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If Mr Wenger went, would anyone take the job?

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History of Arsenal with a new series on the Rioch year, and onto the Wenger years.

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By Tony Attwood

It has become commonplace to cite the names of famous big time managers who might come in to replace Mr Wenger when he leaves, but such commentaries tend generally to leave out one important question: would such a man want to come to Arsenal?

In fact I believe that Arsenal and Man U have a similar dilemma: the  replacement problem.  However my focus here will be on Arsenal.

In fact there’s a whole raft of reasons why top name managers will, I believe, look twice at the Arsenal situation when Mr Wenger leaves, and then look away.  Here’s just a few of them.

1.  The referee bias in favour of certain clubs, which we have rigoursly charted on this site, and which has been picked up elsewhere, is not an unknown factor among the management fraternity.  And quite simply, the fact that Arsenal suffer in this way means that they are not part of the Calciopoli epidemic that is now within the Premier League, as our figures and reporting on the way the refereeing is organised, has clearly shown.

That means that Arsenal does not do favours to refs.  That means that our chances of winning the league or FA Cup are much reduced, if not somewhere around zero.  So why would a top manager come to such a club?

2.  This problem also means that it is getting harder and harder to recruit top name players to the club.  They know, as others in the game know, that something rotten is going on.  Of course they know because they see the way refs behave, week in week out, and they know which clubs are getting all the decisions their way and which ones are not.

This is turn makes it harder to recruit top players – they would sooner go to a club that is engaged in Calciopoli even if that club is awash with players, because there is a chance of a medal, and a chance of getting all the decisions going your way.

3.  Arsenal’s crowd used to be seen as supportive, urbane, knowledgeable and friendly, in the general footballing world.  All matches sold out, and the away section at games likewise sold out and noisy.  Now the AAA has had an effect.  Arsenal is seen, in my view, as a place of in-fighting among fans, and having within it a terrible split.   There is talk of boycotts, talk of fighting between fans, and talk of a rejection of what the board has been doing.

Of course it is not really like this since most of the noise is on the blogs, and many readers and commentators therein are either non-attenders, or indeed (in some cases) supporters of other clubs who enjoy stirring things up.

But the fact is that when Mr Wenger arrived, the expectations of the club were low – getting into the Uefa cup on the last day of the season before he arrived was a matter for huge rejoicing at Highbury.  When Tony Adams dismissed Mr Wenger as someone who knew nothing about English football and therefore would be a poor manager, no one really minded that too much either.

The last manager had been fairly awful, and had lost part of the dressing room, the one before that had been sacked for financial matters, so expectations were on the floor.

But now, there is every possibility that the new man will get a week or two before the bloggers who hound Arsene Wenger every day will get on the new man’s back.  Is it worth coming to Arsenal for that?  Probably not.

3. Just as there is no ref fixing at Arsenal there is no huge pot of money on the scale of Man C or Chelsea or (quite possibly) QPR.  So the chance of going out and buying success is very limited.   Mr Wenger solved that, as we are seeing on the Arsenal History site at the moment, by getting players in on the cheap (Vieira £3.5m, Overmars £5m etc), and by selling (Merson for £5m).  We would need a manager who could do that – and many of the very big names have made their names by buying big at big prices.  That’s not an option at Arsenal, where the funds simply are not there.

4.   For those managers working outside of England, there is a recognition that working in a league that will do nothing about match fixing, and which is itself working with the corrupt and incompetent FA (now embroiled in the post-world cup fiasco, and it seems, legal cases) is not ideal.  Working within a country that has one central body, and a set of clearly defined and understood rules and expectations rather than the rambling shambling mess that is football in England, is a much nicer prospect.

5.  Of course the EPL is rich, but football finance is on the edge due to the TV challenge in the European Courts which has gone against Sky and its fellow retailers of football.  The courts are saying that it against EU rules for anyone to stop people in England having dishes pointing at any satellite, and tuning into football from elsewhere, and indeed showing the programmes in a pub.  When that ruling is confirmed, the value of Sky’s football franchise will drop like a stone and the money will drift away.

This is of course speculation, but we have been in a Golden Era since the Bosman ruling and Mr Wenger’s proof that non-UK players could make a huge difference to English football.  Sky then found itself sitting on a pile of gold… but all stories do have an end, and the end of this one is just around the corner.

6.  If point five is true, then another factor comes into effect: the huge churn rate of the EPL.  Over half the top league of 10 years ago will not be playing in the Premier League next season because they have fallen on hard times.  Some of these clubs were in their day big timers.  Top clubs don’t stay top forever in England, in the way that they do in other countries, and the fact that there is ref bias and financial doping going on wholesale in this country, with no one taking any action to stop it, just enhances the instability.  Being at a top club is not a guarantee of eternal success, or near success, as it is in say Scotland, or Spain.

7.  And yet there is a large section of the blogging population who believe that taking a club that not so long ago was finishing 12th in the Premier League, into a position so that it qualifies for the Champs League every single year (and not even clubs like the mighty Milan can do that) is a failure.   The expectations among some (many of whom I suspect don’t actually go to games now, and probably didn’t in 1995 when we finished 12th) are so high that failure to win the league would be seen as absolute failure, and lead to calls for sacking.  Indeed any defeat against a team defined as “lesser” than Arsenal would lead to the same, in my view.

This is the view in Spain with Real Mad and Barca.  But there is a guarantee there that they will finish first or second, and let us not forget, they get all the TV money that is related to their club, rather than having to share it.

So it is as if the expectation of Spain has been transmuted into the wholly different situation in England.  A bit odd, but then so is the whole situation.

8.  And then there’s the media.  The rest of Europe by and large look on England, with its press and its libel laws, with horror.  We are so used to having people’s private lives spread across the popular press, that we somehow assume it is normal.  But pick up papers in other parts of the world, and this is far from the case.

At the moment matters are being held slightly in check by the “super injunction” through which we now have a situation in which the majority of the England team are said to have taken out “super injunctions” to stop the press saying anything about their private lives.

But the whole legal system is under review, not least because of England’s growing reputation for protecting the rich and famous, and the press’ ever extending attempts to find stories among the slightly less rich and famous.

Is it worth the risk of having your private life exposed the moment you step off the plane, and before your team of lawyers is in place?  Probably not – unless the club can afford to pay for the gags to be put in place.  And I don’t think Arsenal could, or would.  Man City and Chelsea, maybe.  Arsenal?  No.

9.  Managing the youth system is therefore a priority for any manager.  We don’t have the finances to compete with Chelsea, Man C, Real Mad etc.  So we bring through the youth team.  Mr Wenger has shown himself to be adroit at doing this, and is willing to put up with endless abuse from “fans” about his use of younger players.   But he can do that because he has the knowledge and insight, and the team working with him who can do this.   Nurturing Jack Wilshere from the age of 9 has been quite a feat.  But a new manager would probably only be here for a couple of years.  Would he be able to continue that process?  Would he be willing to?  I am not too sure.  Would he keep the youth structure together?  Probably not.

10.  A couple of days after Mr Wenger got off the plane and arrived at Highbury, a pack of journalists took up position on the steps of the main entrance calling for him to make a statement about “the rumours”.  The rumours were disgusting and disgraceful, and had not one ounce of truth in them, but that didn’t stop the press.  Indeed it never does.

So strong was the action by the press that these foul and baseless stories are still repeated by supporters of other teams on a week by week basis.

The board advised Mr Wenger not to go out and talk to the journalists outside, and I have been told that they were worried that Mr Wenger did not fully appreciate what the press was like in England.  But he went out and faced them.

“What do you have to say about the rumours Mr Wenger,” shouted a journalist.

Mr Wenger smiled.  “What rumours?” he said.

“The rumours Mr Wenger.  What do you have to say about them?”

“What rumours?” asked Mr Wenger, a smile on his face, and his arms crossed.

So it went on, until the journos got bored and went away.  Mr Wenger had won that round, because no journo dared say what the rumour was, since if he did he would immediately get a slander writ against him and his paper, and he would lose his job and the paper would lose £££££££.

They were testing him, to see if he would be so stupid as to mention the rumours and so allow them to follow up.  He didn’t, he won.

Would a new manager, perhaps with less of a command of English in his first days, be able to face this?  Would he want to be condemned on day one with a wholly false set of stories about his private life and the reason he had left his previous job?

I suspect not, not because of his cleverness, but because the knowledge of the press in England is widespread, and without the money to buy off the press, and with the hatred of Arsenal that the press now show, these people would know just how awful it would be here.

So I believe we have a problem, and finding a new manager is going to be tough.  We need to get this sorted over time, and find someone as unknown as Mr Wenger was when he came to us, but just as brilliant.  I don’t know who it is going to be, but it is not going to be someone famous coming in suddenly to take over.  If Mr Wenger were to leave because of the bile and hatred thrown at him by the AAA we would certainly be stuck with a third rater.

Mr Rioch anyone?

88 comments to If Mr Wenger went, would anyone take the job?

  • livestrong

    Mourinho>?

  • walter

    We could ask all those who claim to know better on blogs to do the job.
    Then they will find out that the real world is a bit more difficult than the virtual world of their computer/playstation/…. where they win the league each year with their hands behind their back.

  • vretou

    Very curious, because this site is full of statements now that we only run comments on the article – not comments on what the writer thinks the article ought to be about. This one has been cut.

  • A Casual Observer

    There you go Walter – vretou responded to your call.

  • Micko

    I agree it would be an almost impossible job to replace him. But would some of the press anger and prejudice against the club, because of him, then dissipate ? I think all this hostility in the media against him will continue to build until he either resigns or gets sacked. They have actually managed (due to the constant negative press regarding anything to do with Arsenal) to turn a lot of the easily brainwashed fans against him.
    Although I have to admit I have a hard job fighting it myself !
    I must say it amuses me to think that if Wenger leaves Arsenal could Mourhino take over. Can you imagine his reaction after watching the first half of his first Premiership match as our manager. He would be having a fit .He would probably grab Howard Webb/Mike Dean or whoever round the neck as they tried to walk off the pitch !
    Not saying that I would want Mourhino as our manager though as I don’t like his anti-football tactics/mentally.
    I think he’s probably destined for Old Trafford where he can carry on Sir Alex’s dynasty of cheating and bullying of refs.

  • Dan Green

    If given the chance of Wenger changing his ways and being the man he was I would have Wenger. This wont happen so I would rather him fuck

    André Villas-Boas – up and coming strong minded fresh new manager. Like Wenger no past football experience really. 36 game run unbeaten. 2 trophies already

    Pep – obviously

    The chav c**t – yes I would have him now for a quick fix. Get some life back in the team. And actually motivate

    Guus Hiddink – possibly?

    Van bastan and dennis? – I know van bastan isnt quite proven yet but with Dennis who knows

    Rijkaaard

    Moyes

    One things for sure in 6 years I think any of these managers would of won a trophie or done a similar job to wenger

  • walter

    is there anything sure in life? apart from death? 😉

  • Dan Green

    and taxes 😉

  • Dan Green

    Soft Man Utd penalties 😉

  • People responding to articles on this site by talking about something utterly different, rather than what the article is about.

  • vretou

    I thought the general trail of comments was about the article!

  • Laundryender

    Can i throw my hat into the ring??

  • Shard

    Tony,
    I’m not sure it is as difficult as you make it out to be to find a manager willing to come to Arsenal. All the factors you list are true and will have an effect. But Arsenal is a name that will attract many managers regardless. The tricky thing is finding the right manager. Not Mourinho or his ilk obviously (and I agree with Micko above. He’s set to continue in Fergie’s footsteps at Old Trafford). We need someone who will carry forward and build on the foundations laid down at the club by Arsene Wenger. Will that be Guardiola or villas-boas? I’m not so sure.

    For the moment though, we do not need a replacement. Arsene Wenger is the best man for the job at hand. Massive as that job is.

  • Dan Green

    @shard – is he really the best man for the job? What’s your basis for success? Where is the proof that this team has progressed rather than regressed?

    Im wishing that he leaves in any way possible. Sick of the sight of him.

    The only way he will leave is if the pressure really gets to high. So bring on the pressure I say so the old man has to quit.

    He could however stop all the pressure, all the abuse from the fans, all the unwanted media attention, all the football world criticising , every other set of fans singing about him and current and ex players telling us how wrong he is.

    Simple

    You correct the simple mistakes that even my girl friend can see

    You sell the shit passionless players we have

    You sign some new ones

    Champions

    But no. this old c**t likes to prove everyone wrong, treat us paying fans like mugs and make us a laughing stock of the footballing world.
    6 years has shown he wont fucking change

    This is going to be his 7th season in the so called 5 year project

  • Shard

    @dan green

    Firstly, this idea of a 5 year project. I have no idea where it comes from. I have certainly never heard Wenger ever mention it. What constitutes this project according to you?

    What was he doing 6 years ago that is the same, and that needed a change then in the same way as it does now? Again. the 6 years has been the same is only trotted out because of the trophies. Not for anything else happening at the club.

    You really think it is so easy? Let’s say you are right. Tell me where the money for buying ‘champions’ comes from? How the players that are to be sold will be disposed of? who will buy them? How will the players who come in fit into the new squad rules? What exactly defines passion for you? What is the guarantee that the new players will have any more passion? How do you gauge that?

    Only thing you are right about is that he could ease the pressure by doing what the media, and hence people at large demand. Big name players and an English spine. (Which somehow means more committed or more passionate automatically). You attribute his not doing so to his ego. I think he is proud of his achievements in that regard (and rightly so) but why he doesn’t do the ‘simple’ things is because it is not necessarily the best thing for the club. The pressure he faces is due to his selflessness and willingness to absorb all the blame. Of course the last bit is an assumption as well because I do not know his inner thoughts. But neither do you, so stop proclaiming it as fact.

  • Shard

    And by the way. You can want him gone, and make a point to that regard, without abusing the man who is the most successful manager in Arsenal’s long and proud history.

  • Dan Green

    @Shard Have to respectfully disagree. Wenger is executing the club’s plans to almost perfection, keeping the club competitive and profitable without spending. That is the plan. He is doing the plan.

    The plan is not to win trophies. That’s your wishes, the wishes of the fans, but the club, the business, have other plans. The owners of the business and the board don’t care about your wishes. They want to make money from the business. Can you blame them?

    They have the perfect man for the job, Wenger, who is doing an almost perfect job.

    There’s managers that have a spend to win policy. Arsenal isn’t interested in either. No spending, no winning.

    Most fans wouldn’t mind a string of 1st-17th-17th finishes going into infinity, but that’s not what the club wants.

    The club is a successful business model. Whether it is successful in winning silverware is irrelevant to the decision makers as long as the club stays competitive.

    It’s the sad reality, but I feel sorry for you if you didn’t know this by now.

  • BobbyP

    Arsenal would be a dream job for any up and coming manager:

    – one of the biggest clubs in the biggest league in the world;
    – excellent world-wide scouting network;
    – magnificent new stadium which is full every game
    – stable finances with no long-term debt
    – large revenues coming in every year
    – located in one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities

    I can’t see why you think it would be difficult to attract a manager? Comparing Arsenal only to Man City and Chelsea financially is as short-sighted as only comparing Arsenal to Chelsea and Man United in terms of recent on-field success.

    Also, your points 1,2 and 4 are basically the same ‘anti-Arsenal conspiracy’ paranoia, which I doubt that anyone away from this site takes seriously, let alone top managers as you imply.

  • Naren

    I think it will be an ineffable task to find a manager who is as good as Arsene in every aspect. People who love Wengerball will be bored to death by Mourinho, those supporting the prudent and cautious approach in the market will be disappointed with almost every other manager just as those who want a long-term philosophy for the Club in place in this most short-termist of worlds.
    Given the impeccable condition that Arsene is going to leave Arsenal in, I think most managers would be queuing up to replace him but that is still some years away.

    Seriously, what will the masthead of Untold read once Arsene retires?

  • Shard

    @Dan green

    You did not address any of the points I asked you about, and then you come out with more of your theories and proclaiming it as fact. But you’ve basically checkmated yourself. If the club does not want trophies, and the club is doing this to simply keep up their brand value, then what will firing Wenger achieve even for us fans? Moreover, if all they want is a succesful business, then they will need to win trophies soon. Because at some point, the only way to enhance brand value will be through trophies.

  • Miranda

    How are the preparations for the RefWatch site getting on? Really hope you are managing to recruit enough non-Arsenal-supporting refs as without that – without clear objectivity and professional competence, I mean – the evidence the site collects won’t have the credibility it needs to be respected and used by the media and fans of clubs other than Arsenal. Only two and bit months to go before the new season!

    Do hope you’ve made some progress already. I can’t think of anything more important to Arsenal than this, given that we lost 9 to 13 points last season due entirely to poor refereeing. Forget the new signings; we could buy the entire Barca squad and it wouldn’t help us any, not while we’re forfeiting points in this way.

    Could you give us regular – weekly? – updates as to progress and perhaps keep a space open for people to post feedback and suggestions?

  • chris66

    There is an ever stronger element of confirmation bias whenever I read this site. Basically it goes like this….we believe it…we “prove it”…we use these “facts” as the basis for our next argument. Reminds me a bit of Rafa Benitez. It is your site and you can do what you want of course but it does tend to lead to exactly the sort of polarization of positions you regale against, where nobody can have even the slightest appreciation or understanding of anyone holding another view, so positions become ever more entrenched. Aren’t you becoming ever more part of the problem rather than the solution?

    Nevertheless, surely the point of the article is a little off. Mr Wenger is in his 60’s and clearly under a great deal of strain. He may go on for many years to come, like Sir Alex,but we have to accept that that is the exception rather than the norm. So if we accept your premise that the success that Arsene has created at Arsenal is almost solely dependent upon his brilliance and this brilliance is effectively irreplaceable, then at some point down the line (possibly quite soon if either health reasons intervene or he just says “sod it I’m going to retire”) we are going to be in real trouble.

    Surely beyond the endless “we’re right, you’re wrong” debate between Arsenal fans it might be a good idea to start questioning the lack of a coherent succession plan? With a 62 year old No.2, who will certainly retire within the next few years, an aging back room team and unproven coaches behind them, isn’t this the real problem facing our club, not who posted what on what website or who through what toys out of what pram?

  • walter

    Naren, supporting the legacy from Wenger at Arsenal? 😉

  • Micko

    Unfortunately, when the media do force Wenger out of Arsenal (and I can see it happening as the negative media impression of Arsenal will continue unabated), they (the press) have already set-up a scapegoat to take the flak that will inevitably come (from themselves), as they suddenly gang up in support of Wenger.
    I present you with the English media’s own Lee Harvey Oswald – the Arsenal fans (who have allowed themselves to be too easily brainwashed).

  • Mandy Dodd

    nobody could do a better job than Wenger for this club at this time – Fact.
    There are idiot Arsenal supporters out there wo want Moyes, O Neill or Coyle. Please !!!! – true Gooners appreciate good football, not the soul destroying kick and rush “English” game such managers would reduce us to. I would also question the CL credentials of such managers.
    No man is bigger than the club, but Wenger really is Mr Arsenal, no wonder so many on these blogs, a few of whom are actually bitter Spurs fans in disguise are so desperate to get him out.
    How many years is that in the knockout stages of the CL – and on a shoestring?

  • Dan Green

    @shard – so what do you call the last 5 years? He has been saying for the past 6 seasons his team is young blah blah – so that’s not a project is it?

    You can never guage a player that comes in and will do well but you certianly dont offer them 5 year bumper contracts to players that have been consistently underperforming.

    You need leaders since the time when PV left and Gil silva who the hell has replaced them? But he wont because its not in his philosophy. He doesnt like players shouting, he has 11 captains on the pitch remember?

    No one’s saying that buying a vocal Englishman is going to guarantee success but i think at this stage its worth trying something a bit different to the norm.

    When you have someone like Parker up for sale at what will be a relatively small price, surely it must be worth it, in this instance to give it a go.

  • Simon Bailey

    @ Dan Green and the rest of ye naysayers, you are wrong, just plain wrong. While I dont agree with all of Tonys points above, I agree with none of yours.
    Why do so called supporters like you have such short memories? Look at where we were before Arsene – A Jobbing club that sometimes got lucky, but were never as successful as say l’pool, United, Forest, Leeds etc. We were playing at Highbury, the smallest (but nicest) stadium in the league. To be blunt, we were just another villa or Everton. Now however, due to the diligence shown by Arsene and the previous board, we are regulars in europe, we have the best stadium in the league which provides us with over £5 million every home match, we are a continued presence in the ‘top four’.

    I really believe that if one or two reffing decisions had not been so outrageously bad, we would have progressed to the final of the CL and that we would have won the league. We are so close. the difference between our success and failure is so small, its indeterminable.

    who is regularly winning cups? the financially irregular teams, thats who. now we cant all be that way, there arent enough oil billionaires out there, and even if we could, would we want to.

    I think that the answer to this question defines you as a supporter. Personally I wouldnt like to see us emulate chelsea, united or city. two of those clubs buy their trophies ( we can all do that) and the other has borrowed massively to buy theirs.

    can we not agree that when we win a cup, it will be worth 10 times as much because we won it fairly and honorably? Like, and I hate to say it, Birmingham. they havent sold their soul to the devil at the crossroads, they may carry some debt, but their spending pales into insignificance when compared to most teams in the league.

    I would like to cheer you up by listing a few positives of Arsenal at the moment. we have one of the top four managers in the world – let’s face it, if arsene goes, he will be snapped up far quicker than a decent replacement could be found. We have the best stadium in the league, We have zero real debt, a new owner with very deep pockets, Ramsay and Vermaelen have just come back and will be like two new signings next season. The FPP rules have the ability (maybe not the conviction) to really level the playing field in terms of financial doping. some reffing technology is being seriously considered by fifa and uefa, and to cap it all off the spuds have still won nothing, havent got champs league and finished below us in the league.

    We are the Arsenal, the mighty mighty Arsenal.

  • BobbyP

    @Mandy

    ‘nobody could do a better job than Wenger for this club at this time – Fact.’

    Good to see you understand the difference between facts and opinions…

    ‘How many years is that in the knockout stages of the CL – and on a shoestring’

    Arsenal are consistently in the top 4 in terms of player wages paid. Given the strong correlation between player wages and on-field success, finishing in the top 4 is hardly a miracle

  • Shard

    @Dan Green

    Each team is a project then isn’t it? i asked you what specifically you thought this project was about. And what I meant was that I have never heard a time frame from anyone in the know, for such a project. A 5 year plan sounds good, but was it actually a plan based around 5 years. Because the work started for it much before when the likes of Cesc, Djourou, Flamini etc were brought into the club.

    It is worth trying the things you say only if that is actually what the problem is. You can speculate all you want about who is a leader, who has mental strength etc but those are intangibles and as such you can never be wrong. Someone who eventually wins, you will say. “See that guy is a leader and has mental strength”. Right now we are not winning so it’s because we don’t have leaders. But how much of that is true is something that is impossible to know, certainly from the outside looking in.

    As for the 5 year contracts. I mentioned this to someone on the site before. Those long term contracts as far as I can remember were given after the 2007-08 season. Once we lost Flamini and Hleb, I think we gave contracts on the basis of potential, so as to avoid losing them for free or for less than their valuation. So yes we pay more than some players have merited on the basis of their achievements so far. It is also the reason we can keep some of our best players like Cesc. You can’t wish away the bad while keeping the good. It is simply a compulsion we had, and as such a decision we took. Gazidis said as much

    Wenger has faults. Just like any other manager or indeed person does. He also needs to set certain thing right. It is however not fair to say that it has been the same for 6 years. What has been the same exactly? The only thing that has been is that we need to pay for the new stadium which has impacted our spending. To demand a change of manager would basically undo all the good work done to this point, and we would have to rebuild all over again. A change of manager is a big deal, and brings with it many changes. In no way will all of them be positive.

  • BobbyP

    @Simon Bailey

    pre-Wenger, Arsenal were the second most successful English club of all-time (in terms of championships won). To classify Arsenal (10 titles pre-Wenger) as a ‘jobbing club’, and ‘never as successful’ as Forest (1 championship in their history) or Leeds (3 championships in their history) is just silly.

    ‘Highbury, the smallest stadium in the league’. Seriously???

  • Naren

    Walter,
    🙂 Given that the Queen is a Gooner, I hope Arsene is really granted a peerage so the masthead can correctly proclaim “Lord Wenger”.

    Mandy Dodd,
    Given that nobody else has done the job for this club at this time, I don’t know how much water does your argument hold. Please, Mandy, who are we to decide if they are idiots/true gooners or not? Do you not remember Arsenal was also one of the proponents of the ‘kick and rush “English”‘ game before Arsene came? For me, personally, I love Arsene and think he is the best ever;probably you think so too. But that does not mean we toss around the opinions of others and belittle the achievements of other managers.

  • Ben

    Very good article. I think the best person to replace him is the Serbian Dragan Stojkovic he used to mentor. I think he is in Japan at the moment, managing Grampus 8 as well.

    Arsene said he is much like him and I think would be best suited to continue what Arsene has founded with Arsenal.

  • Shard

    @BobbyP

    We are still the third most succesful team (and at the time we were tied 2nd) So what’s the problem?

  • BobbyP

    Shard

    No problem at all, just correcting Simon Bailey’s ludicrous assertion that Arsenal pre-Wenger were a jobbing club, and less successful than Leeds or Forest. I assume you concur?

  • Stuart

    Walter,

    You may have just solved our defensive, striking, midfield and goalkeeping coaching crisis in this report.

    Maybe it is worth the Arsenal management bringing in younger (apprentice) football coaching staff, just like we have younger players, and putting them through their paces in a particular department such as those I just mentioned. Just like a promotion at work, the coaches would get their promotion and career progression and someone will progress to ‘Manager’.

    This way we could have a natural successor to Wenger who has been with the club for years, knows the players and has all their respect and is already aware of the Arsenal way whilst having experience working with the Academy system we currently employ.

  • Stuart

    Sorry, my earlier comment was aimed @ Tony

  • Shard

    @bobbyP

    I concur about our history, but I don’t think that’s what Simon Bailey was saying. You were correct to point out the inaccuracy of his words, but Wenger has raised Arsenal’s profile considerably, and especially in Europe.

  • Simon Bailey

    i concede the point on Leeds, but forest have had loads more succuss than us in europe. but my point remains that wenger is good for the club and that we are in pretty good shape, better than before Arsene. since he has been with us we have won the league once every five years. pre wenger it was once every ten years. the fa cup we have won once every 4 years with arsene and once every 16 years before that.

  • TommieGun

    Playing a bit of devil’s advocate here … BUT :

    I agree with Chris66 re confirmation bias.

    I am sorry but unless explicitly told NOT to publish my views regarding this issues, I think that it is very important to point out that the FACTS and DATA collected and analysed by the data collectors (Dogface and Co.) do NOT prove that the league is fixed, etc. Repeating those statements will NOT make them truer. There is absolutely no PROOF to a Calcioppoli – however there IS some proof to SOME refs being biased, against some teams (not just us) which is a very different thing to a Calcioppoli scheme.

    So there goes points 1, 2 and 4.

    On a side note: I think that repeating the [what I refer to as] extreme views, i.e. Calcioppoli, actually hurts us. Instead of having a valid, defendable, proveable point – we seem to try and hold on to something which is quite outrageous and additionaly lacking factual basis. Why not focus on solid arugments?

    But really, I think that the best argument is – when we signed Arsene, he was “Arsene Who?”. So going with the same logic, we might sign Joe Schmoe from Hicksville, and he can be an amazing manager for us.

    The alternative [and somewhat contradictory] argument is that Arsenal are a big enough club to attract many good managers, regardless of the problems.

    But, stopping the silly devil’s advocate, it would be stupid to wish to replace Arsene – he is a great, great manager, the fluke that we had with signing him was indeed a fluke, a streak of pure luck, and right now I can’t see anyone good enough as a replacement [despite the fact that he is not getting any younget and that we should start thinking about the day after he’s left].

  • Adam

    It seems as if the choice has become too polarized and over simplified. I do not want someone coming into the club who will bankrupt it. Nobody with a brain wants that. But I would like Arsene to perhaps rearrange the playing staff a little so we don’t get caught every season with our defensive or offensive pants down. Clearing out the under achievers would be the first job of any new manager and perhaps it should be high on Arsene’s list too. I have never understood why, when the window is open, the gaps were not plugged. Ferguson, Mourinho, Ancellotti, Hiddink, to name but a few, have all done better than Arsene over the past few years. Yes, they have spent money, but in the murderously competitive world of professional football at PL level Arsene is proving that to be successful you probably do need to spend money. If you don’t and sometimes, if you do (spurs) you will, almost certainly not be successful. We have spent money but perhaps it hasn’t been as well focussed as it could have. I have said it before but I don’t think we should be scared of change.

  • Dan Green

    @Simon, Smallest stadiums in the league…. Assume you didnt travel much back in 1996. What about The Dell, Roker Park, Baseball Ground, Highfield Road and Filbert Street to name but a few. The only stadiums that could match up to Highbury when Wenger arrived were probably Old Trafford, Anfield, Villa Park, Goodison, Elland Road and Hillsborough.

    You’re right, we are the Arsenal, and you do make some good points. But The Arsenal should not be accepting fourth place in the league which is how it seems at the moment.

    Time and again we have been close, so close. The same thing (lack of leadership/experience) has failed us time and time and time again. And yet it has still not been sorted, Wenger continues to buy youth and bargain basement players.

    If he’d invested in a top quality keeper, yes it could cost 20 million – but it could save you 10 points every season! Same for a world class centre back, or a world class striker.

    If he goes and signs a world class striker for £30m – yeah, that’s £30m but at the end of the day it gets repaid in merchandising, the fans’ rekindled belief in the team and atmosphere at games, the presence on the pitch, the goals which take you to the next level or earn you vital winners in the league.

    For too long wenger has been scraping around trying to pick up players on the cheap when it’s glaringly obvious to everyone he needs to go out and invest in some quality.

    IMO I am willing to give him one more season for the reason that the strength of discontent is far far stronger than it has ever been and for that reason wenger knows that he HAS to change this year. Other seasons there has been discontent, but not so strong and he’s been able to brush it under the carpet. Not now though. One more year of failure and it really is all over. The fans, including me, will not stand for it any more.

    Before Arsene Wenger joined Arsenal in 1996, only Liverpool had won more domestic titles; the 18 they still have today. United were on ten and prior to Ferguson they only had 7. Leeds United have won the title three times and Forest once. So how that makes us on a par with them or a ‘jobbing’ club whatever that is supposed to mean, needs some more explaining from you.

    In those days no English club was a regular in Europe as we’d emerged from a ban and the title had a period of swapping between Liverpool, Arsenal, Leeds, Blackburn and United, before the days when Champions League positions were dished out to the top 4. In GG’s days we regularly qualified for Europe either the UEFA, Cup Winners or the European Cup (sadly denied our right in 1989, but thank everyone’s 2nd loves Liverpool for that)

    Most stadia in this country were on a par with our 38,000 odd capacity – only OT was notably bigger.

    The comment about a couple of reffing decisions is completely speculative. United could argue they should have had a penalty at the Emirates (and they should) and in the first part of the season we’d had more penalties than anyone else (and some of them very soft ones with the likes of Chamakh taking an all too easy tumble).

    Manchester United are the most regular winners of cups and they are not financially irregular. They have 16.5% high interest bonds to service from their income and they are doing it comfortably actually; read the accounts. Chelsea I agree are financially irregular but won nothing this year and City have now won a trophy finally. You might not like United’s ownership structure but there is nothing irregular about it; it was a leveraged buy-out of a PLC….happens all the time. If they don’t service the debt they fold – simple as that. But they are servicing the debt

    To say we have zero real debt is also completely untrue – if you debt secured against an asset then trust me that is real debt. A term loan that can not be repaid early, and 17 years is a long time to generate the consistent level of cash flow required to service it.

    The Financial Fair Play rules have not yet been fully drawn up by UEFA and in any case will be filled with loopholes. Its not inconceivable that Europe’s elite clubs will breakaway if they don’t like the rules (much as F1 teams threatened to do 2 years ago, and the leading darts players did years before that). City is run by men so independantly wealthy that they will not have some delegates from UEFA telling them that they can’t spend 200m. Real, Barca, Chelsea, City and possibly others will run rough over whatever rules are set and then what do you think will happen. UEFA will kick them all out and devalue their own competitions……I think not. The whole thing has honourable intentions but is impossible to administer. If someone gazumps you on a property can you go running to some official body and cry “foul play” ?

    You make some good, impassioned arguments on Wenger’s behalf but you have also changed the course of history.

  • eldiablo

    when the day comes and he leaves the board will look for someone that will fit the profile of the club…weather is a big namo or not we won’t know until it happens…i love Wengers philosophy and his managerial football…in the good or bad times i am still an Arsenal fan….6 years without a trophy..who cares..you love the team or not? look at Liverpool, they havent won the premier league title in over 20 years !!

  • Mike Collins

    I am very much a Wenger man even though it is plain to see that he has not addressed the central defence problem. However, come off all this sky is falling stuff. Players and Managers come and go but thde club goes on. The duty of the board is to think ahead and prepare for eventualities, and one hopes that while trying to keep Mr W. they will also be looking at the options. One thing they must not do is employ somebody because he just has linkages to the club. As a personal choice I quite like the Everton set up.

    Mike C

  • Mr Venger

    People like Dan bore me to death.

    Completely miss the point.
    Don’t you ( Dan ) think wenger has tried to sign quality players in the last 6 yrs, but for a variety of reason (mainly funding) been unsuccesfull??

    What are you gonna do, put a gun to someones head and make them sign??

    Pls get your facts straight and do some research of the players we have attempted to sign in those yrs before putting your far too simplistic case forward with such self righteousness

    Hey Ho

  • Mr Venger

    You also state that the comments about refereeing decisions is completely speculative, well to be honest its far less speculative than your own comments about unknown 30 million pound strikers and 20 million pound goalkeepers.
    The refereeing incidents we have to endure are all on video and conribute hard evidence to the case put forward. Unlike your imaginary dream signings that will score 40 goals a season and make everything inside the Emirates rosey again.

  • vretou

    @mr venger – where has he missed a point? he has hit the nail on the head IMO

  • Tommie, my article did not use the word “prove”. I may not have expressed myself well, but to clarify my view is that we have shown that there is cause for concern. further we have shown that some modest changes in arrangements of referees would reduce the problem considerably, even if the ref doping is rife. And we have shown that other countries handle this in a different way – a way that seems more geared up to stop ref fixing.

    None of these is proof in a court of law sense but is enough to suggest that a full investigation is needed (in a Crown Prosecution Service sense).

    The fact that no one is even picking up on this state of affairs, let alone making the very small changes that would reduce the risk of ref fixing adds considerably to the suspicion that something is very wrong.

    I will write a complete article on this shortly, but for the moment I think it is more than reasonable to say, there is a load of evidence to suggest something is very wrong.

  • Mr Venger

    @ bobbyP

    Earlier you stated:

    ‘Arsenal are consistently in the top 4 in terms of player wages paid. Given the strong correlation between player wages and on-field success, finishing in the top 4 is hardly a miracle’

    The miracle is that we could afford to pay wages that high over the yrs whilst moving to the new stadium, as well as purchasing players capable of competing @ the top.
    This is due to Wengers genius in the transfer market, at bringing through young players & making the most out of each talent.

    If you look at other teams, say Totts for example , they pay big transfer fees to get people good enough to achieve top 4, but the fall out is that they don’t have the money left in the kitty to pay the top wages as well. Thats why we finish above them every season.

    This is why we haven’t been as able to make the marquee signings peole crave, which in some ways has probably cost us the odd trophy (or just some some delight for the fans, a signing is received like a trophy), but its protected our ability to pay the high wages has kept us in the top 4

  • Mr Venger

    correction: people crave, not peole

  • Mr Venger

    If you read my comment Vretou it explains where he has missed the point

  • Mr Venger

    BTW Great article Tony

  • vretou

    I dont even think there was this level of anger in the last days of Graham’s reign. I was listening to Talksport this morning and Alan Brazil said he bumped into Frank McLintock yesterday (newer fans can Google him) and he said Frank was absolutely furious with the Board and Wenger – yes Wenger. Frank particularly said the Board had taken but put in nothing for the fans. As I have said before – other owners of football clubs have put funding into their clubs but not our board who just turned out to be share speculators at the end of the day. Frank McLintock is Arsenal to the core. When a man like this is furious it’s time for Fantasists to take notice and stop their jibba jabba talking. I really believe we should be looking to the example of the Liverpool fans. We need to drive Slient Stan out and get Usmanov in. The Liverpool fans drove the Yanks out and now have a club that is capable and willing to invest. We need the same. It’s time for the fans to take action. Stan and Wenger – out out out! (they can take that toad Gadzooks as with them)

  • Mr Venger

    Its unlike talk shit to have a bad thing to say on Arsenal so it must be a special occasion.

  • @Dan Green

    “The comment about a couple of reffing decisions is completely speculative.”

    But this isn’t, it’s statistically significant:

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/11967

    I will agree that Wenger needs to do some business BUT – this season we have made a small loss so the cry to ‘spend some money’ on the next big thing will probably fall on deaf ears… i.e. we will need to sell first in order to break even.

  • Mr Venger

    In Wengers press conference today, he mentioned that the refereeing decisions against Villa where unexplainable.
    What I found interesting was that not one of the bloodsuckers in the room asked him to elaborate on that statement, seeing as they could have got a story out of that one.
    Maybe nothing , but makes me wonder

  • Mr Venger

    Vretou:
    ‘When a man like this is furious it’s time for Fantasists to take notice and stop their jibba jabba talking’

    Thats classic

  • A Casual Observer

    I had a Liverpool fan come up to me today and, unprompted, told me how shocking that game was (Villa) and how badly we were mugged off by Oliver.

    It was the first time someone has mentioned this and it felt right to me that it isn’t just the small section of the Arsenal fanbase that can see this happening in a game – maybe it’s becoming more obvious?

    Other Arsenal fans need to fix up and see the bigger picture intead of continually sweeping it under the carpet.

    Who could replace Wenger? I’ve no idea – these are some very important seasons for us in terms of stability and long term financial serurity so IMO it would play into the hands of our competitors if we were to rock the boat now for the sake some misguided ideals on the importance of a trophy.

  • Mr Venger

    Its difficult to see who could take over from outside, and seems to me it would be better to promote from within considering the philosiphy and set up we have in place now at the club.
    Its hard to find someone who understands that and has the experience to handle the pressures required.

    However, here is one candidate:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joachim_L%C3%B6w

  • Mr Venger

    His contract is up at the right time too.

    Would seemlessly allow the continuation of the media’s xenophobic hate campaign too, a German for a Frenchman!

  • Dark Prince

    The answer to the article – Yes!!
    There is no manager who is as paranoid that he wil not take the job.

  • Tasos

    @Dan Green

    “The plan is not to win trophies”.

    How cunning of the Arsenal board.

    “Manchester United are the most regular winners of cups and they are not financially irregular. They have 16.5% high interest bonds to service from their income and they are doing it COMFORTABLY actually; read the accounts”.

    You are full of surprises today. Got any more gems for us.

  • Mr Venger

    @ Dan Brown

    I also think you should approach the board with your 1st, 17th, 17th finishing position into infinity theory, sounds like its got something to me

  • Mr Venger

    Sorry Dan Green , not Brown.
    Both worth a read!

  • Shard

    Lol @Mr Venger

  • Anne

    @Vretou:

    Are you sure McLintock actually made those statements? As Tony pointed out in his article, the English media absolutely love to beat up on Arsenal, and it would be an understatement to say that they are often less than honest in the way they go about it. In general, I think that fake interviews and fake quotes attributed to players are much more prevalent in the English media than most people believe. In fact, I think they’re pervasive.

    I’m sure I’ll have plenty of opportunities to elaborate on this point as the summer progresses (especially if they try to revive that stupid Cesc transfer saga again). For now I’ll just say that this issue is something I’ve looked into very seriously, and researched thoroughly. And based on my findings, I don’t take ANY statements attributed to ANY players in the English media at face value, unless I see them on video, or the article is EXTREMELY well-sourced.

    Needless to say, Alan Brazil claiming that he “bumped into” McLintock the other day doesn’t cut it by my standards. Just as a general tip, the quotes you should be most suspicious of are ones from foreign players (who aren’t likely to ever discover that they were printed), and ones from ex-players (who don’t have a club apparatus behind them to deal w/ the media on their behalf). And your suspicions should double if the quotes are used to beat up on Arsenal in any way.

  • BobbyP

    @Anne

    ‘the English media absolutely love to beat up on Arsenal’

    This is another myth that this site seems to want to propagate, although to be fair most fan sites of most teams think the media is biased against them

    For a more accurate assessment, try looking at this article:

    http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/opinion/blogs/mirror-football-blog/My-decade-with-Arsenal-by-John-Cross-article265137.html

    Written by Arsenal fan and Mirror journalist John Cross, gives an interesting insight into Wenger’s relationship with the media, which is totally at odds with that portrayed by the conspiracy theorists on here.

    Most relevant quote from the article is probably the following:

    ‘Wenger is a family man. He enjoys the odd joke and bit of banter with us and generally doesn’t seem to mind giving up so much of his time to the press.

    That must also go down as credit to the Arsenal press office team who, as a result of being open and friendly, get good coverage.’

  • Mr Venger

    Nice to see an article thats vaguely fair, even if it is by an arsenal fan and written in 2009.
    It doesn’t change the fact that the general coverage of arsenal is the most negative and hottly debated of any club in the country.
    Yes other teams suffer ups and downs , but there is an extra element of spite and opportunism with us

  • Anne

    @Tony:

    Good article. I just have a couple of points:

    First, I’m not sure that another “top manager” would experience the same referee bias (and media bias, etc.) at Arsenal as Wenger has. In fact, I’ve often wondered if the whole point of this campaign against Arsenal is to drive Wenger out, and force Arsenal to “play by the rules.”

    Arsenal under Wenger is innovating and trying to change the English game, but that makes them a threat to the status quo. Most other “top managers” have no problem playing by the rules, so they might not experience the same problems. That’s not to say that I would want one of them at Arsenal, though.

    My other point concerns what you had to say about “top players” not wanting to come to Arsenal. I actually see a positive side to that, because of what it says about the players who actually DO come to Arsenal. I think you’ll always get better performances from players who have real loyalty to a club, and who have some sort of moral alignment with the club’s philosophy.

    Because they’re willing to work harder and give more than a player who is essentially just a paid mercenary. I’d much rather have Arsenal attract the former than the latter.
    As you mentioned, the players Arsenal has now are achieving good results overall, and they’re also playing better than any club in the EPL in the “total football” sense. So that goes along w/ my point.

  • Anne

    @BobbyP:

    Let me respond by linking you to another article:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2011/feb/06/joey-barton-newcastle-united-arsenal?INTCMP=SRCH

    If you can’t see how that one is biased against Arsenal, I don’t know what else to say. If I had time, I could come up with a long enough list of articles to demonstrate that Arsenal-bashing is a “trend,” rather than a “myth.” I honestly don’t know how you aren’t able to see it.

    I also think it’s interesting that you choose to deride the people on this blog as “conspiracy theorists.” I’ve always found that term funny, because it overlooks the obvious fact that real conspiracies happen all the time. There’s nothing wrong with having a theory that a conspiracy is occurring, so long as you back it up with evidence, which this blog does.

    As a former criminal prosecutor, I have personal experience with conspiracies, as well as the sort of evidentiary support you need to establish that one is occurring. And based on that experience, I think that the “conspiracy theorists” on this blog make a good case, which is supported by the evidence.

  • Shard

    @Anne

    That article reads more like Charge of the Light Brigade rather than a match report.

  • Anne

    @Shard:

    Starring Joey Barton: “agent provocateur and expert penalty taker.” I guess that’s a polite way of saying that Barton’s “maverick inspiration” consisted of nothing more than getting Diaby sent off with “one of his patented brutal tackles,” and then scoring a couple of penalties.

  • Shard

    It’s also interesting how Koscielny committed a soft foul for the first penalty, and then Arsenal conceded another penalty. Any reason that he doesn’t mention who committed the foul for it, soft or not? Any chance that it may have been a wrong decision with seemingly no basis? Of course, that would distort the narrative of a brave and spirited Barton inspired Newcastle and a diabolical Arsenal performance.

    What amazed me was that there were still, and still are many Arsenal fans who blame their own team for this result. I can never imagine fans of ManU doing that, since I have seen them cry foul over a lot less. Sometimes I wonder what the cause for Arsenal fans acting this way is. It can’t just be the media and articles like that. Can it?

  • eche

    yes, i will take the job

  • eche

    Tony, it will be interesting if u start doing manager review after every game. reviewing the players the manager chose and the style of play and the substitutions made and the technical things. the reason is because this ref review is turning arsenal fans into criticizer who criticize the ref for everything even the one made by the manager. we have not been able to see arsene mistakes. there is never a match ref will not make mistake, u are aware. messi goal at emirate was wrongly ruled offside, luiz was not given red card in man u and chelsea match, chelsea was given a penalty that even ivanovic and zhicvoc said it is not penalty. so trying to blame the ref for every arsenal defeat is wrong way to live. take care of little things and the big things will sort itself. even if all ref were to be arsenal fans, arsenal will still lose games, let us address this. wenger said “blame me for arsenal collapse this season” so blame him , not ref. let us remove biasedness and naiveness in our discussion. dont mind me in ” yes, i will take the job”, i supported arsenal for their style of play. love untold, love arsenal, love wenger, love the players especially my cessy cesc and walter and tony. but as a programmer, i was taught to reason logically and that is what i am doing. it is easy to blame the computer when the error is caused by the users’ bad input

  • Anne

    @Shard:

    I live in Atlanta, Georgia, so I don’t come in direct contact with many Arsenal fans. I’ve always thought that the negativity that shows up in the comments sections of blogs probably isn’t representative of what most Arsenal fans really think. It’s just that the a**holes are always the most vocal.

    Do the fans you come across in person think the same way? If they do, I don’t get it anymore than you do. Just remember that half the people in the world have below average intelligence. 🙂

  • BobbyP

    Anne

    I use the term conspiracy theorists because it is completely accurate – this site alleges that there is a vast ‘anti-Arsenal’ conspiracy endemic in football (and referees in particular), despite the lack of any independent evidence.

    Conspiracies undoubtedly exist, but when you happen to believe in a conspiracy which suits your own predispositions without evidence you should always consider the possibility that it’s nothing more than wishful thinking.

    Note that this blog has NEVER provided any independent evidence of an anti-Arsenal conspiracy, despite what you might think. As a former criminal prosecutor, I hope you recognize that Walter’s biased ref reviews would be instantly discounted.

    The blog you linked to wasn’t a match report, but was more an analysis of Newcastle after the sale of Carroll. Given that context, I don’t see anything to ‘prove’ the media bias towards ‘Arsenal-bashing’ that you claim exists. Given what some of the other Arsenal blogs are writing, most media stories are tame in comparison.

  • Shard

    @Anne
    Well I live in India, and though there are quite a few Arsenal fans here, I don’t think they follow them as passionately as I do 🙂

    But on my travels to England, and indeed in some bars here, I have heard the same arguments voiced among Arsenal fans that the media trots out. I’m not sure it is just the media because there is some truth to even the media drivel about, say our defense being bad, even if they overemphasise it.

    In my experience though, both here in India, and in the UK. Arsenal fans do seem slightly different from Liverpool, or ManU, or even Rangers fans. This is just my perception of course, but I think that Arsenal fans actually care about trying to be fair in their assessments, and as such try and see the other team’s/referee’s point of view. This may sometimes translate into criticising their own team rather than talk about the referee, and often the rationalisation could be that after all Arsenal are mine, so I can abuse them if I want.

    That is just a feeling I got from having been to the stadium, to pubs, and to different cities and having interacted with fans of other clubs. I’m reluctant to call it fact since it seems overly big headed to say that, but that may just be the fair Arsenal fan in me talking 🙂

  • Nick Lee

    @Anne

    “As a former criminal procescutor…”…

    Was that the reason you got fired for making these statements…

    I live in Atlanta, Georgia, so I don’t come in direct contact with many Arsenal fans. I’ve always thought that the negativity that shows up in the comments sections of blogs probably isn’t representative of what most Arsenal fans really think. It’s just that the a**holes are always the most vocal.

    Do the fans you come across in person think the same way? If they do, I don’t get it anymore than you do. Just remember that half the people in the world have below average intelligence

  • Nick Lee

    @Anne

    since you are a former procecutor and strongly believe that the “evidence” is good enough, then do us a favor. Assist the average intelligence fans like us by bringing this to the English FA. Ya.. then we can be rid of these referee scums who are anti-Arsenal.

  • Anne

    @Nick Lee:

    I’m not sure exactly what you’re trying to get across with your posts. The comment that seemed to offend you wasn’t meant seriously. It’s sometimes hard to convey the tone of a comment in writing, but I did follow it with a smiley face.

    Obviously, I don’t really think that everyone who criticises Arsenal, or who disagrees with the angle of this blog, is unintelligent. What I was actually doing was agreeing w/ Shard that I don’t see how fans can blame Arsenal for that Newcastle result.

    As for bringing the case to the English FA, I bet it could be done with the right resources, at least in regard to certain matches. I’m obviously not the one to do it because I’m in criminal law, not sports law, and I don’t even live in England.

    The only reason I mentioned I’m a prosecutor was in response to the previous comment deriding this blog for “conspiracy theories.” I was saying that it’s ok to believe in a conspiracy theory if you back it up w/ evidence, which this blog tries to do, and I personally think that they make a strong case. I didn’t mean that I’m ready to take it in front of a criminal jury.

  • Kentetsu

    Not all points mentioned in the article apply solely to Arsenal. Managers of other teams will have to deal with the press as well. And not just foreign managers of high profile teams like Wenger of Benitez before; the press is continuously negative about Fat Sam as well. Likewise, all managers have to work in the same corrupt environment. And the possible decrease of TV revenue will affect all the teams, not just Arsenal.
    The main questions to ask any potential new manager is if he is willing to work on a limited budget and to continue the youth programme. Those can be obstacles for some managers – think Mourinho.

    One manager who actually might be interested in taken the job at Arsenal because of the corruption and bias against Arsenal would be Louis van Gaal. He took the job at AZ Alkmaar – promoted to the Eredivisie seven years before the start of his tenure and at the time a mid-table club – just to prove Ajax he could make a small club champions of the Netherlands, which AZ became in 2009. He would be having a feud with the press every week, though.

    For now I just hope Wenger stays for a couple more years and brings more trophees to Arsenal.

  • GoonerTerry

    Who could replace Arsene Wenger: I would like to see that Spanish bloke who currently manages Barcelona! Yep he will do nicely thank you very much (0;

  • well-endowed gooner

    Isn’t this a bit of an about-face, Tony? I thought the rest of the European elite were about to fall apart due to financial reasons, that Arsenal’s got a clutch of kids about to take on the world, that there’s no club with better prospects than Arsenal? So which manager WOULDN’T want the chance to manage the Arsenal?

  • Anne

    @GoonerTerry:

    Hands off our captain! 🙂 Of course, if Pep were to leave Barcelona, I’d rather see him at Arsenal than anywhere else. But I don’t think he could manage Arsenal better than Wenger. Different leagues, different clubs.

  • Anne

    @Nick Lee:

    Re-reading my earlier post, I do feel that I owe you an apology. That came across as really condescending. I didn’t mean it that way, and I was just kidding around, but I don’t think I conveyed that at all. I’m sorry. It was really obnoxious, and you were right to be offended. Walter? Tony? Can you delete that one? 🙂

  • Aman

    U r such a bad blogger…evrythng n nethng u hav a prblm wid is refrees…awfully bad

  • vretou

    @simon in response to your ealier post some clarification for you: we were not a ‘jobbing club’ before Wenger came along. We were the third most successful club in English football history. Way ahead of the likes of Leeds, Forest etc. We’d had a period of success just before Wenger came along, winning the title twice in that period. Highbury was not the smallest stadium in the league, not by a long way. It held 38,000 and in the terrace days the record attendance was 70,000.

    The stadium move was made to facilitate making a few men very rich indeed – surely that is clear to all now with the sale to the American billionaire – who has made it very clear he wants to continue the self-sustainability route, so his deep pockets mean nothing.

    And how does the income made from the stadium benefit you, as a fan, if it is not invested in the squad?

    To say one or two reffing decisions is the reason we didn’t win the league and get to CL final is bluster of the most extreme kind – since the CC Final the team has been in relegation form, it’s been a total collapse. We are finishing miles off the pace with less goals scored, more goals conceded and less points than last season. Get real.

  • GoonerTerry

    @ Anne” But Arsene Wenger has done the hard part already by setting up a strong foundation. Pep would now come in to augment the great work that has established as one of the most eligible clubs in the world..