Would change of manager, change anything?

By Walter Broeckx

So let us suppose the board give in to the pressure from some part of the Arsenal fan base and sack the manager today.

What is the main criticism I read about Wenger:

–         He knows nothing about tactics

–         He will not buy players we need

The first one is something that mostly is said by people who haven’t proven anything about their knowledge of  tactics. Unless of course going on the internet and juggling around with all kinds of terms and formations makes you a specialist.

Anyone can produce any type of formation on paper as long as you can count to 10. But being able to do this doesn’t make you fit enough to be a professional football manager. On the computer it is enough. On the real playing field outside: no.

Why do you think in almost all leagues in Europe nowadays it is required that a football manager has a certain degree? They have to follow all kinds of courses, do trainings, to exams and then you can say you can manage a team. As far as I know Wenger has a managerial degree since 1981. So he must know something about tactics. And if you look at his career it sure does seems that he must know a bit about tactics.

In his managerial career he has won 4 league titles and won 11 cup finals.  Now do you really think that he would have won them and wouldn’t have a clue about tactics?  He sure must have the biggest rabbit’s foot in the world.  (Dutch expression – meaning having all the luck in the world). The fact that he managed a team through a whole season unbeaten in the PL, the fact that he in fact changed tactics during the years must mean that he knows something about tactics.

And certainly when you look at the fact that Real Madrid has been trying to get Wenger to their club on a few occasions. The fact that now once again rumours saying that PSG wants to pay him 30M to come to their club and to manage them. Surely those people from top clubs in their country must know that he knows a few things about managing a football team. Or are they dumb? And are those on the internet claiming that Wenger knows f*ck all about tactics much smarter? Well allow me to doubt this.

So this criticism about Wenger not knowing anything about tactics is ridiculous. Unless of course you play football manager 2012 or Fifa2013 or whatever it is called these days.

Next thing is buying players. Of course if you look at the what the media makes of Wenger his words you can sometimes wonder. But when I compare the words spoken on arsenal.com with the words put in his mouth by some part of the media I see completely different things. Now of course it could be that as a person who is not a native speaker of  English could misunderstand some things. Or could it be that Wenger being French uses other expressions that are more accustomed to the French language and do sound a bit different in English?

And so perhaps the media tries to turn those words in something different than Wenger intended. Like his words about the squad being good enough. Well I also do think the squad should be good enough. Not to win the league. I think we are missing one player. A player that wanted to leave at all cost. With him I think we would be where United is now.

And even after those two defeats I still think the team is good enough for a place in the top 4. The second half against both City and Chelsea gave me the impression that when the team really goes for it without any handbrakes on they can win from any team.  Just have to find a way to get that handbrake off.

But Wenger also has said that he wants to bring more players to the club. But only when they will improve the team. Do we want another wrong buy? Do we want another Chamakh? Do we want another Squilacci?  Well I think Wenger also doesn’t want another of those. So if we have the choice of buying another Chamakh/Squilacci do you think he should go for it and spend his money on those players?

I understand that Wenger only wants to buy a player of whom he is 95% sure he will add something to the team. And yes even then it could go wrong. You don’t have any certainties when working with human beings. I think Wenger his track record is rather good when it comes to buying players. How many times in the last 7 seasons have fans moaned about Wenger having bought Van Persie. During his injury years and when he signed a new deal many were up in arms that Wenger spend money on this always injured player. Wenger knew why. And so do all of us by now. Of course Wenger couldn’t foresee that he would be an ungrateful **** after all the time and money spend on him. That is part of those 5%.

But would a new manager be able to spend lots of money on new players. People claim that Gazidis said he could spend 35M. He never said something like that to me to be honest. And if you have a link to arsenal.com saying so I would be happy to read it. But those 35M, well that is one top player and than the money is gone. Would I mind spending him that money? NO. I wouldn’t mind spending that money at all. But we have to keep in mind that this money is the result of years of saving up money. And it could be gone in one second. With all the kicking again allowed by the refs in recent games against our players it could be that a new player could be out for 1 season.

Now of course we could go out and buy all the Remy’s, the M’Villa’s the Mbyia’s from France that are linked to us. Most of us don’t know them in fact but let that be no problem for buying them. Maybe those players could offer something extra to QPR. Or to Newcastle. As those clubs are trying to buy each and every player that has been linked to us. Leaving our fans moaning about another missed player. And when one of them scores in his first game, the moaning gets even bigger. But let us wait till the end of the season to see if they are a real success. Remember Chamakh and the start of his Arsenal career? One swallow doesn’t make a spring

And the final problem: will a club sell one of their stars to Arsenal at this time of the season? Let us look at the big names that are mentioned in the media: If you would be president of Naples would you sell Cavani now? If you would be president of Dortmund would you sell Gotze right now? If you would be president of Everton would you sell Fellaini right now?

Do those players want to leave their club right now?

The only way such a big player can come is when both he and his club agree on such a move. If they don’t want it, then it is impossible to buy them. And that is something that stays the same whoever our manager might be. And that will not change if we change our manager.

116 Replies to “Would change of manager, change anything?”

  1. Nothing changes at Arsenal until Stan leaves.
    Changing managers may give some fans a sort term boost, but the owners lack of willingness to spend will mean it truly is a short term fix.
    Stan out, Arsenal can repair itself.
    Wenger out, we sink deeply, and quickly.

  2. Ppl tend to forget what Wenger brings to the game. How he revolutionized English football. Maybe we are so used of winning before, fans just can’t give Arsene a break.

  3. you raise some very valid points, where are these players who can transform things? Remy had gone off the boil in France recently, M Vila – dont know the guy but does sound like trouble, and is he any better than Coq who has impressed recently. Benzema, Villa, Fellaini – yes, they could maybe help…but… The harsh fact is ,Arsenal have a problem, they are not at least for a whole game playing as well as the sum of their parts. These are top players. There area couple major things wrong, at least as I see it. Firstly, our recent starting team, if you count up premiership appearances and I do not have stats to hand, this team are less experienced in this league than most, including our rivals. Thats why Arteta is so important, as was Rosicky, Benny, Baq, VP and yes,I am going to say again,Song last year, they have a wealth of EPL experience. Many of our current team do not. The team look undercooked in the first half, almost as if they do not know what to expect from say Martin Atkinson at Stamford Bridge. Believe me, Arteta is a huge miss, he is a very smart player. The likes of Diaby, Coq, Santi,Giroud, Poldi, and others just have not played enough games. Playing devils advocate, maybe Wenger could be critisised for not buying premiership ready players, and maybe not preparing the ones he has well enough, but that is speculation. I think this lack of familiarity with the opposition, refs, and maybe Wengers tactics is leading to individual mistakes and a lack of confidence. If true, maybe a Benny type figure may be a better transfer bet than say a Swiss defender playing in Germany or a Bastia attacker. But Wenger clearly does not like buying premiership players in most cases, and I am sure he has his reasons. The other problem, at least in my eyes is a lack of rotation.Yesterday, Diaby and Santi looked jaded, as did Bac.Again, devils advocate, Wenger can be chastised over a lack of squad depth, at least in terms of players he has faith in.
    Back to the question in the heading, yes a new manager would change things, but maybe not for the better, change often has unforseen consequences, some good, some bad.The names critics want bought in raange from the unrealistic to the young who have won far less than wenger. this is a bigjob,and we do not know the fully extent the board are playing in our problems, perceived or otherwise. If Wenger really is a one man wrecking ball that some suggest, he will surely be held to account at the end of the season, but the evidence does not support this. I am not saying Wenger has not made mistakes, all in such a position do, and I believe letting Song go without a replacement is one such mistake. In the meantime, this team must be backed to have the best chance of a top 4 finish, because if we do not get that as a minimum, have a feeling fans and critics alike willsee the true meaning of fiscal caution.

  4. I didnt read your article Walter, too frustrated about everything. But one thing, Arsene is very good analysing the game afterwards. He is clear and speaks out the truth. But after last weeks no show in the first 10 minutes the team again doesnt show up and this time for 45 minutes???? He doesnt reach the players anymore, the have no belieFe, no balls and no one kicks their ass. Maybe it has been to cold for our 70k a week players. Shamefull and Wenger has to take the blame, he created this bunch of losers and he cant motivate them. SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE AND I CANT SEE IT HAPPEN UNDER WENGER ANYMORE!!!

  5. I think when people say he knows nothing about tactics they dont mean it in the way you are thinking, with the starting formation how many times does wenger change it ? he never does he is too stubborn to change it cause he believes it will work but that is my belief to why we keep loosing games he never changes it so all the teams know how we will set up. And too the hole spending fiasco to everyone that thinks the board are the ones spending the money just no ! Yet again it is wenger there was an article not even a month ago with wenger admitting he is the one controlling all the ins and outs of the transfers. He can buy many players but why he doesn’t is beyond me! Dont get me wrong this guy is a legend of the club and i respect everything he has done for the club but it is time for the club to move on if he can not change his ways like fergie has done to keep up with the times then the club will continue to fall loosing more and more quality players.

  6. Sorry to change the subject but I’ve just seen seial twat Dermot Gallagher on Sky tv saying that Ramires didn’t dive for the penalty. Dite all visual evidence to the contrary. Honestly, what hope is there if these people can frankly make it up despite all evidence? This goes way beyond cheating and touches on conspiracy.

  7. The quotes from AW this morning have left me feeling even more depressed and worried for the future. He admits that Top 4 is at risk (as if we didn’t know) and talks about physical and psychological problems in the team. The tone is downbeat and there isn’t any defiance or rallying call to arms. He seems to know the problems but does he have the answers? Does he now have the motivation and energy to take on the task required? The season is fast becoming a write off, and it’s unlikely that a new player or even a change of manager can turn it around.

    Maybe some of the money would be better spent buying out and offloading the players who no longer seem able to contribute so that the decks are clear for the summer.

    But if the owner and board are going to remain detached then I fear that we could be in for long period in the shadows.

  8. I certainly would not like to see A.W sacked after all he’s done for us he’s an honourable man and he’ll probably go himself or go upstairs, but we can’t go on and on like we have been doing with nothing won in the last 7 possibly 8 years.

    That’s the reason change is needed and the quicker the better, surely every true gooner who loves our club would sense danger agree and with my point? but no! there’ll be those fans who’ll keep on sayin’ “in Arsene we trust” but i’d say to them do you want that trust to go on and on and on and on? yawn! like this in the years to come?

  9. Aw supposed to leave AFC, otherwise he should buy the sticker that sustain AFC and not type of forward he bring to AFC

  10. I agree with you in the main – most of the criticism of Wenger I read is either false, conjecture, or twisted words and emotional opinion.
    But! He has certainly got flaws, and they are nothing to do with money – why are we starting so many games as if we only need a draw? Why are we so vulnerable after we score? Why are we completely bereft of confidence until we score? Why do we ignore the art of defending? Why do we have no leadership on the pitch? Why does hard work on the pitch seem to be beneath us?
    Those are all things which have nothing to do with money. And we would win far more games if we had these issues sorted.
    I still support Arsene, but am getting fed up of groundhog day.
    And very fed up of acting like a bunch of spoiled brats on the pitch.

  11. Yet again we are in January, having to deal with injuries, poor form and being many points behind the top team. This pattern seems to repeat most years recently. The question should be why and what is the club doing to alleviate this?

    As for AW being tactically naive, it seems our defenders are. Are you saying, hand on heart, that we don’t need to improve our defensive performances? Either tactically or by getting better players?

  12. You’ve duped yourself,wenger is tactically inept, he needs very good players to play his brand of playground football and another thing when we are one nil up with five or ten minutes to go regardless of circumstances he will always sub an attacking player for a defensive one thus encouraging the opposition to come on to us and invariable leading to an equaliser,you may ask what is wrong with that , usually i would say nothing for most teams but when you don’t coach or set up defenders to be organised it would be better to keep your attacking players on to keep the ball as far away from our penalty box as possible.

  13. I do not think those players lack desire or work ethic Goonerdave,they do however seem to lack confidence and awareness. some look far from fresh physically and mentally…as Wenger says. But all I do know is that Wenger, and the board (the owner, I am not so sure)care very deeply about this club and will do everything they can to resolve any problems.

  14. Mandy-
    I dont doubt Wengers desire at all. But we are a complete disaster defensively. And our players could try a lot harder to score the first goal.
    I would question the managers ability to motivate his players and also our defensive tactics.
    I dont blame him for being priced out of the best players, but I blame him for not using his resources to maximum effect, which is his job after all.
    I do want Arsene to stay, but things must change, we cannot do this every year, its becoming more difficult and we are constantly struggling. Im sick of it.

  15. I think AW gets more use from his pipe and slippers than his degree when it comes to football lately. There was more animation in a Dilbert cartoon than he showed on the touchline on Sunday. We need leadership not a bank manager!

  16. But if we change our manager maybe the team on the pitch might improve? Maybe they might defend better or attack better or maybe they might not? They could get worse. All I know is Arsenal football club have played 22 games in the league this season and they have only won 9 (NINE) games and under those conditions the managers position has to be called into question.

  17. I think, you right as soon as three of leave the club begin with stan,Ivan, and mr silence man wenger if both leave the arsenal therefore we will see the change in the club…

  18. I cant believe the number or Arsenal supporters that constantly moan about Wenger. Too many times prior to Wenger I sat at the Clock End or North Bank and watched our team beaten because the quality of our football was woeful in comparison to our opponents. When grit and hard work wasnt enough to drag us over the finish line, and quality was hard to come by. Even though we havent won anything for a few years we have still been so close on a number of occasions. Injuries and terrible bad luck or stupid mistakes have madr a massive difference. Arguably 2 to 3 more trophies would have been ours were things different. Anyway, point Im making is that many of us should be less critical, appreciate our position, and bl@@dy well support our team! I’d rather win or lose and be entertained than watch some of the football of old.

  19. Gazidis said we had 35 million to spend in an interview about three months ago. He may have changed his mind but he said it.

    And we’ve had a poor defence for about five years. It’s only been slightly better this season. Surely Wenger is capable of sorting that out in all this time?

  20. the whole team need to defend better, we have some quality defenders but they are exposed too regularly and too easily. Just seems to me that the players are struggling to fit the system Wenger is asking them to play, maybe he needs to get steve bouldshelp and go back to basics a bit- Barca was not built in aday, and a lot of these players lack EPL experience. There are a lot of things this team need to work on, scoring more from the significant numbers of corners and free kicks we get would be one of them. But things work themselves out, if the majority of the team really have lost faith in wenger and his methods, or prefer those of SB.. to the point it is harming us, wenger will most likely go, if individuals have,those individuals will probably end up going. But I still put most of our woes…or the ones the team can control down to lack of experience in this league, and with some, a lack of rotation. SC has played I think every game in every competition for us, and several internationals, wenger cannot afford to burn the likes of him out.

  21. OMG I have read some nonsense by some blind Wengerite AKB’s but this is undoubtedly the worst.

    Wengers ability to not change tactics in the face of opposition dismantling his team are both obvious legendary.
    He never changes formation during a match to deal with a threat, his substitutions are generally useless because he doesn’t have a team with sufficient depth to allow good substitutions, a mess of his own making.
    He would never go to another club because he would be out the door when he didn’t win anything!

    Citing Chamakh and Squilacci as examples of panic buys proves you stupidity, Wenger followed, scouted and bought those players, no one forced him and he didn’t buy them in a panic. He bought them after much deliberation and in his own good time. More evidence he has lost it and you don’t know what you are talking about.

    I am tired of this shit about Wenger not having money to spend, he waster over 97 million in the last 2 transfer windows. That is no mean spend but he didn’t get quality players apart from Carzola. Another Wenger nail in Arsenals coffin.

    Are you actually trying to tell those of us with a brain that players like M’Villa and Mbyia wouldn’t instantly improve our midfield and defence, which at the minute has more gaps than a China-mans teeth!

    Your point about not being able to get big names is rubbish, any club will sell almost anyone at any time for the right money. The reason players won’t come is because we look like being out of the CL and on a downward slope.
    Have you not noticed the lack of trophies for 8 years now?
    The proof of the pudding is in the eating and Wengers dish tastes like shit!

    There is also a comment on Wenger revolutionising English football. FFS how did he do that? If he is so hot at being ahead of the curve why do we get raped weekly by what should be lesser teams? Don’t tax your brain answering that, I will help you; because he is a shit manager!

    No doubt you Wengerites will all be like an army of king Canute’s confident that he can stop the waves from coming in even as your feet are underwater.

  22. After taking up my white stick, using my Braille translator I just ask you Ed:

    – where did I write Chamakh and Squillaci were panic buys? They didn’t deliver. That is what I wrote. And this could happen to any Remy, M’Villa, Mbia, M’Whatever (google him he looks great). If Wenger wouldn’t care about Arsenal he would get himself a dozen like that in a minute I think. Maybe the fact that those buys went wrong made him more careful to not do it again. Or do you think he should waste even more money?

    – How many times have you seen M’Villa and Mbia play complete games? Or just seen a few highlights on youtube? Or you just think: if the media name them, they should be good enough?

    – What was your view on RVP till 2,5 years ago? And please don’t come up saying you thought he was the best striker in the PL. Because we both would know that you would be a liar on that. Even a blind man could see that.

    – What is the right price for a big star? Apparently for Cavani it would be around 60M. Can we pay that? We both know the answer: no.

  23. People don’t understand that if Wenger leaves the club we would again go back to those days when we used to be just a mid table team winning some FA cups here and there. Fans want more and thats quite obvious because they pay a lot of money for Arsenal. But they need to understand that its not easy when a team is moved to a new stadium and the manager has to work under certain budget. I think Arsene Wenger is the only one manager who has been able to do that. (May be even David Moyes to a certain extent). I think this year the main problem lies within the players itself, they seem so uninterested. TV05 doesn’t seem to have that passion he had but saying that he was good in the last few matches. Sagna seems to be more interested in his contract. Ramsey seems to just smile and pull out his tongue after misfiring a shot or misplacing a pass. Same goes for Giroud. And lastly the balance of the team is not at all good. We don’t have to spend 35m on one player but its quite obvious we are missing Robin Van Persie and Alex Song. Neither Wilshere nor Diaby nor Arteta puts in a foot and Tackle. We need some one who can tackle/break opponents play and move us forward. And trust me there are decent players available who can do that and it won’t even cost 35m. I’m a huge fan of Arsene but I think he is being a bit too stubborn during the transfer windows for the last couple of seasons.

  24. What Arsene brought to English football was half a generation ago. And he has failed to keep up with the times since then.

  25. It will take more time to wash out the disastrous Wenger ‘socialist’ wage structure. But a new coach (or Bould given freedom) could ….. drill the defence (change zonal marking), drill the whole team in making it much much harder for the oppos. when they have possession, practice corners and free kicks, select defensive fullbacks instead of wing backf , protect the back 4 properly, rebalance play making and ball winning, send them out there to compete from the 1st minute …. and one can go on.There is soooo much wrong with the unchanging Wenger dream …..

  26. Vitriolitic criticisms by mad fans are part of the psychological problems. Added to this are the conspiracies in officiating, allowing our players to be kicked roughly without remedy and awarding penalties, free kicks and red cards even when our players are at the receiving end. Looking at the team critically we have so many carcasses of bad tackles, Sagna, Ramsey, Diaby, Walcott, Gibbs, Rosicky, Wilshere, Arteta, Coquelin, Frimpong etc and the departed RVP and Eduardo and most of those who perpetrated these atrocities never received red cards. So the conspiracy by the high and low to destroy Arsenal just because the club is proving that you do not need a billionaire godfather to succeed. What pains me is that those who call themselves fans are assisting these devils to destroy the club. It is better we get wiser before it is too late because Wenger will get a better job and our good players would get better teams, Kroenke will sell his shares with profit but the team would be decimated and it will take years to be rebuilt. Fans be wise and stop behaving stupidly

  27. I was shocked at the attitude of Diaby and Coq, mainly in the 1st half. YES the Refs action dint help, but giving up so early???….. Wilshere was a frustrated figure in the middle, shouting at Coq and Diaby.

    Changing manager wont help. Mistakes do happen, We all do it and go into a hiding.

  28. Re Rupert Cook : January 21, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Rupert, would you be able to find a link to that interview?

  29. @Stuart, I think it was an interview that was posted on Arsenal Times. I often look on there and they often post links to interviews given by Wenger and Gazidis so it seems the most likely place that I read it.

    I’ll try googling it and look on Arsenal Times.

  30. Replacing Wenger is not a primary option though not impossible.

    After selling all the best Arsenal players and enjoying huge profit inevitably not replaced them adequately we are where we are now.

    Arsene has a lot to answer too.
    After the sale of Song to Barca i was expecting either to replace him from within the youth rank or buy someone of his like.
    It didn`t happen either.Why ?
    The answer is because Wenger has put a lot of faith on Dyabi.We know for a fact that Dyabi is talented there is no need to me tell his attribute on the midfield.However is proven to be crook.For Arsene the decision to gamble on crook player is completely nonsense.But it was not just a gamble.Arsene by his own admition is telling us that “DYABI IS COMPLETELY FOCUSED ON FOOTBALL AND HE DONT DRINK OR SMOKE.HE WENT ON ON ALMOST CRYING FASHION ABOUT HIS INJURY AND WHAT HE IS BEEN THROUGH BLA BLA BLA…. ”
    Arsene Wenger i dont Know what to make off you.
    Come the contract negotiations you will not sit infront of Dyabi.Arsene! that useless Gazidis will sit with Dyabi agent and we all know what agents do in order to get the maximum pay for them and the player in question.

    As it was and still evident we need a midfield enforcer.Wenger for his own reason/sentiment choose not to buy a player.
    Look at Dembele.Was available and it is within our financial reach.Proven premier league player that we have seen it week in week out.Finally nicked by the SPUDS.Looking at his performance yesterday against Manure and look at us gave me a sense on Arsene that he do not want to give credit for managers on the premier league that unearth a talent.Nor does he rate them to take on loan our youth as i see them more often play in Europe or some where else in league one.I keep my open on this.

    Immagine yesterday if Girould was injured who we got a physical striker to replace him ?
    Hence another proven goal scorer in the premier league Ba has gone to the rivals.
    I am pretty sure as many suggest we need at least a MF and striker.I will not be surprised if he buy .To me it does not make any sense his plans.The table does not lie and the buck stops right in Wenger door.I am not calling for his head but surely as an ordinary fan dont make sense his buys at all.

  31. im waiting for the day that

    This writer is so open and clear in his view that he was unable to give us a valid email address or sender’s name. Thus the comment was cut.

  32. I think the team need a new defense coach or plan
    ..zonal marking isn’t working the players are more concerned about getting into zones instead of tackling..the team is missing those fast 1- 2 passes and diaby needs to act his size .. He’s too weak jack is stronger on the ball than he is. Arsenal needs a finisher don’t care which one just get someone who can score..

  33. Good grief! I cannot believe what I have just read. Does it not hurt what you are seeing?

  34. @WalterBroeckx
    I’ve seen both play a lot of tims and both would instantly improve our squad. We need to get rid of the players who don’t contribue anything and bring in players for the first 11. M’Vila is a beast of midfielder who also has the passing range of Stevie G. He’s better than Frimpong and Coquelin. M’Biwa can tackle, has great positional sense, can play anywhere along the back line + DM and has been the captain of his club for the past 18 months. Quality player for cheap as chips money. Better than Djourou and squid and possibly Kozzer (Yep that’s what I said). 2 players for under £15 mil’ that would instantly give us options and would improve on what we have already. No waste of money at all. Diaby needs to go. 6 games per season ain’t good enough. Arshavin? Was brilliant and still probably could be but not at Arsenal. Our biggest problem (and Wengers) is that we have too many players playing out of position. Podolski is a striker. He does a job for his country out on the left but his position is central and as we’ve seen when in gets in that position he’s lethal. So why play Gervinho there who is a left winger? Why not swap them and put them into their natural positions? Maybe I’m missing something. Arteta is an attacking midfielder not a defnsive one. Ramsey is a central midfielder and not a winger. Arshavin is an attacking midfielder not a winger. Wenger keeps buying all these brilliant players and keeps on trying to change them. Here’s a crazy idea, why not buy specialist players and play them in their correct positions and maybe, just maybe, we could end up with a balanced team? If we need wingers, then buy wingers. Not strikers who “might” be able to “do a job” there. So simple. We then have 3 top class strikers who can do there jobs, bringing their different skill sets to different opposition (Walcott – Pace to get onto those long balls, Giroud – Target man for the crosses from those wingers we should buy and Podolski – Fox in the box for those through balls tight situations). Hang on a minute this all comes down to those tac-tics you’ve been talking about. Seems like we don’t have any to me.

  35. 49unbeaten,
    you got the job.

    So when do you see them play?

    Reading that again: My God how come they don’t play for Barcelona or Real Madrid for the moment?

  36. Wenger does have a lot to offer.

    Wenger needs to change his approach and unbelievable blind faith in some of the players.

    Injury prone Diaby/Rosicky although talented cause more problems, I think many would be happy if we gave our youngsters a chance. This season is a write off so Wenger might as well try something different.
    Nico Yennaris, Thomas Eisfeld and Serge Gnabry, all seem pretty useful.

  37. Walter,
    I say keep AW because he’s quality and imo, as a non-expert (any more than you are) feels (with the Arsenal Player presenter/players on yesterday’s great and insightful broadcast)that he needs to have taken on other professional voices and achieve greater in-game flexibility with formations/substitutions, etc. My main point today, however, is this:
    Imo, you’ve given readers an advance multiple rationalizations here to prepare for our not spending. Walter, the club’s thinking about our side’s needs did not and certainly should not have started on January 1. If it did, then there is far more incompetence or indifference in this version of Arsenal than can be bearable. So why didn’t we say no to RVP? Would we be in this mess? And let go of Song? You’ve said you agree on these points, I believe, but what can we do now, we’ve got to deal with the present and what we have. Well, I can agree with that, what else is possible. But your warnings about blowing all 35M – or MORE – on one person; or not being able to be certain that there will be a good return on the pitch; or how many Ba’s can there be who hit the pitch scoring; etc. etc. all add up to taking no risks. It is a fear factor run amok, imo. The greatest risk has now become NOT to spend, rather than to SPEND. And, imo, UA continues never to get out in front of what the club actually will do when it comes to transfers; and then to praise AW/AFC for the moves it finally makes when it makes them. If they actually do spend 40M and pick up one of the superstars, are you really then going to say, oh no, oh my god, so much on one player who can be kicked to bits (another fear factor)? No, you’ll praise the club for its daring and courage. This is a major crossroads, this moment; and limping into the summer in less than fourth place will have begun a process where we will have to shell out far more than in previous years to get even second tier talent because who in the first tier of talent would want to go to a club in decline without the big CL stage to perform on. I think we need to face this moment aggressively – and spending on Demba Ba and others who have gone by the wayside this very month, even if “only” to shore up with quality depth have been missed opportunities that would not have broken the piggy bank as I fear, your posting today would have us fear.

  38. “The harsh fact is ,Arsenal have a problem, they are not at least for a whole game playing as well as the sum of their parts.”
    Mandy Dodd,
    Agreed. Then replace them, for they are consistently not playing consistently well enough. We know that the game is not played on paper, and it’s not working out on the pitch. The problem with lack of quality depth, imo, started two January’s ago with the refusal to shore up, even as we were going into January threadbare, and then were still in 4 competitions, but too overstretched to do anything but flame out. Quality depth is needed, and to hell with those who keep complaining that there’d be too many players at each position to keep happy. The despised Don Fungus does not worry about these player complaints, and he has quality depth in reserve. AFC does not spend on quality depth and has every manner of excuse not to. This very season, voice after voice (from Tony and FunGunner on) assured that there was a laundry list of available midfielders. What what has happened? Predictably injured, overused, jaded, not yet returned from injury, just returned from injury, etc. etc. And when, pray? At a time that we have 5-6 games in 13 days or so; a time when it has come down to AW saying we cannot lose any more points. Well, that, in this league, is NOT possible, however I’d wish it to be. And I do. But we are overstretched; there is chronic inconsistency; and we need reinforcements of the Benny sort, yes (he should have been kept on for the very reasons you give – quality and experience combined), and of others who we have no choice but to take the risk on because this crew is not working out. If we don’t risk spending, then we will risked not spending with the dire financial and football consequences that you hint at in your closing.

  39. I don’t think anyone is in doubt about Wenger’s past achievements with our Club. It’s his recent history and present “achievements” which we are questioning.
    Now much as I don’t like the Man City and Chelsea way of doing things, there is little doubt that we are getting left behind. United make shrewd buys along with the odd higher Marquee signings on Top Top quality players who make an instant Impact. By Wenger’s own admission it is getting harder and harder to un-earth hidden gems as every other club has a large scouting network nowadays. This means that you have to pay for quality. Football has changed !
    With regards to tactics, yes sit at home managers know nothing in comparison, but I think it’s the decisions to stick with players who are obviously not playing well that frustrates the fans. (why was Sagna kept on when not playing well, why is Arshavin in the squad, why when our formation is not working do we not change it ?…(Yes I know he played Per up front in last ditch desperation, but I don’t think 3-3-4 with Per as the hit man is a great idea, especially with our fragile defence and his lack of skills!). When Everton and Totenham are above us and Liverpool snapping at our heals there is something wrong !..I’m not a manager and I don’t have the answer, but I think a lot of fans are starting to doubt Wengers ability to find a solution. Wenger needs to make a stand to the board if its the boards fault, change his ways, or move along……(and i have always supported Wenger)

  40. Walter, 49unbeaten,
    Walter, you were not responsive to 49’s analysis. You fall back on saying well, you’re not an experienced manager so you have no basis for advocating an opinion. In the film business, for one example, there is no predictability about where the good idea for a script or story or project idea will come from. Until this point, analyses like 49 unbeaten – who is giving specific answers to those who chronically demand “well who’s out there?” – were welcome here. Today he’s being pooh-poohed and (humorously yes) laughed away. I think 49’s posting is responsible and responsive to the points you raise – and more important than all of us, to the serious moment at hand. From my reading of your posting, the moment is too scary to risk anything big or middle sized. Whether you believe it or not, that’s its impact today. I think you are cushioning the blow for readers here should no purchases be made. But whatever mix of reasons for this, you will surely be applauding AFC/AW if a purchase or two or three is actually made. In any case, we agree to strongly disagree on all these points; but I think that specifics of the sort that 49unbeaten has brought to the table have been in short supply hereabouts, especially at so critical a time. (And passing on Ba is another dire missed opportunity, when we need clinicality, n’est-ce pas?)

  41. “Reading that again: My God how come they don’t play for Barcelona or Real Madrid for the moment?”
    Why because we already gave them our Alex Song (as a reserve and they have the quality that you know they have, so what kind of lame joke even is this?) To me, it’s a way of your not answering this reader’s specific analysis and prescriptions for change. His posting deserves better as it has substance to it.

  42. just realised, didnt we have atkinson in this fixture in Sept? stand to be corrected here

  43. @Ed 12.58, Wenger is incapable of changing tactics you, and others say…well there is someone who was in that dressing room at half time who begs to differ

    Bob, I would not go as far a replacing the majority, I think we have some serious talent in the team, but I would reinforce, and it looks to me some could do with a bit of help on the coaching front, and maybe a more simple system for a while to rebuild confidence and stability, only my opinion, but I just keep wondering if some are yet ready to play how Wenger wants them to. I do not know enough about sytems to make a constructive suggestion here, but some really do not seem comfortable playing the way we do. Do you build a system around players you have, or players around a system you have? The speed of passing game Wenger likes is a high risk strategy, any small flaws in its execution and things can go horrible wrong. Any small flaws and it is easy for a less talented team to negate.

  44. bob,

    You know I want Arsenal to buy A striker, and a DM, at the very least this window. But as regards your post at 4.35, as regards having too many players, and then comparing it to ManU, I do not agree with. ManU can and does waste money on buying players at expensive rates, and underusing them for years. They can afford it. It doesn’t stop them buying any more players because they have vast revenue sources. Arsenal cannot operate that way. At least right now.

    Aligned with that is the issue of opportunity cost of buying. Do we do our buying and selling for every season, or do we take a longer view than that? ‘Killing’ Denilson has become a joke, but the emotion expressed is valid. If you believe that in a year’s time, the likes of Miquel, Yennaris, Toral etc can come good and be contributors to your squad, do you go out and buy someone to block their path?

    Moreover, let’s say you decide to buy someone. Who? You believe there’s a certain player who can push you up from 4th to potentially, 1st. But he’s not expected to be available for the next 12 months. Instead there’s an option of buying a player for a third of the price right now, but he may or may not push your team a level up. Do you buy the latter and give up on the former, or conserve squad space and money for the former? These aren’t easy questions to answer. I can see merits in both points of view. The problem is I can’t make an informed judgment because I am not aware of all the facts.

    Looking from the outside, I think those issues notwithstanding, we absolutely need a striker (especially since Podolski isn’t being played as one) and another midfielder. I just wanted to say that buying is not just about the personnel or money. It is also about timing.

  45. Shard,
    Yes, I take on your point about timing, both generally and specifically for now. I think timing-wise we could or might have had Ba and Dembele if there had been courage and foresight before January 1st. There’s the striker/midfielder duo that would have made a real difference. It seems that both were affordable by our professed coffers. We’re not on the inside of course; but it irks me not to have a clue as to why neither of them were within our grasp and instead go to our London rivals. Do you find anything/nothing amiss in this? I don’t know enough, but on the face of it these are two seeming missed opportunities that some (especially Ba) were clamoring for, and we witness Chelski and Spuds coming up with them. Neither was a bank-breaker. Is it being out of the top 4 as January 1 approached that could have made the difference? Your thoughts on this are most welcome.

  46. Shard,
    Also, what do you make of how Podolski has been positioned? Or Arshavin for that matter? That is, the out-of-position, jack-of-all trades approach to our personnel? This has been going on for quite a while as I know, but everyone with talent is not necessarily receptive and some might well hold an (unstated) grudge for having their strengths going to waste as so many round pegs into square holes. A lot of commentators over the months continue to bring this up, and it may well be an actual part of the problem: a vision of interchangeable parts (swarming dynamic offenses, etc.) that does not comport with the actual players on hand.

  47. Mandy,
    But that’s just it, isn’t it? That an assessment needs to be made beforehand as to the player’s potential to adapt to one’s ideal system. Surely that has been done, but the assessments in some cases (I can’t say which right now) are wrong. And perhaps there needs to work on a simpler, or a different system – two strikers up front, as in days of old, for example – at least as a Plan B for certain matches, especially when Plan A is not working. In any case, I’m out of my depth on this and can only pose some questions that wiser, more football-savvy minds would far better approach.

  48. @Walter & Bob,
    Thanks for the support Bob. I’m glad someone actually understood what I was saying and didn’t just reply with sarchasm as they couldn’t grasp the fact that there are other leagues to be watched other than the EPL (Walter). Well I have another response Walter and this time you might actually digest what I’m saying and reply with some substance instead of throwing your toys out of the pram. Firstly, I have seen them play many times as I don’t just limit myself to English games, I watch Italian, French AND German football as love the game and like to see OTHER great players play the game. Try it one time it might open your eyes and stop believing SKY sports taking every opportunity to dictate to us that “the Barclays premier league is the best in the world). Secondly the players that we’ve talked about (M’Biwa and M’Vila) aren’t already playing for Barcelona and Madrid as these teams have done their jobs correctly already and bought quality players for both their first 11s AND their squads. We haven’t! And now these two are available at a good price. THAT is my point. You talk about Chamakh and the like and anyone who’d seen him play for years in the French league would’ve (should’ve) told Wenger that although he was available on a free, an average of 8 goals per season since turning pro AIN’T a reason to bring him to our club. This was a no brainer and NOT a player purchase that didn’t work.

  49. @Walter at 3:09 PM
    TBH, I didn’t expect such a reply from you on what I think was a very good comment by 49unbeaten.
    Getting 4th with this squad is going to be very difficult. Last year, it was mainly about totts. But this year, we are competing with Everton & Liverpool as well. If we continue our present form, we might be overtaken by Swansea & West Brom as well.
    If Everton win tonight, we will be sixth (with a game in hand, though it isn’t any certainty with this form) with two teams who will be 6 & 7 points ahead of us.
    There is also the FA Cup & the CL knockout against Bayern to be taken care of. If we go in this form against Bayern, I seriously doubt that whether we will be even able to create any chance against them. Let’s remember the fact that they have conceded only 7 goals in 18 matches in the Bundesliga so far. How do you realistically expect our attack to score against them???
    So far this year, we have only 1 match out of 5 in all competitions and have conceded 2 goals thrice. These stats don’t look nice but if we don’t add any new players, I fear that these are only going to get worse.

  50. I admire Podolski as player but I am quite surprised that he is the one who rarely completes a full match. He deserves a chance as a center forward & I am pretty sure that he will do better than both Giroud & Walcott.
    Talkin about tactics, the Bradford games come to mind when Podolski was substituted instead of Gervinho who was awful on that day & had missed an empty net earlier on. Wenger brought on Chamberlain whose pace was useless anyway as Bradford had parked the bus. These are the type of blunders which have cost us all season long.

  51. bob,

    To be honest I wasn’t to keen on Demba Ba. I can’t really place my finger on it, but he doesn’t strike me as a team player at all. He would have been a short term emergency fix if anything. He also has a history of being in great goalscoring form for half a season, and then walking through the rest of it. (Apparently, the last bit comes via statistical analysis by 7amkickoff) Plus him being African means he’ll go missing for the AFCON (how come he isn’t right now? Did Senegal not qualify?) So, all in all, I wasn’t disappointed with not buying Ba.

    Dembele I would have liked, but I guess we were never interested in him. Why? No idea. We would certainly have been aware of his skillset and of his availability. However, Dembele is one of those players who would not push us a level further up. He would provide added depth to our squad. Maybe we’re looking at someone better.

    One of the effects of the oiler clubs on Arsenal, not mentioned, is the impact it could potentially have on our scouting. We’re quite notoriously meticulous on our scouting, but with the oil clubs stealing a march on us at times, perhaps the scouting process has been rushed. Resulting in some players not being assessed as carefully as before. Just a thought.

    And no. I do not agree with talk of being played out of position. Arshavin, even when he joined us, was playing a free role, where he was more towards the left. Even in the Euro, where he nominally started in the CAM role for Russia, and was supposed to have had his best game in a while (thus proving that Arsene doesn’t use him properly), his heat map showed he spent the majority of his time on the left side. In short, the same role he had at Arsenal. With Arshavin, he’s extremely talented, but he’s let himself down by letting that talent go to waste. Wenger isn’t to blame for that. BTW, before buying him, Wenger himself questioned Arshavin’s temperament and stamina. Probably as a challenge to him. Worked only for a while.

    As for Podolski. Yes, his finishing makes him a candidate for the CF position (even though he’s not done well there when given a chance) But it’s all about the team. Gervinho, supposedly a winger, can’t cross. He always runs down blind alleys. In contrast, check out how efficient Poldi’s crosses have been for the likes of Cazorla, giroud and Walcott to get on the end of. Plus he scores from the left too because he can drift inside.

    It’s easy to criticise Wenger because the contrary thoughts on formations can never be put to the test. But I think there is method to Wenger’s madness. He doesn’t have to prove that.

  52. @Mandy
    Interesting observation, we had atkinson for this fixture in September.

    Come on guys, I think we need to be a little patient, the players we are wishing they hadn’t been sold didn’t quite hit the ground running. Rvp took about 6years before coming good, Song was frustrating to say the least, so the bunch we have will come good if given time. I see lots of potential in the likes of Coq, Yenaris, Gerv, Gibbs, Gnabry, Miguel, etc., without mentioning the likes of Jack & Chez or Theo as these have established themselves already. These are guys who everyone will be talking about in a few years’ time if they stay together. I think the main issue is we all success, and now. Even Giroud is doing well for his first season. Think the main problem this team is facing is they’re not being any time to settle, they are expected to deliver today, and this is putting pressure on them and affecting the teams confidence. Confidence is everything

  53. Isn’t Atkinson the ref that has a demonstrable bias in Chelsea’s favour? No surprise we get him for both Chelsea games then.

  54. I think if Wenger left, and was replaced by an English manager, we just might start to see some unbiased refereeing as well as some positive coverage in the media. You may read what you like from this, but that’s what I believe. Whoever that may be will not necessarily improve us in terms of style, quality, nurturing talent, etc., no, but we may get better results from reasons stated earlier. Do I like the idea of trading Wenger for this, a firm no. The man has stuck to his guns about buying cheap, refusing to spend big but rather nurture young talent, and there are people who are so determined his policy should never succeed. I’m sure they don’t want Wenger to succeed unless he at least starts buying £40m+ players every season.

  55. Yes. I think a change of manager would change things. It would shake up how the team train for one. New ideas and fresh thinking is what we need. It doesn’t do anyone any good to stay in the same job year after year, wether that’s football or in a software company.

    Perhaps the question you should ask yourself (and give yourself an honest answer), is ‘would keeping the manager change anything’.

  56. There has been so much talk about Arshavin, Walcott and Podolski et al constantly being played out of position. If only we could hear Wenger’s views on this.
    Guess we’ll have to await the great man’s autobiography.
    The season after this, when his contract ends, I can just about see a parting of the ways, when the anti-Wenger lot will have their way, a new manager will arrive and different tactics employed. How long then before the grass hasn’t become greener at the Emirates.

  57. A|.
    But finishing out of 4th place this season is not a mere formality, but will be a disaster on multiple fronts. Spending big is not an end in itself, but may, at this stage, be a way out that should be the exception to the rule – if only to save the rule, if that’s what you want.

  58. All,
    Why does Ryo go unmentioned week in and week out? When he showed up people were wild about his potential. Is he seriously injured? Was he just brought on to create a buzz for the (best forgotten) summer Asia tour? He was well loved on loan at his last EPL club. Why is he so forgotten now? Does anyone know?

  59. People use the term success loosely I thoroughly enjoyed watching arsenal with the fans behind them winning drawing losing. Because life’s about ups and downs without the downs. The ups are worthless. The 4th spot. Will be decided by a couple of points . our team needs us now. To be totally and unconditionally behind them we can be the difference between champs league and nowhere
    Stop moaning and try to lift our team the fans on Sunday were magnificent and almost inspired the team to a remarkable comeback

  60. 49unbeaten,

    About my sarcasm? I was just trying to use a joke a bit but maybe was a bit over the top. You should read the shit aimed at Untold behind the scenes that don’t make the site. So maybe I over did it a bit.

    I watched Belgium, Dutch, French, Italian and PL.
    As I do ref-reviews I can only do the PL from this season on. So don’t worry I have seen some games but I must say they didn’t catch my eye that much. But that is maybe down to me being a bit blind as someone said. 😉

    I just don’t believe they are exceptional players. You know the type of players that would bring something extra.
    But I’m not a scout so I cannot say a lot about them. I specialize more in scouting refs. 😉

  61. I have seen the name Dembele mentioned a few times.

    I know him and in a way I would have loved it that he would have joined Arsenal. Because he started his career at the youth in the local team that I support. So in a way it hurts me to see him in a spuds shirt. But I cannot hide it that I am a bit proud of my local boy for having made it in to the PL.

    But can you imagine that we would have bought him this summer. Please have a look at his numbers. And then try to imagine how our “critical fans” would react to him now. I can assure you that by now he would be named under the term ‘useless’ if people would be friendly. You all know the other names aimed at players some fans don’t like. As he is my local boy I will not name him like that even when he plays for the spuds.

    With only one goal scored in a attacking role he would be destroyed by our fans by now. Buried under a pile of shit.
    That would have been the story of Dembele at Arsenal.

    Still would love to see him in an Arsenal shirt though… but would be afraid for the shit that he will have to endure. Not from me or Untold but from the usual suspects.

  62. Changing the manger would of course change things, just by the very fact that it is change. A different person as manager, with different views on who and how to play will give this inevitable outcome. Now, Whether it would be change for the better or not is a different question.

    I quite like the fact that we haven’t changed our manager when clearly other clubs would have and indeed have done. I also like that we haven’t rushed to find a rich benefactor to copy Chelsea or City. But then again I’m told by family, friends and colleagues that I’m as stubborn as hell and that I never admit I’m wrong!

    Well I don’t want us to change our Manager but in my view the squad does need help. We need a class, centre forward. Nothing against Giroud. I like him, he’s a good player. We need something extra in midfield. A little je nais se quoi. Some are saying (me included) that should be a DM player. But then again perhaps we’re still hankering after Vieira or Gilberto who are now long gone? Perhaps we need a different type of midfielder? We also need to do something defensively because we are giving soft goals away. We have some good players, some very good players and one has the potential to be great (I wonder who?) but we need more depth and options. Just my view.

    Should we rush out and buy for the sake of it? Not unless we really have to (i.e due to injuries) and I’m also prepared to have patience and support our younger players (I think Ramsey is a fine player).

    I think Wenger knows these things and more, certainly more than than me. I don’t think he’s stupid or become a bad manager. Of course he changes tacticts. He certainly doesn’t deserve the abuse I see posted elsewhere. But that could all just be me being stubborn; I’d like to think not.

  63. Would it change anything? Possibly. Is it needed? I don’t think so – and here’s why. Since Arsenal moved to the emirates Arsene has had one hand tied behind his back. The board limited the amount available to him to sign players whilst at the same time claiming the club had plenty of money to spend. Fast forward to this season and Gazidis came out and admitted funds had not been so readily available, but that they were now should Wenger choose to use them. I believe that during the past 5 seasons, as the club consolidated their financial standing through property and player sales, Wenger’s mission statement was simple – keep us in the Champions League and try to win a trophy (whilst the board allows your closest rivals to cherry pick your best players). The first part of that has been accomplished, the latter as we all know has not. It’s only this season that things are not going to plan. But with the season only just past halfway point and the team sitting 7 points off 4th with a game in hand it is not the disaster that everyone in the media asnd on social networking sites is making out. I’m sure that if the fans got behind the team between now and the seasons end, rather than berating Wenger for the lackluster performances or failure to buy players, then we might see a few more positive results.
    As for transfers, yes its frustrating that the club do not strengthen sufficiently when our better players leave, or when it seems clear that we do need strengthening in some areas, but Wenger is right to be cautious in the market at the moment. We are yet to see the full impact FFP is going to have on the market. There’s no point buying twice as much for a player now when in 6 months time the market prices may fall due to FFP rules. At the moment not many teams are buying other than those threatened with relegation. And with less demand prices fall. And do we really want Arsenal to go and buy a player who was released by Wigan in June just because he’s had half a good season and Martin Samuel from The Sun thinks it’s a good idea? I think not, especially when Coquelin is a better player, albeit less experienced.
    Rant over, those who disagree – feel free to shoot me down.

  64. Atkinson in both Chelsea games . Is it possible to get dean in both spud games…and Webb in both utd games this season?

  65. @Mandy
    Dean for spuds isn’t going to be possible, we had Webb in the first one. But we very well could’ve Webb for both united games. So that’d be Atkinson for both chelsea encounters, Webb for both united encounters, and very likely dean for the spuds reverse. If we don’t get dean for that(pgmol might try to change their predictability a little), I’d put my money on either dowd or probert. Either way, this is some 15 points(from the 5 games) we are/were not meant to get(would like to think Webb got a ticking off for letting us win against spuds, or it’d be 18points!)

  66. I didn’t read all the comments so my opinion may be similar to someone here.
    As I said in another post, Wenger didn’t adapt well to the changes football faced in the last years. His methods are outdated and instead of trying something different Wenger just keeps repeating the same things over and over again.
    Before, he could rely on a few quality players to hide most of the problems in the team. But now, there’s no special player left to do this. Wenger is totally exposed and criticism has rightly been aimed at him.
    Wenger cannot continue to live off past glories.
    More fans are starting to see that Arsenal needs a new manager. More fans don’t want to put up with mediocrity just to accommodate Wenger’s inability to adapt.

  67. WTF! Very interesting link there Mandy! Only one chelsea loss in more than 6years, and in a useless community shield at that. OMG, there’s definitely something that’s not straight in our game. I think this link needs to be made the base of an article on these refs, or at the very least to be re-posted on different threads to make as many people aware of this.

  68. while some (minority) arsenal fans are wishing wenger gets sack or leaves, other teams are beginning to pounce on the first chance wenger leaves the managerial post of arsenal. those shouting wengerout don’t realise that the managerial post is not some kind of election to be voted. its not a popularity contest. managers are selected by a select few, mostly the board. now, this wengerout group also don’t believe in the board, nor do they believe in kroenke. so, obviously for them whatever decision the board takes, there is bound to be some level of indignation. the question is who do these wengerout brigade believe in? since they don’t believe in AW, they don’t believe in his decisions. they also don’t believe in arsenal players, bar one or two. their dislike goes all the way to the chairman. so basically they don’t believe in the whole structure of arsenal. what is left for wengerout brigade to believe in? fairies, maybe? or the almighty? or some kind of jenie that will take away wenger into eternal obscuirity? I don’t know.
    there must be some valid reason why some fans expect the whole structure to crumble.

  69. Yes even fergie has picked up on this and he must know a thing
    Or two on such things. The yellow or red card offence on le coq before the first goal Atkinson was looking right at it. Still all giroud and wengers fault eh?

  70. The refusal – and that is the only word I can use this morning – of the manager to improve his squad in January is costing us points. I know we’re dealing in hypotheticals to a certain extent but it’s impossible to look at yesterday’s game and not see how a couple of new players might have improved us. Similarly, would those new players have prevented us from needing an FA Cup replay thus going into this game fresher and without the burden of a midweek fixture before it? It’s all a big pile of ‘what if’ though because those players haven’t arrived and we saw the stark effect of that yesterday. You need to get back into a game, a game you desperately need something from, and what are your options? A clutch of defenders and midfielders and an overweight Arshavin. It’s not right.We can break out the clichés about ‘super quality’ or ‘exceptional’ players till the cows come home, but the bottom line is you cannot look at that Arsenal bench yesterday and not feel anything but huge frustration when Arsene talks about how it’s difficult to find players better than the ones we have. I’d suggest that if you can’t find better than what Arsenal had yesterday then you’re either not looking hard enough or you’re not looking at all, and my fear is that it’s the latter situation which has seen Arsenal’s powder kept dry in this window.I simply don’t believe that between Arsene Wenger, his scouting team, and the rest of his staff, that none of them have come up with a name which could improve this squad. It’s just not possible. Every single one of us could do it, which isn’t to say we’re experts or better at managing a football club, but we’re not scratching around for diamonds in the rough here, we’re a club with money at our disposal and a manager who just won’t use it.Even if we do make signings now, you can’t convince me they’re part of a plan or strategy of some kind. If so, the groundwork would have been done before January and the signings made as soon as the window opened. Three Premier League games later (D-L-L) isn’t the time to give your squad what it needs. I mean, the need is even more pressing now but it’s a question of whether or not you trust the manager to spend the money when up until now he’s refused to do so.He says he’s worried about making the top four, he should be. I know we’ve come from further back in the past but a quick look at the table shows us 22 points behind the league leaders, we are the very essence of a mid-table team this season. We’re a football club with one striker, a guy who I like but who is clearly limited, and a manager who won’t do anything about it. When there’s the chance to sign a player like Demba Ba he says he’s too similar to Giroud, but imagine the second half yesterday with Giroud and Ba side by side. I think it’s fair to suggest we’d have had a much better chance of getting something from the game.Arsene keeps talking about the quality of his squad, and while to some extent I think we’re capable of better results than we’ve been seeing, the true measure of quality is results, not how we perceive the players we have or how we look on paper. If we continue making mistakes, continue conceding silly goals, continue missing chances, and continue losing games and dropping points, that’s how you judge the quality of the team, and we’re being found wanting far too often.It’s a huge worry that it’s taking a half-time rocket to get them going, it makes you think something’s wrong with the preparation and motivation of the team. That’s coming from the manager. And while I’m very much of the opinion that shopping now will be reactionary and a bit of a nab and grab as desperate times call for desperate measures, these are desperate times.

  71. LOL! americangooner. Keep repeating to yourself that only a ‘minority’ of Arsenal fans wants Wenger out.

  72. I would really suggest the naysayers to go support other teams, maybe they will take their negativity to them and help Arsenal this way:)

  73. Apologies for straying off topic but Mandy’s link was an eye opener, well at least for me as I just wasn’t aware how pro-chelsea atiknson is. Just Googling atkinson chelsea record throws up a whole lot of interesting results. There are countless threads on different blogs about this, and while I know this may not go down well with some, I took a peak at a united forum and couldn’t help chuckling while reading their comments moaning about this ref on there. I never imagined a side like united could moan about refs, but what it showed was that each team has its own bogey ref. So the allegations refs cost certain clubs points is not an invention by conspiracy theorists at Arsenal. I guess the only differences are; united don’t get Atkinson as much as we get our bogey refs, we have more than one bogey ref, atkinson only screws united when they play chelsea while dean will screw us against everyone, etc. To confirm that reffing favoritism exists united fans were unashamedly praying they get Webb in the reverse fixture so things even up! So there, anymore doubts refs screw other teams? Or, to any doubters, can you name one ref that’s even a third as pro-Arsenal as Webb is for utd, or atkinson is for chelsea?

    Here is the link to that utd discussion board, for anyone interested;

  74. And as usual…Untold has been telling those things a few years. With the rest of the world shaking their heads about those weird conspiracy theorists at Untold.

    For those who still remember the great articles from Dogface and his ref previews I could imagine that he would have told you last Saturday that we would get screwed by Atkinson.

    I still hope that one day he will find the time to do those reviews again.
    I can tell you more how the ref does his job (or the job you ain’t supposed to see) but Dogface has the data of the last years and he would have told us the probability of what happened last Sunday.

  75. Just one remark in that list of games I am missing the FA cup semi final: Chelsea – Tottenham. When Chelsea won 5-0 thanks to an imaginary goal when the ball did not cross the line but that didn’t stop Atkinson to give a goal to Chelsea.

  76. Mandy Dodd,

    last season we had Dean in both the spuds game. so it is possible but not this season

  77. Guess that is something with Dean against the spuds, we all know he will crop up in key games. Used to read the footballisfixed blog, a bit unsure as I do not know too much about the author. He did not do as much research as this site, but claimed insider knowledge, easy to do on the net I know. He claimed arsenal had one of the most negative refereeing bias indexes in Europe, without publishing his table of method of working these things out. But he did say arsenal would find it almost impossible to win anything major in such an environment, and that nobody else had ever done do with such numbers. He claimed the root of the problem, amongst other things was serious bias at the very top of our refereeing, including support of a club. He also claims serious insider gambling, which involves some refs. Serious claims, the author claims to be some sort of consultant using this knowledge, selling his info so will not publish numbers and methods like untold does. Shame would be intrigued to see the two methodologies married together.

  78. Mandy Dodd,

    according to the person who runs the footballisfixed blog he will start writing again from next month.
    I for one will be looking forward to it 😉

  79. Me too Walter, as I say nowhere near as clear on method or data numbers as this site, but surprising how often things on here back up his very serious claims. And atkinson, and dean have featured regularly on his site. Maybe some are right and we do need usmanov to sort this out!

  80. I would also like to think there’s something in the suggestion there’s some insider gambling. I mean with so much money flowing in football right now its almost impossible to think all the refs are clean. Cricket is one sport which obviously springs to mind when such things get mentioned, but the amounts of money in cricket are not even anywhere near those in football. The only incidents we have heard of seem to have been confined to the serie A so far, but not convinced that’s the only place its happening. I just hope someone turns whistleblower someday, phone-hacking scandal style, and now that would be interesting. Will look out for this blog, let’s hope it comes back soon.

  81. walter apologizing to 49unbeaten?!!monumental anyway PODOLSKI for CF it will do arsenal alot of good..

  82. “Would change of manager change anything?” The simple answer is yes it would – a new manager will almost certainly build his own team. For me, the more interesting question is “would change of manager be good for The Arsenal?” And again the simple answer is we don’t know, and you won’t know until it happens. Just as when Arsene came to Arsenal 16/17 years ago, noone knew the impact he would have at Arsenal and the premier league. The point is there is always uncertainity about change, a risk if you like. Some would argue that the threshold for change is when the risk of not changing outweighs the uncertainity attached to change. The question is have we reached the threshold? And is it necessarily change of manager that is required or the manager changing his ways?

  83. Edu,

    well because others seemed to say I was a bit over the top. Could well be. Strange mood for the moment 😉

  84. Walter,
    No one hear with a brain cell could possibly slate you for not being analytical and deeply caring. More than anyone, it’s plain to see. However, the moment has gotten to us, and not necessarily for bad. It’s a time to re-group and carefully analyze the moment and its prospects, looking back in order to look forward. This person 49unbeaten – took the time to read and to analyze – in detail – and make specific recommendations in response to your posting. That’s is him taking your posting seriously. He is not a yes-man to UA. Nor is he AAA. His posting was constructive criticism meant to improve our side. It’s one thing to choose not to respond. Imo, it’s another thing to dismiss or choose not to engage a contribution that’s analytical and specific. To dismiss it with a lame joke (whose subtext is you are not a football manager so you have no basis for comment) is to invite tribalist support and a form of bullying which bitch-slaps with OIK/AAA labels; this instead of an engaged response which an analysis (like the one you made in posting) would only hope to get back in reply. Your “strange mood” shouldn’t be so all-encompassing as either a specific reply or an apology. Let’s all forget ego’s and just keep going for the truths we can try to raise. Cheers 🙂

  85. p.s. sorry, meant to write “…shouldn’t be so all-encompassing as to rule out either your specific reply or an apology.”

  86. I think it’s very telling what Fàbregas said. At Barcelona, he stated the importance of tactics and at Arsenal he said he didn’t learn about that.
    Here we have what Fàbregas said during the World Cup:
    “Here they give us much more information than they do at Arsenal, definitely,” Fàbregas said of his time with the Spanish national side. “At Arsenal we don’t really look at anything from the other team, we look for ourselves and that’s it. Here, maybe two three days before the game, we start looking at some videos, we know more or less the starting eleven that is going to play, we know nearly everything about them.”
    So, how Wenger does understand tactics if he totally disregards the opposition?
    After the defeat to Shalke 04, when Wenger was serving a UEFA touchline ban, Bould was asked why he didn’t make any changes at half-time and he said ‘the substitutions were certainly pre-planned’.
    That is to say, Wenger had previously decided when to make the substitutions.
    Unless Wenger can predict the future this shows once more a total lack of consideration for the opposition.
    It’s not rocket science, a good tactician needs to know your opponents very well. Then, he’ll try to take advantage of their weaknesses.
    It’s crystal clear that Wenger does not understand tactics. You only need to watch his Arsenal side playing to make your mind.
    Add to that Wenger’s usual 70 minutes to make his subs and you get the picture.

  87. Yes I heard cesc say things to that effect, but having seen games he has been involved with in the last year, I would say he has deteriorated as a player, tactics or not

  88. Mandy Dodd,
    Is x-Cesc playing the same type of midfield at Barfa
    as he did at AFC. Surely not. So, in that sense, the
    deterioration that you report might well be that he
    was not restricted by pre-defined tactics at AFC, because
    AW recognized that it would – in his case, I’m not generalizing this – restrict his flowing style. And perhaps this has
    hurt his overall game at Barfa. What do you think?

  89. Could well be the case Bob, guess it is fair to say his role has changed at Barca, and with their players, he is not an automatic starter. With us, maybe he was a bigger fish in a smaller pond….and had the freedom of playing for a team custom built around his abilities. He may have his medals, but to me at least he is not as good as he was with us

  90. Good points Walter and I agree with your observations. I would add a few others as well:

    1)Aside from the average bloggers’ ignorance of anything tactical, there is their equally abysmal understanding of man management. Wenger is a master of this and has recuperated careers that were almost dead using his skills in this area.
    2)His economics degree and excellent market mastery, especially in the Arsenal’s transfer dealings have meant that while we inevitably lose some (not all as many claim) of our best players to richer or more famous opponents, he manages to keep Arsenal from sliding into the negative numbers. Arry Redknappy never worried about that side of the business and he helped bankrupt 3 clubs with that attitude.
    3)Wenger’s paternalistic approach to his youth diamonds, while inviting ungrateful repercussions, has never been slighted by ANY of his ex-players. This is the mark of a great person and manager – his former players uniformly respect and praise him as a professional.

    It is so easy to criticize his every move, based solely on their¨superior¨knowledge about how it ¨should¨be done, learnt from the jaundiced media and AAA whiner-moaner minority. The truth is that not ONE complainer/moaner/whiner/spoilt entitled plastic fan could ever sustain the pressure, the visibility, the stress and the responsibility of having such a famous Club as the Arsenal under their aegis. It is legitimate to question the direction, style and rationale of many things at AFC BUT there is no license to bitch included in the ticket price.

  91. Agree with you on most of this Domhuail but on point 3, a few exceptions, ex players..the universally bitter axe to grind Stewart Robson, the worshipped….but in terms of employment overlooked Tony Adams, Ian Wright ….another hero, but one whose son was never signed….partly on his fathers monetary advice……and then there are a few ex legends who lower themselves to The Sun or talkshite radio. But RVP questioned the direction of the club, but said he would always respect wenger, despite his late career agent and SAF tapping inspired trophy and money anxiety. Cesc loves the club clearly, Sol and Thierry came back, Paddy and Bobby would have come back given the chance. Yes, most of our greats think highly of this club and the manager…..even though some may question the direction the club is taking at the moment.

  92. After reading this article ,I tend to agree with the words
    of Bertrand Russell ,” The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves,
    and wiser people so full of doubts.”
    Of this I’m certain ,…I think !

  93. @Domhuail wengers “man-management” skills that ensure you tow the clubs line as to how you’re perceived by the publics is not enough at the moment..no wonder he wont sign a player like m’villa(perceived bad boy)whose services we desperately require..managing players on the field of play is lacking in his portfolio at the moment..wins we’ve had lately have come from moments of individual brilliance and not team effort par say.

  94. M’Villa reminds me a bit of Diarra.

    Going to Chelsea for the big money. Getting not enough games, being unhappy, making a fuss, moving to Arsenal. Not getting enough games, making a fuss, wanting out, making trouble.
    Got sold to Portsmouth (another big money signing for arry) then had a decent run.
    Then went to Real Madrid and it didn’t work for him as I could have told you before he went there as I really think he was not good enough for the top. A squad player as he was used at Arsenal but nothing more than that.

    Now Diarra plays at Anzhi Makhachkala. Club famous for paying big money. But it played no part in his move of course. 😉

    At the end of the day I think he was not good enough and no need for players demanding a starting place.

  95. @walter the proof of the pudding is in the eating,if coquelin,frimpong,diaby aren’t given a proper consistent run to play and when given the chance cant deliver i thinks its only logical for a manager to look for another options out there..arteta is a stand-in if we call it like it is..
    i’m currently disappointed and frustrated at wengers choices or lack thereof..before the transfer-window gets closed somethin’ gotta give!

  96. I think Coquelin would have been given a serious chance now and then ….. he gets injured. No real wonder with all the kicks he got last Sunday

  97. celtic’s wanyama is another option…i’m kenyan like he is and afew seasons ago mariga his brother was scouted by arsenal and city tried to sign him, shity technicalities in britain hindered his transfer and instead mourinho at inter nicked him..
    my point the wanyama family are arsenal fans and there’s romours sir. alex is in for him,if wenger would approach him i bet he’d say yes for the sake of all kenyans who would love to see a kenyan in the epl more so being a GOONER.

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