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Respect; rather forgotten but still needed

 

By Walter Broeckx and Tony Attwood

We don’t mind free speech. In fact we are great admirers and defenders of free speech. We’re all in favour of anyone who can come up with an argument about some things.

What we are against is people who think that arguments by their very nature contain abusive language.  What we are against is people who think that insulting players and the manager is an argument.

So for all those who don’t understand the message completely we have taken something we saw on twitter.

And if you can understand it remember that this is what we will use as our guidelines to allow your comments. So if you want to say something bad about a player or the manager make sure you show respect and construct and argument preferably with some evidence. If you cannot do this we will not show respect for your opinion.

We accept we all can be down after a defeat. We can accept real supporters being really down after losing the NLD.

But we cannot accept the total lack of respect shown by some people who claim to be supporters of Arsenal.

And if you don’t like it, fine, because there are many other sites that can be used for negative comments combined with abuse. But on this site we will always show respect for the players and for the most successful manager this club has ever had. We still honour Herbert Chapman – indeed Untold was directly responsible for having a statue of Herbert Chapman at the end of the South Bridge.

Well for those who can look further than our last game I can tell you that if you have the luck to still be alive in some 40-50 years you will see that the name of Wenger will be honoured in the same way as the name of Herbert Chapman is honoured.  (If you are a denier of Wenger’s success just have a look at the analysis of Arsenal, manager by manager, on the Arsenal History Society site).

If you still can’t see what we are arguing, you do need to look further than the last could of years. Hell you could really try to understand what he has been fighting against all those years. A fight he didn’t have to make. He could have walked out years ago. He could have walked away when he knew the restrictions he had to face when the club was building the Emirates. He didn’t desert us at that moment in time.  He deserves our respect.

He could have walked out and gone to Real Madrid and spent all the money they get from various sources that are never quite clear.   He didn’t do that and he stayed and kept us near the top with no money available and with a bunch of young boys.  Fighting against all the money in the world. For doing so, he deserves our respect.

And if all those things don’t matter for you, that is fine, we cannot demand that you can look further than your own nose. We cannot demand that you can look at the full picture and how the football landscape has changed since the Russian entered the playing field with his money.   You think it is Untold, and those who support the position put here, who are short-sighted or blind.  We think the reverse, and put forward the evidence to suggest why.

And if you stopped believing in Wenger, fine. Nobody can force you to believe in him. But if you think that gives you an ultimate right to disrupt debate here by insulting him, then you have to do it somewhere else because this blog was set up to discuss matters openly, in a non-abusive manner.

And if you want to repeat the media propaganda about 8 years without a trophy you should remember that without Wenger we might have been looking at 16 years without a trophy – or indeed following the history of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, and Manchester United, with occasional visits to the second division (or in the case of Manchester City, the third division).  And we wouldn’t have an unbeaten season to remember.

The only reason we had success in the last 16 years is Wenger.  For that he deserves our respect. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Our view, for what it is worth, is that the only way to overcome the negative, is by thinking positive.

The books…

The sites from the same team…

 

 

 

99 comments to Respect; rather forgotten but still needed

  • John

    Well said! “Fans” who descend to the level of tabloid bile should not expect a platform for regurgitating such rubbish.

    I am proud of Arsenal’s record, its style of play and its manager. Would not exchange it for Chelsea and Man City success through financial doping, or Man Utd success through influencing FA and PGMOL. As for Spurs, they may have their moments, but our future is better.

  • malaysian gunner

    John,I don’t agree our future is better. The table doesn’t lie. I know it aint finished yet but with the gunners in this type of form,you can’t blame gunners fans for being pessimistic.Spurs are in the driving seast and unless the gunners can start a winning run of at least 6 successive matches,it’s virtually over for the cl.

  • lanre

    oh thank God some sanity! I’m worried about even arseblog these days. We as a club seemed to have picked up some very angry ignorant illiterate yob supporters. Wenger’s problems and thus Arsenal’s stem from a lack of money that 123 million is not for player spending and clearly the board give Wenger only a certain amount to spend (very little) that being said I’m baffled by our wage structure, I understand why, it being linked to the whole youth project etc but I do think we need to at least tweek it a bit.

  • GoonerDog

    Nobody is denying Wenger’s success but this site is in complete denial of Arsenal’s downward spiral over the last 8 years. Stop blaming “the Russian” for matters completely within our control. The Russian does not coach our ‘defence’ or make us play with a high line against Bale or buy Chamack, Schillaci etc.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Goonerdog,
    If you would think deeper you would come to the conclusion that it is in fact “the Russian” that makes us buy the players you mentioned.
    Just try to use your brain and you will see.

  • Dominic

    With regards to Arsenal’s current problems we should send a message to Wenger paraphrasing Bill Clinton, “It’s the defense, stupid”.
    Fix how we defend, and we will be back as serious contenders.
    Don’t fix the defense and we might not even be looking at Europa League football in the coming seasons.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Walter, you really think the Russian made us by Santos, Park? Oh and teams like Newcastle and Swansea have better players than those two and yet they have less money than us but the Russian made them buy better players than us too. Bizarre logic.

  • Rupert Cook

    http://angryofislington.com/2013/03/04/the-arsenal-situation-a-shareholder-writes-er-rants/?

    I’d like people to read the tweet in this piece. I’d like a response from the more financially savvy as I want to know how solid the guy’s conclusion is.

  • Madhu

    Hi Iam a gooner from India. I agree with you, but here are my arguments against your respect. I do respect wenger for what he has done, but time waits for none.
    1. I don’t have any problems if he doesn’t spend, but my problem is that he has not delivered what he has promised.
    2. he said when we moved to Emirates, that he will use the width of the pitch, but he still plays a MF as left winger and a reluctant winger as the right.
    3. We don’t have wingers who can cross the ball and a striker who can use the crosses
    4. Why cannot a world class coach fix the defence. We had the meanest defence when we played CL final in 2005. The personnel were cygan, sol, toure in the central defence and Flamini as the right back. So why cannot he do the same now, we just keep leaking goals.
    5. Why does he not get the best out of Arshavin, Rosicky and other forgotten ones. In fact Arshavin and Rosicky were very good players and seems to have regressed.
    6. Why do players like Rosicky, Arshavin and Podoloski who have great long rangers are discouraged to shoot from distance. Infact Rosicky scored 2 wonderful long rangers in EURO’s when he had just signed for Arsenal. Arshavin is a waste of talent. Why is he played out of position most times. why cannot he be played in the hole for at least 5 games to see if he can still deliver.
    These are main problems, i don’t have any problem if the coach doesn’t want to spend, but how do you maximize your investments is the question that wenger has delivered on.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree he deserves respect for what he has done and what he is doing. There are things that can be questioned but that is for may. In two of the last three games we played a high line against bale and stuffed them. If we fail this year nobody will question more than wenger. As for the abusive just turn this site into arseblocked in their cases.

  • Mike T

    @Rupert

    An interesting view but from a supporter and not an investor. Why on earth would the major investor dilute his % ownership or agree to put his hand further into his pocket to fund HIS business when HIS business is able , albeit over a period, to fund its ougoings, improve its infastructcure, and deliver a profit without him putting any more money into the pot.

  • Rupert Cook

    I’m not sure Wenger knows what he’s doing anymore. I mean here’s a quote after the game: “We were not efficient in the zones that matters, at the front and at the back.”

    Sounds like a quote from a Comic Strip movie only it was said without a hint of irony. At least it made me chuckle.

    Everything will be fine once we get a proper striker, teach the defence the rudiments of defending and get a decent DM.

  • gunray

    Firstly, I agree that mindless insults on individuals is completely uncalled for.

    Secondly, I can’t believe how deluded some supporters are?

    Tacticaly, Arsene has been getting it wrong for too long. He is not getting the best out of a squad that is obviously average or inept. They are making the same mistakes too much, too often.

    It is this situation that makes good supporters turn sour and bitter.

    These fans feel let down by club, manager and player. Have some compassion. As for fans who make insulting remarks, get a brain.

    The problem will continue though for as long as the operate as a “selling” club and a club that increases the costs for fans through ticket prices

    The are frustrated because the club is not listening to them. If you don’t listen the shouts get louder and more angry!

  • Sammy The Snake

    Respect is nice. I appreciate your words at these crucial times.

    Mutual respect is nice too. Untold needs to respect those that have a different opinion. “Just try to use your brain and you will see” is not very respectful. Is it, Walter?! Packaging anyone with an opposing opinion as AAA is not respectful.

    Winning is nice too. Investment by the owner is nice. An owner that actually cares about the team would be nice.

    Defending properly is nice. Having game-changing players is nice. Having a game plan is nice. Champions League is nice too!

    I have the utmost respect for Wenger and all that he has done for Arsenal, but there is a thing as going overboard. Success in the past is no indication for the future, as has been witnessed by Gooners over the past 8 years.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Anyone else notice things getting steadily worse since stans arrival? Unfortunately wenger takes blame and has shown himself not averse to covering up boardroom failings. The owner shows little ambition or interest but wenger has to buy keep and motivate in that environment I am not excusing some issues but anyone who thinks wenger is the problem needs to look deeper

  • Hmmm so what if we are in the champions league come may what will the Magwampa’s say? Ten more matches to go and its not yet over until its over. Write out out the Gunners at your own peril. No Defender can defend the liner or you call it the second official, no liner can give that at oldtoilet or away and survive but with us you can get away with it and if we complain they say we a moaning,talk of Mwagwapiki characters.

  • GoonerDog

    Oh Walter you talk of respect and as soon as you are hit with truths you reflexively lash out. So the Russian made us buy all the rubbish that we have on the books and can’t shift! Good grief! Still you are the only one with a brain! Comical!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Sammy,
    I always have been told that when you find out something for yourself the reward is bigger and also the understanding.

    I think I preach enough in my articles already 😉
    The answer can be found in who we want to buy and who we buy at the end. The answer is in who we almost reach an agreement with and then to see the Russian or the Sheikh entering the field, double whatever we offer and snatch the player away.
    So we then have to go for 2nd choice (history repeats itself) and we have to go to 3rd option. Hell we could even en up with option 4 or 5 at times because the negotiations with target nr. 1 go on for a while and you don’t negotiate with target 2 at the same time. And when target 1 goes to City, you discover that target 2 has already been bought by Chelsea or Real Madrid or Barcelona or….

    And this struggle is not just with City or Chelsea but when one of the Spanish giants enter we can get the same.
    Remember Ozil? Remember Mata? Hell we even lost Cazorla last season to Malaga with their oil money.

    So that is what I mean that the Russian and the Sheikh make us buy those players. Or we could have bought nobody. And the same would moan about us not buying.

    See, now I am preaching again 😉 And people don’t have to use their own brain again.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mandy, I’m afraid Kronke may well be a cancer to our club. If what that guy tweeted on the link I posted has any veracity to it our future looks quite poor. It seems possible that Kronke’s son will be handed AFC as his little plaything for the foreseeable future and the club will be run with as minimal spend as possible. Who knows?

    As for this mysterious buyer with over a billion to invest I think that won’t come to pass as Kronke doesn’t sell up. I think we’re stuck with the American for a long time.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Nobody has to teach me anything about respect. The abuse I have received on this blog in the past, present and will get in the future that I have let slip by and that in most cases you haven’t noticed because we don’t publish personal attacks is enough for me to know I usually show enough respect.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Walter, yes those damned Russians made Swansea buy Michu, Pool buy Suarez, Newcastle buy Ba. Thank God we got Giroud.

  • J

    I agree, that Wenger deserves that much respect, at least. And criticism should be kept strictly business.

    But we have not played ‘amazing’ football since cesc left, and even then it was getting a little dull. If anything, we are dull, aggravating and sometimes boring. We just pass the ball in the middle, no great goals come to mind, slow, indecisive… it is hardly great entertaining football these days.

    No trophies for 8 years is very bad, but still, I do not think it is the major issue. Losing our best players every year, replacing with players no even half as good and having to pay so much money for the privilege of watching a deteriorating team with worsening players year in year out.

    But the final straw will be, because it is not set in stone just yet, when spurs finish above us. That is one of the reasons the fan base have been so patient. It is not so hard to regresses when you look around you and your doing better then our neighbours. But if that goes, Wenger has no line of defence. Not to mention no champions league. How do you justify the ticket prices?

    He deserves respect like anyone does, but this situation is his doing and the gooner faithful need to know and see that there is accountability at Arsenal fc. There has been a criminal mismanagement of funds and Wenger has invested horribly. Whats more the standard of performance brings his methods, coaching and tactics in question, and fairly so, and he needs to answer for it.

  • chris from Cambridge

    Wenger deserves respect and is indeed thanked for what he did for Arsenal and what he won HISTORICALLY. But NIL respect is deserved for how he has continued in the last few years. He has dug a huge hole for himself and for the club which will take a long time for someone else to overcome.

  • Nakew

    I respect Wenger for what he has done for the club. His style of play made me love arsenal and watch premier league. The current situation will not change that for life. But the success Wenger had for 8 years is now matched by 8 years of failure. Remember it was winning that made him successful. Should we evaluate him now, we need to test his efficiency with the budget he is given. I am afraid he failed us.

  • dan

    The games up, Wenger deserves respect. The fans stuck by the club and the philosophy, the fans always believed in Wenger but now the numbers are declining, we are now witnessing the end, nobody in their right mind can comprehend the issues we are witnessing for 6 seasons.

    May be Wenger wants a change!

  • siral

    Yes Wenger does deserve the respect for what he has done for the club, but now it is the time for a change. A place on the board is what he should get. The team needs new tacticts and statagies to combat the likes of the two Manchester teams. Everyone knows how Arsenal play, that is one reason for the decline. The other is the mental strength of the players, seven years without a trophy, that would get to any player, even Man U players. If its true that there is someone who wants to do a buyout, then Kronke should accept it and go. If these people say they will pay off the debt and still give money for better players, then, now is the time, before we end up in the championship.
    Managers, take your pick, Laudrup, Conte, there are others out there.

  • Ben L

    I am interested in an article on the supposed remour of a 1.5b take over by some Middle East consortium.
    Would Arsenal end up like Chelsea/ Man City?

  • Tasos

    Nothing wrong with people having differing opinions on Arsenal FC but clearly some form of decorum is needed.

    The season is not over yet. There’s 10 games to go & some 30 points still to play for.

    As for the gutter press. How strange an unsubstantiated takeover story should happen to evolve on the very day of such an important match.

  • toto

    OK gooners, can we just focus on the real issues please? All this talk about respect is a red-herring to me. In fact, how have we ended up in a situation where we have to demand respect for the manager? To be clear, I do not condone the disrespect being shown to the manager by some fans. Arsene has done a lot to earn the respect of not only Arsenal fans but football fans all over the world. Yet it is also true that it has been difficult for him to sustain that respect because he hasn’t been able to maintain one crucial aspect that earned him the respect in the first place, and that is winning something. When Arsenal were winning the league and the FA Cup and seriously challenging for the champions league, there was no talk of respect. Our participation in the champions league was a “trophy in itself” but even that is now under threat. It doesn’t look to me that lack of respect is the problem. Our problems won’t be solved by demanding or pleading for respect. Respect will come as soon as we start challenging for titles and trophies again. Sadly, we are now desperately playing catch-up and that is down to the quality of the squad we have. Given our financial prowess (as reflected in the wage bill and cash reserves), we would have under-archived if we finished outside the top four. After all is said and done, the manager is responsible for the performance of the team. The argument about the Russian and the Sheikh buying all the good players we wanted to has some merit but not enough to completely absolve the manager of responsibility for our present predicament. With or without financial fair play, we should be able to finish in the top four and above Spurs, anything else will be failure.

  • Linz

    Walter,Dembele didn’t go to a sugardaddy club,neither did Vertonghen,LLoris,Holtby,ALL players better than what Wenger has bought recently.Like Wenger,your excuses are wearing thin.

  • I think someone said for Phillip Petain: “For what he did in World War One – he deserves a statue. For what he did in World War Two – he deserves to be hanged on that statue.”

    I have just one question for either Mr Attwood or Mr Broecx: if I would promise you great work for 8 years and decline in the next eight-year-period, would you keep me in your company or I’d be sacked?

    Yesterday we lost to our cocky (pun intended) rivals because they signed Lloris and Verthongen and we didn’t.

  • Rupert Cook

    We couldn’t sign Lloris and Verthongen because the Russian billionaires wouldn’t let us.

  • Adam

    I love the negativity some place at Wenger’s feet comparing the man to a figure in world war history.

    Here’s one for you Josif.

    Fritz Ter Meer, He headed up a little conglomeration called “IG Farben” which ran its own camp within the complex of Auschwitz, His company used to carry out “tests” on the human subjects at their disposal.

    He was imprisoned for crimes against humanity. Upon his release from prison (which should have been a death sentence) he went back to work for IG Farben which had been broken down in to its smaller original companies by the occupying allies.

    Why these companies were allowed to continue to exists is mind boggling but they do to this day are doing very well.

    He worked for a company called Bayer AG which still owns Bayer Leverkusen football club. So we have a football club directly linked to convicted war criminals and the Holocaust.

    You want to make silly links to horrible histories.

    There are some true ones out there that involve the death of millions.

  • Gooner S

    I agree with with sentiments of this post. My views on embarking with The Emirates move was that we wouldn’t compete for the title for 10 years and would struggle with the champions league qualification for that period. Well we’ve done a little better than that but those were my expectations. Kudos to Arsene Wenger in my book. Others clearly have had higher expectations and they are not liking the current situation. Arsene Wenger still has my respect and I want him to succeed. He has my support but it isn’t unconditional. This will ultimately boil down to the strength of the Arsenal board in the coming weeks and months.

    My views are my own, They are pitched somewhere between Untold (which I enjoy reading) and Le Grove (which I read to challenge my own opinions). I regularly comment on both sites. On balance I agree more with the content on Untold and certainly the tone…especially in the comments section.

    You are absolutely right about respect. It is the insults and abuse that annoys me. The two lables AKB and AAA are fueling this.

    @Walter look at your reply to Gooner Dog. “Just use your brain”…..I know you are writing in a second language (and respect for that) but that sort of response can be a catalyst to an escalation in insults.

  • Almost certainly Ben L. And the problem is that once the Middle East world cup is over, the money might just go away.

  • Chris from Cambridge – how can you say he deserves no respect for the last six seasons of keeping us in the top four. No other manager has achieved that. Surely he should have respect for being the first ever to do that.

  • MIKE

    I do respect Wenger for his past success BUT there is a huge problem in saying Arsenal did not have the money to spend to compete for players because of the stadium debt.
    First off Stan Kroenke, who holds 66.64% of the parent company. and his rival, the Russian-Uzbek Alisher Usmanov hold around 30% between they 2 of them they have MORE MONEY then Roman Abramovich so IF they choose to spend THIER money as he did Arsenal can buy who ever they want. The problem is Kroenke is NOT invested in Arsenal because he is a huge Football fan (Soccer to him) and wants to be a owner of a Winning club no he wants to be the owner of a Financially successful club the 2 are not the same thing.
    Abramovich is willing to LOSE money to WIN Kroenke is not.
    The other big problem is THE WAGE bill Arsenal are spending is STILL way up there with the top so why are we not getting quality players for that money?

    Arsenal let REAL Quality players leave the club and tried to replace them with boys before they where ready then agreed to let the better ones go just when they were finally ready to be first team players. It is NOT Wenger’s fault BUT it is the fault of EVERYONE at the club making the decisions on who should stay and who should be brought in. AND if Wenger was consulted and agreed to any part of these deals then he HAS to bare some of the blame if he was over ruled in what he wanted then we can not blame him. And this many very well be the case and he is just covering for the Men that pay his wage (don’t bite the hand that feeds you) BUT I do not thing a Manager like José Mourinho would. He would care more about his record on the pitch then keeping his contract with the club and is NOT give the support he needed to assemble a winning team would be VERY vocal about that and let the chips fall where they may and should he be fired because of that there would be 5 clubs ready to give him a new one.

    SO NOT knowing exactly what Wenger is able to do or not do or if he is just being a good Manager for his club’s owners we may only find out the true story after his departure and only then should he agree to a tell all book deal. We may never know.

    But the fact remains that this club IS NOT run well and regardless if Wenger is fully responsible or not as the Manager he is the man in charge so he has to shoulder the blame for the current state of the team as much as he takes credit for the Winning seasons of the past.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Tony, what do you mean no other manager has achieved a top four finish for the last six seasons? Ferguson has.

    With the finance this club has it damn well should finish in the top four and I suspect most decent managers could achieve it at Arsenal and possibly even win a trophy or two. But as we can’t prove this it’s rather a spurious argument.

  • createstrain

    nice try. 🙂

  • @Adam – it was a metaphore, of course. Petain’s World War One role is a metaphore for first eight years of Wenger’s reign – solid defense, medals and everything else. He deserves a statue for that one.

    Petain’s World War Two role is a metaphore for eight years without trophy – betrayal, short-sightness and lack of intelligence to recognize right path, lack of guts to refuse compromise with Devil that ended with selling soul for well-paid position.

    Which leads us to the next level: so-called AKBs and so-called AAAs (both labels are redundant, disgraceful and moronic) don’t agree what exactly compromise with Devil means.

  • Adam

    Thankyou Josif, but it really did not need an explanation, I just found the link to football matters a tad tedious and wanted to point out that some horrible histories have a direct link to football and even to today’s European trading companies.

    I tend not to use the labels you have listed above. I use the word negative.

  • Norm

    @mike Yes, I can’t imagine Frigginson staying quiet about a club he has put his soul into for god knows how long. Would he tow the line if money isn’t made available for better players? Surely by now Wenger’s loyalty can be to the greater club ideal, the fans, and not executives who are not fighting for improvements. It is unforgiveable to pass up buying better players if the money is there, especially after selling key personnel to rivals. If Wenger really is hampered by Kroenke’s non-vision for the future, I worry about our great club. How have we reached the point where a great manager appears bewildered? Is there a way forward on the pitch, when the owner knows nothing about football, never bothers to attend, has no intention of investing or ever selling (according to his US history)? Why didn’t he buy CartridgeWorld instead? You can’t treat a football club like a minor franchise, sitting back taking an easy profit. I know the season has some time to run, so maybe I should wait until may to say my piece, but the dynamism is lacking on and off the pitch. Something has to give; we can’t keep waiting (hoping).

  • A. Stewart

    Wenger deserves respect for all he as achieved at AFC. I think the vast majority of gooners appreciate that, and afford him that respect, even those who think a new direction may be necessary.

    Contrary to the belief of many staunch Wenger defenders, those with a different opinion and considering change are not your enemy, and are true Arsenal supporters, simply they may just see Arsenal Football Club as bigger than Arsene Wenger, managers come, managers go, change is inevitable, Arsenal lives on. In the end they want what you want, success for AFC, they just disagree on how to get there, and in many cases, who shall lead us there.

    Are you less patriotic because you may not support the current government and their policies? Or may think that other policies may be better for the country you love? Of course not, nor are you any different from those on the other side of the political divide, both sides want what’s best for the country they love, they just disagree on how it is best achieved and who is in the best position to achieve the best for the country. And not being in politics and government for “30 years” doesn’t render the opinion and passion of the Citizenry as pointless, and no Citizen is any less patriotic if they don’t simply just shut up and support the current government and its policies (though they disagree) and just hope for the best.

  • Adam

    A.Stewart, I think you and I have agreed and disagreed in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

    But the one thing we will always agree on is, the club is bigger than any one man.

    However, thanks in large to a selected few people, Arsene Wenger being one of these people as well as all the supporters of Arsenal football club whether financial or emotional, we will have a club capable of successes in the future.

    Its hard for some people to except set backs but these things happen. we have to protect the club from the negativity that’s building.

    Even if we were to lose Arsene Wenger at some stage, the negativity will do none of us any good.

    We all know the day will come when Arsenal have to find another manager. But I believe Arsene has earned the right to see us through these transitional times.

  • A. Stewart

    Adam, no doubt any success in the near future especially, will be in large part due to the groundwork laid by Wenger.

    Where we disagree is in your last sentence, I believe he has earned the right to see us through some years of these transitional times. I think that explicit “right” has expired a while back though, especially the right to continue with as much autonomy as he seemingly has. At the very least if the club persists with Wenger personally I hope that he is given clear performance goals and targets (not just 4th), some level of decision making is taken away with regards to involvement in wages and even transfers, he is told to accept help or cede some responsibility in training and methods (especially defense), and is told to accept some help tactically especially with defensive organization, and in preparation for games and opponents.

    What I think is a little disingenuous (and I’m not saying you are in this camp) is that many staunch Wenger defenders act as though he hasn’t been given sufficient time over a very long transitional period (now approaching a decade), and hasn’t been afforded that time without interference. He has, and arguably no other manager at any European powerhouse would have been given the same large amount of interference free time.

    To wrap it up, I do think he has earned the right to turn things around, but I think to act as though this transitional period is starting NOW, is a little off. Moreover, I no longer think he deserves the right to manage with complete autonomy, involvement/influence in club matters way beyond (what imo is) his first priority remit, and the lack of accountability that he seemingly operates under.

    In other words, if he is going to continue, he needs to be reigned in a bit next season, he’s had his chances, and lots of them for a very long time to spend the capital and goodwill that he definitely earned from the first half of his AFC career, let’s not act like he hasn’t.

  • toto

    Well said @ A. Stewart. There is a tendency to view anyone critical of Arsene Wenger as the enemy. It is regrettable but understandable, given the dizzy heights of success that Wenger took the club to in the first decade of his reign. That success has made it difficult for some people to envisage the club without Arsene as manager, yet we all know that day will surely come. I have heard it said by many former players that “Arsene is Arsenal” which if you really think about it is not a healthy state of affairs at all. A whole organisation depending on one man to take it forward! We didn’t like it very much did we last year when some critics said we were a one man team referring to how RVP carried the whole team? I hope those former players are wrong, and that The Arsenal is can and will survive and thrive in the post-Wenger era. One thing is certain, the criticism will be stronger and louder the longer we go without winning something. It is a shame that this perceived lack of success is now tarnishing his reputation and all his good work for the club. It is going to be harder to achieve the same kind of success now as he did in the early years. The landscape has completely changed and I am sure Arsene will consider that very carefully when he decides whether to renew his contract next year.

  • WalterBroeckx

    @Rupert Cook
    March 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm ·

    We couldn’t sign Lloris and Verthongen because the Russian billionaires wouldn’t let us.

    No we didn’t buy because Verthongen insisted on a 100% certainty of being first choice. From his point of view maybe understandable as he was captain of Ajax and when he stayed there he would have had that place. But when you come to Arsenal you cannot expect that certainty and so we couldn’t give it.

  • WalterBroeckx

    @ Rupert Cook
    March 4, 2013 at 2:24 pm · Edit

    @Tony, what do you mean no other manager has achieved a top four finish for the last six seasons? Ferguson has.

    With the finance this club has it damn well should finish in the top four and I suspect most decent managers could achieve it at Arsenal and possibly even win a trophy or two. But as we can’t prove this it’s rather a spurious argument.

    In those years Ferguson had money to burn. Wenger not.

  • A. Stewart

    Well said Toto, personally I’m good with Wenger staying on as manager, however, I don’t think it can be in a manner where it’s “just business as usual”. I think he has to be held more accountable, and I think he has to loosen his grip on some aspects of his managment, delegate better, and be a bit more flexible in his ideas and appoaches. My thing is though, given Wenger is a very principled man and seemingly rigidly married to his philosphies with little scope for flexibility, and one who has enjoyed a reign that was largely interferrence free (especially post Dien), I wonder, especially at his age if he would be willing to accept his superiors (alomst seems as if he doesn’t have any) mandating some (necessary imo) changes.

    I don’t know the man personally, but from all he has said and how he operates, and how he responds to criticisms of his methods, I doubt he would be able to adjust to a more accountable environment for his management. One thing I admire about Ferguson is his adaptability to change (time/era on a macro scale, tactics/game prep on a more immediate scale), his willingness to change, and his ability to delegate, and take and trust the opinions/ability of those he employs, and to work under different ownership/executive structures. I think it was last week he mused that he no longer does daily trainings, rather trusts those under him, and more oversees on a macro sense, in other words he doesn’t micro-manage. And at his advanced age, his flexibility and willinness to constantly evolve is remarkable. I just don’t think Wenger has that in him, and an acknowledgement of needing to do something different is an acknowledgement of failure to some extent of his principles. I think this is also evidenced in his persistance with players who have long since proven their averageness. In that it’s not that Ferguson doesn’t make personnel mistakes, but he is far quicker to recognize them and rectify them as opposed to Wenger who it seems cares more about being proven right even if it take a long long long time if ever.

  • A. Stewart

    “No we didn’t buy because Verthongen insisted on a 100% certainty of being first choice.”

    Any definitive evidence of this? Just curious.

  • toto

    Does anyone have an explanation why some of the signings that arrived on the back of excellent or very good performances for their selling club only perform for one or two seasons and then slowly fade away? I have Chamakh, Gervinho, and Arshavin in mind and now fear Vemaelen might have caught the same bug!

  • A. Stewart

    “In those years Ferguson had money to burn. Wenger not.
    ..”
    That (notwithstanding it’s debateable to some extent) still doesn’t change that Rupert was correct, in correcting a false statement, as no qualifier was initially offered.

  • Adam

    A.Stewart, Nicely put and im finding it hard to put up a reasonable defence. I do disagree with the timing of this transitional period. For me the next stage really began when we lost Cesc and Clihcy, The other players who have left were just an added problem.

    You cannot deny that the team or even squad changes have had a negative impact on our league status. It’s getting harder for the club and my own opinion is that we need stability not change for changes sake.

    I think you may have past your threshold of patience, where others like me have not got there yet and can see successes around the corner.

    If im totally honest I cannot see us winning the league for at least the next two seasons, but Wenger has surprised us in the past.

    Optimism and hope that’s for me. No more upheaval and unrest.

  • A. Stewart

    Also, are those rumours about Vertonghen wanting 100% first choice assuirty (by the way it’s debateable if he gets that at Spurs, with Gallas, Dawson, and even Caulker all in the mix this season give or take injuries and other factors, and who knows if when Kaboul comes back), more credible than his we didn’t get him because Wenger allegedly wanted to play him in midfield and not at CB?

    I find it slightly more difficult to believe that any footballer in this modern age (not named Messi/Ronaldo) would think that it’s even remotely possible that a Champions League level club would consider guaranteeing 100% first choice selection. Sorry, obviously you’re much more “in the know” than me, but I have a hard time buying that being the principal reason for us not signing Vertonghen.

    Rather I think it’s far more plausible that Wenger (as he has said during that period) was more than satisfied with our options, and their quality, didn’t want to bring in number just for the sake of it etc.

  • WalterBroeckx

    A. Stewart in those 6 years SAF did not manage to get MU out of the group phase in a successful way.
    Better now?

  • WalterBroeckx

    My source about Verthongen? Media in Belgium at the time.

  • WalterBroeckx

    toto,
    a very interesting question.

    Some rumours could say that it might have something to do with things that they put in the diet at other clubs and that they don’t put in the diet at Arsenal.

  • A. Stewart

    Thanks Adam, I’m glad we can have these exchanges and that you don’t class me as AAA etc. And also I’m not one of those posters who only pops up after a loss, actually I have no real posting pattern, just post whenever I feel I have something to say, be it post win, post loss, post draw whatever.

    RE: “You cannot deny that the team or even squad changes have had a negative impact on our league status.”

    Agreed, I can’t deny that, but I think a lot or rather some of the constant upheaval is in part a result of management and not just external factors perpetuating the transition.

    I hear you about the different transitional periods, and I guess you’re right that there are some nuanced differences. Perhaps I’m wrong to oversimplify as follows, but I think in general the post Invincibles/post ’05 (with all its various iterations) is one big transitional period.

    Regardless of the individual parts, to me at least there seemed a clear change in style of play from the Fabregas era onward, no longer were we the biggest, most physical team in the league, counter-attacking ruthlessly and at hyper speed (perhaps the first half of the 07/08 season aside), but rather our game slowed down, and became far more “continental” and possession-oriented and focused more on a midfield playmaker as opposed to midfield powerhouses. Also the dwindling age is well documented, but the size of players also drastically reduced, and the recruitment of players that didn’t win things/play at highest level/at other big clubs prior to working with Wenger at AFC was starkly different. The era also represented the departure of DD, and the increasing autonomy of Wenger, and also the beginning of losing our better players when we didn’t want to lose them etc.

    I appreciate what you’re saying about different transitional periods post ’05, but to me they are all part of one collective transitional period, i.e. the second half of Wenger’s AFC career.

  • A. Stewart

    “A. Stewart in those 6 years SAF did not manage to get MU out of the group phase in a successful way.
    Better now?
    ..”

    The point made was very narrow and specific about finishing in top 4 and no other manager supposedly achieving that feat. It was highlighted by Rupert that it was an incorrect statement. That’s all, as simple as that, nothing more, nothing less…and what you posted above has nothing to do with that simple correction by Rupert.

  • A. Stewart

    “My source about Verthongen? Media in Belgium at the time.
    ..”

    Fair enough, I have a hard time believing any footballer (not of the undisputed best in the world class) would think 100% guaranteed starting at a CL club would be a reasonable request/condition to make. Again there were media reports of a desire of Wenger to change his position as being a deal breaker…Anyway, I’ll move on.

  • A. Stewart

    Also I didn’t ask about a source, I asked about evidence that this was true.

  • Jed

    Tony/Walter

    Really well put – couldn’t agree more.

    I happen to think that it’s time for a change but you have to respect what the boss has achieved over a very long period.

  • Adam

    A.Stewart,
    I hear ya, I don’t use the terms you mentioned, not out of disagreement. It’s just not me, if im going to have a pop at someone I will.

    Now I don’t know the ins and outs of specific transfers and why they choose other clubs, but I cannot deny we seem to be losing out, or rather letting some players pass us by. Again the reasons elude me (wages at a guess).

    The issue im trying to get across to people who will listen, is stability and a teams chances at winning the poxy league rise considerably if their defence has been together a minimum of two seasons.

    The back four we had out yesterday have only played a handful of games together. No excuses for somethings that went on, but in my opinion we need that stability of time past and lessons learned (I know your going to tell me our players are not learning from mistakes).

    If and I state “If” we bring in some defensive reinforcements the cycle starts all over again, when are we going to have stability at the back?

    Angha & Miquel?

  • A. Stewart

    “Does anyone have an explanation why some of the signings that arrived on the back of excellent or very good performances for their selling club only perform for one or two seasons and then slowly fade away? I have Chamakh, Gervinho, and Arshavin in mind and now fear Vemaelen might have caught the same bug!
    ..”

    This is a very interesting post Toto. With very interesting ways to look at its contents.

    First off, I don’t think it’s as clear cut to say that all these came off the back of excellent seasons from their selling clubs, or even that they performed well in all cases once here.

    Vermaelen is the most interesting case for example. When he came I remember on various blogs with conversations from Ajax supporters and in various articles coming out of the Netherlands/Belgium that many questioned why we would want Vermaelen especially over Verthongen. Many of the Ajax fans were also indifferent to see him go because they thought that while talented, defensively he was positionally suspect/irresponsible (sounds familiar?). Moreover, I don’t think Vermaelen has really ever performed that well defensively for AFC. In his first season he was a revolution as an attacking defender, think about it, any defender in their first season in the PL almost getting the record for goals scored (with many stunning strikes to make a striker blush) by a CB will deservedly get a lot of attention, and him getting into the team of the season was certainly not for his actual defending. However, many of his defensive flaws were just as evident in that first season, our overall defensive record was poor and that’s with him playing next to a seasoned partner in Gallas etc.

    Chamakh, he came off a good season and especially in the CL..but nothing truly remarkable overall that season. And looking deeper into his career, iirc his highest ever total goal tally as a pro in some 8 years in France was 16, and he only got in double figures for total goals 2 or 3 times over that period. There was little to suggest that Chamakh would be ever anything much more than average. Also consider we were known to be interested in Chamakh for well over a year before he eventually came, and he was free..yet no other big club tried to hijack his signature, to me shows that perhaps his quality for this level was overrated from the start by Wenger.

    Arshavin – well known that he never really got an opportunity in his favoured role, his attitude thereafter didn’t help and thus he faded away.

    Gervinho – perhaps like Chamakh another that his evaluation was overrated from the start? Also I wouldn’t class his time with us so far as performing well to suggest any fade away from some appreciable heights of strong performances.

  • A. Stewart

    “The issue im trying to get across to people who will listen, is stability and a teams chances at winning the poxy league rise considerably if their defence has been together a minimum of two seasons.

    The back four we had out yesterday have only played a handful of games together. No excuses for somethings that went on, but in my opinion we need that stability of time past and lessons learned (I know your going to tell me our players are not learning from mistakes). ”

    Adam, I completely find your point about stability especially with regards to defense as being valid, and this unit would show some improvement with more time together.

    However, I wonder what degree of improvement and to what level are they capable of with just increased stability.

    Are you willing to consider that perhaps individually they are not just elite? Vermaelen’s positional problem were known from Ajax, Koscielny’s top flight experience was next to none when he signed and he was well into his 20s at the time. One look at Mertersacker’s club career shows that he’s been regularly the cornerstone of some very leaky defenses with very poor defensive records, and that he struggles in fast, powerful pacy leagues (like the Bundesliga and Prem). Yes he’s a German international, but the international game is generally far slower than the club version, and moreover, Germany is better, way better than 99% of the opponents they face at international level (and in this recent era they lose when they come up against equal/superior opposition in the latter stages of big tournaments). Szczesny’s been screwing up since he’s been number 1, nothing new there really. Gibbs at 23 has never remotely played near a full season because of injury (like now) and when he’s played has often been a little suspect positionally. Etc.

    What I’m saying is I agree with your opinion that familiarity and stability would help but I think there are also questions about actual individual defensive quality and ability at this level and in this league in particular.

    Also.

    All the stability in the world will not make up for a lack of preparation and tactical drilling, as many ex-players have alluded too, including Adams just this weekend on TV confirming that what Wenger said in his presser about not preparing for specific individual opponent threats that can hurt us, was not just smart media acumen but rather true.

    There are rumours that Bould isn’t allowed to really drill his defense the way he would arguably like too, I wonder how much of that is true.

    So in summary, I agree 100% percent that stability would help, but I think in terms of our defensive issues, we need to address quality and training first as more immediate impediments to a solid defense.

  • Adam

    So spend some money on top proven defensive minded players, and force Wenger to allow Bould to train the defence?

  • A. Stewart

    I don’t know if it’s that simple, nor what order makes the most sense. I don’t purport to have the exact answers, rather just observations and ideas (that I think are reasonable).

    But I think we need an improvement of individual quality defenders, and more drilling. I don’t even know if Bould is the answer, but when it’s clear by the very words of recent AFC players that we don’t do the sort of defensive drilling that other title winning sides do, it needs to be addressed in someway and by someone and soon.

    Since we’ve last won something, some very elite (some becoming elite during that period) CBs and goal keepers in particular have moved for some very affordable prices. I wouldn’t pretend that we could have gotten them all, but there has been and is quality out there that we could/can afford imo. Paying what was it, reportedly near 10M for Koscielny with just one year of league 1 experience with a midtable club at 24 and having never kicked a ball internationally at the time, didn’t make sense to me. And thus it’s unsurprising that while clearly talented, his is also clearly mistake prone that can point to a lack of experience imo. We could have done better with those resources I think.

    I think also in terms of recruitment for CBs in particular, it appears that we recruit more on their ball playing ability, ability to bring the ball out at their feet and join in the attack, as opposed to less overall talented footballers but CBs who excel more at the rigous and unsexy side of actual defending i.e. tackling, positioning, setting the line, aerial presence, clearing the ball.

    Size/strength seems to have declined also in our recruitment of CBs seeming to opt for the smaller, leaner more mobile type to fit our ball playing style at the expense of defensive solidity.

    Vermaelen is small and thin, Koscielny is thin, Mertersacker may be tall but he doesn’t seem particularly strong and is alarmingly poor in the air for someone so tall. There are surely exceptions, but in terms of our main options there seems like a deliberate direction of recruiting less physical, smaller, more mobile ball playing CBs at the expense of defensive solidity.

    What do you think?

  • Florian

    A Stewart,

    Who said footballers are reasonable persons? What reasonable person would be sad for earning slightly less than the ludicrously best paid player in the world?

  • A. Stewart

    Who said all (as was inferred in your post) footballers are not reasonable people? Who says footballers can and should be painted with the same all-encompassing on size fits all brush? I’m sure many many footballers regardless of their socio-economic upbringing have/had the potential to be excellent doctors, lawyers, artists, politicians, social-workers, whatever, but due to talent/passion for football, went another path.

    It seems as those it’s comforting for many fans of the sport to just paint all players as stupid, thoughtless, greedy , boorish people, I guess to make themselves feel better.

    In an era of clubs in many cases making unprecidented money, sponsors and manufacturers the same, television and distribution making unprecidented money, agents the same, governing bodies and associations in many cases the same, off of THEIR TALENT, why shouldn’t they make “ludicrous” sums commensurate with what others are making off of what they do in this day and age?

    And why shouldn’t they strive to earn and maximize what is available given the current and recent market economics of the sport?

    Why shouldn’t Ronaldo for example be “sad” if he genuinely didn’t think he was being compensated fairly in relation to what Madrid was making off of him specifically? It doesn’t matter whether or not he should be just happy that he makes more than your average office worker, that’s not his profession. We all seek to maximize our earnings relative to our field and its current prevailing market conditions.

    I always found this argument of it being disgusting that players are paid so much just to kick a ball, as well, disgusting. When companies/organizations like Nike, Adidas, SkySports, the Premier League etc are making unprecidented billions, off of what they do on the field, why shouldn’t their earnings be commensurate with the unprecidented money in the sport?

  • Adam

    A.Stewart,
    Im not sure if you followed some comments on this site awhile ago about Arsenal producing players for the first team.

    We have to look all the way back to the early eighties to find Arsenal produced center backs, Keown & Adams. If you actually look at how successful Arsenal have been at producing players for the first team there are not many. Ashley cole the last defender (Gibbs we got from Wimbledon but is considered Arsenal trained).

    What is missing from those days to today because im at a loss to understand why we cannot produce a cohesive unit. Or at the very least produce our own defenders?

    http://www.football-observatory.com/Indicators

    You may find this link interesting its a site I visit alot. You mention height and other stats this site maybe an eye opener for you. I think what Arsene is trying to do is produce a highly mobile technical side capable of interchanging positions with very little disruption to the continuity of play (maybe Im being too optimistic).

    You will find that our league is the biggest height & weight wise and has the most players in the optimum age range. In other words its gonna be hard for a technical side. And we are the most technical side in Europe who did not win their respective league.

    I don’t think we are far away from being able to compete for the title but there is something missing and I don’t know what it is?

  • Domhuail

    Screw it…..I am going to post an article disproving, once and for all, all the media inspired myths and anti-Arsenal speculative fiction too many of our supporters seem to continuously vomit on UA after a tie or loss. Here are a few issues my article will address:

    1)Wenger has lost the plot…..what plot si that exactly?
    2)7 years of no silverware ….Is that the true measure of a Club?
    3)We are a selling Club …….What is a selling Club?
    4)We have too much deadwood….What exactly is it that we have?

    and numerous other generalizations and generic criticisms that are taken for granted by slothful fanboys but need to be addressed by the real facts.

  • Domhuail

    Screw it…..I am going to post an article disproving, once and for all, all the media inspired myths and anti-Arsenal speculative fiction too many of our supporters seem to continuously vomit on UA after a tie or loss. Here are a few issues my article will address:

    1)Wenger has lost the plot…..what plot is that exactly?
    2)7 years of no silverware ….Is that the true measure of a Club?
    3)We are a selling Club …….What is a selling Club?
    4)We have too much deadwood….What exactly is it that we have?

    And numerous other generalizations and generic criticisms that are taken for granted by slothful fan-boys but need to be addressed by the real facts.

  • Nannu

    Wenger has an illusion of grandeuer, that we are the Barcelona of the PL therefore he need not prepare for a match like any other manager would which is to devise various tactics and formation not only to neutralise the opponent’s strength but also to exploit their weaknesses. By his own admission we only concentrate on our game which means we approached every match without a game plan rain or shine. It is a disgraceful arrogant atittude display by him because every team should be respected. Maybe he still think we are the best team in England in his own deluded mind

  • A. Stewart

    Adam, I’ll give it a read..

    Also beleive it or not I’m not surprised by our lack of producing players for the first team and in the Wenger years especially producing players for the first team of a high standard, actually it’s one of my observations for critique given in recent the amount of resources used to prop up a net increase of some 40+ pros since our last trophy in the form mainly of youth development and the alarming failure rate. It’s also an issue that I question in terms of reputation of Wenger of organically building teams and making stars of unknowns that form winning teams, as that couldn’t be further from the truth as Wenger’s title winning sides were littered with players who won all sorts of things inlcuding world cups, euros, CLs, uefa cup, olympic gold, continetal cup, ACN domestic stuff throughout England, Europe and S. America, players who played at big clubs and in big leagues and big tournaments all before working with Wenger at AFC. And even though Wenger is touted for youth development, especially recently much of the youth that has made it as first team contributors haven’t been internally organically developed but rather were well known and we beat out other top competitors for their signature (arguably by paying more in fees and salary than others were willing to for unproven young talent) players like Walcott and Oxlade come to mind.

    Also no I’m not surprised by the height/weight/physical peak thing of the PL..Therefore deliberately pursuing an undersized squad in the pursuit of more technique and mobility is very questionable. There was a stat/article I forgot where I read a couple years ago, i that said Wenger’s sides that won things at AFC were the tallest and heaviest in the PL, and in some of the years post invicibles we went from that to the shortest and lightest in the entire league (which couldn’t have been a coincidence but rather deliberate strategy imo). That’s actually been one of my gripes so not surprised by what you infer, and what I would see in that site as you suggest.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @ Moderators: A warning. The negative posters on this board will eventually take it over unless they are sanctioned or limited. It is always a lot easier to spill vitriol than to craft well thought out replies THAT ARE POSITIVE. Eventually the positive posters will leave if it is just teenage trolls spouting puerile offensive rubbish. That is why I left 606 5 years ago.

  • toto

    I always thought football was a game of skill and fitness rather than bulk which is more useful in rugby. We should be careful with statistics because simply demonstrating a statistical association doesn’t mean it is a causal relationship. I very much doubt that the Arsenal sides that won things were the tallest and heaviest in the league. We were most probably taller than we are now but I doubt that we were taller and heavier than everyone else in the league. I certainly think the Invincibles had the best combination of technique, mobility and height compared to the other teams in the league. I would say that skill is essential to be a good footballer, height maybe so in some positions (centre back and goalkeeper for example) more than others, while for a striker, technique and mobility are essential. And looking at the best players to play in the premier league, not many would be described as heavy but certainly all had technique and many of them very mobile too.

  • Florian

    The point came from your questioning Vertonghen’s contract demands. Such a demand is unreasonable at any club. Whether the totts took the bite is their problem. If in 3 years they find someone better than him that they would be in a position to buy, they won’t be able to do it for a reason that in hindsight will seem absurd.

    “I’m sure many many footballers regardless of their socio-economic upbringing have/had the potential to be excellent doctors, lawyers, artists, politicians, social-workers, whatever, but due to talent/passion for football, went another path.”
    I’m sure you studied the footballer demographics when you say that. Politicians? Lawyers? Really? As it’s stated there, it’s pure speculation, and a highly unlikely one.

    “And why shouldn’t they strive to earn and maximize what is available given the current and recent market economics of the sport?”
    That is very valid. Remember RVP?

    The players’ earning are not commensurate with the sport’s. They are far above the norm. Any business that consistently has a wage bill above 100% of its income is simply unsustainable. Living the moment is fine. But be prepared to pay the consequences after the bubble bursts.

  • chibyke

    Yes wenger deserves respect.really he does! Hence the call for him to leave when the ovation is loudest.put it in anyway u want.this team that he assembled can’t win.constrained by lack of funds?maybe. His Achilles heel is he wants to win…his way… and then get the pleasure of sticking his tongue to rich clubs @the error of their ways.and he is willing to take as long as he can to do it. Just a tweak is all we ask…in tactics,in player purchase,in philosophy,in player retention efforts.

  • Florian

    chibyke, you seem to have a problem with the maths. That is three tweaks already. Which one would you pick? 🙂

  • Florian

    Wait, I forgot the fourth:)

  • Mandy Dodd

    Verthongen has also stated wenger wantEd him in mf , and he did not want to play there. And then we supposedly were rejected by holtby…..can someone tell me where he could play in,our attacking mf? Not an area where we are lacking. The press also and aaa also say we should have loris in,our team, the problem is, the spuds have let in more league goals than us. the fact is, one player seperates the spuds from us, last year, we were called a one man team by the media who levelled a similar comparison.
    But a survival guide. Seems we have to Get ready for ten plus days of gloom. there will be whole sports programs and radio talk ins devoted to our supposed decline. The league table is not great , but agenda driven media myths will make things worse. the recent bid, reported in the telegraph of all places will soon be seen to be not reality but part of an agenda against us, an agenda maybe close to home. Do not pay too much attention to the uk media,they love the spuds and hate wenger…..if not arsenal itself. But this season as far from over, as was last season at this stage.

  • chibyke

    @ florian …..lol. i have never been good at maths..forgive my error but am sure you got my point.

  • uk

    @domhuail,
    1.I’m going to post an article -what is “post an article?
    2. Disproving once and for all -wat is disproving?
    3. Anti-arsenal -wat is anti-arsenal?
    4. Here are a few issues my article will address – wat is address?
    Most stupid post i ever read.

  • uk

    Now let me dissect the articles points
    1. Bla bla bla.. Finished 4th or higher for 13 seasons.. So? When did 4th become a trophy? Soon spurs and maybe everton will be celebrating being in top 10 for 10seasons
    2.Every major club in recent times to finance build and move to a new stadium was relegated.. Please mention examples of such clubs
    3. Bla bla..wenger turns profits… He makes profit, probably on player sales. So whats d’point of the stadium move? I thought it was to compete for the players signature, not to become a selling club?
    4.Wenger sells players, finishes 4th… The buying club sniffs, arsenal the selling club sells. Rebuilds and finishes 4th, so? Its still not a trophy
    5.Awesome football?… Dont make me laugh
    6.What happened to respect… I was thinking the same thing, why cant wenger respect himself and resign?

  • Stuart

    ADAM,

    your comment took me back to the weekend especially where you wrote:-

    “I don’t think we are far away from being able to compete for the title but there is something missing and I don’t know what it is?”

    I had this very discussion with my mates whilst watching the game and after much to and fro, we all somehow (miraculously) agreed on the same thing and that is a major missing ingredient is the something to play for and show passion for. When Wenger arrived, the team was full of Arsenal devouts who played for the badge, this was followed by a team consisting of a large proportion of french players who played for Wenger (not Arsenal). We are now in a situation where the French players are gone and hardly any of our players are here for the badge. Many of the current squad are here because the opportunity was too good to turn down (in effect, they are playing for themselves).

  • bob

    “I think what Arsene is trying to do is produce a highly mobile technical side capable of interchanging positions with very little disruption to the continuity of play (maybe Im being too optimistic).”
    Adam,
    Be honest: does/has this theory and vision actually serve/d and maximize/d the actual talent of players like: Ramsey, Arteta, Arshavin, Podolski and others? It’s the basis of the frequent playing “out of position” charge levelled at AW; that he buys players and tries to convert them to first class players at other positions than their natural/habitual positions, rather than spend more on players who excel at their one/specific position. For a related example, what has happened to the Ox??? He was touted for being able to play at multiple positions, rather than one. How has that worked out in his second EPL season? Too young now? Or too much confusion? Or is it down to sophomore jinx, whatever mystification that’s all about?

  • bob

    p.s. again, lest history be erased, Arteta plays where he does, yeoman-like but hardly optimal, because of AFC’s reckless willingness/desire? to get rid of/let go of Alex Song without like for like or even suitable replacement. There is not enough protection for the back for and it chronically shows up. So it’s papered over with this interchangeable parts philosophy of fluid football. That’s fine – it’s the vision of AW/AFC that people have seen, loved and crave the world over. But it is not being manifest on anything near a consistent basis (during an entire game or from game to game). Why not, would you say?

  • bob

    uk-oik-orc,
    Why drip with such toxic froth literally all the time? Your drive-by against domhuail’s resolve to set the record straight is typical of a bottom-feeder. Either he can or can’t, but you lie in wait like a cobra to strangle the effort before it’s even undertaken. Is your uk name meant to slate those you detest as non-uk? Is there a johnny foreigner animus at work in your psyche? Seriously, why so much venom all the time here? Is it your day job?

  • Adam

    @domhuail, Look forward to reading your thoughts.

    @Toto, Were not talking about Boxing weight categories, most footballers walk around at 12 stone ish. what we are stating is, if the average weight of a side is 7 stones you are watching the female variety of the sport.

    @Stuart, I think we need to bring some familiar faces back ASAP, Bergkamp, Henry, Parlour (keep him away from the bar), Overmars has shown an interest, Seaman if he’s not fishing. We are an institution that has moved home and seem to have lost a little identity (I have said this before).

    Maybe it is time to take a step back, so we can charge forward. I look at our staff list and yes some have links with a playing career, at Arsenal even, but not enough.

  • Paul "the Gooner"

    A nice article guys.Whether you think AW has had his time at the club or not, I believe he should see out his contract,then we decide.All i ask is that we become competitive in the league, not out of it by November.If we do that a top four place will be ours and we will win more matches than we have at present.We must be within a shout at Easter.Cups will come if we are winning.Where i have a problem with many AW haters is their lack of respect to the Manger.This is stoked up by the media and then continued on by some supporters.We live within a frenzy, with twitter,forums,phone ins and everything else.A added problem nowadays is the younger generation.They think it is their right to support only a winning team.Try supporting my other favourite team Plymouth!

  • uk

    @bob
    Give it a rest mate. U either have something to say or u dont

    On to more important issues, some are saying wenger’s trying to create a fast/mobile, technical team. So he had options in mert, cahill, samba. He chose mert, and you wonder why he’s not achieving the desired. There’s no tricks, u buy a tractor you dont expect to win the car race

  • Paul "the Gooner"

    NEWSPAPER REPORTERS.
    There was a time when a journo would only report on a match.It would tell you all and only about the play in the match.Now, he tells you HIS opinion about the Club and the Manager.This is based on the club he supports and whether the Manager in the past has given him tip offs,or interviews.Our ARRY ticks all these boxes.Oh, i forgot to say if he is shit scared of the Manager,old red nose.AW does not tick any of these boxes!

  • uk

    Yea, poor arsenal. We’ve got no fans

  • Adam

    @UK, I think Mert (maybe Giroud)is the exception to Arsenals usual player (under Wenger), most are highly mobile individuals, would you agree?

  • Adam

    @bob, I think Arshavin is a fine player, and have pointed this out when he hasn’t performed in an unfamiliar role. However when a player is asked to perform a role they should be adaptable. Maybe this no defensive work has some merit to it? But its only guess work as none of us are at the training ground to see if Arsenal dont do any defensive work? personally I cannot believe a pro club wouldn’t?

    To answer your question; No, I do not believe Arsene or Arsenal have seen the best of the players you mentioned, Why? I don’t have the answers.

  • Yommex

    Arsene Wenger is a top coach no doubt but I think he has his flaws which unfortunately nobody has been able to bring to his notice.

    Prior to the move to the Emirate Stadium, Wenger’s transfer was overseen by David Dein who ensured that he did not have his way all the time. One of the disadvantages could be seen in the recruitment of similarly endowed players all across the various positions. He has a soft spot for players that are short with a low back lift (check his interviews about 4-5 years ago). That affected the balance of the team.

    Also, because he was solely responsible for the recruitment and retention of players, he got sentimental over the course of time. Take for instance the Carlings Cup final match of 2007, he should have fielded his strongest squad against Chelsea but because of the envisaged pride that would have gone with the victory, he stuck to the youngsters who did not possess enough arsenal to defeat Chelsea. That gave Chelsea the psychological edge over Arsenal which they still enjoy till date. The triple matches against Liverpool in 2008 should also have been given some priority – League over Europe or vice versa. He drew both home matches and lost the return leg of CL. And recently, we saw the 2011 season where the team was still in contention in all the competitions as at February. Given the challenges and pressure of winning a trophy then, ideally he should have set a priority by rotating the squad and fielding his strongest players for not more than 2 of the 4 competitions.

    In addition, Wenger took it upon himself to start negotiating the contract of his players which was done basically not to the advantage of the squad but in furtherance of his socialist policies. For example, Kanu had to leave when he was offered an extension to his contract with a pay cut at 28 when he should be getting the best contract of his career. He promptly left and four years afterward scored both goals in the S/Final and Final matches that won the FA Cup for Portsmouth. Same could be said for Sol Campbell, Viera, Edu and Ashley Cole (L5,000 difference in wages per week) to mention a few.

    So progressively he began to lower the quality of the players in the team and reducing their self belief of being able to win any trophy but this did not reflect immediately until now as the remaining talented players left over the past 3 seasons.

    The current squad is, in my opinion, punching above their weight in performance as the quality is really poor for a club of Arsenal’s standard. To add to this, their potentials seem not to be maximized as a result of some tactical and technical deficiencies on the part of the coaching crew.

  • uk

    @adam
    I would say no. We have giroud,squilacci,chamakh,bendtner,denilson etc @least presently. Plus in recent past silvestre, d’2nd coming of campbell,fabregas etc.
    But even if were to agree wit you, i wouldnt say we are more mobile than the big teams around. To make it in the premiership pace is important… But then whatever the case you’d have to ask, if this is a person’s plan, why willfully sabotage it? My guess would be, due to incompetence or ego -in a stand against popular thought, the man decides to; how is it put? Cut the nose to spite his face?

  • andy bishop

    Tops sides defend and defend collectively with clear instruction. It was an education to see AC Milan snuff out Barcelona in the San Siro. Also Mourinho’s teams know how to defend and watch out any player not carrying out his instructions. Lessons to be learnt. Are Arsenal learning these lessons?. Wenger points to less goals conceded than most other teams…anyone buy that as a positive? The fact remains we have not won many of the big games this year due to fragile defence. In all these games we have looked the better side or at least as good going forward apart from Bayern who outclassed us. There is a pattern that has emerged over the years…remember Arshavins night at Anfield..the second half at Newcastle, Blackburn, Bradford, Birmingham in the Cup Final. Pressure on… does our defence survive???. Failure by Wenger to buy a decent back four, Mertersacker and now Vermaalen come under attack as reasons. Even the young Schezney is now being doubted. When our attacking game is overwhelming teams we look irresistable. Look how quickly the top teams mid fields retreat to defensive positions once the attack has failed. Look how many times our midfield lags behind the game line and fail to plug the gaps. I’ve stopped blaming any individual player…Ramsey, Arteta, Cazorla and Wilshire run their socks off. I dont think the managers tactics have changed over the years..the modern game tactically may well have moved on. For me this is why Viera was such a great player under Wenger.