgusting. And that’s half the job done in motorsports.

  75. Ishola70

    Wenger is on Desert Island Discs next week.

    That may be a bit more interesting rather than him talking complete football to see his taste in music.

    The question would be can Wenger resist the temptation to be woke as we saw with Keir Starmer with his disc choice of Stormzy.

    Mind you Wenger was woke a long time ago before it became politicised.

  76. gunnerram

    @Pedro
    Over the last 2.5 years the biggest loss for Arsenal is just 1 thing – Identity. Whilst we previously moaned about finishing chances and conceding at the earliest oppty – we never had any complaints about out our superior style.

    Now we only have a hope – punt the ball to Auba and hope he delivers.

  77. Marc

    I don’t understand some posters who seem to have this memory of Wenger’s latter years being some feats of amazing football that fell just short of glory.

    We’d been on the slide for a long time.

  78. SpanishDave

    Wenger did manage to keep us in the top 4 each year, now we are further back than that.
    We still have his players, on big wages and it’s a drag on the clubs finances.
    What songs on desert Island Discs?

  79. Marc

    Dave

    “Wenger did manage to keep us in the top 4 each year,”

    Not quite – he missed out twice (not including his first season in charge) and was pushed out once it became clear he wasn’t going to make it that second season.

    He did an amazing job after the stadium move in keeping us in the top 4 – strangely once he started spending more money is when it went to pot.

  80. Kris

    Pedro,

    “Biggest clue that the WOABs were right? Wenger still can’t get a job…”

    This is a fallacy you’ve repeated so many times now it’s really getting embarrassing.

    FYI. and I don’t know if you’ve heard of a country called France, but at least half the teams there would take Wenger as a coach. He’s that highly respected there still. Which means he either didn’t get offers for the top 4, 5 jobs there or like a typical addict who has finally gotten clean, he’s afraid of being immersed into his addictive managing world again.

    Seriously, man, if you think that, say, Roy Hodgson who does work (and is 2 years older than Arsene) is considered a better coach or manager than Wenger, you better stop writing about football altogether.

  81. andy1886

    Kris, shame you have zero evidence for that opinion. You have no information on what French or any other clubs may be looking for in a manager. Just opinion masquerading as fact. Pedro however is absolutely correct to say that Wenger hasn’t got a manager’s job since leaving Arsenal despite AKB’s claiming that top sides would be lining up to take him.

  82. China1

    You have to say for such a small nation, the Britain does phenomenally well at sports. Im not sure any country comes close for having so many elite competitors per capita across such a huge range of sports. Like after America and China (vastly larger populations) I suspect the UK is by far and away the most decorated nation across the full spectrum of sports. In the olympics we are competitive in a huge number of events and in non Olympic sports we have elite representation in the vast majority of sports outside of the American handful (basketball, baseball, NFL etc) since we just don’t play those games!

  83. raptora

    Russia and Germany are both far ahead of Britain. Double the amount of Olympic medals to be precise.
    Russia is over twice Britain’s population which is a considerable amount, although not a gigantic difference, but Germany is a very comparable country. Far ahead of Britain in sport achievements in every way.

  84. Marc

    “We were a midtable team under Wenger who excelled in beating bottom teams which kept Arsenal in.the top 4”

    Really stupid post. You get 3 points for a win and then they add all the points up.

  85. Calypso

    Marc

    Stupidity is your middle name,
    Add up all the points Wenger accumulated against the teams in and around Arsenal plus the bottom sides and you’ll find more than enough points gained to earn a top 4 finish.

  86. Marc

    Calypso

    Well the French surrendered 10 minutes in and the Yanks did join for over 2 years – Britain beat back the German invasion plan and was never under direct threat again.

    If the US hasn’t have joined in we would’ve ended up suing for peace.

  87. Marc

    Calypso

    Who were the teams that finished below Arsenal beating you moron? If they weren’t beating those same teams we were better than they were.

  88. andy1886

    Marc, suing for peace wasn’t an option, TBH the Russians would’ve kept the Germans occupied busy until Hitler was out of the equation (but 1945 he wasn’t a well bunny and was showing signs of dementia). Most likely the new Nazi leadership would have sought peace once they realised that they were in a stalemate.

    So you could argue that the US helped win the war but the Germans were never likely to win after June 1941 regardless.

  89. andy1886

    Raptora, that certainly was the turning point. There’s also an argument that Stalin played a bit of a blinder ultimately even if the Russians were caught on the hop initially. The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact from a Russian perspective guaranteed that the Germans would fight a war in Western Europe leaving the Russians the option to move in when the Western powers had fought themselves to a standstill and exhausted themselves. Of course it didn’t work that way as no-one thought that Hitler would be daft enough to fight a two-front war (overconfidence following successes in the previous two years). But the result was essentially the same, the Russians made big gains in Eastern Europe and became a major power once again.

  90. Tom

    ‘You just don’t invade Russia in the winter. People should have learned that hundreds of years ago.‘

    raptora, Hitler didn’t invade Russia in the winter.

    You just don’t invade Russia, period.
    It’s impossible to conquer a nation with unlimited resources and total disregard for human life.

  91. raptora

    andy: “no-one thought that Hitler would be daft enough to fight a two-front war (overconfidence following successes in the previous two years)”

    That and the fact that Italy were a laughing stock and an unreliable partner. They lost in Africa and later in naval battles vs the British forces and they got annihilated and then when they tried to show they are not useless they even lost to Greece.

    If Germany had better allies, things might have been different.

    Anyway you spin it though, the attack on Pearl Harbor decided the war. If they were smart enough to not mess around with Murica, maybe they had a shot. Personal opinion of course.

  92. Pedro

    Herb, you need to take out the apostrophe in your name, it activates the spam fitlet because it looks like a typo.

    Try ‘Herbs Army’