What would a members poll at Arsenal show?

By Tony Attwood

Apparently around 60% of Real Madrid’s members believe Jose Mourinho has a negative impact on the club’s image.  That is a according to a survey in Marca – a sports daily.

They asked about 700 members either on the phone or at the game, and overall the members gave his performance as coach 6.68 out of 10.  The last poll in March 2011 had him at 8.82.  In terms of should he stay or go after the end of the current season 54.4% saying he should stay and 41.8% saying he should leave, they added.  (I presume the rest said he should be cut in half).

The poll was conducted at a time when Real Mad were 16 points behind Barcelona.  The latest position has Real Mad in third place 15 points behind Barce and seven points behind Atletico Madrid.

Mourinho has made a number of public suggestions that there is bias against Real Mad in the Spanish game, and this is seen to be out of keeping with the club’s image.  He has also been attacked for his team selection (for example dropping the goal-keeper captain Iker Casillas and reports of bust ups within the squad. )

It is interesting that the notion of the poll has not spread to British papers, where the journalists are much happier to draw conclusions without actually asking anyone.   We might note that few papers picked up on the fact that after Man City fans failed to buy tickets for the game at the Ems, Arsenal fans snapped them up, for example.  That didn’t show a complete lack of faith in the club.

Papers in the UK thus also talk up the revolt among spectators without any evidence – perhaps because they know that the vast majority Arsenal fans still retain a strong belief in Mr Wenger – and that result wouldn’t get them anywhere in terms of writing an article.

There was little sign of protest at the game on Wednesday night, and the usual 60,000 tickets were sold.  West Ham’s end was packed solid, and most of them stayed until the long injury period.  There were empty seats in the rest of the ground, but it was a bitterly cold night, and with many home fans travelling quite a distance it is not surprising that some didn’t risk the weather.  I travelled the normal 90 miles, but then I’m crazy, so that’s not really telling you much.

At the AGM those who put themselves against the club’s current management could muster only 3% of the votes on a show of hands when there was a chance to vote against members of the board.  Not that impressive.

Perhaps part of the problem of the protest at Arsenal is that it often centres around the “We want our Arsenal back” slogan which itself has no clear meaning.  Which Arsenal was our Arsenal?  The one where the seat prices were much cheaper, before Mr Wenger came along?  Or the one with the big terraces at each end of the ground, before Mrs Thatcher came along?  Or the era of Wright and Swindin where we sometimes couldn’t even make the top half of the table?

Or perhaps as I was suggesting the other day, the problem is that Arsenal fans recognise that there are not that many top managers around in the world who could do better than the current manager.

Rafa Benitez will probably be free at the end of the season but I doubt he would make the top ten list of good ideas for any Arsenal fan.

Roberto Di Matteo is available.   He is a good tactician and played in the lower leagues, which allows him to combine stylish football with hoof it up the field.  He is also in the Arsenal mould of being calm, confident, patient, is good with the media and good with the ref most of the time.

Jürgen Klopp might go to Real Mad – especially as his Dortmund qualified ahead of Real Madrid in the Champions League.  He has some interesting style points too – always dressing black but he has been described as a Teutonic Martin O’Neill on the touchline (which doesn’t sound like a clever idea).   Klopp however is educated, as is Mr Wenger, and is extremely lucid when interviewed.

Michael Laudrup has taken Swansea to a cup final and uses a nice style of football plus is clever in the transfer market.  But he played for Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid and history shows that top players rarely do well at Arsenal.  Our greatest periods have come from having minor or non-players like Chapman, Allison, Mee, Wenger…  George Graham is one of the few to buck the trend.

And Laudrup hasn’t won anything yet, and has no experience of being a manager in Europe.Which leaves us looking at Jose Mourinho who delivers titles in each club he goes to, except at the moment.  And who managed to outdo Barcelona, although not this year.  He tends to like the counter attacking approach, which is Arsenal’s heritage since Chapman.  But he may prefer taking on the board at Manchester United.

Which leaves us where precisely?  Knowing that if Mr Wenger goes, there is no certainty that any of these men will come in and no certainty that any will be better than Mr Wenger at all.  And we don’t know how many people want change anyway.

39 Replies to “What would a members poll at Arsenal show?”

  1. I will vote for a status quo for now and not to rock the boat till AW’s signs a new contract .
    I would vote also that Silent Stan stay in America and let the board continue its good work ,while keeping that fat turd’s grubby hands off the pie .
    I would like a gentle loosining of the purse strings to help us to catch up ,but only if Aw wants it .
    But most of all I would ,dearly ,really love it if the lemmings( read,AAA) to follow their inborn instincts and do the honourable thing by going over the cliffs !I ‘d pay for the car pool to take them there !
    As for Untold Arsenal ,I’d ask the usual idiotic arseholes to stay away and let us come here and enjoy the articles ,and not attempt to sidetrack the faithful.
    I would again recommend a Lordship fo Tony ,as well as something similar for that nice Belgian guy who contributes here !

  2. You must mix with very different supporters than me – everyone single one I come across is spitting blood at the moment. Dont you talk or listen to the people around you at the Em? People do want change – they may be worried but change is wanted. Wins like the other night show only how inadequate Wenger really is – the players are not that bad but performances swing from bad to great. And mental strength when the big games come along just isn’t there – we will find a way to lose – lets be realistic – its a long long time since they showed true grit.
    Wenger has got away with it for years because at least we played entertaining football – but that is hardly the case now. How many times do we hear the ‘we must learn from this…’ in recent years – its pathetic.

    The whole set up looks tired and rudderless to me – there never seems a plan or that tactics change when it seems obvious.

    New managers – I believe there are plenty to choose from because the players just need a fresh approach – essentially a kick up the whatsit. Remi Garde, Poyet, Di Caneo, Martinez, Laudrup and many more. Champions League experience is not important as we never get very far anyway and may miss for a few seasons now. Experience is not a big requirement if you are actually a good team and you get a bit of luck with the draw.

    I clocked up 50 years this year of going to see Arsenal so I have seen the wheel of fortune turn over the years. In theory because we were top tier it should not really turn as much because money goes to the big clubs – but we are heading for a downturn – just look at the last few years.

    Please be aware that I do not expect to win things all the time – I have been lucky to see us win most things but with todays prices I expect to be competitive and entertaining but we are NOT.

  3. Well for me its all about the stats and performances against the top teams that count. i cant get excited about scoring 5,6 or 7 against teams outside the top 6. You look on paper at the league table and it shows that our defence is the third best and our attack is the third best our main front 4 attacking players have scored 46 goals in all competitions which is a healthy return. so where does the problem lie? well for me the problem is belief and organisation of which both factors should be installed by the manager and coaching team. whilst on the pitch the captain needs to take those qualities over the white line. I would vote for a change in manager coaching set up and captain and certainly the abandonment of the zonal marking system. that is not to say i would move anyone of the above on. i would make wenger director of football as he is still well respected. i would appoint a head coach with the technical flair and fresh ideas required then i would have a team of specialist positional coaches forcing through the head coach’s ideas. The head coach should decide whp is the best man to take his ideas over the white line not me. but a management and coaching team including the likes of wenger bergkamp henry winterburn and bould or adams should solve any belief and organisation problems.

  4. I dont get why many fans still feel we owe Wenger he’s gone 8years with no trophies and yet remains one of the highest earning coaches around,with no threats to his job,I think he’s been paid in full already.Now to the pitch side of things,don’t know if I’m the only one who’s noticed Wenger doesn’t do tactics,motivation or real talent spotting like he used to?My take is he’s lost apetite for the job and its better we let him go while he still remains one of the living legends at the club

  5. Tony,

    Wenger will be going soon anyway in my view. I think he will see out his contract and leave after next season.

    The question now is who will replace him as opposed to should he leave.

    I think Wenger will be remembered as a big success, though flawed. Personally I will not remember him as fondly as some ex players like Bergkamp, Adams, Henry…

    Ultimately it is about Arsenal, not Wenger. He was always just passing through. He made his mark on his way through of course.

  6. No transfers at all this window, Wenger has just confirmed the club are not in the market. I don’t think this will have positive outcomes for the CL race.

  7. Anyone who feels that a manager’s job is an easy one, only has to look at a photo of Arsene Wenger on appointment at Arsenal and a similar one now.
    The strain and pressure is clearly apparent and I wouldn’t be surprised if, in 2014, when his present contract ends, he will call it a day.

  8. @nicky , I cannot see how Wenger will stay beyond 2014.

    The only way it could happen is if he won a trophy but I just don’t think we will.

    No, Wenger is in his last 18 months – but so what? We’ll get a new coach and Arsenal will go on.

  9. I think there are two types of football fan out there and the ‘we want our Arsenal back’ thing ties in with one of these.

    There are the fans who support a team the way it is and get behind it and believe as that’s the way it is, a bit like black is black and white is white. Then there are those who support by wanting a team to be a certain way, a bit like asking for black to be more like white and vica versa.

    Which is right, which is wrong?

  10. @Jayram
    I don’t agree, I don’t think winning trophies is what is required of Wenger (by his employers), they target him on making profit hence the comment about having to make £20 Million profit. With the way Arsenal is run, it seems to me that any trophy would be a by-product requiring the payment of hefty win bonuses. It is good to hear the new sponsorship deal is related to on the pitch succecss but I think it is only going as far as what we are already achieving.

  11. If you trawl around the Arsenal blogs there is a lot of negativity. I think it’s the tedium of watching the club shy away from any trophy before March is out. The league is usually lost around December and the CL is only possible if we show as much heart and spirit as Bradford have in the Capital One Cup.

    I feel sorry for Wenger. I don’t think Stan K and Gazidis really care a jot about winning things. I’m sure Wenger would love to win the league but knows the financial clout needed to do so is immense and not a risk Arsenal are willing to take.

    The general impression I get is that many would love to see a change. The wife works with two Arsenal fans and they are fed up with Wenger. Many bloggers are openly hostile to him. But is this a majority? Who knows?

    And though Wenger does have my sympathy I just don’t get him sometimes. It was plainly obvious that we needed to strengthen and yet nothing has happened and this nonsense about the right players not being available doesn’t wash. It’s going to be a fight to get fourth, the very writing of those words depresses me because I see how low my expectations have become in recent years, and we need a stronger squad simply because an injury or two to key players seems inevitable.

    It’s all very well putting five goals past West Ham, and yes it was extremely enjoyable, but the team has to deliver against the better clubs. We played some sublime football against West Ham but that seems to be an exception rather than a rule these days.

  12. Well I can only speak from my experience but every fan I speak to at the games is spitting blood and wants change.

    Just because they go and watch the games without causing trouble (booing / protests) it doesn’t mean their not disillusioned with it all. They just have the (correct) mentality of never boo your own team.

    Maybe in your section of the ground everyone thinks different.

    If there was a poll of match going memebers I believe that it would be 75% or upwards of people saying Wenger should leave at the end of this season.
    In fact, I’d put money on it.

  13. @bc – your idea is so confusing not to mention expensive. Also a big sign of a plastic, johny come lately fan, is when you only get excited when we beat big teams. Do you remember 5pur2 x 2 or city 1-0 or Chelsea 5-3? Great wins but can’t win them all. But you are not happy seeing us hammer the hammers, big sam do you like him? Wat about beating stoke? I fuking love beating them cunts just as much if not more! Dont support us unless you’re real fan.
    @doctore – talk about summarising/repeating what you have read somewhere else, thr ‘tactics’ speech haha….
    @TC – man oh man 50 years and that’s what you have to show/say? When a ‘manager comes in and gives a kick up the whatsit’ – in football world we call that ‘honeymoon period’ and it only lasts a short time before reality sets in. New managers get rid of many players and stamp his ideas on squad, not easy and lots of examples where it don’t work.
    I love Wenger and I know that when he calls it a day we will really know what hard times are all about. I/we all like stability so the next manager to come will stay for how long until ppl start calling for a change again?
    Chelsea show that with big money you can get many managers who will risk their reputation because they know they will have big bucks to buy players and big bucks to leave when sacked. They don’t care for the club that is Chelsea like AW does for us. That is a big difference cos our next manager will either have lots of time which means we will drop to mid table (and don’t say we are now, season ain’t over) before we see anything, if at all. Then the fans start again asking for replacement, so new guy comes same shit different smell. Eventually AW will go so let him go when he wants cos alternative is scary.

  14. “I love Wenger and I know that when he calls it a day we will really know what hard times are all about.”

    How exactly do you KNOW this?

    “Chelsea show that with big money you can get many managers who will risk their reputation because they know they will have big bucks to buy players and big bucks to leave when sacked.”

    Not that I’m advocating the Chelsea model ( I appreciate more stability than that, but don’t believe a manager should be guaranteed a job for how long he wants it irrespective of results and progress) but there’s a mess of trophies and vastly increasing revenue involved during that time too.

    Anyway not sure how most of the managers’ reputations during the RA era have been risked. Ranieiri wasn’t that highly thought of, still really isn’t, and yet has managed several top clubs in Italy since. Mourinho’s reputation has arguably been enhanced since Chelsea with winning the CL (and treble in Italy) and titles in Spain (regardless of current troubles). Grant had no real big reputation to risk to begin with and was a Terry slip away from winning the CL, so arguably his reputation was enhanced. Ancellotti won a couple cups in England thereby enhancing his reputation and has landed a big job @ PSG. Hiddink wasn’t really dismissed and was knowingly a caretaker, he won the FA cup and said it was a crowning achievement for his career (and was practically being begged to stay). AVB had a torrid time, but has landed a good job with Spurs and has plenty of time to still enhance his reputation. RDM was pretty much a nobody in management and went on to win the Champions League and FA cup and likely will land a job again. The only manager who really took a tumble in his rep from Chelsea was Scolari, but after managing for years in several obscure places since he is now the Brazilian NT manager again. It’s RA’s reputation that has taken a hit, not these managers’ who all left with a degree of sympathy that they were unfairly forced out, and all left with a handsome pay cheque, and have all went on to good job (or likely will in the case of RDM). Again, not advocating RA’s model, but rather highlighting that it’s false to say that the managers who have come and gone under his rule have suffered/risked in reputation nor for opportunity since, and they certainly haven’t suffered or risked anything financially.

    “Eventually AW will go so let him go when he wants cos alternative is scary.

    None of us KNOW what the alternative actually is and what it will bring (it could be worse, equal or even better), and you’ll find actually that many people aren’t petrified like you seem, about change and uncertainty.

  15. Lol – see Wenger has called for a limit of 2 signings in Jan and has implied what Newcastle are doing is unfair….can imagine his critics …in the blogs, forums and press having something to say about that!

  16. If we would act like Chelsea we would have spent some 100M on sacking of managers in the last 10 years.
    100M I think that is more than our entire squad has costed.

    Before you say : but they won trophies.

    Yeah but if Arsenal would spill 100M ON MANAGERS (!!!!!) we would be bankrupt by now. Completely bankrupt. Because each of those sacked managers will want to buy his favourite players also and sell others for whatever they get rid of them. So we would be spending another fortune on players.

    Sorry to wake you up on this: WE CAN’T DO THAT.

    There would be no Arsenal any more.

  17. Walter is that response for me? because like yesterday (with the discussion about Hazard/Ballyboy and me clearly stating I understood the correct dismissal by letter of law) I thought it was clear in my post what I’m saying.

    In no way am I saying act like Chelsea (or specifically RA), I have no time or support for his methods. Rather I was specifically responding to a statement that managers potentially ruin their reputation by working under him, while the evidence is to the contrary, the managers that have worked under him, have generally had their reputations enhanced by winning stuff there, have had little trouble finding good jobs since, have left with a sympathy that they were improperly dismissed, and have financially benefitted in the process.

    I was only commenting on Chelsea and pointing these things out in specific reference to what was posted above, so you don’t need to “wake me up” on anything.

    If your response wasn’t for me (it isn’t clear who “YOU” is in your post) then ignore what I wrote above. If it was intended for me, again, like yesterday, it’s pretty obvious and clearly stated what my post was centered on.

  18. @Walter, who said we should follow the Chelsea model? A.Stewart didn’t. He was merely deconstructing what elkeino stated.

    We don’t have owners who want to win at all costs so we can’t follow the Chelsea model as I’m sure everybody knows.

  19. @dan, well having read a lot of the comments on Arseblog I get the feeling that the majority are fed up with Wenger. I’d be quite surprised if we don’t buy anyone. If we don’t I’d be even more surprised if we get fourth.

  20. @Rupert

    I’ve looked at a few blogs ealier, similar comments across the board. Many fan are discontent, much of the moaning points towards match day ticket prices and the lack of re-investment.

    Again I’m not taking any sides just pointing out some of the fans feelings.

  21. I think frustration among arsenal fans is the nature of AW press conference. instead of speaking straight, he talks in riddles. now it might be that he wants to confuse media, but fans are also listening to the same. so his comments to the press can be taken literally by the fans. hence, the anger & confusion. if AW were to say in plain language we’re not looking or we’re in the market, that would clear some confusions. or even better refuse to talk about transfers at all. nevertheless, I am sensing a late transfer deadline drama. esp, since we only have one proper striker and zilch on the bench to make an immediate impact.

  22. Dan – Nail. on. head.

    That is exactly why fans are discontented. I know many fans that said if they lowered the ticket prices to reflect what the team is actually capable of then they’d have no problem with the current model.

    We are feeling fleeced as over the years the prices have steadily risen but the team quality has steadily declined and they take our money and never re-invest back on transfers.
    If you look at every transfer window they always make a profit. Even last year after we bought Podolski, Cazorla and Giroud everyone thought this may be the year we invest and give the league a good crack but after everyone renewed their season tickets due to the deadline – Bang! RvP sold, Song sold and we’re back in profit.

    Thats gripe number 1.

    The other major problem is the tactics and lack of flexibility and at times frankly shocking defending.

    Personally I’d love Wenger to turn us around but I just can’t see it.

  23. There is something very interesting here the whore-lists say the fans are fed up with the Prof but the Emirates is always in the 60000fans so which is which? In our culture if i don’t like anything i will never take it for the sake of taking it because i don’t like it nooo ,i just wont buy i few hate the Prof but many love him,its like home those of you who have homes,wives or sisters there are days when you don’t click but others days you are in love so what the heck!
    The struggle continues.

  24. Kampala Gun
    There’s not been 60000 fans for a long time, trust me as I’m always there.

    There are swathes of empty seats every game these days. Arsenal even stopped announcing the attendance because when they did there were laughs from the crowd. They’d say there were 60000 even though there clearly wasn’t.
    What Arsenal were in fact doing was not counting bums on seats but tickets sold.
    So Arsenal do sell out but a decent sized number of people just don’t bother turning up.

  25. Can we have a poll on UA about banning Rupert for a week or so every time he comes off with a negative or sarcastic comment?

  26. @Dan, halcyon days. Don’t think we’ll ever see Wenger build a team that good again. Anyway let’s get on with the now and fight for fourth.

  27. Gooner Pete I think that is exactly what I said. And I, like you am there for every game that I can make it to. But sometimes the weather stops me arriving.

  28. All you need to know about the fans mood is to read Wenger’s comment about the fans making the players nervous. I’m pretty sure that was not the case till 2009/2010.

  29. Americangooner,yes his press conferences are confusing. But the fact is, when he speaks, usually it is to his players first, the fans second, and the media last of all. Basically,whatever he does in the transfer window, he istelling his players he has faith in them. He is telling Theo and Giroud they are good enough and he does not need Villa. He is telling Ches he is his number 1. He is giving Le Coq encouragement, telling him he rates him higher than MVila. May be right, or wrong, certainly very frustrating for some, but thats what he seems to do. Not buying this window will be seen as a risk, and an un-necessecary one with huge repercussions if we do not get into the top 4. although I agree with him on one thing, I have not seen anyone on the move better than what we have, but I have seen some who could certainly reinforce what we have

  30. You, see, where Tony and Walter get it so so wrong is that they think 60 000 spectators constitute a clear message that all is well amongst the support at Arsenal.

    Do your mathematics gentlemen. 60 000 does not represent a tenth of the support for Arsenal FC, an extract from Wikipedia stating..

    The club and the fans have regularly featured in portrayals of football in British culture. Gunners come from far and wide, a 2005 report estimated Arsenal’s global fanbase at 27 million, the third largest in the world.

    So you would do well to do more research. Because right now, this site is nothing but propaganda.

  31. Mandy, as always spot-on. Reinforcements yes, backups yes, squad depth yes, but maybe our players WITH e.g Villa and Banega or Biglia, could be even better players. 2 signings are not a lot to ask for. Whatever the fighting fund is 70m, 50m or 35m, what use is it just sitting there? Without CL, the summer may not attract the players we need.I love arsenal, I hate all the bickering, but this situation is just repeating every season and feels like the manager & the team are always on the brink of doing nothing.

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