Another myth has been busted as Arsenal continue to progress

by Walter Broeckx

During the barren years the moaners came out will all kind of mantra’s that had one thing behind them in fact: Wenger out.

They said that Arsenal would never win anything again as long as Wenger was in charge. 2 FA cups and a Community shield in 12 months time buried that myth. Yesterday I saw someone repeating a lot of those tweets that had been made in 2013 when the Wenger out movement was winning some lost souls. A time where Untold was under some heavy attacks and criticism because we kept on believing and defending Wenger. Poldi would say: Aha!

Another myth was that Wenger doesn’t want to spend the money. He would only buy young and unproven players.  Of course we did that for a while but not because Wenger didn’t want to buy only those players. It was just that  in those days he and Arsenal couldn’t afford to spend all their money on world class players. It was a case of using  what we had at our disposal to keep the boat moving in the right direction.

Facing the unlimited spending power of teams like City and Chelsea made it almost impossible for Wenger to buy top class players. He tried but they chose the money before the project. But since we have a bit of money to spend we now have seen that Wenger is not afraid to spend it….but only on the right player and for a reasonable price. I think the transfers of Özil, Alexis and now Cech (goalkeeper record price for Arsenal) show that Wenger is ready to spend but only for top class players. Myth busted.

Another myth was (you couldn’t make it up) that Wenger only wants to buy midgets as he wants to be the biggest on the training field.  I swear I have seen it in written said by some fans a few years ago. Ridiculous? More than ridiculous in fact. Wenger doesn’t really cares how big or how small a player is. He looks at the performances of a player not his height. Of course Santi wouldn’t be a good buy as a central defender but he isn’t a central defender or a goalkeeper but a midfielder-winger and there you can have a bit of a handicap in some situations if you are not really big.  But if you are a great player and intelligent you can be the size of Santi and still be world class.  But having bought our BFG and now Petr Cech who are both bigger than him this myth can also be put to bed.

Another myth that has been doing the rounds is the fact that Wenger was stuck in his old training regime and wouldn’t change a thing about it. What was good in the 90ties was still good enough for Wenger. The “stubborn old fool” (not my words of course – just to make sure) was the reason why our players got injured because of his outdated training methods. Injuries had nothing to do with being kicked all over the pitch, it was Wenger his fault. FACT (some would add). Our injury analysis a year ago showed another picture with Arsenal having not that much more muscular injuries compared to some teams but when it came to injuries from being kicked we got two or three times more and when it came to broken bones, ankles and other body parts we even got 6 times more of those injuries than our competitors.

But now even in the serious media they notice some changes. And player talk about changes in the training regime. Changes in the training regime????? No, no, no that can’t be. Because they told us Wenger was a stubborn old ********** who listened to no one but himself. He wouldn’t change. Nothing. Nada.

Well apparently he does listen to other people and he does change his training methods according to new proven sciences. Unless Jack is lying and why would he do that? So another myth used to tell that Wenger his time is up has been busted.

And the changes in the training regime has been brought in by Shad Forsyth. I am not a specialist in these things but he doesn’t just look at the muscles alone it seems. I quote from an article I read the other day : “His approach with EXOS and Germany was a holistic one. Nutrition, and neuroscience are combined with performance training and physical therapy in a bid to see the athlete as a whole, rather than a series of joints and muscles that could be the victim of unfortunate twists or tackles.”

Jack said: “We get weighed every week. We get regular DEXA scans to check our muscle mass and body fat levels. There’s no hiding place.”

Wilshere also said: “Training used to be long, hard double sessions for the whole team… now it’s more positional-based. Midfielders do one drill, defenders and attackers another. Training is more intelligent.”

And the constant monitoring of players’ condition, a practice that has been common in sport for years, has also intensified at Arsenal.

Now I can imagine the moaners saying: why didn’t he change before then? Well I think Wenger is a careful man and also a man of science. He just doesn’t go out and changes things for the sake of changing. What if a quack came up to Wenger and said that if he put the players on a diet of hamburgers and coke they would get fitter after a few months? Would you like to see Wenger order extra fries with the hamburgers and change the food at the training ground? No of course Wenger wouldn’t do such a thing unless he has proof that it does work. (I don’t think it would work my example)

So Wenger is not the stubborn old fool that he has been painted by some. But he is not the man to change just for the sake of changing. But if he sees proof he will change things. Wenger himself said about it:  “We made a lot of changes in the way we prepare, in the way we work on prevention for injuries. We know a lot more than 18 years ago than when I arrived, but still not enough to predict 100 per cent scientifically what happens to everybody.”

So let us bury this myth also. Wenger does listen to other people. But not just any person who has a keyboard and an internet connection.

We’re on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

The books

Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years

Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910

The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal

30 Replies to “Another myth has been busted as Arsenal continue to progress”

  1. yep, so he listened to the critics and changed the training methods, as requested, and yes, the injury results have improved, although there’s still a lot of room for improvement. let’s hope he keeps listening and taking onboard advice.

  2. Ha ha ha ha no we need him to change the way we are winning trophies, we need to be relegated and also play with teams like bolton,black burn,QPR our team has played the same teams for a while,how about that ??

  3. MoW

    I doubt he heeds the advice of the critics. He does research and hires professionals who do research. And the changes are outcome of this professional directed research. That this research happens to be the same or similar to what critics propose may at best be an accident when it happens.

  4. Gord, well regardless of whether he listens to them or not, so long as he keeps doing what the critics ask then we’ll all be happy.

  5. Critics will say 100 different things to cover all bases then just point to the 1 or 2 that happened as their expert insight.

    Not seen anyone apologizing for claiming Wenger was a fool for more missing out on Ballotelli last year, or that Owen Coyle or Fat Sam weren’t the Answer for Arsenal.

  6. @MOW ‘so long as he keeps doing what the critics ask then we’ll all be happy’

    No. I do not believe you. Even winning has not silenced Arsene Wenger’s critics. There are some who simply want him out. I think robl is correct. Very few critics are held or hold themselves accountable for what they say. They throw mud endlessly hoping some will stick eventually.

  7. Coca-Cola is demanding real change at FIFA. I hope the rest of the big sponsors jump on that bandwagon. Blatter OUT!

    As far as the critics go, I don’t even know if it is a good idea to keep a running tab on what they propose or not. But, from the occasional jibe he throws in interviews, it seems he does track the critics a little. But no, I would not expect him to serious consider any critic who is not currently a top level professional manager.

    And most people doing research that he might find interesting, don’t use that research to criticize managers.

  8. Most of you are interested in the game against Everton “tomorrow”, hopefully there will be good attendance.

    But, the Ladies are away to Birmingham City Sunday at 1800. Hopefully they get a better ref than last game.

  9. Gord, I really don’t think he takes any notice of ‘the critics’ or ‘pundits’ or any of the newspapers. However I suspect he has people to give him the gist of their drivel and when they ask a stupid question during a press conference, he finds out what’s behind the question. He then responds at the next press conference/interview.

    MoW, if you really want him to follow the critics thoughts, you must be really pi55ed off that we didn’t get Balotelli last summer. Or are you only referring to some of the critic comments (even a broken clock is correct twice a day).

  10. @Mow


    Wenger should listen To all the critics, as he is arsene snow..

  11. Very true, especially the last sentence. As you say, Wenger, with all he has been up against, has to be very careful in what he changes. But it seems there are significant and hopefully fruitful changes going on behind the scenes, and the fact that they are happening means they meet Wengers approval. It seems one of Shads ex colleagues has now joined. Changes in medic facilities, upgrades to the fitness complex, changes in training, tactics, the money available for players and infra structure. The future is very positive, we need to look at the second half of last season as a barometer for the present team, and it looks good. And it will get better. Along with Chelsea, we go into next season with what is likely to be the most settled squad. Massive competition for places will help.
    All very positive indeed. let’s hope all this inspires Wenger to hang around for a few more years yet…and Shad as well.

  12. ‘We know a lot more than 18 years ago when I arrived.’

    It seems to me Arsene Wenger is also saying sports science has developed in the past 18 years. Given the amazingly rapid development of computer and other similar sciences in this period I am sure this is true.

    Given the money and the opportunity Arsene Wenger would always look at the best available sports science and the best available people.

    But he is also a realist and notes that there is no way of guarding 100 percent against everything with evey individual.

    I’m still crossing my fingers and waiting for some sign that English refereeing is going to play fair.

  13. When they look back from the year 2215 they will still be showing the 2015/16 season 🙂 of the PL and thanking Arsene Wenger for his great contribution to football.

    Bellerin signed. 🙂 We are making sure that we keep our players and not letting their contracts get too low.

    Looking forward to Everton tomorrow.

  14. Well, some myths might be getting busted, but the idea that these non-fans have stopped haunting hasn’t.

    With the team in Singapore, a person sees the news snippets at Google, which often suggest that Wenger (or other top Arsenal person) has said something officially in public, and you go to the Arsenal website, and nothing. So you just treat it as fabrication until the official word comes.

    Malky and some other dweeb were sending racist/sexist quotes, and The FA in its alknowing, allseeing form, has decided this was a private conversation. This is the same FA that still hasn’t started an investigation into sexist chanting by Australian Army fans at the Cyprus Cup quite a while ago. My guess is that in both instances, The FA is waiting for all parties to die of natural causes before they release findings saying that they were racist, sexists, or whatever.

    Scudamore (who hasn’t a sexist of racist tendency to him at all, maybe, if we are lucky) has apparently come out and said that Arsenal should rent the Emirates to the spuds for their home games. How long is it going to take to build their superstadium? 2 seasons? That’s probably 38 home games then. My initial thought is sure, for every home game of the spuds at Wenger Stadium, we want 0.877% of gross receipts in perpetuity. After 38 games, we should be seeing about 1/3 of spud gross receipts.

    That is being greedy on my part. What would you rent Wenger Stadium to the spuds for?

    Frimpong is having problems. In a sense, he was red carded for receiving racist chants from “fans”. It’s entirely possible that crispen, Mow and Sukebe were among the “fans” shouting racist remarks at Frimpong.

  15. TH is loved by lots of gunners. He needs to have a sock stuffed in his mouth about Arsenal transfer needs. A sock that hasn’t been washed in about 3 years. Preferably a sock that has been peed on multiple times.

    He has never managed a top team, nor does he have the qualifications to manage a top team. Guess about ManU, Liverpool, ManCity or Chelsea as much as you want.

    Be a professional and reply “no comment” when asked about Arsenal.

    You may have opinions, you have access to Arsene Wenger. Don’t do this in public. It isn’t needed.

    You are not earning brownie points by contradicting Wenger.

    You don’t know more than Wenger and his staff, and you don’t see the data that Wenger sees.

    No team MUST have 4 new players midway through pre-season training. It is too hard to incorporate that many changes.

  16. Henry is just another in the long line of those who have dropped their knickers in exchange for the Sky shilling.
    Frankly I am too old to invest emotional capital in former players or for that matter to have idols. They all turn out to be human in the end so view them for the shallow, venal self serving beings they are. Henry is exactly that.

  17. Frimpong is right to make a gesture. The official is wrong & is racist. Football does not show enough respect to black players. Who is protecting Frimpong? My view is that Russian football should be ostracised until it cleans its act.

  18. Listening to advice from all and sundry .

    An Aesop fable – A man , his son,his donkey and the helpful passersby .

    ’Let’s go to the market and let’s sell the donkey.’ said the man.
    So the man and his son took the donkey to the market. They walked along the road and the donkey walked behind them.
    A young man saw the man and his son and their donkey. He laughed, ’You’re crazy! Why don’t you ride on your donkey?’
    ’You’re right!’ said the man and he got on the donkey. The donkey walked in front and the man’s son walked behind.
    A young woman saw the man riding on the donkey and his young son walking behind. She shouted, ’That’s not fair! You are big and strong and that poor little boy is tired. He must ride on the donkey. Not you!’
    ’You’re right!’ said the man. So the man got off the donkey and he told his son to get on the donkey.
    The donkey walked in front and the father walked behind.
    A rich farmer saw the boy riding on the donkey and the father walking behind. ’Heh! You’ve got a donkey but you are walking. That’s ridiculous!’
    ’You’re right. It is ridiculous!’ said the man and so he got on the donkey and sat behind his son.
    A poor old woman saw the man and his son riding on the donkey. ’That’s cruel! That is so cruel! Poor donkey! Get off it at once! It is the donkey’s turn. YOU must carry the donkey!’
    ’Yes, you’re right. It’s cruel!’ said the man. So the man and his son got off the donkey.
    Then the man tied the donkey’s feet together and then he got a long branch and he put it between the donkey’s legs and then the man and his son picked up the donkey and carried him to the market.
    ’Poor donkey!’ everybody shouted. ’Put that donkey down! Don’t tie its legs! Let it walk!’
    ’Oh, no!’ said the man. ’We wanted to make everybody happy! Now everybody is angry!’
    So the man cut the rope. The donkey stood up and then it ran away. Try to make everybody happy and you make nobody happy!

    ( And that is how managers and players become drunks and washouts by listening to ‘good’ advice !)

  19. @gord


    Do you have a problem with me? Or with your intelegensia?


  20. Keep away from people who try to belittle your dreams. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great.
    Mark Twain

  21. Gord, I would be careful before stating that Scudamore has no sexist tendency. That is not my recollection of events a year or two ago.

  22. Sorry Pete, I didn’t use enough sarcasm then. I have no doubt that Scudamore is sexist.

  23. @ Sukebe – July 19, 2015 at 12:01 am . Here is the secret to being healthy , wealthy and wise ,as well as looking cool and good . From the Medical Division of UA .

    The Anti-Aging Diet:
    1. Cut out sugar as in sucrose(table sugar), fructose (found in fruit juices especially commercially prepared) lactose(as in milk) and refined carbohydrates like white rice, food prepared with white flour (roti canai ( a local flatbread) , pasta, noodles, pizza etc).

    2. Eat more lean protein from free range meat and non-GMO plant based proteins.

    3. Replace unhealthy fats (corn, sunflower and soybean oil) with healthful fats(coconut oil, butter, ghee, omega 3 fish oil, avocado or nutty oils).

    4. Consume the widest possible variety of produce and plenty of it and in different colours.

    5. Drink two glasses of water upon waking up and continue to drink another 6 more glasses of water throughout the day especially half an hour before main meals and sleep for 8 hours starting at around 10pm.

    If you simply follow these guidelines, you will find that you will effortlessly approach the goals of the ideal anti-aging diet without counting every calorie or gram of fat.

  24. “Inner peace comes when you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotion .’

  25. ” It’s not easy to detach from people you’ve had close ties with, but sometimes it’s necessary in order to restore sanity, your peace of mind.”
    From – Educate Inspire Change.

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