The media and the blogettes want Mr Wenger sacked. So what would happen next?

By Tony Attwood

Changing managers.  Does that help a club?

The media as usual are perfidious on the subject, the blogettes are as usual blinkered.  But it is worth having a look to see what we can find.  The questions are, does history show that changing managers helps, is it financially viable, and does it happen often enough for us to draw conclusions?

The first thing that happens when a manager is sacked is a legal claim is made against the club for wrongful dismissal.  The manager has a contract the club is in breach of that contract and it has to pay.  The deals are invariably settled out of court so that the club does not have the embarrassment of telling fans just how much the sacking has cost.  The sums vary but they normally include paying up the salary of the manager to the end of his contract and then a sum of money for the damage to reputation of the manager, and the fact that he may find it harder to get another job in management.

Although the back room staff are often not sacked instantly, they are usually removed shortly after when a new manager brings in a new staff, and so the compensation claims and settlements rise dramatically.

The problem for the club here is that they have no defence.  They gave the manager a contract and are in flagrant breach.  If the club ever tries to see the matter through in court the judge usually has to put his hand over his face so the defence can’t see him laughing.  It can be a phenomenally costly affair for the club, and if it does go to court the club always loses and has to pay the costs of both parties.  Which is why the sacked individuals have the whip hand – the club simply can’t win and has to pay up.

Nevertheless, and probably because of hysteria within the bloggettas and the press the average length of time before a manager is sacked is decreasing, and 2014-15 season was the lowest in 23 years.  47 managers were dismissed out of the 92.

Watford used four managers in order to get into the PL during last season, but does this mean all you have to do is keep up the sackings until you find the right man for the job?  Sadly no because as the lists below show sacking the manager does not normally result in victory, only more of whatever was on the table before.

Across the league the average time between appointment and sacking was 1.23 years.   The figure in the Championship was 0.86 years.

In the 2014-15 season there were 47 manager dismissals, and more than 150 coaches lost their jobs as a direct consequence of the instability caused by sacking the manager.

In the PL the sackings have mostly led to more of the same.  There are of course exceptions where the sacking of a manager has led to more success, but they are few and far between.  As a strategy for improving the club it is an overwhelming failure.

2000/2001 Season

  • Gianluca Vialli – Chelsea (sacked)
  • Chris Hutchings – Bradford City (sacked)
  • George Graham – Tottenham (sacked)
  • Glenn Hoddle – Southampton (left to join to Tottenham)
  • Joe Royle – Manchester City (Sacked)
  • Bryan Robson – Middlesbrough (resigned)
  • Harry Redknapp – West Ham Untied (sacked)

Total managerial changes for the season – 7

2001/2002 Season

  • Jim Smith – Derby County (sacked)
  • Peter Taylor – Leicester City (sacked)
  • Gerrard Houllier – Liverpool (took time off due to health problems but returned)
  • Stuart Gray – Southampton (sacked)
  • John Gregory – Aston Villa (resigned)
  • Walter Smith – Everton (sacked)
  • Dave Bassett – Leicester (sacked)
  • David O’Leary – Leeds United (sacked)

Total managerial changes for the season – 8

2002/2003 Season

  • Peter Reid – Sunderland (sacked)
  • Terry Venables – Leeds United (sacked)
  • Jean Tigana – Fulham (sacked)
  • Glenn Roeder – West Ham (sacked)

Total managerial changes for the season – 4

2003/2004 Season

  • Glenn Hoddle – Tottenham (Sacked)
  • Peter Reid – Leeds United (sacked)
  • Gordon Strachan – Southampton (resigned)
  • Eddie Gray – Leeds United (sacked)
  • Gerrard Houllier – Liverpool (sacked)
  • Claudio Ranieri – Chelsea (sacked)

Total managerial changes for the season – 6

2004/2005 Season

  • Sir Bobby Robson – Newcastle United (sacked)
  • Paul Sturrock – Southampton (sacked)
  • Graeme Souness – Blackburn Rovers (left to join Newcastle)
  • Gary Megson – West Bromwich Albion (Sacked)
  • Harry Redknapp – Portsmouth (sacked)
  • Steve Wrigley – Southampton (sacked)
  • Jacques Santini – Tottenham Hotspur (resigned)
  • Kevin Keegan – Manchester City (sacked)

Total managerial changes for the season – 8

2005/2006 Season

  • Alain Perrin – Portsmouth (sacked)
  • Graeme Souness – Newcastle United (sacked)
  • Mick McCarthy – Sunderland (sacked)
  • Alan Curbushley – Charlton Athletic (resigned)
  • Steve McClaren – Middlesbrough (left to become England manager)
  • David O’Leary – Aston Villa (sacked)

Total managerial changes for the season – 9

2006/2007 Season

  • Iain Dowie – Charlton Athletic (sacked)
  • Alan Padrew – West Ham United (sacked)
  • Les Reed – Charlton Athletic (sacked)
  • Chris Coleman – Fulham (sacked)
  • Sam Allardyce – Bolton Wanderers (resigned)
  • Stuart Pearce – Manchester City (sacked)
  • Glenn Roeder – Newcaster United (resigned)
  • Neil Warnock – Sheffield United (resigned)
  • Paul Jewell – Wigan Athletic (resigned)

Total managerial changes for the season – 9

2007/2008 Season

  • Jose Mourinho – Chelsea (mutual consent)
  • Sammy Lee – Bolton Wanderers (mutual consent)
  • Martin Jol – Tottenham (sacked)
  • Chris Hutchings – Wigan (sacked)
  • Steve Bruce – Birmingham City (left to join Wigan)
  • Billy Davies – Derby County (sacked)
  • Lawrie Sanchez – Fulham (sacked)
  • Sam Allardyce – Newcastle United (sacked)
  • Avram Grant – Chelsea (sacked)
  • Sven-Goran Eriksson – Man City (sacked)
  • Mark Hughes – Blackburn Rovers (left to join Manchester City)

Total managerial changes for the season – 11

2008/2009 Season

  • Alan Curbishley – West Ham (resigned)
  • Kevin Geegan – Newcastle (resigned)
  • Juande Ramos – Tottenham (sacked)
  • Harry Redknapp – Portsmouth (left to join Tottenham)
  • Roy Keane – Sunderland (resigned)
  • Paul Ince – Blackburn (sacked)
  • Tony Adams – Portsmouth (sacked)
  • Luiz Felipe Scolari – Cheslea (Sacked)
  • Joe Kinnear – Newcastle United (“stepped down due to health problems”)
  • Guus Hiddink – Chelsea (returned to role as manager of Russia)
  • Ricky Sbragia -Sunderland (resigned)
  • Steve Bruce – Wigan Athletic (left to join Sunderland)

Total managerial changes for the season – 12

2009/2010 Season

  • Paul Hart – Portsmouth (sacked)
  • Mark Hughes – Manchester City (Sacked)
  • Gary Megson – Bolton Wanderers (sacked)
  • Owen Coyle – Burnley (left to join Bolton Wanderers)
  • Phil Brown – Hull City (sacked)
  • Gianfranco Zola – West Ham United (sacked)
  • Rafa Benitez – Liverpool (mutual consent)
    Roy Hodgson – Fulham (left to join Liverpool)

Total managerial changes for the season – 8

2010/2011 Season

  • Martin O’Neil – Aston Villa (resigned)
  • Chris Hughton – Newcastle United (sacked)
  • Sam Allardyce – Blackburn Rovers (sacked)
  • Roy Hodgson – Liverpool (Sacked)
  • Roberto Di Matteo – West Bromwich Albion (sacked)
  • Avram Grant – West Ham (sacked)
  • Carlo Ancelotti – Chelsea (Sacked)
  • Gerard Houllier – Aston Villa (resigned)
  • Mark Hughes – Fulham (resigned)

Total managerial changes for the season -9

2011/2012 Season

  • Steve Bruce – Sunderland (sacked)
  • Neil Warnock – Queens Park Rangers (sacked)
  • Mick McCarthy – Wolverhampton Wanderers (sacked)
  • Andre Villas-Boas – Chelsea (sacked)
  • Roy Hodgson – West Brom (left to become England manager)
  • Alex McLeish – Aston Villa (Sacked)
  • Kenny Dalglish – Liverpool (Sacked)
  • Brendan Rodgers – Swansea City (left to join Lvierpool)
  • Paul Lambert – Norwich City (left to join Aston Villa)
  • Harry Redknapp – Tottenham Hotspur (sacked)

Total managerial changes for the season – 10

2012/2013 Season

  • Roberto Di Matteo – Chelsea (sacked)
  • Mark Hughes – Queens Park Rangers (sacked)
  • Nigel Adkins – Southampton (sacked)
  • Brian McDermott – Reading (sacked)
  • Martin O’Neil – Sunderland (Sacked)
  • Roberto Mancini – Manchester City (sacked)
  • Sir Alex Ferguson – Manchester United (retired)
  • David Moyes – Everton (left to join Man Utd)
  • Rafa Benitez – Chelsea (interim contract not renewed)

Total managerial changes for the season – 9

2013/2014 Season

  • Paolo Di Canio – Sunderland (sacked)
  • Ian Holloway – Crystal Palace (sacked)
  • Martin Jol – Fulham (sacked)
  • Steve Clarke – West Brom (sacked)
  • Andre Villas-Boas – Tottenham (sacked)
  • Malky Mackay – Cardiff City (sacked)
  • Michael Laudrup – Swansea City (sacked)
  • Rene Meulensteen – Fulham (sacked)
  • Chris Hughton – Norwich City (sacked)
  • David Moyes – Manchester United (sacked)
  • Pepe Mel – West Bromwich Albion (mutual consent)
  • Tim Sherwood – Tottenham (sacked)
  • Mauricio Pochettino – Southampton (resigned)

Total managerial changes (so far) this season – 13


  • Neil Warnock – Crystal Palace (sacked)
  • Alan Irvine – WBA (sacked)
  • Alan Pardew – Newcastle (sacked)
  • Arry Redknapp – QPR (resigned due to ill health!!!!!)
  • Paul Lambert – Aston Villa (sacked)
  • Gus Poyet – Sunderland (sacked)
  • Sam Allerdyce – WHU end of contract

So when we look at the list we have lots and lots of sackings and not very much success following that.

But let us turn to Arsenal and consider Arsenal managers who were sacked…

  • 1925: Leslie Knighton sacked after just missing relegation
  • 1934: Herbert Chapman died in office
  • 1934: Joe Shaw returned to former post after six months as stand in manager
  • 1947: George Allison retired
  • 1956: Tom Whittaker died in office
  • 1958: Jack Crayston resigned
  • 1962: George Swindin resigned
  • 1966: Billy Wright sacked
  • 1976: Bertie Mee “announced his resignation”
  • 1983: Terry Neil sacked
  • 1986: Don Howe resigned amidst rumours of Terry Venables becoming Arsenal manager
  • 1995: George Graham sacked over the “bung” scandal.
  • 1996: Bruce Rioch sacked

So what do we conclude?

Perhaps primarily that good managers are hard to find, and it is easier to go downhill after sacking a manager than it is to go to the top.  Also, that sacking managers can be expensive.  As a model for success, it is, to say the least, rather flawed.  But please don’t tell the press and their puppy dogs on the blogettes.  It’s what fills up their pages.

Information from The Sack Race, Arsenal History Society, the Guardian

Why every successful manager in history should have been sacked.

Untold Campaigns

Untold Books


74 Replies to “The media and the blogettes want Mr Wenger sacked. So what would happen next?”

  1. Hi tony,

    I haven’t seen any calls for Wenger to be sacked. Is this you creating an issue yourself so you can respond to it? Just. Like the mainstream media….

    Naughty boy!

  2. Very interesting article Tony, and one with valid points!

    However, I have a question to you and Walter as well a few of the wizard statisticians we have on Untold; is there an accurate (or close to) way of putting in numbers those arsenal fans who want change…and Wenger Out Brigade?? What is the percentage for and against our manager? and what are the age groups?

    I would hazard a guess, that the WOB is by far in the minority and generally made up of youth who are more busy on their PC playing football manager!!

  3. There is a big reason why supporters and media are not happy with Wenger’s contact of transfer business, he might not be happy with the words used by Neville, but a lot of supporters always use those words, when it comes to transfer of players, supporters always say Wenger is NAIVE OR ARROGAN, he only want to please the Directors, instead of supporters who bring money to the club, for the love of football. There is a reason why people use those words like NAIVE or ARROGANT, and it is not my first time to hear those words from Arsenal Supporters, especial during the transfer season. Wenger is oppressing supporters by not doing the right things to make the supporters feel happy. He should know that the supporters are the master and back borne of the club, if they do not come to watch games, what will happen to the club? He must change his attitude for the love of money, and bring the required players to Arsenal. One of the DIRECTORS at Arsenal says money is there but Wenger is not using it, when Wenger was asked by the reporters, I am not sure what he was trying to justify, yet the DIRECTOR openly says the money is there to build a winning team. Why he does not use the money? he always give an excuse of not finding the right player, people do not want to hear that excuse anymore. We are tired of excuses.

  4. Dex, I guess you are not on twitter or else you have only Wenger admirers as the ones you follow but yesterday when I was on twitter I saw a few tweets asking Wenger to be sacked. One of them was hoping for a CL draw that would make us drop out of the group stage and then force Arsenal to sack Wenger.

  5. I would think (I admit no evidence for this) that most clubs would include a clause in the contract they have with the newly appointed manager.

    On the upside, if the team won their respective league the manager would be given an agreed bonus.

    I suspect there would be a number of variations of this bonus according to league position.

    On the downside:
    If the team was relegated then the club might have the right to dismiss the manager.

    Then there might be a gate agreement, where by over a certain number of fans attending the manager would receive a bonus.

    Therefore I conclude that not all sacked managers would be in a position to sue for unfair dismissal, although I am sure you are right many would have/might have had the right to sue.

    With regard to the dismissal of Terry Neill. The then chairman of Arsenal said in a BBC interview I remember the exact words ‘It wasn’t that we didn’t win the league it was that we never looked like winning the league’.

    The dismissal of Bruce Rioch must have ‘cost’ the club.

    This type of decision is one we all make in our lives.It happens that our hope, our belief in a decision m
    has not come to be and we have to stop and start afresh and it costs, but that is all part of the magic of life.

    I think the manager and the club have a right to privacy on the matter of compensation or ‘pay off’ for although both parties are public figures these details are private.

  6. Delford,
    The director said :
    1) Arsenal has the money to buy big stars
    2) Arsenal are working on buying a big player
    3) That the problem is with the selling club
    4) that as long as the selling club has no solution to replace him they will not let go

    5) you should know by now that Arsenal will not buy players anymore unless they add something extra to the team
    6) and that a possible player coming in has to be an upgrade on what we have

    So we might have asked the spuds to sell us Soldado of course 🙂 I think they even would have sold him to us this summer but would you have been happy with a spuds failure???? LOL come to think of it I think Adebayor is still up for sale…

    If the selling club doesn’t want to sell their player then we can only accept that or go for players who are not as good as the ones we have. Or play with the ones we have.

    And for us supporters we could maybe just support the players we have? Or is that asked too much?

  7. Dex, there are already 3 in the comment section waiting for approval asking Wenger to be sacked. So that answers your question: yes there are some out there.

    I loved the question posed by one : “What did he do to merit a new contract and a million pound pay rise? Is it because he is making money for the board? In footballing terms the man is a failure.”

    This poor guy completely missed our back to back FA cup wins and CS wins. Or has a very short memory 🙂

  8. Wenger is not going to be sacked, however the club should be preparing for his replacement, given his age. One can only hope Wenger does not renew his contract this time and that we are in the final stages of his stint as Arsenal manager.

  9. I once greatly admired the magic and technique of fortune tellers. The way they could look into a crystal ball and forecast the future.
    Not any more…
    In my dotage years I have suddenly developed the art.
    Way back in the Summer (that lovely day in the middle of June)I forecast that come the new football season, the following would happen:
    1. Arsenal would experience a good pre-season and the spirits of supporters would be high.
    2. The Summer Transfer Window would open and Arsene Wenger would hold back on buying which would irritate many of the faithful.
    3. The team would start the season with a few blips which would irritate and depress the faithful even more.
    4. Arsene’s head will be demanded on a charger or something similar.

    For those of you who will read, with amazement and awe, the accuracy of my forecast, I will come clean. I’m not a genius
    It’s all just a repeat of what happens EVERY SEASON!! …Word for word. 😉

  10. Just a reminder – under the rules Untold Arsenal has worked with over the years, comments are welcome as long as they are related to the issue in the post and are not abusive.

    Which means a comment that just says that Mr Wenger should be sacked, without taking into account the article, tends not to be published.

    I am not quite sure why that isn’t clear, but, still…

  11. I personally am not worried about AW buying players. Only he knows what players and clubs he approaches.

    I am more worried about his lack of, there, i will say it again, tactical finesse. As i said many times before, much as i like AW, it looks like Arsenal are repeating mistakes over and over again. There is no apparent preparation (at least to me)for the teams we play against. Every season, we see our players struggling trying to cope with teams who have studied Arsenal and come up with a way of trying to upset our play. We then tend to be so lost on the field, AND, it does look to the supporters that AW on the bench is also lost.

    Last season i saw some preparation and tactical evidence, much more that any previous season, and i was glad to think that we are progressing and actually using the varied options we have within the team. I have commented many times on the options we do now have.

    Yet there is still a one-sidedness to Arsenal in the way we play, which allows other managers to come up with ways to upset our game. Arsenal were once a team that could ignore these attempts. Why? Because we were so good at what we did, these attempts did not affect us.

    With the evolution of the team, it is clear that we are not at that standard again(yet), at least not as often as we should be, and i do understand the call of the more level headed supporters to “mix it up”, “play Ramsey in his position”, “let OX start on wing” etc.

    Now i do not know why Ramsey starts every game, and then on the wing too. It is not that i do not like Ramsey, but we have other (better in my opinion) options for the wing. (F.i in the pool game, i’m pretty sure OX would have changed the game if he had come on at 60 mins instead of 80 mins). This could be because of minor niggles on players, players not performing in training etc. But looking back we see a tendency to be repeating the same mistakes more than twice. I say twice, because once is OK, twice is suspect, thrice is foolish.

    AND this substitution ALWAYS on 70 mins really ticks me off. Why? Can AW not see when a change earlier will do more good? The only time we sub outside 70 mins is when we are forced to. This is so 🙁 sad.

    With all of this, i still think that Arsenal the club knows what they want as a manager and AW seems to fit this bill, so no amount of shouting and clamouring from outside will change that, ever.

    For we can be sure that they will be looking for someone who will carry the club in the way that they the bosses want, and not the in the way that someone(who ever he is) wants. That said, this is only if Arsenal does not change their philosophy.

    All in all i am not against AW, but i wish he would damm well 🙂 sometimes do what i envisage.

  12. I am hoping that we get some more measure of success by doing it the right way and that AW will sign on to see his dream come to fruition . And that he also becomes the longest serving manager ever in the EPL.
    That should balance out well that 9 years without a trophy crap !

  13. Aside of Chelskie who has done well whilst chop change managers; the notable failures (who have chopped and changed managers), must be Liverpoo, Spuds, (both have also spent and spent on signings and never won the PL), West Ham, Newcastle and West Brom!!

  14. To repeat the point I made to Laen in an earlier thread, and to rephrase, there is a clear logical fallacy in the thinking of those who want Wenger out.

    1. Arsenal have the 4th most money available to spend on their squad. This is an undisputed fact.
    2. Therefore Arsenal should, given an even performance, finish 4th.
    3. The relative level of performance, after allowing for finances, is to a significant extent driven by the quality of manager.*
    4. For Arsenal to finish higher than 4th therefore Wenger needs to be a better manager – in some cases by a significant margin – than Mourinho, Pellegrini and van Gaal.
    5. If an individual holds an expectation that Arsenal should “challenge” for the title then there is an implied acceptance that Wenger IS significantly better than those listed above (even if they finish 2nd or 3rd).
    6. Therefore it is logical to accept that either Wenger is a superior manager or the individual in question can think of another manager who is EVEN BETTER. So not just better than Wenger but better than the other 3 as well (by an even larger margin).
    7. And, of course, this manager would need to be (i) available and (ii) willing to come to Arsenal.

    *I acknowledge that a new manager, particularly if following a succession of short-lived appointments, could argue that the squad is not of his own making and he should therefore be allowed more latitude. But this is an argument for managerial stability.

    So I challenge anyone who wants Wenger out to NAME an alternative who is (i) significantly better than not just Wenger but also Mourinho, Pellegrini and van Gaal but (ii) is also available and willing to come to Arsenal. If you can’t or won’t then I, for one, can not take you seriously.

  15. The long term route to changing this equation is to improve Arsenal’s financial situation compared with other clubs.

    One way is to go down the sugar daddy route (a la Chelsea and Man City – demonstrating this with their respective pursuits of Pogba and de Bruyne – ironically both previously rejected by English clubs…). My personal view is that this is an unethical short cut and also highly risky in the long term (look at Blackburn now, for example). But I acknowledge that others don’t share my patience.

    The other is to look at ways of increasing revenue (I should add reducing costs, but less significant in the context of football). Arsenal are doing this through the stadium and enhanced commercial deals – but these both take a long time (to pay off the stadium and upgrade the commercial side). Even then, to overtake Man City, Chelsea and Man Utd looks almost impossible for a generation – unless the latter two lose their benefactors for whatever reason and/or Man U really shoot themselves in the foot (which they have been trying to do for the last couple of seasons so you never know!).

    Ultimately, we may just have to accept that Arsenal will be the 4th biggest power in English football for the time being – which means the odd cup and even a title challenge IF we have a manager who IS superior. Oh, wait, we do…

    Bring it on!

  16. @ Tony Attwood – August 28, 2015 at 8:53 am – If it was me , Tony , I would send them a fake messages of thanks , along the lines of ‘ Thank you for your undivided , unified and continuous support for the club and Arsene Wenger for his dream of a great Arsenal team.
    You are the 1,555,444 th loyal fan to like this article and to send in wishes of goodwill and thanks. These will be forwarded on to AW and the club . Once again , Untold Arsenal and the AKBs thank for keeping the faith .
    If you wish to contact us personally please call this number xxxxxxxxxx ( fill it in with a number in Greenland or Patagonia – that ought to load their phone bills !)

  17. @Pete
    August 28, 2015 at 9:18 am

    There is a guy…currently doing the pundit thing, he is very vocal about how he would have done things differently to AW, Mourinooo, and VG; I am sure he would be available hahahahahahaha

  18. Tony,The squad does have character, it isn’t as weak as Neville or Graham portrayed. It isn’t as deep and as strong as the smoke and mirrors suggested before the season started either. There has to be strengthening, we have got to make sure that we are giving the players the best opportunity to challenge for the title.

    But once again, Arsenal are on the back foot. Three games in and fewer points that last season. It’s not the start of champions, and whilst I accept that there are only three games played, you said that after one game. There are thirty-five to go, we won’t gain three points in all of them nor will anyone else but already, Arsenal have to get six more than Manchester City. If they do challenge for the title, if they do win it, it won’t be easy, it will have been done the hard way.

    Now that is The Arsenal Way.

  19. The current share price is i believe at record levels..and sure i will be corrected if i am wrong. Kroenke bought at a lot less…do the maths why would the club sack the golden goose.This has enabled the club to diversify its business interests. I find wenger in or out discussions stale…and limiting the perception of some fans. Wenger has his faults like anyone else…ffs look at his financial record..afc is first and formost a business backed by billionaires who know a good bet.

  20. Apo – thanks.

    That is the point, let’s see names named and then we can debate.

    Wenger IS outperforming, relatively, Mourinho (modestly), Pellegrini (to a greater extent) and van Gaal (greatly). And, what is more, he is doing so in a sustainable way (compare with Ferguson buying van Persie – got his final season fix and then a huge waste of money and talent).

    Guardiola and Klopp could be in the right ball park, although English football is a different beast. But I am dubious whether they could significantly improve Arsenal’s results on a medium-term basis.

  21. @Laen
    August 28, 2015 at 9:40 am

    How do you explain then Chelkies current position (lower then us) and have spent truck loads already?

  22. See, should Wenger be sacked or be given a new contract is not in all the minds of Arsenal supporters and so whoever is behind the siege to launching this International Ballistic Missile of this sacking saga should save his breath not to lure so many comments.
    We only need what it takes to win our desired race.
    Hence, should sacking be the gateway towards achieving this, why hesitate?
    But it should be given a second thought before starting what we can’t really finish here.

  23. Pete

    Whilst I do appreciate that at some point AW will stand down/complete his future contract, I believe he has plenty left in the tank, and with our club becoming stronger financially he will further cement the foundations for who ever comes in next.

    Personally I am not qualified to even guess who the next guy would be 🙂

  24. @Brickfields Gunners
    August 28, 2015 at 9:57 am


    True – I can see a few stuck like that 🙂

  25. Apo – As far as I am concerned Wenger should stay for as long as he is healthy and motivated. The risk of making a change is incredibly asymmetric. A small chance of a minor improvement against a large chance of a significant decline – as evidenced in the article.

    Just have to look at Tottenham’s experience over the last 20 years or so to see this! They seem to have let the perfect become the enemy of the good. And every time a manager is changed there is a significant attritional cost – not just in terms of money (think Chelsea have now paid £100mm+ in compensation to staff and clubs related to managerial changes since Abramovitch took over) but also the disruption to the playing squad in terms of tactics, squad composition and so on. Ugh!

    There is no question that we will look back on Wenger’s era as a golden period for the club. I just hope that the work Wenger has done – which almost no other manager has (generally because they are not given the opportunity) – in laying the foundations for sustainable success is built upon by his successors. Hopefully as well-selected by the Board as Wenger was.

  26. Pete I completely agree with you, and if you take a look at my comment “apo Armani
    August 28, 2015 at 9:13 am”

    We are basically saying the same thing!

    People saying we currently have less points then what we had at this time last season, but conveniently forget to take a look at Chel$kie who currently sit behind us and have spent and spent AGAIN!!

    Not to mention the tiny Tots as you say!!!

  27. buying players is not the answer to our recent on field problems.We already have a fantastic, deep squad. However there are a few issues that I would like Arsene to take care of. These include improving our heading, changing flanks with a long cross field ball instead of involving three or four short passes, thereby taking more time especially when counter attacking. Also I think that playing Ramsey out wide helps him become a better midfielder but our wing play suffers as a result . Still I would not lose my sleep if the team continues to play exactly the way they are as I believe improvement is round the corner I would be glad if taking care of these issues will bring improvement quicker.

  28. Had Arsenal gone with what these few are saying (SIGN players, change manager, pay compensations, pay huge salaries etc…), there is a very small chance that we MAY have got a trophy or two more then we have, however the huge downside to that, when it would have gone tits up; we would have spent so much money that we would have been defaulting on our debt and be in 3rd fair now…may examples of that model.

    People just DONT want to see that side of things – guess they must be the forever optimists 😉

  29. Imagine if Mr. Wenger had come out with this type of thing if he couldn’t get the player he wanted:

    From the BBC: “Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has likened his club’s pursuit of West Brom striker Saido Berahino to a frustrated love affair.
    Spurs have had two offers for Berahino rejected by West Brom, who say the player, 22, will not be sold.
    “It’s like when you are in love with some lady,” Pochettino said. “There are a lot of women around the world, but you want only one.
    “Sometimes it is impossible. It’s about love. And in football it is the same.”

  30. Just seen that the Totts have spent £22mm on a Korean striker I have never heard of. Per BBC 23 goals in 87 appearances for Leverkusen and 11 in 44 for South Korea. 23 years old.

    Open question: Should we have gone in for him? Would this have been a good use of our resources?

  31. Per the above, asked a Korean colleague about him. Said the guy is the best Korean striker “yet” – and certainly better than our rather less successful purchase. We shall see.

  32. Pete,

    Personally I have seen many players come to the PL from Korea, Japan etc…the best of them was MUs Park.

    I am not convinced that the English games physicality quite suits them.

    Tots are good guinea pigs 🙂

  33. But with a No7 that would make him a mid-fielder, is he better then what we have??

    This guy is not a striker!

  34. Pete

    to answer your question: “Should we have gone in for him? Would this have been a good use of our resources?”

    Defo not

  35. Apo – agreed, but I may be wrong.

    The general point is that Arsenal should (i) buy players who are a clear upgrade on an existing 1st choice player; or (ii) younger players with potential to become first teamers.

    The players in the first category are really now at £35mm+ and hard to find.

    What we should NOT be buying is “squad fillers” – particularly not in the 15-20mm category. A player who will improve the Totts is not necessarily one who can improve Arsenal. £10mm for Gabriel or Monreal is OK (both either now in or very close to 1st team) – but £20mm is not.

    For the much discussed DM cover, we already have (deep breath):

    Flamini, Arteta, Hayden, Bielik. The first two are getting old and the second two are young and not there yet. But probably enough.

    Then we also have Ramsey, who has filled in there at times this season already, and Wilshere who plays there for England!

    Why waste £25mm on Schneiderlin? He really isn’t as good as Coquelin!

  36. Pete – thats why I answered no to your question.

    This So guy; I doubt he would even get on the bench for us.

  37. Anyway I have a gut feeling that our manager (who will NEVER get sacked) is cooking up something before the window closes 🙂 🙂

  38. Jayramfootball
    August 28, 2015 at 8:29 am

    ‘ given his age. One can only hope Wenger does not renew his contract this time and that we are in the final stages of his stint as Arsenal manager.’

    You are on the wrong site. You must be old enough to read & comprehend. We support the manager Arsene Wenger. So once again please Foxtrot Oscar. You sad excuse for an Arsenal supporter.

  39. apo Armain – you’re right. The professor is preparing Bayern worst,Zagreb kotlet & Olympiakos souvlaki, followed by Jose Mess. For those not hungry Abramovic sandwich!!

  40. Even with all the money talk, no one can deny that Wenger has already caused problems this season with poor team selections and tactics. Morever, Wenger never changes tactics for the better, or tries something new. I can tell you know that we will persist with 4-5-1 with floating midfielders. Wenger will continue to shun Walcott/Chamberlain and choose not to make the most of their pace, instead preferring attacking midfielders in the wide positions. I have no idea why Wenger doesnt deploy a front 6 of Coquelin, Cazorla, Ramsey in midfield, with a front three of Sanchez, Chamberlain, Walcott. All players are in their natural positions and we have pace upfront, and down the flanks. Although with the 4-5-1, its Ramsey on the wing, and we only have pace on Sanchez wing, as Giroud offers nothing through the middle. So its not so much that we lack signings, but Wenger is also managing like a ham sandwich – boring, bland and predictable. Gabriel was brilliant on Monday, and has been fantastic whenever I see him play. Wenger not picking Gabriel over Mertesacker is extremely uninspiring. Every time I see Walcott, Chamberlain and Gabriel on the bench, I want to cry. Instead Wenger has it pinned that Giroud, Ozil and Merteacker are beyond droppable.

  41. I understand there will be cheques being handed out for new supporters to move from The REAL North London Club, and go Gazprom Blue…suggest you move there!

  42. Many times in recent years, we’ve heard that Arsenal wait for clubs with greater financial power to do their business, an utterly negative perspective. The selling points the club has to offer surely breed more confidence in the marketplace?

    There is still plenty of time for the last-ditch scramble on Arsenal’s part, filing paperwork after the deadline just to wind up rivals. Despite what you may think, I do have sympathy for Arsène. It is a difficult part of his job but one where the over-riding feeling is that he doesn’t help himself with his pronouncements and more to the point, being well remunerated, he is expected to deliver. I just don’t have confidence in him or the club doing so.

  43. Laen
    “Wenger never changes tactics for the better, or tries something new.”
    Yes he does

  44. @Menace
    I didn’t think it was part of the rules to only be positive.
    I just said i am looking forward to Arsenal getting a new manager. It is simply because I think Wenger has largely underachieved. I don’t think he will be sacked though and I am sure he will be fully involved in picking his replacement. I can still hope that whoever his replacement is, though, that he or she will address the issues that Wenger has failed to.
    There are indeed people who want him sacked. My preference would be that he walked on his own, something he has said he will do if he fails to live up to expectations. I guess he believes right now that he is doing that, but there are those that disagree. Me included. I know that is likely to queue your usual ‘You are not a football manager and don’t have the right to question Wenger’ reposte. I obviously reject that out of hand.

  45. Jayram – further to my earlier comments, which you may or may not have read, who would you have replace Wenger who is (i) available and (ii) willing to come? And given that Wenger is already overachieving based on comparative financial resources, are you really confident that they are significantly better than Mourinho, Pellegrini and Van Gaal?

  46. Laen – for once I agree with you, to an extent anyway.

    Thanks for posting the team you would start with. I agree with you re Gabriel and Chamberlain. I do not agree with you re Walcott however. I think we need Giroud to hold the ball up and for his defensive aerial prowess, both of which are extreme weaknesses for Walcott and can’t be afforded in a challenging away game.

  47. @Pete

    My preference is for Wenger to work with the board to pick his successor. I think most are agreed on that. I just want it to happen sooner than most.

    The ‘who should we pick if we didn’t have Wenger’ discussion has always been a worthless discussion in my view. I mean, how many would have chosen Wenger initially, who went on to have 7 great years after joining? Anyone other than Dein?

  48. @Jayram – But what is the point of saying “Wenger out” if there is no replacement in mind? It makes me think that you want that mythical individual who will (i) have consistent success and (ii) do it exactly as you would?!

    Of course Wenger has flaws, but I happen to think that he is significantly better for Arsenal than any conceivable successor. And I am very confident I am right because that is what the evidence demonstrates.

    It is only when he has gone that we will appreciate just how good he was. But let me start:

    – He inherited a team that finished 5th. And has beaten that every single season he has been here!

    – We are now playing in a state of the art 60,000 seater stadium as opposed to a much-loved but ageing 38,000 seater stadium. And this has been financed to a great extent but Wenger’s extraordinarily value-added transfer dealing, in turn enabled by his peerless player development.

    – Wenger has managed Arsenal for 15% of its history. In that time he has won won 23% of our League titles, an extraordinary 50% of our FA Cups and an even more astonishing 89% of our Champions League/European Cup qualifications (I know the criteria has changed, but even so..).

    And, as a fan, the sheer quality of what we see every week must not be taken for granted. I just love watching Arsenal play football!

  49. Wenger says ‘pundits’ (Neville) should give all the facts when commenting, like how Coquelin has the best DM stats for 2015. That’s not quite ALL the facts, is it Arsene? How about the fact that Coq wouldn’t even be at the club if Arteta and Flamini weren’t injured? And Wenger says that comments made by pundits (Neville) can destroy a player’s confidence – what do you think it will do to Theo’s confidence to be benched, while Giroud gets one goal in how many games now? Stop blaming everyone else Wenger and have a little look in the mirror.

  50. The worst thing to ever happen to football is football manager and Fifa giving plenty of armchair fans opportunities to discover how clever they thing they are lol.

  51. @Pete – i think what I said was pretty clear. I want Wenger to leave having worked with the board to get a replacement in. You can translate that to a ‘mythical individual’ and someone who ‘will have constant success’ etc, but that is not what i said. Despite what you seem to be projecting on me, trophies are not my main gripe with Wenger.

    In terms of the team he inherited, it was a superb team full of winners and the mainstay of his own team for years into his tenure. The club had just gone through a period of sustained success, winning 6 trophies in 9 years.

    I preferred Highbury to the Emirates – better atmosphere. Also Wenger’s transfer dealings have not contributed a penny to the staium debt. He has actually spent slightly more than he brought in via player transfers and over the period the club has managed to build up a cash pile of £200m, growing steadily every year. The extra capacity in the stadium and ballooning TV rights value have enabled us to pay off the stadium debt (or at least some of it – still a long way to go) as well as growth of the Champions League, which he has to his credit kpet us in. Though given our resources, finishing outside of the top 4 would be pretty poor in any given year. I don’t see it a success, more a bare minimum.

    Champions League qualification can not be compared to a time when the competition entry was different.

    Finally, Arsenal do not show us ‘sheer quality’ every week. The defending is regularly poor, bordering on scandalous and our forward play is a mix of brilliant and utterly boring. It seems like pot luck as to which we will get each week.

  52. In any case and seriously…this is a great article Tony.

    It illustrates much better then what I could… but represents comments I have made; in line with – if with the PL continues in the way it has (with all the corruption) we will soon be in an even worse position!

  53. @Sukebe
    August 28, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Easy answer!!! because he believed in him?? 🙂

  54. @apo
    Some things are indeed best left in the past, but often the world changes based on ideas from the past repackaged for the modern day. Not just in football 😉

  55. @Jayramfootball

    History should and must only be used as lesson!!! Arsenal Football Club are way beyond their past…they have actually built on it…if you can’t see that…then you are way younger then me!

  56. Took a rare excursion to a couple of WOB sites this evening, it is tragic, there are clear examples of guys having mental breakdowns on there

  57. Arsène wants people to fall in love with the game but this is a sport overrun by an obsession with making money. It’s an industry and the clubs are businesses, so why expect anything less? On the Champions League draw, he bemoaned Arsenal’s relegation into the second pot of seeds, having been in the first for a number of years. Yet why were Arsenal in the top pot when their performance for a decade since Paris has pretty much been that of a team in the top sixteen of Europe, not the top eight? Surely we are in the position we merit? One can only assume he supported what is best described as ‘seeding doping’? Oh for the days of a free draw.

  58. Signing Petr Cech improved the one area of the pitch but we wait for reinforcements for others. Contract extensions and rebuffed moves suggest, quite firmly, that there will be one more player and it won’t be in the defensive midfield role. Arsène himself spoke recently only of a new striker, pinning his colours to the mast of that position. Smoke and mirrors are the bywords of any transfer window and maybe that is the current situation, work continues apace behind the scenes. Don’t hold your breath; if God had wanted us to be blue, Avatar would be reality not computer graphics.

    Ultimately, the aspirations for the club are unlimited. Arsène makes no secret of his desire to win the Premier League but at the moment, we seem as far away from that achievement as at any point in the past decade. Cup wins are nice and leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Not the internal balaclava of a hangover but one where the world is at peace. But talk of title challenges undermines that in the new season; there is a desire to believe in Arsenal coming back, for the club to be considered genuine contenders.

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