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What changes do we really need at Arsenal?

WHAT CHANGES DO WE REALLY NEED? …  Don McMahon

The anguish, whining and prognosticating that has occurred after our loss at WHL and our declining fortunes this season are truly Shakespearean in the extreme.  The press are overjoyed with their hyperbole against AFC and the aaa are jubilant at the prospect of having one more arrow in their quiver against Wenger, the owner and the Board.

Let’s NOT pretend that this season has been a success! Maybe winning the remaining 5 matches and the FA cup final can put a patina on the lacklustre results to date BUT there are issues that AFC must deal with. Are they the ones the aaa, the media and the plastic banner fanboys scream at us from the shadows and sewers? Well, let’s take a look at, in order of priority, what they claim are VITAL changes that must occur, and then take a look at what, in actual fact might actually improve our fortunes next season and onward:

  1. Get rid of the manager and bring in a ¨winner¨ like Mourinho, Guardiola, etc.
  2. Remove the current owner and bring in Usmanov to invest billions in the club.
  3. Get rid of half the team and buy ultra-sexy, ultra superstar level ¨winners¨ who will score boatloads of goals and win us cabinets full of silverware.
  4. Dump the current board and Gazidis and replace them with directors and management that have the ¨balls¨ to make tough decisions.
  5. Forget the current AFC policy of promoting from within and stick to the Chelsea, United, City model of buying success at any cost.
  6. Stop trying to prove the ¨paranoid¨ theory that the EPL officiating is incompetent at best and bent at worst and accept the irrational and simplistic argument that it all evens out in the end.

There may be more specific ¨complaints¨ that the faithless, fickle plastic fanboys have but for the moment let’s address these:

#1 – Tony and others have conclusively proven time and time again that changing the manager does not guarantee anything, other than change,  But for the better or worse?  You can never tell in advance.

#2  – Another myth that is easily disproven. Usmanov is first and foremost a businessman and will, like Kroenke, seek to improve his investment but NOT necessarily the club.

#3 – This illusion is currently the flavour of the decade among the aaa. IF only we had bought, transferred, kept such and such a player, all would be well today. Once again, Tony & UA have shown that only 25% of new acquisitions work out in the first or second years.  Nobody in their right minds would gamble on 4-1 odds against success.

#4 –  Who could or would replace the current board or management   and would they be any better?  They don’t kick a ball on the field so what have they likely got to do with AFC’s short-term (the aaa  vision) success on the field? A new owner or Usmanov wouldn’t give a flying fig about their opinions.

#5 –  This COULD work IF the owner and Board were willing to spend like there was no tomorrow but that is NOT the Arsenal way and I doubt it will ever be.  However, looking at the three teams who have followed this model so far, and as UA once again pointed out, total spend is not automatically inclusive of success.

#6 – Yes it does all even out in the end, except on the Football pitch, where bad officiating has robbed us of so many points, AND so many promising stars at key moments , UA has dedicated tremendous resources and time to prove that things are rotten if not in the state of Denmark, as the saying goes, then at least at PGMO HQ.   Keeping their heads firmly up their collective posteriors prevents the aaa, the media and the fanboys from actually acknowledging that there is serious chicanery going on with the PIGMOB and the FA.

Now here are my suggestions. Others can add to them or edit them as they like:

  1. Encourage those true Gooners who cheer on their team regardless to stand up and be counted. The away support for the team was generally very positive and the players noticed this. When you feel that the supporters are there to cheer you on, not judge or diss you, mentally you have more prospects of performing above average than when you are looking over your shoulder.
  2. AFC and especially Wenger and the Board MUST confront the media and even the boo-boys and show the true supporters what these clowns really are.
  3. Bring up more youth and keep transfers that are good investments coming. If a star like Alexis, Ozil, Cech becomes available, certainly consider them (something they have done so well so far). Experiment more with alternate formations (like Wenger has done in the last few weeks, and try out players in different positions to discover their hidden talents (Oxlade-Chamberlain, Holding, etc.)
  4. Rejuvenate the team with a series of younger transfers who, like Holding, Xhaka, Elneny etc. can challenge the veterans for a place. Those players who run hot and cold like Walcott, Gibbs, Iwobi and Welbeck need to be given specific and realistic targets to achieve and be held accountable for every performance that is subpar, since subpar is only a good thing in golf! This means that the legendary patience of Wenger must be mitigated a bit and that these under-performers feel the heat a retirement or bit.

If UA members have other ideas, please feel free to express them politely. By the way I know that AFC are looking at recruiting new players over the summer and filling holes soon to be open due to retirements, transfers out, long-term injuries, etc.

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59 comments to What changes do we really need at Arsenal?

  • It is an interesting, the idea that “buying success at any cost” is not the Arsenal way. Certainly not under Mr Wenger, but it has been the Arsenal way in the past.

    Despite the story that is often told by those who have not done their research, Sir Henry Norris was happy to spend money on transfers, and allowed Chapman to do exactly that. Even though some Chapman transfers didn’t come good, many did from Charlie Buchan, to Alex James.

    I suspect our biggest problem across the years was handling players and keeping them at the club. Ray Kennedy, Charlie George, Geoff Strong… these and many others were a generation before van Persie, Fabregas et al decided they’d had enough.

    Keeping players happy needs a management team of its own, I reckon.

  • insideright

    The most important thing about Don’s post is that it highlights the fact that deciding on what needs to change precedes the decision of who needs to be brought in to oversee it.
    If a greater emphasis is going to be put on home grown talent (a perfectly logical tactic given that, for the foreseeable future, there will be at last three EPL clubs richer than we are) then there is no point in bringing in a manager whose previous success has only been built in the transfer market. Arsenal have a stated policy (Gazidis at the fans forum in the summer of 2015) of increasing the proportion of home grown talent in the squad and they have just completed significant investment in the academy to help achieve it.
    Such investment doesn’t preclude activity in the transfer market but might make it more focussed and competitive at a higher level.
    A strategy like that probably needs a manager that is even more focussed on youth development than is Arsene Wenger. No one springs to mind except maybe those at far poorer clubs than us – and they tend to have a far less successful playing record.
    Looks like we’ve already got the best man for the job!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I’d love to see a better class of fans who truly support the Arsenal . Who’d sing their hearts out for our players and really make it a joy to play for .

    And I think it will happen as those wishy-washy picky lot cross over to the other side, in the belief that the tide has changed .

    You will not be missed !

  • Goonermikey

    Far too sensible Don. The aaa won’t come near this article…………………well maybe with an unsubstantiated opinion or two!

  • Josif

    @Don

    I think you’re a bit harsh bit on Iwobi. He can’t be judged in the same way experienced players who have spent a decade at Arsenal (Theo, Coq, Aaron, Kieran, Ox), at the top level (Danny, Mesut) or at the wrong side of 30s (Nacho, Giroud) but have all failed to reach their top level (Ox is only one with a curve going up but still). If Iwobi gets the attention and the environment to reach his potential, he will become the world beater.

  • jjgsol

    Thank you for the post and the clear common sense.

    I have have only just discovered this blogg having enjoyed another one for a couple of years, but have given up on it simply because of the awful negativity which is displayed by almost all of the posters, and the fact that they constantly felt the need to insult those people with whom they did not agree.

    I am grateful for this and another blog that I now frequent, for the common sense, positiveness and above all the fact that the posters are all lovers of the club, as opposed to lovers of the club’s results.

    We all agree that the deterioration since the beginning of the year is saddening, even upsetting.

    We can all speculate as to the cause, but, in truth, we all know virtually nothing about the players and what goes on behind the closed doors of the stadium and training facilities.

    Confidence amongst artists, and the players that AW has accumulated are in the main that, rather than automatons or ordinary players, is fragile and I suspect that it is the breakdown in that which is the real source of the problem.

    Add to that numerous contract issues, I dare say that it it not a very happy place at present.

    I have no doubt that AW and his staff are working on this continuously, but are hampered by the media who would love him and them to fail, as well as elements of the supporters who, possibly, cannot see the wood for the trees.

    I am not a season ticket holder and very rarely go to matches, so I have sympathy for those who spend vast amounts on tickets and away games.

    They feel that they deserve better and when they do not get it, understandably, they feel resentful and bitter. I do not blame or criticize them, provided that they also allow those of us who do not believe everything is as bleak as they think, to have and express our views and accept the for what they are, the views of people who love the club just as much as they do.,

    Possibly, those of us who have supported the club since well before the AW reign might understand more easily the privilege that we have enjoyed over the last 21 years.

    There must be a midway between total negativity, which now rules so many committed supporters, and acquiescing to what some deem as constant failure.

    You have asked for ideas for solutions to the problem, which, I am afraid I cannot suggest.

    I am, however, convinced, that the moment AW perceives that he can do nothing further, he will stop.

  • Yellow Canary

    We need a change of manager. The club is going stale. We’ve had 13 years of failing to mount a proper assault on the league title. Younger managers are constantly outwitting Wenger. Our record against the top clubs this season is appalling. Against teams above WBA, the teams challenging for top four, we’ve accrued 6 pts out of a possible 30. There is no progress in Europe. This club needs to clarify what it perceives as ambition. We’ve had years of stability that morphed into stasis that now appears to be turning into regression.

    And I’d agree with Arseblog when they say they’d like Kronke to f*ck off. We all see how useless his sporting franchises are.

    As for the refs, I’m sorry I don’t see any bias against Arsenal. This weekend alone we’ve seen dubious penalty calls in multiple games. It happens all the time. Unless you are prepared to do ref analysis on every game your “finding” exist in a vacuum. I say findings because it’s all too easy to judge ref errors from the comfort of your armchair, you have no perception of actually experiencing reffing an EPL game. The game needs video technology.

    A change of manager doesn’t seem to harm Chelsea. And despite Tony’s attack on Guardiola a few days ago it appears that City will finish above us. Give the man time, if in 13 years he hasn’t won the league maybe criticize him then, you’ve allowed Wenger that long. Of course changing managers doesn’t guarantee success but at least the fans feel the club is actually chasing success, not merely winking at it like a shy school girl at the class Romeo.

    As for point 3 it’s plainly obvious that the majority of Arsenal fans don’t expect that but they do want change and a team which actually appears to give a shit. If Spurs can finish second with a minimal budget compared to ours what does that say about the manager, scouting etc.?

    Wenger’s had his moment and he’s had a glorious first decade. It would be nice for everyone concerned if he stood down now because I predict, boldly maybe, that if he stays next season will be no better. Most Arsenal fans I know are just bored and another two years of Wenger will drive many into terminal tedium.

  • Brazen

    It’s only taken Pochettino 3 seasons to produce a Spurs side capable of winning the league. They may not do it this season but I am pretty sure it will be a very close run contest. This is less time than Wenger has had since cash has become available to spend. Had he spent well?
    Sanchez? Yes!
    Ozil? No!
    Xhaka, a midfielder that according to Wenger “can’t tackle”? No!
    Perez? Obviously not because the manager never plays him.
    Welbeck? No, not a goal scorer but played as striker!
    Gabriel? Doubtful, but improving when the manager plays him.
    The homegrown players generally are not up to it and, let’s be honest, were not produced by our academy; how many have been?
    When you consider the failures that he’s bought and managed to sell or give away, (Gervinho, Santos, Eboue etc,) added to the aforementioned can anyone honestly say that he deserves more time!

  • Brazen, I can only conclude that you have written your note without actually taking the time to, or having the courtesy to, read any of our analyses of transfers. But even if that were not an issue, has it ever once occurred to you that your allegation of the number of players who have by your unspecified criteria failed, can only be of value if it has been compared to the number of failures at any other club. Really, these are very, very basic things to consider first.

  • Reg

    Mmm Pellegrini won the Premier League in his first season at Man City (2014), Mancini won it in 2012 in his 2nd season, Mourinho won the League in his 2nd season back at Chelsea (2015) after winning it twice for Chelsea in his first 2 seasons (2005 and 2006). Ancillotti won it in his first season at Chelsea (2010). Ranieri won the league in his first season at Leicester (2016), Conte doing quite a job in his first season. Since 2005 only Ferguson has bucked the trend and been a long established League winning manager. Proof change can be positive?

  • GoonerDave

    To be fair, there are footballing reasons why AW should leave the club – our football is stale, we seem to lack direction, belief and we keep repeating the same mistakes. But I can forgive him his mistakes on the pitch. He is human after all.
    As soon as he revealed that he had been signing secret contracts for lending security, I lost an immense amount of respect for him. No longer was he one of us. He was clearly fully aware of our financial constraints, but was annually dishonest about player sales, contracts and ambitions. Fans who really cannot afford to, paid top money for tickets, while all available cash was being used to pay down debt. Cash reserves are now sacrosanct, as is anything which affects share price.
    I don’t doubt for a minute that Arsene truly believed he was doing the right thing. But he wasn’t. And that has forever tainted my memory of a man who once had my total respect as a human being.
    Our club is broken. Our fan base is split. Our players are not performing and at times look like they aren’t trying. Our board consists of old men mixed with corporate men. Something does need to change, but it must be more than just the manager. We need a board of football men who have the nous to spend wisely but properly. And the only way to get that is to cut the head off the snake. Easy to spot, this particular snake wears a ridiculous giant wig.
    Kroenke out, the Board out and for siding with the banks and forgetting the fans who adored him, Wenger out.

  • finsbury

    Why do the Experts have to lie in order to support their opinions?

    Stale football? That was witnessed against Iceland.

    If 3 FA cup finals in four years is stale then perhaps you should use the other orifice in order to taste your food?

  • Sifarzone

    I think it’s funny how in all the years I have watched Arsenal, people complain or predict that we will finish outside the top four. So really Arsene Wenger has exceeded expectations for at least 12 years, since the last title, and still they complain.

    But the last three seasons are really transition years, prior to that we always had a strong identity in terms of how we attacked and defended. I think the signing of two great attacking players have changed the way we play and the identity as well, and since the new identity is not fully formed yet, we get and mix of attacking/defending tendencies and little consistency. case in point is that we can all remember great team goals prior to 2013, but in the last three, I can hardly remember any, there were great individual goals, but few team ones, maybe my memory is faulty.

    I am excited to see when we get out of the transition period what we will look like. A three back formation seems ill suited to Giroud though. Off-season work to be done.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    SoonerDave,

    If you happen to have a spare couple of Billion pounds then please feel from to offer it to our current majority shareholders in exchange for their shares. That is absolutely thinly way that you will achieve a change in ownership in the club. If you haven’t then regrettably there is nothing that you or anyone else can do about it and the kind of diatribe that you have posted is really a complete waste of time. Our fanbase has always been split as the multiple articles on this and the Arsenal history websites have shown. The club has shares which are publicly traded currently for something in the order of £17,250 each. I can’t afford that level of expenditure – can you?

  • ANAND

    Your as blind as a bat when you write this article. Wenger was fresh air when he joined but today he obsolete vis-a-vis a new set of manager. I agree that change in manager will not get load of trophies but in last 12 years except for 2 FA cup (finals won against weaklings) is nothing to talk about. Change in Manager is a must. I agree that buying costly player is not a sure shot to trophies. But clearly the whole world knows what we lack and buying them within our budget is possible. You would appreciate Kante would have been better buy than Xhaka but was not bought. Wenger is partial towards a set of player and protects them at the cost of the team. I agree with your point that no body is going to throw money without reasonable return. But what people are talking about a owner with more involvement than Kroenke who seems to be not interested at all. You also need to appreciate that the success in field in terms of trophies will only win you commercial contract. if you do not have it nobody is going to give contract to a average team. So what people say are true to some extent like Wenger has to go . There has to be organisation set up in the management of the football affairs of the club. We need a proper Board and CEO not rubber stamps. Another thing. You guys in Britain think you are the only the true supporter of Arsenal and people outside mean nothing. If foreign fans do support Arsenal you would have just like Suderland or Queen Park Rovers. Also do not give the view that you only know about football and others do not understand anything. If you knew all about football the last trophy won by England was in 1966 and except for a semifinal place in 1990 there is nothing to talk about. Open your eyes, come out of the well and see the world. It has changed. England is no more an empire it is a small island only and have no influence on football. EPL is what it is is because of the foreign players and supporters from other places. Wake up and smell the coffee and stop giving sermons.For your kind information we wake up at midnight to watch our club play (not sit in bar in the evening and watch) and have to work hard to make a living. A very well managed Arsenal playing good football and winning trophies makes us also happy and any loss makes us as much sad as you feel. For your kind information they started showing EPL in our country from late 90s and have supported Arsenal all the way and my heart beats for Arsenal.

  • Jack

    In my humble opinion for far too long the board have been happy with just champions league qualification. We are now at a stage where a quality and proven player will not look at AFC as a first choice. For far too long mediocre performances from quality talent has been accepted. It’s time we become performance oriented from the board level to the physio (players included). If we adhere to meritocracy and award performance while penalising under performers. It would be a good start. A rational fan is not expecting the league tittle the next year. The so called boo boys also want to see the club moving forward. Stagnation can quickly lead us to a downward spiral, once in it, we will find it much more difficult and much more costly to come out of it.

  • Norman14

    I do believe it’s worth mentioning that Mr Usmanov is actually an Arsenal supporter. This has been mentioned in several places – and not least by David Dein.

  • Hunter13

    a playmaker

  • olad

    Its crystal clear that something needs to change at AFC….In my own opinion, I believe wenger needs to step down..” Arsenal players love Wenger and not arsenal” they all play for him because he do not always complain even if they play rubbish all through the match like Ramsey did in NLD they will still get pick come the next match and that made all of them want him to stay… I believe we need another manager that will not take nonsense from any player because these set of players can give more than what they are playing now.

  • Norman14

    Talking of changes, we have two refs we haven’t see recently, well for over a week in fact.

    Marriner against United (3/4 against Manchester for us this season), and that paragon of honesty and fitness, Moss, for the game against The Saints.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sometimes reading certain comments , I wonder for the sanity of some of **** !
    Actually I don’t , but you get the point!
    Please enlighten us on your great success in life ,of your bussness acumen and the great deals you have done.
    Like Andrew says , take over the club with that spare billion that you have, and takes us all on the greatest ride of our lives!
    Wheeeeee?

  • Andrew Elder

    A lot of interesting and valid points made. Been a true supporter since 1959 with a few ups and a lot of downs over that period. Arsene Wenger has been the best manager ever but I honestly feel his time is up, the players know he will always support them and are now taking the p..s. I have never witnessed such sustained mediocrity from any Arsenal team over the past 20 years and major surgery is required which AW will not perform. I am convinced we need a manager who will rebuild the team from the back as George Graham did (on a shoestring) which AW inherited with spectacular results after his great attacking and midfield additions (except Bergkamp). An Italian manager such as Allegri would be perfect but unfortunately won’t happen and Simeone is probably out of reach. These are the types of managers Arsenal need who won’t take any c..p from the players and probably put the ‘fear of God’ in the opposition, no more easy rides. Players such as Ramsey, Walcott, Coquelin, Gibbs, Ospina, Wilshere, Gabriel & Giroud who have all had their chances but are at best mediocre and should be sold. I know getting rid of 8 players seems drastic but I would rather have real change and a higher ambition than having to put up with the’same old’ every year.

    On a different subject, Spurs think they are going to dominate us from now on forgetting they have to play their home games at Wembley next year (we have been there before) then settle into a new stadium the year after (we’ve been there too). Let’s see how arrogant they are at the end of next season particularly if AW goes. I suppose we can all dream because I cannot see it happening with the wimps we have running our club. Oh! and Gazidis replaced by David Dein? We will come out of it but I fear I won’t be around to witness it, I’ve just had my 80th.

  • nicky

    Those supporters of our great Club who advocate getting rid of the Kroenkes are living in cloud cuckoo land.
    The Father (and Son) bought shares from greedy shareholders at inflated rates and are now owners of Arsenal FC, a piece of real estate in prime condition and increasing in value each season. What possible incentive is there, presently, for them to depart……or even make changes?
    This is the problem when a sporting company is taken over by a single individual. His word is law and the Board he attends has no real authority.
    Eventually, of course, in the manner of things, there WILL be change and therein lies the rub. New ownership will probably either involve another billionaire OR a consortium of City investors and one can only hope that the future of Arsenal FC will transfer into good hands. 😉

  • Pat

    jjgsol

    Thoughtful points. The point about confidence is one Arsene Wenger has recently made several times. Your point about our players being artists is a good one.

    Apart from that, I thoroughly agree that none of us know or can know exactly what all the factors are which have resulted in this season.

  • Hunter13

    is nicky trolling?

    ‘This is the problem when a sporting company is taken over by a single individual. His word is law and the Board he attends has no real authority.’…but youd like usmanov to buy it all and ‘invest’ his billions so that you and me can laugh at the pub at chelsea and totenham scum ? tell us about roman abramovic’s board..and silvio’s dont forget silvio please … 🙂

  • nicky

    @Hunter 13,
    With respect, I’m not sure of the point you are making.
    My comment merely drew attention to the likely situation when the Kroenkes depart.
    Surely it’s reasonable to surmise the two alternatives I propose?
    Have I missed something? 😉

  • Varane

    You could say the same to all those guys on here who moan about the refs and media, “become a premier league ref and ref arsenal to a glorious future, or get a successful media outlet and take the arsenal story to the ends of the earth”. You see, everyone can do it

  • Zuruvi

    If we continue buying cheapies like Welbeck and Sanogo our football will continue to decline from the heights of the Invincibles era.

    Wenger himself said that having to self our best players has made Arsenal less competitive.
    In other words he was saying that Arsenal will succeed if it had better players.

    One thing is certain, Wenger is NOT enjoying this season. Another thing is certain, many fans are not happy with the performance of the team and of individual players.
    Another thing is almost certain, if major changes don’t happen within the Arsenal structures and/or players then next season is going to be horrible if Arsenal doesn’t perform well in the league and in Europe. Many more WOBs will be recruited. Wenger will unnecessarily bear the brunt of disappointed fans.

    I think genuine supporters of Wenger would want him to have access to better talent than what Arsenal currently has.
    Any Wenger supporter who enjoys seeing Wenger as a torn and tormented soul as he looked on too many occasions this season is not a true fan of Arsenal.

    Most of our players in the team are bought from other clubs. Let’s not pretend that we develop most or a large part of our squad.
    All of our better players in the current squad and in most previous Wenger squads had been bought by Arsenal (and not developed by Arsenal like Tony Adams or Jack Wilshere).
    Buying great talent is not a crime. It has been the Wenger way previously. Wenger bought many great players like Kanu, Anelka, Thierry, Sol Campbell, Pires, Manu Petit, Vierra, etc etc..

  • Zuruvi

    “Once again, Tony & UA have shown that only 25% of new acquisitions work out in the first or second years. Nobody in their right minds would gamble on 4-1 odds against success.”

    Is this true?

    Who did the research?
    Can we please see a list of the players who failed in their first two seasons?

    I would like to see the record for Arsene Wenger’s purchases.
    If the stats include purchases made by Harry Redknapp, Pulis and Allardice then those stats are invalid to me.
    I will only consider the purchases made by a competent manager like Wenger.

    Also, I would like to compare the failure rate of the cheapie purchases such as Yaya Sanogo and Lucas Perez and compare to the more expensive purchases like Ozil and Sanchez.

    Initially, it was said that 25% don’t come good in the first year. Now we are hearing that 25% don’t come good in the 1st and 2nd year.
    Tony, this quotation is being regularly repeated but now with different interpretation. Please share a link with the data. Who decided that the transfer wasn’t a success in the first year? Wenger?
    Pires, Sol Campbell, Pat Vierra, Fabregas, Overmars, Petit, Kanu, Anelka, Sanchez, Ozil, etc. etc. were all success in their first year and improved further in subsequent years under Wenger.

    Most of the very cheap Wenger purchases have struggled in the first year, and 2nd, and 3rd, and 4th, and 5th, and 6th year. Nicolas Bendtner. Almunia, Scillachi, Sanogo, the defender from Charlton Athletic, Eboue, etc. etc.

  • Zuruvi

    Don McMahon said:
    “Nobody in their right minds would gamble on 4-1 odds against success.”

    Does this mean we shouldn’t have bought Sanchez and Ozil.
    Was Wenger crazy take this “gamble” with approximately £80m that these two player cost to buy?

    Maybe Wenger was better in his performance when he spent less money on the cheaper transfers like Perez and Sanogo and Welbeck. These players are the reasonable “gamble” since these players cost in total about £35m plus wages.

    You get what you pay for.

    My view is that if Wenger is allowed to buy the players that have Arsenal-level quality, Wenger will build a team to wallop Spurs, to beat Bayern, and to compete strongly in Europe and win the league title.
    If you don’t give Gordon Ramsey an oven that reaches the right temperature, he will not be able to bake a perfect cake.
    Give Wenger access to the ingredients and we will see the return of the beautiful, winning football of 15 years (or so) ago.
    Give Wenger access to the better players, remove that illogical wage structure that made us reward average players like Bendtner with good salaries but failed to keep talented players Cashley Cole at Arsenal.

  • para

    The problem areas for me is:
    Training – No leadership qualities seem to be furthered, no direct play and if a young player has direct, creative, exciting play, by the time they get to 1st team, they seem to lose it a little(or have it drilled out of them).

    Watching youth games shows me that the problem starts here. They display the same style and pattern of play, only their youth and urgency tends to help them more, but that seems to disappear along the line.

    Overall quality of the team – this is lacking, and the last 5 years have seen a young team(fit and hungry) degrade and become disillusioned and weak most times.

    As much as i like AW(as a person), i feel he cannot take the team any further and should, if not step down(because no replacement yet found) should split his duties(after all he is getting old, not just in years but ideas) so that we can have multiple input and fresh ideas.

    //
    Who ever is at the helm, needs to be able to adapt to today’s game changes with innovative creativity and a passion that will flow through the team, hell throughout the whole club!
    //

  • Varane, yes everyone can do it, but your approach is neither original nor funny, and being one of those two is helpful. If you are not trying to be either, then being insightful would help.

  • para

    Brazen
    02/05/2017 at 3:22 pm
    and Tony
    02/05/2017 at 3:32 pm

    Two extremes you two, and the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

    Arsenal has reach a point where progress has stopped, and a dangerous slide back has started.

    So we can see that fresh ideas are needed big time to replace the stagnant one dimensional (footballing)ideas of AW that are not evolving.

  • Andrew Elder, I thought your comment that “I have never witnessed such sustained mediocrity from any Arsenal team over the past 20 years” combined with the thought that you have been supporting since 1959 most interesting.

    The last 20 years has delivered 3 league titles and six runners up spots in the league and six FA Cups. Now let us compare with 20 years from 1959: one league title and two FA Cups. I really don’t get your comment at all.

  • para

    jjgsol
    02/05/2017 at 2:22 pm
    “I am, however, convinced, that the moment AW perceives that he can do nothing further, he will stop.”

    I am starting to get the impression that he is either 1: stubborn or 2: blind
    to see that he cannot do more without a change in his ideas.

    This change if/when it comes(changing to 3-4-3) appears to be too late and does not breed confidence at all.

  • Anand, your commentary would be insulting if it were not so bizarre.

    To quote you directly
    “You guys in Britain think you are the only the true supporter of Arsenal and people outside mean nothing.”

    Maybe before throwing out insults like that you might like to notice the nationality and residency of two of our five regular correspondents, and the fact that we also have a reporter in Switzerland who regularly feeds in news to us. Plus our friend in the US who covered the Arsenal tour of that country in person (even missing the plane back home once to complete his coverage).

    We do occasionally publish insults against ourselves just to reflect what people say, but I am not sure we have had one before that made us laugh quite so much.

  • The research is on the site and the sources quoted. I really don’t have the time to go back and repeat everything that is here. You can use the search facility to find the analysis.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sometimes dreams and wishes do come true , but not quite as one may have envisaged it .

    The following true story was sent to me by a friend , but am not able to authenticate its veracity.

    It was said to have happened somewhere in a North London amateur talent club last week . It involved some vewry boisterous members of the local public who had gone there to celebrate some football victory over a nearby rival .

    Here is the first hand observation of a patron of the pub.

    ” I felt sorry for the amateur Hypnotist , that I saw try his luck last night . He first managed to hypnotise seven of his fellow football fans , and then dropped the mic on his foot and yelled, “F*ck me !”
    What happened next will haunt me for the rest of my life.”

    Early reports suggest that the amateur hypnotist in question had just managed to get it right only for the first time in 21 years of trying !

    Strange are the ways of our saints !

  • Jack

    Sir I say this with all my respect and a lot of pain. The fact is the tot’s have been improving under their present manager. He has turned them around within 2 years. I do believe that they have progressed while we were stagnant for a long time and now we are at a stage where we are regressing. You have been an Arsenal fan for much longer than I have lived on this planet. I still feel we did not realised sense of loss when David Dien retired. I wish he could come back and repair the club

  • Jack

    The brand value of Arsenal is much higher that the physical assets of Arsenal FC. If we keep slipping like the way we are the brand value will erode. The sponsorship money will reduce and it doesn’t make any business sense. One may say it is penny wise and pound foolish. This summer either they go in and put things in order or sell the club before it looses much more value than it already has.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Tony Attwood – 03/05/2017 at 6:01 am – Tony , don’t forget that you have a zany and weirdly MAD doctor from Malaysia who heads (self appointed !) The Untold Arsenal Medical Division Dept, as well as The Medicine Is The Best Laughter column !

  • Jack

    Pat unfortunately it is not this season alone. Last few years we have been having the same issue inconsistent performances good team till October and then we start slipping. To awaken late in March and become a champions league qualifying team. This year it has been a tad more inconsistent than the previous few years. I hope we don’t qualify for Champions league then I hope the power centers at Arsenal FC will awaken. They will sense the loss in revenue and hopefully that will get them into action mode. I only hope they take the right steps rather than just take steps.

  • Jack

    @Zuruvi, would it be a good observation that all those good talent acquisitions have happened when David Dien was active at the club. After David D I am afraid our talent acquisitions have been all over the place.

  • Jack

    @Zuruvi, none of us in our right mind can vouch any steps taken will help us succeed in future. Only one thing can be certain about future, if we are afraid of change and stick to the same thing we can be assured that we will be going down further.

  • Jack

    Our conversation reminds me of the way American auto industry suffered. During those all American car makers used to build heavy big cars, remember the heavy big chevy’s? Then the Japanese entered the American market with their lighter cars with better fuel economy. The American car makers laughed at the Japanese and resisted change…. They remained the same till they realised it was too late and the rest is history. So AFC fans more of the same with slight twist is no longer enough. If we don’t wake up now it will be too late

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I May Be Crazy But I’m Not Stupid-

    A motorist is driving past a mental hospital when he gets a flat tire. He goes out to change the tire,and sees that one of the patients is watching him trough the fence.

    Nervous,trying to work quickly,he jacks up the car,takes off the wheel,puts the lug nuts into the hubcap and steps on the hubcap,sending the lug nuts clattering into a storm drain.

    The mental patient is still watching him trough the fence.
    The motorist desperately looks into the storm drain,but the lug nuts are gone. The patient is still watching.

    The motorist paces back and forth,trying to think of what to do-and the patient says, “Take one lug nut off each of the others tires,and you’ll have three lug nuts on each”

    “That’s brilliant!!!”says the motorist,”What’s someone like you doing in an asylum?”

    “I’m here because I’m crazy”says the patient,”not because I’m stupid.”

  • Varane

    I don’t even know what you’re trying to say here, tony

  • It’s funny that. Some people get what I write, and others don’t. So it goes.

  • Pat

    Jack

    Resisted change, you say. It isn’t clear what change you mean.

    Here are a few things I wouldn’t want Arsenal to change:

    Passing, attacking football. It seems to me it is lack of confidence that is disrupting that at the moment. Confidence is a tricky thing to hang on to especially when the team and the manager haven’t got control of certain factors which contribute to it, like biased refereeing.

    Care for our players. If a player is injured, Arsene Wenger has not just jettisoned him. He has been rewarded with some great performances from players who were given time to recover. He cannot be held responsible for great players like Diabi who were kicked out of a career.

    Concentration on improving players and giving young players a chance. Iwobi, Bellerin, Holding – all players with a fine future as long as fans, including some writing in these discussions, don’t slag them off and write them off as soon as they have a bad performance.

    These qualities have been fostered by Arsene Wenger. He also has the quality of integrity so rare in the society we live in. Maybe I value that above everything else. So that is another thing I wouldn’t want us to change.

  • Alex

    Very funny article !

    “Those players who run hot and cold like Walcott, Gibbs, Iwobi and Welbeck need to be given specific and realistic targets to achieve and be held accountable for every performance that is subpar, since subpar is only a good thing in golf! This means that the legendary patience of Wenger must be mitigated a bit and that these under-performers feel the heat a retirement or bit”.

    Is not it what you calling booo boys said it all along ?

    There is no AAA or AKB is just another mith for not accepting others opinions.

    Le prof is a good man …..am i AKB ?

    LE PROF is horrible football coach….am i AAA ?

  • Zuruvi

    As regards the oft-quoted statement/research that 25% of high value purchases don’t succeed, I have done a search on the Untold Arsenal website and found this article that was penned by Tony which explains the 25% failure theorem:

    http://untold-arsenal.com/archives/56346

    My analysis is that this doesn’t really prove that buying cheap is the best option. Tony’s article basically explains that Man Utd (under Fergie and Moyes) wasted big money on unsuccessful transfers like di Maria and Fellaini. The Spuds wasted money on many useless players (under Harry Redknapp, etc.). Chelsea bought a few bad players over the years.
    THE REPORT HOWEVER DOESN’T MENTION ANY WASTING OF BIG CASH BY WENGER. The report does mention a big money transfer by Wenger (Sanchez) and says it worked well.

    My point was (and remains) if Harry Redknapp, Moyes or Fergie wasted money on big transfers, it doesn’t mean that Arsene Wenger will waste money on big transfers. Wenger may have certain weaknesses (such as keeping poor players like Bendtner and Almunia for too long) but he certainly knows how to spot and value players better than Moyes, Redknapp and possibly even Fergie.

    Wenger tried to buy many of the big transfers but failed because of financial handicap that Arsenal’s shareholders self-impose on the club. Wenger is on record as saying he scouted and/or tried to sign nearly every top player that played in England: Drogba, Cristiano Ronaldo, Hazard, Petr Cech, Ngolo Kante, Deli Alli etc. etc.

    I was however not able to find the research paper that says that 25% of top transfers fail in the First, Second or Third year since they were bought.
    I am particularly interested in the completeness of the list of players considered and the which players are considered a failure and which a success. There are many judgement calls that were probably made. At what level is a transfer called a big transfer? Who determines if it is a failure (since someone once said Pires was a failure in his first year which I don’t agree with. Pires was a good player when he arrived and Wenger turned him into a brilliant player.).

    For us to say that 25% of Big-money Transfers don’t work in first, second and possibly third year needs to be compared to the ratio of Cheapie Money Transfers like Sanogo, Chambers, Carl Jenkins, and other cheapies at Man Utd, Liverpool, Swansea, Middlesborough, etc.

    My suggestion would be that the success rate of big-money transfers is far higher than for the cheap value transfers. Hence City and Chelsea have become better and stronger clubs since they could afford big money transfers compared to before they could afford the big-money transfers.

    I believe that the only reason that Bayern beat Arsenal 10-2 is not because Wenger is a poor manager and Ancelotti is a brilliant manager. The difference is that Bayern buys better players than Arsenal buys.
    The major reason Arsenal is where it is in the league this year is not because Wenger is a bad manager but because Wenger has average players whereas City, United, Chelsea and Spurs have better players. Having Wenger makes Arsenal regularly over-achieve relative to the money we spend on players.

  • Scuba

    It’s amazing what fear of change does to some people. The start of this article seems to make clear that this season hasn’t been a success, but then concludes by suggesting that major changes aren’t the answer. There are never guarantees attached with change, but something needs to change or it’s just going to be more of the same. More youth promotions won’t cut it.

  • Polo

    Only change needed is the wage structure. Give big pay rise to players who perform and who give 100% on the pitch week in week out, this would provide incentive to other players to perform. Add to this give the squad a big bonus (£1million or more for each player) if they win the League or Champions League.

    No evidence but just my opinion, I believe the way the club handled the players contract negotiation is the major cause for the poor performance. As an example, last season Ozil created so many assists and chances for the team and at the start of this season he was scoring goals, one would assume the club would reward him with a big pay rise, I mean if reports are true that Kante gets over £200,000 a week, then Ozil should at least get paid that amount, same as Alexis. And if some reports are true that Arsenal only offer £180,000 a week, then the club is just disrespecting the players. I think many of the players in the team want a bigger pay due to the increase revenue especially from the TV rights, they want a larger slice of the pie. And I think because they get paid half of what they want, therefore they only play half a game, hence why we see in one half of a game the team playing well, then the next half they play poorly and vice versa, and I think AW is stuck between supporting the Board or the players for wage demands.

    Also, if you watch AW pre-match press interview for the first leg against Bayern Munich, when AW said ‘Arsenal is the best club in the world’ if you watch Kos he was smirking or laughing at that suggestion, I think same thing happen with Mertesacker when he was with AW in pre-match press interview for the return leg against Bayern Munich. I might be wrong but I remember I was stunned when I saw it and thought something is not right behind the scenes.

  • Flares

    Re: Brazen…

    “It’s only taken Pochettino 3 seasons to produce a Spurs side capable of winning the league”

    Wenger won the double in his second season. Pochettino hasn’t won single honour during 5 years in English football.

  • omgarsenal

    Josif…maybe I am but we aren’t in a period where we can carry players for too long. that said, Iwobi will come good I am sure.

    Brazen…you have cherry-picked quite a bit and you are entitled to your opinion but you must defend it with facts, not speculation or conjecture. this you have NOT done, so get back to the drawing board and try again.

    Anand…..your post makes no sense and is based on the usual myths and ignorance spouted by the media. your post is almost xenophobic in itself and attempts to right the wrongs of colonialism and the myopic British world view….but I’m a Canadian so don’t care.

    The rest of the moaners can continue their laments but AFC is coming off a bad season and will improve next year, because that’s what Wenger and AFC does…..regardless of you blinkered lemmings who follow the aaa and media BS so faithfully.

  • Andrew Elder

    TONY ATTWOOD, I was talking about the mediocrity of the CURRENT team COMPARED to the past 20 years. I can’t remember one great display this season which is very unusual for us. You are right, AW’s first 10 years were absolutely magnificent probably the most successful decade in the history of the club. I hope this clears things up.

  • Zuruvi

    Very good observation. Thanks Polo.
    The Arsenal wage structure limits our ability to acquire or retain the top, top talents. Top players want and deserve top wages.

  • omgarsenal

    Alex….I gather from your writing that English isn’t your mother tongue so I’ll try and explain things simply for you:

    1)The boo boys don’t judge players over a season or even half a season, they judge them after 1-2 games. i have watched the players I mentioned over 2-3 seasons and despite careful observation, am only suggesting that they need stronger incentives to perform.

    2)The contention and myth you claim about AKB and aaa’s being actual organized elements is conclusively proven by those idiots who verbally attacked Wenger after a game, hold dismissive and insulting banners up during games at home and away, write idiotic blogs, etc., none showing any proof, just like you.

    3)You are what you are Alex…..either a true supporter who ,like this UA website supports(not unquestionably but faithfully)Wenger, the team and the board OR you are one of the pseudo-supporters who claim to believe in the team but criticize the players,the Club and its manager after every tie or defeat and never show up here after a victory. My guess is you are in the 2nd class!

  • Jack

    @Anand hope you understand that you are conversing with fellow gooners. We all want to see AFC back to glory days. A little respectful way of putting your point across would be much appreciated. While people around the world support their favourite club. But Gooners living in UK have to face much more banter than the fans staying abroad.

    I cannot fathom why you would bring so many irrelevant points to your post rather than just stating your point crisply, passionately and respectfully in this conversation.

    I hope you heed to my humble request of being respectful to all.

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