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July 2021

José Mourinho, Villas-Boas, Redknapp, Benitez; who next for Arsenal?


By Tony Attwood

The notion of a club’s fans booing and jeering their own side, their manager, the board and anyone else locally they don’t like was probably initiated by the fans of Woolwich Arsenal in the 19th century.  (For more, see The Crowd at Woowlich Arsenal)

It has long since continued at Arsenal, getting an extra boost under Herbert Chapman following the the defeat by Walsall and again by the AAA in recent years.

I have dealt with this many times before – but we haven’t touched much on the way the phenomenon has been exported to other clubs.

A group of Chelsea fans have apparently created what they call a “toxic atmosphere” at Stamford Bridge, and things have not improved after a 2-0 Capital One Cup semi-final defeat by Swansea City.  (Interesting that it was the same score at the Emirates, only we didn’t spend billions getting to that stage).  As is now part of the ritual, Fernando Torres was booed.

Chelsea, of course, always want to outdo Arsenal, so they started the match by booing their chairman Bruce Buck before they got down to the real business of booing Rafa Benitez, mostly it seems because he wouldn’t give Lampard a new deal.  I am not sure if anyone booed Benitez for not giving Ashley Cole a new contract – not really worth it I suppose.

Of course at Arsenal, if you join Fanshare or if you have enough spare dosh to buy a full bloodied single share you can have a bash at the management at the AGM.  Bit difficult to do that at Chelsea.

But anything Chelsea can do, Real Madrid can do better.  There we have such abuse of José Mourinho that the awfully nice Cristiano Ronaldo told (yes told not asked) the Real Mad fans to stop it.  In a highly original speech he said the fans must get behind the team and the manager.  Well, perhaps not highly original.

Here again a player is to blame.   Mourinho dropped Casillas and that is enough for wholesale civil war in Spain.  (Not literally of course).

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But they do surveys in Spain in a way that the AAA can’t do, and found that around 60% of Real Mad members believe Mourinho has “had a negative impact on the club’s image”.  Mind you over half of the fans in the survey want him to stay.

Of course you can’t keep a Redknapp out of a discussion like this and he is quoted recently as saying “you would have to be a real dope to mess it up” (at Chelsea).   Arry has apparently never spoken to Villa Boas now at Tottenham, who have lost (or perhaps thrown away) Adebayor who was last seen heading for Africa.  I wonder if Tottenham fans are booing anyone because of that.

So who goes where in the big merry-go-round of managers?  Pep Guardiola to Chelsea is one idea.  Benítez to Real Mad – and we know that because the “strange one”  (as Benítez is known in some quarters) said at Christmas, “I know things but I think I shouldn’t say…”

It is even possible Abramovich may have heard some of the Chelsea crowd and think of changing managers again this season – certainly if Chelsea don’t make it to the champions league next year he could do anything – like stop putting money in, bring back Roberto Di Matteo or hire Billy the Dog McGraw.
Maybe there ought to be a transfer window for managers just as there is for players.  But the one thing overall that is on Abramovich’s mind, and which will probably stop another change at the club before the end of the season is the amount of money he has to pay out each time he changes managers.
We used to say that Chelsea couldn’t fit into the FFP regulations because of the players they have bought.  Now we know it is more to do with the money paid to get rid of managers.
And where does all this leave Arsenal, the club that invented booing your own team?  Who would we bring in if Mr Wenger went?
José Mourinho, Villas-Boas, Redknapp, Benitez, Di Matteo, Pep Guardiola?  I suppose the last name is the one that gets the knee jerk reaction except he did manage to get Barce to a poor second in a two horse race.  And anyway, would he want to come to Arsenal or Chelsea with their record of undermining their own manager?  Probably not.
And that in a nutshell is what fans have created.  A line of commentary in blogs and newspapers which is so virulent against their own team and their own manager and board, that the top managers wouldn’t want to be subject to it for all the money in Man City.  So Benitez it is.


The books…

The sites…

57 comments to José Mourinho, Villas-Boas, Redknapp, Benitez; who next for Arsenal?

  • elkieno

    Nice one!!
    Surely even with the negative nancies we are not that bad? We dont stack up next to Chelsea’s fans at all , but I get what you are saying.
    Comon you Gunners, we can do City again, I know it!

  • elkieno

    Also, except Pep, I don’t want any of those managers when AW leaves. I want a fresh new face that knows the Arsenal way and cares for the club as much as the great man himself.
    It would make me feel dirty, cheap like a $40 working girl down Canterbury rd, (Sydney). We are better than that, only Guardiola but would he come? Maybe his family would rather live in London and not Manchester, so (again same sentence) Arsenal, Chelsea or Spurs. Spurs is probably out of equation cos they shit, which leaves CFC and AFC. Chelsea to risky for reputation and boss will sack you when things dont go well, which means the Mighty Arsenal remains. In London plays good football, the team can play his way so sounds good to me. Only if/when AW wants to leave, cos then he can slip upstairs and put feet up. 
    (abramovich might say, “I will let you go for 3 years before I sack you”, then were stuffed). 
    Man I have been on untold all day long! 

  • LOL

    Henry is the next Arsenal manager, you heard it from LOL first.

  • americangooner

    so Real fans are booing a coach that gave them the title in only his second year. that he made them champions after 3 years means nothing for the fans is astounding. what would the same Real fans do if they were to swap their allegiance to Arsenal? Im fairly certain they would hound Wenger.
    the criticism went so far as to make CR cry ‘Stop It’ to the fans. this illustrates the fact the sense of entitlement among Real fans- Still basking in their past glories and not coming to grips with reality. not giving manager a chance. such hastiness. no wonder jose is jealous of stability for AW in arsenal.

  • para

    Pep Guardiola is the next man i think.
    I bet AW will not buy anyone in Jan or if he does it will be someone who Pep wants as AW knows the plans of AFC. AW will step up end of this season and Pep will come in ready to take AFC on the next stage of the “plan”.
    Anyway this is my dream.

  • nicky

    Henry hasn’t achieved his coaching quals, so he can be ruled out.
    I would like to see DB10 return. That is, if he can be persuaded to abandon his allotment in Enfield.


    José Mourinho



  • Thala

    Arsenal Should go for Long term Manager . The Manager Should also Share Similar Philosophy to that of Arsenal. My Choice will be Either Klopp or Conte.

  • Rupert Cook

    There is no AAA. Mr. Attwood, you seem to think if you say something enough it’ll come into being. If enough people believe in God he’ll exist; well we can only hope although logic defies his existence.

    I disagree that loads of managers wouldn’t want to manage Arsenal. At 7 million a year with very little pressure other than to finish fourth with the resources available I imagine there’d be a long queue of managers. And any decent manager could achieve what AW has achieved in the last five years.

    As for Chelsea, well there can’t be many more good managers left for Abramovich to hire and fire. Still I guess you could say that all Abramovich cares about is success, it’s just that he hasn’t a clue how to perpetuate it. Although some would argue that his huge turnover of managers has perpetuated it when you consider how much Chelsea has won. I label Abramovich as a spoiled brat and lunatic but that doesn’t explain how he came to be so rich. In many dubious ways I suspect.

    Yet if you asked me if I’d have preferred to finish third above Chelsea last year, and a lot of Arsenal fans love crowing about this, or finished sixth but won the FA Cup and CL I know which I’d settle for.

  • elkieno

    Rupert: maybe the AAA are not many but a few, the rest just blindly follow like we are supposedly doing.

  • Rupert Cook

    @elkieno, are you blindly following? I have no issue with people who think Wenger is still the man to manage Arsenal. Maybe he is the best choice. I’m not so sure.

    I just think that the cult that has grown up around Wenger is unhealthy. There are unsubstantiated claims that Wenger is the only manager who could guide Arsenal to fourth, or third like last season. This can’t be proved, it’s a belief that resides in the arena of sentiment. Arsenal are not a poor club in comparison to everyone in the league with the exception of City and Chelsea so the least that can be expected is a top four place every year. I can’t comprehend why this is such a feat.

    One day Wenger will leave Arsenal. Some of the Wengerites will be bereft but maybe Arsenal can forge a new identity that isn’t at the whim of one man.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @ Rupert…

    Once the Earth was the center of the world and it was a flat like a table. Until Galelio told otherwise.

  • Mick

    I am sure the club would allow DB10 space at the training ground for a superb state of the art allotment, complete with luxury shed.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Arsenals next manager…now theres a question, who is next in line to be booed at the Peoples Republik of Ashburton?
    Looking around the blogs, lots of shouts for Moyes and Laudrup at the moment, seems the fascination some once held for Coyle and Martin O Neil has died a bit of a death. Some say Moyes, despite winning nothing, having no real European experience can manage teams on a low budget and keep them relatively well placed in the league….and according to some, this makes him a better bet than Wenger…must be some logic in there somewhere, maybe at some point one of his teams finished above a Wenger team? Then Laudrup, 6 months in the job and doing great, relatively low pressure, players whose achievements have yet to go to theirs and agents heads. Maybe one for the future, but lets see how Laudrup does in year 2.
    But you are right, negativity everywhere, still think some Arsenal fans are amongst the worst self harmers…as is their right of course. Not all is perfect, but things are not as bad as some see it.
    Cannot see Wenger going yet. Not sure if anyone read the recent 442 article on the club (would provide a link but subscription needed) – this interviewed a variety of people at the club, who all seem to indicate…with a few painful setbacks from time to time, that everything is going as per longterm plan. And according to this article, there is a very serious global plan.We have supporters all over the spectrum of beliefs on how the club is being run. I know, and am closely related to some very reasonable, loyal, long term fans who seriously doubt the direction of the club at the moment, but would stop short of booing the team or wishing poor results on them. But unlike some of the fan base, rightly or wrongly, it seems that the club is not for turning, which means in my opinion, good health allowing, Wenger will be here for some time yet, no matter how much negativity there is.

  • A. Stewart

    When that times comes for Wenger to leave (be it by choice or being forced out) and whoever the ultimate successor is, one thing I truly hope that he is not “given a job upstairs”.

    The new manager needs to have his space to do things his way, without the influence of Wenger (be it in actual function or sentiment) shadowing him from a director’s role “upstairs”.

    When the time comes for Wenger to go, the club should thank him, make as many odes to his brilliance and contribution as they deem fit, and make a clean break.

    He should not remain in a role with any real decision making capcity (imo), not youth development, scout, director, executive, board member, whatever.

    The only role I think that he could remain without having a negative effect on the new manager is some kind of ceremonial ambassador role. Nothing more than that.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Arsenal13, once the Earth was the centre of the world……..that makes no sense. Comparing Wenger to Galileo is bizarre if not a little crazy. Maybe Wenger will convince the world that the Earth is flat, he seems to convince some Arsenal fans that his team is good enough to win something without actually doing it.

    @Mandy, I’m not sure Wenger will be here for a long time. Once his contract is up he may leave especially if he fails to get that fabled fourth spot which without any investment this January will quite possibly happen.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Should have clarified Rupert, meant to say I cannot see him going anywhere before his contract is up… after that… anyones guess. There are quite a few conspiracy theories out there suggesting he is refusing to spend money now, so someone like Pep can come in during the summer and have a shed load of money to spend, personally, just cannot see it.
    If he does not strengthen this Jan and finishes out of the top 4, yes he will have some unpleasant questions to answer, and probably not just from some fans and the media….but history tells us not to write him off just yet, especially regarding this requirement.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Who next? Rudi Garcia. Rudi who?
    Manager of Lille since 2008.
    As a relative “small” club and despite every season losing his best players he kept his teams playing attractive football and has got them in the top 4 each season. Winning one double along the road.
    Is a manager that has been highly influential for the development of Hazard and Gervinho, Cabaya, Debuchy,….

    My god this looks Wenger all over 😉

  • Steve

    Remi Garde?

  • Rupert Cook

    @Mandy, agree, can’t see it likely that we’re not spending now so Pep will have a vast treasure chest to dip into. Maybe Wenger’s just waiting to see how we fare against City before spending or perhaps he has no intention of buying anyone. I suspect if we get hammered by Chelsea and/or City he may buy a couple of players (rather like when we got humiliated at OT when he suddenly found quite a few players he deemed good enough for Arsenal). If that does happen he may feel he has to buy a player or two just to appease the fans.

  • Asif

    @A.Stewart – you’ve taken your anti-Wenger sentiments to the levels of paranoia! Don’t worry…the great man (who as mentioned earlier) is a man of principles (which is precisely one quality that the British media in general – of which you feed – hates) and definitely knows where to draw a line. Like he doesn’t want anyone to interfere with his job, similarly he would not when he ‘decides’ (and remember it will be his decision) to move on! Afterall he know what entails being a manager more than you me – most of us!

  • Mahesh

    Since, Arsenal are always ahead of the times, and given that we are talking of next manager, I would say, the next manager would be a lady! 😉 No-one thought of that, eh?

  • SA Gunner

    There is one man who Wenger has mentioned but has impressed me is Dragan Stjokovic. Good record at Ngoyi Grampus Eight and speaks well on tactical matters and football in general.

    I was hoping he would come in after Rice retired but apparently he turned that down for an extention in Japan.

  • A. Stewart

    Asif, I don’t think Wenger should be given a job upstairs after he leaves as manager simple, nothing more, nothing less…However, allow me to try to deconstruct your rant point by point:

    1) First of all, I think you should revisit the definition of “paranoia”, I’m struggling to see the appropriateness or applicability of it in response to my post. The only paranoia in this exchange is your rant in response to a simple thought by me, that when Wenger moves on (the point of this post) I think that he shouldn’t be moved upstairs (as many Gooners advocate).

    2) Wenger is a man of high principles; I’ve mentioned that several times on this site. Not sure what your point is with that reference.

    3) Re: “which is precisely one quality that the British media in general – of which you feed – hates” <- Another example of your paranoia here, that is, making sweeping paranoid generalizations and judgments on the "media" (as though it’s one homogeneous organism in this context) as to what they “hate” and don't, just silly. With regarding to feeding the British media, for one I don't live in Britain, and more importantly I form my own opinions, and don't buy the notion that the majority of people who don't agree with Wenger's policies (you may call them AAA or whatever), are unintelligent and incapable of thinking for themselves, and are only being manipulated by the evil and nefarious boogeyman "the media".

    4) I don't hate him (or are anti-Wenger), actually I don't hate anyone in this world.

    5) I disagree it should be only up to him (or any manager of any club for that matter) about having sole determination of when it's time to move on.

    6) Of course he knows what entails being a manager more than me, actually ever single manager of ever single football club does, as they actually do it and I don't. That doesn't prevent from having an opinion on his/their management.

    Now that we've reviewed all those points that had nothing to do with anything I posted.

    What's your opinion on what I said? Do you think when Wenger is no longer AFC manager, be it as a result of his choice or not, do you think it's good for him to be moved "upstairs" in a Director role or something akin to it?

    Thanks, hope you have a great day.

  • alex

    Good article Tony!

    It make sense only if we where living in the old times.

    Club/owner attitude:
    In all the mentioned club (chelsea-Madrid )specially managers are hired and backed with lots of money and the manager has to deliver period.There is no room for any there is no room for anything else.
    If somebody is expecting for their fans to expect for less simply in my opinion is to live in other planet.So for Mourinhio and his likes will be booed and rightly so.
    At a lesser scale all other managers are expected to deliver accordingly.
    Wether i like it or not this is the time we are living and as i say your article would made sense in probably a decade ago.


    People talk about finances and some say the club is making money some say no.It is just at best an educated guess.
    One thing is for sure the owner he is here to make money and has no any footballing reason to stay.Arsenal fans including myself we want to see some sort of winning as it was the adage (almost) decade ago.Surely i dont see this feeling attached with he owner/board.
    Something also has to be said (not booing)about Wenger either in its tactics or buys.

    If he has not any money why is bringing players that they cannot manage to play with the first team.Example the korean guy(Park).The Same when is allowing to extend the contract of untried and untested Youth.While might not grant to
    booing either the player or manager but surely I don’t see any accountability.
    Understandable while you are working with tight budget is gambling.Ultimately you live and dye by your decision.
    Wenger in the past has unearthed yes good players but the time we are living is about winning now .To me the article reflects the old times rather than the present.

  • alex

    Sorry for some errors ……i blame my phone

  • The font

    The centre of the earth is in the middle is it not

  • Doublegooner

    The Font:

    Centre of the earth used to be N5 1BU

  • Dec

    Imagine this debate 17 years ago. How many of us would have suggested Arsene Who? How many Arsenal fans had even heard of Mons. Wenger? Can’t remember who the popular options back then would have been. Howard Kendall? Joe Kinnear? Wilko? Kenny? Enlighten me.
    I suggest such idle speculation is pretty futile and worth only to provide some merriment many years from now (hopefully) when Le Boss has retired to his own allotment for the aged somewhere in deepest France. Here’s to many more years with AW at the helm.

  • Asif

    @A Stewart – my numerically bulleted riposte to your defense:

    1. Is it not paranoia to say he will dictate terms even after he has vacated the manager’s chair? Do you not see Wenger’s ghost when you are alone?

    2. Atleast we agree somewhere. To the latter half, I would say that your belief that he would still interfere with day to day management or direction of the club, once he has retired – that precisely is the point of reference.

    3. I am not calling the critics of Wenger unintelligent or anything of those sorts. Just the point that the ‘majority’ of the media goes overboard and is unfair in its criticism of Wenger. I too do not live in Britain, however, since EPL followers have to rely on the British media and starting from commentators to columnists to pundits – they seem to sing from the same hymn book. Why this uniform negative portrayal? Purely judging by them, this guy is apparently useless, hasn’t won anything in aeons, no one wants to play for him, has a socialist was structure blah blah blah! No one would survive 16 days in a managerial position in EPL with the credentials bestowed on him by the media, leave alone 16 yrs. But he is still there and the majority of Arsenal supporters are behind him because they do not get brainwashed and subscribe to this perception built by them.

    4. Great (but maybe the myth would be broken if you and I sit over a couple of drinks and discuss Wenger)!

    5. I can’t say about others but for Wenger yes! (Maybe you should write to Abrahamovich about this noble thought of yours).

    6. Good that you know that, generally people (and occasionally you) seem to forget that very fact! Its good to have opinions and they should be expressed as one…

    Now that I have posted my response…a brief summary of it all is – even if he is moved ‘up’ to a Director’s role, he would do what a director is supposed to do.

    You see if there is a role it has its own deliverables and if he is any good in that role only time will tell! As a manager, yes he deserves to firmly be where he is…

  • americangooner

    this thing that AW is devoid of any pressure- from within or from outside- is simply borne out of mourinho’s mouth. why would not AW be in pressure to win something of value is beyond incomprehensible. like every team arsenal also has targets. some long term some short and there’s always pressure to achieve- either from the fanbase or from the board (its predominantly fanbase at arsenal right now). last year gzdzs was fine with no UCL, but wenger was insistent on qualifying for UCL.we have been qualifying for CL for the last 16 years and advanced to knock-out round for 13 years consecutive ( only Real has done better). how is there not pressure to be as consistent as RM? AW also has won titles and trophies. since managers are judged on trophies alone, how is that AW is not on pressure to win titles? there is stability in arsenal but one can not simply equate stability with lack of pressure.
    saying any manager would have done what AW did in last 8 years is too simplistic. would they have managed arsenal to CL final, FA cup final, contending for title in 07/08 & 09/10 seasons, league cup final and CL spot every year with a very young squad? klopp and pep would have but not moyes, oneill or rafa since none of the latter trios have managed a very young squad, avg age of 23.

  • Tasos

    Mourinho? No way jose.

    Wenger forever!

    Real Madrid only employed the likes of Jose Mourinho because they have tried, and failed, to get our great man.

    Seriously though when Mr Wenger decides the time is right for a new man to step into his shoes, I’d like to think the names of Joachim Löw and Jürgen Klopp would be on our list.

    Arsene Wenger visited the London College of Communication (LCC) recently and answered some questions from students from BA Sports Journalism and FdA Sports Journalism.

    During which he asked the relevant question;

    “What kind of influence do you give to the structure where you work?”

    “I leave to the next manager a good team, a strong financial situation and a club in a very good position to be successful, to give him the chance to do better. The continuation is there and I believe that is part of my job,” Wenger clarified

    Which is one of the many reason why I personally admire the man. He cares about the club.

  • Tasos

    “During which he WAS asked”

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Strange talk, this. I worked for a pretty dire head teacher for a couple of years and when he moved on teachers continued shooting arrows at his ghost. I felt for his successor who did a credible job. Here, we seem to be shooting arrows at the ghost of Wenger before he even leaves or, shooting arrows at his would-be successors before they even arrive. I don’t know which is funnier. One thing is clear, the level of speculation about what is really happening or shall happen is rather high and disconcertingly taken as the truth. We all have opinion. You want truth? Read the Bible, the Koran, or Leonard Cohen, just don’t read the tabloids or try to foist it on me.

  • Pat

    @Dec – I’m with you.

    Speculation about Wenger’s successor has as negative an effect as speculation about which players we’re going to sign. In fact, it’s worse.

    Long may he manage our club!

  • bjtgooner

    @Pat & Dec

    I’m with you as well.

    There can only be one reason why the AAA scum (who claim they do not exist) continue to vent on a pro Wenger site – when they can spoof to their heart’s content along with appalling fellow commentators on sites like Le Groan – the comments here are a small part of a campaign (which they also claim does not exist).

    The purpose of the campaign is to undermine the club, team and manager, to implement change and further the ambitions of a fat Russian, in the unsubstantiated belief that he will pour money into the club. The fact that the Russian has already suggested a dividend seems lost on the AAA twits.

  • A. Stewart


    Re your:

    1) “Is it not paranoia to say he will dictate terms even after he has vacated the manager’s chair? Do you not see Wenger’s ghost when you are alone?” MR RESPONSE: Please re-read my post and show me where exactly I said that he WILL dictate terms or that he would even be given/adopt that role . Exactly I didn’t. That you’re seeing (and seemingly getting outraged about) something that didn’t exist, is paranoid(imo). Also I don’t believe in ghosts, so not sure what the relevance of that is.

    2. “Atleast we agree somewhere. To the latter half, I would say that your belief that he would still interfere with day to day management or direction of the club, once he has retired – that precisely is the point of reference.” MY RESPONSE: I’ll be waiting for you to show me where I said this was my belief. Here’s what I actually said for your benefit friend…: “When that times comes for Wenger to leave (be it by choice or being forced out) and whoever the ultimate successor is, one thing I truly hope that he is not “given a job upstairs”.

    The new manager needs to have his space to do things his way, without the influence of Wenger (be it in actual function or sentiment) shadowing him from a director’s role “upstairs”.”

    Do note the where I clearly state this is what I “hope” will happen/not happen, also do note where I state about Wenger’s influence (in function or sentiment) should he be given this role, shadowing the new manager, is far different from the silly stuff you said above that I believe he will interfere with day to day management of the club (never even mentioned those words, again that is paranoid).

    3) I could care less about the media, so you’re wasting time with that one there.

    4) “Great (but maybe the myth would be broken if you and I sit over a couple of drinks and discuss Wenger)!” MY RESPONSE: Quite frankly I doesn’t matter to me if you believe I hate him or not (it appears as though your mind is already decided so it would be pointless trying to convince you otherwise), that’s really up to you to make paranoid judgments about the intent and internal beliefs of people you never met. Also I don’t drink, so I’d have to pass, but thanks nevertheless.

    5) “I can’t say about others but for Wenger yes! (Maybe you should write to Abrahamovich about this noble thought of yours).” MY RESPONSE: I disagree, including for Wenger. Why would I need to write RA for anything? Also I don’t think the thought is particularly noble (nor unique), rather it’s just an opinion that an employee (whoever it is) shouldn’t be the sole determinator of his tenue. If you disagree in principle, or agree in principle with Wenger the exception, so be it, that’s up to you.

    6) “Good that you know that, generally people (and occasionally you) seem to forget that very fact! Its good to have opinions and they should be expressed as one…” MY RESPONSE: Not quite sure how you missed the following in my post…: “He should not remain in a role with any real decision making capcity (imo),” In case you are unaware, imo means, in my opinion, which was clearly “expressed” in my post . Not sure why you appear confused then. Also, in my opinion, your “fact” is really just an opinion, for which you are free to express.

    My response to your summary, I disagree that Wenger should adopt a Director’s role when his time as manager is up. And to be clear for your benefit, that’s an opinion, and not a prediction/statement of fact, that he will be offered/accept such a role, nor that if offered/accepted that he will definitely interfere in the day to day management of the club, or whatever stuff you concocted that I supposedly said/believed/inferred in your paranoid-tinged imagination.

    Anything else my friend?

  • A. Stewart

    @ bjtgooner, re: “There can only be one reason why the AAA scum (who claim they do not exist) continue to vent on a pro Wenger site” ………..

    Perhaps it’s that some people are not afraid of challenging debate, or discussing with those of differing opinions, and don’t need to have their thoughts and feelings validated by a groupthink mentality? Personally I’m a gooner, and visit websites that could be described as “pro wenger” (Untold), “anti-wenger” (Le-grove) and all varying measures of in-between; arseblog, arsenal-mania, a cultured left foot,, onemoreinthetolly etc etc etc…”

    I don’t see fellow gooners as the enemy regardless of their opinions on; Wenger, the club’s directors/owner/CEO, its players, board,whatever.

    If you prefer to exclusively stay within your cocoon of comfort here at Untold, where most think like you, that’s fine, but I find it far more entertaining, enlightening, thought-provoking and educating to visit several different gooner sites, and learn from and about gooners representing all different types of opinions.

  • bob

    This may or may not have to do with why there is speculation about AW’s successor, but it is one of those galling Untold Mysteries that surrounded AW in the past two seasons:
    That is to say: here is a primary source of the angst and pain in the fanbase. Namely that AFC dealt RVP to Manure. To elucidate: I refer to what Amy Lawrence wrote in today’s (Friday’s) Guardian: “Wenger says he does not find it painful to watch Van Persie delivering, decisively, game after game in a different shade of red. “But what is painful is to see United so far in front of us,” he says. “We knew when we sold him to United that would be the case.” That is a stark admission from Arsenal’s perspective.”

    Now, as for WHY RvP was sold to become the primary hit man for Don Fergus drive for the Rednose XX, Amy Lawrence writes the following in regard to the all-important August phone call between AW and Lord Football-to-be: “Conversations of this nature are not always entirely comfortable, especially in this particular situation. One of them was in the business of helping himself while weakening the other. And both knew it. Nobody could pull the wool over anyone’s eyes over the significance of this deal. Several months down the line, Wenger pauses for a moment as he recalls the tone of the exchange, searching for the right word. “Professional,” is the one he plumps for, although the hint of a knowing smile suggests the negotiations may have been infused with a touch more emotion. “It was a very professional phone call, and there was more than one,” he adds, arching an eyebrow. “I will tell you the rest another day.” That is quite the teaser.” For me, that “another day” cannot come soon enough and AW owes loyal fans, of AFC and of him, that “tell”. Arsene, let that be a promise that you keep.

  • Rupert Cook

    @american gooner, well yes any good manager could have done what Wenger did in the last eight years. He may have won the CL or even a cup or two. Alternatively he may not have done. We don’t know but saying Wenger is the only manager who could achieve CL qualification regularly is pure supposition.

    Maybe another manager would have told Fergie to go screw himself when he insisted RVP be sold to Manu. Maybe another manager wouldn’t have bought Park, a striker we spent more on than Michu whom most Arsenal fans never saw. Maybe another manager would have signed worse players. Point is we don’t, and can’t, know.

  • americangooner

    the word ‘any’ would mean every possible good manager. I simply don’t think the likes of moyes, rafa or oneill would have pulled it off. but certainly pep, klopp or jose would do equal or better. yes I understand its all ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ and ‘woulds’. most discussion is centered on are ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ and ‘woulds’.

  • walter

    What was said more?

    I think that Brother Grimm in his article was not far off the truth.
    I think Wenger asked SAF to pick up the phone, cal Riley and tell him to get the refs of his back.

    Refs seem to have changed this season in Arsenal games most of the time.

    that leaves two options:
    1. Brother Grimm story was close to the truth
    2. Untold pressure… 😉

  • Adam

    Something people need to remember; The regularity with which Arsene produces these so called irreplaceable players is hard to come by in other clubs. Barca, Lyon, & Man utd are ahead of us when producing players that continue at the top level but we produce more quality which our rivals pay handsomely for. Arsene has this knack for quality production. the player’s we’ve seen leaving us are the ones brought in to replace the invincible side.

    For me Arsenal are a club in transition. moving away from these players that have not delivered for us to a player that will not become disgruntled and want to succeed under our flag.

    The one thing you can be sure of with Arsene is that he will continue to produce players of quality that will always be coveted by others. For those of you who want change, or who would allow Arsene to leave the club. We will lose so much.

  • @Rupert i thought you where a man enough but it seems you have no bolz,dream on rupert but Wenger is going no where soon.You cry of high prices and you want to bring in the mourinhos of this world,will you afford? ha ha ha ha how can you get rid of a cow which gives you 20litters a week and bring in that which gives you 5 litters a week? Not until Rupert buys the Arsenal then wenger will be on his way but as of now keep dreamin.And those dreams come from GOD

  • Doublegooner


    What exactly will we ‘lose’ ??

    We’ll lose a manager well past his sell date.

    Arsenal FC has been & will be around alot longer than Arsene FC

  • Adam

    Oh you finally address me Doublegooner, go back through your comments on other threads and answer the questions I have put to you, then we will natter. Until then do not try and engage me.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Kampala Gun, what are you smoking? I don’t know why you suppose I want Mourinho at the club. In fact I’m not really sure what you’re preaching about.

    @Adam, I think the players of quality that Wenger produces are getting rather thin. Anyway once they come good we sell them because that’s our business model, isn’t it?

  • Doublegooner


    Have you been waiting long ?

    If your ‘great leader’ doesnt go this summer, there is little chance he’ll be here after 2014.

    His support is diminishing so we (hopefully) might have only 18 months before all of us start preparing for a new man.

    Problem, with our ghost of an owner and his MLS sidekick, would they know who to appoint. A bank manager perhaps ?

  • Adam

    DoubleGooner, who would you replace Arsene with? and please don’t make me wait too long i miss you already.

    Rupert, The quality of player seems to be diminishing, why do you think this is?

  • None, Wenger is the right man.

    In the words of Billy Bean “the man runs the club as if he will own it for a 100 years”

  • Stuart

    @LOL 10.38
    I wouldn’t want Henry in as manager. As captain he showed he lacks a natural flair for leadership.

  • Stuart

    I can’t see that Wenger is at risk of being shown the door. Maybe he will choose to go soon, I don’t know but I don’t think he will be sacked. Even Man U are unlikely to have sacked him yet.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Adam, well Wenger doesn’t seem to be able to spot cheap players that are good enough. We missed out on Michu. Now I’m not saying he would be the answer, he may well be a one season wonder but then in some ways so was RVP. Imagine if we’d had him this year and he’d been as useful to us as he is to Swansea, well then we could have sold him for a healthy profit in the summer.

    Out of interest do you have an idea why we no longer find cheap talent? Do you think there is a dearth of such players?

  • Gary

    So Benitez is known as the “strange one” in some quarters is he? No, he isn’t. You made that up. And he isn’t a top manager, according to you. He had Liverpool ranked the top team in Europe for several seasons, all while having to balance the books and deal with the biggest f*ckwit owners in the club’s history. He won the CL once with a poor squad, got to another final, and while at Valencia he won two La Ligas (a huge feat in the face of Barca and RM’s dominance) and a UEFA Cup. His record in Europe – in terms of getting to the latter stages of tournaments and winning them – is better than Wenger’s, a manager I also rate hugely. By any objective measures, Benitez is a top manager. You, however, are a third rate blogger.

  • Adam

    Rupert, I think it comes down to opinion, I like Koscielny and I think he was cheap by top side standards. But that’s only one example and opinion but you cannot deny Szczesny was a find.

    For me there are numerous reasons; Competition (other clubs & private scouting systems spotting talent as frequently as Arsenal used too) Its not a secret anymore.

    Third party player ownership; believe it or not only France and England rule out TTPO, which means if Arsenal go shopping elsewhere there is a high possibility that we will have to line the pockets of an investment fund or agent to release the player in to our ownership.(money that helps perpetuate this cycle) My own personal opinion leans towards this.

    Outside investment; Your oil or state money, even when Arsenal identify a target we have to get the selling club & agent to keep quiet and not run off to Chelsea, PSG, Zenit, Man city and many more trying to up the price. Please remember that selling clubs always have this negotiating tactic; “If the player is wanted by Arsene Wenger, he will be wanted by someone else, but with more money”. Yes Arsene’s opinion on a player is still very much respected within the game regardless of what some fans feel about the man.

    Players; The player has to want to come to Arsenal, knowing our wage structure and what were up against financially. Remember no matter what we decide to pay a player the oil & state clubs will double it if needed.

    Arsenal themselves; I think there is a conscious decision to let certain players pass the club by. If, and I say if, we are following a similar path to Barca, You may see us pushing our youngster on even further and complimenting them with Cazorla like players. Players that are ready to play.

    So for me Arsenal are at a cross roads, Our academy has been running long enough now to start pushing players through, Players that will make a difference to us. Players that have a mentality of the Arsenal of old,(Paul Davis anyone). Players that are better than what’s available on the market and have “Arsenal DNA”.

    In some regards it feels as if Arsenal are starting over, they had to let all our superstars go leading up to 2005 and have been building to budget (schedules of rates) since then. We now “apparently” have some financial leeway, so there is no more room for excuses regarding being competitive. If Arsenal are starting to have disposable income, I say spend it on bringing DB10 back as youth coach and living statue, same thing with Henry. For me this is what the club is missing the winning mentality that becomes ingrained and additive. The current set up feels void of all history, but again that’s only my opinion.

    Hope this helps clear up where I stand on the issue.

  • Stroller


    Your question: And where does all this leave Arsenal, the club that invented booing your own team? Who would we bring in if Mr Wenger went?

    Perhaps more to the point is who at the club would know how to go about replacing him, let alone who to appoint. Surely not the ailing Peter Hill-Wood and the other septuagenarian business men on our Board? Not Stan Kroenke or Ivan Gazidis, neither of whom are ‘football men’, well-versed and well-connected in the right areas of the game.

    The only person I would trust right now is Arsene Wenger himself, and maybe that is the way it will happen?