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Arsenal Day, and the vultures are circling.

Arsenal Day, and the vultures are circling

By Tony Attwood

It is extraordinary how things come around all at once.  Today there are a lot of people asking for Mr Wenger to go, claiming that although he did well at the start, he is not doing well enough now.

And yet no matter how you analyse the figures, he is our best ever manager.  He has achieved more than Chapman, and even if we break the two managers achievements into two groups – the “failure” years and the “success” years, Mr Wenger has achieved far far more in his “failure years” by keeping us near the top, than Mr Chapman did during his “failure” years.

So the argument is that our best ever manager is not good enough.  It is an argument – but it seems to put an awful strain on the manager.  It seems to be argued that to survive at Arsenal you now have to do better than all the 25 managers before him.

Meanwhile we have the Telegraph story which suggests that Stan Kroenke is guilty of weak stewardship of the club and that he might accept a bid for the club.  To sweeten the deal, the Telegraph reported that “there would be substantial transfer funds made available to transform the club into a major force in European and world football. There would also be a pledge to reduce ticket prices at the Emirates Stadium”.

Oh and there would be an “attempt to recreate ‘some of the feel of the old North Bank’ at Highbury.  Although they don’t say how they could do this (bearing in mind that the all seater situation at the ground is due to government legislation and nothing else.

So the people involved would buy up all the shares – which would mean I would lose my chance to attend AGMs but would make a nice little profit on my Fanshare holding.   Mr Kronke would make £400 million give or take a few million.

What is interesting is that this all comes on what the Arsenal History Society calls Arsenal Day.

That day is 4th March, and is named because it was the day that it was officially confirmed that Arsenal were going to move to Highbury.  All of Tottenham’s objections had been heard, voted upon and rejected by the League, and Arsenal were clear to move.

Had Arsenal not moved 100 years ago, the club would have died.  Bottom of the league and with crowds that could never generate a profit, the club would have gone bust for a second time in three years had the move to Highbury not happened, and this time there would be no coming back.

The reason it survived was because at that time Arsenal had a man in charge who loved and valued the club – Henry Norris.  He risked his entire personal fortune firstly to take the club out of administration (paying every creditor in full as he went) and then to build a new stadium.

Such largesse may not be commonplace today, and I have no idea what the current owner’s intentions are other than what I heard him sat at the AGM, to the effect that he would be here for the long haul.

But what is interesting, given the debate on this and other sites about Mr Wenger’s future, is that the Telegraph article on the takeover actually says, (and I quote in full)…

Any takeover would inevitably raise questions over the future of manager Arsène Wenger, although the Frenchman is understood to be highly-regarded by the consortium They do not want to lose his football knowledge and want him to remain at the club.

The article goes on to say that these new potential buyers are “well aware that the last trophy won was the 2005 FA Cup and that Arsenal have become less of a rival to the Premier League’s top clubs. They believe that the club have settled for relative mediocrity.”

What is not in the article is how the New Arsenal would cope with FFP – whether they would simply sail ahead like Man City and Chelsea, and presumably ultimately sue Uefa for refusing them entry to the Champions League, or whether they have some other scheme in mind.  It would have been nice to know.  All we get is, “Given the nature and structure of the funding, the bidders say they are confident they will still be able to comply with FFP.”

So its, “trust me, I’m a banker.”   Or perhaps, “Trust me, this isn’t Liverpool.”  And of course each can make up his/her own mind.

It would have been nice to have been trusted with the knowledge of how this magic was going to work.  After all, we are the supporters who pay for a fair chunk of the cost of running Arsenal.  Don’t we deserve to know, so we can have a debate?
.
But instead all we got was…

A bid source told Telegraph Sport: “Arsenal is at a pivotal position at the moment. The fear is that the club is facing a cycle of decline like Liverpool. From our point of view it is the perfect moment to make this bid because at this moment in time you can still genuinely justify this extraordinary valuation on the club.

“We will not bid for Arsenal if they go into decline. Kroenke and Usmanov will not get this kind of valuation if Arsenal do not succeed and will not get this kind of valuation ever again.

Unfortunately the piece continues. “No big club can go eight years without winning anything,” which suggests the authors haven’t been reading the analyses here and elsewhere of Arsenal’s eras without winning anything – and I seem to think they have survived.
.
So just as those of us who have an interest in Arsenal’s history celebrate the day on which Arsenal proved the world wrong by coming up with a new survival strategy that worked, so we find another group telling us to trust them with the club’s future, because they have it worked out.   They don’t quite want to tell us how, but hey – trust me. I know.
.
Of course there are many people who believe that FFP will never happen, and that Arsenal should join Manchester City, Chelsea, PSG and the Russian clubs with building a club on Russian or Middle Eastern money.   But in the end it is a matter of belief.
.
And I guess that is why having debates on the subject are so difficult.

——————————–

The books…

————————–

Referee Decisions – just what are the refs up to this season?

107 comments to Arsenal Day, and the vultures are circling.

  • Tasos

    AN Arab consortium?

    We are told that investors from the UAE and Qatar are working together on the deal?

    I very much doubt that would happen and even if that were true they would certainly not talk to the press about their plans.

    This story is aimed at a particular section of Arsenal supporters and designed to cause maximum unrest.

    Question is. Who is behind such a nonsensical story?

  • Matt

    What is the point of this article? So the Telegraph are sesationalising a story as Arsenal are struggling at the moment,big deal.Wenger is manager of a club that charges the highest ticket prices in Europe, is in the top 6 of football clubs in terms of turnover, hasn’t won a trophy for 8 years and has the smallest net spend in tearms of transfers in the PL in the last 9 years. It also has £125million in the bank and this site seems to think the fans are wrong to question and ask for answers.

  • malaysian gunner

    Matt says Arsenal are one of the top 6n turnover. It won’t last because fans come to see a succssful club. If the decline continues,Arsenal could even slip out of the world’s top 5 richest clubs.
    The Arsenal brand is known world wide but if the decline continues,it will be like AV or even Bolton .

  • Maverick

    @malaysian gunner, don’t be rediculous. Just because we have had a barren run, if your a global brand you will not turn into a club like bolton over night. Bolton have never been big and dont have a global presence. Admittedly Arsenal have to start performing better or things won’t be so easy for them and we could miss out on sponsorship money but what you have said is so far from the truth!! It’s like saying if Manu went 8 years without silverware that all of a sudden they will not be a global brand anymore……….once you are global and you have true fans that loves the club and traditions they will quit support.

    In fact i rather they do because they are not true supporters but fairweathers which we can do without, true supporters support ESPECIALLY when the club is having troubles not leave as soon as things are not so rosey. Look at Liverpool one of the biggest brands in the world, apart from a tinpot trophy and a lucky CL win, they have not won the EPL in decades….but do you hear people constantly chirping on about liverpools demise (apart from mancscum fans) no they are still a huge name!!

  • Stuart

    @Maverick – a “lucky CL win”? That’s a bit disrespectful to Liverpool, no? What they did was a tremendous achievement, and the final in Istanbul one of the greatest CL games of all.

    I think we can defend Arsenal without belittling other clubs.

  • Ben L

    I think fans dont come to see a successful club alone. Did anyone see the interview of Wenger when he went to China and Hong Kong and his surprise at some of the knowledge of the club that even Wenger didnt know?

    That is a true fan sticking with the club even if they are not winning trophies.

    Some fans reaction about sacking everyone is out of proportion, would they apply the same principles to clubs like in the non league?

    So what if Arsenal hasnt won a trophy?
    it happens. Arsenal was mediocre when i remember them in the early 90s. I didnt stop supporting them because of that why stop now?

    Arsene was right when he said the fans were spoilt when he first came in and now they are on the barren run some fans cant take it.

  • @ Matt,

    At no time have I seen this site suggesting that supporters are not entitled to ask questions. Thus your remark that “this site seems to think the fans are wrong to question and ask for answers” is in my opinion simply not true.

  • bob

    “So what if Arsenal hasnt won a trophy? it happens.”
    Ben,
    It’s the “it happens” part that I find to be a problem that cannot reconstruct a successful team.
    Winning trophies aside, would you be content to say “it happens” even though we have not played well, or have played with self-defeating inconsistency? Can you actually say that we have played consistently well last season? indeed, this very season? Or, played well (clinically) as a striking force after selling RvP and gifting our (second worst) enemy a championship this season? Or played well as a midfield that lacks steel after selling Alex Song to the team that has consistently tapped up our best players? Would you continue to say “it happens” if such selling-our-best policies – say with Jack Wilshere – occur this very summer? We cannot improve if fans are content with “it happens” or everything awry is down to “mistakes” (recurrent mistakes). The anthem for this attitude is the song, “Don’t worry be happy.” It is surely a help to personal longevity; but does not augur well for a side with more than midfield aspirations that is a cash cow for its “don’t worry be happy” ownership/management regime (whatever Arsene’s actual role is in that mix).

  • bob

    Micheal Staley,
    As you well know, the everyday use of “question” (as in questioning) has two meanings: asking questions and challenging the answers. As I read it, Matt is politely using the latter meaning. And if he’s not, I am. You split hairs and defend UA for allowing comments that “ask questions.” Of course it’s true, though not very generous of you, or UA, to permit such behavior. The difficult part is when the questioning goes into criticism of the way that AFC, or AW, or UA is behaving. I for one love how UA challenges (indeed questions) corruption, racism, refshite, mainstream media framings. I am angered by how UA, imo, provides cover for AFC’s failings to meet the team’s needs during transfer windows and will not investigate or properly analyze why and how AFC/AW has allowed the departures of our best players to our worst rivals. I question that behavior – indeed challenge it. And it’s that sense of question (challenge) which is what matters here, and what separates us, even as we can continue as gooners.

  • Danish Gooner

    Please Tony,dont defend this rabble just because you have put yourself in one corner.This is not Arsenal it is something not even resembling an Asenal side,gone are the days of vibrant attacking football and it has turned in to something as hideous as Gollum.We cant defend,we cant attack and we are as blunt a tool as Francis Jeffers.I find it astonishing that someone are still defending Arsene and this is said by his biggest admirer in them early days,i loved the man but he sold us a lie and turned what could have been an legendary legacy in to a falsum so filled with lies,more lies and statictics.every defest these days are meet with astonishing arrogance or some bad excuse.Arsenal fans are paying the higest ticket prices in the land and in Europ and this is the rabble we are served.Every single challenge he have put this team under for the last 8 seasons they have failed,when playing Manure it is like watching Man V Goliath and Goliath happen to have a huge Chainsaw to his disposal.Munich made us look like an average Bundesliga side and we are still to play them at their Stadium,may i remind you that they trashed Schalke 04 4-0 and if it wasnt for lethargy they could have scored 10,do you recall schalke 04??Yes that is right the team we lost to at home and were largely outplayed against on their turf.How will you defend Wenger when we get outplayed at the Allianz Arena and believe it,we will??

  • Jed

    Two points, if I may.

    First, I agree with Tasos that the timing of the bid rumour is very suspicious indeed and there is no doubt in my mind that whoever is behind it wants to be seen as the saviour of the club following yesterday’s painful result. Instead they will just cause more instability at a time when there are still 30 points to play for.

    Second, I see AW’s record slightly differently from TA though without disagreeing with the conclusion that he is our best-ever manager. To my mind the consistency in the last say 5 seasons (for me the watershed moment was 07/08), whilst commendable, has to be seen against the backdrop of a different football landscape. With the PL, Sky etc the league now is less even than it was even when I started following football (70s), let alone Herbert Chapman’s day.

    AFC is in a strong financial position compared to most other clubs – you have previously pointed out our low transfer spend, but that is balanced out with the high wage bill – and if you are the 4th richest club in the league you ought to be coming in round about 4th place. It’s really par for the course these days.

  • Sammy The Snake

    AFC = Arsenal Football Corporation.

    Those running the club see it as a money machine, not a club.

  • Jed

    Sammy, I fear you are right about that. Not much thought any more for the fans, except how to fleece them.

  • A. Stewart

    “The difficult part is when the questioning goes into criticism of the way that AFC, or AW, or UA is behaving. I for one love how UA challenges (indeed questions) corruption, racism, refshite, mainstream media framings. I am angered by how UA, imo, provides cover for AFC’s failings to meet the team’s needs during transfer windows and will not investigate or properly analyze why and how AFC/AW has allowed the departures of our best players to our worst rivals. I question that behavior – indeed challenge it. And it’s that sense of question (challenge) which is what matters here, and what separates us, even as we can continue as gooners.
    ..”

    At Bob this amazes me about this site too, it’s such a great contradiction.

    I too am so impressed by the level of detailed analysis that UA puts into questioning a myriad of things affecting AFC and football in general (though the media stuff in particular I think is a bit silly), yet the great contradiction is there is an “oh well” type of attitude to discussion of anything less than positive about AFC’s current direction and its management.

    Practically no curiosity or analysis but rather framing everything under just be a supporter and accept things as they happen, it’s so diametrically opposed to their strong analytical and investigative capabilities on the other end of things.

  • Alex James

    It is irrelevant whether Wenger has been the best. The point is that he is not now. No top club can defend the way we do and survive. The terrible defending is the manager’s business to cure but he has singularly failed to do so for years now. I speak as a long standing fan, who started watching the club in the mid fifties. My father and grandfather were fans before this, going back to the 1920s. The club has its worse collection of players for years and are tactically inept in defence. It is well past the time Wenger should go. Sad but true.

  • Jed

    Alex James, that’s a fair point well made.

    It seems to me that the owner/board have not thought clearly about what the club now needs. There is a binary choice:

    1. If our billionaires are going to sort out their differences and put some cash in, so that we can buy world class players, then a philosophical manager like Arsene makes sense, his track record shows he can make very good players play very well together.

    OR

    2. If we are going to have to break even every season when virtually no other team does, then we need a different type of manager, eg a Moyes, who is good at squeezing the last ounce of performance out of his resources.

  • A. Stewart

    “And yet no matter how you analyse the figures, he is our best ever manager.”

    That Wenger is the best AFC manager of all time is not up for debate (to most at least).

    That has little to do with how good he is performing now relative to, yes, the standard he set for himself before; relative to the club’s recent/current resources; relative to the fan economics surrouding the club’s product (i.e. paying top dollar for not a top on-field product); relative to the club’s now elevated status/standing/profitability (that yes he had a good part in fostering)and charging big club prices, and earning big club money; relative to the autonomy he has that arguably no other big club manager (perhaps even AF); relative to the sheer amount of players he has at his disposal (the number of pros on our books dwarfs most of our direct competitors); relative to not keeping up with thetactical/technological/training developments of the modern game that other clubs adopt which he doesn’t (often per his ex-players) etc.

    Being the greatest AFC manager ever doesn’t necessarily mean he is the best manager for the job now, nor that another manager (epsecially a more modern manager) couldn’t exceed his current standard, operating on the solid platform that he deserves credit for helping to build.

  • A. Stewart

    Ferguson is the greatest United manager ever too, but he has said he wouldn’t/shouldn’t be allowed to continue if the standard he established for himself dropped and stagnated for a period of years (much less than 8). That has nothing to do with him being regarded as United’s greatest manager in history, he still would be, the difference is he has generally maintained his standard and thus while being the greatest ever for them in a historical context, until if/when his standard drops he still IS the best option for them here in the present, regardless of the past.

    And let’s not pretend as though he never has felt very real and vocal pressure from his fan-base in recent years regardless of the greatness he achieved for them. A few years ago they went what was it, only 3 years without a trophy, and the pressure on him was large and vocal, with many of United’s faithful openly questioning whether his time was up..then they won “just” the Carling Cup iirc, and he credited that often dismissed cup as the springboard back towards a winning mentality around the club.

    Had he not won that and returned to his winning ways, by his own subsequent admission he would have been (deservedly)gone, yet that wouldn’t have anything with United fans not recognizing that he was still their best manager ever on the field, and also spurring ridiculous unprecedented economic prosperity (for sport nevermind just football) under his reign (something that he doesn’t imo get enough credit for).

  • SouthernGunner

    Goes to show a lot of “fans” can’t form an opinion thats based on reality nor thats of their own without the help of “pundits” and tabloids. Everyone seems to forget that top 4 (even top 3) is still a real possibility. And even if we don’t get it this year, 16 consecutive years in the CL isn’t bad going, and the lcub is in a healthy enough position to deal with it.

    Fact is even at “his worst”, Wenger is still the best we’ve had at the club, and the stadium is probably the best thing he’s done for us (perhaps his best “trophy” for the club.).

    A few bad results doesn’t a poor club make. Even with the disappointments and setbacks, we’re still one of the top teams in England, Europe and still the top club in north London.

  • SouthernGunner

    Just as an addition, if Wenger does go as requested by the vultures, who’d the AAA want to replace him?

    It’s no good saying “Wenger out” and not coming up with an alternative thats equally good or better, otherwise you just show yourself up to be a cynic and and idiot.

  • dan

    Credit were credit is due, Arsene and the board are responsible for this product which is far from worthy of the brand, but selling this to our loyal fans is disrespectful. Playing with there emotions, remember football is a poor man’s game, we are witnessing our club were greed is the number one target, most will call it a business however a business must ensure a product which appeals to the customer.

  • A. Stewart

    “Goes to show a lot of “fans” can’t form an opinion thats based on reality nor thats of their own without the help of “pundits” and tabloids. Everyone seems to forget that top 4 (even top 3) is still a real possibility. And even if we don’t get it this year, 16 consecutive years in the CL isn’t bad going, and the lcub is in a healthy enough position to deal with it.

    Fact is even at “his worst”, Wenger is still the best we’ve had at the club, and the stadium is probably the best thing he’s done for us (perhaps his best “trophy” for the club.).

    A few bad results doesn’t a poor club make. Even with the disappointments and setbacks, we’re still one of the top teams in England, Europe and still the top club in north London.
    ..”

    What exactly goes to show that fans who question Wenger’s current direction are incapable of making up their own minds?
    Goes to show that you generalize a lot really. IF anything from my observation it’s only really recently that the media is picking up on much of the fan discontent that has been in existence for some years now, as opposed to starting it.

    I don’t think everyone seems to forget that top 4/3 is still a possibility, some rather simply don’t believe that just that is good enough given a number of factors including our available resources, and given what is charged to the fans who bear a bigger proportionate burden of providing a lot of those resources unlike any other big club. To suggest that some/many fans were not discontent with that stagnation of just top 4 before now, is just disingenuous.

    No-one is denying that Wenger is the best we have had, some are simply questioning whether there is better out there for us now, given where we have been elevated to, yes largely as a result of his good work.

    Rather than just a few bad results, more fans are concerned with the same mistakes made for seasons, the same defensive issues, losing our best players in some cases to rivals, contradictory statements made by the club, having considerable resources that are used inefficiently etc etc, dithering in the transfer market, persisting with injury prone players etc etc and many more..To paint it as people are just upset at a few bad results is again, disingenuous.

    Yes we are still one of top clubs out there (especially economically) hardly anyone is denying that, some simply think that we could and should be doing better. And believe it or not, fans (many of them fans for decades and decades) are capable of coming to that opinion on their own free thinking and will, as opposed to having the media make up their minds for them.

  • rusty

    I have no information on whether the bid story in the Telegraph is based on an actual group of investors or an irritated fan’s fake “leak”, but whoever wrote the piece did an exceptional job of calibrating the statement.

  • A. Stewart

    who’d the AAA want to replace him?

    It’s no good saying “Wenger out” and not coming up with an alternative thats equally good or better, otherwise you just show yourself up to be a cynic and and idiot.
    ..”

    Sorry but this oft-used argument is just scurrilous nonsense.

    You can have an opinion that someone is not performing well and that change needs to be considered without first having identified a replacement. In any job almost always if an employee is not performing and is to be dismissed, the search for a replacement doesn’t and isn’t lined up prior to dismissal but commences post-it. Not to mention it’s not the fans’ job or responsibility to identify a replacement but rather those highly paid and valuated executives/board members at the club whose job it is to do so in the event of Wenger leaving, and to make the job as attractive to the best possible candidate.

    Not to mention in football and recruiting a new manager you won’t exactly know who is available or more importantly WILL MAKE THEMSELVES AVAILABLE until the job is open (or near it). A Club of this size, with this amount of resources, facilities, located in a City like London, with a large international following will always be an attractive option to top managers no matter its current “problems” and I’d bet many managers who are not available now will make themselves available for the job as happens practically all the time when manager jobs open up.

    Lastly, though it’s not on the fans to come up with a potential short list, so many gooners who consider change have proposed no shortage of managers that they think would be capable at doing a good job post-Wenger.. some common names are: Klopp, Laudrup, Moyes, and many more (be them younger or more experienced)..And I’m not here to discuss whether these are good choices, are currently available (again you won’t know who will make themselves available until the job is open), are the right fit for our play etc. But to suggest that those wanting change actually are incapable to come up with options (even though they don’t need to imo) that they think would do an equal or better job, is disingenuous.

  • Alex James

    How did Wenger build the stadium? The funding for it is based on loans that are well withn the economic capability of the club, regardless of CL money. Dein and Fiszman were the driving force. The CL money has been wasted on below average players, , some of whom have been loaned out but still on our payroll or sent home on permanent holiday.

  • Sammy The Snake

    SouthernGunner, you say “a few bad results”!!!

    7 loss in 28 games… Only 45 points from 28 games, meaning 1.60 points per game on average…

    Losing out to Bradford in League Cup…

    Going out in FA Cup to Blackburn…

    No success in 8 years… Every year the results & performances sliding…

    I suggest you check the meaning of a few once again.

  • SouthernGunner

    I support change, so for you to suggest that I don’t is incredulous. But the change you speak (replacing the manager) of will not help the club. The names you’ve mentioned aren’t as good or better than the manager we have. Think that does prove my point.

    A few other clubs have spent far more than us in terms of transfers/wages, brought in seemingly better players, but have still finished below us.

    Who else would have been able to compete with overspending clubs as well as our manager has the last 10 years?

    Think Fergie or Mourinho would have all throse trophies without £30 million to spend on players?

    If Arsenal had multi-millions to spend, do you still think we’d not have bad results from time to time?

    These are questions the so called “fans” don’t seem to be asking. If a person truely supported the lcub, they’d recognise a good thing when they see it, whether it be a player, manager etc.

    You might like to consider than perhaps the problem isn’t the manager of one club. Perhaps football has become so financially overinflated and favours only a select few clubs.

    It’s no coincidence that the clubs who won the most trophies are the ones who spent the most money this last decade.

  • SouthernGunner

    Sammy

    Not saying disappointments don’t matter in terms of bad results, but show me a top club that hasn’t had them. United, City, Chelsea, Liverpool have all had them, and still do.

    If wenger left today, people would eventually be saying that we were stupid to let him go. Despite his flaws, he’s still a top manager, and the failure to see that by some is beyond ridiculous.

  • Jed

    The usual school of thought is that without AW at the helm we would not have been able to get through the stadium years with consistent CL qualification.

    I see it a bit differently. Without AW and his magic hat the club may well not have been able to persuade the banks to lend the money. He – with DD – created an aura at the club that made the money men bet that we could succeed with the stadium project. After all, without 60,000 people paying top prices it would not have been viable.

    BUT the financial constraints placed on the club by the stadium move, and the arrival of Oligarchs and Sheikhs, meant AW had to abandon his winning formula and try new things – first project youth, then project whatever-we-have-now. This new environment did/does not suit AW’s skills. The results are trending down year by year.

    The answer? Hire a manager who can eke top performance from limited resources, ie a micro-tactician who can get the best out of a modest squad. Klopp, Laudrup, Moyes – or AVB. He was available last summer and a club with farsighted leadership grabbed the opportunity.

    Change is uncomfortable and a little bit frightening. But I’d rather the hopefulness of a transition like Liverpool are having with Brendan Rogers than the hopelessness of a once-great man’s sad decline. Eerily reminiscent of Cloughie I am sorry to say.

  • SouthernGunner

    And by no success in 8 years, you don’t regard the stadium a success?

    trophies matter when you can afford to have a cabinet to put them in. Just ask Portsmouth.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Jed,
    let us take AVB.
    Then there were two options: fire Wenger at that moment and hire AVB.
    He was free but why would we fire a manager who had turned us from 17th place at the start, losing the top 2 players from the season before and manage to get to 3rd place?

    Or bring in AVB in the role of???? Do you really think he would came to be assistant manager?

    Mind you I think I was the only Gooner not laughing when arry was shown the door at the totts last summer as I feared they would bring in a decent manager. I had hoped arry to continue at the totts.

    But the season is still long and we have to wait how long AVB can keep it up…

  • A. Stewart

    Comparing Arsenal to Portsmouth (and I’ll insert Leeds too) is like comparing apples to airplanes. The situations surrounding the two clubs are not even remotely similar.

    Also regarding…: “Think Fergie or Mourinho would have all throse trophies without £30 million to spend on players?”

    In no-way am I advocating Mourinho then or now, but just highlighting a myth that he can only win with money..

    He won the Uefa cup and Champions League back to back at Porto, with considerably less resources than AFC at the time. He won the treble with Inter with a negative net transfer spend, with him buying unwanted players like Sneijder, Lucio, Motta, Milito for very affordable prices, that were on the market and that arguably any other big club could have gotten at the time, those players he transfered for weren’t just squad players but key starters that helped formed the crux of his title winning side along with Eto’o who he essentially got for free buy making Barca pay all that money for Zlatan.

    Or are we supposed to pretend that Mourinho only won at Chelsea and Madrid?

  • A. Stewart

    “If wenger left today, people would eventually be saying that we were stupid to let him go”

    This is nothing but an opinion and/or guess. Things could turn out worse, equal or yes, even better.

  • Nannu

    i honestly do hope that a takeover of the club is a strong possibility.we just can’t continue to go the way we are going both on and off the field. yes,im sure we want any potential new owners to have afc’s best interests at heart and that they won’t ruin the club.in saying all of that i don’t think anyone will spend 1.5billion to destroy the club,so their intentions must be of a good nature.in my heart of hearts i would love to see that muppet “silent stan” leave the club with a new owner who will do the sensible thing and that is bring david dein back to run the club.we all know that he stands up to wenger and afc have gone down hill since he’s gone.this current board has done things ass backwards in letting wenger have too much control without the possibility of being challenged as to the right or wrongs in wenger’s judgement call on afc issues.stan has done absolutely nothing for us fans these last few years,infact he rarely makes an aperience at the emirates to watch game.we all seen the pictures of david dein(a real gooner)at the game yesterday and if body lauguage could be read,then he didn’t look too happy at all.wenger,hill-wood,stan or gazidis are not the most important people at the club because a lot of them won’t be at afc in 5/10 years time.we cannot allow the likes of wilshere get fed up and want out because the club fails to land top players or competes for the top trophies that we were more or less promised in moving to the emirates stadium.if it happens then of course we would all want to see the true intentions of the new owners.but in all honesty,it can’t get any worse than the muppets we currently have at the club.stan out NOW.

  • SouthernGunner

    Well what you seem to advocate for our club is the approach that Portsmouth took, spend our way to a trothy.

    Secondly, that Inter side Mourinho managed doesn’t sound half as bad as you seem to try and make it sound. They’re all internationals, a number of which are world class. So yeah, there’s merit in people thinking he can only work with money to spend.

    Out of interest, had Arsneal not lost yesterday, would you still be calling for the manager to be replaced today? Because it’d be easier to respect the AAA’s opinion if they didn’t just show up after a defeat and spout bitterness in the guise of “opinions”.

    Lastly, credit to Sp*rs they’ve done pretty ok this year, even beat United at Old Trafford, so maybe yesterdays result needs a bit more perspective.

  • SouthernGunner

    “This is nothing but an opinion and/or guess. Things could turn out worse, equal or yes, even better.”

    Actually you may be surprised to find out Wenger is highly regarded in most other footballing countries. A guess maybe, but an educated one.

  • SouthernGunner

    “Things could turn out worse, equal or yes, even better.”

    Anything’s possible, but ask yourself which is most likely.

    The imaginary brilliant unnamed manager that people want to replace AW doesn’t exist. All I’ve said is that depsite his flaws, he’s a good manager. When he does go, that’s when he’ll be appreciated, maybe even by some of the AAA.

  • Jed

    Walter

    AVB is a young, forward-looking and proven manager, much in the way that Arsene was when DD pulled off the most visionary managerial appointment in AFC history. I mentioned him because there is a similarity between the way Spuds are run now and the way we were run back in 1996. Or to put it the other way round, we lack the kind of leadership we used to have. In 1996 we took a tough decision and swapped managers. There is nobody at the club now who has the gumption to make the big call.

    Briefly touching on AW’s performance in recent seasons, I don’t think you can really point to third last year and say it was a triumph for AW. We had the benefit of an exceptional goal scorer and the implosion of Spuds and Chelsea. The overall trend in his performance is clear, and football is as much qualitative as quantitative.

    So, leaving aside the distraction of AVB, as I said the answer is to change manager. If the board make a decent choice of replacement then we will achieve 4th and win some trophies. The budget our manager has to play with is plenty big enough to achieve this. He will organise the defence, spend the money that sits in the bank on a spine for the team, really go for the cups. Above all he will restore hope which is desperately lacking at the moment.

  • A. Stewart

    Let me know where exactly I advocated a) to do anything like Portsmouth b)spend our way to a trophy. Thanks.

    I didn’t say anything about that Inter side being bad, they can’t be bad if they won the treble, merely pointing out that Mourinho’s transfers were not for 30 million valued players. He got all those players Motta, Milito, Lucio and Sniejder for cheap. In fact he got Motta and Milito in a package deal for next to nothing in exchange for some fringe players to Genoa, he got Sneijder for only 13 million after he was unwanted at Madrid, Lucio was unwanted at Bayern and regressed in the eyes of many and he got him for a small undisclosed fee, outside of Eto’o those were largely his main signings and each one of them were crucial to the treble, not just squad players, and in Pandev a decent signing that contributed as a main option off the bench he was signed for free iirc. And the icing on the cake was that Barca paid some 40 M to Inter to exchange Eto’o for Zlatan.

    So Mourinho if anything MADE MONEY on transfers at Inter and won a treble largely with the help of players who were unwanted by their clubs, and outside of Eto’o players that were easily within our price range at the time.

    No matter how you try to spin in, he won the Champions League with a Porto side of considerably less resources than AFC and the treble with an Inter side, without spending a lot if anything really, with his targets affordable and available to other big clubs including us if we wanted to.

    “So yeah, there’s merit in people thinking he can only work with money to spend.”

    There is absolutely nothing remotely accurate in that statement.

  • A. Stewart

    1)”Anything’s possible, but ask yourself which is most likely.”

    My answer is I don’t know which is more likely,but I’m not afraid of change or uncertainty.

    2)”The imaginary brilliant unnamed manager that people want to replace AW doesn’t exist.”

    Again it’s not on the people who are considering change to find his replacement, nevertheless many of them have put forth names (ont imaginary ones)

    3)”All I’ve said is that depsite his flaws, he’s a good manager.”

    Personally I agree, he is a good manager with some very obvious flaws, others feel far more strongly in a negative sense than I do. I wonder however, if he has the personality to identify, admit and correct those said flaws.

    4)”When he does go, that’s when he’ll be appreciated, maybe even by some of the AAA.

    ..”

    I think most of the so-called AAA acknowledge and appreciate everything that Wenger has done for the club, but just think it’s time for change, the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Which is what I think the “AKB” (since we are labelling) have a hard time understanding.

  • Florian

    AVB? He’s young and impetuous, and seems to think he possesses the secret winning formula, since the days of the EL with Porto.

    But visionary? What kind of visionary manager says that if he wins the 4 trophies in one season he retires? Pep never said such a thing when he won 6.

    AVB is only quick to make his mark and then go out the door. This quickness was part of the reasons for his downfall, when he attempted to bench the senior players at Chelsea, and collided with them. Not very astute one might say.

    Remember Wenger – when he came to Arsenal, he changed nothing at first – just sat and watched how the team works, and then tackled the off-pitch problems. I think you remember the result.

    It is a verified law that any change brings an initial downfall because of the instability and relationship rebuilding that it incurs. Things are getting worse before they can get better. This is probably the main reason to stick with the current managing team, even if the results are merely in line with the expectations (not the AAA’s, but the club’s). On the other hand, things like slightly misplaced passes, inability to find a teammate on the pitch, are all effects of the instability in the team’s formula, hence inter-player relationships. We’ll get better results when we won’t have to recycle 90% of the team in the space of 3 years.

  • SouthernGunner

    All you demonstrated is that he didn’t spend as much money at Inter than he did at Chelsea and Madrid. Still a good manager, but certainly seemds to need more than what a lot of clubs have available to spend.

    Secondly, regarding Portsmouth, your sticking point seems to be the cliched “8 years without a trophy”. Portsmouth won a trophy, largely by overspending. Hence the comparison.

    Lastly, you know who Porto faced in their final? Monaco. Before that they faced Deportivo, Lyon & Chelsea (before the spending spree ensued). So yes, Mourinho won the CL with Porto, but it’s not exactly the same as beating the Galactico’s, Barca or the two Milan teams (considered the best sides at the time) is it.

  • Paul "the Gooner"

    I suggest you all read what Steve has posted from a “Forbes website”.What a great article.This tells you EVERYTHING you need to know about this so called bid.It is not going to happen.A total wind up by the media, backed up by someone feeding them crap info.Are not the Sun and Telegraph both Murdoch papers.Have we not banned the Sun from our press conferences after AW outbust about his new contract.What a great time to bring this piece out.The morning of the spuds match.Both U.A.E. and Quater putting in joint bids.Do me a favour.Rich Arabs do not do news coverage.Bring down season tickets and make AW accountable.Just what the media would say.If we go out of the top four,guess what.A piece will appear saying that the deal is off.More negative news on AW.These wankers are sitting down now planning their next news anti Arsenal coverage.I reckon this Thurday another story will appear and then a week later after the Bayern match.YOu must read the Forbes article.

  • A. Stewart

    “All you demonstrated is that he didn’t spend as much money at Inter than he did at Chelsea and Madrid. Still a good manager, but certainly seemds to need more than what a lot of clubs have available to spend.”

    Rather all I demonstrated is that what you explicitly inferred that he can only win with spending lots of money on 30M players is simply false, because no matter how you spin it, he didn’t win that way at Inter, that’s just the facts. I laid them out for you. There are what they are.

    “Lastly, you know who Porto faced in their final? Monaco. Before that they faced Deportivo, Lyon & Chelsea (before the spending spree ensued). So yes, Mourinho won the CL with Porto, but it’s not exactly the same as beating the Galactico’s, Barca or the two Milan teams (considered the best sides at the time) is it.
    ..”

    No matter how you spin it, he won the Uefa Champions Leage with Porto (a club of considerably less monetary and player resources than Arsenal), he won the Uefa Cup with Porto the year before too, two finals that Wenger has failed to win. You can qualify all you want, it’s just facts.

    And just so you know there’s a massive ironic error in the list of teams that you say Porto had to beat to win the Champions League… It wasn’t the “pre-spending spree” Chelsea that he beat, because that Chelsea team was eliminated by Monaco, after beating guess who?…..Arsenal. The English club he eliminated along the road to triumph was Machester United, hardly just a little unfancied club.

  • Tasos

    Paul

    Good link.

    For all Arsenals troubles they remain a club with huge potential thanks to the stadium move.

    With the obvious exception of Man Utd, others will have to follow the Arsenal model and that’s when the fun and games will really start.

  • SouthernGunner

    “No matter how you spin it, he won the Uefa Champions Leage with Porto (a club of considerably less monetary and player resources than Arsenal).”

    Not spinning anything, my friend. Have you checked the squad he had at Porto? Carvalho, Deco, Ferreira, Postiga. Not exactly shabby are they?

    United were pretty much the only top side he had to beat, and they were busy still competeing for the league with a little north London team who went unbeaten that season.

    Not taking anything away, it’s still an achievement, but theres a touch of oopportunism about the guys success, wherever he manages. Usually inherits a good side just at the right time, improves them by spending money, takes credit for teams success. Even when at Milan, Serie A wasn’t at it’s peak. He’s yet to build foundations for a clubs future the way other managers have done.

  • Alex James

    Unfortunately, the longer Wenger remains, the abiding images for me are Almunia, Fabianski and the current dodgy keeper, together with all the rest of the bunch of average players who would fail to get into any other top PL side. Add this to the comic defending we see week in and week out, and it is difficult to see Wenger how can be considered to offer anything to the future playing development of the club. All managers eventually lose their appeal, with the exception of Ferguson. George G won two championships, came within a hairsbreadth of going unbeaten throughout the season and secured four cups. All within a period lasting half than the time Wenger has been at the club. He lost the plot in the last two years and so has Wenger in my view. I take no pleasure in saying this but my love of the Arsenal transcendes all other feelings. And don’t worry, the post bag will be full of quality applications for Wenger’s post when he leaves. This is Arsenal we are talking about!

  • SouthernGunner

    Rather all I demonstrated is that what you explicitly inferred that he can only win with spending lots of money on 30M players is simply false.

    The £30 million per player reference was about Fergusson and the Berbatov, Rooney, Ferdinand fees. How evactly is Arsenal supposed to comete with that?

  • aaronz

    Forget that Wenger chose the wrong starting line up, that he got the tactics wrong, that he sat on his hands doing nothing for the majority of the game even with 15minutes to go he was warming up 2 defenders while the Ox warmed the bench….what is A travesty is what every fan and pundit have pointed out today……Jenkinson was one of our best players and looked the greatest threat but Wenger in his infinite wisdom took him off and put his love child in at right back when he has no pace and no crossing ability……UNFORGIVABLE!

  • WalterBroeckx

    This is the link to indeed a very interesting article on the Forbes website. A must read

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/bobbymcmahon/2013/03/03/congratulations-your-takeover-bid-for-arsenal-arrived-only-a-decade-late/

  • aaronz

    Have just literally listened to a very insightful piece of news on BBC Five Live Radio. It transpires that a very very close source to the club has revealed that he has been informed by a number of Arsenal players that after the initial defensive success of the first four weeks of the season, Steve Bould was no longer allowed to take extra defensive training sessions. They were curtailed by Wenger. They were curtailed amid Wenger’s public outburst to the media stating that that was not the case. In other words, the egotistical maniac couldn’t stand Bould taking any credit for the teams defensive success (We conceded one goal in our first four games of the season) issued the curtail on the defensive sessions and then lied through his pigging teeth to the media when questioned about it. THAT, my fellow Arsenal supporters, is the kind of moron we have in charge of our beloved football club.

    I guess it’s high time the focus shifted from this joke of a manager, I cant wait to see what team he plays against Swansea…Im not even thinking of bayern, they can play their under 16’s and still go through against this pile of shit that we have. Wenger’s a goner so why waste any more ammo on him? Any idea that his departure is all that’s required to get the Club out of the fix is unduly optimistic: it might help but that is all one can say. And if the financial policy of the regime remains the same, then we may be in an even worse predicament. This is not a defence of Wenger, merely a statement that he is only a part of the problem. The man who has Arsenal’s fate in his hands is Kroenke: he pulls all the strings, he makes all the key decisions. The man is an enigma: nobody knows his true motives. All we have to guide us is past history, here with Arsenal, back home with his sports outfits in the States. Here, there can be no argument: Arsenal’s decline has accelerated in the 4 years he has been on BoD and now as owner. His record over there is mediocre at best. To get our Club back on track will take a massive investment – and quickly – otherwise negative feedback kicks in. It’s already starting – the attendances from now on will be well down. This summer is probably the most vital off-season in Arsenal history. It will decide whether we go forwards or backwards.

  • SouthernGunner

    “It wasn’t the “pre-spending spree” Chelsea that he beat, because that Chelsea team was eliminated by Monaco, after beating guess who?…..Arsenal.”

    It was their first season under Abramovich, and he’d not spent nearly as much that year as he did following seasons, so actually it was “pre-spending spree” as that only really kicked in under Mourinho.

    Try not to feel too sorry for the Gunners, they won the league that year unbeaten, managed by who? AW, the man quite a few on this site don’t seem to like very much.

  • A. Stewart

    “Have you checked the squad he had at Porto? Carvalho, Deco, Ferreira, Postiga. Not exactly shabby are they?

    As with Inter, the argument was never about having “shabby” teams, rather that he won without spending City-Madrid-esque spending slpurges as you inferred.
    Most of those players went on to become household names and transferred to big(ger) clubs because of what they did under Mourinho at Porto. None of that changes that he won the CL with a side of considerably less monetary resources than AFC, and without spending huge on transfers.

    “It was their first season under Abramovich, and he’d not spent nearly as much that year as he did following seasons, so actually it was “pre-spending spree” as that only really kicked in under Mourinho.

    Try not to feel too sorry for the Gunners, they won the league that year unbeaten, managed by who? AW, the man quite a few on this site don’t seem to like very much.
    ..”

    You’re all over the place friend. You tried to downplay his CL with Porto by listing teams that you inferred weren’t really anything that special at the time. You incorrectly included Chelsea in that list (since Porto never played Chelsea), and took the time to point out that Chelsea (in an effort to further downgrade his accomplishment with Porto) was “the pre-big spending version”. The halarious irony of it, was that Chelsea side you tried to downplay eliminated Arsenal, and the English side Porto eliminated was arguably the biggest club in world football, Manchester United.

    Not sure what you’re missing here to be honest. You’re error was as plain as day.

    Not sure what all the rest of what you said about being unbeaten etc, and feeling sorry for AFC, has to do with what we were discussing. It’s pretty clear and simple what we were discussing with each other.

  • A. Stewart

    “The £30 million per player reference was about Fergusson and the Berbatov, Rooney, Ferdinand fees. How evactly is Arsenal supposed to comete with that?
    ..”

    Why are you revising history and moving the goal posts, the discussion I was having with you was not about how AFC is to compete with that….the discussion you and I have been having is based on you saying this…:

    “Think Fergie or Mourinho would have all throse trophies without £30 million to spend on players?”

    To which I simply showed you FACTS of how Mourinho has won 2 champions leagues without that type of spending.

    What are you not grasping?

  • dan

    This season we’ve broke records.

    Man city recorded it’s 1st victory in PL at the Emirates.

    FA Cup under Wenger we never lost to lower league opposition and then came Blackburn.

    Milk/Carling Cup (what ever you want to call it), used to be played out with our so called exceptional youth, hence these boys go out to Bradford.

    CL we witnessed Arsenal lose to not to one but two Germans side at the Emirates.

    So question yourself will we qualify for CL next season?

  • A. Stewart

    “Not taking anything away, it’s still an achievement, but theres a touch of oopportunism about the guys success, wherever he manages. Usually inherits a good side just at the right time, improves them by spending money, takes credit for teams success. Even when at Milan, Serie A wasn’t at it’s peak. He’s yet to build foundations for a clubs future the way other managers have done.
    ..”

    Actually you are trying to do just that, “take something away”…twisting youself into all sorts of qualifiers because you cannot deny the facts, such as now “Serie A wasn’t at it’s peak”…none of that changes he won the CL with inter (including knocking out Barca, good enough?) without spending loads, well nothing really (given the net)., and making smart acquisitions of cheap unwanted players that any other big club could have had.

    Regarding building foundations for a club’s future etc..? Again you’re injecting something that had NOTHING to do with the point of what we were discussing, the point was that he has actually won without spending loads like Chelsea/Madrid. Regardless, what does him not laying foundations etc has to do with his valuation..All managers are different, and Mourinho’s focus is on winning and winning quickly and managing a first team..others like Wenger focus on things well beyond just that, so? I don’t think Mourinho has a desire to lay foundations etc, that’s just not him, and has little to do with how effective a manager he is. He sees his job as managing a first team, Wenger sees his job as arguably building a club. There’s no requirement that a great manager can only be considered great if he has influence in all aspects of a club’s operations.

  • aaronz

    TO be honest who in their right mind still trusts wenger in the transfer market>? How many players has he ruined?

  • Tasos

    @aaronz

    “TO be honest who in their right mind still trusts wenger in the transfer market?”

    Earlier you slagged Wenger off for not leaving Carl Jenkinson on the pitch against Spurs.

    “what is A travesty is what every fan and pundit have pointed out today……Jenkinson was one of our best players and looked the greatest threat but Wenger in his infinite wisdom took him off and put his love child in at right back when he has no pace and no crossing ability……UNFORGIVABLE!”

    Don’t you think that’s a bit self-contradictory?

  • dan

    Wenger will get us in the CL, just cool down and think about it.

  • SouthernGunner

    The inclusion of Chelsea facing Porto was a mistake (easy to make when there’s a lot of comments made on this side.). But in reference to Arsneals CL defeat to CFC, that defeat only happened because we were in a competative battle with United at the time for the league (Unbeaten season.), so no CL for Arsenal that year but not a bad consolation prize either.

    I’m sorry, but no matter how much you disagree, there’s no irony in downplaying that years CL win. Most of the top sides from England, Spain & Italy (i.e. the favorites to win the comp) were all knocked out in the final 16 & quarter finals, and of the 5-6 favs he only faced one of them. You can’t honestly say Porto didn’t have any luck with their draw/fixtures in avoiding most of the top teams? Porto’d hardly faced a top side throughout the knockout stages, barring United, who as stated before were too busy closely competing for PL honours with Arsenal at the time (which AFC won under Wenger!).

    The Portuguese & Italian leagues at his time at Porto & Milan
    weren’t the most competative and so weren’t difficult to run away with. So yes, a touch of opportunism and enough money to out spend rivals is how he gets his success. It’s a pattern he’s followed at all his clubs.

    When more and more clubs follow this buisiness model, then it doesn’t mean a good manager should be sacked from his north London club for not following suit.

    As said before, none of the potential managerial replacements you or anyone else has mentioned is better than what we currently have in AW, flaws and all.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thanks for the Forbes link Walter, clear info from an independent source. As for the bid, the biggest pile of pony I have heard for some time. If you wanted a nice shiny car in a showroom priced at around …say fifty grand if you were a very lucky person, would you then march in offering eighty grand, putting out press stories insulting the current owner in the process? Absolute bollox, the lot of it.
    This is a very very frustrating season, we have fallen in just about every key game, and may even continue to do so. But, in a lot of them, we often seem just a pass away from glory. We have taken some teams apart. Our defence has been suspect, stories about bould feuds…..maybe true, but I am going to look to the obvious. That spuds game was decided over three minutes, partly at fault were a defensive quartet who had only played together once. Familiarity is a serious issue. We also needed another top striker, to scare opponents, we have usually had this in prev years. Then, the holding mf, or whatever they are called. I believe this is the cardinal error of the season, that has led to defensive inbalance, goals against us and a lack of confidence. We make far too many mistakes with not having a mf tracking back. Song was sold, I believe wenger tried to buy cabaye in the summer and Capoue in jan, for whatever reason, neither worked, nor have the alternatives against certain teams. To me , this has been our biggest failing. Very easily fixed this summer. Believe me, we will be much stronger next year….but some may not want to hear that.

  • SouthernGunner

    A Stewart,

    We seem to differ in the definition of a good manager. Mine is one who does good for the club he works for, not himself or his CV. Fact is Wenger has done more for his club and it’s future than Mourinho has for any of his. So no, I’m not “injecting something that had NOTHING to do with the point of what we were discussing”, as you put it.

    Mourinho hasn’t had to deal with the building of a new stadium and all the constraints that this entails. He hasn’t helped shape & steer a clubs future into a healthy direction.

  • WalterBroeckx

    aaronz,
    was stewart robson on the radio again then? Oh well what a coincidence….

    And aaronz congratulations for not obeying the clearly stated rules.

  • WalterBroeckx

    No need to answer aaronz. Or Nannu. Or Wrighty. Sharing the same computer? Or being the same person?
    How does it feel to actually support what your other ego is saying?

    A warning to others who try the same trick: you will be unmasked sooner or later.

    Sorry for the inconvenience my dear other Untolders.

  • SouthernGunner

    BTW the Madrid side he inherited wasnt cheap or bad, with two former world players of the year (Kaka & CR7). His “cheap unwanted aquisitions” are’t bad either. Good manager or not, seems to always need lots of money and/or best players.

  • WalterBroeckx

    As for my posting from 11.17 it is clear that some persons with an agenda are trying to pretend they are with more than just the one person they are.

    I will try to check a few others today or tomorrow. You know the ones we never see when we win but who are always fast on here when we lose.

  • Eddy

    I agree with the last observation that the doom mongers tend to flock to this site when things are going poorly but rest assured,if the club were more competitive and nearer the top of the Premiership and still in the Cups,various other negative,anti Arsenal sites would be reminded of their perceived miss judgement and consequently be accused of trouble making.The trouble is,a lot of them are being proved right.Even the repulsive Myles Palmer,with his stories,some time ago,of London Colney being a pampered environment for overpaid,underachievers has a disturbing ring to it.I was told today by a very good source that Arsenal do very,very little training to defend corners and also very little practice learning the art of defending when the team have lost possession.Apparently we spend the majority of the time learning to keep the ball moving quickly in offensive situations.This stinks of arrogance and all tallies in with the amateurish way we concede goals from ridiculous situations.Iam afraid this website only opens itself up to counter arguments when continually pointing to Arsene’s previous success when rejecting the idea of sacking him…Brian Clough was Nottingham Forest’s most successful Manager,a genius,who won back to back European Cups but eventually took Forest down whilst drinking himself into an early grave.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Myles Palmer….come on eddy, you need better sources of info than that….the guy is not exactly objective when it comes to wenger…and we can guess why. I await clear evidence of any comparison whatsoever between wenger now and a great man with a drink problem I charge of a declining club who got relegated?

  • Adam

    Mourinho is a Gestifute man. The only reason Porto won in Europe was their ability to indulge in Third party ownerships, that’s how they remain competitive.

  • Eddy

    Mandy Dodd;that was my exact point though,as I said “even repulsive individuals such as Myles..” but their observations re our pampered overpaid underachievers,coached by an individual who refused to coach the basic art of defending,or let anyone else do it and take the credit,are proving to be suspiciously accurate .

  • Eddy

    It isn’t only bitter ex employees like Stuart Robson that are now(altho not so publicly)lifting the lid on our Manager’s lack of attention to detail in the art of defending,whilst training.The person who told me about this,is not a Stuart Robson or a Myles Palmer and is a loyal ex employee.It is very worrying.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Well well well……rats are out. All Tony was doing is questioning the authenticity of the ‘takeover bid, news and here we go again…..’Wenger out’ agenda is being discussed.

    Mr Wenger is a tactical genius. He just saved ARSENAL from the wealthy arab consortium. As they clearly warned us, any “decline” will prevent them from bidding.
    March 4th double celebration. Mr Norris saved us a century ago and now Mr Wenger does it.

    Why would any ‘arab consortium’ try a takeover of ARSENAL? Doesnt make sense. And financially too. If they invest in lesser clubs, they can have a bigger transfer budget as they’ll have to pay less for the ownership.

  • Andy Kelly

    For those who continually chant the mantra “Wenger doesn’t do defensive coaching”, how do you know?

    Have you attended every training session this season? Or do you just quote third parties, such as Stewart Robson, who don’t know and try to earn a living from a game that they left behind many years ago as they have no coaching or management skills?

    And for those saying that Wenger should use Steve Bould’s qualities as a defensive coach, how do you know that he has these qualities? He was a good defender but that doesn’t make him an excellent defensive coach. Have any of you watched his youth teams over the last 5 years?

    Too many people make too many assumptions and then quote them as facts.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Arsenal13, are you serious? So almost certain non qualification for the CL next year has saved us from some unknown consortium which may or may not exist. A tactical genius, sounds like a madman to me.

    Which manager in their right mind would want his team to decline to halt an unsubstantiated bid for a club he doesn’t even own, though he acts like he does. Utter insanity.

    @Mandy, we maybe stronger next year but if we don’t make the CL I’m not sure that’s a given. And if reports are true about Wenger’s complete disregard for defensive duties then the same mistakes will be repeated again as they have been for several seasons now.

  • Noosa

    Yes, it’s a bad day and I still hang over from 2:1 result. We’re 7 points behind. But we have 10 game to go; if we can turn 13 point to win the race. 7 points is much easier…

  • chibyke

    Look @ us…bringing into focus wenger’s extraordinary achievements in the “past” extolling his “other success stories” build a new stadium,yay! Kept us”competitive”(according to wenger) inspite the lack of funds.yay! Oh and kept making profit.whoop whoop.all the while ignoring the big elephant in the room. We aint competing! Be sincere,when last did any of us ever truly believe we could win the league?UCL? FA cup? Even the carling these days.we have lost the fear factor.the psychological edge that gives u half a point b4 the match even begins.(anyone remember man utd beating us with a team consisting of 8 defenders?) And then wenger’s press conferences after a defeat? Honestly it’s a insult,a treatise in self delusion and complicated confusion. And Walter.do u know why people flock here after a defeat? You somehow manage to wring out positives from even the most dire of performances. And when u can’t? You promptly take us back in time when things were Way way worse! Or even more hilarious analyse how the referee for our next game is likely to perfom. Painful. My point finally? Wenger cannot attain the level of ruthlessness needed to be relevant in modern football.it is simply not in his nature.he needs to leave or move upstairs at best.it’s obvious.but he seems oblivious to it.

  • Eddy

    Robert Cook,your arguement is slightly illogical,as you ask whether anyone knows if Steve Bould has the qualities to be a defensive coach…which begs the question;if he doesn’t,why did we give him the job of assistant coach in the first place?As I said,it is not just bitter ex employees making these claims and as Patrick Vieira said “the truth is on the pitch”

  • Mandy Dodd

    Maybe wenger thought too much emphasis was damaging the attacking side of our game? Just been reading arseblog and arse2mouse on that very subject. The former is saying basically our players are just not good enough at the moment to make up for who we have lost. I still think not replacing song was the mistake of the season. As for defence, doubt if wenger has ever changed his approach significantly, but it takes a lot of time together to build a proper defence, that unit from the weekend was incredibly inexperienced, one has played just a handful of games and does not speak English, therein lies the problem….or at least I think, lack of familiarity, especially needed when playing a high line. Defence is an issue but I don’t buy this Conley crèche stuff, think if anything, we have a bit of a sink or swim culture. As other articles this morning have already stated, if wenger has stopped working the defence due to jealousy over credit given to bould, he has put himself under a hell of a lot of pressure in doing so. This latest source is a bbc journalist. But, like the bid story, very easy to put out there at the moment. None of us attending training, so it is possible these stories have some truth by the fact they cannot be completely ruled out. But if wenger is really behaving like this, the board should be doing something, if he is harming the club in such a way, they should reign him in or ultimately sack him, yet they do not, they are the problem. If wenger is doing all this and they do not act, they are costing themselves a fortune, that is not how American businessmen act. But I just don’t buy it, think the reality is a different version.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Above…emphasis on defence

  • Tasos

    Mandy

    Agree. Building a defence takes time. The frustrating thing is many of the goals we do concede are avoidable even though we don’t actually have a bad defensive record.

    Before Sundays match only one Premier League team had conceded fewer goals than Arsenal and believe or not Arsenal had, at the time, the best defensive record away from home in the league.

    You simply cannot hold those stats if you don’t coach the defence, as some suggest.

  • Andy Kelly

    Eddy

    Bould isn’t assistant coach, he is assistant manager. Boro Primorac is the coach and doesn’t have an assistant.

    See how easy it is for mis-information to get into the system?

  • ARSENAL 13

    @ Mr Cook,

    Well, I wasnt serious at that part.
    BUT you “Which manager in their right mind would want his team to decline”, finally have something good to say about Wenger. SO you do think that Mr Wenger is doing the job.

    BUT you hope we dont make it to the CL next season. May be we wont, or may be we’ll finish 3rd again this year. You can still cheer for the team and hope for the best.

  • Eddy

    Andy,assistant coach or assistant manager,so what,it’s a title?You keep on harking on about mis-information but as I said in my first comment,I have been told by someone who used to be employed by Arsenal(not via any misleading media outlets) that we hardly place any emphasis on defending in training and there is also far too little time spent rehearsing the taking of corners and defending them.Hence the fact that our corners rarely threaten.

  • Asif

    Rupert is a Chelsea fan…don’t respond to him! he was born upside down and is full of negativity…

  • Rupert Cook

    @Arsenal13, no I hope we do make the CL. I think it’s vital. And I have serious doubts about Wenger’s capabilities, they seem to have disappeared but I hope he finds them again, immediately.

  • uk

    @eddy,
    Rupert didnt say that. He’s much too intelligent to indulge in such rubbish talk
    And i hear people talking about the gooners who only come on d’site when arsenal loses, well, thats the regular poster you’re talking about people, ‘cos arsenal seem to lose all the time.

  • Andy Kelly

    Eddy

    How do you explain the fact that Arsenal have one of the best defences in the Premier League this season and have caught more opponents offside than any other team this season? How can the offside figures be so good without a degree of training (unless all of our opponents have Kevin Campbell up front)?

    I’m not saying that our defence is fantastic but people have faded and incomplete memories about how good the defence was under George Graham. Back then it was mostly highlights that were selected by BBC & ITV. Now, we can watch the whole 90 minutes of every game and every move gets dissected by a panel of “experts”.

    The defence under George Graham was always susceptible to conceding stupid goals and was known for some nightmares: 2-6 v Man Utd 1991, 2-4 v Norwich 1992 (4 goals shipped in one half!), 0-3 v fat Mick Quinn. All at home. These, and many others, tend to get forgotten when it’s time to criticise today’s team. Go and look at them on YouTube and ask where the defence was.

    Steve Bould’s job is to assist Arsene Wenger. Boro Primorac & Neil Banfield are there to coach the players. That is what is in a job title. There is no evidence that Steve Bould’s has any qualities as a defensive coach & it’s not his job to coach the players.

  • uk

    @A.stewart
    I laud your noble effort. By try as hard as u can to educate some novices, they will continually want to wriggle out. Thats because for a lot, “ignorance is bliss”. You would have thought someone with next to no knowledge on football matters will appreciate your taking out time to lecture him, but well, you will win some and lose some

  • Eddy

    Andy;I was at most of the games you refer to,in George Graham’s reign and have no fear,my memory hasn’t been warped and turned me into a “would never have happened in George’s day”,type character who forget that he stole from the club and left us with a very average midfield in 17th place.My point,forgetting Steve Bould’s position in the equation here,is that,for the last few years we clearly are not learning from some fundamental floors in our defensive set up.These figures are backed up today on Arseblog,which worryingly shows that we are more suseptible at the back but far less clinical up front.These are worrying times for me,as the Board haven’t got the drive or knowledge to spot fundamental floors in our set up,the biggest of which is a ridiculously high wage bill in comparison to the talent we have on show.There is so much wastage in our squad that eats into our net spend and Iam not surprised at owner’s unwillingless to increase this wage bill before we get rid of some of the deadwood.I don’t have to name them and their salaries but it is such a waste of money that could have been spent improving our competitiveness.

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    Did you read Cultured Left Foot’s analysis of the defense:
    “…If the problem was one player, there is a straightforward answer. When it is a malaise spreading through several players, it is a fundamental issue. Tactically, the defence was set naively. Knowing that one of the central pairing is not the quickest, knowing that Spurs use runners from midfield, why play with a high line? Why not replicate the opposition when facing Arsenal, play deep and keep the ball in front of you. I am all in favour of playing to your own strengths but to ignore the same in your opponent is a failing.” What does this say to you?

  • bob

    I’m getting a duplicate error message from UA Admin, and I haven’t even mentioned the name “Alex Song” This is a new posting, so I hope it gets by your faulty checking for duplications (which is understandable but annoyingly wrong):

    Mandy Dodd,
    Did you read Cultured Left Foot’s analysis of the defense:
    “…If the problem was one player, there is a straightforward answer. When it is a malaise spreading through several players, it is a fundamental issue. Tactically, the defence was set naively. Knowing that one of the central pairing is not the quickest, knowing that Spurs use runners from midfield, why play with a high line? Why not replicate the opposition when facing Arsenal, play deep and keep the ball in front of you. I am all in favour of playing to your own strengths but to ignore the same in your opponent is a failing.” What does this say to you?

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    On the specific defensive flaw:
    When AW said in the pre-game press conference that we would not do anything special about Bale, did his wide-open run through on Sunday demonstrate that AW was true to his word? or was that down to the players’ inability/failure to communicate? Or should there not have been a high-line played with our current personnel (as CLF (see above) indicated)?
    I’ll be eager to see what Adrian Clarke analyses when he does the breakdown on Arsenal Player. There needs to be accountability for such a back to back failing.
    Of course there’s the other side of the coin – the lack of clinical ability to finish the too-few opportunities.
    And all this with a week off to focus and make it come right.
    Is there any reason to feel surprised that the vultures continue to circle?

  • A. Stewart

    “We seem to differ in the definition of a good manager. Mine is one who does good for the club he works for, not himself or his CV. Fact is Wenger has done more for his club and it’s future than Mourinho has for any of his. So no, I’m not “injecting something that had NOTHING to do with the point of what we were discussing”, as you put it.

    Mourinho hasn’t had to deal with the building of a new stadium and all the constraints that this entails. He hasn’t helped shape & steer a clubs future into a healthy direction.
    ..”

    Regarding this: “Mine is one who does good for the club he works for, not himself or his CV.” Winning trophies (and the financial windfalls that ensue) for the clubs he works for I’m sure is considered as having done “good” for them, their history/legacy and is appreciated by their respective fan-bases.

    Regarding your first line, that’s incorrect. We don’t disagree on the definition (criteria) of a good manager, rather we seems to disagree that there’s only one way a manager can be classed as good.

    IMO There can be good managers with either short term or long term visions, ones that delve more into youth development, versus ones that only focus on first 11 affairs etc. The difference between me and you it seems is that I can appreciate all types (including Wenger and Mourinho) I simply don’t think that a good manager HAS to be involved in as many aspects of the club from a holistic point of view as Wenger has to be considered good, I don’t think this is necessarily a requirement of manager, nevermind a good one . Similarly, I’m open to all types of football, and don’t think there’s one true way, or only one beautiful type, I can appreciate a Barcelona tiki taka 90% possession 6-0 master class, just as much as a back to the wall park the bus and hold on for dear life to a 1-0 lead and block everything defensive masterclass against a far superior opponent.

    The beauty of football for me lies in its diversity, and this goes from players, to playing style and down to managers and their styles (per our discussion), I suspect that is how we actually differ here, as opposed to differing on narrow definitions of what criteria constitutes a good manager or not.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Bob, yes, read that with interest, that blog is one of my daily reads. Arseblog also interesting today. Certainly not all is working at the moment. I do not doubt this team are trying their hardest, but maybe either they are not suited, or lack confidence to be suited to Wengers chosen patterns of play. One way to defend is to press high up, we did this with good effect for half an hour, but never seem to be able to keep it up. The back 4 were at fault, but on both occasions, nobody pressed or tracked back. This, along with communication and co-ordination is essential when playing our risky high line. I have seen our keeper want to kill Arteta especially on several occasions this season. This defence are left too exposed for the line we play. AVB has been hailed a tactical genius recently, but all he has done is revert from the fancy formations of the start of the year to to arrys back 4, why cos the players are more familiar with it. Do not think wenger is so accommodating, and he is right 442 is not sustainable if you want to be the best these days

  • A. Stewart

    BTW the Madrid side he inherited wasnt cheap or bad, with two former world players of the year (Kaka & CR7). His “cheap unwanted aquisitions” are’t bad either.”

    Who said it was? Who said Porto was, who said Inter was, why do you keep raising this pointless stuff, moving the goal posts and inserting criteria that had absolutely nothing to do with what we were talking about.

    “Good manager or not, seems to always need lots of money and/or best players.
    ..”

    Rather no, there’s no “seems” here, I detailed to you that he actually didn’t need lots of money (in a Chelsea/Madrid sense as you inferred) to win before. With Porto, he’s won the CL with less resources than AFC, and won it with a negative net spend on transfers with Inter.

    And there you go again, adding in some other qualifier at the end with “and/or best players”, which had nothing to do with what we were talking about. However, regardless, his Porto players were really not considered amongst the best household names when they won, and they went on to elite clubs and became big name elite players because of their triumphs with him at Porto not the other way around. And for the umpteenth time at Inter, Lucio was considered washed up and unwanted at Bayern and moved for next to nothing, Sneijder was unwanted at Madrid and available to anyone for a cheap 13M, Thiago Motta is a solid dependable player but hardly considered then or since “the best” and was essentially free, Milito also was essentially free, and was considered a good solid striker at best, but became amongst the best and elite under Mourinho at Inter..These along with Eto’o who was unwanted at Barca were the players he went for that all played a critical role in his title winning side.

    None of what you are saying is correct. He’s won without spending Ogliarch type Chelsea/Madrid-esque money, and he’s won with teams composed of many key players and first choice starters who played critical roles that were only considered genuinely elite AFTER working and triumphing with him, not before.

  • SouthernGunner

    Sorry to say again, but your facts on Mourinho’s success have only told half the story. The same case goes with your argument to replace Arsenal’s manger.

    You say he won the CL with Porto, I say a very good Porto side with several internationals & a club with more resources than the average Portuguese side won the CL largely by avoiding several of the favorites (one of whom was Arsenal). That not taking anything away, as your accusing me of doing, thats putting your facts into a larger context. Barring United, you could say Porto were favorites on paper in every other fixture in the knock out stages. Just look at all the other teams that eached the quaters /semi’s that year and argue that isn’t the case. Same goes again for the Inter side. Even in ITV’s documentry on the man, it was said that Serie A wasn’t in a good state, and the move to Inter was a surprise to a lot of people (his prefered club was apparently Barca).

    See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZKSXoVHyNM

    Same goes with the case to replace Wenger. For a club to have managed to compete with several oligarchs as well as we have with limited finances of our is an achievement in itself. It’s not silverware, but then as this blog points out we all see that football isn’t always as level a playing field as it ought. There are plenty of managers who would have fared less well than what AW has done.

    Had Wenger spent the same kind of money as a lot of others, brought in all his first choice targets & still failed to win in 8 years, then you’d have a case in calling for his replacement. But the irony is the opposite is true, he’s gotten his teams to several finals and semis during that time, probably overachiving with the little he’s has. It makes no sense to seek a replacement now, especially right before the club starts coming into more money through sponsership deals and hopefully CL money.

    As said before, it’s doubtful this conversation would be happening had we not lost on Sunday to Spurs. Saying hardly a constructive word said about the club by a lot of people in the last few days, it’s just criticism for it’s own sake, and not as some say, just a difference of opinion.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Mandy Dodd: “I still think not replacing song was the mistake of the season.”

    I think the selling of Song for no good reason in the first place was the mistake of the season (anyone surprised we haven’t heard one single report/source/clarification of Song’s alleged bad behaviour that suddenly popped out of nowhere to justify his selling, since?)

    In my opinion, the second mistake of the season was gambling on Diaby to fill the midfield void something Wenger admitted to practically in verbatim.

    It doesn’t take being in management for 30 years, making 10,000 substitutions, being inside Colney training daily, or knowing Wenger/Diaby personally to make the extremely reasonable prediction that a player who had injury issues from his Auxerre days, who had his ankle snapped some 7 years ago and has had even more injury issues almost seasonally since (and regardless of injury who at the best of descriptions is an inconsistent player when actually fit for a decent amount of time) would likely suffer injury-related problems again this season.

    Alex Song was and is more creative than anyone else we have in midfield now, and yes imo, that does include Wilshere (until if/when he develops that part of his game). Sure Van Persie had a lot to do with his numbers last season, but even prior to that season for all his faults Song was showing his then raw talent for surprising creativity and key passing. In addition, to being the most creative, he was also our best physical midfielder with the best defensive abilities.

    People say he was not disciplined, but just like this season Arteta was our holding midfielder last season, NOT Song, who was deployed in an advanced AM role and who did well in the role he was tasked with. Doing what he was instructed/encouraged to do (versus what fans think he should be/do) is actually being disciplined not the opposite.

    Then the justification that somehow he was voted one of the worst signings in Spain (half way through the season mind you) by some newspaper readers, as a justification for the sale on this end, was painfully silly.

    First off, it didn’t matter what he was doing for them, it matters how good he was for us! And in a familiar system, club, country, league, language etc one can make the reasonable assumption that he would only continue to improve more with us as he was doing almost every season.

    Yet any reasonable football mind would (as UA reasonably does with our new signings) say that they need time to bed in at a new club, especially when in Song’s case going to Barca meant new country/league, new language, and immediately exponentially much less playing time because of all the world class personnel already there. Yet somehow that very reasonable patience we afford our new signings wasn’t afforded to Song’s situation by UA’s eagerness to justify and defend his baffling out of nowhere selling, because of some readers in a Spanish newspaper voting him (who has played sparingly) as a bad signing only about half way through his first season at that point.

    Anyway as an FYI, Song has received very good reviews for his recent performances and has been hailed for his high tackle rate, and very high passing rate in recent games.

  • SouthernGunner

    UK

    I doubt most who post here are footballing experts. You’ve got a qualified ref writing on this site & people still take up arguments with him for goodness sake. It’s easy to call it a matter of opinion when it suits you, and accuse others of ignorance when you disagree. But hey, “Wenger out” & all that jazz.

  • uk

    Stewart, save ur breadth. Ur pouring water on duck’s back

  • A. Stewart

    I stopped reading in detail at this: “The same case goes with your argument to replace Arsenal’s manger.”

    I’m actually open to Wenger staying, and open to considering him going, and have said as much.

    Skimmed the rest, regarding Mourinho no matter the myriad of qualifiers you choose to inject, none of that changes the incorrect nature of what you said/inferred in that he can and only has won with spending big money (In a Chelsea/Madrid-esque fashion). He has won (including the CL twice) without near that level of spending (or resources). Continue qualifying as much as you want.

    Skimmed the stuff on Wenger, honestly, all of your last 3 paragraphs is a conversation you clearly haven’t been having with me. It has precious little/practically nothing to do with the crux of what you and I actually have been exchanging in discussion since yesterday. I’m not sure why you keep bringing this stuff up.

    To clarify, once again, the main issue we have been talking about is whether Mourinho has “only won” (<- your original wording by the way) with spending big money.

    I'm really not sure what you are missing here.

  • A. Stewart

    @ SouthernGooner, enjoyed the exchange, but perhaps I can suggest we stop wasting the blog’s time on this. We won’t agree, and we’ve strayed off topic for too long.

  • SouthernGunner

    Likewise.

    Look forward to your future posts.

  • A. Stewart

    Lastly I have reviewed every single posting I have made on this thread…so regarding this.

    “The same case goes with your argument to replace Arsenal’s manger.”

    I haven’t made that argument. Stop inventing things.

  • A. Stewart

    Look forward to your future posts as well my friend.

  • @Tony you forgot to tell the telegraph and the whorelists that The Arsenal is the only team in England still in the Champions league as the so called big shit teams are out ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

  • Asif

    Yeah…it all evens out in the end!