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Let’s imagine Wenger leaves

Reading through all the current stories on Gooner News, and looking at today’s posts on the RedAction news group it is clear that a substantial majority of people who post articles believe that the Lord Wenger is no longer a Lord, and not even a Sir, but in fact little more than a guy who once had it but has now lost it.

The posts call him stubborn, stupid and a lot worse, and return to the theme that we heard all through the summer – that the club needs to sign, and sign big.

Mr Wenger has made just one comment on this that I know about – that through the summer every major club in Europe was looking to buy a centre half of top quality and no one could find one.

But today there was a second insight into the problem for the story has just broken that  15 members of Chelsea’s scouting division have been sacked, as the club pulls the plug on its attempt to catch up with Arsenal’s famous “world-wide scouting”.   Their chief scout and director of youth development, Frank Arnesen, has been asked to “justify his position at the club.”

Now you might remember that just after A Cole was tapped up, so too was F Arnesen, and in the end Chelsea had to pay £5 million to the Tiny Fantasists for Arnesen’s services – a world record fee for a scout.   In fact the same amount as the Tiny F’s had to pay for Harry Hotspur.

What makes this so very interesting is that after 3 years at Chelsea the only result of the Arnesen revolution is Argentine forward Franco di Santo who is now in the first team squad.  That’s it, after 3 years.

I pull these points together, because I wonder how many people have really thought through in depth what will happen if the chant that we heard at Stoke of “Wenger out” is taken up by a significant number of people who go to Arsenal matches and he decides to walk.

The notion from these commentators is that as a club we should spend, spend, spend, but as Wenger himself has said, and Chelsea’s action reveals, there simply aren’t the players out there that are worth buying.

The reason is quite simple: there is a limit to how much better players can get.  Of course there is the occasional genius like Theirry Henry, but they stand out because they are occasional.  Arsnesen can’t find them, Wenger can’t find them – they are not there.  We have more or less reached the limit of speed and skill, and there are few players who go much further.

So we would spend millions upon millions buying players that are no better than what we have.   That would lead us into difficulty financially eventually, and so we would invite in Mr Usmanov, and rival Chelsea in that way…. and that still doesn’t guarantee a victory in the league, as Chelsea found last year.

I must admit that emotionally I like the idea of bringing in young talent and moulding it into the players of the future.  That way we don’t have to wait for a year or two for players to mature into the English game – they are there already.   I also like the fact that we didn’t have to pay £25 million for Cesc – which is what we would have done had we had a Chelsea type set up.

But if I set my emotions aside, I still can’t quite see the alternative to the Wenger approach.   I can’t really see which manager is available that is a better manager than Wenger.  I can’t really see who we can buy, and I really can’t see the benefit of having a club that is beholden to the wealth of one man (as per Chelsea) or loans from banks that are themselves in dire trouble (as per Manchester and Liverpool).

What I would love to see is a reasoned argument that tells me who the new manager would be, and why he would leave his current employer to join us, what players we would sign, how quickly they would settle in, and what guarantee there would be of financial stability.

Maybe that’s too much to ask, and maybe that’s not what the silly twirp who chanted “Wenger out” at Stoke meant.   Maybe he meant, “I’ve had too much to drink so I am going to say something silly”, and maybe the guy who hit him felt the same.

Whatever he meant, I don’t really think he is right.

Here’s a final thought.   I personally always rated Pires as one of the greatest players I have ever seen, and I believe Henry at Barca is less of a player because there is no Pires to play alongside.   But Pires in his first season with us was very average – he took a year to get going and there was no certainty he would.  And since he left every attempt to find a new Pires has failed – possibly until now with Nasri.

That’s how long it takes now – everyone is on the prowl and it isn’t easy to find the best players in the world, and persuade their clubs to say, “yes, sure, of course you can have him, he’s a genius, but really, we don’t want him.  Take him, please do.”   I wish it did work like that, but it don’t.

12 comments to Let’s imagine Wenger leaves

  • don't believe the hype

    That is the problem – a lot of fans don’t have the intelligence to realise that real life is not like a computer game. You can’t just throw out the manager and half the players mid way through the season and expect to be stable or win anything. If they are bleating this hard after a few poor results, what will they do if things get worse before they get better? That is a distinct possibility, but either you support the team or you don’t. In addition to not finding the talent that readily, there is also the small matter of a worldwide recession and credit crunch. Only a madman would go out and spend money they don’t have at a time like this.

  • Wenger is hardly what ails Arsenal. More like it, it’s the concrete prison they built that has its finances tied up for the next 30 years.
    http://startingeleven.blogspot.com/2008/11/starting-eleven-football-blog-roundup.html

  • Bobby Pliers

    The people who cry “Wenger Out” are probably too young to remember what we had before. Those of us who saw Arsenal in the 80’s and even the early 90’s remember and what we have now is light years away from that. Yes we had our moments in that period and some of the grit of Rocastle, Thomas, Adams etc wouldn’t go amiss now but generally we were pretty abject at times and the football was “Wimbledon with frills” as we were once famously labeled. Every year only 1 team can possibly win the league and its getting harder all the time to compete. Even Chelsea are going to be dwarfed by Man City’s spending power, therefore teams built purely on finance are going to end up pulling eachother apart. I am not in the slightest concerned by our current situation we are 4th and 2 wins off the pace (big deal!)

    My only concern is that Wenger goes, then we would be in trouble.

  • those who want Wenger 2 stay must also explain some of the crazy decisions he has made especially not addin 2 the squad in the summer. Not all of us demanded an expensive player, all we wanted was an experienced player or 2, an idea Wenger clearly chose 2 select. So u hav 2 accept that Wenger gambled & is losing out big time & no amount of spin is going 2 hide that. Anyway the least he can do now is admit his mistake & pledge

  • don't believe the hype

    The more I think about Wenger leaving, the more it fills me with horror! Who else could keep us competitive with all the financial restrictions we have to work with? All I can say to those saying ‘Wenger out’ is, be careful what you wish for…

  • Ian Trevett

    The problem we have is that we seem to have attracted some very dodgy fans.
    No other manager in our history has wone three league titles…ever. Not even Herbert Chapman. No other manager has won two doubles.
    He is quite simply the best manager in our history, and his greatest achievement has been to keep us competitive against the richest clubs in the history of football with both hands tied behind his back due to us building a brand new stadium. He is a genius.

  • sam

    Wenger may have predicted the financial turmoil in global economies, and his thrifty management may save Arsenal in the long term. Other teams with major debt and super rich owners will face a tough time soon.

  • Jimmy

    afrix – you say that wenger is “losing out big time” – how pray do you come up with this fact?!
    we’re 6 point behind the leaders, and as any arsenal fan with a memory longer than a couple of seconds can remind you we’ve been further behind later in the season and come back (and also, as if to prove it wasnt a freak occurence, it has happened to us as well…) its not end of the world time, its not give up and go home time, and its certainly not sack the manager time!
    This blog is the most well reasoned, least knee-jerk-jump-on-the-band-wagon, arsenal blog out there. thats precisely why many of us read it. And Tony is one again leading the way by refusing to get too het up about what is in reality the result of a couple of wonder goals, 2 minutes of tragedy last wednesday and 90 minutes of poorness on sat.
    Sir, we salute you!

  • Jimmy i started supporting this club in 1990 when we had the likes of Ian Selley and Eddie McGoldrick in our midfield so don’t play the new arsenal game with me.
    For sure we are 6 points behind the leader but we haven’t played the top 3 teams. For sure we came back in previous season with far more mature squads, the squad we have at the moment is simply not good enough and the results have proven that! Am just saying Wenger has erred and must admit and to play blind to that doesn’t come across as well reasoned to me!
    When Wenger does well I will praise him as I’ve previously done but when he’s messing up I’m going to call him on it!

    Seems most fans have this belief that Wenger is bigger than the club well he is not and some of us as fans we will put the club 1st!

  • Jimmy

    Afrix – pedant hat on – eddie McG came to the club in 93 and Selley didnt make his 1st eam debut till 92, but that aside i take your point.
    Wenger is not bigger than the club, but then neither are our opinions about him – and it seems to me that many of the “Wenger is a fool for not doing what i wanted him to…” camp seem to be of the opinion that their opinion should be listened to and taken heed of above any record of previous success.
    I’d argue simply that a “poor” start to this season doesnt nullify the previous decade of the best football that many of us have seen, (and certainly better than any Arsenal team has ever played!) and also that we need to get a bit of perspective over just how “poor” a start this is…

  • Am not bigger than the club nor did I suggest that. My opinions are my opinions and what I did was just state them without saying other peoples’ opinions inferior. The reason people believe Arsene Wenger is poor is because they know what he did to achieve success, combined experienced world class players with previously unknown players into an all conquering team. Now he abandoned that in favour of the kids and naturally that is a gamble. Sadly the gamble is failing spectacularly at the moment and all the fans want is for Wenger to go back to basics. Also Wenger failed to address these issues during the summer. For example he stated late last season that the team needed a big centre half but for reasons he only knows decided not to replace the player! He chose not to directly replace Flamini and it’s showing. Fans are simply asking for common sense not his nonsensical press conferences, no wonder Tony Pulis had a filed day mocking Wenger today!

    I would accept a poor start if we’d played all types of opposition up to this point but losing to the likes of Fulham, Stoke, and Hull (never mind the feeble collapse against the $cum) without having played our big 3 rivals is more than a poor start. The team is not balanced and that us Wenger’s responsibility, and you should realise do not want him out yet but want to see him acknowledging and addressing the problems!

  • Prick

    Hey, maybe we can be like the other club down the road. They sack their manager for every 3 loss or so. Works well for them so far.