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Why does Arsenal not sack Wenger? This is why

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The day when Fulham tried to take over Arsenal – the full story in “Making the Arsenal”

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By Walter Broeckx

One of the questions that is often used by a part of the supporters is : name me one top club that has not sacked its manager after 7 years without a trophy. And then they  usually shout: Wenger out!

Now in our 125 years history we had 18 managers and 4 caretaker or otherwise temporary managers. We can ignore the 4 as they were not meant to be the manager but did the job while the search for a new manager was busy or when a manager has died while doing his job as manager. This happened twice at Arsenal in fact with Herbert Chapman and Tom Whittaker.

On average one could say that a manager of Arsenal had a spell at the club of around 7 years. I think Tony can tell you much more about the early days but if you look at the current state of most teams 7 years seems a very long time for any manager to be in charge. Most of them would be glad to be that long in charge at one club. So Wenger is around for some  16 years and trophy less in the last 7. And should go.  Because no other top club would allow this.

On this basis one could argue that Arsenal is not a top club. Or doesn’t consider itself a top club. Because otherwise we would have kicked Wenger out well before now – say 3 or 4 years ago. Or even earlier.   That is what top clubs should do…… simply because they are top clubs.

Now I think most Gooners will say: Walter, but we are a top club. And I totally agree with that. We are a top club. So why don’t we sack our manager then?

Well the answer is even written down and I think that many of you might even  have  seen it. Because when I come to the Emirates from my overseas home I have taken the time to visit the Arsenal museum a few times. And in this museum you can see the answer to why we don’t sack Wenger. It is written on the wall. And those words tell the whole story in fact.

WE DO IT OUR WAY, THE ARSENAL WAY.

That’s it. This is the reason why we don’t kick our most successful manager out even after 7 years without a trophy. Now  I know we have sacked managers in the past. But half of the managers in the past were not sacked in the middle of the season but we just got a new manager after the contract came to an end or the manager resigned. In the 80s and 90s we had a few problems with managers but in general we did not sack the manager when things didn’t go according to plan as fast as we can.

And those words in the museum: WE DO IT OUR WAY, THE ARSENAL WAY is what we do.

We could be like Manchester City, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, AC Milan, PSG, …. the list can go on and on. And so we could fire the manager after each season without a trophy like those clubs tend to do.  At that rate we would have had some 7 managers in the last 7 years. Would this have brought us more success? Who would claim it would have brought us more success? Who could prove we would have had more success if we would have done what each “top club” does  and fire the manager when you have a season with no trophy?  Nobody can.

But let us imagine that we behaved like Manchester City, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, AC Milan. Let us just for the sake of it imagine that we would behave like them and fire every manager that doesn’t win a trophy every year. We surely would be a top club then because that is what top clubs do. And some top clubs even fire their manager when he has brought them the league title. Ask Real Madrid.

So in this hypothetical assumption we would be the same as those “top clubs”. We would do things not the Arsenal way but the “top club way”.

And this is one of the reasons why I love this Arsenal so much. I just love them because we don’t act like all those clubs mentioned before.  If we wanted to be the same as those other clubs then I could easily swap teams and become a supporter of any of the more successful club and go and support them and cheer when they fire their unsuccessful manager each year.

But with not doing this I feel more proud of being a Gooner. Because I can say that the club I support is from a totally different class than all those others. Because we don’t do it like the others; we are unique and special. They can do it the top club way. I want my Arsenal to do it the Arsenal way.  I don’t want to even consider being a fan of those other clubs that are interchangeable. If you want to support a successful top club you can support Man City this year and the next year you could support Barcelona and the year after Real Madrid. In fact those clubs are not that different.

But I prefer to support my Arsenal. I support them because they are a unique club in the world of football. I support them because they do things in a different way. We are not just the only top club that is working within its own means and within its own budget. Something the other will have to do also in the near future (if Uefa goes further with the FFP rules). But we do it because we think that is the only sensible way of running a football team: make sure it can survive within its own means.  Another example of doing “the Arsenal way”.

So if you go to the Emirates on a match day, or on any other day of the week just enter the museum and go and see for yourself those words written in big in the museum. WE DO IT OUR WAY, THE ARSENAL WAY.

And feel the pride inside yourself because we are a unique club in the world. The club will do it like they think it should be done. And we don’t listen to the pundits, the media or whoever thinks he knows better.

Those words are not just written and put there for the fun of it. No it maybe are the most important words in the current history of Arsenal. Maybe they are the credo of what we as Gooners should keep in mind and feel proud about. We are no Man City, Chelsea,  Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan or AC Milan. Hell no. We are the one and only Arsenal.

And we will do it the Arsenal way. Keep this in mind when you choose to support Arsenal. Things over here are not done like in other clubs. And thank god for that.

 

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Is this as bad as it gets for Arsenal?  Don’t you believe it

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80 comments to Why does Arsenal not sack Wenger? This is why

  • avatar TheSKAGooner

    Exactly, Walter. It is a PRIVILEGE to be a Gooner. There is the Arsenal Way, and then everyone else. It’s really that simple.

  • avatar Renan Metsik Romeo

    Perfect.

  • avatar TruthMonger

    Absolute tosh.

  • avatar Mike Gunner

    It would be intersting to see if
    We do it the Arsenal way if the gunners fail to get the 4th spot.Don’t bet on Wenger,if he is around,to get back onto the cl reckoning after mssing for one year. The gunners could be out of cl for anywhere from two to five years.

  • avatar Zorr0

    “7 managers in 7 years”

    That is as ridiculous a statement as used by those at the other end of the scale who want AW out!

    The arguments from those either end of the middles are good, much like the Gooner article by Josh Clements and the arse2mouse one too.

  • avatar legolas still trust Wenger

    Man i love your article . u live in London i don’t we need supporters like u . never ever give up we should keep supporting actually i ask alll true gooners to loud their voices TWICE to support the team and manager because now Arsenal and players need it . i cant wait next year to visit London and watch a game @ Emirate and i will be ROARING ther for the team no matter what.i just Adore Arsenal

  • avatar Master Bates

    I think we still need Wenger because you don’t fire someone unless you have a better person to replace them . And I can’t think of any manager who’ll do a better job than Wenger .

    Just try to spot any manager in any league having more success than Arsenal whith limited resources(Arsenal has spent the least amount transfers in the EPL since 2006) . I can only name very few managers Unai Emery(valencia),Jurgen Klopp(BvB) etc

    Changes should be made ,but no need for firing .

  • avatar Rupe

    Well said. Thank you Walter.

  • avatar Paul E

    Sorry, I don’t agree. I’m 42 and have supported Arsenal all my life, so am fully aware of our form as a club in the 70’s and 80’s.

    The reasons I disagree are as follows:

    – Wenger and the board are more focused on clearing the debt (of which we can easily manage the capital repayments) EARLY!

    This means we rely heavily on sub-standard players (Djourou, Squillaci, Diaby etc)

    – Subsequent to the above, we pay over the odds wages for consistently under-performing players (Chamakh, Arshavin, Walcott etc)

    So where is the balance?

    – Yes, Wenger has been in charge close to 16 years, but this is my point – approaching HALF of that time he has brought us heartache – not with NOT winning silverware, but blatently throwing away chances – by not investing enough to improve our squad that little more (I’m thinking 2008-2009, the Carling cup chances missed etc).

    – The excuses were that the ‘kids’ weren’t mature enough…when simply they are not GOOD enough

    – We lose key players season after season, and don’t replace them with good enough or EPL experienced enough stock

    All of these things, and most importantly A LACK OF VENOM in the changing room in either instilling a winning attitude or blasting the players after a string of poor performances, attribute to our form ON the pitch

    At the end of this season we will be weaker than ever, likely losing the ‘all important to the board’ money (which could have been re-invested in light of the £80m received from player sales last summer)from CL qualification. Not only will this damage us financially, but it will affect the quality of player AFC will now attract.

    Bring DEIN back, and bring in a manager who isn’t scared to approach Hill-Wood and Gazidis for money for the ‘right player’, rather than buying cheap French League equivalents (Grimandi being the main culprit for this), and bring the club back to an attractive (to players) and hunger to compete state.

    Hiddink or Rijkaard…

  • avatar sleepinggiant

    I feel incredibly sorry or the author and anyone who buys in to this.

    This is not the Arsenal way. It is the Kroenke way. The franchise way. Be proud of it? I would laugh if the very thought wasn’t so disgusting.

    I have been an arsenal supporter for 38 years. I will support the club through thick and thin. But none of that will stop me from recognising a Shyster when I see one.

    There is no change at Arsenal only because Kroenke has not seen the profits fall. This is not glorious. Or commendable. Or praiseworthy. It is capitalism, pure and simple.

    On the pitch Arsenal are failing horribly. We have been in declne for at least 3 years (many would say longer, but some drift for 4 years is sometimes inevitable) and the manager, tragically, is no longer able to see a way out of it. Any owner who had the interests of the club at heart would intervene. The problem is that Arsenal are not failing OFF the pitch. SO bank manager is happy, so owner is happy. That is the sole reason for the dreadful inertia at the club. To make a virtue out of this is a masssive swindle and a true and deep betrayal of everything the true Arsenal stands for.

    Lets get one thing straight. The Arsnal way is being the biggest, no ONLY proper club in London. Anything else is a means to an end. That is why I am proud of my club. We are, always have been and always must be, the top dogs in our city. Occassionally we will slip behind others, but never for long, and never for want of striving to be the best. To settle for mediocrity, while at the same time blubbing that we play nice football – that my friends is The SPURS WAY. And any Gooner of any vintage will endorse this.

  • avatar Oeoku

    This is ridiculous. I don’t have any issue with the so called arsenal way, but c’mon for 7 years when you completely change from successful team to a team of mockery then I think you should modify your way.

  • avatar Tom

    You are right.

    It’s very difficult to take though.

    Wenger’s youth plan has fail in respect that it has produced only 1 World Class player who is currently playing in the team.

    Van Persie.

    The loss of Narsi and Fabregas brought an end to Wenger’s youth plan, but he failed to realise this until it was too late.

    I admire the fact he tried, but he has to accept it never worked. He should look to re-build Arsenal in a different way.

    Bring 5-6 former player to work with Wenger, Bergkamp, Adams, Bould, Campbell, Henry, Pires, Dixon, etc, etc like Ajax do.

    Build a Club where former stars can show the young players how to win football matches, not just play good football. Ajax and Barcelona, B Munich have managed it.

    Wenger is a great manger but he’s fooled himself, his biggest mistake has been to underestimate the English game. Tactically
    he thought he teach players to hold on to the ball and pass teams to death. Teams countered this by being patient, waiting for Arsenal to give the ball away and hit them on the break. It has been like this for 6 seasons and Wenger still hasn’t changed the teams style of play and that is wrong.

    Wenger is the right man, but he has to revert to 1996, A strong back 4, 2 Strong centre midfielders, pacey wingers and 2 goal scorers.

    Fingers X.

  • avatar Charlie

    If The Arsenal Way is to let those in charge take advantage of us as fans that doesn’t make me feel proud. Walter please defend the fact that we have a wage bill which is 40% higher than Spurs and yet a squad that is clearly inferior to theres’. You may be able to exclude Wenger from blame but i’d be interested to see you justify the likes of Gazidis, Kroenke and Hill-Wood keeping their posts. They spend next to nothing on transfer fees for average players and negotiate paying these players inflated wages which is gross incompetence in my opinion and for those such a Gazidis on the payroll it should cost them their job. We’re now stuck with 10 players we don’t want with no chance of getting them off the payroll.

  • avatar hafiz

    I want to say what a bunch of bull, cuz positivity aint a part of me when I think of Arsenal right now. But I won’t.

    To be a Gooner is something that I’m proud of. I’m very young even a a gooner, but since I start to convert to Arsenalism (I was metaphorically an atheist before), I just felt that we’re more of a family compared to other club’s fans. To do it in the Arsenal way is the way it is. I want Arsenal to stay Arsenal. And I hope even the higher ups think like us.

    So, I won’t say bravo, but … well said.

  • avatar Long Island Gunner

    Coach fired after just 2 days on the job in Brazil

    Feb 16, 6:21 pm EST

    SAO PAULO (AP)—A third-division Brazilian team fired its coach just two days after officially introducing him.

    XV de Jau announced Thursday that it got rid of coach Nem, who was introduced Monday. He was let go after the team’s 3-1 loss to Flamengo in the third division of the Sao Paulo state championship on Wednesday.

    The Globoesporte website said the coach appeared extremely upset in the locker room following the loss, which left the club near relegation zone.

    Club president Jose Construtor said “the team didn’t play well” and Nem “made poor choices.” He added: “We need results, I’ll find another coach.”

  • avatar daze_stormy

    Very good Post and a sentiment I totally understand and subscribe to.
    Arsenal are special!

    Sadly, in the present climate the Post will go down like a lead balloon with some.

    Have you noticed how many of those who rubbish the Arsenal, the owners, the manager and the team always like to add a post-script about how they love Arsenal, how proud they are and such like bull shit having rubbished everything about the club, and all without any irony.

    Amazing.

  • avatar Jorgi

    Thanks Walter absolutely agree. This Arsenal way will make us attractive for intelligent players. It’ s a fantastic club, run by logic decisions not by after the match emotions or half brained former players.

  • avatar Michael

    Heaven forbid we become like Barcelona Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter or Bayern.

    Look, I’m not an advocate for getting rid of any manager, least of all a man who has brought us some great memories. But whatever job you do, you have to be judged by a certain standard. If your child was at a school where the results were getting poorer each year, you would ask questions, demand the head of that school be replaced. How many musician or actors have had great careers then seen a decline in the quality of their work. Do you realliy think a record company would keep a singer on if each album was progressively worse than the one before.

    One poor season, maybe two, even three can be excused when you have a track record, but seven years of decline suggests that there is no understanding of how to turn things around. I would love for Wenger to turn this around and for us to be competitive again, but I just don’t see it.

  • avatar Mick

    I never realised that so many of the AAA followed the mighty Untold.

  • avatar Arvind

    The simplest reason IMHO is that AW is meeting whatever goals the board has and maybe at times exceeding their expectations. And when you meet or exceed your targets, you won’t get fired.

    Those targets ..I don’t know what they are.. maybe its just 4th place every year for 10 years or whatever. As long as AW meets those, and continues to try and build successful (teams which play good football) teams, I see no reason to sack him.

    Maybe those aren’t targets which the AAA and BBB can brag about.. but then businesses have never been about the followers. Yes, they need the followers , doubtlessly….but if an unpopular decision which has clear benefit needs to be made, at the cost of antagonizing supporters..mark my words… most businesses WILL do it.

    As long as AFC remains ethical (as far as i can see), as long as we try and play football …I’m fine. No trophy for 5 more years? Fine.

  • avatar Rich

    You are right that there is “The Arsenal Way” but ‘that way’ is to look to the long-term interests of the club, to pursue excellence and to build a legacy.

    However, if the manager is not doing those things then he, like any director or player must be accountable.

    In the same way that Arsene arrived, as the Club saw a better opportunity with him compared to Rioch, so must the Club decide if another path is taken.

    To argue that we keep a manager just because our history tells us that Arsenal managers stay a while in the job is non-sensical.

    Now if you want to argue about whether Arsene is upholding the “Arsenal Way” then that is a different conversation…

  • avatar Jenks4England

    Why do people only ever bring up Spurs’ wage bill when talking about Arsenal. There are six teams with realistic hopes of a CL spot – Man C, Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs.

    There is no doubt that Spurs are doing well compared to their wage bill, but they are the anomoly here. Our wage bill is comparable to the level you’d expect for a team consistently in the CL.

    If Spurs ever get to the CL 15 years running, see how their wage bill is then. But as we are, this is one season.

  • great article and some great comments from new commenters too (I seem to be approving publication of a lot of them!)

    As you can see – Untold is more than happy to publish comments that disagree with the article, but only if they do so in a polite and respectful manner. There’s some really great viewpoints being given here, and largely I’m not having to trash many comments at all, which is great.

  • avatar Paul E

    @Daze_Stormy

    Nobody is rubbishing AFC, just because we voice our concerns. I for one am alarmed at how the club has the gaul to charge a 6% increase in season ticket fares, without re-investment or return in the quality on the pitch!

    We are a sports club, the fans support AFC as such…therefore, if Wenger and the board have overly tight reigns as to not being able to spend – WHY NOT JUST ADMIT IT? We pay the world’s most expensive ticket prices after all, therefore, AGAIN we have a right to voice our displeasure – rather than just being blind to the failings of our beloved club!

    We criticise because WE CARE WHAT HAPPENS!

  • avatar Jenks4England

    I really hate that stuff ^^^^^^

    For a start, the club didn’t charge a 6.5% increase, it charged a 4% increase, in line with inflation, after not having a rise for years. The rest was an enforced VAT increase.

    Also, the whole of Arsenal’s lower tier watch games for less than the cheapest ticket to Anfield – so why do our ticket prices only ever get judged on how much you pay for a small section in the catergory A games?

    I pay £35 to watch Arsenal. You get charged over £20 in League Two. I’m happy with what I pay, yet if you listen to the media and some fans, everyone is paying £100 to watch every game.

  • avatar Steve

    Any objective assessment would conclude Wenger should be sacked at the end of the season.

    He claims finishing fourth is a trophy – what a joke

    He blams referees, bad pitches, the media and Tom Dick and Harry for the failures of this team. What a joke

    Refuses to sort out our defence despite everyone calling for it to be put right – joke

    Pays high wages to players that are obviously not good enough then that means we cannot even give them away because no club wants to pay their contracted wages. What a joke.

    Refuses to accept responsibility for our defeats this season. What a joke.

    Refuses to spend when Arsenal have a reported £50m in the bank. What a joke.

    Arsenal put up season ticket prices by 6.5% then do nothiong with the money. What a joke.

    Far too many young and inexperienced players in the squad. What a joke.

    In the Summer Wenger claimed Nasri and Fabregas would stay at Arsenal despite everyone else knowing they would leave. What a joke.

    Our whole coaching staff. Do they not train this lot to defend? What a joke.

    What does Pat ‘sun lounger’ Rice do exactly? What a joke.

    We have a board who are spineless and totally lack any leadership and Peter Hill Wood prefers to slag off the fans for being ‘idiots’. What a joke

    I could go on and on

  • avatar Paul E

    To be exact it was a 6% season ticket hike. And as regards to Cat A games, aren’t they the biggest fixtures? I don’t understand how you can compare.

    And we DO have the most expensive season tickets in the world…even more than Barca…compare the quality my friend!

    * awaits getting shot down for not saying 100% positive things about my club!

  • avatar thala

    tell the board 2 give money 2 wenger , then we can judge wenger.

  • avatar Justin

    I think your article is pretty much spot on and it’s nice to know there are others out there who think like I do. I’ve always taken a certain satisfaction from supporting a club that operates the way we do and, much as I want us to win things, I also get a bit of pleasure from us achieving as much as we do within our means. I said at the start of the season, after our terrible start, that if Wenger manages to get us into the top 4 this year it could arguably be his finest year. He obviously didn’t want Nasri or Fabregas to go but it was forced upon him. He clearly had plans to bring in the likes of Mata and Cahill but had to work within the clubs means so they didn’t come off. So he has to work with what he’s got. We aren’t as good a team as we were last year (especially without Wilshire on top of Nasri and Fab) and yet we have a chance of the top 4. It may get worse from here, we may well miss out on the top 4, win nothing and face the prospect of no European football for a while but until it’s gone we should all try and get behind Arsene and the team.

    There’s no one out there I’d prefer to be running the club and I still have faith that given the support of the board, Arsene can turn it around. Mind you, the board itself is a whole different story and one I suspect we don’t know the half of.

    So, to all those Arsenal fans who keep saying we need to get shot of Wenger ‘be careful what you wish for’. Who else could come in and run the club within the same constraints and still keep us playing the right way.

  • avatar Jenks4England

    My point about the Cat A games is that when the media kick off about our £100 tickets – that is the top-price solely for Cat A games.

    And I just told you I pay £35, and the whole lower tier pay less than the lowest ticket price at Anfield. So I don’t pay the highest ticket price in England, let alone the world.

    We have some who pay the most, and that is their choice. They could easily pay less than half what they do, but choose not to.

    And again, if we are comparing quality, then Southend, for example, where you pay £21, is worse than us, or £30 at Stoke *shudders*

  • avatar RedGooner

    Managing a club where you loose your best players season after season is not acceptable no matter who the club is.

    This summer wont be any different the frustration is with the direction the club is going not specificaly our manager.

    We would all like to see AW be the one to bring the first trophy to the emirates and have us be the first london club to win the champs league.

    But when we are heading in totaly the opposite direction with conflicting stories as to why we loose all our best players and replace them with inferior players you cant expect people to sit by and not voice concerns.
    Its worrying watching what is happening to Arsenal lately.

  • avatar indy_gooner

    Well- who asked Arsenal to compete with these so-called top clubs in terms of firing the manager, what everyone wants is to compete on-field. If bringing in a new manager brings a freshness in thought and tactics, why not? (after-all, its going to be a change afte 15+ years).
    Walter, I’m a regular reader here though I post very less, but this write-up of yours gives me an impression that you are trying to manufacture something positive about this club.

  • avatar Paul E

    I just looked and Cat A games cheapest ticket is £71, with most premiership games £40+…

    I think the Carling Cup tickets are good value as have a couple of silver and red memberships so additional friends can come and watch the game – which for me is even better value.

    But as for the league, it’s still way out there in terms of cost.

    Anyway, point done to death, I am seriously concerned at losing more key players, and without (looking more and more likely on current form) not qualifying for the CL, which players will we be able to attract that are capable of getting us back up there?

    It could fast become a catalyst in seeing is struggle for the Europa league, little alone the CL!

  • avatar Stu

    Arsenal died in 2006. RIP ARSENAL 1886 – 2006

  • avatar critic

    mind numbing article. You could have written 2 lines and every1 would have understood :
    1)WE DO IT OUR WAY, THE ARSENAL WAY.
    2) Untold doesn’t gives a damn about other views,logic and stats.

  • avatar walter

    Critic could you rewrite my next article ;-)

  • avatar ArsenalPhan

    Frankly, i dun really post but i really follow Untold as its really the most positive Arsenal Site and we really need this kind of sites, really well done. Quite amazed to see so many negative comments in Untold, havent seen that much before.

    We are still in 4th (Coming from the bottom). This despite the negative fans saying we didnt buy well, didnt replace Fabregas and Nasri etc etc. We are above big spending teams like Liverpool and Chelsea too. 50m in the bank means spend spend spend for some ppl, no wonder the world has gone so far into debts.

    Those who are comparing the squad of Arsenal and Spurs as well as their wage bills should also know Spurs have a key player under loan too (Hint – An ex-Arsenal player) and i don’t think they pay the full wages for him.

    Oh and who says we arent challenging the past few years? If not for the bias referees, Eduardo’s leg break etc etc, we would easily have trophies. More good research will also show we should be higher in points right now if the refereeing was done right. The fact that those negative people are saying 7 years of decline (We are 4th in the table despite the bias of the referees), shows how the high standards of Arsene’s football in the past has totally spoilt them.

    Gonna say that our form is influenced badly by those negative ppl too. Imagine where we would be if those negative people starts supporting.

    I also thought Jenks’s comment on a small fraction of fans paying high price was quite nicely done too but then a stupid comment that doesn’t answer it or anything came up. Please….. some objectivity and logic when replying…. don’t act on emotions.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    We would be stupid to sack Wenger. I am not saying we do not need a few changes, we clearly do. Less injuries, or an investigation into them would help. Maybe more transparency on finances would settle fans, but scupper any hope of getting good deals on transfers / wages? I have been reading all sorts of interpretations of the AST meeting, I know they are fans who may raise valid points, but it seems we have all become amateur accountants / economists. I watch football to escape that sort of thing to be honest. And if I wanted to look into all that, I would check out the likes of Swiss Rambler, not Le Grove or Online Gooner
    As in all walks of life, mistakes have been made, maybe too much trust has been put in some players, systems or policies which do not appear to be coming to fruition in the way maybe they were envisaged.
    The fact is, and this may be of no comfort so some, some clubs are undoubtedly in a better place than us at the moment in terms of success, but most are not. We have everything in place now to be successful, with or without Wenger, but as he played a big part in putting us there, he deserves more time, one admittedly, relatively poor calender year does not make the man a failure

  • avatar Rhys Jaggar

    If you go on 25 – 30 home games a season and £100m revenues, that comes out at £3.3 – £4m a game. 60,000 crowd, that’s £50 – £65 a game average per person.

    The choice of going in the lower tier is only a choice if you have a season ticket (long queue for those ones) or if you take pot luck with Red Membership and can get online whenever things open up (tickets go very quickly). Half line tickets on the top tier are now £80 a game and in Club Level at the half way line its £150 a game, adding on another £50 if you want to sit down and eat. The 9,000 box/Club Level generates around £40m of the matchday revenues, so Arsenal should be worried if that market goes south…….

    I think you’ll see those cheaper seats go up in price if the corporate market goes down, which it will if ECL qualification is missed. Trust me, people won’t pay those prices for the Europa League. And this year, people will withhold paying their renewals until they know what they will get: renewing in March is an abomination, when the pricing isn’t segmented into each competition (it isn’t at Club Level). If you’ve got more money than sense, you’ll renew, but not if you have a sense of judging what something is worth. And plenty of people in Club Level do….

    Of course, not everyone is going to renege, but there are a lot of frustrated, unhappy bunnies who have shelled out tens of thousands over the years at Arsenal and they just won’t meekly pay up and do what they’re told anymore. They don’t demand trophies every year, what they demand are players who sacrifice as much as they are sacrificing financially to watch them. And they don’t think they’re getting that. Rightly or wrongly. But the first maxim of business is: ‘the customer is right. If they are wrong, you must make them realise they are wrong whilst keeping them happy. Or you must be able to replace them with customers who are right to agree with you.’

    I think the various stakeholders of Arsenal FC are now ready to have a fairly forthright exchange of views.

    And from that will come a new, more united club moving forward together.

    What casualties there will be along the way I have no idea…….

    But this silent suppression of frustration is coming to a head and the outbursts which will ensue must be seen through to their conclusion……

  • avatar Paul "the gooner"

    I am a reader and a supporter of this site and AW.However i am a little surprised at this article.Not the best timing in my opinion.
    As many people have said “be careful what you wish for.Can all the people who want AW out please state on here now who will replace him.Yes, Aw does need to change.When we were winning things who were we competeing with.Just Man Unt.The league has changed totally.

  • avatar Jenks4England

    Cheapest category A game is £71? That’s simply not true. It’s £51, and I got a ticket to Spurs off the ticket exchange for £56 – in block 2 near the halfway line – for £56.

    I’m a red member.

    For the vast majority of games, the category Bs, £70 is the most expensive ticket, with the lower tier being £35 or £38.

    Would I like to pay less? Of course, I’d like to pay less for everything I buy. But seeing as the exchange for that would be a massively reduced wage bill and an even lower class of player than the ones our fans are currently crying about, I realise that it’s a tough balancing act.

  • avatar Jenks4England

    Just realised I put for £56 twice, that was an error.

  • avatar nicky

    I can remember towards the end of the war against Japan, in 1945, the Japanese Emperor broadcasting to his people and saying that “the war has not gone entirely in our favour”. Such an understatement might well be used today to describe our season so far.
    I would like to ask Arsene Wenger when was the last time he selected a team from an entirely fit squad.
    Our longterm injury list, begun BEFORE the start of the season must be one of the most serious and prolonged on record and should be considered in depth when our season is debated.

    must be one of the most serious and prolonged on record and must be taken into account when considering the immediate future of our Club and its emplyees.

  • I must say, there was one line that stood out to me in the commentary above

    Untold doesn’t gives a damn about other views,logic and stats

    I think that is the most extraordinary statement ever made on this blog. Doesn’t care about stats? My god, we publish more stats that virtually all the newspapers and blogs put together.

    As for logic, half of our articles about referees are about logic, so are the articles about the success of Chelsea after spending so much money.

    As for other views – it is untrue that we don’t give a damn. As the overall editor of the site I can say we do, but we have a viewpoint which we promote. I set the site up because I felt there were precious few sites around supporting Wenger, and from day 1 I have pronounced clearly that this is a site that supports Wenger. What is wrong with that? Much better that than pretending to be open-minded while secretly having an agenda, surely.

    You may not like the views expressed in articles on this site, but at least give us credit for being open and honest about our position.

  • avatar David

    We do it Our Way!?

    What are you a 3 year old!?

    Going 7 years without a trophy under the same manager IS NOT THE ARSENAL WAY!

    In all our 125 year History there has only ever been been 1 manager that has managed to go that long without a trophy!

    And that was well over 100 years ago!

    Arsene Wenger is our most unsuccessful manager in the last Century.

    FACT!

  • avatar Jenks4England

    Yes, every other manager has won three league titles (one unbeaten) and four FA Cups.

    I do love a good fact.

  • avatar Sturdy

    Great! I have been searching for positivity all over the net, and finally I have found it, keep going and ignore the negative comments, supporting this team requires unconditional love, no matter the situation. After all, we do it our way. Please keep going and hopefully some of the more Piers Morgan persuaded fans might clear off, maybe a year out of the champions league might help that! Ooh To Be!

  • avatar walter

    I think some people just don’t understand it. Oh well…

  • avatar David

    Its a poorly constructed and hopelessly written article.

  • avatar Mahdain

    @david where is yours? seriously walter why are we seeing more and more of our dear friends on here? have they been kicked out of le groan or something?

  • avatar Savage Muchahcos

    Guess the thought of my comments are to disturbing for you. Sad but true, and disapointing (sp – it is late at night). You guys definetly know more about The Arsenal history than I do, but are you receptive to the indicators that are obvious to all and sundry regarding the health of our manager and club? Sad but true.

  • avatar walter

    Mahdain,
    maybe they got bored in talking to themselves?

  • avatar ak47

    sleepinggiant-hear hear

  • avatar Matt

    This argument and comparison with other clubs is completely flawed.

    Yes those teams mentioned have a reputation of getting rid of managers pretty quickly if results don’t reflect the ambitions of the club but a quick bit of research reveals that none of those clubs mentioned have had anywhere near the type of management turnover you’re suggesting. Yes there have been instances where managers have not lasted more than a year but they’re generally made up with managers who have been in place for between 2-4 years.

    Equally, you suggest the Arsenal way is something to be proud of but it’s not exactly clear as to what ‘that way’ is other than it being your excuse for not sacking a manager.

    Right now the ‘Arsenal way’ seems to be:

    * Sell your best players just as they reach their peak
    *Refuse to reinvest that money in quality players but find cheap and unproven alternatives in the hope that you uncover a ‘gem’
    * Pay average players vastly inflated salaries to the point where you can’t sell them even if you wanted to
    * Consider finishing 4th as an ambition which ultimately reflects poorly on the club, the management and the players who should all be aiming to win the league
    * Continue to hope that a once great manager will eat humble pie and change his philosophy of creating a successful youth team and buy some established players who can help win something now and not in 5 years time when they mature

    I’m sorry to say that this club, the club I have supported for more than 30 years, is in a complete mess because one man has been given far too much power and has been able to entrench himself into the club to the point where he is unsackable.

    Someone pointed out on another blog that no world class manager would want to take on the role of managing Arsenal at the moment because they would be hamstrung by the squad they would inherit – a team made up mostly of average players that can’t be moved on because no one else will pay them the salaries we are paying them, and therefore unable to develop a squad of there own.

    This is not the Arsenal way that I grew up with. This is the result of one man getting carried away with no structure around him to make him answerable.

    It’s a shambles.

  • avatar Gord

    I am guessing most readers of any blog don’t spend their free time doing research. ArXiv is an archive for nominally physics preprints, which means all the kinds of physics and a bunch of other stuff. Some people would never willingly use a reference to an arXiv preprint as a reference in a scientific article. I think you can pick and choose.

    There are a number of articles at arXiv which go into trying to predict football scores. Unless you have a really good background in math and statistics, you probably wouldn’t get much out of reading any of them.

    Many of these articles point out the difficulty in trying to rank the teams in any league on their football ability. And most people presume the team with the largest ability wins the league every year. One paper I’ve read there, suggests the problem with football, is that not enough goals are scored. And until the rules are changed to get away from scores like 0-0, 1-0, 1-1, there is little that can be done in terms of trying to rank teams.

    One of the things all of these articles have to assume, is fair officiating. To try to work with unfair officiating, some mechanism of describing the unfairness is necessary.

    One of the bonuses of typically having scores so low, that it is difficult to predict which teams have the better ability, is that people who like to gamble might have a chance to do better, because it is necessarily hard to predict outcomes if you can’t rank ability. This may also be a reason why people involved in gambling or teams, might try to “fix” games or aspects of games, as statistically, all the teams are too similar.

    I read and study math, statistics and other stuff in my free time. I doubt I could translate any of these physics papers into something most of UA would understand. If nothing else, I tend to brain dump too much.

    What I would like to see with all these people that know better than Wenger, or the board, is to see comments of the form:
    I was manager of XYZ team from time1 to time2 and because my
    preformance was better than Wenger’s over the last N years, I feel I can realistically show why Wenger is wrong. Or, some similar statement for owning a team, being a CEO of a team and so on.

    But no, what we get are a never ending stream of “experts”, who spend all their free time doing “arm curls” with a beer bottle in their hand. Really, their advice is useless. It isn’t necessarily good, bad or anything else. Just useless.

    If I need to fix my truck, asking people walking by on the street what I should do is not a good policy. Sure, someone might come along who knows just what I need to do. But the expectation is that all replies are worthless.

    Someone spending X currency per year to (supposedly) support Arsenal is also meaningless. If that amount of money is petty cash to you, and you don’t attend games, don’t know who the players are, know who most of the injured players are, know anything about the youth system, your value to Arsenal is 0. If you want to support any football team, the first thing you need to learn are the laws of the game. Arsenal playing in England, you need to recognize that way more physical contact happens than the laws allow for. If some referee wanted to come into any EPL game, and rule strictly by the laws, I suspect in most games the referee could have either or both teams down to less than 8 players by the end of the game. No bias needed, there is that much illegal contact in the English game.

    But, I hope everybody has a good day.

  • avatar Loo Roll Messi

    What a refreshingly pleasant article.

    cheers

  • avatar Anne

    @Gord:

    I really do enjoy your analysis in these comments. And thank you for that ArXiv link. I don’t understand a word of it right now, but I needed something like that to work backwards from. We’ll see if I can figure it out as time goes on. :) Thanks again.

    -Anne

  • avatar Gord

    @Anne

    Sorry. Autism has problems and gifts. I haven’t been an Arsenal fan long compared to most, I easily understand why the performance hasn’t been of liking to most. But, short of trying to teach all this math and statistics I know to others, I seldom have an answer that is useful to anyone.

    If you need help with something like at arXiv, I will try to help. At the moment, I am still trying to digest UA referee reviews.

  • avatar Anne

    @Gord:

    Comments like the one you left above tend to make me determined to understand math and physics as well, just so that I can relate to you on an intellectual level. And coming from me, that truly is the highest compliment that I could possibly give you.

    Along those lines, is the difference between “Autism” and “genius” anything more than just a matter of semantics?

  • avatar Judith Le'Strange

    The reason Arsenal won’t get rid of Wenger is because he saves them money by buying over the hill players on the last day of each transfer window. I know he keeps saying he wants this player & that player but in fact he knows he doesn’t want to spend too much money, because the Board want to keep making a profit. I think Arsenal should now be called a profit making organisation rather than a once great football club, and until the “owner Kroenke” and I use that word loosely & the board realise this as they only seem interested in making money & lining their own pockets rather than spending it on good strong players that might actually start helping us win trophies. A new manager would want sufficient funds to get rid of the many useless players we currently have & bringing in strong good players & not afraid to spend more than a few £m on them. So until the Board wake up & realise that Wenger needs to be got rid of & a new manager installed I am afraid Arsenal will not win any trophies for the foreseeable future.

  • avatar Ed

    i would like to think that the Arsenal way has gotten us a lot more respect than most of the other “top clubs” around…

    chelsea with Avram Grant and Ancelotti
    man city with Hughes
    real madrid with del bosque

    no class…

  • avatar Pat

    Cheering article Walter.
    Gord I enjoyed your intervention, especially the bit about arm curls.
    This morning I enjoyed seeing that our reserves won 5 – 0. That over the hill premier league cast off Yossi Benayoun played a brilliant match and Andrei Arshavin scored two goals. The team manager said it was good for the young players to play with the senior ones, and good for the senior players to get 90 minutes under their belts.
    Of course, the answer will be it doesn’t matter because they were playing Norwich reserves.
    It still cheered me up. And I think it does matter.

  • avatar critic

    @Tony
    February 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Of course u do! I was referring to this particular article. Some logic, stats and arguments would have improved this article.

    The stats that untold shows is usually regarding ref preview and ref review. Not about importance of wenger.

    So don’t hide behind lame excuses like u gave.

    Article is mind numbing and written at the most uninspiring moment.

  • avatar Ruaridh

    AKB!

    Despite the negative’s there is alot of positives with the current management team (corporate as well) and only a small amount of tweaking is required to make arsenal fundamentally competitive in competing for the EPL.

    I have full faith that the transfer issues will be resolved in the immediate close season

  • avatar Ken L

    I am and will always be an Arsenal supporter. My first live game was when Billy Wright was manager. I like exiting players and football. This season has mostly been boring. Sideways, backwards, no penetration. I feel sorry for our strikers. By the time they receive a pass the opposition has 10 men back and they have no space.
    Arsene Wenger has chosen to play this way and chosen not to add to the squad. He alone needs to change the way we are playing or buy the players that will allow him to do so, or?

  • Well Ken, your memory and mine of the Bruce Rioch year, not to mention the final Wright year must be utterly different.

  • Critic – if the article is so awful, can I ask why you bothered to read it?

  • avatar critic

    @ tony

    How can i or anyone tell the difference between awful or brilliant without actually reading it? Since i read it and gave my time to it, i felt obliged to to comment on it’s quality. And i stand by my comment.

  • avatar Ken L

    Tony,
    I’m not saying the football under Wright or Rioch was extiting,
    my reference was to indicate how long I have been a supporter.
    The early years of Wenger when we had the blend of the George Graham defense and Wengers attacking additions were great years.
    I just don’t like watching keep ball in the opposition half with no penetration.

  • We sacked Don Howe and treated that man who did a great deal to modernize AFC rather shabbily – even trying to sign Venables behind his back .
    Wenger’s still with us because he made loads of money for the previous shareholders and Kroneke thought he would do so for him.
    What the fuck has Kroneke got to do with the Arsenal way ?
    Let’s see if Wenger is around next season if we miss out on the CL and have suffered a run of more poor results.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    I don’t know where I said it was the Kroenke way? In fact as far as I know the words ‘we do it our way, the Arsenal way’ are written from the opening days of the museum. In 2006 I think it was. So long before Kroenke became our main share holder.

  • avatar Gord

    @pat
    One of the various terms I’ve picked up over the years for drinking beer.

    @anne
    Autism is a huge spectrum of stuff. I don’t think that anybody really has a handle on the whole thing, but Baron-Cohen (I think he’s at Oxford) seems to have some good papers. I don’t bother reading much of the popular stuff, my vocabulary is good enough for most scientific articles.

    Some people are so affected by Autism, they would never be able to live alone, let alone hold down a job. Supposedly these people have a very low IQ, which would preclude genius being applied. I’ve taken a few IQ tests, and there are some sections where I score 0. Other sections I get most or all. Lots of people can imagine a scene or image, I don’t. But I can sort of feel equations. The “space” I feel them in, is not Cartesian, these feelings are more like how mathematicians talk about topology (for example, a donut and a coffee cup are basically the same thing, topologically speaking).

    But, genius or not, I think it is true that Autistic people think differently. Hence, we are more than likely not in the same box as everyone else is (thinking outside the box). Our box might overlap other people’s boxes, it might not.

    WRT the camera thing. We are somewhat dependent on the TV cameras for Walter and his reviewers to do their thing. Other people bring up situations where some image or video that probably originated in the media is central to an argument. If people at games used their smartphones to take pictures at opportune times, that would potentially be an independent source of images. And it might be possible to build accurate 3D models of the field based on a good distribution of points of view. I know the TV shows make it look like it is all there and works, but real life might be not that advanced yet. Somebody else that is a camera nut might know.

  • avatar Gord

    I was dismayed to see on the BBC site today,

    > A defining derby

    > Lee Dixon and Emmanuel Petit on why Sunday’s north London derby is
    > the most important of Arsene Wenger’s 16-year Arsenal reign

    All this article is doing (by its title), is baiting all the “Wenger Out” people. Lawro in his predictions has a tie, his guest (who is not a football person) is predicting a Tottenham win (2-0).

    And then on the Arsenal.com site, we see from Djourou: ‘We must prove we are the kings of London’.

    I really wish the players would not get sucked into this “need” to show that they are going to win the next game in the press. There is probably some big positive feedback loop involved in this process, and more often than not you end up psyching yourself out of the game. Think “Walking Tall”, walk softly and carry a big stick. Keep your mouth shut before the game, prepare properly, go out and win the game. No pregame bravado needed.

    But, the cat is out of the bag, and so now we are left to see what happens. Oh well. I wish them the best of luck, and that includes the luck of having fair officiating.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Gord,

    Yes I agree with you about that Djourou headline. I also think we just should shut up before a game. or saying something neutral as we will try to do our best. That is all they need to do for me in fact.
    Adding to much pressure on yourself can have a bad influence on some players. Some players need it, others not.
    But the last thing you need is to raise expectations too much by talking too much.

  • avatar Gord

    @walter
    Thank you.

    It seems entirely too easy for anyone to talk themselves out of a game. All I ever dealt with was local games, which were never in the news. Which keeps the self-hyping out of the game. But, amateur football in Canada (where this self-hype doesn’t happen publicly) isn’t what the UK (and the EPL) sees.

    I am hoping as much as a person can hope, but my hopes have nothing to do with how the players chosen by Arsene Wenger perform on the day. And at the end of the day; if Arsenal loses or ties, I suspect all we are going to see is an endless of Wenger Out articles. All from idiots that haven’t a clue on how to manage a team.

    Given that there is is growing evidence (that the FA or PGMOL) won’t accept about bias in officiating, all I can hope for is a fair game on the weekend. And if this fixture which allows for bias to be presented, does present bias, hopefully at some point we will have the data to FORCE the FA to administer football as it should be.

    And going back to Bing Crosby, “Good Night Gracie”.

  • avatar Adam

    @Gord, Its allowing the refs to interpret the laws of the game that is a problem. I once stated that the Epl refs do not have a vision of how they see the game being played due to the inconsistency in their decision making. The rules over the years have been tinkered with to move our ball game in a more attacking direction (ie the back pass rule or the latest interpretation of the off side rule) this is the biggest hint to the refs to clamp down on time wasting, tactical fouling and over aggresive defending. But they don’t seem to ba able to think for themselves so how on Earth can they interpret something they have no vision of.

  • avatar Aunty Sue Knows Best

    August transfer market: one player in and TWELVE players out – including Van Persie. Didn’t Wenger do well with his “reinforcements”? No wonder Walcottt, like Van Persie, doubts the commitment of the club, and the ability of the one-time decent manager, to reestablish the Gunners as a force to be reccond with. As an “outsider” that admires Arsenal, I see a worrying parallel when I here Weger on the TV. It seems that, like Sunderland under “Bruce the excuse”, this fine old club is only in the premiership to make up the numbers!

  • avatar Amir

    Stop using Bayern Munich as an example of an “interchangeable” club if you have no valid arguments to prove your points. Bayern Munich is one of the best run sports clubs in the world. They have gone trophy-less 2 seasons in a row now and Heynckess is still in charge. Van Gaal was fired not because of he didn’t bring trophies (which he did), but rather because the players lost faith in his tactics and leadership skills.

  • avatar Paul

    what a great read…all I hear is sack him, sack him…Ad all I can say is your all forgetting what football and following your club is all about. I have been going since 1980 and have learnt that Arsenal really is a different class than anyone else and always will be. I don’t want the club to be in debt like the others and when Wenger still has much more to give and learn himself we should support the man and the club through the good and tough times. It’s what loving your club is all about…it’s easy to call yourself a fan, but it’s being a fan of the club and its foundations that’s what is the most important thing and Wenger gives 100% and what more can you ask…the players need to give more..not the boss!!…ask yourself a question….would you follow arsenal if they were a mid table team…got your answer then you know if your a real arsenal fan!!!