Is Arsène Wenger finally broken?


By Tai Emeka Obasi

Arsene Wenger is a name that draws all manner of emotions. While some love him because of his as-a-rule dedication to the beautiful game, others hate him for virtually same reason. But love or hate him this astute French football manager is a unique character for Oscar flicks, a bestselling book too.

Alex Ferguson must have won most of the trophies but Wenger truly changed the face of the English game. His insistence on playing the beautiful game the beautiful way completely changed the approach in the English League, which was hitherto all kick-and-follow. But such drastic and visible change usually has its prize – ENVY from rivals. More so when this tip-tap tactic wasn’t only appealing to the eyes… it fetched appreciable haul of trophies too.

Opponents, particularly Manchester United then, marched onto the pitch with just one tactic in mind – kick the hell out of them Gunners! But the Roy Keane-led bunch always met a perfect match in Patrick Vieira and his Spartans. But when the French christened Le Prof went a whole season unbeaten, it became something that drew that four-letter word to a scary level. It was no longer the terrible tackling opponents that the Gunners were worrying about. Officiating became a different matter entirely. Opponents got away with murder against Wenger’s team while the Gunners got punished for little or even nothing.

Watching from screens in my own country over 3000 miles away I started wondering whether the fact that Le Prof had a team mostly of French origin was the cause of the glaring gang-up, especially where the English press bizarrely started twisting stories of Arsenal to abject negativity. Was it just because Wenger saw players of English origin as lacking in enough technical qualities to suit his strict philosophy? One still wondered.

But when Roman Abramovich landed in England to take over Chelsea, pumped in billions and been pumping in billions, Wenger’s taunting and victimization took to new heights. The loquacious and foul-talking manager Jose Mourinho seem moulded and pointed the way of London for just one purpose – destroying Wenger and Arsenal. The battle ground shifted from far West Manchester to London. The FA, the officials and the press immediately joined in a brazen gang-up against this Frenchman and his beautiful-playing team.

An Arsenal player will be kicked to death in the box first to attract a penalty…sometimes the Arsenal player will be on a stretcher to the mortuary and still wouldn’t get a penalty. But the reverse is forever the case in their box. Any simple dive inside or sometimes even outside their box attracts a penalty against them.  Poor Gunners got kicked like kidnappers all over without such vicious opponents attracting simple cautions. Not even ordinary free kicks. But any little tackle from poor Wenger boys got instant red cards.

At a point the phrase became, ‘’they don’t like it up them.’’ Poor boys…they started withstanding all manner of kicks by struggling to stay on their feet and carry on, knowing the referees wouldn’t award any foul in their favour. And the boys paid dearly for it. Eduardo da Silva got his legs shattered into fragments by Martin Taylor at Birmingham on 23 February 2008. The referee still manufactured a dying minute penalty against Arsenal to start the end of their title dreams. Two years later it was Aaron Ramsey’s turn at Stoke. This time another captain, Ryan Shawcross broke the Welshman’s leg!

The likes of Cesc Fabregas, Tomas Rosicky, Alexander Hleb were just lucky and only just. Most players, particularly Fabregas, left Arsenal in order not to end up their careers prematurely. Rosicky wasn’t as lucky, nor has been Jack Wilshere. All the EPL referees needed do was to protect these great artists…rather the officials gang up to perpetually send these innocent boys to the treatment table.

It became so glaring that Arsenal have a different officiating rule book. Once Arsenal purchases a new player…he’s either kicked mercilessly to lose his techniques ( Alexis Sanchez, Carlos Vela, Antonio Reyes, Santi Carzola, Mattieu Debuchy, etc)  or carded consistently harshly to intimidate and reduce his toughness (Alex Song, Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud, Gabriel Paulista, Granit  Xhaka, Alexis Sanchez, etc).

The press quickly followed with ‘’trophyless years and counting’’…even when Wenger ended up winning three FA cup titles in four years for the SECOND time (2002-2005 and 2014-2017) the English press is suddenly making the oldest title in world football look worthless!

But having carefully studied this gang up that stretches as far as the Home Office, where any young player Arsenal purchased outside Europe or EU hardly gets work permit…forcing Arsenal to send such players on loan and most times they lose their promising potentials when they eventually manage to get the work permit. I came to just one conclusion – Wenger has refused to allow one money bag take over Arsenal and spend recklessly like Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd and presently Everton.

So, it must be all about money. Players pay 45% taxes to Inland Revenue and Customs  and Wenger is unrepentantly shrewd in both transfer fees and weekly wages. In a nutshell, the authorities want Wenger out. They need another Abramovich and Wenger is standing in the way. It’s always about money!

But the most annoying thing about it all is the role of some Arsenal fans. The English FA, EPL Officials and the Press have succeeded in turning them against the only man who practises the game of football by the book. Arsenal never cheats, never taps players up, never go against the rules…never investigated, never anything against the written rules under Wenger. Is there any manager in world football that could stand to Wenger in doing things perfectly the right way? But many Arsenal fans started booing their own team, calling Le Prof names. For 20 years Arsene consistently kept the team in the Champions League but they didn’t see it as consistency.

Even at the height of biased officiating, these AAAs turned at Wenger instead of the officials. For instance…against Mourinho and Chelsea, Diego Costa brutally fought everything in blue but continued playing. Instead Gabriel got the marching orders for doing absolutely nothing. Then Chelsea could find the net against ten men and later nine men at their home.  72 hours later the FA reversed decisions, nullified Gabriel’s red, banned Costa for three matches but said nothing about the most important factor – the three points.

Some Arsenal fans went as far as hiring a plane to display and pass around Wenger Out banners. When in fact they should be demonstrating against the FA and Officials! The way the centre referee officiated the last League match against Everton, it was clear that Arsenal wouldn’t have been ‘allowed’ to beat Everton if Liverpool wasn’t leading comfortably against Middlesborough from around the 60-miute mark.

But the AAAs have been effectively manipulated that they go against their team in name of wanting Wenger out. Contact Untold Arsenal and beg them to present well-researched table on points Arsenal lost to officiating and you understand dear Wenger would have won the title at least four times out of the 13 being shouted about.

Wenger and Arsenal were eventually kicked out of Champions League mainly by same unbelievable officiating…and suddenly Wenger signed up a player with 52 million pounds without blinking. And if reports are anything to go by, he has priced an 18-year old for a whopping 100 million pounds.  Worryingly, this very prudent manager seems to have decided to pay these ingrate set of fans in the coins they deserve by spending Arsenal’s money so freely. Perhaps…and no one would truly blame him…for those he’s been saving their club’s money and being very cautious about the rainy days take him for a fool.

Take it or leave it…with the crazy money being paid for and to footballers, this beautiful game we all enjoy will soon crash. Has Arsene finally joined that crazy world of reckless spending very close to this Armageddon?

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19 Replies to “Is Arsène Wenger finally broken?”

  1. If Mbappe is as good as everyone thinks he will be, then the alleged £123m bid from Arsenal will be dwarfed when he eventually moves on. He may end up being the world’s first 200 million pound player. I don’t see it as at all reckless. Surprised we’re in the hunt for his signature, but he could represent an outstanding investment. In the unlikely (but hugely exciting) event we end this window owning Lacazette, Lemar AND Mbappe, plus keeping Sanchez, I would suggest Arsenal can be a legitimate contender for both the Premier and Champions League.

  2. Couldn’t agree more, unfortunately the people who really should read this , won’t, and others will just decree it lies by a bunch of crying babies.But , well said.

  3. One of the best posts I have read for many moons.
    The past and present history of our great Club and all it stands for is properly recorded. Inevitably for the beautiful game, in my view your forecast for the future is also correct.
    The bubble cannot fail to burst. 😉

  4. When it comes to spending money on players AW isn’t shy. When he first arrived he spend a lot of money on players like TH (IIRC 14m which was big money for such a young player who’d achieved so little in the senior game), however he only spends what he has available and no more than that.
    He now has the money available and when the right players are also available then he’ll try yo make the deal. The actual cost of the buy is irrelevant if he has the money although he’s still looking for value (which most adults know isn’t to be confused with being cheap)
    He doesn’t buy players that don’t have the technical ability he requires or at least the potential to reach that level irrespective of how much the media holler the players merit, and he doesn’t buy players to keep others happy, only in an effort to improve the squad.
    So no change to him, just to the clubs financial situation.

  5. Nice post Tai, agree with the bulk of what your article referes to in regards to the EPL, FA, media and the men in black. There is a but though, Arsene and Arsenal will only spend what the club can afford to pay out, and I feel that only now are we starting to see the results of the club building us a beautiful state of the art, and large stadium in the heart of London.

    Mr Wenger is about playing the game in the right way and nurturing young players. If this stops, then I will say that Arsene has been broken, but it hasn’t.

    Whanever someone asks me which team I support, I can honestly say “The Arsenal” with a huge amount of pride because of this man and his ideals. I quietly had tears in my eyes at DB10’s last match in our colours as I knew that for the last time I would see football art on the pitch, and when Arsene leaves, again I will be emotional. The art of running a club will be gone, but in my tears not forgotten.

  6. Sorry, I’ve just remembered TH was £10.5m (May have been €14 at the ROE then), but still an awful lot for such a young player then.

  7. @Flares, I concur. I am on the same page with you. I thought I was the only Gooner in this opinion. But I’ve now found a Gooner in you who shares my wish for Arsenal to try by every means available to them financially to have #LACALEMA in their senior squad this summer. While at the same time try by all possible means to tie down Alexis Sanchez to a contract extension.

    A mammoth signing by Arsenal this summer in their history will be their signing of Kylian Mbappe if they can and would. While their signing of Thomas Lemar still remains at the wish level as source for funds to have the deal done, their signing of Mbappe will constitute a massive danger to the title win chance of the big spender clubs of: Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hs and the latest to join the bandwagon, Everton.

    In a devastating attacking machines gung-ho of the highest order by the quartet of: Sanchez, Lacazette & Mbappe with Lemar coming from the left wing back and Bellerin coming pacing down too from the right wing back to quartetly assault the opponent’s 18 yards into the edge of their box, oh dear me! Arsenal opponent teams will plead for compassion and mercy from Arsenal to stop massacring them. But Arsenal will have none of it as they continue in the massacre of their 37 opponent Premier League teams next season by winning all their 37 PL fixtures to make Chelsea 33 PL wins last season a teen play.

    Haven signed Lacazette already, if Arsenal went a head to do the 2 big signings of Lemar and Mbappe this summer, Arsenal will not only rule the fithrupled titles of: the Charity Shied, the League Cup, the FA Cup, the PL title and the Europa League Cup wins next season, but they will transist their fithrupled wins into the 2018-19 season by ruling that season as well replacing the their last fithrupled wins with a sixthruple wins of : the Charity Shield, the European Super Cup, the League Cup, the FA Cup, the PL title and the Champions League.

    Sound too imaginative? It can become real for us.

    Was Venus Williams ruthless this afternoon at Wimbledon? 6-4 6-2. Wow! Arsenal too can be ruthless next season.

  8. Every season I do my best to objectively analyse Arsenals performance. I have already commented that the post is very good. May I be allowed to stress that what is missing from the post and should be highlighted regularly is the disgraceful fact that the PGMOL continues to be unanswerable, to the FA, Premier League or any other body other than to Mr Mike Riley!

  9. Sorry! actually, I ment to say that Arsenal will win all their 38 PL fixtures next season to make Chelsea 31 PL game wins last season look like a teen wins. And not Arsenal will win all their 37 PL match fixtures next season to make Chelsea 33 PL wins last season look like a teen wins as I said in error in my last comment posting.

    Not the least, it has now emerged according to unconfirmed reports that Man City are actively hustling Kylian Mbappe through his representatives to join Man City this Summer despite the purported overtures from Real Madrid, PSG who are reported to be canvassing for the signature of the said to be sensational teen striker, Mbappe the world of football has not seen for a longtime since the adventure of Pele of Brazil into World Cup football for Brazil at the teen age of 16 years old. Wow!

    Notwithstanding, should Man City beat all other contenders to the signing of Mbappe this summer which I pray they don’t anyway, they will stop pursuing our Alexis Sanchez and leave him alone for us, won’t they?

    Nonetheless, Arsenal should make their quest to sign Thomas Lemar this summer irrevocable by accomplishing the signing with the minimum delays before any hyena of a club side attempts to snatch him away to devour him.

    Nevertheless, Arsenal must never give up in their willingness and resolves to sign Mbappe this summer if they can raise the fund necessary to do the signing. The signing of Mbappe by Arsenal this summer will leave their rival club Man City frustrated and weaken as they will neither get Sanchez nor Mbappe signed as Arsenal keep their Alexis and capture Mbappe to leave Man City empty in marquee striker signing this summer, but hold on to their only marquee striker, Kun Aguero.

  10. Great piece, covered all the points.

    From £10m to £100m, man i hope food prices dont rise that fast, wait, they do!

    I think Arsenal has been saving for just this time, and can now afford to spend without being in debt.
    But we can’t forget that the savings are limited though.

  11. Yes , Tai , I too believe that Arsene Wenger finally HAS broken the shackles that had held him back all these austerity years . The intent is clear .And here we finally really go !

    And while I would,hand on heart,tend to agree with all of your presentation, EXCEPT that those morons who hired those planes are NOT arsenal fans .And never were . I dare you idiots to come out and show yourselves , and prove me wrong . Not that I care a damn iota.

    I for one would feel totally horrified to be classified along with people of such low class .

    Up the Gunners !

  12. In the same period this article covers the English national team went from being a team that might make a tournamentQF or SF to one that can’t beat Iceland or Costa Rica.

    The house that Riley built.

    The article missed out Diaby, who with the accolades that went his wa y following his performance in the 2010 WC has most likely eclipsed anything that Paul Pogba will ever do.

    For the record it must be acknowledged that Fabregas had his career badly affected by the infamous bruised bone, he’s not really been able to complete a full season since – exacerbated by the understandable position to rush back from injury so he could fill the hole left by the injured Saint Cazorla in the Spanish WC winning squad.

    Thank you for this excellent article

  13. The contrast in the fees paid for Lacazette and Lukaku (at one point dropped for Origi by his national team) gives us our answer 🙂

  14. In the current world that we live in, perspective is such a rare and foreign thing.

    Always in their negative depiction of everything Arsenal and that remarkable man Arsene, nothing is ever said of the walls that they have had to surmount (sometimes just barely). More than any other coach, Arsene has had to endure what would make most people, especially those who barrage with insults, give up and wallow in perpetual bitterness.

    Yet he keeps going, holding onto that same vision that football can still be grand and beautiful and elevating. Despite all the opposition, the demeaning insults, abuse, unfair officiating, cheap onfield antics and disrespect even from some of his former players, he’s still maintained his honour and integrity and never once has he allowed himself to descend to such levels. Such patient endurance! The club ought to be applauded for sticking with him.

    Unfortunately, as with most anything great, he will only be appreciated long after he’s gone. Most of those hurling insults at him will the very ones ‘fawning’ over how great he was blah blah…such hypocrisy.

    I applaud this article. It struck a deep chord in me. I hope all the untolders will celebrate him while he’s still around and fanatically cheer the club as it trudges onwards, trophy or no trophy. There’s just so much to cheer about the club!

  15. After years of austerity and selling our best players, why shouldn’t arsenal spend big?

    What’s the point of moving into a new stadium and charging the highest ticket prices in football and then running the club like a mid table team?

  16. Alexanderhenry, whilst I agree with what you’re saying, don’t use the bullshit line about ‘highest’ ticket prices which has been shown to be a myth.

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