It is not just about Wenger, it is about salaries and FFP

By Tony Attwood

According to our national press Arsène Wenger his “allowing a rift to develop between himself and Arsenal’s fans after a response to Saturday’s show of dissatisfaction that seemed to imply that their opinions did not really count for that much.”

It is typical media speak – a speak in which it is suggested without question that it is possible to measure the feeling among Arsenal fans.  That point passed over then the accusation that the manager is “allowing a rift to develop” can be explored.

The Independent said, “The fans were frustrated as Wenger’s team laboured to a goalless draw against an Aston Villa side that had lost to each of the Manchester clubs in consecutive weeks”

In one sense they are right – we were all frustrated, as we are every time a lower-table club frustrates us, and we can’t find a way through.

What’s more they pointed out that he was compounding his difficulties by commenting in the same interview on the huge new money that the Emirates airline is pouring into Arsenal.

As he said, he has managed 200 Champions League games so he does know a thing or two.  However football commentary is not based on this – it is based on (at newspaper level) picking detail out, making assumptions and then delivering opinion as if detail and assumptions are the foundations of a new machine that can win every game under the sun.
As for many blogs they seem to be based on the fact that if only the manager would follow their advice, the club would be top of the league this and every other season.

As the manager told the reporters, “I will not explain every decision I make – you judge the game for the papers, and I sit here and explain to you our game. You are all great managers! I read the newspapers every day and I can tell you that you are always great managers!”

Yes this is a poor start to the season – the worst since 1994/5 when we were very much in decline and we are outside the all important top four.

So what now?  The word knocking around is that Man City will buy Suarez.  Maybe maybe not.  But the issue is not so much one of buyer and seller but of the increasingly widespread belief that

a) the Premier League will vote in its own financial restrictions which will start next season and

b) the FFP regulations in Europe will have some teeth, and that relying on the lawyers to get around it might not be the best policy.

If either or both happen suddenly Arsenal are in a totally different position – still buying players while many other clubs can’t.   Manchester City are already way outside the FFP regs, and buying any more big names would only make matters worse.  What they have to do, in fact, is the reverse.  They have to start selling.

Traditionally we have always thought of players in terms of the fee paid from one club to another.  But in fact that is now only a minor part of the deal.  A £20m player costs the buying club £5m a year over four years which knocks the FFP calculation back by that amount each year.

But players and their agents know that clubs like Man C can in fact pay anything since they are effectively just part of the PR campaign that is taking the world cup to the middle east.  So having big name stars playing for them is important.  And if that costs £11,000,000 a year in salary, then that is what they pay.   The bill is not £5m a year on the FFP calculator, it is £16m a year.  Indeed I have been reading some commentaries from people who by and large know a little of such matters that the cost of a top player now when you add the four year amortisation to the salary is £22m a year.

Arsenal are not doing as well as any of us would like on the pitch, but the ground is shaking and the earthquake is not far behind.  When the financial landscape changes, everything else changes.

It has already changed once with the new money from Emirates – and looking at the overall picture, as other clubs will start to slip back, we will grow.

That doesn’t mean all is ok now on the pitch – clearly a team that ought to be doing very well is sometimes doing far from that.   But there is still light ahead rather than the dim doom  and gloom portrayed in the press.

46 Replies to “It is not just about Wenger, it is about salaries and FFP”

  1. I think the real problem the press will have – particularly the tabs – is that if FFP (and associated Premier League rules) do come in, then their daily output will need to extend beyond the usual crap of “Man City/Chelsea have been linked with X or Y”.

    Instead, because big money signings just won’t happen with today’s frequency, the journalists will need to find other things to write about eg comparative tactics, training approaches etc. It will be interesting to see how many of them will be capable of rising to this challenge and demonstrate a level of tactical awareness (ticky-tacky vs long-ball) beyond that of my cat. Heavens, their readers may even then begin to understand how to succeed at international level, the players need something beyond pride in the shirt and getting stuck in.

    Of course, whats more likely is that rather than the taxing (ie for both writer and reader) technical stuff, the back pages, just like the inside pages, will be full of gossip about which Man City Reserve Team player is bonking which has-been soap star !

  2. Wonderful speak, sometimes looking at issues from a broader point of view and from a less miopic standpoint helps to put one in a positin ofcontrol,confidence and hope for the future. The perspective of the fans of whom I am one is instant success but, it has been seven years. My my advice -I think arsene should come out of his own world and come to the common world (real world) to be on same page with us fans. Withouut the fans there is no reason for football. He! Arsene, you are also responsible to us.

  3. Thank you, I dont why the press and fans think that they have a say on who plays, on which game and at what time. Even in democracy, you elect a leader and he runs the country with his team, but not with shouts from electorates. I dont think any club can run the way Arsenal fans and journalists think. Most of these fans were not supporting Arsenal before Wenger and they will leave when he leaves, same to the journalists who could only write boring, boring Arsenal, now they pretend to care. The only body that is mandated to explain his actions during a game or any other time is the Arsenal board and it was an insult for some journalist to imagine that he had that mandate. Im sure if those journalists were able to coach even a division 4 team they would not be busy criticizing Wengers high salary as they earn peanuts.

  4. In Wenger’s time at Arsenal only Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool have finished above Arsenal. Chelsea and Manchester City, only when the new owners with billions of pounds of loose change in their pockets to plough into their clubs and Liverpool only twice.

    Arsenal, the board & Wenger need the FFP rules to work if they don’t we like a lot of other clubs will be knackered. The FFP rules are not an ideal solution to the problems of money in football as as far as(to many as?) I can tell it will mean the have nots will not be able to break into the have’s unless they get lucky with a great group of homegrown or cheaper players and a great young manager.

    The rise of the mega owner as either toy thing or PR campaign will ruin football. Just look at the unrest at Chelsea moaning at their new manager but it is not the manager they should be moaning at it is the owner, but after taking the devils money they have no choice in the matter they are voiceless. The BSM are planing a march this Saturday, they have meetings with The Arsenal will Chelsea be able to do this will they be able to make a difference NO. They are at the bottom of RA list, all Chelsea is to RA is an ego boost nothing more nothing less he does what he wants when he wants at Chelsea.

    The salaries and transfer fees City & Chelsea pay(and to some extent Man U) bear no resemblance to the rest of football in the PL. They are ripping the heart out of football clubs are now paying silly money to players just to keep up with them. They have distorted the PL, clubs used to be able to pay what they could afford with a little gamble here and there now we have clubs paying more than the can afford bank rolled by the mega owner

  5. id say theres a pretty big rift emerging with large sections of the fan base and arsene. you only have to look on blogs to see how polarised our fanbase is becoming, make no mistake the numbers in the wenger out camp are very sizeable.

    re ffp, reasonable finances arent what cause us to drop most of these silly points we drop, its irrelevant. a lot of the time excellent players are available on the cheap and we dont sign them regardless. similarly when you are drawing against a relegation threatened team if you sub off the ox who was our best attacking player and replace our in form cf with a defensive midfielder then yeah the odds of you scoring a winner drastically decrease. i dont think that takes a genius manager to realise that- its quite clearly common sense. by all means sometimes intelligent gambles dont pay off, thats always been around even during wengers best years and nobody was mad at him for it because the guy was evidently a genius and we won so much regardless. there is a big difference between that though and replacing an in form cf with a dm and your best attackif winger on the day when you are drawing vs a weak team. there is no other way to describe that than bad tactics and for him to suggest the fans are misinformed to think so is unbelievably arrogant. the more he says bollocks like that the more fans will be calling for his head game after game, its really that simple

  6. @ryan…..looks like you know a lot about tactics. Why not apply for a coaching job??

    The press has been on this for long now. The fans jumped on to the same wagon (knowing the history)……now thats shocking.

  7. @ryan at 1:07 pm

    You,as a fan, do not deserve an explanation for his tactics from any manager. If that were the case why shouldn’t you demand to be involved in picking the team in the first place. You don’t know what the physical condition of the players are at any time. I find what you expect “unbelievably arrogant”.

  8. You raise important points there Tony. That we have so far only won 5 out of 13 matches this season is a big worry for me. Since the 95/96 season when the premier league went to 20 teams, it has taken on average 19 wins (16 – 21) to finish 4th. By the law of averages, we need to win 14 of the remaining 25 matches to have a good chance of finishing in 4th. Regarding salaries, FFP is probably our only hope. If for any reason FFP rules fail to have the intended effect, we will continue to lose our best players to those that can pay more. Man United, Chelsea and Man City have better teams than everyone else and it is a no brainer that one of them will win the league. Players’ salaries will continue to be a challenge and just as important is to make sure the club is not saddled with highly paid average players of whom there are a few.

  9. @Ryan

    Giroud needed treatment after going down injured from a challenge on his ankle late in the game.

    Is it beyond reason to believe Giroud was not 100% after that tackle and needed to come off? By which time Wenger had the choice of Sagna, Vermaelen, Wilshere or Coquelin as his replacement.

    It had nothing to do with tactics.

  10. Why are people picking on Ryan here?
    He is actually quite correct in what he says.

    There needs to be room for debate here. Other blogs refer to this blog as an AKB blog. Now I know the people on here would hate that tag, just as blogs being labelled as AMG’s would feel the same way. We are all ARSENAL fans and we all want Arsenal to succeed.

    Anyway back to Ryans post.
    I am a season ticket holder, block 5 near to red action (the so called hardcore). Ryan is spot on that there are fractures in the fan base. I can say this with 100% certainty because I’m witnessing in fighting with full on punch ups between gooner and gooner every week. We, as a club are in a rather sorry state at the moment.

    Wenger has made mistakes tactically. You don’t have to be a genius to work it out and certainly don’t need to be a professional manager to see it. You just need to watch and understand the game of football. I don’t think many really do. The word ‘fan’ comes from ‘fanatic’ obviously. To be a true fanatic you really have to have a reasonable idea of whats going on, so us mere fans aren’t as thick as is sometimes pointed out.

    The way we defend as a team is shocking, go to a live game if you haven’t been and see for yourself. You won’t ever see it on TV due to the dimensions of what you can see, you need to see the whole field of play.

    We make more individual errors than any other premier league club. I believe that is a fact printed the other week, or did the press make that up to hurt Arsene?

    It doesn’t make any sense to sub your inform striker for a DM and sticking Gervinho up top when desperate for a goal. Gervinho is a poor player from what I see and certainly not a clinical striker, he’ll have 1 good game in 10 on the wing. That’s another point, if Giroud is that tired then the only reason we are here is because of the manager. He doesn’t trust Chamakh, released Bendtner, Vela and Park on loan and so we only have 1 senior (and untested in prem at start of the season) striker. I’m sorry but that is just not good enough for any club, let alone Arsenal.

    We have a real lack of depth based on lack of investment. We make a profit every single transfer window. We NEVER speculate to accumulate. The paying fans rightfully feel fleeced. We’re paying for caviar and are being given sausage to flip an old favourite Wenger quote.
    When we do spend money it goes on giving players that are squad fillers at best 50K p/w. Then we can’t shift them.

    We lose our best players because we can’t afford the going rate on wages due to aforementioned contracts for squad filler.

    This summer we sign Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud before ST renewels are up. Everyone gets excited thinking theres a change in approach. We sign up, then after the deadline the flog Song and RvP to balance the books again. Again the fans ST money sits in the coffers.

    Don’t get we wrong, I’m not anti-Wenger and more than anything (in the football world) would love for him to flip this around. But this blog and some of it’s posters treat him as some sort of infallible Demi-God.
    We are all fallable, even Arsene, and he has made mistakes over the last few years.

    My main point is if these people digging at Ryan think his opinion doesn’t count then neither do theirs, because they are also just know nothing fans who never worked a day in football in their lives.

  11. Why all this silly talk about “fans not deserving an explanation”..? The only person who was talking about that was Wenger (and now his loyalists).. Some fans simply stated that they didn’t think he knew what he was doing, and Wenger in his thin skinned response talked about he didn’t owe an explanation when in actuality no-one asked for one. At least frame the straw-men arguments correctly, sheesh. Also there is a rift between Club Management and a sizeable proportion of the fanbase, and despite what many here seem to think, Gooners can actually think for themselves, make up their opinions and judgments without being manipulated by the media. If anything the media is picking up on the grassroots discontent and running with it, not the other way around.

    Lastly, it’s football, not rocket science, not brain surgery, football. Sure one may not know every intricacy that takes place in a club, but playing football and following football religiously as most of us have for a very long time, means you have knowledge of the game, and in some cases can spot pretty simple mistakes (which Wenger obviously has made and makes). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or brain surgeon to see that “gambling on Diaby” for example was a mistake, that playing Almunia etc for so long was a mistake and many more examples..

    I could care less if Wenger thinks he doesn’t owe the fans an explanation.. Fan arrogance? Please the arrogance is coming from him, do note his CEO said he is ultimately accountable to the fans (personally imo, a club is nothing without its fans). Seemingly, any time he is questioned he is notoriously thin-skinned and imo disrespects the fan base with his silly threats about interest in Madrid, or silly reminders about how many years he’s managed or how many 10s of thousands of substitutions he’s made (mathematically impossible by the way)….

    Oh the horror of football journalists asking him questions about his substitutions…and people here painting that as though they attacked Wenger..of do grow a pair please.

    Wenger has made, makes and has made mistakes, and with football not being nuclear physics, some are pretty simply to spot, analyze and even predict. And not being a manager for 30 years or having made 10,000 substitutions doesn’t mean not having knowledge of football.

    I quite liked Benitez’ response to some/most of the Chelsea fan’s disgust at his appointment, confidently and with very thick skin, he simply said he’ll win them over.

    Look I get it, most here don’t like Wenger being questioned, but fans have a right to voice their opinions and that’s what’s happened (pro and against), the only person talking silly stuff about owing or not owing them an explanation is Wenger…

  12. @ Gooner Pete re: “Wenger has made mistakes tactically. You don’t have to be a genius to work it out and certainly don’t need to be a professional manager to see it. You just need to watch and understand the game of football. I don’t think many really do. The word ‘fan’ comes from ‘fanatic’ obviously. To be a true fanatic you really have to have a reasonable idea of what’s going on, so us mere fans aren’t as thick as is sometimes pointed out.”

    Brilliantly said, you’d think football is akin to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or finding a cure for cancer etc.. It’s football, and you don’t need to be a super-duper genius professional manager of 40 years to actually know the game.

    The game (at all levels) is beautifully simplistic.

    And even if they discount us mere peasant fans’ views, do note that many ex-players (including gunners), managers, football pundits/journalists etc with more insight into the intricacies of the professional level of the sport, also see (and voice) many of the pretty obvious mistakes that the Club Management has been making in recent seasons.

    Again, it’s just football, it’s not very hard to actually understand the game to some credible degree.

    Lastly, since the much beloved and championed AFC “self-sustaining model” arguably and proportionately depends on fan-generated revenue (i.e. on the back of fans) moreso than at any other “big club”, then in my opinion at least fans have a right to voice whatever they want, and that include anti-Wenger, neutral or PRO-WENGER! That’s something I’ve always noticed (anecdotal evidence of course) is that fans who disagree with club-management in no-way vilify those with a different opinion as much as they fans who are in lock-step with club management seem to do.

  13. We still can’t stump up 100k a week for one of our best players to stay. We sold our two best players of last season Song and RVP- & RVP to Manchester Utd of all places. The season before, our two best players- Nasri & Fabregas were also sold, as well as Clichy. Two years before that, key players at the time- Adebayor & Toure were sold to Man City. The year before that, two more key players gone- Flamini allowed to run his contract down & Hleb sold to Barcelona, plus promising Diarra allowed to go to Real. It’s been going on forever now- Anelka, Overmars, Petit, Henry etc.Yeah we are making ridiculous profits on these players- whoopee!! If you look at a club like Bayern Munich they just wont sell if they don’t want to. Our net spend over the last five years is minus £45 million. That is £30 mill less than Everton, £33 mill less than Wigan, £43 mill less than Swansea, £48 mill less than Spurs, £60 mill less than Norwich, £63 mill less than Southampton, £71 milli less than West Ham, £81 mill less than QPR, £107 mill less than Utd, £114 mill less than Villa, £120 mil less than Stoke. I dont expect us to compete with Chelsea & City in the transfer market while Usmanov remains marginalised but they spent £276 mill & £452 mill more than us on transfers in this period, respectively. If you look back since 2003, our net transfer spend is minus £23 million, you have Spurs outspending us by £120 mill, Liverpool by £180 mill, Southampton are the closest to us, spending 16 million more. It is absolutely ridiculous and illustrates just what miracles Wenger has been working- so fans should always bare this in mind when about to criticise him. When you consider we are in the Champions League every single year and the amount of money this generates, something is massively wrong- we are trully a business masquerading as a football club.

  14. @ AidanGooner re: “we are trully a business masquerading as a football club…”

    Yet in today’s other post “False Claims in Football” the opening question was “is football still a sport?”.

    The irony of which I’m sure was lost on most here coming from a section of the AFC fan base that champions the club’s recent management model (self-sustaining due to asset stripping, and disproportionately higher consumer-base contributions).

  15. @ Walter – A big stadium that in the long-term is bringing in more revenue. @ Stewart – I didn’t see the other post, I came through an external Arsenal site- but football is still a sport for those clubs showing ambition to better themselves on the pitch in their quality of play & playing staff.

  16. @ A. Stewart
    “Why all this silly talk about “fans not deserving an explanation”..? The only person who was talking about that was Wenger (and now his loyalists).. Some fans simply stated that they didn’t think he knew what he was doing, and Wenger in his thin skinned response talked about he didn’t owe an explanation when in actuality no-one asked for one. At least frame the straw-men arguments correctly, sheesh.”


    “Wenger in his thin skinned response talked about he didn’t owe an explanation when in actuality no-one asked for one.”

    Err! IMO as the question was asked by a journalist, Wengers’ answer was that he didn’t “owe an explanation” to him, or to any journalist.

  17. @ A. Stewart – I must say I agree with a lot of the points you raise. There is no running away from the fact that Arsenal fans are split on various issues concerning the running of the club, but principally it comes down to the “self-sustaining model” and its impact on the club’s ability to win trophies. It is clear the fans do not agree what the most important goal for the club should be – living within its means or winning trophies at any cost – but I suspect most fans would like both! And that’s where FFP comes in, otherwise we have to accept that Arsenal cannot compete with Man United, Chelsea and Man City for players, and that means we can forget about winning the league at the moment. Can we do more with the money we have without going into debt? I honestly don’t know but I think probably yes. I don’t want to name players but there are players in the team who should not good enough to be playing for Arsenal and are not necessarily cheaper than better players elsewhere. The club cannot continue to ignore the fact that Arsenal fans pay more for a season ticket than fans at every other club in the UK (possibly in the world?). The club has got to get the balance right between balancing the books and maintaining a squad strong enough to challenge for titles. At the moment there is too much emphasis on balancing the books and not enough on the football side. The two feed into each other, as success on the field will attract higher value sponsorship which will help balance the books! I don’t for a second think it is easy to achieve, but I am not convinced the club is doing its best to achieve success on the field.

  18. @ Gunz, probably shouldn’t get into this trivial exchange of splitting hairs but…. my exact line was..: Why all this silly talk about “FANS not deserving an explanation”..? look amongst the first few responses to the post, and their is clear talk about fans not deserving an explanation (more than anything else)…so pretty much I was referencing the discussion taking place here (and by extension in gooner fanboards).

    Further, in that very post I made a clear distinction (and by extension acknowledgment) about JOURNALISTS asking him about the substitutions he made…. with this line: “Oh the horror of football journalists asking him questions about his substitutions…”

    So hopefully this clear is it up, that the general tone of the discussion here in the early replies was including about “fans deserving/not deserving and explanation from Wenger”.

    It’s truly not a big issue either way in the large scheme of things, so do carry on….

  19. @ toto, good post, agree with most of it.

    And btw, I don’t think it makes you an less pure of a gooner to call player names who contribute nothing or very little, but eat up wages (and first team spots), are difficult to shift, and in many cases are content to not even play and just wind down their contracts and collect their pay that they won’t get anywhere, it’s a big problem, and represents an inefficient use of resources.

    And there is real cost in the tens of millions especially over time when transfer fees and wages are added up, cost that instead of supporting anywhere from 8-12 or more players that contribute practically nothing, could go to 2 or 3 genuine world class superstars who would instantly make the club more commerically attractive, and would also on the sporting side of things have a much greater impact and therefore make AFC stand a better chance of winning and getting closer to winning, which brings with it tremendous and varied financial windfalls.

    In any profession if you aim to be the best you can be at your craft, money will follow.

  20. the moment Arsenal beat say a 10 man duds, the knifes are out against the so called anti arsenal arsenal, oh, if we loose, there are million and 1 justifications. does any1 want to win anymore? or we have to read these silly justification?

    we speak and hope and pray to god that the FPP will work? do u think that the rich clubs give a damm? they have accountants who can put in figures that will cover every last penny. they a lot smarter than the currupt FIFA, UEFA or the incompenent FA. if we have pinned our hopes in the the implementation of the FPP, then god help us…

    some of u chaps are such loosers…..i really pity you lot.

  21. Gouresh,
    There really is nothing wrong in preparing for FFP. In fact, as we are told it is going to be coming into effect, there is everything right with preparing for it. Failiure to do so could be the biggest mistake any team makes. If it turns out that FFP is not so strictly implemented then so be it but I personally don’t think it is a risk worth taking. Adhering to it means it is in our hands.

  22. @Aidan Gooner

    Just to back up your points re- the transfer spend.

    Since the arrival of Roman Abbramovich in 2003, here is the Transfer spend league table as of this seasons EPL teams;

    03/04 – 12/13
    – Team Purchased Sold Nett

    Chelsea £687,000,000 £160,000,000 £527,000,000
    Manchester City £605,220,000 £170,400,000 £434,820,000
    Liverpool £422,380,000 £264,580,000 £157,800,000
    Manchester U £367,250,000 £238,850,000 £128,400,000
    Aston Villa £214,850,000 £108,375,000 £106,475,000
    Tottenham £365,400,000 £267,550,000 £97,850,000
    Stoke City £88,670,000 £15,595,000 £73,075,000
    Sunderland £180,280,000 £109,950,000 £70,330,000
    QPR £53,350,000 £2,650,000 £50,700,000
    West Ham £143,880,000 £108,225,000 £35,655,000
    W B A £80,485,000 £50,990,000 £29,495,000
    Fulham £96,080,000 £68,745,000 £27,335,000
    Norwich City £28,350,000 £17,410,000 £10,940,000
    Everton £128,050,500 £122,416,000 £5,634,500
    Newcastle £168,100,000 £164,200,000 £3,900,000
    Swansea £29,470,000 £27,325,000 £2,145,000
    Wigan £88,865,000 £89,000,000 -£135,000
    Reading £20,120,000 £28,550,000 -£8,430,000
    Southampton £52,765,000 £60,150,000 -£7,385,000
    Arsenal £244,200,000 £267,770,000 -£23,570,000

    It is remarkable how Arsenal, under the guidance of Arsene Wenger, have maintained a place at the top table when you consider these financial results.

  23. @tasos

    The problem you will have against the anti board/anti Wenger fans is that they will come back at you with “yes but we are selling our best players and have the highest ticket prices in the world to do this”and you will land up going in a big circle going over and over the same points.
    It does not matter how you put it across some will look at the last 7 years and say “I can see what Arsenal have been doing and think that they are going about it in kind of the right way” or “they have gone about it all the wrong way”. The problem is the ones who don’t like it are the loudest(it’s easier to moan than be positive sometimes) and will sing and march against Wenger and the board(before any BSM supporters have a moan at me I know the march is not against Wenget but the you don’t know what your doing was)

  24. BSM were mentioned on sky sports news this morning. They are really proud to be dragging the club through the press and making us into a laughing stock.

    Been trying to chat with one of them on Twitter but he can’t come up with a decent answer for anything, just mild & petty insults.

    They are a bunch of losers!

  25. And I’ve just been called an idiot because I disagree with the way they are going about things.

  26. Many going on the match do not agree with all BSM policy’s, many like red action are encouraging their members to join so they can get across their wish for safe standing, cheaper tickets etc. They do not think BSM’s view on R&W will get a hearing so are ignoring that part of their manifesto. With only a selected number of points you would of thought that all groups would be able to agree on all points but it does not seem this way.

  27. @Steve, football’s already been ruined. Money, it’s all about the money…………..
    Good points though.
    @ A. Stewart, can’t fault what you’re saying.
    @Stuart, now you know how I feel. You had a barrage of insults, join the club.
    Anyway let’s beat Everton and get moving up the table.

  28. There are two types of criticism, constructive and destructive. While the latter is bad, the former is good and actually desirable. Anyone that claims to be above constructive criticism is actually demonstrating an element of pride as no single individual knows it all.
    While some of the criticisms levied against Wenger can be said to be malicious, some of them are obviously justified and I see no reason why all these should be discarded.
    Arsenal, in the early tenure of Wenger as the manager enjoyed huge success. This stemmed from his understanding of the game and the quality of players at his disposal. Over the course of time however, he seems to have become solely reliant on his managerial skills which unfortunately has not been yielding the desired dividends.
    Credit must be given to him for the way he has handled the financing of a new stadium but at the same time a balance should be struck with the players in the team and getting the best out them because it is players’ performance on the pitch that guarantees the steady flow of income needed to completely pay for the stadium. At the moment, that does not seem to be boding well.
    I am not in support of outrageous transfer fees and players salaries but given what has been made available to him, he has not be very efficient in its management. Sentiment seems to be expressed where articulate judgment has been required in the transfer market. There has been a progressive decline in the quality of players that came in compared to those that left. That’s what is responsible for what is now seen on the pitch but he does not want to admit it. Some players, clearly are not supposed to be playing for Arsenal but they are retained at a high cost to the club.
    Abou Diaby (26) for instance over the last 4 years has made a total of 73 appearances in the EPL, scored 11 goals and had 9 assists. He made in total over that same period 101 appearances scored 13 goals and had 11 assists. Compare this to Alexander Song’s (25) 122 appearances, 7 goals and 15 assists in the EPL and 174 appearances, 9 goals and 23 assists over the same period. Yet Wenger chose to sell Song because of Diaby, that to me is an irrational judgment. What is the use of having players he does not trust in the squad?
    Bendtner is not trusted yet, his contract of 52k p/m was extended. Squillaci was 30 when he was signed for 3 years. Last season he made a single substitute appearance in the EPL and a total of 4 starts and 2 substitute appearances the whole season. Some players do that in just 2 weeks! Chamakh did averagely well for the first year but since then he has been on leave. He does not even make the bench despite the lack of attacking options in the side. Park was bought for whatever reasons but definitely not football. If those bought are not given a chance, what’s the prospect of those in the youth team? Only 3 players in the current squad came in from the academy.
    Fans are bothered because they know that once a club slips out of the CL spots it may not be easy to claim it back. Go ask Liverpool
    He obviously knew what he was doing in the past, but these days… there are doubts.

  29. A reasonable post Yommex. To be fair to Wenger we don’t know the reasons why he sold Song. It seems odd that he would have wished to and I have recently heard that Song was sometimes a disruptive element so maybe there were issues we don’t understand. I doubt he could have sold Diaby, talented player though he is, because of his injury record.

    Anyway we got a point at Everton which I think was a good result. It’s a difficult place to go and we acquitted ourselves reasonably well.

  30. Here’s the link to the SUN interview about the fan chant.

    At 02.13, Arsene rebutted a question by asking sarcastically “how many games have you managed?”.

    If the real world would to go along this line of reasoning, then the politicans who fucked up a country are not unaswerable to anyone; ditto the CEOs of corporations et al simply because people who questioned them are not politicians, CEOs and the like. Quite disturbing if you try to analyse the psychic of Wenger.

  31. in my opinion the big underestimation of the arsenal was not financial but personel wise and by this i mean Wenger, when we moved to a new stadium, the board forgot that he was human and with that comes a sense of entitlement(given what he was able to do with what they gave him); Wenger has had the final say for so long he has lost some perspective and some …for want of a better word fear, in addition the board has also lost the locus-standi (so to say) to demand anything from him given the circumstances (the badge of working with meager resources which he never fails to bring up). the problem with it is that it has created a comfort zone for our manager and he’ll rather hide behind it than, stick his head out in the transfer market or some self-cutting apraisal of his team (one recognised striker for a world-class team like arsenal is just plain reckless and irresponsible).
    i’m not anti-Arsene but i think its time the BOARD questioned his desire or guts or better put a director of football over him. people who say Wenger is beyond being questioned are killing arsenal for the simple reason that anyone who is Revered, has a burden of responsibility; to whom much respect/money is given(if the transfer profits and the new deal are anything to go by ) even more answers are expected.
    Wenger does not have to answer to the press but he owes arsenal fans a response on the pitch and the transfer market.

  32. @WalterBroeckx…”so we are up for a big win on Saturday then”… how I wish that were true! As it turned out, Saturday was a nightmare! I wish I could say this result (losing 2-Nil at home to Swansea) was an aberation but unfortunately it fits perfectly with the pattern this season. We have won only 3 of the last 10 games, taking 12 out of a possible 30 points. I am really worried we about qualifying for champions league next season. We are 10th after 15 games, behind teams like Stoke, West Ham, Swansea and West Brom. How on earth did we get here? Something has got to change, and change fast. It is simply not good enough, and it has absolutely nothing to do with salaries or FFP. Apart from Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea, FFP does not come into it all. It is a shambles and very embarassing.

  33. Rupert Cook:

    Wenger sold Song because he didnt want him at the club anymore.

    Song didn’t believe in Wenger…fact.

    His attitude was also questionable and he became arrogant.

    However it appears he is or wasn’t the only one who was questioning Wenger’s tactics.

    I stated on this site around last march that there was a player who had questioned Wenger but was unable to state who that player was as I was told in confidence. I was called all sorts of names & of course labelled with the nonesense ‘AAA’ & go & support that lot down the road.

    Our football club is in serious decline & it has nothing t do with lack of finance.

  34. @Doublegooner, Hello fella, I have never directly conversed with you I believe (could be mistaken), however I can understand holding someone’s confidence but if you have inside information about Arsenal there must be a way of getting it across without losing the confidence of the person you speak of.
    There is a trend within clubs before a manager is removed from his position and it usually starts with the players having issues with the manager or multiple members of staff, are you saying this could be the situation at Arsenal currently.

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