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If the anti-Wenger crowd want a total revolution at Arsenal, it would be nice if they explained how they’re going to do it.

By Tony Attwood

Anyone with a mind to look at such things would have seen the perfect “before and after” pattern in the game against Bayern.

Before the match BBC Radio 5 held a mid-afternoon interview with a man described as an Arsenal fan who spoke about how upset he was about the club’s current state.   As the interview wore on he talked not just about the manager but also the ownership, blaming Ivan Gazidis because (apparently) he said, three years ago, that in three years time Arsenal would be the equivalent of Bayern in the transfer market.

That issue wasn’t taken further with a list of players that we should have bought to bring about this dream, but instead moved on to the question of more money being made available by the owner.   Both interviewer and interviewee agreed that this was not going to happen and so the interview just died.

Indeed as the interview petered out (you can always tell when a radio interview peters out because it ends with the interviewer saying “very interesting”) we realised we were getting the vague admission that actually, since the owner wasn’t going to change, nothing was going to change, and so there was no point in campaigning for Mr Wenger to leave.  Except the last part of that last sentence wasn’t said.  We had to work it out.  I was almost expecting the interviewer to start offering odds on who would be next manager and when offering the Cheltenham bonus as having some great odds

There was however admission (and this I thought was a step forward) that getting a new manager might not bring the success all Arsenal supporters would like.  There was talk of the way Man U have cocked up the new management thing.  They might have mentioned Man C as well, but didn’t.  Or the decline of once great clubs like Newcastle.   Or Tottenham’s 25 years of changing managers every year or so.

So we had the usual media double hit: they set the agenda by asking the questions, and they select the respondent, who will give them the answers they want.  And there is no serious debate of whether the questions asked are actually relevant.  It was ever thus.

Then in the media this morning there is the inevitable.   The Guardian report, for example, opens with “If one were to be kind on Arsenal, they did at least have 45 minutes when Arsène Wenger could argue that his team had the better of one of Europe’s real superpowers.”    “To be kind”???   OK if that is how Daniel Taylor saw it then that is what he must write.  All I can say is that for myself, and the people around me, we felt we were the better team and we were not being kind.   (We were also the better supporters – the Bayern fans being an utter and total disgrace, but perhaps we should leave that for another day).

The problem is of course that Taylor doesn’t actually explain why it would be “kind”.   But then it wouldn’t fit with his argument, because he gives no analysis of the sending off either; the event which totally changed the game.  Changed it, not just because it is extraordinarily hard to play against Bayern with a central defender missing while knowing that you have to chase goals, but also because the sending off was the culmination of some very odd decisions by the refereeing team.

What the Guardian report then goes on to say is “it was still startling to see their disintegration once Laurent Koscielny had been shown a red card for giving away the penalty that led to Bayern’s equaliser.”

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This is bizarre.  Normally when a defensive player is sent off there is an immediate substitution to shore up the defence.  Arsenal didn’t do that but continued looking for goals, rather than accept defeat.

It didn’t work, as we have seen, but the alternative of sitting back with a solid defence and no real attack would have been to give up then.    We were at the moment the penalty was given and the sending off occurred 5-2 down.   Giving up was an option, but not one that was taken.  Winning 4-0 was always a very slight chance, but we went for it.  What the Guardian writer wanted was for Arsenal to give up – probably because that was the report he’d already written before the game started.

So the media continues its agenda.  No mention of the way the Bayern fans held up the match, and how really they should be banned from away stadia in Europe after that display, but instead a focus on “Around 200 fans were involved, marching to the stadium with their banners declaring “au revoir”.”

Of course newspapers can choose the agenda and how they treat it, but it does mean that a proper debate of issues is never going to occur.

It would have been interesting to take the issue of Stan Kronke investing a lot of money into Arsenal so that whoever comes in when Mr Wenger leaves will be able to spend as much as he wants, and to then see this point within the context of Arsenal’s history.   Had anyone bothered to do so it would have become clear that Arsenal has only had one owner in its entire life who has seriously invested his personal money in the club – and through careful manipulation by the media and jealous Tottenham fans, and through the inadequacy of Arsenal’s response,  his reputation has been besmirched and has remained besmirched.

That one owner who put up his own money for Arsenal – and a vast amount of it too, and who took huge financial risks for Arsenal in partly financing the club thereafter and personally guaranteeing the lease on Highbury when it was converted into a football ground, is Henry Norris.   He cleared all the debts of the club in 1910 – including some that were not on the books of the club when he took over.  He arranged and supported and guaranteed all the finances for building Highbury, and brought in Chapman, whom he allowed to spend what he wanted to build a successful team.  And his reward?  A fantasy story that somehow he fixed Arsenal’s promotion in 1919.  A man written out of Arsenal’s history.

So we are here again, re-writing reality, as with Arsenal has been done throughout the years.   If the argument is now that we need a new manager and a new owner, let’s have that debate.  If the argument is that with the same level of money a different manager would have put together a different better team, let’s have that debate.   But silly, childish reports which speak of Arsenal’s “disintegration” when in fact with just ten men they still attempted to go forward, really doesn’t help anyone.

Except the people who write the current agenda and their sidekicks who get interviewed on the radio.

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The novel “Making the Arsenal” by Tony Attwood which describes the events of 1910, which created the modern Arsenal FC, is now available for the first time on Kindle.  Full details are here.

Also available on Kindle, “Woolwich Arsenal: the club that changed football” the only comprehensive history of the rise of Arsenal as a league club, and the attempts to destroy the club, from within and without.   For full details please see here.

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87 comments to If the anti-Wenger crowd want a total revolution at Arsenal, it would be nice if they explained how they’re going to do it.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Excellent! Let’s sit tight and protect the status quo… Just because all of us are afraid of change!

    5 losses in 7 games. This is more than the media and the ref (who are not helping in anyway), there is something wrong internally at Arsenal.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    ‘them’, ex-players , the so called experts , commentators ,the media and the rest are like this scientist .
    The Flea Experiment

    A scientist was performing an experiment on the verbal reactions of fleas. He had trained a flea to jump on command. The scientist would command the flea, “Jump flea!” and the flea would jump.

    Then the scientist would proceed to pull off one of the fleas legs with a pair of tweezers and write a comment in his notebook. The scientist did this many times until the flea had only 1 leg left.

    The scientist commanded, “Jump flea!” and the flea made its best effort to jump, which the scientist recorded in his notebook. After he pulled off its last leg, the scientist again commanded the flea to jump, and after repeating the command many times without the flea responding he jotted down in his notebook, “After the flea loses all of its legs it becomes completely deaf.”

  • 49Unbeaten

    I’m more than happy to have these debates Tony but you never seem to respond to any legitimate questions I have for you.
    So, firstly, are you an Arsenal fan or an Arsene Wenger fan? It seems the latter and here’s why. You’ve made the standard comments of “be careful what you wish for”, “Just look at what’s happened to Manchester United and Liverpool and Chelsea” etc……so this actually says to me that you don’t actually trust the club and the current board to find the right successor. You wouldn’t be worried otherwise right? Or campaigning for Arsene to stay?

  • Gunz

    Get rid of the good-for-nothing dead-weight “fans”. They are a physical and mental drain on the club.

  • 49Unbeaten

    As for your “Ivan Gazidis (Apparently)” quote.
    Gazidis did actually say these things and more. He also actually says that “we can compete with any club in the world” as well as saying we can compete and also pay OVER £200,000 p/w to players. Somebody better remind him as I think Sanchez is asking for that. Time to put his money where his mouth is, or rather, where the players are. Check the link below for proof.

  • Mike Maloney

    I have always admired your desire to provide a contra point to the hype and knee-jerk reaction to every setback. However it cannot be ignited that the club Ian in decline. Maybe not terminal and certainly the sort of “decline” that many clubs would love to “suffer”. But decline vs prior year’s performance and decline vs the stated aims of the Club. Gas Isis has said that he believed that we can be competitive with Bayern. He used Bayern as a specific example. I have heard him say it. The question is how we define success. What we have today is infinitely better than the dross that I want her in the mid 80s and even around the end of GG’s reign. But what do we aspire to. With the money, the ‘brand’ and the pulling power we should be more competitive, esp in Europe where the polarising effect of new money is less acute. I fear our David Moyes season. But to a degree we are already having it with Wenger in charge. He has to go sometime so if he is not overachieving (and if you doubt his ability to grip the situation) then we might as well get on with it.

  • 49 Unbeaten – if you are going to take newspaper reports as gospel truth you ought to consider this one as well, when it comes to Alexis.

  • Mike T

    Not quite sure if I should applaud this article or shake my head.

    The debate will rage on about the crucial two descions . What would have happened had the denied penalty for Arsenal and the sending off gone the other way is unknown but what is beyond debate was that once Arsenal went down to 10 there was 100% no wayback.

    In reality the way Arsenal kept attacking was akin to the Charge of the Light Brigade. Some would argue that there was nothing to loose it was glourious but the long term damage to being on the wrong end of a 5-1 or probably more important 10-2 will be a challenge for AW and indeed Arsenal to manage.

    I have no doubt that many thought that Arsenal had a chance after the first leg and of course they did but that chance was probably no more than 1 % so once Bayern scored that was it it really should have been about damage limitation.
    I very much doubt that the conversationin the Arsenal dressing room was along the lines of we gave it a real go they are professionals and will know the scorline is all that matters. They probably will feel hurt and with the challenges facing clubs at this stage of the season a dent in self confidence is the last thing players need. Shutting up shop as they say would have been the pragmatic and indeed professional thing to do.

  • Pat

    Another great addition to rational debate, Tony.

    Exactly, Arsenal still tried to win the match in impossible circumstances. In his post match interview, Hector Bellerin concentrates on the match before Koscielny was red carded and Bayern got their penalty, and points out how good we were.

    Yes we were good, against the far and away best team in Germany. The Bayern manager admitted it in his post match interview. Only people who choose not to believe the evidence of their own eyes can say otherwise.

    Who knows, if we had been given the penalty we should have got in the first half, even the refs might not have been able to stop us. 2 – 0 and we really would have had a chance. But the refs knew that, of course.

    The corrupt hate the incorruptible. When Arsene Wenger was in the stands serving his touch line ban, beside him on one occasion was Boro Primorac. The other incorruptible. A reminder to the corrupt of what integrity means.

  • WalterBroeckx

    In the article from 2013 they speak about 70M extra money… what do you get for that kind of money nowadays? Half a Pogba?
    Unless we become like Chel$ea or Man $ity we will always run behind them and behind the established European power houses like Bayern, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

    The question is do we really want to become a club like Chel$ea of Man $ity. And even they don’t have the certainty of winning something with all their money.

  • 49Unbeaten

    The point you make about not bringing on a defender and carrying on attacking was not giving up. You’re correct, we didn’t give up, Wenger just made a stupid decision in not doing so. You can’t attack without a good solid base defense wise because it just allows the opposition to smell blood and up their game. This then forced us to defend more with only one defender (Mustafi), on his own, against one of the best attacking teams in the world. Dropping Xhaka into defense was a huge mistake. It wasn’t brave, it wasn’t a show of determination, it was terrible decision that cost us further. And then trying to attack even more, effectively leaving that one guy on his own at the back created massive holes to exploit. Blame the ref, blame the penalty call in this game etc…..but the truth is over two legs we shipped TEN goals! That’s just a fact. It’s also regression from last season, the season before, the season before that etc.etc…..

  • Top Guns

    This is just delusional waffle now.
    The site is fast becoming an anti Arsenal site because it is so far out of step with much of the fanbase.

    There are no positives to take from last night and Arsenal are starting to decline fast.

  • Pat

    Just to add, I remember when we were in the FA Cup Final three years ago and we were denied at least three clear penalties. I remember thinking ‘We’re not allowed to win this cup.’ We did anyway. We still hold the joint record for FA Cup wins.

    Arsene Wenger is not allowed to win the Champions League.

  • Pat

    Top Guns

    Who are you to speak for the fan base?

  • Jared

    Sanchez, according to reports, has been offered £180,000 per week, and as time rolls on who knows if they’ll go a bit further to the full £200,000. The media has reported that he’s asked for as much as £300,000 a week, depending on who’s reporting. I tend to agree that Arsenal probably have to get used to paying superstars at least this much, and I’m aware that this will increase their wage structure significantly. It’s just the reality of modern football.

  • GoonerDave

    Sad that anyone who complained about this owner and board was silenced on this blog. Now, in your desperation, you cling to Kroenke as the problem.
    AW has been complicit. He may have thought he was doing the right thing, but he was mistaken. He lied to the fans while our money was used to pay down debt on Stan’s asset.
    Your blog has completely failed to recognise the real issues surrounding the club, preferring instead to blame everybody but the manager.
    The real issue is money. Just like our economy, where people at the top print money for nothing and sell it to our governments. Nobody wants to face up to the truth.

  • 49Unbeaten

    @ Tony – I’ve seen and heard the words come out of his mouth mate. I don’t normally believe everything the media say. I’m an intelligent man. But I’ve seen him say this. He didn’t just say it this newspaper, they just printed it.

    @ Walter – You miss the point mate. That was nearly four years ago and even in this short space of time things have changed. But his over all point is that we’ll (By now) be competing in the transfer market with not only Bayern but any club in the world. You seem to be doing the things that criticize the press for and selecting parts of article. Lets put your comments into context. At that point in time Napoli paid £34 mil for Higuain. Two years later Juventus snap him up for £75 mil so the Pogba arguments doesn’t really fit. Of course I don’t want us to become a City or Chelsea, however, I would have preferred it if Gazidis had kept his mouth shut instead of spouting off that we’ll compete with these teams when, as even you have just admitted, we really can’t. He gave us pipe dreams…..again.

  • Mike T

    Walter. £70 million in 2013 would cannot be compared to £70 million in 2016/17.
    Inflation in football transfers has been ever upwards surely it was obvious to anyone that the new tv deals alone would put more money into the PL.
    There were plenty of players available at decent, or at least based on the market, prices but for whatever reason AW and Arsenal didn’t buy.
    Of course there are no guarantees any transfer will work out they are all a gamble .

  • 49Unbeaten

    @ Tony, you also didn’t answer the more important part of my question about trusting Arsenal.

  • 49Unbeaten

    Well said Mike T. Exactly the correct point to make and coincides with my after comment to Walter.

  • 49Unbeaten

    @ Walter – And Pogba cost £90 mil’. Not £140 mil’.

  • Pat


    You say the real issue is money. You ignore all the evidence on this site that even money does not guarantee winning the premiership or the Cup. See Leicester last season. None of the big money clubs won the league.

    However, say the real issue is money. The owner is not going to change. So what is the advantage of getting rid of the best manager in the premier league? Yes, I mean Arsene Wenger.

    What kind of a supporter is it who makes – or pretends to make – the issue of money a reason for constantly attacking and undermining the manager and the players? Leyton Orient fans might have a point. But fans of Arsenal, still one of the richest clubs in England, really don’t have a leg to stand on.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Tony, with all due respect, the future does not have to be a reflection of the past. And Mr Wenger isn’t going to live forever. He has to go sometime or the other. Sadly, that time seems to be coming in 2-3 months time.
    It will then be interesting to see if Untold will support the new manager as much as they supported Wenger. I certainly hope so.

  • Top Guns

    Jared – Arsenal will not pay more and Sanchez will leave this summer for the same reasons that RVP, Nasri, Fabregas etc did, and that is to win major trophies. Arsenal no longer aim for that.

    Pat – I have supported the club for over 40 years so I do have some idea of what is going on. I appreciate the fact that you continue to support the manager, it is just disappointing on here that there is so little questioning of him. Maybe that is why my views sometimes come across as extreme.

    I just maybe feel it would be in his and the interest of the club that he steps down at the end of the season. He doesn’t deserve to be forced out but I fear that is what will happen otherwise.

  • 49Unbeaten

    @ Walter – In 2013 however Neymar went for around £70. He’s not too shabby.

  • Ernest

    One sincerely hopes that you will afford the new manager the support that you claim as your mantra, but something tells me that may be very difficult for you. Best start thinking about it, the end is nearer than you imagine and yes, life does go on without Wenger. No need to ever fear the future.

  • 49Unbeaten

    @ Pat – Money isn’t the issue with us I agree, Especially after purchasing Ozil, Mustafi, Sanchez, Xhaka for plenty of £’s. Buying the right players IS the issue though. He’s bought too many of the same players over the past few years. He always says he wants to buy the right players for the club but what’s the point when they’re all the same? Kante’ was cheaper than Xhaka. We just didn’t want to pay the wages he’s worth. Enough said.

  • insideright

    No one has mentioned that the referee, apart from his other scandalous decisions, didn’t add a single second for the time wasting by Bayern fans who held up the game for a couple of minutes near the beginning.
    Do the Greeks owe so much money to Germany that they can only pay off the debt ‘in kind’?

  • tom

    Tony in your origional article you put-It didn’t work, as we have seen, but the alternative of sitting back with a solid defence and no real attack would have been to give up then.
    The tie was given up well before then when at 2-1 down at the allianz arena.We continued to push forward instead of trying to take a 2-1 deficit back to the emirates where we still had a realistic chance of overcoming.Tactical nievity at its best but what we have seen time and time again.
    And its clutching at straws to say the sending off was a defining moment.Is that when we were 6-2 down on agregate.Here are 3 FACTS that i posted earlier and cant be disputed and a reason why we shouldnt be frightened of change..

    The Gunners are the first side to lose five consecutive home knockout ties in Champions League history.
    Arsene Wenger’s side suffered the joint second heaviest aggregate defeat in Champions League history (2-10), and the highest for an English team.
    This is the first time Arsenal have conceded five goals at home since November 1998 (against Chelsea in League Cup – a 5-0 loss).

  • tom

    Pat I cannot believe for a minute you actually wrote “Arsene Wenger is not allowed to win the Champions League.” and mean it.Comments like this are pure lunacy and do your clutching at straw arguments absolutely no credability.Absolutely staggering.Something that halfwit menace would come out with.

  • tom

    And Pat
    Who are you and your cult group to speak for the fan base?Most of you have never been to the uk never mind the Emirates.How dare you call supporters who spend thousands on their club that they are plastic fans because they want things to change.

  • 49Unbeaten

    Arsenal changing managers isn’t like Manchester United finding replacements for Fergie. When Fergie retired it was after delivering league trophies, back to back league trophies, champions league trophies etc. Apart from two recent F.A cups we haven’t won anything and we’re used to not winning anything. So, if a new manager comes in and we don’t win anything straight away, so what? It won’t be anything new and therefore shouldn’t fear it.
    It’s not as if we’re trading in success for failure is it?! It would show that the club has the ambition to try something new with the view of bringing success back to Arsenal.

  • Leon

    There’s the WOBs, AKB’s, AAA’s (hopefully none of which I belong to) & now the BCWYWF’s who must be salivating at the prospect of trolling the reformists (if/when the next manager so much as falters) with their predictable “we told you so, now look what a mess we’re in, and it’s all your fault.”
    This righteous group are in a win/win situation because none of them really want us to fail, but if we do then they’ll be there by the hundred blaming any who dared to suggest changes were necessary.
    And changes are due. The whole set up requires a complete restructuring with Gazidis out, a Dein type in and a manager with less responsibility than Wenger currently has. Arsene himself could probably be successful in such a set up. Nah!

  • Leon

    On a brighter note: I really liked our starting midfield trio last night, and hope to see more of them together

  • Norman14

    I think the “fan base” Pat referred to, numbers about 200. That is how many protested last night.

  • Norman14


    If Welbz is recovered, I’d like to see the (original) starting 11 go in against Lincoln.

  • Marcus 71

    Norman – I think you can rest assured that it numbers considerably more than 200. I wasn’t at the protest, but I agree with it – and everyone I went to the game with last night feels the same.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @Mike Maloney,

    “With the money, the ‘brand’ and the pulling power we should be more competitive,”…

    Well, when it comes to above factors…..We are still a lot lot behind the traditional biggies. You won’t believe when I say ARSENAL are a distant 7th or 8th in brand recall in my part of the world.

    Gazidis might have been a bit bullish when he said three years….

  • Yellow Canary

    Protest Tony, that’s what got the previous owners of Liverpool out. Or do those lot have more passionate supporters than we have?

    You often mention clubs changing managers doesn’t work but carefully swerve past the Chelsea example who have done it frequently and won five titles since we last did. And let’s not use the money issue again when a club like Leicester with a fraction of our money can win the league. Arsene’s had 13 attempts and failed.

    @Pat, seriously Wenger the best manager in the league? The evidence says otherwise. Conte is and numerous other managers have won the league since Wenger last won it. Really quite a bizarre comment.

    @Leon, hello there in Weston-super-Mare. Good comment.

  • Jai

    If this Round of 16 has taught us anything, it’s that Laurent Koscielny is Superman.

    I kid, of course, because while I do think his departures had a profound effect, especially last night, the absence of one player is not a good reason for what happened to us. Going down to 10 men makes it more difficult, naturally, but that old cliche about how it’s harder to break down a team that’s more focused on defending is only true if the team is actually focused on defending.

    With 10 men against one of the best teams in Europe it never occurred to us to just sit in and see if we could do some damage limitation. It was 6-2 on aggregate with over half an hour to go, we weren’t going to qualify, and on a night when we wanted this team to restore some pride, it ended up embarrassing itself even further.

  • ARSENAL 13

    For all the defendants of the ‘sit back’, what was the point in that???….

  • Jai

    Just as a reminder, here’s what Ivan Gazidis said in 2013, you’ll love this:

    We should be able to compete at a level like a club such as Bayern Munich. I’m not saying we are there by any means, we have a way to go before we can put ourselves on that level. But this whole journey over the past ten years really has been with that goal in mind which is why I say that this is an extraordinarily ambitious club.

    We get beaten up along the way but I think we are an extraordinarily ambitious club. This has been about putting us up with the best in the world and now the question is turning that platform now into on-field success.

    Well, Mr Gazidis, you have failed, because this is a team that isn’t even close to competing with Bayern Munich. Arsene Wenger has not been able to build a team that can do that. I don’t know how many times I need to say it, that it’s time for him to move on because watching a man who has been a great manager for us down the years suffer defeats like this is hard to watch, but let’s not exonerate you and the absentee landlord owner too.

  • Fred

    Wow, Tony – seriously? You deflect 49 Unbeaten’s entirely legitimate reference to what Gazidis ACTUALLY said (those were actual QUOTES) on to a gossip article about ALEXIS? This is a highly unethical way of arguing. In fact, it resembles the kind straw man mode of reasoning which Wenger has brought to perfection over the past years. And which Trump’s media advisor KellyAnne Conway is routinely deploying, too.

    And really, no one is discussing the fate of Arsenal on the basis of the most recent defeat against Bayern, Tony. We’re talking about a 13-year process of stagnation and virtually the same pattern repeating itself year after year. It doesn’t matter how much money Wenger invests in new players, it doesn’t matter what world class players he brings in – we still cannot compete with the best or challenge for the league title. If you wish to spuriously call this “childish reports which speak of Arsenal’s “disintegration”‘, then so be it.

    It’s quite remarkable that neither you nor the club can just come out and admit to the failure we’re witnessing. And that the club cannot discuss with some honesty and self-critique why the hopes and aspirations articulated by the club itself – to compete with the likes of Bayern, not “in the transfer market,” as you say, but in terms of “sporting success” (Gazidis’ actual phrase). All of this is deeply ethically flawed.

    “08/03/2017 at 8:56 am
    49 Unbeaten – if you are going to take newspaper reports as gospel truth you ought to consider this one as well, when it comes to Alexis…”

  • Not afraid gunner

    Money has never been the real issue. There has always been money. Read the audited accounts. Check our wage bill. It is the wrong application of money. Rewarding average players, injury prone players, with big contracts.

    Only one man does that at the Arsenal and it’s not Kronke.

  • Sammy The Snake

    @ARSENAL 13: The point would have been to go out at 6-2 or 6-3, instead of equalling the second worst CL loss of all time.
    A club, and its fans, have pride and it should be respected & protected.

  • Leon


    Try not CUT & PASTING from Arseblog or at least reference him when you do.
    Seriously, there’s some very important issues being discussed here and all you can do is STEAL from another blog?

  • Al


    I am still waiting for the 10+ links you could provide of Wenger saying “we will win”.

    Your record is worse than ours with Bayern. It’s 10 nil.

  • Jai

    Do you have the answer Leon? Or shall we blame the aliens from outer space?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Debate is the key. If you chose to believe there are problems at the club, putting them all down to one man is very simplistic?
    And as the,article says, what happens.when he goes? If Wenger is so terrible, why are the board seemingly so desperate to hang onto him…..despite a very poor run of results? Is it that they are inept, want a lightening rod to deflect their own inaction, or are they just sticking to a medium to long term plan? History teaches us long term planning is usually the best way….not saying huge injections of case won’t work as well in this game, but Stan isn’t going to do that
    Critics are coming up with some very fancy continental names, there is no evidence the board would go with the same .
    Wenger goes, and sadly I get the feeling he might, the club go into the unknown. Maybe exciting for some
    Of Mr Wenger goes, we will find out a lot about the club, warts and all. Just hope they can step up in his absence, Personally, i think they will do their very best, but that is far from a given

  • Mandy Dodd

    ^ huge injections of cash

  • Matthew

    UA needs to change its banner headline to: “Supporting Wenger at all costs”

  • Leon

    ‘Do you have the answer Leon? Or shall we blame the aliens from outer space?”

    I don’t know what mumbo jumbo this is, but for what it’s worth I’ve given my opinion, and it is MY opinion. Not something I’ve filched off of another Arsenal blog.

  • 49Unbeaten

    @ Mandy Dodd

    The only thing that’s a “given” nowadays is Arsenal getting dumped out of the last 16 in Europe and no more league titles if we keep doing the same things season after season.

  • 49Unbeaten

    @ Al

    Get off your arse and find em yourself pal. They’re out there. I’m not finding the truth for you. If you wanted it you could find it. You’re quite Wenger esque in only wanting to see what you want to see and not looking around for truth and answers.

  • ARSENAL 13

    So, a journalist asks the ARSENAL management, “If Wenger warrants a new deal, tell us why?”

    Now who is that “us” there?

  • tom

    Tony,Walter, Mandy Al and the rest on here who want Arsene Wenger to stay im interested to know what would you do in the next 2 years to make this club sucessful again??What would you like to see change ??If anything??Just curious.

  • Al


    You said you could provide the links. I am only asking what you said you could provide. I will use your example and look at your replies and find “the truth” . That truth, it has become clear, is that you talk rubbish. Thanks for clearing that up.

  • Fred – of course you can call the very long run of staying in the top four, while two teams have arisen with seemingly unlimited wealth to challenge us, and the club has built a new stadium out of its own income as “stagnation”. I call it a remarkable achievement in the face of unprecedented challenges. It’s just a different view of reality. I occasionally drop into quoting other points because sometimes it gets a bit tedious making the same points over and over again.

  • Marcus – and all the people I went to the game with feel differently. And we saw four protesters. Judging events by the people around you isn’t really a very good way to get a balanced opinion.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Tom…the next two years, without knowing what goes on behind the scenes, what would I do?
    1/ either through development of who we have, via enhanced coaching increasing experience , or recruitment, I would make this team far less dependant on our technical leads…..Kos and Santi Cazorla
    2/ if anyone really doesn’t want to be there, let them go, but make sure there is adequate replacement
    3/ freshen up coaching methodology,..and maybe even coaches…. more variable ways of playing….not necessarily by changing the manager
    4/ put succession planning… in terms of structures as well as coaches/manager in place, Wenger cannot last forever, don’t get caught out when it is time
    5/ Ivan, have a word about the standard of officiating we regularly get, don’t leave everything to Wenger
    Sounds easy doesn’t it!

  • Pat


    You just moved the goalposts. So we DO spend money on players – but they are not the right players. They are all the same, you say.

    Well in one sense you are right. All the players Arsene Wenger buys will be able to fit into his exciting, skilful, attacking yet defending as a team, style which we have had the good luck to be able to watch for the past twenty years.

    However, apart from that – some are tall, some are short, some are European, some are South American, some are African. Some are home grown, some are bought as mature players. Some came as complete unknowns and left as stars.

    In other words, I’ve no idea what you mean and what you are complaining about.

  • Zedsaunt

    Did I hear the word ”truth” mentioned? This is football. Fantasy starts with the diving header.

    Was it a ”collapse” last night or the level of skill found in the capability of top class international footballers, some World Cup winners, each one a professional, career chosen, playing for a club that has been at the top of the tree in Europe since the 1970s and, decade after decade, has supplied the nucleus of the West German national team, the German national team?

    In the 1960s the Danish national team were getting beat 6-0, 7-0, 8-0. They were a walkover. The Danes introduced advanced football coaching for kids, watched live English football and the Bundesliga on TV, by the mid-1970s they had a team, by the 1986 World Cup they put six past a 10 men Uruguay team, by 1992 they won the Euro 92. How? Why?

    Someone chooses a professional career. As a footballer they can play anywhere. Certain competitions demand their presence to show who they are and what football is. Are Arsenal fans seriously wanting to drop out of the top4 because it’s Groundhog Day? The club has stagnated? The manager is responsible?

    Somewhere out there, just point your fingers and look, there is a manager, and somewhere out there, just point your fingers and look, there is someone with hundreds of millions to give to the club, get rid of Mr Wenger and these two Santas will co-incide and Arsenal will step up to the next level and punch toe-to-toe with the best. Dream on.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mike T Arsenal spend around 100M last summer….

  • WalterBroeckx

    Funny to see how some moaners agree with the words of a supporter of another club 🙂 You could even start to think….

  • Polo

    My opinions on some points:

    1. Gazidis might have been over bullish with his comments, but have you heard a CEO who is not bullish about their company? Not sure why people miss this point of what said ‘ I’m not saying we are there by any means but this whole journey over the past 10 years really has been with that goal in mind.’ It’s a GOAL to compete on the same level as clubs like Bayern Munich.
    2. Whether a team lose 1-0 or 5-1 it’s still a lost. What’s important is whether the players gave their all, and before Bayern’s first goal they did.
    3. Those saying Arsenal should have ‘sit back’ and go in damage limitation would be the same people saying ‘ lack of fight, no determination, no spirit, no leadership blah blah’ had the team did what they are suggesting.
    4. Be realistic, Arsenal FC is a business, you pay for a product and if your not happy with that product then you should stop purchasing it. If the more consumers stop purchasing the product then it will force management to reconsider their product offering. No point of moaning about oh I paid a lot of money for season ticket to watch blah blah blah, but still end up purchasing the product. Around 200 people out of about 60,0000 isn’t going to be of concern to the Board, wasn’t there more people protesting last season or was it the same amount?
    5. If AW signed a contract extension which I hope he do, I like to see him play some of the youngsters more, start as substitutes against weaker teams until they adapt. Also, fix the left back position whether getting a youngster from the club’s academy or externally, it’s a weakness that the opponent has been exploiting throughout the season.
    6. It’s astonishing that some people come on to a blog that clearly stipulates what it stands for and complain and insult the author and its contributors for such stance. Seriously, if you don’t like what’s being articulated then move on otherwise debate sensibly. This blog is for adults not children.
    7. It’s only a game of football people, so calm down, unless you bet your whole life savings on Arsenal to win, then just relax and enjoy the emotional roller coaster. Let debate in good spirit. Let also support the whole team. If AW leave and a new manager comes in, he too will get my 100% support if he does not take the club into relegation ofcourse.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Wise words Polo. Very wise words.

  • alexanderhenry

    I’m a wenger fan, always have been. However I’m beginning to think that maybe he is passed it. Let’s be honest, his purchases this summer have not worked out well, and for the first time ever I think he over payed for the players he bought.
    Will we be better without him? Probably not, but that’s not because I think there are no other managers out there who could better. It’s because the problem at arsenal is not the manager, but the owner. In that sense I think it is right that wenger leaves. It will draw all attention on to kroenke and I am almost totally convinced that our majority shareholder will not deliver what arsenal fans expect. Namely ,a top replacement and serious, sustained spending on players.
    Kroenke is in my opinion the worst thing that has happened to arsenal football club since we last got relegated in 1913. I encourage all of you to spend a mere 10 minutes online and have a look at some of the articles on him. His record, his business practices, his reputation, his attitude and the state of his other ‘franchises’ all bode very very badly for arsenal.
    However, with wenger gone there will be no more hiding and no more nice old arsene to take all the flak for Kroenke’s miserable , penny pinching ways.
    ‘Silent Stan’ will have to speak up.

  • we have two options,carry on as we are or sell our souls to a sugar daddy ie. usmanov

  • ac

    Best post on .UA ever.
    Good word Polo.

  • Mike T

    Start to think indeed that seems to be what some are doing!
    What comes over is that sometimes, and I guess we all do it, you really struggle to justify a position.But as they say there’s none so blind.
    I seem strange similarities between Arsenal and Nottingham Forest around the end of the era that was Clough.
    I am not suggesting you can see the same traits within AW and Clough but for obvious reasons neither clubs would or perhaps could sack their long time managers.

  • Mike T

    Start to think indeed that seems to be what some are doing!
    What comes over is that sometimes, and I guess we all do it, you really struggle to justify a position.But as they say there’s none so blind.
    I seem strange similarities between Arsenal and Nottingham Forest around the end of the era that was Clough.
    I am not suggesting you can see the same traits within AW and Clough but for obvious reasons neither clubs would or perhaps could not sack their long time managers.

  • porter

    Polo your number 3 :- That was exactly what should have happened if we seriously wanted a mental boost and try to win the game. Replace the centre half with another ( that’s what he’s there for ). Leave the midfield alone apart from bringing on Gibbs to play in front of Monreal . Take off either Sanchez or Theo play with one up front with pace. Keep it tight and try to nick a goal on the break. Should have happened in Munich. Should have happened last night.
    Your 4 :- If only it were that simple, supporting a football club 30 to 40 years is an emotional tie and very difficult to give up especially when you are not privvy to what is happening.
    Your 5 :- We agree that both Ribery and Robben and latterly Costa were giving Monreal a torrid time , which is why we needed to shore up that area.
    Your 7 :- A new man when he arrives will need a lot of rope and understanding as I am afraid there is a lot to do to halt our current malaise. But to many it is more than just a game of football, you can’t equate it with a Sunday morning at Hackney to many it has a greater bearing. Those that can sit back and whistle Dixie should realise that and try to understand.
    Lets hope that you accept that as reasonable debating in good spirit.

  • Can Arsene get the best out of these players, clearly not, will Arsene ever win a European Trophy, no, will Arsene ever win the Premier League, no, will we beat Lincoln, of course, but one swallow doesn’t make a summer.

    If I could make a wish, it would be for us, Arsenal, to win the European Cup, by beating Liverpool in the final, and the manager would be….couldn’t care less, and that’s my point, they come and go, some improve things some don’t, but for F@ck sake let’s not be afraid to make a decision. Right or wrong do something.

  • Richard

    I think the annoying think is we are in march and practically out of the champions league. Then out of nowhere the player produce a 55 min performance out there that had one of the best European teams rocking it could and should have been 3 or 4 nil at that point. Why have the players not produced that performance more consistently over the season why wait until now. What I saw in 55 mins today says to me the team should be up there challenging for honours yet the players between January and march fall away now this maybe down to hitting a wall down to the amount of games but they are professionals they need to work out a way through that period. I would like to see the players take more responsibility for their performances wenger always protects them and they let themselves and him down by not performing when it matters.

  • porter

    alexanderhenry , totally agree on your Kroenke position. A disastrous sale which I would have hoped that families such as the Bracewell-Smiths and Hill Woods will their long standing Arsenal connections would never have countenanced , but I sup[pose the money on offer was too good to miss.

  • Bergyman

    Once AW has gone he will hopefully write a book explaining just what his instructions have been from the Board. Maybe then the anti AW brigade will be genuinely sorry for their deplorable behaviour towards him. What really annoys me is that most of the protesters are too young to have known bad times, like fighting against relegation for several seasons and playing at Highbury in front of a crowd of 4550. I have witnessed these and am therefore a lot more tolerant about current ‘bad’ times. Maybe a change of manager would work for the better but it could go the other way. Also bear in mind that when AW does leave so will several of our favourite players.

  • Not afraid gunner


    I disagree on Kronke. For sure he is an aloof owner, but that’s because he trusts Wenger’s judgements and his handling of the club.

    Recollect that at some point Usmanov offered to bring £100m for player purchase, but Wenger demurred, saying if his board gave him the money, he would return it. This summer, he spent about £90 m this summer to reinforce the team and by his own admission, for the first time he felt he could win with this bunch. His own words..

    Now our mortgage for the stadium specifies a minimum amount of £30 m to be spent yearly on the playing staff. Add to that our cash balance, the biggest of any football club in Europe, we can buy good players, without needing any loans. I would suggest you look at our audited accounts. We have always had money. Always.

    The problem is who Mr Wenger spent the money on. You will discover he spent money padding contracts for many average players. That is why he finds it difficult to sell them, the last case being Jenkinson.

    So Wenger could have on his own taken this club to the level of Bayern and beyond if he did not monopolise several things in the club. He could have advised for a director of football, he could have gone for better trainers and coaches. Recently he cottoned on to analytics and the club was quick to snap an Analytics company. Sir Alex Fergusen on the other hand was always refreshing his backroom staff. Too much control in one man’s hand is always a recipe for disaster.

    Talking about money, Leicester blew that out of the water. You don’t have to have a lot of money to win the EPL. You will think that with our wage bill, we should be the last team complaining about funds. We overpay average players, perhaps to buy their loyalty?

    Now have a good look at our squad. Wenger plays players in often unfamiliar positions. Ox had always excelled in the center, but used mostly in the wings. Ramsey plays best close to the striker but he is shunted to play in the midfield against his natural instinct. That is why he leaves gaps in our midfield.

    For a midfielder, Xhaka and Elneny are too slow for the EPL. Coq, cannot pass out from the back to save his life. Our only good defender after many years is Koscielny. Mustafi is still coming up. Mert, is as slow as a tanker, we put up with terrible goal keepers until he found Cech and before him, Ospina. Giroud lacks pace, Iwobi is still learning and plays too many games for a young lad. The mighty Ozil, is so lazy it’s not even funny. Perez looks OK, but has not been tested. Theo is more cold than hot. Wellbeck has been injured mostly, but his finishing needs improving big time.

    So we have players, but the engine of the team, the spine , has many inadequacies. If our glorious leader had addressed exactly what he needs in each position, he probably would get players that are more suited to the roles expected of them.

    It is not valid to keep blaming Kronke for all of these. These are on the manager, nothing to do with Kronke.

  • Kamiel

    What I fear most about this vaunted and fabled “next manager”, is a change in the philosophy that has always been a source of pride for me as a Gooner.

    Forward thinking (the stadium), long-term growth & stability (financial independance & a good youth system), development (youth players successfully coming through the system & reserves making the first team), and a fluid & attacking style of play, are all things I believe are right in this sport. As far as I’m concerned, they’re boxes that every manager of Arsenal must tick for the remainder of this club’s existence.

    After Wenger goes it’ll become very easy to buy out every fashionable coach and player in Europe in search of success. It staggers me that nobody has seen how reckless clubs can end up like Portsmouth, Blackburn, Newcastle or Leeds after a few years of success. That’s why we have to retain Wenger’s philosophies, even at the expense of short term successes.

    I know it’s trendy to see the last failure in a vacuum as though nothing preceding or forthcoming has ever, or will ever exist. I also know that the current culture is to scapegoat and ridicule, which is why we have Brexit, and Donald Trump & Steve Bannon leading the US. I have faith that people will change eventually, and the world will reap a boon. I also know that Arsenal will eventually win things again. And I can wait too because being a sports fan is a lifelong commitment – not a seasonal fling. The night is darkest before the dawn, and Wenger’s project has had way too much forthought & passion invested in it to fail.

    Even on that dark day when he is no longer here.

  • Jojo

    “The problem is who Mr Wenger spent the money on.”
    Well said @ Not afraid gunner..

    Consider a few transfer from the past summer (fee estimate per various reports – not pretending to know the exact exact cost) across various positions:

    Xhaka & Mustafi both reported to be in the 35 million region..

    Now consider these transfers, from the same summer, of teams currently ahead of, or around us…

    Kante – 32 million
    Wanyama – 11 million
    Sadio Mane – 34 million
    Mkhitaryan – 27 million
    Leroy Sane – 37 million
    Gabriel Jesus – 27 million

    All players with varying degrees of big impact on their teams this season (Jesus’ limited time may be an exception but so far looks dynamite, in my opinion)….

    And more importantly, all in the range of prices that our own spending shows we can certainly afford…

    So it’s not about (only) money, if I recall correctly, we’ve spent hundreds of millions in the last few seasons (plus we are a very cash rich and financially viable club)..and if anything, Man United has proven that spending the GDP of a small country isn’t necessarily what will take you forward in a manner and time-frame commensurate with that colossal spend.

    Absolutely no one is saying that we must spend Pogba type money to compete, it’s a false strawman argument that no-one wanting changes for Arsenal actually subscribes to….it’s just transparently and dishonestly used to make those wanting change seem irrational.

    Rather it’s about buying well and/or getting the best out of the players you buy…

    Xhaka and Mustafi have cost a lot and have both been largely varying degrees of underwhelming..or perhaps they are much better than they are showing and the management is unable, so far, to extract the most from them per their potential…

    Money and spend isn’t only about transfer fees paid but also wages and contract value/improvements..both of which we are not stingy on…But it seems to me, and others, that Wenger would rather continue to trust in and give years of chances to players that he believes in that have let him and the club down time and again, and contracts that their real market value wouldn’t likely get anywhere else…And in doing so, in my opinion, we essentially overpay some players based on promise, and underpay (per their real market value) our true then and now top players to make it balance. This a choice, a philosophy one Wenger has stated on occasion that bringing salaries as close in line as possible will promote harmony…or something.

    When in practice, to me, it promotes complacency, entitlement and a lack of meritocracy. And as we have seen time and again, it makes the top players who actually contribute more to the team, want to leave for the pay they deserve and a better chance to win stuff (which most have), while the squad and young players who are earning more than they arguably should, and who contribute less, become so difficult to move on..and many as we have seen over the years, are all too happy to wind down their contracts, and rot on the bench, knowing they can’t make that money anywhere else..

    Those are the real mercenaries..not the underpaid elite players who are ambitious and want to leave for the money they deserve (and there is nothing inherently wrong with that) and the chance for more sporting success.

    A lot of this is simply, will, in my opinion. For example he believes in the likes of Theo, Ox on record over the years of not wanting to kill x and y youngster…so even if we could afford a Mkhitaryan for example, which we clearly can, that would compromise the place of the players he is determined to see make it at all costs..

    Those are choices driven by ideology and principles, not necessarily financial reality.

    I don’t expect many agreements with this post.

  • Menace

    There are so many wanting Wenger to go because his time has come. It’s the old look in the mirror & ask yourselves why do you keep coming back to this blog when it is past your time to go?

    It is because you still think you are right & that change can be made.

  • Jojo people might not agree with your post because your evidence is so incidental. Whether a player is good or not is left to your subjective evaluation ~(I would disagree with you over Mustafi, and Mkhitaryan’s evaluation should include his first four months as well as recent months – just as one example. The prices you quote for players are not ones that we have seen quoted elsewhere.

    To be fair you do say “in my opinion” at the end, but what we have tried to do over the years is bring in evidence rather than opinion. That’s why some readers here will disagree with you. But I must say, imagining what some “supporters” would have said during the first few months of his performances had we signed Mkhitaryan certainly brought a smile to my face.

  • Pat

    Nice point, Menace!

  • Hi Berry

    Tony, why have you put inverted commas around supporters in the above post? It rather infers that supporters who have the temerity to voice a criticism are not real supporters. Would the same apply to political opinion….surely that way lies the totalitarian state?

  • Sharpehunter

    The overwhelming evidence suggests that the vast majority of fans are ready for a new chapter, a new story and different approach. You only have to refer to blogs such as Goonerblog and Arseblog to sense the frustration. This is irrational outbursts from knowledgable die hard life long multiple generation fans. This is verging on an almost emotional and pschological breakdown of supporters who have tried their hardest to be rational, logical and unbiased in their perceptions and reporting. They are exhausted, drained and empty. I even sense a tiredness for the entire concept of Arsenal as it stands.

    For me all those years of austerity to facilitate and then pay for the move from Highbury to The Emirates are wasted. When we should have taken advantage of others lack of financial prowess or financial limitations we meandered about and fiscually tied ourselves up in chains and watched as Chelsea and Man City walked in and took control. We watched and just stood by and let them.

    I’ve asked this question hundreds of times. Did we build any expansion capability into The Emirates? If not why not? Have we got any succession plan for Gazidis or Wenger? If not why not? What other organisation or business would not plan effectively for the future and for unforseen events? This was the mistake Man United made. But how come Chelsea and City can chop and change managers pretty much every year / other year and barely faulter a step?

    There is plenty of evidence that the majority of fans have had enough and to keep insisting there isn’t is disingenuous and also rather condescending. Especially to those who actually have their finger on the pulse. Take a look at the groups on LinkedIn where you have 10’s of thousands of business professionals pulling their hair out over the state of the club.

  • Richard

    Menace you say so many want wenger to go but I didn’t see 10,20,or30 thousand plus people wanting wenger out at that protest so I would disagree with your assertion that many do it seems more like a small minority.
    We are all upset and disappointed when we lose but that’s part of life you can’t win all the time, I think what upsets me most is the level of performance against Liverpool and Watford when we seem to be going through the paces then as we see for 55 mins players raise their game and put in an outstanding display.
    For me I think Wenger should be congratulated he could have walked away or bowed to the pressure of the so called masses and changed his style but he hasn’t and he has won trophies and been to finals his way.
    Why I support Wenger other than being a supporter of the club is I have seen things that show me how much desire he has to win things. I will use one point of reference to support this the Bradford league cup game where we went out on penalties find the tv broadcast of that game watch it and you will see at on point wenger stand up and then you will hear him say just pass the fucking ball after a poor spell of stray passes etc. The passion annoyance at players inability to do simple things when expected to annoys him . And explosions are not how he deals with things and I think
    That is right anger and rage or any emotion will cloud your thinking which will lead to making mistakes and trying things that are not necessary clear thinking and calmness will bring about better results just because your calm and thinking clear doesn’t mean you care less it just means you can see things more objectively and will make less errors.
    I also think arguing about when Wenger should go is pointless because at one point in time he will leave because age and health will dictate that. I think we should be focusing on what plans and steps the club have made to ensure once wenger goes we maintain the stability he has brought to the club. By stability I mean the only team in the top 8 teams to have consistently without fail achieved to qualify for champions league football something mourhino or ferguson haven’t done ferguson at Utd failed to make it out of qualifying and group stages.
    Pundits say there is a gulf in class between Bayern Madrid and Barcelona and arsenal that’s untrue what I saw on Tuesday when there were 11 vs 11 were a Bayern side that were being equalled by a very good arsenal display.
    Of course they say once your down to ten you bring on a defender and give up. But wenger didn’t he made changes and tried to still get a positive result on the night and made the players believe he felt it was still possible to get a result out of the game he said I’m not giving up I still believe now you go out and do what you can.
    Now let’s look at wengers record numerous trophies maybe more would have been nice, constant champions league qualification numerous finals made if not won a top four finish every season so far under his tenure now I m not glorifying or saying fourth should be our target but for twenty years and quite a few of them under financial constraints we have been one of the best four teams in the country out of 19 other teams I may add. Chelsea and Utd and Liverpool haven’t matched that consistency not even fergie remember his formative years at Utd. Yet wenger has come in and has maintained a level that is of a high standard. Now of course we would all of liked more success in the last decade but that hasn’t been the case and remember in some of those we have been runners up in league or beaten finalists so
    Have been close to winning things and for those who say wenger has shot his
    Bolt is no longer relevant and can’t win things because the game has moved on and he hasn’t I would point to
    Recent successive fa cup wins that would shoot that notion out of the water.
    What we will have when wenger leaves the club eventually is a stable well oiled business machine that holds its own and will not go into bankruptcy or be relegated due to points deductions for going into administration. And a successful team on and off the pitch.

  • ARSENAL 13

    All the people looking at howmuch Wenger spent on which player, also look at the age of the player we invested on and also look at Koscielny once. Remember not fit to wear the shirt and all.

    If in summer you guyz didnt rate Xhaka and Mustafi…….then I have nothing much to say.