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Who is the right man for the job as Arsenal manager?

By Walter Broeckx

With the season over I would love to try to put the season in perspective when looking at the numbers. Where things went wrong and where things went right. What to do to improve for next season and other stuff like that.

Our start was rather disastrous, one could say. Just look at the league table after 8 games

After 8 games

1

Chelsea

22

2

MU

18

3

MC

18

4

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Everton

14

5

Tottenham

14

6

WBA

14

7

West Ham

14

8

Fulham

13

9

Arsenal

12

10 points behind the then leading Chelsea. And behind teams such as WBA, West Ham, Fulham and of course the lot from the lane.

And this was how it stayed a bit. Win a game, lose a game, draw a game but no consistency in the performances at all. If we look at the league table halfway the season we see this:

After 19 games Points

1

MU

46

2

MC

39

3

Chelsea

38

4

Arsenal

33

5

Tottenham

33

6

Everton

33

It is clear that Chelsea has ran out of steam a bit at that moment in time and Arsenal has had recovered a bit from their worst start ever as long as we all have lived. Or there abouts.   And as proclaimed by the media and repeated by the non existing you know who.

Then came that dreadful first weekend of March. And this is how the table looked after 28 games.

After 28 games

1

MU

71

2

MC

59

3

Tottenham

54

4

Chelsea

52

5

Arsenal

47

6

Everton

45

This was it was the feeling amongst the non existing fans. And hey,  even some more optimistic thought we never would claw our way back from this. Here at Untold we said that the season was over when it was over and that at that moment it wasn’t over. It clearly wasn’t over.

Because if we now look at a league table of the last 19 games we get this as a result

Points won second half of the season

1

MU

43

2

Arsenal

40

3

MC

39

4

Tottenham

39

5

Chelsea

37

6

Everton

30

So just looking at the second half of the season it is clear to see that Arsenal had dramatically improved during the season. We all remember how the media and a big part of the fans that don’t really exist have been crying out loud during the January transfer window that we should buy, buy, buy. Oh yes and buy some more.  When we only brought in Monreal at the last day of the transfer window they proclaimed we were doomed and lost and that the end was near.

But  after that first weekend of March something changed at Arsenal. No new players. No new managers or coaching staff. What happened? The team that told themselves that they had to react to the defeat. One could say that this defeat on the field was somehow followed by the reaction on the field when we won against the Totts with 5-2 in the last season. We then managed to outdo them on the field but this time we reacted outside the field away from the cameras. Not visible for the outside world.

The group said: not this time. We shall not fail.

And they started an amazing fight back in the last 12 games. A fight back that if we look at the last 12 games of the teams in the top looks like this:

Points won 12 last games

1

Arsenal

29

2

Chelsea

26

3

MC

25

4

MU

24

5

Tottenham

24

6

Everton

21

And even more impressive when we look at the last 10 games only

Points won 10 last games

1

Arsenal

26

2

Chelsea

23

3

MC

19

4

MU

18

5

Tottenham

18

6

Everton

18

That is champions form for the last 10 or 12 games.

Now I know that people will say that to win the league you have to perform for 38 games. And of course this is right. But the fact is that this useless group of players and ditto managers and coaching staff reached this run. Like I said only Monreal joined in January.

Untold proclaimed in its usual style said losing two of the most important players of last year and fitting in the new players will take time and hard work. But once it was done we looked like a mean machine. Grinding out wins, hardly conceding goals, showing character in each game. And even in the only two games we dropped points, these were games we could and should have won.

And that is the only thing that I think is missing for the moment. Find a player (or two) who can turn those games into wins. A player that in those big games can rise above himself and drag the team with him to a new height. Who might that player be? I don’t have an idea. Or I do have an idea but I might be completely wrong. So I leave that part to you. Or I rather leave it to the manager to decide who we need to add to this team. I’m sure he has got a pretty good idea about it. So I will just trust him on this.

And when looking at how he turned our season around from bad to getting us on a champions rhythm run,  I think he still is the right man for the job.

Recent posts

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56 comments to Who is the right man for the job as Arsenal manager?

  • bc

    For me what is required to lift us to the top is
    1 gk to replace fabianski and mannone
    1 or 2 defenders (cb & rb if sagna goes) to replace squillaci and djourou
    1 or 2 midfielders to replace denilson & diaby
    2 attacking players to replace bendtner chamakh park arshavin santos and gervinho.

    But most importantly they need to be of top quality. My choices would be cesar, kouyate piczcek (if sagna leaves) gonalons fabregas jovetic and higuain or rooney if we can afford him

  • Ian Jenkinson

    Hi Guys,

    I hope you are all well at Untold. What an amazing performance in the second half of the season. We were bigger, better and stronger. Wenger made a few crunch decisions (dropping Vermaelen and Szcznesy) and it all worked out a treat. We even played well i thought in the defeat to Spurs but had two ridiculous pieces of defending to blame.

    Our record since has been awesome, it has been Championship winning form. If we had started the season in this manner who knows what may have happened. We conceded the fewest away goals this season. We have gotten that bit of defensive steel and consistency that was missing and as you say Walter, with a signing or two in the right positions who knows what next season brings.

    I am bursting with pride at how we finished things off. Here’s to picking up next season where we left off this season.

    To make you all smile a bit (i am so bold!), i was lucky enough to be at the Newcastle game on Sunday and i recorded the last few seconds up to the final whistle and the celebrations that ensued afterwards.

    Here it is here. Enjoy!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeXsev1tLCE&list=UUwFcjb_AA5uSgjZNI1klEOQ

  • rantetta

    Who is the right man for the job as Arsenal manager?

    It’s reported that Pulis is available:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/22614097

  • Dec

    The single biggest improvement in the latter part of the season was the defence suddenly remembering how to stay solid and concentrate for 90+ minutes.
    The number of ‘1 – 0 to the Arsenal’ performances was noticeable.
    This seems to coincide with the decision to rest TV5 and maintain Kos and Per. If it was the added responsibility of the captain’s armband that caused Tomas’s drop in form, do you think that maybe Le Boss will change captains next season and hopefully see Vermaelen’s game get back to his usual high standard? Maybe Captain Jack ?????

  • Shard

    Dec

    Not Jack. Arteta is the real leader of the team. And Mertesacker is the leader in the defense. Sagna would be another candidate, but he’s probably not the best choice. Wilshere, first, has to win his place back in the side, what with Ramsey doing so well.

    I hope Vermaelen stays, and rediscovers his form. I also hope we either buy another CB, or preferably give the 4th choice spot to Miquel. Vermaelen and Koscielny can replace each other when they play with Per. But without Mertesacker, we seem to struggle more. Maybe we could buy a DM who can also play CB in emergencies, so as to not leave it all on Miquel (who seems a real talent, and with much the same attributes as Mertesacker)

  • John

    My own thoughts on our turnaround was the penny final droppeed to Wenger or Bould eventually got home the point that we needed to defend better and it was more a case of defending better as a team (big shout to Ramsey in hassling everyone he could) with being more displicine and organised when we didnt have the ball especially on set pieces.

    You will never be able to win anything unless your decence is at least decent look at Newcastle under Keegan.

    Thats what was so annoying at the start of the season we were all over the place giving goals away for fun. The players werent doing their jobs and its nice to see the team taking collectively and individual responsiblity. Iglad Wenger finally stop keeping faith with players and told them to man up to get back in the team its been a long time coming. Fergie is a ruthless sob and that why he has been so successfully.

    But congrats to Wenger the players and mgt team they turned things around.

    Next weak area to target is increasing goal chances into goals Giroud has had a good season but if we are going to challenge we need a world class striker and I agree with Wenger there’s alot of people looking and not enough talent… Lewandowski would be perfect.

    We must as a club be always loking to imrpove thankfully those horrible commerical deals we are locked into are over and the extra 50M from Puma and Emirates will make the club profitable so we dont have to sell our star players and can invest in the squad.

  • Shafi

    Yes there is nothing to argue Wenger is the right man for us.
    In term the players we needed Wenger knows the best, but to my thinking we need an excelent striker such as Lawandoski, Jecovic, Cavanni or Falcao. Also DM is needed as well as the replacement of Sagna if he is going.

  • Sid

    The decision to give Vermealen the armband was wrong, in hindsight wasn’t it? Koscielny was our best CB the previous season, but it was hard to drop the captain. However, I don’t feel the defence was ever terrible, but the lack of a world class striker (thank you very much Dutch rat) meant we struggled to finish off teams and when we did concede we struggled to get back into games.

    For next season, I hope AW and iG sign that top class striker. I’ve always rated Higuain but god knows if we’d have any chance of getting him? A tall, mobile defensive minded Gilberto-esque midfielder is another signing I’d like to see, with an experienced GK like Cesar or Jussi to help out cover compete with and maybe nurture Szczesny also on the list.

    I don’t think Miquel should be considered as an option at CB as I feel he needs a loan, so there’s another addition to the shopping list!

    And being greedy, I’d love us to get in another attacker. One who can play wide, allowing Cazorla to play centrally.

    Not too much to ask is it? 🙂

    I do think, expect to see quite a few leaving this summer. Including Gervinho, Mannone, Bendtner, Denilson, Djourou making us a few quid. But I do hope both Vermealen and Sagna stay. Even if Bacary doesn’t sign an extension.

  • Dec

    Shard
    No doubt about it, Arteta’s been outstanding this season. Despite being asked to anchor midfield rather his usual more creative style. Leadership seems to be top drawer too (wish he had an Irish Grandmother !!! )
    BTW
    Top marks to who ever it was tweeting to the Spurs fans about the supposed Newcastle equaliser on Sunday. Funniest thing all season to see them celebrate.
    My guess Szczesny had a phone in his gloves during the second half and was making mischief.

  • Sid

    John

    The defence was amazing at the start of the season. Things went tits up round about the time of the Norwich away game.

  • Dec

    Jussi Jääskeläinen has been the most underrated keeper in the Premier league for years. Should have signed him when Lehman was finished (maybe we tried) he seems to be joined at the hip to Sam the Slug though. We could certainly do worse as a support for Szczesny.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks for the link Ian. Always love those videos taken from supporters at the game.

  • bjtgooner

    @Shard

    I like the idea of a DM who also can play CB, this would be a good route forward, esp as Miquel may need a loan spell to further his development and may be loaned out all next season.

  • I’m sorry but what’s the point of this article? Are we trying to gloat of our achievements? Or trying to pull one over the unhappy fans saying that U proved them wrong?

  • Shard

    bjtgooner

    Careful, or you’ll get bob started on Song again 🙂

    I think Capoue fits the bill in that sense. Maybe Gonalons could slot in at the back too, though I don’t think he does that for Lyon (I could be wrong) Who knows who else is lined up. Wanyama has been mentioned and he does both roles. But I have no idea how good or otherwise he is. Plus, I’m a little wary of purchasing Africans unless they are pure class. Only because of the timing of the African cup on Nations. I know it’s not there next year, but still. You basically end up losing a player for half the season sometimes.

  • AL

    It was always going to be difficult starting a new campaign with that many players being new to the premiership. Our second half of the season performance was very good, better than anyone in the league actually; let’s not forget that we were robbed in two games by some blatantly & obviously biased refereeing at home v chelsea & city. The worst results would’ve been draws in those two games, not losses. Just righting those two results alone, or even just one of them, would’ve pushed us to second behind utd ( assuming we won against city, they would’ve finished on 75 points instead of 78 they finished on, and we would’ve finished on 76). I know we have been accused of going on about refs but we can’t ignore these things.

    As for who the best man for the job is, there will always one person I’d like to see in charge, and I don’t even need to say his name.

  • bjtgooner

    @Shard

    I was a bit horrified when Song left without obvious replacement. However, Arteta has been superb in that role and the more recent combination of Arteta and Ramsey has been excellent – it does raise the question – do we need to purchase a DM?

    Last August the answer was yes. Today the answer may be less clear. However, my preference would be to add a DM – with height, pace and attitude as well as football skills. Arteta can easily play further forward (or cover for a DM) and Ramsey looks like developing into a superb box to box player. The specialist DM would complement our already talented midfield. I have not forgotten Diaby, but it looks as if he will be out for most of next season.

    But – we need more height for set pieces – and we need as much pace as practical throughout the team.

  • Mike T

    Al

    I raise the games you say you were robbed in games and as a Chelsea supporter I will add our game against Man Utd when Clattenburg robbed us of at least a point(offside goal & incorrect sending off )to that I will add the Liverpool away game where Friend should have sent off Suarez for biting and he, Suarez, scored after 7 minute 30 seconds of added on time when it was only meant to be six again robbing us of two points or how about Raedings late equaliser when again far more time was added than stated again robbing us of another two points or how about Spurs offside goal against us a couple of weeks ago
    My point is we get what we get and tend to forget when we get the rub of the green.
    Another point I suspect that your league form improves when you only have the league left to concentrate on whereas we and indeed Spurs were playing in Europe after your exit

  • AL

    Mike T
    Fair enough, your team was robbed of points too like us. But the advantages or disadvantages are not as obvious as it may seem at first. I will give you the games against united and spurs you were robbed of points. The other games you raise are a bit too iffy; adding a minute more of injury time isn’t the same as a ref awarding an unjustified penalty against your team. Likewise arguing a player who should have been sent off but wasn’t and ends scoring an equaliser can be interpreted in many ways. What if he had not bitten the other player, did the biting directly affect the scoreline, etc. The whole thing becomes murky as I could start arguing so and so should’ve been sent off for kicking the ball after the ref had blown for a foul, but stayed on the pitch and scored against us. So let’s stick to obvious decisions that can directly affect the outcome of a match, such as a sending off, a penalty, or offside goal. Let’s then say you lost a point against united and two against spurs, that would have given you a total of 78 points. This scenario would’ve affected utd & spurs’ total tallies, but not ,Arsenal’s. If we now look at Arsenal’s case, suppose we had drawn against you and won against city, that’s a potential of 77 points. If this second scenario had played out then you would lose two points(because you got a win against us which would’ve been a draw) leaving you on 76 points. So we would’ve been second, with you guys 3rd, and city 4th. Being cheated of points is always going to be bad, but its worse when that happens against your direct rival( a team you’re fighting for a top 4 finish against). This argument can get complicated if I decided to add other games where refs denied us wins, but let’s just stick with games against the teams that we were vying for the same goals against. I’m sure city may have been robbed of a point or two too, but it will come down to who they lost those points to.

    I agree about the tendency to forgetting when we get the rub of the green, but the number of times this happens against the other for many teams bar utd makes it insignificant imo, hence people ‘forget’

  • Stroller

    @Walter

    I agree with you that as things stand today he is the right man for the job. But in the satisfaction of our performances and results since Bayern and the euphoria of the last few days, let’s not forget there were some dark periods during the season when Wenger’s position was far from solid – at least so far as many supporters were concerned.

    With the financial constraints of recent years seemingly blown away, next season will be critical. I don’t think a repeat of the last two seasons will be acceptable (i.e. out of premiership contention early on, disappointing domestic cup exists, and yes – even eventually scrambling for a CL spot).

    He is talking about improvement, everybody is now expecting it to happen, so the caveat to your assertion is that he is the man for the job so long as the improvement is delivered.

  • Ian Jenkinson

    You are most welcome Walter.

  • bob

    bjtgooner,
    Arteta is not getting younger and has been injured at the end of the last two seasons and cannot play every game. Your description for a DM is Alex Song. I’ll leave it right there, as Shard can explain (after my year at it, geeeessshh). 🙂 If AW “forgives” the “transgressor” and brings him back into the mix, no one here will object – not one shred of evidence of his moral terpitude, which those who crave evidence-free closure have leaped to in defense of the presumed purity of our tribe’s motivations.

  • bob

    I meant to post this here (not in the previous, really sorry UA):
    Shard,
    Like a plague of locusts…..this in today’s NY Daily News:

    Bronx booters: Yanks joining Man City’s Sheikh Mansour for MLS club. Yankee Stadium could host the New York City FootballClub’s first season while MLS continues to negotiate with the city on a new stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. In the ultimate odd-couple alliance, Hal Steinbrenner has joined forces with controversial multi-billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan to bring an expansion MLS team to New York.”

  • Paul N

    Stroller, there is no need for ifs. If Arsene can do what he has done with all the hell he has had to deal with, imagine what he will do with more money and a settled squad.

    The man is pure class.

  • Shard

    bob,

    You and I are agreed about the lack of evidence as regards Song getting too big for his boots. But I did find it interesting that when talking about the last 2 seasons, Wenger mentioned losing players he wanted to keep. He mentioned Fabregas, and Van Persie, and said we can’t forget Nasri either. But no mention of Song. Wenger will never really come out and criticise a player. To me though, Song not being mentioned, suggests that it wasn’t really a forced decision for Wenger.

    Song was very important for us last season. No doubt about it. And I wish him well. I just think we’d be better off looking elsewhere for someone who doesn’t carry any baggage, even if it is only imaginary.

  • Shard

    bob

    Haha. How do you feel about your Yankees and Manchester City teaming up? Mankees? New York Lancs-ees? At least both can refer to themselves as being from the City.

  • Shard

    For all those who love transfer rumours…

    We’re signing Lewandowski!!!!

    https://twitter.com/Podolski10/status/336859923981942784/photo/1

    (and maybe some bloke called Slawo Pezko too)

  • Adam

    @bob, I wrote this Song for you; A SONG for whoever.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XyzLp06Etc

    Please pay special attention to the lyrics “You made me so much money I wrote this SONG for you”.

    Lots of love, from the beautiful south.

    You know I’m taking the piss right? And don’t worry soon you will forget his name.

  • Adam

    Oh, and there is only one man who aims the cannons and its not Napoleon.

    Goods news for the future though, apparently Bergkamp is over his fear of flying.

  • FunGunner

    @ Walter
    I agree with pretty much all of that. I think that we do need to add the get-out-of-jail-free-card player. A few months ago, I would have said a lock-picker was needed as well, now I’m not so sure. I would be wary of tinkering too much with a settled team. We have a squad (in effect) of 19 players who will run through walls for each other. That is the most precious asset we have.

    Arteta has been outstanding at screening the back four but I can see it would be nice to have a bit of height in the absence of Diaby – but Ramsey is looking taller every day as his confidence grows.
    One of the reasons I would love Sagna to stay is that I see *him* as an emergency CB. Thus giving Jenks more opportunities to play?
    ***
    @ Shard
    I don’t know anything about Song’s supposed bad attitude in training, but he felt the Barcelona offer was too good an opportunity to miss and gave the club an ultimatum about pay talks – they had to take place before the end of the transfer window, presumably so he could go to Barca if they didn’t go to his liking. Whether you call that getting too big for his boots, I don’t know, but that is what happened.

  • Nelson Wong

    If everything go as AW tries to present to us, the coming year will show how good or bad he really is.

    AW picked up a team when he first came and he delivered. Then he set up his own team and he delivered.

    After that, he took on the project to build the new facilities. He has to fight with his one of his hand tided.

    His trust (or gamble) on FFP did not pay off as it is not coming into place.

    In these two last seasons, the team is probably hitting rock bottom in terms of results because they couldn’t challenge trophies. No finals, no running in second place no nothing.

    Staying in top 4 is like survival and AW just managed survival.

    How hard can that be? There are plenty of arguments for both sides but we have hardly anything to compare this adventure to so the discussion will always be open ended.

    I am in support of AW. The team survived and he did not run away. Many manager would have jumped ship. Others, with such a “big name” will try to pressure the team to release more funds by going public to side with the fans. I think that is a whole lot easier than staying in Arsenal, keep quiet or even try to market the “business” side of the matter.

    Some people argue that he won’t jump because he has big money and he can get big pay only to get to four. If that is such a good and easy job, there will be huge line waiting to come into Arsenal; the board, being good businessman would have fired AW long ago. That did not happen because there really is no replacement.

    There are around five or so coaches who can do as well or even better than AW but seems everyone of them went for more “comfortable” jobs.

    Every fan wants someone who comes in and throw big money into the club. That is like Roman Emperors and rich man sponsoring free games and free drinks. This is no Roman time and no one needs to buy off the fans to get popular politically. Those who buy the team see them either as business or their personal toy.

    As Arsenal fans, we should be happy that there is someone like AW who can try to balance things out. A manager/coach who tries to build a lasting foundation for the team so it can survive regardless who owns it.

    The team may not be getting the result we desire but hell, they are a joy to watch. There’s no personal rivalry or fights. No one came out and say bad things in the media. No one punched his teammate and the coach didn’t throw shoses into players. Those strangers became a team within two to three months. That happened in two cconsecutive seasons already.

    They make silly mistakes but by and large, we forgive them.

    In the coming season, worse days will be over. Major players stay. There are no long term injury to the leading cast. The bench looks strong and health. Yound players come of age and there are younger ones behind them. Some weaker players will go and there’s a bit of money to spend on upgrades rather than plugging holes.

    Its not the prime time but things are more or less back to normal. And Yes, all major rivals will have a change in manager from ManU to Everton.

    So, in the coming season we will see how good AW really is. Has he gotten better after all these difficult years? Let’s see.

  • bob

    Shard,
    (On Song: Fun-She (who won’t use my name for good, if snarky reasons) doesn’t know; but only pontificates with selective out of context quotes to express “certainties” that only her agent-pal tells her are based on his/her inside knowledge. And the moralistic cheek: I mean how would you feel if you looked around after busting a gut, week in and week out, and put up with The Dean and Webbmeister and orks like Our Joey, whilst seeing the likes of Squid and Arshavin and Chamack collecting as much or more than you do for doing nothing! NADA. And you being saddled with a 3-year contract and no “right” – opines she of the legal eagles – to say boo. Sanctimonious twaddler. Won’t even finish the debate on RVP except on another website so that she can tell Adam that I’ve distorted what she’s had to say. Me? Distorter? Well, in some cases… 🙂 )

    That said, as for me Mankees!@#!@$ Oh my god! Y’know I feel about Hanky Panky Steingrubber as poorly as I still do about Don Fungus Ascension to what Russell Brand now calls a tribal chieftain. (Reminds me of Brando/kurtz in Apocalypse now, does Lord Football.) But Hanky Panky S. has neither football nor baseball nous. He bids against himself to award mega-contracts (Alex Rodriguez) that have now forced him into imposing artificial spending limits so he won’t get further penalized for necessary spending that would invoke the League’s luxury tax. A total cunt with a rich boy’s toy called a team. They tear up the poor neighborhoods playing fields to build a high-priced parking structure so that their preferred rich swells can drive in without having to endure a whiff of the streets. Then, of course, the economy tanks, so that the parking structure is a third full at best; and they’ve never planted a blade of grass to fulfill their false promises to the community to build them new playing fields. And all this on a subsidy from the taxpayer for their new improved Mankee Stadium. Shard, don’t get me started! Hanky Panky and Chic Yerbooty! And our Thierry has to endure the refshite dished out hereabouts by Peter Walton, chief of MLS referees. OMG, you can’t invent this stuff. (Rantetta, what do you think of your former abode now!) Shard, you must come over and do your magic (as per your last good luck visit to the Ems!) – basically an exorcism!

  • AnT.

    Nice article Walter. Indeed it’s a difficult a question and we will know it only after we saw one. 🙂
    It’s been a roller coaster, this season, and hopefully we’are in a steady climb to the long years after.
    @Adam, nice try with the beautiful south. 😉 One of my faves.
    @Ian Jenkinson: thanks for the link. As a fan who cannot a chance to see games live, such a footage is precious.

  • bob

    Adam,
    Wow, what a torch song!…. Oh how I pray that my pining for The Lost Song will find the opiated joy of forgetting, as you promise. (Some metaphor, there: The pencil at the bottom of the case?! What…) Have to confess, it’s not Rick James’ Superfreak, but, hey, but I do think it’s corny but beautiful. (Sometimes I snarl too, you know.) I mean I’d so rather listen to Song for Whoever over and over again to the point of oblivion than to have to endure even one more sanctimonious upchuck from She-Fun about Song’s alleged mortal sin transgress for playing hardball with a club that had him by the nuts for 3 more years, whilst his/us having to abide the likes of several overpaid and not even good enough for the bench crew that were being paid more than he. Not even Fun-She would accept a contract like Song’s without a peep. Anyway, having violated my promise to leave you out of my e-wars, I definitely appreciate your wind-up and must confess, you have good taste in music. (Now should I reciprocate with the yang of Rick James’ Superfreak ?! ) Oh, I should have prefaced all this with an “Off Topic:” Mea maxima culpa. Cheers, mate 🙂

  • bob

    AnT,
    Yes, the south is beautiful. It’s a nice try, Adam’s, and it’s working. So don’t give up on me and my Song. (btw, did you ever sample Rick James’ Superfreak? Now that’s a wake-up call.)

  • bob

    Shard,
    One more before a (no doubt) troubled sleep:
    Hanky Panky is THE Chairman of the Bored.
    His departed Da, so much more in the cut of Don Fungus,
    was a breath of fresh, well, not quite fresh air.
    The Mankees are now in the grip of the heir.
    nighty night!

  • Shard

    Fungunner and bob

    I don’t know what you both have been fighting over, and I really don’t want to get in the middle of it. But as regards Song, here’s my thinking.

    Fungunner, I read those reports in the media as well, and if true, it is definitely an attitude which makes him not worth keeping. I just am unsure whether it is true. Maybe you have an inside scoop on this?

    bob, you are wrong however, to side with Song and say he could compare himself to Squillaci, and Arshavin getting x amount of money. Those players were well established in their careers when they were offered those contracts (and Chamakh was on a free, plus was on less money than Song reportedly was) But Song was a nobody who had been shown faith in by the manager when others wouldn’t have. He’d been paid money that he wasn’t worth before. Should that not be a consideration?

    In any case, I think it doesn’t matter why he left. Whether he forced the clubs’ hand or whether the club forced his. As long as the manager wanted to sell him/felt he could do without him, that is all that matters. And based on Arsene’s letting Song go unnamed in the list of players he’s lost against his will in the past 2 years, I think he was perfectly willing to sell Song, regardless of whether the impetus came from Song or the club (I am inclined to think it came from Song)

  • Shard

    bob

    Interesting. I guess you have experience in loving a team, but hating the board. 🙂

  • ARSENAL 13

    @Shard,

    Then there were also reports of Wenger saying Song should fight for his place at Barca….

    So that should mean doors shut and sealed..No return for Song. So Bob, hope you forget him…

  • FunGunner

    @ bob
    (On Song: Fun-She (who won’t use my name for good, if snarky reasons) doesn’t know; but only pontificates with selective out of context quotes to express “certainties” that only her agent-pal tells her are based on his/her inside knowledge.

    I wasn’t talking to you, bob. And please stop misrepresenting what I have said and where I get my information.

    @ Shard
    May 22, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Agree with that completely. He’s a very good player who wanted what he regarded as a step up and whom we do not miss. All the best to him at Barca.

    There’s nothing to get in the middle of – regarding what I said about Song, I based it on an article which I’ve posted here twice before. It was his people reacting to stories that he had had a bad attitude in training, or had become arrogant. In their words, Barcelona was a train that he couldn’t miss, they had already asked Arsenal several times that season to sit down with them and discuss a new contract but that they fobbed them off saying his current contract had three years left to run, that when the interest from Barcelona came up, they asked for a meeting immediately about a new contract, and when they were told that the meeting would have to be after Sep 1st (ie after the transfer window), they regarded that as the last straw.

    The irony is that they wanted this information out because they thought it justified Song in the face of what they regarded as Arsenal’s unreasonableness. The link and the text of the article are saved on my laptop, but if you insist I can re-post both. Although they are definitely somewhere on Untold Arsenal as well.

  • Shard

    No worries Fungunner. I remember those reports quite well. I still am not sure whether that was Song’s people saying so, but if it was, it definitely shows Song in a poor light. I guess having Dein as advisor does that to players. Either way. Song, important as he was last season, is not going to be a part of our future. I hold no grudge against him, but he’s in the past. Time to look towards an exciting future.

  • rantetta

    Well, where to begin?

    I started writing a long ‘thing’, following a post by bob – which suggested having a look at a debate between FG + Adam. I looked, and found the two of them very interesting. (I’ve forgotten my considered conclusions, which may tell you something about me), but I remember thinking that I like what FG has to say, as I like what most commentators have to say on PA, a site I’ve only visited for a short time (2, 3, 4 months – I can’t remember). I also love the stuff on that site and have wanted to make a post saying so, but just like on here, I can’t seem to do the “succinct”.

    So, about the long thing I started to write; I was trying to say that I’d avoided writing about bob’s (possibly) acerbic reactions to RvP, and then, Song, because I remain a bit confused and upset that 2 of my faves have gone. I also simply don’t know what happened (with Song). In the case of RvP…. I still haven’t quite got over it, in that I’m still not at peace with seeing him in that other yukky red shirt, kickin’ and elbowing his way around a field full of quite nasty team-mates – and all of this when I’d believed – him having been made captain – that he was a true Gunner. The very mention or thought of that “you guys” statement still makes me a little bit sick.

    The ‘ball over the shoulder volley smashed into the back of the net’ on MU’s behalf is hailed by the meedja as though it’s something new and wonderful, and therefore deserving of extra plaudits, not only for him but also for that cheating bunch of so + so’s from up North. (See, you’ve got me at it).

    And then there’s Song. You know, Song-aldihno bamboozles multiple BD defenders and crosses to RvP who scores with his head. I was sitting in row 5 behind that goal. I went ****ing MENTAL, and I’ve watched it so many times since, particularly with the youtube ditty playing in the backround). So then Song leaves. The thing about his contract, in my opinion, is that it was set up, possibly/probably, when only I thought he was good (you know people were saying he’s no good, and he was being booked early in matches for just looking at opponents).

    When there’s 3 years left on a Ars players contract, any player will have to perform consistently above expectations to get an early rise (no pun intended). Take CJ 25 for example. I saw figures suggesting he’s on quite a low salary – for 5 years. These figures might well be bollux, but assuming they’re correct, or at least within ‘reason’, in 2 or 3 years time, if CJ performs as expected or better, Arsenal may give him a rise. (I’m sure you know/presume all of this). The thing is, Arsenal are the employers, so they can do what they like. And for me, that’s right. So even if Song deserved a raise, it’s up to Arsenal to decide when to give it to him, and seeing I don’t presume to really know what went on (other than speculation), I simply mourn the loss of Song – remembering the effort and improvements he made, and wish him luck in his life. I’m presently unable to conclude anything about RvP, especially after seeing him try to re-cripple Sagna at Old Toilet.

    Now, the things I was trying to write to bob went on even longer than this piece has. Indeed, I’d disappeared so far up my own rectum – without the possibility of “proctorial gratification”, that my whole shebang seemed, typically, pointless (as indeed this post may be).

    However, (be that as it may), what has now enabled me to write are the superb posts from Shard, and again, FG. You’ve both said things I’d like to say, or things I think I’d like to think (or summat), so thank you both.

    Please, all three of you, continue to post. I love your stuff.

    bob: I’ve got so much feeling for NY, and they’re so mixed up. I’m still trying to get over Mayor Dinkins and the ‘forces’ turning on him. Dinkins, who made public tennis courts great, for me to pop along 20 years later and enjoy. I try to ignore Rudolph ‘Julie’ and those who’ve followed cos I smell a rat. In doing so I’m only anecdotally aware of the stuff now going on.

    I merely try to remember the fantastic buzz I felt whenever I was in that wonderful City: New York.

    New York Eyes
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUQmJvZd3ms

  • FunGunner

    @ Shard

    “I guess having Dein as advisor does that to players.”
    You got that right.

    Found it, btw:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/9487891/Arsenal-did-not-sell-Alex-Song-to-Barcelona-because-of-his-unprofessional-attitude.html

    It’s according to “a source close to Song” which usually means the player or his agent/advisor.

    @ rantetta
    They were my faves as well, but they made their choice. RvP really let us down, in my book.
    Hope I’m not being presumptuous to say this, but don’t let arguments on blogs get you down. At the end of the day it’s just fans chatting, isn’t it?

  • bob

    “I guess you have experience in loving a team, but hating the board.”
    Shard,
    Thought you’d be a wee bit more interested in the Mankee specifics, so I guess you’re not coming for the exorcism 🙂 But in general, in the Mankees case, it’s relatively easy via the mass(ive) media to know much of what’s going on, given its hands-on ownership level, to know where the buck stops. Surely Chic Yerbooty will stop that at what they’re now calling “The NY Football Club.” (Makes a name like Colorado Rockies or Avalanche or Nuggets rather more colorful, one must say. Perhaps they’ll adopt a name like Predators, to be more apt.) In the Mankees case, they boast of their derring dos and donts and the press is on them, critically, like white on rice. I’m way too new at AFC-watching to know, but it has appeared over the last 2-3 years that actions of the board layer at AFC (- despite posters who insist the AFC board is hands off and it’s all down to AW) is not penetrable by comparison. As a long-term watcher of the Mankees, one does know much of the time where to lay specific blame or praise and why – often because they’re arrogant and like it that way.

  • bob

    “Should that not be a consideration?”
    Shard,
    Yes, certainly a consideration; but, imo, Song had a very strong point based on performance. (When you say “wrong,” you surely don’t mean 100% wrong, or do you?) To make the comparison of their relative value, I’d say, judging from last season and by the summer, that the gap – as measured/going by their comparative work rate/production on the pitch (and so, Return on Investment) between the former “nobody” and the former “established” ones (Squilacci and established or stop-gap?) – had become massive. For a close (if imperfect example,) if Koscielny were right now to pressure for a renewed contract (let’s say that Gardiola is tapping) would you consider it legally or morally wrong of him to press for more? I wouldn’t. Then again, unless he were asking for the moon. And I don’t think Song was asking for the moon. And whether or not their cases are exactly analogous, I think Song and Kos have a case for re-opening negotiations.

  • bob

    p.s. that is, instead of black and white, surely there needs to be some sort of dynamic mechanism for defining mid-way adjustments to reflect fair value on the pitch. Perhaps something like a mid-course performance-based re-evaluation moment, marked by a well-defined set of milestones; which, if eclipsed or unreached, either way could automatically trigger an (agreed upon) percentage (say 10%) rise or diminution of the payout. This would keep incentives for good performance and disincentives for piss-poor performance intact. It could, of course, open the door to unwanted litigations; but it’s not exactly smooth-sailing under the current mode of operations.

  • bob

    “He was one of the worst paid at the club,” said the source. “He was on about £55,000 a week and his performances deserved a pay rise.” – From the holy grail.
    Yep, couldn’t agree more.

  • bob

    ARSENAL 13,
    Ok, forget and forgive too? Well, it is healthier that way. Let’s see what happens in this transfer window. Hopefully we’ll all be happier and healthier are more unified than ever as we challenge for top honors next season.

  • bob

    sorry, ^ “and more unified”

  • FunGunner

    @ bob

    I’m baffled as to why you would pick up on that. What do you think the fact that Song’s agent/Song thought he deserved more money proves? Would that not be why they asked for a new contract six times that season?

  • bob

    FunGunner,
    Imo, it proves nothing. But for me, it’s down to this: Song deserved the raise, a mid-term adjustment. His agent – one of whom I detest, the one he changed to Dein the Lesser – had a good point based on Song’s performance. Why should he have to ask six times to achieve a modification. Nor was he asking for the moon. For me, in general, the situation is out of hand. Imo, there needs to be a legal mechanism for mid-course re-valuations with an agreed on, fair arbitrator to consider either the club or the player’s case for revaluation – this based on agreed on expected and reasonable performance benchmarks that are already in that player’s contract. Of course this isn’t in place. But is should be and would, imo, help stabilize the chronic mess. But it’s too sane to bring in a neutral mid-course arbitrator, so it won’t happen. That said, I still feel that Song was right to ask, and perhaps he was even screwed by his predator-agent, DD, who had already established a well-worn path between AFC and Barfa. But on the merits, Song deserved what he had to ask for six times, if that’s true, and especially compared to the rest of those (Squid, AA, Chamakh, etc.) who produced zilch but earned through the roof. Anyway, I’ll re-read, but must defer to later on, as obligations now press. I do hope to re-engage, and will be principled (now that I’ve lost Rantetta to your arguments). Cheers.

  • Adam

    bob, glad you liked the tune, since were on a musical vibe, I’m actually and old cheesy quaver gone over to the dark side, I’m a drum & bass head. So there goes your theory about me having good taste in music.

    My younger years though were full of Depeche Mode, Nitzer ebb, front 242, Nine inch nails, as well as a lot of British underground acts.

    Do like my classical as well.

    Anyway, hope there was no offence, I was just messing around.

  • Yommex

    Well, imo, I think Wenger showed double standard in handling the issue of Song when compared with how he’s handled Diaby. Song’s demand could not have been utterly outrageous as he was our most consistent performer 2-3 seasons prior to his departure. He was seldom injured and kept on improving as a player, averaging about 50 games per season. For him to be on the same salary as the perennially injured Diaby was a travesty. And Wenger never saw anything wrong with that, he chose to keep faith Diaby against all logic and reason.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Adam, I had a brief attachment to Front 242. Much more of an indie pop fan though, bands like Orange Juice in the past and newer bands like Tullycraft and Allo Darlin’.

    Drum & bass doesn’t do it for me, I like melody.

    It’s really entertaining to see what other fans are into beyond the football. After all the season is over and now we’ve got nothing but months of fog and rumour to endure.

    Good point Yommex.

    @Al, I’m sure lots of teams got robbed by refs, not just us, as Mike T. pointed out. And in that home game against City we were asleep for most of the first half and gave away a stupid and certain penalty, a defeat was what we deserved.

    Funny thing is we looked more like a George Graham team in the last ten games of the season, the football was less cavalier and more pragmatic. It did the job. Maybe if we’d adopted that approach from day one we’d have won the league.

    Glad to see that Walter has admitted that the AAA don’t exist, about time too.

  • Shard

    bob

    Song was perfectly happy to sign that long term contract when h wasn’t playing at that level. Besides, I don’t disagree with him deserving a payrise. But there is a way to do it. Holding your clubs’ transfer dealings to ransom because Barcelona have come calling and you want to play Arsenal for more money, or threaten to leave, is not the way, and if he did that (I still am wary of believing the press) then it was absolutely right he be shown the door. But, if that is not true, then it means Wenger felt the team would be better off without him. The third possibility is Wenger was forced to sell him to break even, but based on his comments, I wouldn’t say that is what happened.

    Yommex,
    What is Wenger supposed to do about Diaby’s contract? How is he supposed to do anything other than keep him around? Offering him a contract, 3 or 4 years ago, didn’t work out. But that doesn’t make it a mistake. If he’d let him go then, and his injuries were sorted out, and he signed for Chelsea and played well, you’d classify that as a mistake too. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    As regards Song earning that much. read my point to bob, about there being a certain decorum to be maintained. Arteta, wanted 75k when he joined us, but agreed on 65. There were reports that after last season, he went in for negotiating an increase on his deal, which I think, was granted. But if not, it was definitely discussed among the parties. There’s a time, place, and way of doing things.

  • Shard

    bob

    As regards the Yankees and Arsenal. You’re comparing across sports and cultures. Fans in US sports don’t react so negatively to their teams’ owners making money for instance. They are generally more aware and accepting of the sports clubs being a business.

    Compare Arsenal to any team in England and tell me other teams are more open to their fans. Arsenal communicate with fans, both formally and informally, quite a lot. Which other club sends their CEO to have a 90minute Q&A with their supporters? Which other club sends their manager to an AGM when they are not required to do so? And yet, both those privileges (not in a condescending way, but that’s what it is) have been abused by supporters who don’t really know what to do with the opportunity, except shout out their disappointment and make themselves feel like they are keeping the ones in power in check. I mean FFS, our fans were the reason Arsenal don’t announce attendance figures anymore, because they had a problem with figures being reported like all football clubs do (tickets sold, rather than seats filled) If you want openness, you need to change the culture. Within the culture of English football, Arsenal are more open than most.