Is Mr Emery the right man for the job? The worrying signs…

by Tony Attwood

I suspect that anyone who was present when Patrick Vieira came on as a substitute for his first appearance for Arsenal at Highbury, will never forget the moment.   Young and inexperienced though he was, and with his manager on the other side of the world still working in Japan, and with a strong doubt among some supporters and players about “all these foreigners” (to put it politely), and with Tony Adams’ comment about Wenger, “What does he know about English football, he’s French” still fresh in the memory, Vieira came into the centre of defensive midfield and quite simply took over the game.

I was there, sitting in the north bank, and still remember turning to my pal Roger saying, “Look at this guy; he’s amazing, look at what he is doing… who the hell is he?”  Or words to that effect.

He was of course, our future.  But what of our future now that Mr Wenger has come into the club, revolutionised it, and now gone?   So far we have tried to consider this through three articles:

How to kill a player  and then

So should we be supporting Emery, given the way things are going?

And most recently Is Mr Emery getting Arsenal right, or is he leading us down the wrong path?

Now I want to continue this further.

Mr Wenger worked with far less money than some other major clubs have had, and still kept us in the top four, and winning FA Cups.   OK, for many readers of this site that was not enough, and those of us who supported Wenger in the latter years took a lot of stick for staying loyal.   But my point was never that Mr Wenger was the best manager in football, rather he was the best manager for Arsenal given the financial position of Arsenal, and the activities of other clubs.

And I think this is an important point for it leads to the question, not “Is Mr Emery a good manager?” but rather, “Is he the best manager for Arsenal in these circumstances?”

Back in the Bertie Mee days, journalists talked about the “Big Five” of Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton.   Not the “big five” because they were always at the top – far from it, as some of them had little trips into the second division, just to see what it was like, and not the “big five” because they won things all the time, but because they consistently got the big crowds and so could use the money to buy the top players.

Now we have the present top six, established because they seem destined to share the top six places in the league most of the time, and have the sort of mega-incomes that effectively can stop other clubs overtaking them.

In the order of turnover they are …

  • Manchester United valued £3.2bn with a turnover of £590m.
  • Manchester City valued at £1.9bn, with a turnover of £503.5m.
  • Liverpool valued at £1.5bn and with a turnover of £455m
  • Arsenal valued at £1.66bn with a turnover of £419m
  • Chelsea valued at £1.53bn with a turnover of £368m
  • Tottenham Hotspur valued at £960m and with a turnover of £379m

On those turnover figures Arsenal look well placed to be a club that should be competing – we have the fourth highest turnover so fourth place in the league should not be too tough a target.

But Mr Wenger took us up to the top of the league at a time when we had a much lower turnover, and he did that through brilliant tactics, clever purchases, excellent identification of young players, and then selling players when he had to, often at inflated prices.  In short, he repeatedly exceeded what could have been our regular expectations.   An irony indeed given that the “Wenger Out” campaign alleged that he should have been doing much more.

Yet Mr Wenger did overachieve repeatedly during the years when our turnover was immediately spoken for in terms of repaying the stadium debt.

But his departure was anticipated and a new team was put in place to cover many of the jobs Mr Wenger had taken on for himself.   Which makes the recent departure of Sven Mislintat all the more frustrating.   I know there are some people who blame what they perceive to be Arsenal’s failure of late on Ivan Gazidis – something I really can’t find any evidence for.  What I do give Mr Gazidis credit for is the bringing together of the new management team as the time of Mr Wenger’s departure approached.  For that team to have a significant person leaving so soon, suggests to me that something that was properly organised at the very top of the club no longer is.

Could it be therefore, that Mr Emery has demanded the same sort of power that Mr Wenger had, on the grounds that Wenger had it from the very start (as per the Vieira transfer) so why shouldn’t he?  In short I wonder if we are not seeing just the outer signs of a power battle; the sort of thing that would readily have been nipped in the bud because everyone agreed from the start, before: Mr Wenger had total power.

The series continues tomorrow…

42 Replies to “Is Mr Emery the right man for the job? The worrying signs…”

  1. in short Emery is not good selection and set up very poor.incoming transfers ok if playing in over 60 Saurez a tough midfielder? is he an ultra fast and strong winger? i think he is an inferior and cheaper version of M.O

  2. For fucks sake the people at the club are dealing with the shit left by your beloved wenger who left us in the same place he found us

  3. Emery may have made such demands, but if he has, and I am far from sure he is in a place to, he is going counter to what they told us last summer.
    But that was in the era of Gazidis, things may have changed, perhaps emery and Raul have ganged up on , let’s face it, a pretty disengaged owner, to get their way?
    Stan might come across as a bit of a soft touch to the more cynical breed of football man, especially those who seek Wengers power and longevity.
    But in reality, despite having changed my mind about 50 times, I suspect the club are probably, for right or wrong, pretty united on Mesut. We, and I suspect some of the players might love him and his talent, but the club will have inside knowledge, and perhaps data that says he is underperforming, let’s face it, he hasn’t pulled up any trees for a while with the exception of the Leicester game. Is it possible Germany has marked him badly? wish I knew, all I do know, it’s very sad and a shame it has come to this, apparent freezing him out, a talented, but possibly unhappy player, a social media war, and the team playing shit at times.
    Emery gave him chances early on in the season, perhaps he should again, and put the onus on Ozil to perform, ok unwanted pressure I know, but they need to sort this out. There will ne no winners, and unless the board are extremely united behind him, this could get emery the sack.
    I wish they would all just sit down, put finances, egos, gripes, personality clashes aside and just do what’s best for Arsenal. But that needs guiding from the top, and I am far from sure Stan wishes to be involved to that level, which i suspect is the crux of all our problems at the moment. Who actually is running this ship, and are the really qualified to do so?

  4. Well it was always going to b impossible to replace the genius that is Wenger..
    The question is could Arsenal have done better than Emery. If anyone has watched any 3 of our games this season, it is obvious that at a style of football level Emer is not the right coach for us.
    We are a boring Arsenal.
    We are certain y not going to attract any new fans playing like that. And yes we are losing established fans playing that bus parking rubbish that we do…. And we are not winning. Maureen was boring as hell but he hauled in the trophies parking all over the league.
    Arsenal has to mi imise their loses and get rid of this Emery guy.
    And Ozil is not the problem. For a team with no imagination like ours he is the most obvious solution… Get rid of Emery or as the Arsenal faithful would say…..
    .. EMERY Out!!

  5. David Dein Bought wenger to the club,David Dein bought in the world class players that wenger suggested .when Dein left,wengers players and buying went slowly downhill.wenger EARNT a fortune for hisself,towards the end he bought crap players and crippled the club with ott wages.WENGERS GONE MOVE ON. We will never get back to those heady heights until Kroenkes gone. Thats unlikely for a long time. Give Emery a chance ,wenger got 15 extra years

  6. Wow!
    Let it go Mr. Attwood. Mr. Wenger has gone.
    And seriously, 10 minutes into the job and we’re getting Emery out comments?! 20+ matches unbeaten and he’s a god, unlucky season ending injuries to key players breaks our flow and now he isn’t right for Arsenal and should leave.
    Comical AND disappointing. Starting to sound like chelsea fans……

  7. It’ll be too harsh to the extreme if the Gooners should say, OUT! to Emery at week no. 26 stage into the Premier League campaign this season. For, to me it’s too early to start suggesting if Emery is the right man or not for the Gunners head coach. Moreover as he’s just 8 months into his 2 or 3 years contact at Arsenal. After all, Arsenal are not only currently in the 5th position in the table with only 1 point behind Man Utd who are in 4th and three are still 12 matches left to play. Which is still giving us hopes Arsenal could get the desired 4th place finish this season, but at the same time are still in the Europa League Cup competition this season campaigning to win the Cup.

    Therefore, since patient is not an offence or a sign of weakness but of power and an attribute of self control and perseverance and endurance, I think us Gooners have to be calm and not be over agitated in our demands demanding for immediate title wins success for Arsenal from Emery the Gunners head coach. But rather, let’s be contented with what we’ve had so far this season’s campaign and be hoping to have more successes before this season come to a close.

    Rubble at the Emirates Stadium? Well, if at all the Emirates Stadium is being rumbled by Emery to wrest players transfer control from Mislintat the erstwhile Gunners head of recruitment, I think Emery is looking to have gotten the supports of the Arsenal General Manager and Raul, the head of football in this regard. Hence, the resignation of Sven from the club. Power control or no power control at the Ems, provided Emery delivers success to Arsenal this season by getting a top four place finish for the club and also win the ELC for the club too, would us Gooners then have much problems or issues with him if he achieves these duo successes for Arsenal this season?

  8. I don’t know how other people feel, but I think that is enough articles deeply criticising Unai Emery. We’re indulging ourselves. Let’s draw back and see how the rest of the season pans out,hoping for the best as fans do.

    Probably at the beginning of the season we said he is likely to need a season or two to settle in. Maybe, despite certain misgivings,that is still the right approach to take.

  9. What Wenger had achieved in the first decade of his tenure is impossible replicate now.Then there were MU /Arsenal and Chelsea.MC have trampled over the old fw with their massive spending .It makes a mockery of UEFA’s financial fair play.
    The latter have threatened MC with suspension from the cl.
    Lets wait and see if they have the guts when confronted by the high powered legal counsel the Blues will engage.
    As for Arsenal,taking part in the cl is to fatten the coffers of the US owner.
    If Emery does qualify for the cl,he would take a minimum of 2 seasons to win the cl that is if the owner is willing to invest in the team with high end players.
    If not just qualify for the Europa and no need to challenge for trophies.
    Arsenal are a premium brand whose value has diminished the last few seasons.Being based in London,they shd be listed among the top 3 richest clubs . Instead they are lagging behind and in time will be out of the top 10i.e the worst scenario.

  10. This is actually a poorly written article. There is no correlation between title and The content… you have completely failed to give substance to the question you posed!??! Besides the embedded question that will Emery be able to bring success on a limited budget? The answer is no!

    We cannot criticize a coach who has not been able to build his own team.

    Wenger was not over achieving….he was performing in line with our spending policy. We haven’t won the league since mega money came in. Emery needs money in order to build this team his way… kronke is our bigger problem, I’d like to see more time and energy trying to get him out than posting irrelevant articles about the new manager

  11. So the jury is out now. Only after 7/8 months. Like many sane voices here at Untold I kept on backing AW to continue at the club. But I think the owners and a big part of fanbase wanted him out.
    Infact many of us warned these AAAs and Wobs to be careful what they wanted and now I hope they realize their mistake of getting rid of AW.
    Apart from the results and stats the kind of football we are seeing under UE it is getting from bad to worse.
    The treatment of our star players Ozil and Ramsey is another factor. The club has regressed since the departure of AW
    AW left behind a very good squad in contrast to Ferggie at MU.
    But UE has failed to improve on that and we have regressed considerably.
    Atleast I am enjoying the Wobs have a worrying time ahead. 😄😄😄

  12. I think it might all be a bit clearer if you had read the previous articles in this series. If you have read them, and still find the lack of link, well, sorry I can’t help you further.

  13. Except that he managed to get the stadium paid for, won a record number of cups, achieved things no other manager ever achieved at Arsenal, or in some cases anywhere, and survived the cut in funding under the new owner.

  14. Why people have a problem with Wenger being mentioned is really baffling.

    He was a massive part of the club for over 20 years.

    Did we stop mentioning Brady, Wright, Vieira, Henry, RVP, Fabrigas when they left? Of course not. They were a massive part of Arsenal and are still mentioned to this day despite some having left the Club 40 plus years ago.

    Managers such as Chapman, Mee, Niel, Graham are still mentioned to this day.

    All these people are part of the fabric of the club and will always be mentioned.

    And they are not all mentioned with reverance. Some are loved and admired. Some are not. Some invoke mixed feelings.

    But the one thing they all have in common, along with a lot of other players and managers is that they are still talked about because they will always be a part of this club and to attempt to wipe a single one of them from our history, or to suggest they should not be mentioned is to totally misunderstand what debate blog such as Untold Arsenal is all about.

    Are we honestly saying that because Wenger has left the Club he now cannot be mentioned, either with reverence or ridicule?

    Because if you are, then surely that means we cannot mention a single one of those ex players and managers I mentioned.

    Can we now never talk about Henry, either possitively or negatively?

    Honestly that is madness.

    And the fact is the posters that wanted Wenger gone reference him just as often as those that admired him.

    I have recently posted a couple of pieces referencing how well I thought Wenger had done in the period 2011 to 2018 but that was only in response to a poster who was critisising that period.

    He mentioned Wenger first in a negative light, I responded in a positive light, thats what a debating blog is about.

    To suggest Wenger is never mentioned, either possitively or negatively is absolutely ridiculous.

  15. And just to say to anyone who gets fed up with us/untold mentioning Wenger, you do realise you are on a blog that overtly stated there admiration and support of Wengerdon’t you?

    We even payed for a banner with his famous ‘football should be an art’ quotation on it.
    Are you really surprised we still admire and defend him when we feel it neccesery?


    So you come to an overtly ‘pro Wenger’ blog site and critisise him, which is your parogative, and then start telling people to stop mentioning/defending him. Really?

    As I’m sure you are all aware there are many sites out there that didn’t/don’t like Wenger so why not go there so you don’t have to put up with us poor deluded soles?

    I mean, I’m sure they NEVER mention Wenger.

  16. I strongly suspect that Emery is venting his spleen on Arsenal due to his “PSG” treatment. He has such right, but does he know WHEN to stop? If he knows. then it must be a wim-win situation for all; but if otherwise,he may follow Arsene out soon.
    At Arsene’s sunset, the players became very restive just as in cases of Jose atChlsea/ Man U. As soon as Jose got a flight out, both teams magically. So did Arsenal perform as we welcomed Emery. Apparently, the same Emery has turned around to glide downhill. The reason is obvious: Emery CANNOT pass love back to his players, intead he is snatching love from them by unwisely kicking out agaist Ramsey and Ozil- just because of his unwritten fears against control. On my life and with this trend, he would go after Abu next–mark my words!

    Conclusively, Arsenal would not improve on its positin and this would lead to fan apatyy,and……Time will tell!

  17. Are we taking things too far? Untold ALWAYS insisted we should judge AW at the end of the season, and now the same people are calling for the new manager’s head half way through his first season!

    We all knew replacing the legendary AW will be tough. Still, Arsenal have 50 points from 26 games, that is not really too bad if you compare with previous seasons. It’s just that City, Liverpool & perhaps Spurs are doing exceptionally well (City have 2.74 points per game!).

    The reality is that there is a vacuum at the top, both for a disinterested owner and the departure of key top figures.

    Let’s not take the knives out for Emery so quickly. We are not AAA, not yet anyway.

  18. U mean those articles that explain why after consulting your men you decided to turn to the dark side. Someone should teach me how to post smileys

  19. I am not particularly happy with where we are right now but I think we should and must back Unai Emery. 8 or 9 months is not enough to put your stamp on a club and it is not like we are in 12th spot. On the other hand, I don’t think we should slate Arsene Wenger…He accomplished a great deal for us and the cupboards are NOT bare…chins up lads, We are the Arsenal.

  20. TomP and Co

    So it’s alright to talk about Wenger as long as you’re criticising him:



    For fucks sake the people at the club are dealing with the shit left by your beloved Wenger who left us in the same place he found us



    Dein left, Wenger’s players and buying went slowly downhill. Wenger EARNT a fortune for himself, towards the end he bought crap players and crippled the club with ott wages.

    …..or taking the piss out of untold:



    Lol. Welcome to Le Untold AAA. Supporting the manager as long as it’s Lord Wenger…



    U mean those articles that explain why after consulting your men you decided to turn to the dark side

    ……or down playing his achievements:



    Wenger was not over achieving….he was performing in line with our spending policy.




    Let it go Mr. Attwood. Mr. Wenger has gone…………..Comical AND disappointing. Starting to sound like Chelsea fans……

    …….I make that 6 posts mentioning Wenger in a negative way.

    I see 2 posts mentioning ‘Emery out’.

    This is what Tony said about Wenger in the article:

    “But my point was never that Mr Wenger was the best manager in football, rather he was the best manager for Arsenal given the financial position of Arsenal, and the activities of other clubs.”

    Surely, whether you agree with that statement or not, it is a valid point of view and certainly doesn’t warrant the rather sad ‘Lord Wenger’ or ‘your beloved Wenger’ Jibes?

    I challenge you to find ONE comment in Tony’s article that suggests Emery should be sacked.

    I challenge you to find one negative thing I say about Emery.

    This is a debating blog. We have a new manager after 20 odd years whom on the surface seems, for whatever reason, to be struggling to get things on track.

    Surely questions can be asked? Surely questions SHOULD be asked. It’s what incites debate.

    Yes, Emery has only been in the job for a short while and it could purely be that. If you think that, fine, but don’t be surprised when others mention the instant impact OGS has had at United.

    Yes, it could be the ‘mess’ Wenger left us in. If you think that fine, but expect people to put a counter argument.

    Yes it could be injuries, if you think that fine, but expect people to put a counter argument.

    Is it not fair to ask, given our apparent lack of creativity, why Ozil is not being picked?

    As far as I can see all these questions can and should be asked, and if you think that for one second all these things can be discussed without mentioning Wenger, and without comparisons being drawn, either positive or negative, then you are deluding yourself.

    As I asked earlier, are you telling me Wenger never gets mentioned on Le Grove? And when he does I rather doubt it’s praising him.

    I never visit the site because I know it’s basic views are in complete contrast to mine, but if I did go there stating my admiration for Wenger how do you think I would be received? With open arms? From what I here that would hardly be the case.

    Personally I think, even though you have diametrically opposed views to the basic underlying beliefs of this site you are welcome to come here and express your views.

    But you don’t do that do you.

    All you seek to do is ridicule, deride and insult. I don’t get it.

    Why don’t you try to enter into debate, you might just enjoy it.

  21. @nitram the post is quite long, so permit me to respond only to some parts of it
    1. No I don’t agree that Wenger was the best man for the job based on our resources… Simeone for example has done very well with much less resources. Same with many coaches all over Europe. Conte went unbeaten with juve, I Dont remember him spending billions. Even coaches like mourinho and Guardiola you accuse of winning only because they spend like hell, I don’t believe that trash. How much did mourinho spend at Porto to win the uefa cup and champions league? Or how much did guardiola spend in his first season in barca before winning 6/6 titles?. You don’t appreciate the achievements of these coaches or you’re just jealous and cook up the money excuse. Besides the amount clubs like man city spend on their players is not the sacrosanct value of the player. Arsenal bought PEA for £56m, if he had a clone and man city went for that, they would probably pay £75m, does that mean man city’s PEA would play like £75m value player while ours would play like a £56m player? How much did Messia cost barca? So this money spent excuse is what it is, an excuse. Besides we’ve had money to spend and Wenger did spend. In the last 5years we were only outspent by the Manchester clubs and Chelsea.
    I’ll be replying more later, gotta work now

  22. TomP

    ” No I don’t agree that Wenger was the best man for the job based on our resources, Simeone for example has done very well with much less resources”

    Firstly making comparisons to other leagues is superfluous as it has no relevance to what a manager is up against in the premier league.

    Apart from the Liecster miracle, and lets put that in perspective it was a one off and as admirable as it was it was a freak, name me one PL coach that matched Wengers achievement of 10 years in the top 4 with a net player spending of ZERO.

    Then you say:

    “Even coaches like mourinho and Guardiola you accuse of winning only because they spend like hell, I don’t believe that trash.”

    Firstly I never said that. Show me one time I said they win things ONLY because they spend lots of money? Dont make things up to suit your argument.

    I have said Guardiola is “one of the best managers in the World” so that in itself says it’s more than just the money.

    But would he be were he is with Man City without the money? Well nobody can know for certain but I ask you this, if he didn’t need the £300 odd Million net he’s spent why did he spend it?

    a) Tax avoidance ?

    b) Retail therapy ?

    c) Piss the owners off ?

    d) Why not, it’s there ?


    e) He felt he needed to spend it to win the league ?

    I mean spending £300 Miliion of somebody else’s money when you don’t really need to because you are good enough without it is a bit reckless don’t you think ?

    In which case I suggest the answer is e) which says to me even Pep agrees he does actually need to spend the money.

    Or do you think there’s another reason he spent £300 Million on players? You tell me.

    Then you say:

    In the last 5 years we were only outspent by the Manchester clubs and Chelsea. And they are the only 3 clubs to win more than us, Funny that. But it has nothing to do with money of course because “I don’t believe that trash”.

    In the last 5 years Arsenal have won 3 FA Cups and 3 community shields

    Liverpool have spent similar to us if not more yet have won NOTHING. Now I like Klopp and at this moment in time he certainly seems to be taking Liverpool on a fairly steep upward trajectory, BUT as yet he has won NOTHING with Liverpool, a trait Wenger was constantly derided for and In fact he has made a habit of losing. What is it now? 6? 7? final defeats in arrow? Certainly another thing Wenger would of been slaughtered for.

    Conversely over those 5 years you mentioned Wenger took Arsenal to Wembley 10 times for 4 finals, 3 semi finals and 3 Community shields and won 9 of them. But hey if you think that’s failing, even compared to Liverpool, then that’s up to you.

    Spurs have won nothing, and according to you their low spending (not Zero) should not be an excuse, although of course any reasonable person accepts it is. Personally I think their manager is doing a remarkable job on his budget and may or may not turn out to be a better manager than Wenger, but as of this moment he has NOT WON A SINGLE TROPHY so surely we have reserve judgement on that, for now at least.

    And isn’t funny how those 3 mega spenders are, Liecster accepted, the only 3 clubs to win the PL over the last 14 years, in fact since our last title.

    These 3 clubs have spent an average of £50 to a£100 Million net per season over a 10 to 15 year period and surprise surprise have won every PL Title bar one over that period, as well as a majority of the FA and League cups but hey I don’t believe that trash.

    But if you are not even prepared to concede, despite all the evidence, that there is a direct, irrefutable correlation between net spend on players and trophy success, then I’m afraid we are wasting our time.

    Still, if you can answer that first question as to why these managers spend all these 100’s of Millions when they don’t actually need to then perhaps we can continue.

    I look forward to your explanation.

  23. @ Nitram, ofcourse it’s ‘trash’ that’s why the ‘special one’ was complaining about Man City’s spending. Even Klopp changed his mind about spending big. Conte spent over £300 million over two years at Chelsea, and he still complained. Would Pep won the league if Man City didn’t spend so much money to replace players in his second year? He didn’t do to well with the players in his first year.

  24. I find it interesting that we now have the same dichotomy that we had last season but in reverse

    Those of our colleagues here who were supporters of AW were continuingly saying that we should wait until the end of the season before judging his actions whilst the WOBS were baying for his immediate dismissal.

    Now we have the WOBS demanding that we wait until the end of the season to see how UE manages, whilst the previous AW supporters are expressing disquiet at the way things are going.

    I find it interesting that even some pretty hardened WOBS on other sites have been expressing their concerns relating to the style of play and the seeming lack of progress, as well as the “Ramsey/Ozil” situation.

    I also see frequent references to waiting until UE has his own squad.

    He was appointed in May 2018 and 5 players were acquired after that, most of whom have been regularly playing either starting or coming on as subs.

    Is it being suggested that the entire team needs replacing?

    Surely a manager/coach needs to manage what he has, not necessarily what he wants.

    There is something clearly going on behind the scenes and, as usual, the fans will be the last to know if at all

  25. @Nitram, good argument. For the records I don’t think money isn’t important, but I think you exaggerate its role in winning. I gave examples with the achievement of managers like Simeone,just to expand on this let me add title winning underdogs like Leicester, Dortmund, Wolfsburg, Montpellier, Monaco let’s consider why guardiola spent £300m, I believe in continuous improvement, I believe guardiola is like that. We win the league with 100points this season, next we go for 105. We got out of the CL at the quarters, next season we try for the title. However, my argument is that, if city spent £300m on a set of players, it is my opinion that had arsenal bought the same set of players they would probably have spent £200m or less. While Arsenal were haggling for suarez with liverpool over £1, city would probably have offered £60m, if arsenal approach a club for a player and the club asks for £50m, they would probably ask £80m for the same player if city came around,and while arsenal is offering only £30m for the same player, city might just offer £85m. But its the Same player, city paying more doesn’t make him better. Please no need to ask for evidence, its an opinion, same as you have given plenty of yours without hard evidence).
    Secondly, the measure of a manager isn’t in just winning, its probably how much you improve your team. Wolves manager & solskjaer are some managers we don’t expect to win the EPL but are celebrated for improving their teams.the same way pochettino and klopp are celebrated and indeed Wenger has been, especially in the earlier years. There are other points too, Wenger scores points for doing an okay job post stadium build, Conte, Simeone for me score higher in that aspect. I don’t remember the coach of Bayern in their immediate post stadium move period. I rate Wenger as a great manager, our greatest, but even he wasn’t a magician (remember He was in Japan 3years he didn’t win the league, I doubt he built a stadium there too).
    Please this has been a civil debate thus far, let’s agree to keep it so. If you think I’m sounding stupid, indulge me. If you think I’ve insulted you, I apologize. I’m enjoying the opportunity to debate with an “AKB” (I hope you Dont find that term offensive) on untold, without stooping to insults. Thanks.

  26. TomP

    I appreciate you supporting your view with statistics but:

    I mentioned Liecster and consider it a freak. If you feel 1 title in 14 years won by anyone other than those 3 mega spenders in any way suggests that money isn’t the defining factor then that’s up to you.

    You keep mentioning other leagues. As I said to me they are irrelevant but if you want to include them that’s up to you, I wont.

    I agree that it is perfectly possible that prices are inflated if City are in for a player but surely not because of anything we do? The second we knew City, United or Chelsea were in for a player we didn’t even bother trying.

    Name me one player we got into a bidding war over with any of those 3 clubs. I cant think of one. I remember Wenger saying how much he admired and wanted Rio Ferdinand when he went to United but knew it was pointless trying once he knew United were in for him.

    It must of been thus over the entire austerity period.

    You say:

    “However, my argument is that, if city spent £300m on a set of players, it is my opinion that had arsenal bought the same set of players they would probably have spent £200m or less.”

    That is possibly true, to a point, but it is pure conjecture and even so:

    It doesn’t change the fact that whether it’s £200 Million or £300 Million City get just about any player they want, that’s the point

    It doesn’t change the fact that the 3 biggest net spenders over the last 14 years have won 95% of the titles and a very high percentage of the other 2 domestic cups.

    And here’s my piece of pure conjecture, I believe had Wenger been given a net spend of £50 Million per season for 14 years, as per those 3, he would of won more trophies including titles. But we’ll never know will we.

    No I don’t mind at all being called an AKB, it’s a simple way of grouping together those of us who believe Wenger did a very good job given the circumstances, as AAA does those that didn’t. It doesn’t mean all AKB’s think Wenger was perfect, as I’m sure all those labelled AAA’s don’t think everything he did was bad.

    For my part I certainly do not think he was perfect in any way shape or form. But neither was Fergie or Mourinho and neither is Pep, Klopp(7 lost finals) or Poch (not a single trophy).

    I think along with his fantastic buys he bought duds, as did Fergie. How many keepers before he finally got a good’n ? But I always cut Wenger some slack because often as not he was gambling. Buying on potential.

    Often as not Fergie and Mourinho were buying the finished product, as is Pep now.

    I think he got tactics wrong on occasions, but I cut him slack there too because I always admired his belief that we will play our game because we are better than you and it’s up to you to stop us. Unfortunately, as austerity dug in and the overall quality of our players fell, as others improved, again due to money, imposing our game on them became more and more difficult. Sometimes it ended in disaster, hence the drubbings we got. Maybe Wenger should of been more pragmatic at times. Would it of changed the result? Maybe maybe not.

    So okay maybe that was a flaw but overall it made us fantastic to watch, and more importantly, more successful than anyone else outside those 3 mega spenders.

    Okay, if you look back at spurs and Liverpool over the last 10 years there’s no 8-2 defeats but neither is there any trophies. What would you rather?

    Look, I don’t think we’ll ever agree because to me it seems Wenger divides people in much the same way as politics and religion does. Very rarely will you change a red into a blue or a non believer into a believer, or an AAA into an AKB, but it’s been fun and I appreciate seeing were you come from, even if I don’t agree.

  27. @Nitram, we agree on a lot of things. I think we should. Yes we may never agree on the suitability of Wenger, but then again we can’t agree all the time. Like you also I don’t mind much of the thrashings, we also had our day, however when Carragher says Chelsea is playing like we used to/still are, I’ll seethe silently because I accept he has a valid point. I don’t blame Wenger for a lot of things, but I won’t come on here and pretend that Emery is so bad, Wenger was infinitely better. Instead I’ll say Emery isn’t doing much better than Wenger was.
    I also don’t agree that Guardiola uses/buys only the finished products. For me, the cost of the player isn’t what makes him a finished product. If I believed in the potential of messi to be what he is today in 2005 and I paid £50m then, it would have been a world record fee, but I wouldn’t have gotten the finished product. With that in mind, looking at guardiolas buys for man city, I’ll those that fall into finished article category- Walker, Bravo,Gundogan, Nolito, Danilo, mahrez
    Those that are still potential/unknown before signing -Stones,Jesus, sane, zinchenko,Ederson, Bernardo Silva. Academy products like Foden,Brahim Diaz.
    Others not potential, but also not stars before Mendy, laporte.
    Of course this is my personal opinion.

  28. Well said Nitram, one day Tom will appreciate AW more than he does now. AW deserves more respect and recognition than what he is getting from his detractors.

    @ Tom, you keep referring to Simeone but the guy been at AM for nearly 8 years and only won 1 league title. Remember the WOBs standard is that only league and CL matters and the rest are tin pot competitions, so are not worthy. Simeone is an excellent manager even though I dislike his playing style and tactics, but I wouldn’t tarnish him or his achievements.

  29. @polo, you’re not being truthful. I don’t know anyone that demands trophies, maybe you do, maybe that’s the kind of people you surround yourself with, that’s not my fault. The term we WOBs usually use is “BEING COMPETITIVE”. We all understand where Athletico Madrid is coming from, where they are now as well as the behemoths they’re up against (we know Wenger’s arsenal of the last 10yrs has not been worthy to tie the shoe laces of the beasts that Barca and Real Madrid have become). Simeone has gotten those big guys to respect them and that’s the point. Carragher made a condescending statement recently about arsenal after City trashed Chelsea, it was painful, disrespectful, but also the truth. U wouldn’t say that about Simeon’s ath Madrid(even though they got absolutely battered 4-0 by Dortmund recently, that was considered a shock, but if it were arsenal, we’d just sigh and say, another one to add to the previous).
    So it’s about being competitive, getting your rivals to respect you, being able to hold your head up when the banter starts, and ultimately, the GLORY!!!

  30. @polo, it’s also unfair of you to insinuate that I’m tarnishing Wenger’s image or achievements. Obviously you believe he deserves more respect than I accord him, but tarnishing is not my intention. Let’s put it this way, maybe you score him an A+, while I give him a B- or C+.

    Also if we WOBs were all about trophies, we’d appreciate mourinho more. I respect mourinho, I respect his achievements, but I’d stick with Wenger if I had to chose someone to manage my team. So please, WOBs are not all about EPL or CL trophy or nothing else. Most of us felt Wenger was no longer the man to take us forward initially, then it started looking like he was not the man to steady the ship in 4th place anymore. So just like Leicester had to part with Ranieri despite the sentiments, we had to call for him to go despite our love for him. I know some AKBs resent WOBs for the way some people did the calling, but you must understand that everybody reacts differently, each person had his individual duration of suffering Wenger, some people are generally more confrontational than others. Its the same among AKBs too, some are already vehemently calling for Emery’s sacking now. I know some that took the extreme reaction to stop supporting arsenal after Wenger’s sack.

  31. TomP, I remember that before we won the FA cup the WOBs weren’t interested in being competitive. As I read so many times: “what good is it being competitive when you don’t win in the end”.
    Maybe I visited the wrong blogs at the time 😉

  32. Tomp

    we are certainly not as far apart as some who come here simply to destroy anything Wenger ever stood for and certainly on a lot of things we just have a different take or interpretation. Take the following.

    POINT 1

    “however when Carragher says Chelsea is playing like we used to/still are, I’ll sit there silently because I accept he has a valid point.”

    I don’t see it that way at all for a few reasons.

    a) Chelsea are nothing like Wengers Arsenal. Wengers Arsenal was always constructed with attacking in mind. As I said Wengers philosophy was ‘this is what we can do to you, find a way to stop us’. The problem was, as I said, in the latter years on occasion the players were just not good enough to do this, or perhaps others had just improved beyond us, which was due to, whether you like it or not, money, because we were spending zero and others £50M + per season on players.

    Wenger took teams to United, City and Liverpool with the full intention of taking the game to them, and as has been said on many occasions, if you try to out football those teams it can, and did on occasion go horribly wrong.

    So yes, as I conceded that was perhaps a flaw in Wengers make up. Perhaps he should of been more pragmatic but would we of won those games? Maybe.

    But would we of been so wonderful to watch ? I doubt it. Attacking was in Wengers, and consequently Arsenals DNA.

    So on that basis it’s this accusation of Wengers Arsenal being ‘weak’ that rankles with me. There is a difference between being ‘weak’ and not being good enough or being tactical naïve on occasion.

    Carragher clearly uses the term ‘weak’ because it seeks to undermine the entire character of Wenger and his players. Saying we were just not good enough or tacitly naïve doesn’t carry the same derogatory weight does it?

    And in any case Wengers Arsenal went unbeaten for an entire season away from home twice, as well as the invincibles, as well as a reputation for gaining points from losing positions, so weak is not a term I would use to describe Arsenal, at least no more than it is to describe his beloved Liverpool or Spurs.

    So why not reference them ?

    Expanding on that:

    b) There are far more worthy targets of the ‘weak’ accusation than Arsenal. How many finals has KLOPPS teams lost. How many times have Liverpool snatched failure from the jaws of triumph? How many times have Spurs embarrassingly capitulated?

    So why not reference them?

    Regarding Spurs I did a massive list of their capitulations in their big 4 games. Their record against them is embarrasing, especially against United.

    As I said, despite those big defeats over the last 5 years it is Arsenal who won 3 FA Cups and 3 Community shields, beating City, Chelsea and Spurs convincingly in the process, and it is those 2 that won NOTHING.

    So why not reference them?

    But you know he would never insult his beloved Liverpool despite the fact they have won 1 LC in 10 years and no title for 30 years, or the medias beloved Spurs who have won 1 LC in 10 years and no title for 55 years.


    But tom if you’re honest you know these ex Liverpool players still carry the scars of Anfield 89 and as such are nasty and vindictive about us at every opportunity.

    This is where I do find it difficult because you are obviously a reasonable bloke who thinks things through but you sit there and listen to this nasty vindictive man having yet another pop at us, when there are far more worthy targets of his ridicule, and think, yeah that’s okay.

    Well I’m sorry Tom but no, it isn’t. What he is is a nasty, bitter little man, and It’s about nothing more than yet another excuse to insult Wenger/Arsenal.

    I don’t get it. You should be outraged.

    POINT 2

    “I also don’t agree that Guardiola uses/buys only the finished products”

    Of course he does, at least most of the time, but even if you are right in your summation that he buys the unfinished product it’s hardly a gamble is it ? Given the size of his squad, the amount of ‘finished product’ he has at his disposal, he has the luxury of never having to rely on these ‘unfinished products’ if he feels they are not up to it. He can dip them in and out of the squad/team as and when he feels comfortable to do so On the other hand our front line squad includes lots of ‘unfinished product’. That’s what we have to do. There’s a big difference.

    This is what mega, un earned money does for you.

    And even if he does pay above the going rate for certain players what does it matter? If he spends £100 Million on a player and he doesn’t work out all he has to do is shrug his shoulders, ask the boss to print some more money and move on. That’s what Chelsea did when they paid a fortune for Torres and he didn’t hit the heights expected. Chelsea hardly blinked and put him on the bench. Mark em up, or down, it hardly matters, sell em on.

    This is what mega, un earned money does for you.

    No player is beyond your reach. Nothing is a gamble. These clubs can even buy players just to keep them out of the hands of their rivals. How many players have these rich clubs bought just to loan out that are just investments?

    This is what this mega, un earned money does for you.

    Every high cost investment by Arsenal is a gamble. If we had bought Torres, as some said we should of, and he flopped, then that could of been a disaster for us. Arsenal could not, cannot take those kind of risks. City, Chelsea and United can and do without blinking an eye, and when they don’t their incumbent manager whinges and whines.

    As with yourself it’s just my opinion but honestly, back to the first point I think Carragher’s ‘weak’ insult is beyond disgraceful and totally un called for, and you agree with it.

    We certainly do see things from different angles.


  33. @Walter, I’m not aware of that. I doubt you got that quote from a WOB, its more likely an AKB who was slowly turning. What I and the WOBs i knew felt was that, we werent winning the cups, we were miles away from competing for the EPL and we were being spanked in the CL 2nd rounds. I don’t know how that can be considered being competitive

  34. @Nitram, regarding carraghers comments, you may be right in your analysis. However, the only aspect of carra’s comment i was interested in was the statement of fact that in the last 7-8years weve been flogged many times away to the big boys. That will make me seethe(get angry) in silence because it is true. For me, the other things are opinion and every body can make anything he wants out of it. So Chelsea fans can debate whether or not they are the new arsenal, I’m not too concerned. You can have your opinion on the “Why”, I’m not really concerned, because we will each have our different opinions. You think its because we attack too much, Carra thinks its because we are weak, I think its because we just weren’t/aren’t good enough defensively and attacking wise. But when it comes to the facts, I don’t debate that, because facts are what they are, facts!

  35. @nitram, why Carra doesn’t reference Liverpool or spurs?
    Well, I’m not a carra fan. But remember the issue on ground wasn’t “a team losing finals” or “capitulating from a strong position” so I don’t think those teams would have made better examples. The matter at hand was Chelsea on their way to a scandalous away loss to a big 6 rival. Of the other big 6, which team has more previous when it comes to that? I believe it would have to be us.
    Another point, I really am not comfortable with your consistent comparison with Liverpool and spurs. You’re not wrong, but I notice you hardly make comparisons with Chelsea, man city or man utd. To me it suggests you have relegated us to the level where you don’t think its a fair comparison with those guys. There was a time in the not too distant past where we used to feel spurs &Liverpool can speak when they win an EPL title. There was a time when our losing heavily was met with surprise eg 6-1 loss to united was shocking and painful, now, its just another one to forget. But maybe the media still feigns some outrage, based on the fact that in recent times we were a big club. Chelsea is currently getting bad press for their high profile losses now, however its just one for now, if it continues I’m sure they’ll get their share of banter

  36. @nitram, why I take the vindictive pops? Come on man, its banter. The only way you can escape it is by being successful on the pitch. Even when you are, you’re not free, not to talk of when you lose 8-2, 6-0, 5-1. Even Chelsea who lost just 2-0 to man utd, my brother who’s a Chelsea fan can look at me. Alexis Sanchez is getting it at man utd, even Tony can’t resist having a pop every week at Tottenham for not making the stadium delivery date. So chill, take it like a man.
    On coaches who spend big on players, I think you are also wrong there. Just because a coach is given money doesn’t mean he’s not held to account. Guardiola is considered a relative failure at Bayern cos he couldn’t win them the CL, Emery is a failure at PSG cos he couldn’t deliver the CL despite what he had at his disposal. Ed Woodward refused to give mourinho any more money to spend cos the buys mou made weren’t making the difference. Man city is not stupid, if guardiola was not delivering, they won’t give him more money, they’ll kick him out.
    You talk about loans, I remember a time when untold wrote an article many years ago, praising our club for having the guts to have 17players on loan, the most in the league then, it was called “grooming”, it was said the future is bright, we’re giving youth a chance to develop for the future. Now Chelsea and city lead the way in loans, we’re angry??? Come oooon!
    Finally back to the point. I concede the fact of Carra’s statement that we’ve had some high profile away losses in the past 7-8yrs against the big6. Is it bcos we were weak? I make no subjective comment on that, it’ll a matter of opinion.
    Goodnyt man

  37. TomP

    I haven’t been vindictive, if you think I have I apologise.

    Anyway, I think I’ve answered your questions many times and we’re still miles apart.

    You think I’m wrong I think you’re and we’re just going round in circles.

    I’m going to leave it there but thanks for the debate, better than name calling isn’t.

  38. @Nitram, I didn’t say you’re vindictive. I was merely answering your question. You asked why a reasonable bloke like me should sit down quietly and listen to pops from vindictive folks like carragher.

  39. That comment from Tom saying Arsene left us where he found us is unbelievable. How can anybody really think that, even if they wanted him gone how could they not accept how far he brought the club. He either has a short memory or must be very young.

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