Arsène Wenger is more than a manager, he is part of the soul of our club

By Walter Broeckx

From time to time I get interesting mails from people who send me links or extracts to things they have read on the internet. And I am grateful for this because I do tend to stay away from the serious media as much as possible but in order to be able to write things on Untold it is needed that I do keep my finger on the pulse as they say in my country.

I think we can say that in all the years that Untold has been publishing articles one theme has never been questioned by the writers and by our loyal and regular readers and contributors: the fact that we think and are convinced that Wenger was the best man for the job. Even in the barren years without “trawfies” we never doubted that it was his contribution off the field that kept us in the top 4.

So the other day I got a mail from someone with an extract from a book. And I thought it contained some interesting things. Things that underline the importance of some things and that explain some sentences that have been used to ridicule the manager over the years. Things we understood all the time but some people couldn’t and still can’t understand. And this will or not being able to understand has been a reason for some of them to take cheap shots at our managers.

I quote: “I was part of the initial project to build the stadium and push the club to do it, so I felt as well that you cannot say A end not B, “ he said. “I felt part of my responsibility was to push the club through that difficult period as well as I could. I knew from the start that was linked, our financial viability was linked with us being in the Champions League or not.

What this shows is that first of all Wenger is a man with a huge sense of responsibility when it comes to Arsenal. Sometimes people say it is not Arsène FC. Well in a way it is. Because Arsène feels so strongly linked to and with this club that we can say that Arsenal is not just a football club where he does the managers job. No he feels responsible for the well being of this club. Not just today, but in the long term. A long term that we can see is not important for the moaners. But it is important for the way Untold looks at Arsenal all these years.

And you look at the importance of being in the Champions League for Arsenal. And we quote: “You can imagine how much I did sweat for years in the last three months (of each season). It was maybe not the most prolific period on the trophy side but maybe one day I will look back on it and that will be the period I  am most proud of.”

I think this is where the words “4th place trophy” come from. For the board and for the long term planning of the club it was important to stay in the CL places. With no financial means to make the team better of course. You can also read between the lines the hurt it did to Wenger for not winning things. But he knows and so do the clever people (I mean you regular readers of Untold) that this period of transition was the moment where Arsenal would stay near the top or….fall to lower places as EVERY OTHER CLUB THAT HAS BUILT A STADIUM HAS DONE. And I think that in some 10 years time even the most loud ‘Wenger Out!-shouter’ will begin to see what he has done.  Perform a miracle is what he has done in my eyes.

I continue to quote : “This club has given me a chance but I think as well at an important period of the lifespan of this club, I have shown loyalty and have turned many things down, and accepted to work with restricted potential, knowing that I had to stay at the top of the game.

I would just say I did that with full commitment. We are all only human being, that means I certainly made mistakes but I still think that the consistency of our achievement shows that we have not made too many.”

We as fans are expected to be and stay loyal to our club. That is what fans do. But managers? Managers don’t stay loyal to a club. Because the real world out there throws managers away when they show the slightest blip in their performances. So managers can get sacked in the blink of an eye. So there is no need for a or any manager to stay loyal to a club.

But we have the exception to that rule. We had the luck to have a manager that realised the difficult task, accepted the difficulties and accepted that in order to help the club in the long term his own personal success would be under pressure. He could have gone and left us for other clubs. And as we have found out other giants clubs were after his signature. But he stayed. Despite the vile abuse from the media and their children’s choir that we have seen on Untold and who come along whenever a result is not favourable enough for them.

Abuse that he didn’t deserve. If he would have walked away on us during those years and go to clubs with infinite financial means and no restrictions it would have been maybe a totally different story for Arsenal and the future.

Arsenal will be the work of his life. He has committed himself to this club like no other manager has ever done before. He had only one thing in mind : to help Arsenal in those difficult and dangerous years. And he even admits he made mistakes. As we all have done. As he said: we are only human beings. But knowing Wenger in his early years, knowing how he loves this club as much as we as supporters do, knowing how he had to balance on a thin cord going from the top of the roof of the North Bank all the way to the Clock at the Clock End, knowing he had to see how much money he really could spend and how it would affect the current season but also the possible future of the club if a transfer failed…. it has been the task that only a giant could have done.

The stress on having to deliver that CL place year after year without any money must have been immense. People laugh about that 4th place trophy. But for Arsenal and for Arsène Wenger it was the difference between keeping a club at the top or a club going down the way Southampton, Middlesbrough and other stadium building clubs have gone.

If ever a man deserves a statue outside the Emirates when he really makes an end to him serving our club it will be Arsène Wenger. Some of the current (younger?) generation don’t understand it now. But I know they will. One day.

The books

49 Replies to “Arsène Wenger is more than a manager, he is part of the soul of our club”

  1. Fantastic article Walter.

    Credit also to the Board who always kept a focus on the long-term vision and understood just what a fabulous job Wenger was – and is – doing.

  2. That man Arsene Wenger has given us a long-lasting legacy in Arsenal. He has written his name, not in stone, but in the hearts of true fans forever. We are witnessing a living legend live in our midst here and now. He will yet win things but his true legacy is the etching of the club (and his) in the minds of all.
    He will always have my respect and utmost admiration. So will you Tony and your team at UA, for keeping faith with
    the principles espoused by Arsenal during the difficult years. But our future starts now and it’s amazing… bright and beautiful!

  3. We are in the presence of true genius with this manager. The aaa reinforce their opinions on the backs of agenda driven media and ex players with an axe to grind, but you only have to listen to true club legends and servants, like pat rice, bob Wilson and the darling of the aaa, david Dein to get a true perspective of what this man means to this club, will take their words over those of wright, Merson and Robson any day.
    Yes, There have been frustrating years and performances….in relative terms of course but what wenger has done with what he is up against has been and continues to be little short of miraculous.
    There are many reasons for the medias obsession with Wenger, but one stands out, the wiser in their numbers , and indeed other powers that be are well aware of what this man is capable of given anything like a level playing field. Read Fergies autobiography, he admits he became obsessed with wenger, spent sleepless nights , and would do anything he could to stop Arsenal teams, including quite possibly appointing the current head of the pgmol.
    David Dein is a man with knowledge of many areas of the game, including the dark side of power, transfer and agent shenanigans, the role of sky and scudamore, the media,as well as the truth about the money available to wenger. When he speaks, we should listen, he famously said it, wouldn’t be difficult to replace wenger, it would be impossible.

  4. It’s simple really…for Arsenal read Arsene…for Arsene read Arsenal.
    It will be interesting to see how Spuds and the Scousers get on when they start rebuilding their stadiums.
    That why it would be so great if neither of them qualify for the Champions League this season. Without the money that competition brings they will both struggle to compete in the transfer market
    With Arsene saying that we can now compete with any other club in the world for transfer targets, I can only see the return of Arsenal (and Arsene’s) glory days.

  5. While I agree with you that Arsene Wenger has been one of the greatest custodians of Arsenal FC. Some of the decisions he’s made over the last couple of years has made me question his mindset. It feels like he hasn’t brought himself out of the financial drought years, (even though the money was available). When we were top of the league going into Christmas last season he had the opportunity to buy in the January transfer market and give the players a boost that only a new signing can, (similar to what Reyes did). He didn’t and we crumbled. But what was even more criminal was going into this season with no backup CB’S. We played Monreal and lost the league within the first couple of months. That shit has to change. if we honestly harbor dreams of winning the league we have to stop with this penny pinching…ticket prices don’t reflect that.

  6. Much of what has been written here has been said publicly by David Dein. In doing so he was expressing the thoughts of many of us.

    What manager would sacrifice the fame of producing winning teams season after season in order to build the club for the future as Arsene has done.

    The fact that Arsenal have always been in the hunt for trophies despite the financial limitations brought about by the cost of the new stadium. Despite the opposition of the PGMOL says everything about the club and Arsene.

    Arsene has endured no end of racial abuse from the media and yet he has stayed when he could have returned to mainland Europe and been respected by the media for his managerial abilities, which the media in Eng;land choose to ignore.

    I am proud to have been born in England but the way the English football masses treat Arsene makes be ashamed to be English.

    Who would have thought it when Glen Hoddle left his beloved spuds to go and play for a team where his football skills would be appreciated, the manager he played for would bring those skills to spuds worst enemy – Arsenal.

    The sweet irony of it all!

    Merci Arsene, merci.

  7. Hmm! Breathtaking! For over 10 years I was defending Wenger in Nigeria.Nigerians really love football.And many follow Arsenal.In fact, many Chelsea fans today were erstwhile Arsenal fans.Some Man U fans used to be Arsenal fans.
    I preached the gospel that Arsenal were going through an austere period during the ‘lean’ years, but people never believed me.Even, before it became public knowledge that we were hampered by the stadium debt.Nigerian journalists in concert, labelled him’Baba Ijebu’- a humorous name for a miser.Now they’ve stopped saying that.This mantra lasted throughout the 9 years or so we went without really flexing our financial muscles,
    For me, personally, I’ve found a rare gem in AW! A colosus! A rare and strong breed.It’s only, just like you said, clever people that would appreciate him now.I see Wenger as one of the finest managers in any field.Little wonder, David Dein once said ‘ he’s a miracle worker…’

  8. What money was avilable before 3 years ago also the problems from last jan who could he have bought at the level we are now buying players at.
    Also if my memory is right it was the injuries at the end of Jan and in feb ( transfer window closed or about to close) that cost us last season.

  9. It would seem that Stonroy “mindset” is in need of medical attention?

    Mr Wenger appears in Parlour v Parlour, as follows:

    40. In his assessment of the husband’s contribution Bennett J gave further credit to the wife, as appears from the following paragraphs: –
    “As to the husband’s contribution he was and is a very talented footballer. That sprang from his natural talent, being a member of the Arsenal Football Club, and having the good fortune to be coached by Arsène Wenger, a top class coach.

    A legal precedent, to be considered in every divorce case!

    No more need to be written.

  10. Credit is also due to David Dein, the current board isn’t fit to lace his boots and its a disgrace he was voted out by the others. Even Lady Nina regrets selling her shares to Silent Stan.

    And it’s not Arsene FC, we fans (and since the 1920’s in my families case) support Arsenal FC. Is it going to be known as Arsene FC when he goes? Otherwise you may as well have called it Herbert Chapman FC after the 1930’s.

    Very AKB written article. I admire Arsene for what he has done up to 2007, but any other top club would have fired him by now.

  11. Excellent article.

    I have been saying the same for years.

    Ask Leeds or Portsmouth would they trade that period of when they were spending money in PL?

    Arsene doesn’t get the credit. The man is a genius

    I always say this to shut people up

    Cruyff never won the European cup with. Barca as a player but as a manager. A couple of seasons later he was sacked.

    Delivering the European cup was a career highlight, but his best work was to lay down the blue print for Las masia so players were taught how to play a certain way. Look at how that benefited Barcelona 15 years after he was sacked . It also benefited Spain

    Sometimes an individuals work goes unnoticed

    people seem to think he wanted to buy second rate players (gervinho, arshavin, squillachi etc) but when you don’t have the money to spend and have to sell your best

    It’s a remarkable achievement to qualify for champs league.

    None of these so called arsenal fans who want him out or the media have ever questioned what if arsene left and they didn’t get into the champions league?

  12. “Our financial viability was linked whether we were in the Champions league or not”.
    Arsene Wenger never said truer words than those.
    And in my book, the consecutive 17 years or so he has attained qualification is his greatest achievement. Better by far than domestic League or Cup wins.
    Against severe odds… funds, above average injury list and below average referee protection, he has persevered, backed by a loyal Board he has prospered as one of the greatest managers in English football.
    His dietary changes alone are now followed by many clubs.
    No-one is irreplaceable and the time will eventually come for his departure.
    It will then become very apparent just how much Arsenal FC owes to this man, how much the Club meant to him and how difficult a task it will be for his successor to continue in his footsteps.

  13. I don’t know whether I’ll still follow Arsenal as passionately as I do now when he eventually calls time on his illustrious Arsenal career…I don’t know!

  14. Joseph, when the great man goes, the club will need your support more than ever, the club will live on and in a much stronger place thanks to the indelible influence of Arsene Wenger
    The next guy in some ways will have a hard job, and a hard job to follow but to balance that,he will inherit a club with everything in place for sustained success. There will be a long queue of top managers at the door when Mr Wenger calls it a day.

  15. As Walter says, Arsenal is Arsene Wenger’s life’s work. Not everybody even takes on a life’s work, let alone succeeding in it as he has.

    I’m glad he earned some trophies before the stadium was built because he deserves them for all he has done for Arsenal, and I hope we will win more for him. But the achievement of keeping us in the Champions League for all those years is, as he himself says, his greatest achievement.

  16. Great article, Arsene has dragged our historic club kicking and screaming (AAA’s) into the 21st century, and has built us a platform to perform at the highest level, our future belongs to him and I hope we will be worthy of his personal and professional sacrifices.

  17. When asked about his successes he says he doesn’t even know where his medals are, and there are more ways to judge success than medals, a sentiment I can wholeheartedly agree with, if football was just about trophies and medals then it wouldn’t exist.

  18. Great write up Walter! Arsene Wenger does not nearly get enough credit for the work he has done in helping build and rebuild Arsenal. I still remember watching the FA Cup and the happiest memory of that match was watching Arsene walk up the stairs happy and drenched, while making my eyes watery at the same time!

  19. “But we have the exception to that rule. We had the luck to have a manager that realised the difficult task, accepted the difficulties and accepted that in order to help the club in the long term his own personal success would be under pressure. He could have gone and left us for other clubs. And as we have found out other giants clubs were after his signature. But he stayed. Despite the vile abuse from the media and their children’s choir that we have seen on Untold and who come along whenever a result is not favourable enough for them.”


    I hope AW never leaves the club. Of course he will leave his present job, but i’m sure the club will not want to lose such a valuable person and will do all to keep him in some other capacity.

  20. Mr Koye, I think I understand your situation as I also am a Nigerian and it looks like the most difficult club to support in the whole country because of the stick we get. I always asked one question, ‘why do we at Arsenal like the drama?’ I feel it makes us human but it makes us saner than most other clubs. Arsenal taught me loyalty through Arsene and I know I can’t love another club. Wenger said ‘his successor would have everything needed to succeed’. This was made possible by what this icon has and is still doing for our beloved club. The media is responsible for the way people feel about the club – this is especially true for people who can’t think for themselves, swallowing all they say without having doubt and without sense of caution. I met a Spuds fan one day and I told myself, if someone in Nigeria can support the TinyTotts why can’t I support ARSENAL?
    Instant gratification has killed the sport but arsenal will continue to bode well for people with not just a winning mentality but also with the urge to do it right. I always remember the quote at the top of this site -“doing is so well it becomes an art” that’s the unwritten code of Arsene Wenger!

  21. The thing is we have no idea how much money he’s had to spend. What does restricted finance mean? Most likely less than City, United and Chelsea have had to spend but probably not less than all the other EPL clubs. In fact we’ve spent a fair amount if you throw in the wage bill over the last few years. So we’re hardly on skid row. What I’d like to know is just how much money was Wenger allowed to spend? No doubt he’s ambitious but are the owners? According to club accounts we now have a balance of 138 million. I wonder if the club has ever been so financially healthy and I also wonder how much of that Wenger can spend.

  22. G Alvinio, your comment “Credit is also due to David Dein, the current board isn’t fit to lace his boots and its a disgrace he was voted out by the others” is a perfect example of giving opinion of a very strong variety with not a slightest bit of evidence.

    OK that is your opinion but where does this get us? I can counter it by saying the opposite, and so what?

    But here is one fact from the matter. Dein was in favour of Wembley as Arsenal’s new venue, not a new stadium. The board had a vote and he was outvoted. But he then continued to talk up the idea of Wembley while still on the board.

    That is not allowed in matters relating to the board of a company. Once a vote is taken everyone on the board accepts it, or resigns, or (if they really feel they can change policy) argues it further with other board members. But he broke a fundamental and utter rule of a limited company, and no limited company worth its salt would allwo that.

    I certainly wouldn’t, and my companies are a fraction of the size of Arsenal.

    Your comment

  23. One of the best articles ever written here on UA with reference to AW. A great tribute and absolute accurate analysis of what this man (AW – living club legend) has meant for our club!

    Whilst I haven’t been commenting of late, be sure I had been reading all articles, and since many commenters (finsbury,Stan the Man, Gord, Bootoomee, bjtgooner, Mandy Dodd) very often express my thoughts almost to the word – there hardly seems to be a valid reason for me to repeat what they have written (perhaps on my behalf) 🙂

    May the services of AW LONG continue and UA (and commenters) keep up this accurate distribution of information!

  24. And you know what Walter? If Arsenal can win the FA cup this season too, many people wille begin to see most of his actions vindicated.I pray that come tomorrow, our team turns up at OT. If we beat ManU, i know soon enough we will beat Mourinho.

  25. I always have incomparable and divine things to say about Arsene Wenger in any other article but now, an article specially of the great man, I’m just lost of words to say. Life is very funny. We all forget when he’s around and remember when he’s not. Luckily, we have Untold.

  26. @Walter

    Brilliant article.

    There are so many reasons as to why some Arsenal fans feel negatively towards Arsene Wenger. One reason is a lack of understanding of the enormity of what the club have achieved in moving stadiums and still remaining viable and in the top 4. It is an incredible achievement. In business terms it is huge. Has any other top English club done this? No! It is unappreciated because of this.

    I have written this before but when we announced the build and move I readjusted my expectations. I thought we would drop from the top 4 on at least a few occasions and would be nowhere near winning the league or any cups. I was wrong. I also though it would take us 10 years or so to turn the ship around. This is why despite the bumps and knocks along the way I support Arsene Wenger. I still do. A few years back, at the height of the criticism, I wrote to him letting him know that he had support in fans like me. The great man replied offering his thanks for that support.

  27. Gooner S, great to hear that you wrote to Arsene Wenger supporting him during the toughest time, and even greater to hear that he replied!

  28. What Arsene Wenger did regarding the stadium should never be underestimated. Spurs and Liverpool will soon do the same, in a much more favourable financial environment that arsenal faced, and with much bigger turnover from tv rights, and much more support from the media…..let’s see if they stay in the top four for so many years running.

  29. Walter, as others have said above, a superb piece that highlights the significance of Mr Wenger to the club. You’ll know I have criticised Mr Wenger on this site a few times but I do accept that there is a lot of truth in the narrative you outline: he is revered for the “Glorious Revolution” years, (revolutionising the club’s reputation from dour and defensive to creative and offensive, winning trophies in glorious style, great great players, wonderful football, moving to new stadium etc) and then he is under-appreciated in the “Financial Stability” years (unfailingly achieving CL qualification, ensuring essential income, keeping to the principles of playing great football, navigating all of this under the pressure of the oil money of Chelski and Citeh). You and I would disagree possibly on some or many of his coaching and footballing decisions over these latter years but there is no doubt the club had the moral duty to award Arsene a new contract for his achievements, loyalty and dedication; to allow him the chance to extend his reign into a new third period which might be termed “The Promised Land”. Would you agree Walter that in this Promised Land of Financial Fair Play, new sponsorship money, new kit deals, an ability therefore to spend big money (which he has done), Arsene should now be judged by the normal and higher standards that a manager in his position would be judged? After all, in the past when Arsenal were able to compete financially, the club would give a manager something in the order of to 3/4 years to build or rebuild a team and if trophy success wasn’t forthcoming, a change was made (I’m thinking Swinden, Wright, Mee, Neil and Howe among others). It is right and proper to look back and appreciate what has become a undervalued contribution by the great man but looking forward, are you prepared to state what you think he should achieve in this and the next two seasons and at what point should the club take action if he simply keeps thing as they are? I’m interested in understanding how far your obvious and great devotion to Arsene will go if it means the club not progressing?

  30. Arsène Wenger: a father, a brother, a friend, a teacher, my ultimate hero. (Along with my mom, if ever she’s reading…)

  31. @Fishpie
    March 8, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    I’m interested to see how far your discounting of referee bias and media psychological warfare (on the squad) goes in regards to judging Arsene Wenger and Arsenal football club.

  32. The BBC has an article about Arsene Wenger, with respect to the FA Cup.

    I don’t think this is particularly well written, but maybe I am presupposing facts not in evidence.

    The article seems to be about a FA Cup/Champion’s League dichotomy (yes, I paid $0.25 for that word).

    Arsene and Arsenal has a history of playing the “kids” in FA Cup and League Cup. Which I think this article is addressing in a horrible way. Arsenal needed to be in Champion’s League, it brought in a LOT of money. But this isn’t the brain dead medja writeup, “Give Arsene a trophy for 4th place bullshit”. If all that Arsenal ever did, was to finish 4th to “nick” the last Champion’s League spot, and then lose in the playoff round, or win that but do poorly in the round robin; the rank of England in Champion’s League would not be as high as it is.

    I am suggesting the reason England get 4 teams in Champion’s League is not that the Premier League is the best League on Earth, but rather because Arsenal has so consistently been a participant of note. Yes, they have lost games in Champion’s League. They are usually going to put on a good show, and they always show the possibility. And going along with this note, Arsene is always willing to put in young players if the need arises.

    Young football players the world over, dream about a debut game in a league such as the English Premier. Young players from Arsenal (I believe) have seen their debut in UEFA Champion’s League. Maybe I am wrong, and they were a substitute in an EPL game or something like that. Even if I am wrong, Arsene Wenger would do that.

    So let’s go back to the FA Cup/Champion’s League dichotomy. It’s important to be in Champion’s League, AND TO DO WELL in Champion’s League. So, Arsenal has games coming up, FA Cup (or League Cup) and not too far off, Champion’s League. And Arsene names the starting roster, and either the starting X1 have “too many” youth players or the bench is filled with youth players (or both).

    And the muppets^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hpundits go nuts, “You can’t win games with kids!”. Hey muppet, you weren’t born 23 years old and already in the lineup for some top team. You were at some point, at youth player. Too bad you never had a manager who take a chance on you at that age. And the medja world goes nuts, “You can’t win with kids”. Well, the muppets said it, so it must sell advertising.

    Fine, the announcement of the starting lineup is out of the way, Arsenal has games in the FA Cup and League Cup overweighted in yong players. Sometimes they win, which usually surprises the heck out of everybody (but try to find much praise in the medja), and sometimes they lose (that’s what you get for playing kids).

    Think what an experience it is for the “kids”. There are usually a few of the first team there at the game on the field, and they are playing WITH THEM! And think of their confidence levels (Hello Mom. Turn the TV recorder on. I am starting for Arsenal! I’ll phone after the game. Bye.).

    No manager of a top level team can do that for all players coming through the youth system, but Arsene Wenger does that for a lot of players.

    I suspect Arsenal has gained far more than they lost, in doing this. And I suspect Arsene has learned some things about his young players in doing so.

    I really don’t think sacrifice is the best word to describe that. But what do I know, I am an engineer and I am supposed to be lousy at English.

  33. Nice one Walter. The man is a dedicated genius to the game.

    Arsene Wenger the greatest manager a football club could ever wish for. His holistic view of club football is unequaled. This season we have an opportunity to do the double despite ‘the sloping fields’ of the PGMOL.

    The club has been lifted to a new level in every aspect. The fans who know appreciate this. Those who don’t, remain in their caves searching for the light.

    The few who claim to have a history of supporting the club, yet think they know better than Wenger & the board are truly missing a few cells. Many ‘know’ how to spend ARSENALS MONEY without having made a success of their own lives. Arsenal achievement in the last 18 years is truly financial & footballing genius. Those who cannot see the continuing progress are blighted by biased media reports.

    Those of you who ask ‘why is there bias?’ must realise if we knew, we would address it. Untold has highlighted & proved the reality of its existence. It is for the fraud squad to examine the workings of financial doping & the sloping pitch.

  34. “If ever a man deserves a statue outside the Emirates when he really makes an end to him serving our club it will be Arsène Wenger.”

    @Walter, Mr Wenger deserves more. I think the stadium itself should be named after him.

  35. @SavfromAustralia

    I don’t include either referee bias or media campaigns against Arsenal in how I judge Arsene Wenger. I’ve seen too many bad or mistaken refereeing decisions go against other clubs to believe Arsenal is being singled out by biased refs. I also believe Arsenal do not deserve special treatment from refs just because we have chosen to play a possession or technical game. I believe it is up to Wenger to create a team that can compete and deal with the kind of football played in the English League in which his team plays. As for media warfare against Arsenal or media brain-washing of fans to turn them against Arsenal, I don’t believe it really exists. What exists is cold headed assessment of what sports journalists and pundits experience when they watch Arsenal. They see, again and again, Arsenal’s unresolved weaknesses and report on the same re-accuring performances. They say what they see. And I say what I see. I’ve seen great Arsenal teams and poor Arsenal teams over 6 decades now and I can tell the difference. I don’t need a pundit or journalist to tell me how we played against Monaco. The Monaco performance was one in a long long list of inadequate performances. I accept Mr Wenger has done a marvellous job that will deservedly be seen as the greatest single contribution any man has made to the club but I also believe we have to be wary of continuing to give him the benefit of the doubt based on what’s gone before and look to him to do the job he is now being paid for: to compete at the highest level. Churchill led the country to victory after World War II and despite the enormous debt of gratitude the country owed him, a new man was voted into the job that needed doing post war . We are post the “Financial Stability” years and our leader needs to step up to the new challenge and do what needs doing, to progress and seriously compete. We now need to judge him on achieving our future ambitions, not on the past. It was just a thought that I felt needed to be said following Walter’s piece. My question remains: how long should a manager, equipped with substantial resources and the power to run the club his way, be given to build a championship team? If no progress is made within his current contract in meeting this objective, should Arsene’s past achievements at Arsenal be factored in or ignored at the end of his contract? Is Arsene so important to the club’s heart and soul that it is more important that Arsene stays than Arsenal wins?

  36. Fishpie – I do not share your opinion. You do not set the standard for Wenger. Wenger has won the FA cup in the latest phase. He will win more trophies given a level playing field. You need to see the cheating in real time to appreciate how well Wenger has performed thus far. Untold stats can be referred to or if you prefer set up your own to counter.

    Wenger is not important to the heart & soul of Arsenal, he is the heart & soul.

    The odd poor performance is not down to Wenger solely. The team have an individual & collective responsibility with the fans.

  37. Arsene has done for Arsenal what i don’t think any other man would have been able to do.Building the stadium and still keeping Arsenal on top is almost a miracle.But truth be told ,he told us all that the club is over the financial constraints years ago ,but till date we’ve not seen an Arsenal team really compeating for the major honors.Our premier league season always ends in december while in champions league it’s now second round ,that’s not challenging for titles How long will we dwell on the past achievements of the great man He has done so much ,but if he isn’t doing it now then he is not good enough anymore

  38. By failing to include all factors in measuring the efforts of this football manager and team, you cite only that you ‘do not believe’ that the cheating and propaganda exists. Alas, as it is so plain that it cannot be in any doubt (given it happens week in week out) shows a certain disengenuity.

  39. Menace
    I acknowledge and admire your faith in Mr Wenger (and last night’s fantastic victory over Man Utd may be further evidence he is capable of making progress with this team) but “the odd performance” Menace? Really? Every season for the last 6 or 7 have had many an “odd performance” in which our team has been woefully short. And nearly always for the same reasons, mainly, in my view, of our own making. I think it fair to say that these “odd performances” have been critical moments that have undermined and defined each of those seasons. And in each of those performances we have seen a different collection of players who for sure have to take some of the responsibility but all of whom were chosen, selected and coached by the same man. He is the Manger and he has to take the brunt of the responsibility because he is the constant factor over time. Even if he cares more than the players and loves the club more than the players, he has power they do not. It’s his job to get them playing. Personally, as a fan, I feel I do have some responsibility for our lack of success during the barren years and that is because I continued to buy my season ticket and attend the games. Those who have chosen to not attend any longer will have had some impact at the club and those who criticise (fairly and respectfully) help ensure the risk of complacency is given a voice. In my opinion, (and it is just an opinion) being a good fan is not always following with blind faith, is not always looking for other reasons why my club is being hard-done-by, but sometimes it is about being brutally honest about our own shortfalls. Part of the reason Mr Wenger and the club find themselves being pursued by the likes of me is that they don’t acknowledge the evidence of persistent weaknesses, appear to do little or nothing or enough to address it, and when it happens again, up I pop, moaning. It’s all in Arsene’s hands. He needs to hear the criticism as much as he needs to feel the support. We all have our roles. So please, by all means, unlike me , keep the faith. It is needed but I believe the club needs more than heart and soul. And particularly Arsene must not be allowed to think that’s all he needs to provide.

  40. Heart and soul is also not all man City and Chelsea need it seems either.

    No, they require about £500 Million each in case you missed it.

  41. I only started watching and loving football because of the Arsenal teams(1998 onward) and their style of play. And who was the creator of those teams?? Even without trophies Arsenal is a great team to watch, and who is responsible for that? Sir Arsene Wenger (as Klopp names him). Great article, keep it up!!! And Fishpie if you doubt Wenger, tell me: What do you think Wenger would have achieved (2005-2013) if he had the funds of Chelsea or City?? Don’t forget Chelsea needed 1 billion to win 3 PL titles- the same amount Wenger has won for Arsenal without needing 1 billion…

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