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What will happen when Arsène Wenger leaves Arsenal?

By Tony Attwood

In answer to that question, obviously none of us knows.  None of us knows anything of the future.  But we can make a few guesses based on what happens at the moment and what has happened in the past.

If we take the “big six” as they have become known in the media we can see certain factors

Last trophy Year of last trophy Last manager change This season? Last title Mang since last title
Arsenal FA Cup 2015 1996 FA Cup 2004 1
Chelsea League 2016 2016 Double 2015 2
Liverpool! Lge Cup 2012 2015 1990 9
Man U Lge Cup 2017 2016 Cup Double 2013 3
Man C Lge Cup 2016 2016 FA Cup 2014 2
Tottenham Lge Cup 2008 2014 FA Cup 1961 19

I think several factors emerge from this.   First, the most common thing for the “big six” teams to win is the league cup, which I suspect for those who comment on Arsenal a lot, is “not a trophy” given that the FA Cup no longer counts as a trophy for Arsenal.

Second, if we take the more natural vision of what a trophy is, it is clear that five of the six are still in with the chance of a trophy, given that five of them are still in the FA Cup.  But despite this, there is a huge media inspired outcry for a new manager at Arsenal which is curious.

And then looking at managerial changes it is quite clear that changing a manager is not an obvious way of winning the league.  Which makes the outcry even more curious.

In 2016, Chelsea, Man U and Man C all changed managers.  Inevitably only one of them is going to win the league and the others will be fighting it out for a top four finish – although given that “top four” is not a trophy, and indeed now just tedious, perhaps they won’t bother.

What I am really getting at is that changing managers is not necessarily a way of win the league – or come to that, anything.   In fact if we consider last summer’s changeover both Manchester City and Liverpool! were noted as being teams who had captured exactly the sort of manager that Arsenal needed to revitalise the club, and yet neither is likely to win the league this season.

Now the objection to this is that one season is hardly enough, we might need several seasons to turn things around – but as long as we are either winning the league or challenging up to the last few weeks of the season, that is ok.   Except, as we showed in a previous article, that is a statistical nonsense, given that there are six teams challenging and that most seasons there is no “down to the wire” (whatever the wire is) end of season challenge.

So if the great Pep and the great Klopp can’t come in and challenge for the league title who can?

That is the problem.   Changing the manager isn’t a great guarantee of anything much. In the three years since Man U said farewell to Ferguson, they have come 7th, 4th and 5th, and one the FA Cup once.    In those same three years Arsenal have come 4th, 3rd and 2nd and won the Cup twice.   In essence Arsenal have done better than Man U each season by sticking with the same manager and yet the cry is still out there – change the manager!

Which raises the question, why does changing the manager not guarantee winning the league, or come to that even give decent chance of winning the league?

There are two broad answers.  The first is obvious – the Premier League, unlike leagues such as Spain, Germany and France, is a competitive league in which several clubs do stand a chance of winning the league and the clubs lower down the league don’t just roll over and die when faced by them.  Instead of having just two teams that might win the league (or in Germany’s case, most of the time, just one team) and another bunch who despite challenging for a Europa League place are closer to relegation in points total than winning the league, we have a league where there is real competition.  Including six clubs that can consider themselves serious challengers for the title at the start of the season.

Second, because there is no magic formula.   We live in a most curious society in which daily, people who have never managed a team in their lives even at the most junior levels, pontificate on what managers should do, and how the managers have made the most basic errors which even a two year old dog would have been able to see at a five mile distance.  And even more extraordinarily, lots of other people think this is true.

Two years ago I wrote a piece about getting into club management, and how at any time there are hundreds of jobs as managers available, in the lower levels of football.  I suggested that those people who really think they know how to manage might take up one such job part-time and let us know what happens.

Of course they didn’t.  Managing anything, from a corner shop to a company that trades across the country, from personal finances to the economy of the country, from an amateur team in the 9th tier of football to a club in the Premier League, is complex and without any guarantee of success.   Even with unimaginable sums of money at one’s disposal.     And on that I can say a little about such matters since I have run companies in advertising, publishing, music and the building trade throughout most of my working life.   I can tell you, if it were easy, everyone would do it successfully and we’d all be multi-millionaires.

Indeed this is why Chelsea and Man City, clubs with seemingly unlimited wealth, still don’t win the league as often as Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona do.  It isn’t that easy.

So what will happen next?

Mr Wenger will of course leave – although also, of course, I don’t know when.   But his successor will face many of the same problems that Mr Wenger has had.  Problems such as

A media that is more anti-Arsenal than it is anti-any-other-club.  As we have seen, they are anti-Arsenal because it gets an audience, and that audience brings in the advertisers.  In essence, the anti-Arsenal Arsenal supporters are the click bait for the media.

The media that is its own AAA – the Arrogant, Amnesiac and Assumption driven.  That is not going to change, and all the criticism that brings will remain.  Remember the way the media hounded Mr Wenger when he first arrived at Arsenal?  It is not going to be any easier for the next guy.

The competition from the other five teams in the top six, three of whom have a far greater financial pull than Arsenal will still be there.

And above all the referees will still be there.   Of course there are many people who don’t believe our referee analyses – although I still have not seen anyone do alternative analyses to those of Walter and co which could show where our figures are so wrong, in any sort of depth.   The odd point is contested, but mostly we are just told it all evens out.

But even if that is the case, even if there were to be nothing wrong in terms of ref bias, the reality is that the level of accuracy of refereeing is dreadfully low, and the organisation behind the refereeing remains utterly secretive for reasons that have never become clear (assuming that is, that one dismisses the notion that they are corrupt.  And we have to do that because we have no evidence of corruption – only of ineptitude).  With that lurking in the background, there is no guarantee whatsoever that quality will win the day.

Sadly, when Mr Wenger goes, all those problems will still remain, and just changing the manager won’t make them go away.


 

Arsenal History Books on Kindle

The novel “Making the Arsenal” by Tony Attwood which describes the events of 1910, which created the modern Arsenal FC, is now available for the first time on Kindle.  Full details are here.

Also available on Kindle, “Woolwich Arsenal: the club that changed football” the only comprehensive history of the rise of Arsenal as a league club, and the attempts to destroy the club, from within and without.   For full details please see here.


.

The latest from the Arsenal History Society

We are currently 90% of the way through the most detailed review of Arsenal in the 1930s (the era that made Arsenal into one of the greatest teams) ever written.   The latest articles are

The Arsenal History Society publishes numerous series of articles exploring different aspects of Arsenal’s history.   You can find an index to all the series to date on the Society’s web site

85 comments to What will happen when Arsène Wenger leaves Arsenal?

  • Goonermay68

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  • KR

    The online Gooner has shown the last 21 away games against the the current top six, won 0 drawn 7 lost 14. What more needs to be said?

  • Leon

    I don’t know what will happen when Arsene leaves: probably same old, same old for a few seasons until new players & system start to gel.
    If you can accept that we will probably will not win the Premier League, definitely not win the Champions League, but possibly win a domestic cup then you’ll not be too disappointed over the course of ten years or so.
    It’s worked for me.

  • Harj

    100% reasoned piece. The only thing that worries me is that do the players believe Wenger will be leaving and give 10% less due to the uncertainty? If you sign Wenger for more than 2 years I reckon that would stabilise and focus the team. If not, then the atmosphere is too toxic and media driven for there to be any real sustained success.

  • MickHazel

    I agree with you there Leon.
    Having realistic expectations makes it a lot easier to accept things as they are now and for the foreseeable future.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    KR

    Where were you last year when we had the best record ahainst top 6.

  • Menace will have to go into Therapy

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    We were never going to win against Liverpool. They are so good offensively.

    Despite the media criticism of Alexis being rested i think Wenger has the Bayern game in mind.As Ozil and Walcot were rested for the same reason imo.

  • Cunning plan so we are going to beat Bayern 4-nil . Place your bets now

  • Al

    What amazes me is the arrogance shown by many of the people calling for Wenger’s head. Success is not a given, it is not something that is guaranteed. Many teams in the league will never be anywhere near as successful as Arsenal. I wonder how our “fans” would fair in those situations, situations where success isn’t even a hope. I guess they would call for their managers head and pray for someone like Wenger to come in and save them. I watch youtube videos about our team and the nonsense spouted by people who “pay good money to watch Arsenal” and how they deserve better for doing so. I’m sorry, did someone put a gun to your head and say you had to spend money? Did someone force you, coerce you or manipulate you into going to “support” Arsenal? No? Then grow up. If you enter into spending money on a product that will never be guaranteed, based on the fact that sport is and should never be one sided (that’s part of the entertainment), then you should be willing to accept that sometimes you will lose regardless of what you have spent. Hypothetically speaking; would you go shark cage diving, see sharks on said dive but then get angry and bitchy because you didn’t see the shark you wanted to see? If you would then you need to get your head checked. The world does not revolve around you and paying for something that is not guaranteed is a gamble. If you gamble you may lose. However, because Wenger has been better than average at winning (57%), and at making teams that do so well we now have a group of fans who think they deserve success. It is insane. I think Wenger gets things wrong but, I have no idea what goes on at Arsenal. I don’t go up to my peers in other professions and tell them whats happening in their jobs and then explain with layman knowledge the intricacy of what they do. Arsenal is a complex system made up of many parts. To get angry about someone being dropped because you think his form is great, or because you think he works in the team better than another player is farcical. Arsenal and Arsene know far better than you or me what team to play. Perhaps there are issues behind the scenes you have no idea about? Perhaps sensitive information that can’t be leaked to the public? Do you think Intel would release damaging data about itself to AMD? No, me neither. The take away from this is, teams win and teams lose. We lost to Liverpool yesterday and Arsene will leave sooner rather than later. When that happens we will have to endure the terror of uncertainty. Me? I’d prefer to continue to gamble on an almost 60% win rate and enjoy the spectacle of football.

  • nicky

    @ Rosicky,
    They were not so good “offensively ” against Leicester City last week. 😉

  • 49Unbeaten

    It seems Tony, that we all see and relaise that changing the manager will not gaurantee winning the league. That’s obvious. But now it’s not about winning the league, it’s about ambition, change and realising when Wenger can’t do any better or take the team further or improve because it hasn’t happened for the last decade. Same capitulation at the same point of each season and no winning momentum. All that has gone with the exception of two recent F.A cups.
    We both see Wenger and what he has done for the club, appreciate him and think he’s quality however when it comes to losing him we take a differnet view. Yours is a selfish view when it comes to loss. I don’t want him treated like sh*t all the time, embearrased, hated and derided week in week out. You seem happy to see this and keep him there just because you don’t want him to go. He doesn’t deserve this. It’s like when you have a loyal pet that’s been a wonderful servant and gives unconditionally for years. You know their ways, you appreciate and love them, but there comes a time when they lose their ability to carry on carrying on. Do you see them suffer, sitting in their own sh*t and p*ss, embarassing themselves and losing their dignity because they’re incapable how ever hard they try? Or do you say “enough is enough, I can’t accept this. You poor sod, the pain you must be in”? Tough love is something that should be administered here for the club AND for Wenger. He needs putting out of his misery and us out of ours.
    Has their been improvemnt? A display of Wenger adapting and changing his tactics and evolving to continue winning and staying at the top? No. Unfortunately not.
    I find your argument about “change won’t bring us the leage title” quite baffling. Simply because we havn’t won it for over a decade. So, if we change manager, and still don’t win the league for 2 or 3 seasons and then find something that clicks in the fourth then so what? I’d take that. What if we change managers and the new guy is an instant success? Then great! We’ll never know if don’t accept and make change. What IS a certainty though is that Wenger has done an amazing job and take the club and the team as far as he possibly can in a league that has changed unrecognisably from when he took over. It’s all old hat now and progress grinded to a halt a long time a go. Credit to Arsenal for trying to stick with him and giving him the chance to turn things around and credit to Arsene for sticking around, accepting the challenge and trying his best for the past 13 years. But let him go Tony. Let him go.
    Arsenal were here before you and I, before Wenger too. They’ll be here after you and I and after Wenger too but change is needed NOW. We all know it, Arsene knows it. He’s being selfish, you’re being selfish, the board are being selfish. Time to move on and show ambition rather than stagnate further.

  • nicky

    @Shoot,
    It all depends on which “Arsenal” will turn up next Tuesday.
    We are probably the only club to achieve such a 4-nil victory…..and then lose at home to Lincoln City in the FA Cup on Saturday. 😉

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Tony
    Great Read.The AAA are bunch of idiots.
    People thinking Alexis is off and people in Chile are persuading Akexis to leave Arsenal.The gimmick fizzled out after not more than 10 people turned up at the protest.

    Infact the social media is a deep sink which is full of garbage and nothing less.

    A1 great post.

    Infact people dont know what is happening behind the scenes.2 years back the Le groan predicted Santi is leaving and look what we have 2 back to back FA cups and runners up last year with Santi running the show.

  • kaius

    I admire this site hugely for changing my perspective on how I support the club, and how I look at refereeing. But right now it’s important that things change at Arsenal. We have to recognize that.

    There was no room for error after last season’s 2nd place finish. Most of us knew that after Cazorla’s injury our porous midfield was never going to sustain a title push. With a title up for grabs, Wenger’s response was to bring in Elneny in January. With Arteta, Rosicky and Flamini off the wage-bill this summer, Wenger only added Xhaka (who at 24 is actually younger than Jack Wilshere), an aesthetic player instead of the athletic Vieira-type we’ve needed for a decade. The Perez signing has been a waste of his time.

    It’s unhealthy for the culture of a club that there are no consequences for bad decisions. Another loss at Bayern would be our 4th loss in 6 crucial games (I think). It shouldn’t have come to this, but here we are.

  • gouresh

    There is no god given right to win the matches or trophies…..what everyone expects is you fight for every win…you show a positive reaction after every loss or a bad performance…..thats missing. No one is accountable and that’s because the manager is not to the board or the owner….this attitude filters down. I don’t know what happened in lecister football club. The manager got sacked and see the results, whether it will last? I don’t know, the bsd result’s were due to the manager? Time will tell….but I point is the reaction. The player’s coming out openly to support the manager, is great but are they playing for him? Or are they doing so, because they can get away with bad performance’s and still play week in week out?

  • 49Unbeaten

    @ Al – No one put guns to our heads on paying money for something that isn’t gauaranteed, however, if the sales man is advertising a product and that product then doesn’t live up to expectation then I’d say that people are going to be upset and annoyed at being duped by false advertising.
    “we’ll challenge, we’ll strengthen, we’ll compete, we’ll win……” and what we get?
    “we’ve capitualted at the same stage of the season (Again), we’ve only challenged for the first half of the season etc, etc…

  • dan

    Al

    Sorry mate, you keep repeating the same, the fans have a right to voice there concerns! Also what would he the outcome if our travelling fans decide to take your advice and not spend on the tickets. Our away record is abysmal when facing the competition, we witnessed the usual yesterday, lacking anything coherent what one might call title challengers. This Tuesday we will concede the 1st goal, I say this not because it will give me joy but this team only kick-starts when odds are stacked against them.

  • tom

    Nicky
    Theres not a hope in hell we will beat Bayern by 4 goals,but what we want to see is a good performance.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    49 Unheated

    How can u say we are not progressing.

    2 back to back FA cups
    Runners up last year
    Top spot in the CL group.

    Obvious signs of progress since 2013.

    Still 4th/ 5th in the Epl with 50 points and a game in hand over Liverpool.

  • Alex

    Once admirable and now a laughing rubbish le prof.Very painfull

    Who said le prof does not do changes.He drop Sanchez and thanks God he atleast kept him in the bench.
    The talk of starting Giroud Wellbeck combination to dominate on air it does not make sense.Playing 442 what it has to do relegate your best player on the bench?

    The truth is Sanchez is more popular among players and certainly among fans than le prof.
    Sanchez is the one who is carrying this team.Dictators dont like that

    Dictators they do not want anyone else to take credit of anything.

    With all the travels to his counntry and backwards happilly Le prof did not hesitate to play him.And now after 12 long days rest to bench him against top 4 rival is just beyond belief.

    Le prof do just the normal thing and say good bye.

    As per change of manager why fear?
    Certainly Will happen for sure what it happen to others.

    With right mix and attitude Leicester won it with Ranieri.This is how we aim to not ala Chelsea or Manure or City.Simply the board of these clubs are no where near to ours.Kronke is here to make money not a passionate Abrahamovic.

  • kaius

    Great post 49Unbeaten. If we’re not sustaining title challenges under Wenger, and he keeps getting new contracts, then why should a new manager be judged solely by winning?

    The right change can also build on Wenger’s great legacy. Too much of the negative, defeatist thinking on this issue misses that simple fact.

  • Al

    @49Unbeaten
    We do challenge, we do strengthen and we do compete.
    I don’t ever recall Wenger saying we will win. He always says we have the potential, which we do.

    You’re being duped by the media and what football is in your mind versus reality.

    @dan
    Then someone who realizes that football is not guaranteed success will take their place and support Arsenal. Someone like me. There are millions of Arsenal supporters and getting tickets is neigh impossible. The gap will be filled.

    Look, change is coming, it is inevitable. All of you here that want Wenger out will get your wish. I just hope that the new person who comes in can compete. If we can’t give a man who’s dedicated his life to the club and helped mold it into a formidable international force our support I wonder about the next guy.

  • 49Unbeaten

    @ Rosicky@Arsenal, although your point is true I have to disagree…..

    How can u say we are not progressing.

    2 back to back FA cups – IN 13 YEARS. NO MOMENTUM OR PLATFORM BUILT TO PROGRESS SINCE THEN
    Runners up last year – WHEN WE COULD HAVE BEEN 1ST. WE WERE GIFTED 2ND PLACE THANKS TO TOTTENHAM>
    Top spot in the CL group. – AND THEN FACE BAYERN.NOT LEARNING FROM PREVIOUS LAST 16 FAILURES AND GETTING BEAT 5-1 BY THEM IN THE OPENING LEG

    Obvious signs of progress since 2013. – IS THIS ALL PROGRESS? IS THIS PROGRESS SINCE 2004 THOUGH? I think not.

    Still 4th/ 5th in the Epl with 50 points and a game in hand over Liverpool

  • 49Unbeaten

    @AL

    I’m being duped by the media???? Not even slightly and I’ll thank you not to make incorrect assumptions about me please. I see what I see when it comes to Arsenal and always have.

    He actually says we can win at the beginning of each season. But we don’t. We challenge up to a point (The same point every season for the last 13 years) and then we fail. Madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. That’s our beloved club right now.

  • dan

    Al

    Agree with some of your previous post and yes a change is coming soon. Then why do we faulter at the very same part of the season, we make the same mistakes and have never addressed these basic errors, we are being torn apart by the big boys this season.

  • kaius

    AI you’re a little bit confused. Even Wenger says it’s about what’s best for the club, not for him.

    There are supporters who wanted a change in 2008 who’ve faithfully continued supporting the team since then. Instead of recognising that, Wenger apologists rail against anyone for not lauding Wenger enough. You talk like he’s the only man who “dedicates his life” to the club he manages.

    This is the unhealthy element of sticking with the same manager for too long without tangible success as benchmarks. Common sense goes out the window and it becomes about him and not the club.

  • Al

    @49Unbeaten

    Just like the incorrect assumption about Wenger duping you?
    The only quotes that say he will win the league have been pulled from the quote, asked if his squad could be champions within the next three years, he replied: ‘Of course I am convinced. We have not started very well but we never had the squad together since the start of the season.”

    Which was taken from the media.
    I only based my assumption of your duping from the fact that he didn’t ever say we would win but that he thought we could win with the squad he had. What did you expect him to say. No, we can’t win with our squad. They are not capable of doing so. That would be football suicide.
    Sorry, you must have read we’d win somewhere else.

  • 49Unbeaten

    @KAIUS

    Thank you.

  • ossasa

    No match report? Very unprofessional. No doubt there will be a long referee report with subliminal messaging along the lines of Wenger is Everything. Strange world. Strange fans. Disturbing site.

  • 49Unbeaten

    @AL

    Blinkers off please friend. It seems as though, like the media, you only pull the exerpts from his press conferences and not the whole interviews. Would you like me to load up 10+ video links of his press conferences so you can actually see AND hear him telling us fans, the press and anyone who have eyes and ears that we will win the title?
    He’s even said it this season whilst being behind Chelsea by quite a few points. Even our players come out and say they we can’t win. Are our players duping themselves now?
    A football team is always a reflectiion of the manager. Make of that what you will.

  • Well, Ossasa, you see, if you actually read the site you would know exactly why there is no match report. And you would also know that why the comment of our being unprofessional is rather silly. As for subliminal messaging, the best way to avoid that is to put a tin hat on. And if you are feeling disturbed, there are people you can consult.

    Commenting and complaining without reading is very…. well, bizarre.

  • dan

    Al

    We are not asking for the title, we have no divine right. Chelsea were last seasons laughing stock, this season they will be crowned champions. All we want is to be competitive, season after season we have fallen way ward.

  • 49Unbeaten

    @ dan – Well said

    @Al – Don’t think anyone onhere is agreeing with you my friend. You seem to have tunnel vision and therefore not accepting of what is actually going on.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    49 unbeaten

    If we win 2 back to back Fa cups after 2004/5 its 8 years and you say its no progress than its your opinion which i do not agree.
    Who asked spurs to bottle last year and finish below us when they had a great chance to be runners up.

    Last but not the least i firmly believe the refs are corrupt and Arsenal were winners last year Leicester should be thankful to refs for gifting them the title which was surely Arsenals.

    Any way you are free to have your opinion no offense.

  • Al

    @49Unbeaten

    As a matter of fact I would like those links please. I must have been living under a rock.
    Football is a game. Games are won and lost, it is the nature of the sport. If for one second you thought that we would win all our games based on the 10+ videos Wenger said that we would in (which you will provide so I can agree with you that he did say that we would win) then you are still being duped because football is game and winning is not guaranteed.

    @dan
    What would you consider competitive. I think we are, what could improve it in your eyes?
    Perhaps I could agree.
    You must understand that I am pretty rational and as such I find that a sustained challenge (and I do define Wenger’s era as one where we are challenging) better than uncertainty regardless of the fact that it may reap rewards.

    Also, would you take those titles at any cost? The cost to Chelsea last season was to become the laughing stock (finishing 10th) you have spoken about after winning the league.

  • dan

    Rosicky

    You make some good points, however, if two back to back FA cups are considered progress then wouldn’t stumbling at the same stage of CL for the last 6 season be considered a regression!

  • Top Guns

    For the few that still want Wenger to stay – be careful what you wish for

  • 49Unbeaten

    @ Rosicky@Arsenal

    No offence taken my friend. I just don’t see 2 FA cups in 13 years as progress considering we went unbeaten to win the league and won it in regular seasons previous to that too. Do we have the right to win the every season? Every other season? Or any season at all? No of course not. But, we haven’t even maintained ours or Wengers level in terms of title wins for the past 13 years, or the level needed to relistically and honestly say we’ve competed for them either. So have we progressed? Even won A title? Move past the last 16 in the champions league? No, but we have won two FA cups along the way. Our level has dropped from what it was and that hardly defines “progress”. We’ve gone backwards. We’ve reached the end of the bungee chord and now we’re being pullled back.

  • dan

    Al
    Chelsea spent 123 mil
    We spent 91 mil
    Spuds spent 70 mil

    Net spent
    Chelsea 97 mil
    We 82
    Spuds 29 mil

    It’s not at any cost.

  • 49Unbeaten

    @Al
    So I’m still being duped? By Wenger then? You can’t keep changing who I’m being duped by to fit your changing argument haha.

  • Leon

    I see the old “be careful what you wish for” cliche has surfaced again.
    What people seem to be wishing for is a successful club. no matter who is in charge.
    Not everybodys wish will be granted as there is only a limited amount of success to distribute.
    I’m satisfied with the moderate successes we’ve had in recent seasons and always hope for something more.

  • Al

    @49Unbeaten

    Links please.
    That is all.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Unbeaten 49

    Tks friend.But you are not following my point.

    We didnt win a cup after 2005 and after 8 years we won back to back cups .No progress?

    I think our last 2nd place finish was in 2008 and since last 3 years we have were 4th 3rd 2nd. No prorgress?

    We never top our CL group since so many years.This year we top the group.No progress?

    Lets hope we give a good display against Bayern.

  • ossasa

    Sure after having so many articles re Liverpool during the week (they backfired) you would have something as conclusive as a match report? Liverpool were there for the taking after their humbling at the hands of Leicester. Though the latter are have a torrid time as Champions they still have it in them to dispatch top 6 teams without much fuss. What they have in their dressing room remaining from last season’s endeavour appears more than what is in the Arsene camp. Arsenal simply do not turn up against the top 6 and news coming in is that Arsenal are enquiring of the position of Mr Koeman. Cannot imagine him leaving Everton who are gunning for a top 4 place themselves. Uncertain times and the club needs to get on top of things.

  • Pat

    Wise words, Tony – as ever!

    After I had been on yesterday’s march to try to save the National Health Service, I was talking to a friend in the pub. He is a Leyton Orient fan. I did not mention football for obvious reasons but it came up anyway.

    His team is about to be relegated from the league because of the misdemeanours of its owner. This is from a position not long ago when they were challenging for promotion to the Championship. When they are relegated they are also likely to be deducted ten points.

    They keep losing because they keep changing managers, and because the team is full of young lads, seventeen or eighteen, who are no match for the teams of grown men they are up against. To the credit of the supporters, they continue to give their young players full support.

    Unless a miracle happens, they will lose their ground and the most they can hope for is to continue somehow in some way.

    THOSE football fans have something to be sad and angry about. Some Arsenal fans need to get a sense of perspective.

  • Zedsaunt

    According to a mate who is a consultant cancer surgeon through a few decades, so I trust him, he has seen data which show that one in eight of English people in employment define themselves as ”managers.”

    In the decades I worked in Copenhagen I never met a ‘manager.’ The work I did, the work I was expected to do, was taught me, in work, by other workers. The German model of employment, my Danish son informs me, is still built on the same principles – 28% to 30% of the workforce are labourers, they are therefore taught on the job.

    In England as a union rep, representing members on the shopfloor in an intense indstrial environment with heavy deadlines, I made visits to the local university’s school of business studies library, which has a good international reputation, to make certain I kept up to date with whatever management theory was being touted as the elixier of success. Follow this, and you will succeed.

    The study of management has become a huge business over fifty years. It can be analysed as a self-perpetuating cycle. With the availability of Windows as a management tool, managers who lack the ability to even sign their own name, became managers who can construct a memo and lay it on the table in front of you.

    In reality –
    England 3 Hungary 6 – who was the English manager? Who was the Hungarian manager?
    Hungary 7 England 1 – who was the English manager? Who was the Hungarian manager?
    Real Madrid 7 Eintracht Frankfurt 3 – name the two managers.

    The English drive the idea of the ”individual” being responsible for the collective endeavour. We had an Empire because of the individual as the heroic manager of destiny. The EPL as the ‘best league’ in the world is driven, as a story, by the projection of the idea of the manager.

    Ultimately, in England, in the EPL, the ”manager’ controls destiny. Mr Wenger might decide to go in a few weeks. What remains –

    how does a sporting contest get decided by the referee as the most important person?
    how does a sporfting contest get decided by two teams of players playing each other?
    how does a sporting contest get decided by two managers?

  • Sid

    49unbeaten – great posts, agree totally ….. but if Wenger does announce he’s off then the entire Arsenal support would get behind him like never before till the end of the season. No-one wants to see him broken down by the criticism, however justified it is, because he has given hs all for the club and we all realise that. But he has reached his ceiling in what it seems he is able to achieve and it’s time for the legend to pass on the mantle to someone else. If he accepts that and it’s announced then there would be one hell of a rousing end to this season ….

  • Jimbo

    KR-To be fair the Online Gooner is probably the chief AAA site where half wits more suited to the Jeremy Kyle show,bathe in a vat of negativity.It’s also well known that most on there are followers of our rivals.

  • austInpaul ojeaga ksp

    Tony, has Wenger lost d dressing room?

  • Zedsaunt

    Sid posts

    ”No-one wants to see him broken down by the criticism”

    He already looks broken down. The team look even more broken down.

  • Zedsaunt

    Has the stadium lost the fans?

  • Zuruvi

    I am shocked that some are now advocating for us to lower our expectations if we are to enjoy being an Arsenal fan.
    I think Wenger himself said that the target for this year is to be Champions and not just Top 4.

    About 2 weeks ago I was also told right here on this Forum that Arsenal only competes in the Champions League to collect the money and not to win it.

    Guys, we all love Wenger but I don’t think being loyal to Wenger means we should lower our ambitions. Arsenal should always aspire to be the best.
    We pay Wenger the best wages in the industry.
    We the fans pay the highest season ticket prices in industry.
    We deserve better players (than Sanogo, Debuchy, Jenkinson, Welbeck, Elneny, etc. etc.).
    WW deserve to see our team competing strongly in the league.
    Arsenal is said to be the 5th, 6th or 7th richest club in the world, we deserve players that show we are a club of that stature.
    Our performances in the Champions League should resemble a club that is the Top 7 richest club in football.
    Our current midfield is weak … It is good enough to easily overcome the smaller teams like Hull, Watford or Southampton. Against the bigger teams we struggle.
    Even Liverpool yesterday dominated our midfield.

    I like Wenger but my friends something is not right. I think something has to change. I think Wenger needs to change a few of the players or he himself could become the victim. The noises for change are now so loud only a fool can think things will continue like this. Wenger is no fool. I am now scared that he will move on. I think Wenger can see the lack of progress (especially in Europe and in the league) and the growing turmoil in the supporter-base and he will call it quits.

    Personally, I wish he gets given a two-year contract and he buys very good players which will enable him to retire after he has once again taken Arsenal to the top of the league as Champions and he has also won for us our first Champions League title.

  • Mandy Dodd

    To paraphrase another blogger out there, when Wenger goes, there will be big change, but very little will change

  • Zedsaunt

    Mandy Dodd posts

    ”To paraphrase another blogger out there, when Wenger goes, there will be big change, but very little will change”

    Exactly.

    how does a sporting contest get decided by the referee as the most important person?
    how does a sporfting contest get decided by two teams of players playing each other?
    how does a sporting contest get decided by two managers?

  • Zuruvi

    I think when Wenger leaves there indeed will be BIG CHANGES.
    And unfortunately, I think our style of football will go. And I think we will lose our Top 4 consistency too. We will become a yo-yo club. Possibly finish 1st or 2nd in one year followed by several years finishing 5th or even 7th.

    That will be a very disappointing turn of events.

  • alexanderhenry

    This is what will happen when wenger leaves. Arsenal will do worse. For the most part this will be down to Stanley Kroenke’s insistence on running the club on the cheap.

  • Menace

    shoot – I have been getting therapy since I first saw you. Your so damned clever & quick witted. I just hope you know how to eat humble pie.

  • Arsene Wenger footballs Jeremy Corbyn

  • Menace where have you been all day . Hope you haven’t been sulking !

  • Zedsaunt

    ”Arsene Wenger footballs Jeremy Corbyn”

    You must be mad. What would the UK look like if Jeremy Corbyn went a season without defeat?

  • Top Guns

    Zuruvi – why are you so obsessed with the top 4.
    It does nothing for Arsenal football club apart from an annual humiliation every March

  • KR

    It does not matter where facts come from they are facts 21 away games and no win. It’s not progress, it’s simply highlighting a team that is not set up correctly. It does not include the European destructions either. Top four should be something to enjoy but being smashed at every knock out round is soul destroying. This squad under Wenger is no longer able to deal with the best teams in England and Europe, we have the spuds, stoke, wba away with both the manc teams at home it’s a tough run in and I believe we are going backwards. Anyone who thinks Sanchez was rested for Tuesday is deluded we are 5 1 down against one of the top sides in Europe even Wenger knows we are already out,…

  • Sammy The Snake

    OK Tony, let’s accept the status quo just because you are afraid of change!

    Even you must accept that things have been stale for a good while, and things must be refreshed. You can’t keep doing the same thing, and expect different results!

  • Menace

    Top Guns – you obviously don’t understand the financial benefits of humiliation. Top four is better than the FA cup. One day someone will educate you, then you will realise why Top Guns was bottom of the class.

  • The road is long

    How do you know? Chelsea went from shite to champions in less than a season! and if you think it’s a one off you are mistaken! Wenger could stay and win the league next year and then dominate., a new manager could do the same… No one knows

  • Top Guns

    Financial benefits to whom though Menace?

    I don’t see any benefits in ticket prices which at Arsenal are some of the highest in the world.

    And what of player recruitment. Apart from Sanchez and Ozil there are no really true great players at the club – oh and they will be leaving at the end of the season because the manager is so utterly clueless.

    20 years of Champions League money and yet for the past 13 years this club has not mounted a title challenge beyond March!!

    So don’t tell me about financial benefits – there are NONE

  • tom

    The only benefits of getting in the champions league are that the owner, who doesn’t care about trophys or Arsenal, makes more money.Arsene Wenger is making a fortune along with Ivan Gazidis that is why they both will be offered a new contract.The only people who dont benefit are the fans(the real ones that spend a fortune going to games ,not the ones who come on here posting from afar who have never been to the uk never mind the emirates).

  • Ajay

    It’s a joke the way we played against Liverpool. LFC watched what happened in Bayern and their midfield and forward line pressed so hard, AFC were just absorbing all of the pressure and conceded. Mane’s goal he was given all the room in the world to score. The team has no passion, no desire, certainly no fight. We are the team any out of form team will fancy to get their game going. Instead of using all the pace we had in the team, we go with Giroud for whom there were no crosses into the box. Furthermore he looked uncomfortable with some sort of strain as he was stretching around in the first twenty minutes. Perez who works hard and looks lively every game he played, a non starter. What does he have to do to get a starting game ahead of Iwobi who looks tired, can’t score with accuracy and poor in defensive work. We did not even pressure them down the right where Milner was. The Ox again played in the RW, despite showing form playing down the middle. Two DM’s who offered no protection for the back four. There is so much to go on. AFC has scripted the same story of flailing for the last 4 seasons. The stadium move can not be used as an excuse anymore. We paid 35 million for xhaka and he is ineffective than Kante who cost 32 million. And has missed more games through suspension. When will this poor attitude stop. When will the manager give the players a good smack on the ass instead of molly coddling. The manager not confirming his extension is another issue. Man city just scraped into the top four after the Pellegrini fiasco. We seems to have learned nothing from the past. The manager staying or not is not my call. But Arsene appears to be a broken man on the side lines with a frown speaks volumes of some one who is lost at sea without any bearing.

  • Ajay

    I may be from afar. Never seen the UK or the Emirates but we pay bloody good money for sky rocketing cable tv prices because they no longer broadcast on standard definition but only in HD. I find it mildly insulting for you to assume only fans in the UK pay a price to watch Arsenal play.

  • But we can look at evidence and data and make informed judgements

  • Biz

    @Rosicky – just skip the talk about the FA cup as progress. I mean, sure it’s not an insignificant trophy, but Arsenal’s international renown doesn’t build by winning the FA cup. We’re not considered to be part of Europe’s elite because we win the FA cup. We don’t suddenly seem like an attractive club to, say, Griezman or Hummels because we win the FA cup.

    It’s about challenging for the major honors that counts as success for Arsenal. And in that department, there’s been permanent decline for 13 years now.

    And while we talk about the league, you mention Arenal being “runners up” last season. Yes, but 10 points off Leicester! We were NOT challenging. And in fact, Wenger’s league record the past 12 years is: 13,6 points on average off the league winner. Quite staggering.

    *Mandy Dodd, bizarre as usual. Are you a psychic? How can you know, for certain, that “nothing will change” at Arsenal once Wenger goes? And, conversely, how come other PL clubs who HAVE changed their manager have gone on the actually WIN the league?

    In addition to our not competing at the highest level – which we should with such vas resources and with world class players in the squad – the football we play now is dull and unexciting. It’s not beautiful or entertaining.

  • Zedsaunt

    ”But we can look at evidence and data and make informed judgements”

    That was the case until recently, but who needs facts when you’ve got your feelings?

    It seems to me that what has been learnt from football isn’t just about how people can bond, maintain brand loyalty, create false news, buy every last item of merchandise, but it is also about how the feelings transcends all evidence to the contrary.

  • nicky

    Very difficult to predict what will take place when Arsene Wenger departs.
    So much will depend on the Kroenkes and their undisputed view as to the future of Arsenal FC FROM THE FINANCIAL AND INVESTMENT STANDPOINT.
    They have no knowledge of football and it would all depend on the advice they received and whether they would listen and act on it. I doubt if there would be much import from the present Board. 😉

  • Not afraid gunner

    After we beat Chelsea at home, and going by your reason Conte would not have bothered to reorganize the team to make the best use of the players he has? You forget that there is something called ambition? That is what propels us to excel. Top 4 for 20 years may be good, but not winning the league for 12 years shows the coached has lapsed into a mediocre rhythm, lacking innovation. In this game, the only currency is winning. Nobody remembers top four. History notes winners.

    Your man cannot win again.

    This is the best time for him to announce his retirement, so Gazidas and co, can start the long road to hiring a manager and putting football structures in the club.

    If he signs that contract, you bet it will go ugly with the fans because it will keep going bad. Top players will not choose Arsenal as they are ambitious and want to win trophies, not just FA, or EFL.

  • nicky

    @Not afraid Gunner,
    It would help the points you are trying to make, if you could elaborate exactly what you mean by “putting football structures in the club”.
    Do you mean a new stand?

  • Not afraid gunner

    Your wishing him to have a further 2 year contract is based on emotion for Wenger , not love for the good of Arsenal. This guy bought all those midfield players we have, almost all unsuitable for the premiership bar Carzola. Xhaka is slow, cannot sustain pressure, Elneny has no pace, cannot tackle, Coq cannot pass, Ozil is lazy, Ramsey looses the ball easily.

    Another issue is he overpays these average players, once they have a “good” season, making them difficult to shift. You have Jenkinson sticking to us because of that. Prior to that , it was Bentner, Diaby, Dennilson , etc.

    His best midfield after the invisibles was in 2008, and even then he couldn’t win.

    Time to leave. Time to announce that he is leaving, so we all rally round him, give the club enough time to get a replacement, put in long term football structures in place.

    Any new contract for him is a poisoned chalice, and I am sure , even he suspects that. The toxicity in the stands will rise to new levels.

  • Not afraid gunner

    By structures I meant, have a Director of Football with vision, good scouting team, good coaches and analyst and sack the yes men that surrounds Wenger.

    The club recently updated their medical team, but it still needs change.

  • Not afraid gunner

    By structures I meant, have a Director of Football with vision, good scouting team, good coaches and analyst and sack the yes men that surrounds Wenger.

    Refresh the scouting team. They have done terribly for us, although some may put the blame on Wenger who I hear does the valuations.

    The club recently updated their medical team, but it still needs change.

  • para

    Well, no one can predict what is going to happen, but even the most neutral fan can see that at Arsenal

    1:either they are following a plan and dont care what anyone thinks
    or
    2:they are really incompetent and cannot change as necessary

    On the other hand, has anyone thought that the hunt for a new manager/coach is going on and that AW will stay until he is found? Many would like his assistant to continue for the rest of the season or until then.

    Words spoken by our manager today are a far cry from the witty and powerful remarks he once made. Actually it does remind me a little of the early stages of my mother’s dementia!

    All i know that Arsenal needs to change if it wants to go forward and become a team that is respected and feared, at this time NO one fears playing Arsenal. May the players think about that.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    CALM-A-SUTRA – The art of not giving a fuck .

  • ARSENAL 13

    @brickfields…

    Hahahahahahahaha hahaha…Why not write a book.. Sure would be funny.

    Untold ARSENAL’s book of Calmasutra.

  • Top Guns

    quite right Tony.
    Indeed what evidence is there to suggest that Wenger should be offered a new contract?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ ARSENAL 13 -06/03/2017 at 7:42 am – Good idea . Will probably do it after the CL game . Lets see how calm or inspired I am after that !

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