Wenger or what?

WENGER or WHAT?   By Don McMahon


Our witless whiners and moody moaners (otherwise known as the AAA) and even some rational denizens of the Arsenal Republic have been and still are crying for Wenger to be replaced with anyone who isn’t available….so what’s new? There are a number of reasons why a new manager might NOT fit AFC:

a) We risk bringing in someone who will pull a Mourinho when things might go sour and who won’t stay in place very long, just enough to have won or to have screwed up. AFC don’t need a Mourinho, we need someone like Wenger, whose loyalty and commitment are unquestionable.

b) There are few mangers who are really superior to Wenger tactically nor are they proven masters of personnel or man-management. They are often in fact neither but rather old style managers whose seek total power …not Wenger’s style at all and NOT the players’ role model as well.

c) Wenger has clearly stated that his project is not yet complete and imho, why change a winner for an unknown quantity who would take 2-3 years to adapt his style to AFC and adapt AFC to his way if he could? We don’t need a Moyes but rather a Wenger-like man who can settle in quickly and make a smooth transition.

d) You may think Arsene has had his day and I respect that you have your view, BUT there is NO conclusive proof that this is the case and IF the team stay in the top 4 AND win the FA Cup (both firm possibilities) then this could be the beginning of a 2nd golden era for the team….WITH Wenger at the helm once again, a healthy squad and a few key additions will make all the difference in 2014-15.

e) Wenger will leave management when he no longer physically or mentally feels he can continue. He is still relatively young and in form (better than most EPL managers) and has set goals he believes will be met in the next few years. Had we not suffered such a horrendous injury record this season, we would have clearly challenged for the title….next year, barring injury or referee disasters, we will!

f) Would some top class players come to AFC if Wenger left, or worse still would key players stay at AFC if Arsene was gone? If there’s anything professional Footballers hate it is insecurity and a new manager is almost always insecure and unknown at first.

g) There are names like Guardiola, Klopp, Van Gall and others bandied about by the pseudo-experts and graspers at straws (the AAA among others) BUT if the Club bring in any of the above or someone else as an interim manager, and things sour, who would want to come to replace him and who says these managers will be available 2-3 years down the road? Why not bring them in now, if they were interested?

h) When I was in the Navy, we were told that the worse thing that can happen to a ship and its crew is to have a change of captain while at sea. I believe the same thing applies at Arsenal. United have to replace Moyes and have got themselves in this position without a clear idea who they can get.  What a mess that is!  Wenger is still a powerful and motivated force at AFC so lets trust him to take us to the top over the next few seasons.

This idle speculation is pointless and useless conjecture. We have a great manager who continues to perform miracles….so be careful what you wish for AAA and other plastic fanboys! The media campaign to constantly insinuate that Wenger’s current ¨procrastination¨ in signing on was motivated by his doubts and uncertainties is patently spurious, egregiously false and totally unfounded, But it catches the eye and raises questions and attracts readers who still believe Elvis is alive.

71 Replies to “Wenger or what?”

  1. Good article Don. The team is definitely, and on the evidence, on the up. We were top of the league longer than any other team this season, I think. This has not been the case for Arsenal for some years, while Arsene Wenger had to work within strict financial constraints. As you say, if it hadn’t been for the injuries, we could have won the league.

    So Arsene Wenger has proved himself more than capable of leading the team. And of persuading top players to join us when he has the chance.

    The man is a masterly manager in so many ways. If he didn’t think he could still do it, he would have bowed out. I’m looking forward to next season!

  2. Interesting reading….poignant Navy analogy. Looks like we are in the last two years of wenger as manager, for better or for worse, I also think their is a succession plan being implemented, not that we currently know what it really is. But Utd is a lesson for all. In two years time, the club will be in a position for the new guy to take us forward in stability…..that would not be the case this summer. There are changes going on behind the scenes to prepare us for the future. That said, I look forward to another two years of the great man doing what he does best. Yes, let’s sort one or two failings, but maybe, just maybe we can sign off with a trophy this year and move on with wenger for two more years.

  3. On a different topic, how can it be that there is not a single Arsenal player in the PFA team of the year? To me it is a testament to the influence of the mass media on footballers. I can’t help feeling angry.

  4. Thanks Don.

    Is 2 years (possibly extended again?) enough time to find a replacement?

    Start with his nickname, the Professor. (Sorry, my abilities outside of English are few.) He studies the game. I don’t think very many managers of professional teams study the game (or national teams for that matter).

    Sure, you can probably find hundreds of managers who will say they have studied the game. Once, maybe twice. Not constantly! Wenger studies the game, present tense.

    I think you may find managers of university teams who study the game. But I suspect most of those managers do not have the credentials to coach a professional team. I guess the British Universities organization is BUCS, but is there anything related to Universiade Games which tracks all programs?

    A question, apparently Durham has the leading BUCS team in terms of league play, how would Durham do against Arsenal’s U21 team?

  5. It annoys me to notice sentiments rise above reason. I wonder what was going on in the minds of many Barcelona fans when Frank Rijkaard was to be replaced by Pep and it beats me that this isn’t cited to be a lesson to arsenal fans (especially the anti-AAA). Wenger will go one day- dead or alive and we all should be willing and ready to accept it. I don’t know about you but I live in Nigeria where Chelski fans taunt us daily for having a coach to whom a top 4 finish is a trophy. We all pin our fall down to the injuries of our key players at one point or another but if the truth must be told, wenger’s refusal to reinforce during the winter and his illogical faith in Giroud to fire us to the title have cost us the title. I appreciate what Wenger has done at arsenal over the years but he appears to have lost it now. We need a change.

  6. There is a periodic championship under the FISU organization. The last one was 2011 in China.


    Sixteen teams made the finals.

    Group A: Korea, China, Namibia, Columbia

    Group B: Russia, Brazil, Ukraine, Malaysia

    Group C: Italy, Uruguay, Thailand, Czech Republic

    Group D: Japan, Great Britain, Ghana, Canada

    Some are recognized soccer powers, some are not. Top 3 were Japan, Great Britain and Brazil.

  7. I can’t imagine Arsenal not being managed by Wenger and I’m very grateful for everything he’s done for the club. But I can’t help to feel that my reasons for wanting him to stay is a lot based on sentiment and the fear of having a poor season (or a few) during a transition period if we got a new manager even if I think another manager could do a better job. I fear that the AAA is starting to win me over and I never thought that would happen. But even the most loyal supporters of Wenger can’t deny that he lacks tactical prudence when facing better opposition and that many injuries could probably be avoided if key players got a bit more rest. I think we had good shot at the title this season but I believe the injuries to Özil and Ramsey costed us a lot and perhaps they could have been avoided. With a decimated squad with a slight lack of pace and creativity I believe Wenger should have adopted a more cautious tactic when facing the top sides. Those away games we got battered in would have been very tough to get any points from whichever tactics used but I think more fans would have been in a more forgiving mood if Arsenal played for a draw in those games. I’d give Wenger another two years because I really want him to win the EPL with Arsenal again and because I think that it’s in his right to stay as long as he want. Please tell me if I’m wrong about the tactics and the injuries because I really want to convince myself that Wenger is doing things right but in later years I’ve found hit harder to do so. I always try to justify everything Wenger does because I’ve been part of the AKB’s for so many years but I’m finding it hard to hold on. I go to untold-arsenal to strengthen my belief in Wenger because I think there are so many sensible people here that have a good understanding of football and how a club should be run so I hope to be educated and persuaded to keep believing. With many concerned Arsenal supporters making their voices heard calling for a new manager I hope that you will keep fighting the good fight. Without you guys I could have ended up a complete AAA idiot, but thanks to you I’m not there just yet. =)

  8. Wenger’s men deserved a draw or even a win at Etihad, with all the decisions made by the referee; we could have won the return game at the Emirates. Liverpool started off with an offside goal, and it all went downward after that, but we did beat them at home. The most irritating games were against Chelsea, with them getting lucky not to concede, and a very obvious penalty by Willan on Walcott; let us not talk about the return game.
    Incidentally, Brendan Rodgers made a mistake today; he needed a draw, and Jose would have settled for a draw, but he wanted to win in style… Jose took that, and the title is seemingly heading to the oilers.

  9. Robbie…..I am not sure I understand your point about tactical ¨prudence¨ which, if I understood your post correctly, all comes down to playing for a draw, or in other words, playing not to lose rather than playing to win. That indictment of Wenger is rapidly becoming the hallmark of the AAA ignoramuses and simpleton media pundits who, by erroneously assuming they know better, fault Wenger for apparent ¨tactical naivete¨ and other assorted faults.
    Actually the fact that you are asking intelligent questions guarantees that you are far from the AAA mindset and not likely to fall into that putrid trap anytime soon. You have however read about and listened to far too many media pundits and AAA morons who infest many Arsenal blogs. Keep in mind that they have only two objectives; to demean and diminish Wenger’s reputation AND to criticize the club,Board,players and history of the Arsenal regardless of the facts. Their AAA Association motto is: ¨don’t let your ignorance interfere with your prejudices¨, or put another way, ¨ When the facts get in the way of your argument, ignore them¨….
    I see this phenomena repeated in the US by the Republicans, who deny the validity of anything they don’t want to accept like; Global warming, Universal health care, justice or fairness for the average working person,racial equality or whatever, based solely on their belief that they are right and being divinely inspired, have no need to explain themdelves.

  10. I think Tony, Walter and some fine Untold bloggers have covered intensively why the trophy drought, why the drawback transfer activities and why the poor form of the team. Yet we still have fellas who still have the cheek to say Arsene dont do tactics, Arsene is naive, Arsene has reached his limitations, blah blah blah. Hey, get a life and be observant and be prudent when you forward your inputs on football clubs that you support. Sometimes, those inputs lack objective, lack conviction and lack common sense. Its getting really bored reading such comments again and again. Really.

  11. OMGArsenal

    Tactical prudence doesn’t necessarily mean playing for a draw, although in some instances playing not to loose is just as important as playing to win.
    Trying always to play football the ‘right way’ regardless of the circumstances can be reckless and detrimental to any team not just Arsenal.
    In my opinion Liverpool just blew their best chance at a league title in the PL era and I guarantee you that if Rogers could do it over again , he would’ve chosen more defensive approach to the Chelsea game.

    Mourinho presented him the league title on a silver platter and at one point during the game with the score 0:0 even tried to hide the match ball under his track suit but Liverpool were in such a hurry to cement their place in the PL history as the best and most goal scoring side, that they most likely threw away the title.
    The draw and two wins at CP and home to New Castle would’ve been enough to win the league but as things stand , they most likely will never be in this position ever again. Next year Suarez might be gone, CL will exert much more strain on their squad and they will find it far more difficult to compete.
    Considering how little Chelsea offered going forward , Rogers’ tactics were borderline negligent.

    Purity of football and uncompromising approach to the style you play had worked for Arsenal in the past when we had the highest quality players at every position on the pitch but as our level of talent dropped for obvious reasons special tactics were needed to compensate for some shortcomings .

    Trying to play ‘expensive’ football with a depleted squad full of second stringers and loosing 8:2 at OT a few years back wasn’t prudent to say the least.
    Going to Anfield and trying to play a high tempo game against the Liverpool team that thrives on playing high tempo style of football was playing right into their hands, which again wasn’t prudent and the 5:1 score line was the proof of that.

    And as far as your grasp of US political reality, well , I’m afraid it’s even worse than you realize . “When the facts get in the way of your argument, ignore them” would’ve been a pretty reasonable approach by American standards of politics. Unfortunately , the Republicans go one step further and invent their own ‘facts’ to confuse the geo- politically illiterate masses , with the lame media standing by and allowing this hollowing out of the country to continue with the unlimited assistance of the special interest and the blessing of the US Supreme Court, but that’s a whole different conversation altogether .

  12. @Tom
    I fail to see how the outcome of yesterday’s game was in any way decided by tactics from either manager. The major influence on the result was Gerrard slipping and poor finishing by Liverpool of the many shooting opportunities they had. No need for analysis, sometimes the simple answer is the right one.

  13. @Tom, good points. The only sensible poster on here these days. I always find it bizarre when these arrogant types like OMG Arsenal claim they know all the facts and those that disagree with him don’t know any. The irony is that he sounds like a Republican, the party he professes to hate. Nobody on either side of this debate over Wenger’s ability has all the facts. The financial issue is a particularly murky one. Wenger himself said that he could SPEND 40 MILLION ON ONE PLAYER BACK IN 2011. He didn’t but that maybe because he thought no player at the time was worth that. That’s his prerogative but it seems there was substantial money available three years ago.

    We’ve also heard the board say that money was always available for Wenger to spend. How much was never mentioned though so what we can glean from that is anyone’s guess.

    On tactics I agree with you. The writer of the piece seems to believe that Wenger is tactically superior to many. Who exactly? As far as I can tell Arsenal play a certain brand of football which they rarely veer from but Wenger does have tactical nous on occasion when he deems it essential, witness the win in Dortmund. He’s no fool when it comes to tactics but he holds firm over principles when sometimes a little compromise might be prudent.

    I’d also take issue with this claim “We have a great manager who continues to perform miracles….” Not the great manager claim but this belief that Wenger performs miracles. What exactly? One of the richest clubs in the world scrapping for fourth with Everton and a club that hasn’t won a trophy for nine years. No miracles there. Now if Wenger laid hands on Diaby and cured his injury that would be a miracle.

  14. Keeping a team in the top 4 (scraping LOL) while building and paying a 500M stadium is a miracle, Rupert. Certainly in a time when oiler clubs have spend more than that amount on buying players.

    Just check what happened to all other clubs who have build a new stadium in the last decade in England. Look where they have ended up… Look it up in the archives of Untold. It is there.

    And their stadiums only have cost a fraction of the Emirates. So the financial backlash was much much smaller than it was for us. And still many went bankrupt, went down to the championship or worse. Only Arsenal stayed in the top 4.

    It really is a miracle….

  15. Rupert

    Don’t you think that the purchase of Özil last summer and the claim from Gazides that AFC have turned the corner financially should be taken more seriously than the ‘claim’ that AFC have had money for the last three years? I agree with you that we don’t have the facts but isn’t combining their actions with their words the next best thing to do? So, it would appear that actually, money has only become available in the amounts needed last summer when Gazides was ‘criticised’ for ‘announcing’ that AFC had money.

  16. By the way OMGArsenal is correct about the Republican Party in the USA…they are dogmatic, deluded, arrogant and dangerous….

  17. Those who fail to see that Jose beat Brendan because of (negative) tactics need only to watch the interviews after the game. Poor finishing, poor diving, or poor passing (in reference to the judiciously named Aspas, among others) were not factors. Tactics won Jose the game.

  18. @Georgaki-pyrovolitis, I’m delighted that we have now turned the corner financially. We’ll never know whether that money that Wenger said he could spend would have made any difference anyway, I’m simply pointing out that the financial argument isn’t black and white. I’m not sure who criticized Gazidis for saying we had money, it wasn’t me!

    Do you believe Wenger or not when he said he had 40 million to spend in 2011? Not a lot these days but not chicken feed three years ago.

    I detest the Republican party. I’m no great believer in the Democrats either as far too many issues have been fudged by Obama. Rather him though than the alternative. As someone once said, whoever you vote for the government wins.

  19. Georgaki-pyrovolitis: I agree with you!
    The Republican Party is out of touch with younger Americans, hence the creation of the Tea Party, a hip name, and an amalgam of the usual bad things that Republicans can bring to you, plus some “libertarian” values with Ron Paul’s senator son as part of the thing. But Ron Paul’s son is far from being as smart as his father, and the whole Tea party thing has escalated into political hubris that is worse than the parent organization.
    But we then have the Democrats, also owned by big corporations and other spheres of special interest… As we say, with these two parties, it is SSDD.
    I am planning to vote Ralph Nader (again) at the next presidential elections.

  20. @Walter, not a miracle, just good management. Yes you heard me right. All those clubs that built stadiums did not have the fan base we have or the financial foundations either. Wenger did a good job with a lot of average players but that’s the least you’d expect from a manager of his calibre. I don’t think anyone has many issues about how the club is run off the field. My gripe is with the style of football we play which is ponderous and predictable and a pale shadow of the style we employed ten years ago. If Wenger went for a little more pace and power instead of overloading his team with technical yet fragile players we’d be a more potent force I think. Maybe he’ll sort that out in summer in which case we should be a far more effective prospect.

  21. Back to my issue of tactics winning Jose the game.
    Next season, there might be a dozen Big Sams parking a larger bus than Chelsea’s when playing Jose’s team, and he will shed points.
    It will not help him to have beaten the other to four teams 5 out of six games, as he did this year, beating the oilers and the mugsmashers twice each, and beating us, though his double bus should have lost to us at the Emirates, and he was lucky to escape with a 0-0.
    In fact, I applaud Rogers for trying to attack, but Rogers could have said: well, we attacked all season, we can win the title if we get a 0-0; let Jose get his 0-0, and that is acceptable; we could do going against our attacking tendencies just this game.

  22. @Ray, I think Rogers knows his limitations in defence. Liverpool just aren’t that great at defending, they are all about attack. It would have made sense for them to be cautious but I can’t see them keeping Chelsea at bay for 90 minutes. They were at home too so they probably thought that advantage would help but Mourinho knows how to nullify the better teams, his weakness seems to be against the less talented teams bizarrely.

  23. Rupert
    the in crowd are going to be offended by knowing that you think Tom makes the only sensible posts. Come to think of it, I’m offended too.

  24. Mick,

    I totally agree with you. Far too often people play the “analyst” on the Internet by over-thinking simple issues. I concede that Chelsea were dominant in their win at the Etihad. Some will say because of Mourhino’s genius while others will blame the absence of Fernandhino for City. What I saw was probably Chelsea’s best game of the season.

    Yesterday, on the other hand, Chelsea came for a draw and had Gerard not slipped, it would have ended 0-0 or with Liverpool probably scoring. To give Mourhino tactical credit for the WIN is sycophantic. He got lucky.

    If Mourhino is the tactical genius that we’ve always been told he is, how come he loses to relegation threatened teams and couldn’t score against a West Ham team that lost 5-0 to a Championship team?

    The truth is that Mourhino gets the edge against the top teams because they always play positive football to win, not to get a draw. It is easier to play for a draw than to play for a win and when the team playing positively is getting frustrated, the defensive team can catch them on the break. It is not illegal to take this approach but it is one that I hope never becomes a staple at Arsenal FC.

    Where were the Mourhino worshippers when he got beaten by Sunderland? What happened to his tactical ingenuity?

  25. Hey you all, politics is like religion, so lets leave that outside UNTOLD yes?

    I once thought AW did not have any tactics, but realised that he does, he just does not use them all the time. He relies on the team to do the job most times. This has been my moan, when the team is struggling is when a tactical change (not necessary a player change, but some change on field perhaps) is clearly needed. Due to our many injuries, we have needed a tactical change now and then.

    I really do not know what is wrong with parking the bus, it is a sound tactic. If you cannot defend your goal, you will ship goals, no matter how many you score. You use it if you come up against a certain type of team or when your injuries are so many that your team cannot play as it is used to, and ALL teams does it, even us the Arsenal. It is one of the many ways that a coach/manager has to include in his repertoire. After all the goal of the game is to win it, by what ever legal means WE have.

    All in all, i’m sure AW now knows what areas of the team he needs to deal with, not having enough backup with the needed quality to win the game, and sorting out our many injuries. This is the road we have been dealt and we have to travel it to the best of our ability. We need to create more “good luck” ourselves. Players like Walcott, Ox and Ramsey and a few others do do this by their runs and movement during the game.

    Anyway i’m glad that AW is staying and hope that he can enjoy much more success again the next two seasons, taking Arsenal back to the top of the pile, regardless of the cost and price of some of our opponent teams.

    And 4th place has to be a no, no from now on, 3rd place has to be the least target we are willing to accept, as this does cut out a few games per season.

    Come on Manc, go win PL, i do not want Pool(what?, they come and win it before us?) or Chelsea(you know why) to get it.

    Come on Arsenal.

  26. Surprise, surprise! Rupert Cook agrees with a comment praising Arsenal’s rival. I never saw that one coming.

    I agree with one point though: “….Mourinho knows how to nullify the better teams, his weakness seems to be against the less talented teams bizarrely”.

    Except it isn’t bizarre at all. The reason why Mourhino’s teams beat their betters through bus parking is the same reason why he also gets shafted by bus parking lowly teams. What I take from that is that it isn’t really ingenuous to assemble the kind of talents that Chelsea have to get the results that he gets when teams with a tiny fraction of Chelsea’s player budget can achieve exactly the same result against the MIGHTY Chelsea simply by adopting the exact same tactic. Are Poyet and Allardice tactical geniuses too? They must be, their teams nullified Chelsea, at home!

  27. @jax, I thought that comment about Tom would sting you! But you’re an AKB and you know that you and I have to be at each other’s throats. It’s an irrefutable law on here. 🙂

    (Your posts are succinct and to the point. Brevity is the soul of wit. I can’t compete with you, I think your great age is an advantage).

    Oh look the delightful Bootoome has returned, always a sign to go and do something more useful with my time.

  28. When players are bought by Arsene it is after years of extensive research and planning. They are never panic buys.

    I am convinced that as a club,Arsenal would go through the same process to find a new manager.

    However, that day is a long long way off, thankfully.

  29. Rupert Cock
    It seems the almost definite prospect of Wenger signing a further contract has prompted a predictable intensification of your anti Wenger/Arsenal claptrap.

  30. Rupert Cook at 8:24 am

    Are you sure Wenger stated that he had £40m to spend on a single player three years ago? Whilst it is entirely possible (likely) that I missed that one it would seem to me to be quite a contradiction with his words quoted recently on Arsenal.com and in the Guardian celebrating his 1000th game: http://is.gd/RaLr1V

    “It was a trophyless period but certainly a much more difficult and sensitive period, and we needed much more commitment and strength than in the first part of my stay here. I went for a challenge that I knew would be difficult because we had to fight with clubs who lose £150m per year when we had to make £30m per year.”

    I would be keen to see him quoted as you claim…

  31. I don’t think it is a great secret that the club might have stretched to pay £40mm on a player three years ago – but this would likely have caused issues elsewhere and possibly have led to valuable squad members needing to be sold.

    My understanding is that Wenger has taken the flak for lack of spending in recent seasons when, in reality, the money hasn’t been there – at least without causing pain.

    One can argue – with some credibility – that the Board were being disingenuous in hiding behind Wenger and conceivably playing up (un?)available transfer resources around season ticket renewal time. We may find out one day.

    I did note one of Rupert’s comments – possibly on another recent thread – where he said that he didn’t take issue with the way the club is run off the pitch…? There are plenty of the disaffected who are very angry at the way the club is run off the pitch! For what it’s worth I completely disagree – I think Gazidis is doing well!

    And I haven’t forgotten that I am due to pen an article on managerial success criteria. Unsure when this will arrive as still loaded down by severe personal and professional commitments – but one day… Have made some notes anyway!

  32. @Pete, the money issue is one of endless debate and it never seems that transparent. And yes I think we’ve been managed well off the pitch, we now have to balance that out with more success on the pitch, starting with an FA Cup win.

  33. Rupert,

    “I will pay £30 million I will even pay £40 million if I find the right players,”

    THE RIGHT PLAYERS that is the main thing.

    When Özil became available, he spend the money. And apart from the non-existing AAA and the Anti-Arsenal Media, the whole world thinks he is a rather decent player.

    Hell, even Jose Moaninho said so. Who are we to doubt the words of his tactical highness…

  34. @Mick, I appreciate your intelligent response. Please send further illuminating comments to your nearest dead letter office.

  35. @Walter, yes I acknowledged that. I said so after I made the reference to the 40 million. The point I’m making is that the money could have been used and we weren’t the paupers some believe.

  36. So if some journalist thinks Ozil has had a bad season he’s immediately anti-Arsenal? Maybe that’s his opinion and nothing else. Just because a journalist thinks Ozil was a waste of money doesn’t necessarily mean he’s anti-Arsenal. Ozil has had a pretty good season in my view though I can see how some might not think so simply because in a few games he wasn’t as influential as some expected him to be. Even a player of Ozil’s ability won’t play brilliantly every game, what player does?

  37. Rupert Cook,

    I didn’t know that you are that scared of me.

    You like to spout utter and usually contradictory bullshit but whine when called on it. Well, you are doing it on a wrong forum.

    I can also conclude, by the amount of time that you have spent here since your typically empty threat about finding something useful to do that you have nothing useful to do with your time other than being an incompetent and annoying troll.

  38. @pete.

    I have always taken comments regarding available funds with a pinch of salt.

    I broadly agree with your point about the board hiding behind Wenger at times but do you really think Wenger would of stood for it if he was actually bothered by it? I doubt it very much.

    We committed £100’s of Millions on a Stadium.

    Chelsea and City where sponsored to the tune of £100’s of Millions over the same period.

    It was always going to tough, and tough it was.

    Another truth, as hard as it may be hard for some to swallow, is that Arsenal FC where NEVER, I mean NEVER, going to come out publicly and say something along the lines of:

    ‘Well that’s it lads and lasses. What with the new Stadium, the oil money, the recession etc. etc. we can kiss goodbye to competing at the very top for a good few years. Sorry about that but our priority for the foreseeable is securing CL football and the money that that entails, otherwise we really will be in the shit, big time. I know it’s a shame but that’s life. Now don’t forget the season tickets are on sale now. Oh sorry, just one more thing, forgot to say we’ve had to put the price of those up as well. We’re sure you understand’

    Arsenal football Club needed to fill there brand new Stadium, every week. To of made a statement along the lines of above would of been unthinkable.

    Okay it might leave a bit of a bad taste for some, but to of openly admitted to the reality of the situation would of been commercial suicide.

    And to anyone who says ‘all we want is the truth’. Bollocks.

    That is just not how human beings work.

  39. @Bootoome, yeh you make me quiver all over. Nothing contradictory at all unless logic confuses you.

  40. “The Concluder” Is this a new super hero? Will he smite all UA trolls? Does anybody really care?

  41. @Jax, I am smote by the mighty Concluder. While idiots abound he will keep doing his good works. Goodbye and forgive me all my sins.

  42. Jax,

    Don’t be a pussy. If you have something to say to someone, do so and stop piggy-backing of Rupert Cook. He might be a moron but at least he stands by his comment and he doesn’t do passive aggressive.

    Grow a pair and stop talking in riddles.

  43. Jambug,

    this is what I have been thinking also over the last years.
    The real truth would have scared the whole Arsenal world. I think the planning process was excellent, the calculations were excellent. But just as we started building the oil money came in and the whole football world changed.
    And all what had been carefully planned could be thrown in the bin bags….

    It has thrown us back more than 5 years I think. And nothing anyone could do about it. Apart from Uefa….

  44. Rupert
    I think he’s stalking you. Maybe he wants to be you. I had this problem with Brad Pitt.

  45. jambug & Walter,

    Of course, every time you hear: “we just want to be told the truth”, you know you are listening to someone who’s full of shit. It is also unfair to hear these people go on like the club has done nothing of note in the last 8 years. Other than lack of trophies (which contrary to their claims is always what the whining is all about), Arsenal has made giant strides in the last decade. Our current position in European football is much better than where we were pre-Emirates.

    I know that telling the trophy junkies this is a waste of time but the trophies will come. They always do for big clubs and as long as we remain a big club, we’ll not just always compete but we’ll also win from time to time.

  46. Two things that are unavoidable:
    Death and taxes.
    Arsenal in the top four in the Wenger era, and Wenger renewing his contract.
    The media/pundits/referees combining to deny us and the AAA joining in with them.

  47. Brickfield,
    That was very politically incorrect… unless referring to the AAA.
    Incidentally, nincompoop and Stoke City fan were not on the scale.

  48. @Jambug. Precisely.

    Wenger is an employee and he understands the financial situation as well as anyone. I don’t doubt that money could have been spent in extremis (e.g. Arshavin – a last minute buy to stay in the Top 4) but £40mm would have been very unlikely unless it was a £60mm value player and/or equivalent sales had also been agreed.

    Clearly, Arsenal have run their finances prudently. I am sure there was scope for them to be (far) more reckless. After all, most clubs do behave more recklessly – but the Board have very sensibly kept sight of the fact that their duty is to the long term health of the club. By employing a very capable manager and financing him to a sufficent (but not excessive extent) we have stayed in the Top 4.

    Put brutally, the strategy could be regarded as analogous to Newcastle’s: their only goal appears to be to stay in the PL. So, as they were safe mid-season, they sold their best player – with predictable consequences – but it didn’t matter because they are safe. For Arsenal, read Top 4 instead of Premier League.

    We were competing for the League a couple of times over that period, and with a little better fortune might have won a cup or two.

  49. Brickfield,
    On the other hand, the Savage link is priceless.

  50. Walter

    “It has thrown us back more than 5 years I think. And nothing anyone could do about it. Apart from Uefa….”


  51. Just heard that Wenger may renew for free, just because of his love of Arsenal.
    And he does not need the money; he will get compensation for his media work.
    Because of this, he will not be an employee, just a special case philanthropist.

  52. Sukebe

    Just that you were too ambiguous. You knew who “they” were, but someone like me hasn’t a clue who “they” are.

  53. Pete.

    Yep, if we had just had a crumb of the luck that Liverpool and Chelski experienced in the CL we would of brought it home at least once.

    Even with 10 men we where the better side against Barca.

    That Arsenal team that lost to Barca where, in my opinion, the best team in Europe at the time. In fact one of the best teams ever. They deserved to win it but didn’t. It hurt then. It still hurts now.

    Neither Liverpool or Chelsea where the best teams in Europe, but they won it.


    Nothing wrong with it. Everybody has it at times. Everyone needs it at times.

    Alas, when we needed it most we didn’t get it.

    Maybe we used it all up beating United in the FA CUP 😉

  54. @ Ray – Nincompoops come under lovable cretins are ranked higher than morons .As you can see one of them scoundrels just sniped off part of the article.
    As for Orcs – classification is at present quite difficult as they keep eating up all the lab assistants (or as we call them ,volunteers !) ,but Prof. Gandalf will soon be publishing his findings when he returns from the Shire !

  55. I try to avoid making predictions but I am going to stick my neck out and make one about this coming transfer window:

    It is going to be very similar to the last. There will be lots of noise and plenty of player movements but it will be the mediocre stock. Mark my words here. The truly great players are not going anywhere. Clubs are going to hold on to their most valued asset, at least the big clubs.

    The only remarkable transfers of last season were made possible due to 3 great players of two relatively smaller clubs moving to bigger ones for huge sums of money. I’ll call it the “musical chair” system of players transfer.

    Falcao, Cavani and Bale were responsible for the major signings of last season. With the last 2 leading to the Higuain and Ozil movements. Of course, as always, the losers are the Scum of North London, who bought pieces of junk with the proceeds of their rare golden nugget. Poor fools.

    I think this season will be similar, except that there are no small teams with any extraordinary talent to cash in from. There are going to be a lot of disappointed fans on the 1st of September 2014 because most of the media peddled deals will never see the light of day.

    For me, I just want all our players fit and ready (the silver lining on Theo missing the world cup). If we have our full team with Campbell finally joining us, I think we’ll be fine. If we have any need to buy player (e.g. a right back for the likely departing Sagna), I feel pretty confident that Arsenal is perfectly suited to doing business in the sort of transfer market that we are going to be in this pre-season.

  56. @Brickfields

    Google Translates says:



    I didn’t use a diacritical mark on the E, which might be why the translation is a little rougher in one spot.

  57. The bus parking game is more than just tactics of one party. Rodgers has no idea of how to play a team game. His idea of pace and dive or lift the ball onto the defender in the box so that it hits his hand for a penalty does not work against an organised defence. The great psychological battle was won before the first whistle. The PGMOL rat was afraid of the spotlight. That in itself allowed time wasters to flourish. Suarez was trying to be teachers pet but kept getting found out. Sterling was not gleaming but was tarnished by his ‘touch me an I fall’ tactic.

    Untold has had some effect on PGMOL but we need Wenger to highlight the officials in his media briefs. It needs headlines forced by the club to show bias and wrong decisions. That will keep PGMOL on a tight rope. It will win Arsenal some even playing fields.

    This may take some clever publicity bytes to initiate but might make our final few matches more visible in the media.

    The team & player of the year is so poorly selected considering Arsenal were on the top of the pile for the longest and have achieved beyond initial expectations. It does not matter too much because the reality is in the stats.

    COYG we need a good display with a decent score.

  58. Mick

    So you don’t think the outcome of the game had anything to do with tactics, well,I beg to differ with you on that.
    Clearly Chelsea set out to slow the game down and waste us much time as possible to frustrate Liverpool and put them off balance .In fact this was so blatantly obvious that Gerard at one point went into a wrestling match with Mourinho to retrieve the ball on the touch line .

    The play Gerard slipped on was the consequence of all the time wasting by Chelsea, I would suggest ,as the skill Gerard failed to execute is a very basic one with which every junior player is familiar . You open up your body and let the ball roll across it , only to stop it with the cleats or the inside of your dominant foot just before you take a shot or in this case make a pass. In fact, Gerard makes that play more often than any other player in the league. Mind you, he only slipped after he failed to control the ball and he failed to control it because he was rushing himself.

    Considering the fact Liverpool played the entire game in what can be called ‘the hurry up offense’ , to borrow the fraze from American Football , suggests those were Rogers’ instructions to his players which was confirmed by his body language on the touch line.
    Not once did he motion to his players to calm down and be patient. As a matter of fact if a stranger to PL standings had watched that game. , he might’ve thought Liverpool had to win it by two goals or more to stay in the title race.

  59. @ Gord – I was right then , it was very funny ! In most countries rats are considered vermin and should be ‘dealt’ with appropriately and firmly sans sub judice .

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