What the newspapers and others are saying about Mr Wenger

by Tony Attwood

There is an article in the Telegraph that runs this headline

“Arsene Wenger won three FA Cups in twilight of his Arsenal reign, yet Spurs are lauded for a top-four finish.”

It is indeed an interesting perspective, especially if we compare the last five years

From 2012/13 to 2015/16 Tottenham entered the Europa League each year.  They were knocked out in the Round of 32 once, the 16s twice and the quarter finals once.   Arsenal have been in the competition once and are in the semi-finals.  In the Champions League Tottenham went out in the Group Stages.   Arsenal did not once go out in the group stages

Tottenham in the league from 2012/13 to 2016/17 have come 2nd once, 3rd once, 5th twice and sixth once. This year I suspect they will come fourth, so including that we get 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th (twice) and sixth.   Making the same assumption for Arsenal we get 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 5th and presumably sixth this year.

In the FA Cup they’ve had two semi-finals in the six years including this year when they were able to play the semi-final at home.  Arsenal have won it three times.

So when we compare Tottenham with Arsenal, we don’t have to go back across the 22 years of Mr Wenger’s reign to see a difference.  Even in these last few years Arsenal have been superior.

And yet while the Telegraph manages to remain as balanced as a national newspaper can ever be, the Guardian continues its attack.   For the Telegraph adds that with Mr Wenger “any semblance of perspective became frequently lost.”  As others have said, the pinnacle was the unbeaten season, the depths at the end was winning the FA Cup three times in four years.

Even this year, in what is the worst season since the one immediately before Mr Wenger arrived, we have the Europa League semi-final and the League Cup final.  True, no trophies, but still some challenges.

I suspect that having seen the behaviour of the yobs there are some potential candidates for the job of manager who are thinking, “no thanks – not with those fans”.  Mr Wenger is, apparently (according to David Dein) already awash with job offers.

“I believe this club is respected all over the world, much more than in England, and our fans did not give the image of unity that I wanted. That was hurtful because I feel the club is respected over the world and, overall, the image we gave from our club is not what it is – and not what I like….


“If you travel with us – and I travel a lot – this club is respected all over the world and that is down to work, the way we play football, the way we behave and the way we treat people. I want that to go on, to be respected and to give the image I think is right. It is more than the money, more than the result. It is the way the club is received and the impression it leaves all over the world.”

“I’m happy when the fans are happy and I’m even ready to suffer to make them happy. If sometimes they make me happy as well [perhaps he meant the banner!], I will take it. Every single decision I made during my 22 years was for the good of Arsenal and every single decision was with the priority of doing well for the club. I tried to influence the club on structure, development of players and style of play. To combine the three is not always easy and I believe I leave a club that is in a very good position.

“My target was always to do that and give continuity to the guy who comes in after me so we can be better in the next 20 years. That’s my wish.”

But unable to let the backbiting go, the Guardian then commented of yesterday’s match, “it was noticeable that the home crowd sang his name on less than a handful of other occasions. None of the chants were sustained. It was a long way from being an appreciation of what Wenger has put into the club over nearly 22 years.”

The other side of that is that in any game over those 22 years you never get more than half a dozen songs for Wenger – you get them for players and against the opposition, and for the club.  It is one of those viewpoints that the media love to use – a statement of fact “less that a handful”, put in a negative manner (they could equally have said the fans repeatedly sang his name which would also have been true), but it was a fact that was a false comparison with history, from which they extracted an opinion which itself was false, since the appreciation is normally delivered when a person leaves, not when he or she announces the leaving.

The Guardian also speaks of a “sense of drift”.  This in a team that has recently signed Mkhitaryan and Aubamayang, to add to its forward line that already had Lacazette and Ozil.   Or maybe it was the way Ramsey was still developing.  Or maybe because we DIDN’T win the FA Cup this year.  Or maybe it was that even though both our top goalscorers for the season left in January we still have three players who have scored in double figures this year (that favourite method of measuring success by the notorious Amy Lawrence).

Or maybe it is just habit.  What shall we do today?  I don’t know.  OK let’s knock Arsenal.

Untold Arsenal’s Emirates banner featured on Match of the Day and record equalled.

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20 Replies to “What the newspapers and others are saying about Mr Wenger”

  1. Arsenal fans seem to be getting obsessed that Spurs, in the form of Poch, are getting an easy ride from the press, especially when compared to Wenger.

    This may be true, although surely the loudest critics of Wenger (unfairly in my opinion) have been Arsenal fans themselves (and not a small minority). Given the negativity from the fans at the Emirates for the last 4 or 5 years it is no wonder that the press have picked up on the disquiet and are reporting it.

    For what its worth, as a Spurs fan, I genuinely think that Wenger has done wonderful things both for Arsenal and for English football and his ‘relative’ lack of success in recent years should not obscure his contribution.

    It is clear that the press are excited by Poch, in the same way that they were when Wenger first arrived, Henry Winter for example used to gush over every word uttered by Wenger. The media’s excitement over Poch will soon fade if my beloved Spurs continue their attempt’s to emulate Devon Lock

  2. I have a great deal of respect for Arsene Wenger. As a non-English person, though, what always intrigues me is how English players demand fair judgement on clubs – in this case Tottenham – and players, from the press. If you know the truth, or think you do, what difference does it make what the newspapers say? And will it change anything?

  3. Tony,

    to me the epitome of the Guardian’s manipulation was the headline annoucing his leaving that just said : won 3 PL titles.
    And Amy Lawrence is not a journalist, she does not deserve to be considered as one, She is more a gossip columnist.

    As I commented, it discredits all other papers they publish by showing how they can just manipulate information and grossly mislead people.

    And NOT ONE of them has stated the reality : Mr Wenger decided to go not because he wanted to, but to preserve the club. As he’s done in the past, he put the club’s interest above his own. I hope his memoirs will be telling us interesting stuff…

    Thinking about it… which PL active coaches can say : I won 3 PL titles ? Are there many ? Mourinho maybe and I think that’s it. And not one will ever be able to say : I won 7 FA Cups, that is pretty much certain I believe. But then, this counts for zilch according to the Guardian.

    And this is the reason the Guardian will not get any subscription from me.

  4. The Guardian’s not so subtle snide remarks, despite their grudging attempts to sugar-coat them as a tribute, are on a par with BBC television response, which gave Mr. Lyle, of Arsenal Fan TV (what a misnomer!) an uninterrupted 5 minutes to display his particular prejudice against Mr. Wenger.

  5. Ami Lawrence, hilarious does anyone really take her serious? I’ve read many of her write ups and to say she doesnt understand football is an understatement.

    The problem with these hacks, oops I mean journalists, is that they all mix and drink together and have almost become one. The narrative is the same, the repeated bollocks the same, it’s like they cannot think for themseleves. And they can’t. Watch Sunday Supplements and you will find yourlself staring in diebelief at the errant nonsense they spout.

    Arsenal have been picked on, nobody can argue against that. The bias is alive and kicking and evident by the hypocritical way in which the club is judged.

    Winning 3 FA Cups in 4 years is by any standards, exceptional. How often has it happened? With the possibility of adding a European trophy to the medal haul you really are left scratching your head about the abuse Wenger has been receiving in the media. Don’t forget, these trophies were earned after the austerity of 2006-2013 when Mr. Wenger was making the club money from his transfer activities due to the problems of the stadium financing. 2006 to 2013 Arsenal made £195m of which £175m was transfer profit. Never gets a mention. Top 4 while bottom of net spend seems like over achievement to me.

    Meanwhile, a man who has spent £500,00 on players for his Arab oil state club, wins the Premier League and is hailed as the Messiah. What’s more is his team is labelled the best PL team ever – when everyone knows that is untrue. But of course it’s a narrative aimed at discrediting Wengers achievement with the Invincibles.

    Remember the narrative about Wengers success being built on George Grahams back 4? A back four that had finished 10th and 12th prior to Wengers arrival. Ever heard that mentioned?

    What about the Invincibles back four rebuilt by Wenger and which broke records for clean sheets in the Champions League.Ever hear that mentioned?

    Now let’s not even bother going into the fact Arsenal had to share their training facility with the University when Wneger arrived and how the profit on the sale of Nicolas Anelka paid for the new training facility. Never heard that mentioned either.

    No, all I’ve heard is that how Arsenal have gone backwards and how that is all Mr. Wengers fault. 3 FA Cups in 4 years and a European semi final is total failure and a reason for Mr. Wenger to be mocked.

    There is nothing wrong with fair criticism, whatsoever.

    But everything wrong with unfair criticism, double standards and lies. Mr. Wenger is a victim of the media and a section of gullible fans who soak up everything they read as fact. It is an absolute disgrace.

  6. I’ m glad you quoted Jeremy Wilson in the Telegraph, Tony. He had three articles and they were all good – or at least as good as we are likely to get from any sports journalist. The one you quote here really did highlight how unfair and uneven the media treatment of Arsene Wenger’s recent record has been compared to that of Spurs or Liverpool. And another article had big quotes from his press conference, letting Arsene speak for himself.

  7. Arsène Wenfer’s resignation has been too bitter a pill to swallow for me, so far.
    As for the Guardian petty snipers, unfortunately, we have to give them that: your relentless gossiping-maligning-libeling has brought your target down, you cowardly failures.
    For without them, no ArsenalMoronTV, no red “fans” who actually are as spineless as rotten tomatoes … and no resignation of the great man.
    Which brings me to Gazidis … you’ve thanked him for his allusion to the banner, Tony, but just for once, I don’t agree with you; to me the man is as gutless as he’s hairless. His so-called homage sounds as jesuit as one can imagine. Actually, I thought he had taken some kind of weird vow of silence: couldn’t he step up before, and be willing to take the heat by defending AW against all the stabbers in the back, the “columnists”, the “pundits”, the PGMO? He didn’t have much to do, reading Untold would have sufficed.
    I’m gutted.
    Rotten Tomatoes Out
    Gazidis Out
    Wenger Back In

  8. I should think respect and success in result in one’s life go together. One will start to lose some respect if he starts to fall back to fail in the success he’s known for achieving in what he does and know how to do best.

    In the case of Le Boss, the outgoing Arsenal manager, the man was once highly successful in his first 10 years at Arsenal when he came there in 1996 and inherited a strong team reputed with a very strong back line defence. He built his team around that strong back line defence by singing many high caliber technician players like: Sylvain Wiltord, Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pirez, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry O’henry, Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, Colo Toure and Gilberto Silva to mention some who gave him remarkable Title winning successes that made Arsenal to win 3 Premier League Titles, 4 FA Cup wins, many Community Shield wins but no League Cup win.

    But in his next 10 years as the Gunners boss, Arsenal almost became a mediocre club side whise team always qualified for the CL campaign every year and got into the final once but never won the competition under Le Boss. Under Le Boss 22 years reign as Arsenal manager, the Gunners reached the final of the League Cup twice but didn’t win it. And last won the prestigious English Premier League Title in 2003/2004 season campaign setting an unbeaten season record that is yet to be equalled by any other PL club side to date.

    Le Boss is a remarkable football club improver as he’s known to have built the current Arsenal London Colney training ground. And also known for his unrivalled input in the building of the new Arsenal Stadium currently named after it’s sponsor as the Emirates Stadium.

    The amount of hardwork at which Le Boss has done and is still doing his job at Arsenal as the senior Gunners team manager has earned Arsenal FC and Le Boss regard, recognition and credibility across the football world. But as for respect, Le Boss is been respected for the good he has done at Arsenal. But he would have been more respected if in the last 14 seasons including the one that’s coming to an end he has won 4 – 5 PL Titles, 4 League Cup Titles at least, and 4 CL Titles in the last 13 seasons on the average of one win every 3 seasons. Remarkable it would have been, will it not?

    But it is this lack of winning the bigger Titles of the PL and the CL after 14 season campaigns that got to the nerves of the numerous Arsenal supporters who have been protesting against Le Boss in the last 6 – 7 seasons or so to leave Arsenal to allow a fresh hand to come in to revitalize the club to win the bigger Titles. But as their protests against Le Boss in met with defiance continually by Le Boss and the Arsenal board. The Le Boss must leave Arsenal brigade took their protest to a higher level by boycotting Arsenal home matches at the Emirates Stadium which set Arsenal CEO and directors into a state of panic. For, it’s being believed in some football circles that if these boycotts of matches by a vast number of Arsenal supporters continued, it could seriously affects the global marketing brand of Arsenal FC. Hence, the Arsenal board decision to amicably part ways with Le Boss who is the borne of contention between the Le Boss to leave brigade and the Arsenal board.

  9. ‘But it is this lack of winning the bigger Titles of the PL and the CL after 14 season campaigns that got to the nerves of the numerous Arsenal supporters who have been protesting against Le Boss in the last 6 – 7 seasons or so to leave Arsenal to allow a fresh hand to come in to revitalize the club to win the bigger Titles’

    what 14 season campaigns??? Which muppet beyond the age of 16 had the expectation that Arsenal was targetting or going to win the league after moving stadiums?

    That he(Wenger) made us look like capable of doing it is testament to his management and coaching skills. But we all remembered what happened. ‘They dont like it up’em – to beat Arsenal yu have to kick’em- soft pansy foreigners’ Thats how they stopped Arsenal. Because when you have Ferguson, Roman and Arabs spending 100,200-300m each per summer and Wenger spending 3-5m net, fabregas and co will win the league over their dead bodies….

  10. @LeGall,

    I agree with your point about Mr Gazidis,I’d not considered this angle. And it does change my perspective some.

    But I’d enlarge it to the owners. I cannot remember anybody in the past 10 or 15 years stepping up in REAL support of Arsene Wenger. Mr Wenger was always front and center and the others ‘hiding’ behind him.

    They had the perfect man, but in the end let him alone to address the consequences of their financial shortcomings. And I am not blaming them for not being able to outspend Manure or Citeh, but for NOT stating the obvious : we do not have the money to compete and are trying our best some other way. By hiding behind Mr Wenger, they were able to make all the WOBs and idiots think he was the issue, where he could have been a solution. And don’t let me get started about their defeaning silence (I know oxymoron) about refereeing and what it cost to the club. Why did they not ever react like Guardiola did. Don’t care if it would have helped. At least it would have been seen.

    I have absolutely no doubt Mr Wenger will find open arms, checkbooks, stadia waiting for him and that he’ll be welcomed and treated as the great man and professoinal he is. Arsenal are the losers and the joke of the continent.

  11. And who the fuck are the Arsenal fans to demand bigger titles? Did they demand them in 1964 as well? 1975? 1976?1982? Fuck this shit…

    A bunch of morons trolled for a decade by rivals and media turned the screws on the board and the board instead of finding them and banning them pushed Wenger out

    Disgraceful from top to bottom. And in between.

  12. Arsenal are the losers and the joke of the continent.

    Exactly! Thank you! The joke of football! Allowing media and trolls to destabilise them and sack their greatest manager without whom none of them would be there.

  13. Spurs have always been the media darlings. But I don’t care, as soon as my brother boasts that they are the dominant London team they lose a vital game (Juventus and Man U) and I then just remind him that they have not won the title for 57 years. It always works but he blanks me for a few weeks, but I still don’t care. It must be hell being a Lillywhite.

  14. I thought myself Mr Gazidis looked very ill-at- ease yesterday, woebegone.

    He cannot be certain that Mr Wenger will keep his mouth shut when he leaves, and he knows that Mr Wenger has a standing in football which he can only ever dream about and, no wonder he looked so woebegone, the Chief Executive knows Mr Wenger is a very intelligent man capable of expressing himself, with humour, in a few EU languages, and if there is one person who will be the butt of the jokes for years to come, it will be Mr Gazidis.

    When it came to fighting alongside the football manager who created the throne he’s put his bum on, Mr Gazidis was nowhere to be seen, and he knows it.

  15. Perhaps more than a handful of fans will acknowledge AW’s achievements at the LAST home game of the season

  16. hmmmmmmn! encomiums pouring for the greatest man in beautiful football history.
    there may be other media crowned greats of dark art football. Wenger is not part of dark art!
    he crave for a beautiful game built on hardwork, dedication and fairplay which his sworn enemies frown at, yet he persever as the shining light in darkness of the game.
    Arsene should not quit, should leave english football and all its agents of darkness, move abroad and show them the power of truth which never dies!
    Watching Giroud becoming the shining light of chelsea currently, i know you are always the truth!
    giroud was handicapped in England for years because they hate you and now the shameless cunts are now licking the boots of their tagged useless striker!
    OG12(18) is now rubbing it to their face that they are always wrong though they would not apologize!
    Thanks Arsene.
    Thanks Untold.

  17. Walter, I’ve cried less over break ups! I want him back, it wasn’t about to get easy.

    Le Gall, nods and tips cap.

    But only one thing will make me sure he is right and that is the return of the king and for him to collect Patrice on his way.

    AS this man says; he can’t fail, he isn’t ours pep! Ancelotti just got offered Italy. He could be an goods interim, he was at Chelsea and didn’t be change much at all!

    Certainly not, Enrique, and Simeone is Athleti! Klopp is good, but we don’t play that!

    If Arsene had one thing, convince them Henry Ian so green they’ll get to sell who they like next season. Buyback Henry, comes youth gets a chance, Vieria can select then next DM personally, Keown and Henry can see who they think can either stop or emulate them, ok on the end emulating let’s say well ask Toure and Kos.

    But I say find me a better EPL squad than:

    Seaman, Sagna, Toure, Koscielny, Cole, VIeiria, Fabregas, Pires, Alexis, Bergkamp, Henry.

    And if Ben like I’ll jeedntonuse allbtye players from all the teams and it would be something like.

    Suarez, Cristiano, Beckham, Lampard Gerrard, Giggs, Terry, Ferdinand, G. Neville, Azpilecuerta, Schmiechel

    And I hadn’t tonleave out some big names.

    And I couldn’t watch them play 760 games a season against each other.

    As I said the problem was stupid fans, we have more problems now. But I agree what he can do now untethered from the club and its clearly currupted board could be very illuminating.

    They look like dragging the value putney of the squad before selling pre- no Brexit.

    House of Lords derailed Brexit plan almost completely. Locals if people get their act together, we swing them Labour Andy Lin, select committee and cabinet trigger no confidence and boom Jeremy is in, out to parliamentary vote brexir wnds. Now you have to check how change pounds back to dollars quicky.

    SO YOU; threaten the club itself to fascilitate sales before summer.

    The enemy within.

    ArsenalFanTV betting company sponsored.

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