After the removal of Mr Wenger and the victory of Man City, what now for Arsenal?

By Tony Attwood

They worked very hard to get rid of Mr Wenger, some of those people who used to write in here complaining that “fourth is not a trophy” and demanding the removal of the most successful manager Arsenal ever had.

And in the end their got their way – although of course it was very expensive to the club in terms of the contracts that had to be paid off.

And those with their “spend some fucking money” chants got their way too, as the club spent more than ever before last summer.  Plus with the removal of Unai Emery they got what they wanted all over again.  Have any group of people ever got so much of what they were after in such a short space of time?

And for what?

Season P W D L F A Pts Pos FA Cup Manager
2012–13 38 21 10 7 72 37 73 4 R5 Wenger
2013–14 38 24 7 7 68 41 79 4 W Wenger
2014–15 38 22 9 7 71 36 75 3 W Wenger
2015–16 38 20 11 7 65 36 71 2 QF Wenger
2016–17 38 23 6 9 77 44 75 5 W Wenger
2017–18 38 19 6 13 74 51 63 6 R3 Wenger
2018–19 38 21 7 10 73 51 70 5 R4 Emery
2019-20 35 12 14 9 51 44 50 9 SF, F or W Emery / Arteta

An FA Cup semi-final, final or victory – which of course is important.  But certainly the lowest number of points since 1995.

One option would be for the card wavers, AFTV, and other AAA’s to shut up.  They have got what they wanted in every regard.   Mass purchases, changes of manager, the lot.  And it has failed.

What we need now is for our players to have a chance to grow together, not for them to be told yet again how useless some of their number are.

We have allowed the negativists (the AAA) and their journalist allies to take over the discussion about the club and until those of us who support the team manage to drown them out we won’t have a chance of getting into the top four.

Of course spending more and more money can work for clubs such as Manchester City, who, now unfettered by any Uefa rulings and able to threaten Uefa with talk of legal action which will end their existence, can do pretty much what they like.  For of course, yesterday’s CAS ruling means that a repeat of what Manchester City has done until now, is going to be very likely indeed, and perfectly OK.   Of course any club following Manchester City’s lead might get another fine, but those are meaningless given the amount of money behind the clubs, and there is nothing in the regulations to control the amount of money spent by the club on paying fines.  Exclusion was the only punishment that could work, and that has been withdrawn.

So Arsenal, without access to the financial resources of Manchester City, has to find another way – just as Arsenal did when it employed Mr Wenger in the first place.  And indeed sometimes we can forget just how much of a revolution Mr Wenger inroduced.  In 1995/6 Bergkamp, Jensen and Helder were in the squad – just three non-UK/Irish players.  By 1997/8 we had Vieira, Anelka, Bergkamp, Overmars, Wreh, Manninger, Petit, Grimandi, Garde, and Boa Morte.   An increase of 300%.  Plus of course we moved from having an English manager to a French manager.

That was a huge revolution in the space of just two seasons.  Now we have to find another revolution that Arsenal can introduce before anyone else gets there. just as Mr Wenger did when he used the Bosman ruling to bring in non-UK nationals to play for Arsenal.  (The media will sneer just as they did in relation to the use of the Bosman rules by Mr Wenger, but that is only to be expected).

For the point is that Manchester City can now buy as many players as they wish, not just to play them in the Manchester City team, but also to loan them to the associated clubs that they have around the world – or indeed to anyone else they want to loan them to.  In short what they can do is buy players not because they want them, but to stop other clubs having them.

I suspect the solution (if there is one, and there is nothing to say that there has to be one) is going to involve building not just one academy, as we have at the moment, but a series of academies which are built on behalf of other clubs, but run at arms’ length around the world.

Thus Arsenal might form a link with one or more clubs in Europe, just as Red Bull have evolved a network, but in Arsenal’s case for the specific purpose not to promote a brand but of being the first port of call for Arsenal youngsters.

So instead we avoid the tragedy of Serge Gnabry.   What on earth made Arsenal deal with Tony Pulis at West Bromwich I can’t imagine – a crook who was found guilty in the high court of deceiving Crystal Palace into paying him over £3m.  But avoid this we must, which means we need a close liaison with whoever we decide to work with.

Hopefully that Pulis disaster which eventually made Gnabry think he had to leave England, has taught Arsenal that it needs to be very careful who it deals with in football.  Pick the clubs carefully for the youngsters, and show the youngsters that they have a clear and legal (unlike Liverpool and Chelsea) path through football, and we might, just might, find a route back to the top.

It will be tough, but that is the sort of planning we now need.  Without it I can’t see what the club is going to do, given the green light CAS has given Manchester City (and indeed presumably Newcastle United, and any other clubs that fall prey to Middle Eastern states).


16 Replies to “After the removal of Mr Wenger and the victory of Man City, what now for Arsenal?”

  1. The same old story with Arsenal always chasing players and what do they get 2nd class players as the talented ones are taken.
    Arsenal need to solve the defensive problem which has been going on for much too long . Luiz has already cost the gunners two defeats and yet given a new contract !!!!! he dos not know how to cover or tackle an opponent too static.
    find players taht are valid for the team otherwise do not bother to buy unwanted players.
    the front line needs to be with Abumajang and Lacazette up front
    the formation in my opinion should be that of 4 – 4 – 2 .to have and aquire the full potential of the forwards with Pepe and Saka as up front wingers.A midfielder with vision and speed needs to be found no matter what otherwise Arsenal will be lurking again at the middle or bottom half of the table unfortunately

  2. Charlie this point has been made many times by correspondents, but unless we are told WHY Arsenal make such a mess of their transfer policy, by those who believe we do, then we can’t actually see how to make it right.
    It really is odd, here are people paid large amounts of money to bring players to the clubs who, so many people argue, get it terribly wrong, and yet here are people (I am guessing such as yourself) who do not work in football, who can see how to get it right.
    If we knew why that happened, we could maybe see a way to fix it.

  3. I fear this club faces a very difficult future, even if we found another Wenger, he would now be up against too many clubs with vastly superior resources and favours to succeed as quickly as the Frenchman did back then. And we will no longer get a manager with access to virtually a whole country’s scouting systems as Wenger did, unless we have a super agent figure, like wolves with the Portuguese market.
    The fact is, losing Wenger , especially before the end of his contract, with clearly no plans for transition in place was an act of monumental stupidity on all levels. They should have kept him in place to bring on a successor if his time really was coming to an end.
    Unfortunately, all the events surrounding wengers removal, it’s aftermath, Sven, Gazidis, Events surrounding emery, passivity towards the PGMOL , perhaps uncharitable but gives the impression of a club structure that don’t really know what they are doing in this league. And I am not talking about pumping money in. The people in place have very little experience, I would respectfully suggest they remedy that.
    But yes, the future is developing talented youngsters it seems, as hit and miss as that can be.
    The vociferous masses who wanted Wenger out, they were/are of course entitled to their opinion, but , as I say to my Brexiteer friends and relatives, they cannot really be justified in complaining about the aftermath should it go horribly wrong.
    Losing Wenger created a massive power vacuumed, put inexperienced, perhaps in some ways vulnerable , and some agenda driven individuals at the helm of the club, afraid Josh Kroenke/ Raul, no matter how much they may try, have a long way to go and a lot of learning to do to be a Dein/ Wenger, or even Gazidis / Wenger

  4. Good article, however any competitive advantage has long ago dissipated with the oligarch and Middle Eastern owned clubs. The way forward as always is finding the right players at the right prices and developing your own players through the youth teams we currently run,.
    Perhaps most importantly having a period of management stability and turning a deaf ear to the background noise which has only ever been self serving.
    Finally the true fan needs to realise we are under attack and we need to rally around what is essentially our team and when we get back into the stadium to back our team in the correct manner.

  5. for the arsenal now, it’s the youth way or the highway, I agree completely – bukayo’s contract is a giant step in the right direction. there was gnabry of course, but let’s not forget malen or reine-adelaide, who was doing very well at lyon until he got injured. we can’t afford to let such talents slip through our hands any longer. as for the loans, there’s always a danger our youngsters might be sidelined, as eddie was in leeds by bielsa who, though a very respectable coach advocating attacking football, had made the (understandable, imo) choice not to dent bramford’s confidence and sheltered him from eddie’s much too fierce competition. so, what now? as an absentee fan, living in a foreign land, I’ve often wondered why the london professional clubs even bothered with loans. there are ten of them: arsenal, chelsea, palace, spurs, west ham, brentford, charlton, fulham, millwall, QPR (not to mention wimbledon/leyton). would it really be that difficult to put up a “london trophy” opposing, the day after p.league/championship games, these ten clubs, through teams composed of the players who didn’t play for the first team the day before? the teams would have to face each other four times (2 home games, 2 away games), and the players who aren’t quite ready for the first team would have, at the end of the season, 38 competitive professional games under their belt. I think it would be quite easy to have such a trophy sponsored; and I’m sure many people would pay a few bucks to watch good football (if I lived in London, I surely would). as I write this, I have the reiss nelson example in mind. the lad went to germany, did very well over there, was brought back to meadow park, but mikel seems to be reluctant to pick him at the moment. so much so that such a talented lad will end up the season with almost no playing time, as a consequence of which he might be stagnating, as a consequence of which he will get less playing time yet – I think you get what kind of vicious circle that is. lastly, the premier league 2 games would be played by our U18s, which they would be very likely to benefit from as well. london is the only city in the world where such a trophy could take place, I just don’t understand why we don’t take advantage of that situation.

  6. A London League would be fascinating because the FA and its Pigmob would want a share of the proceeds and control. We would end up with northern officials courtesy of the FA’s pigmob. It would end up being another dog’s dinner like the Premier League.

    Football is screwed by its association and only a total re organisation of the FA will allow it some breating room.

  7. I guess the positive, we might be able to get and develop some spectacular youngsters that the oilers and co wont be able to risk taking a chance on in the future .
    A few Martinellis and Sakas would do nicely on all counts. I think Arteta is the man for developing such talents as well, if some City players are to be believed.
    But, the club need to find a way of exposing/dealing with the PGMOL, hopefully Wenger and FIFA can take Riley out of the equation, or at least neuter him via VAR changes, but there will be more where he comes from, if Richard Keys is correct in his assumption that Riley is toast, I fully expect them to replace him with someone like Mike Dean
    As for the malcontents, seen some funny vids of the AFTV bunch reacting after Spurs winner, set to music


    If this is correct, looks like the Saudi bid for Newcastle will very soon be approved….mainly for political reasons.
    Makes it even harder for our club, one rung further down the chain. Makes it tougher for Mike Riley as well, one more club to look after. He will be spreading his favours widely next season, if hes still in post

  9. I don’t know what your argument against Man city is. UEFA found city guilty of breaching FFP, city denied they breached FFP claiming to have spent money it earned, and appealed. CAS agreed. This means City spent within their means in the period under judgement which I believe was 5years. The streams of revenue available to City have Also been available to arsenal within this period, if arsenal were unwilling to exploit them, who’s fault is that? A profitable business runs by investment. Manchester United developed a worldwide business behemoth by investing in a successful football team. In recent seasons Liverpool, Chelsea, City and even Tottenham have overtaken arsenal in commercial revenue by investing in their squads, arsenal for a while decided to attempt to get success on the cheap, probably due to the financial burden placed on it by the stadium move, how that is Man city’s fault, I don’t know. What is however undeniable is that within the 5yrs time frame of judgement, CAS found that City didn’t breach FFP. Note: that what happened before then was time barred and didn’t come up for judgement, so we have no idea if City was guilty or not. However in 5yrs if city’s massive spend have been offset by their earnings, then it goes to say their earnings have also been massive. If arsenal made concrete effort to also grow it’s earnings maybe it wouldn’t be grumbling about other club’s spending. This obviously would require significant investment in the short term and behaviours like bidding £40m+1 would have to be shelved.
    PS: for true supporters to stand up and be counted and not let fake ones(AAA, lol) overshadow them, I would say that should go without saying, especially if as you say truth and the majority are on your side. If you find that the opposite is the case I think you may need to ask questions like, are you sure truth is on your side? Are you sure the majority agree with you? Are you sure it is you who is a true supporter?

  10. I’m sorry you don’t know what my argument is Barry. But to put it simply, Manchester City were found not guilty because Uefa took far too long to bring the matter to court. Which shows that Manchester City might well have broken FFP rules, but the case can’t be heard with that evidence because it is too old.

  11. I agree with the introduction of young Gunners a mixture of young talent from the academy who should be supported with players of experience around them. The thing is to buy players that are needed to do the job required.Take Man utd they bought Fernandez in my opinion he made wanders to the team as a apart from being surrounded by talented players he is also surrounded bu very talented young players. the midfielder is a player who masters the whole team and with a vision of the game. Another matter is that of buying players that the team really needs not just buying players just for fun as sometimes in my opinion that is just what they do while leaving young talent on the bench and even selling them for others to enjoy.
    Play the players in their most preferred place in order to give their best. The problem props up again the defense of Arsenal It seems to be in shambles again why not play Holding in the middle and find another talented young player alongside him maybe the new French guy Saliba will do the trick who knows. I prefer Bellerin to play as a winger rather than a defender while Thierny is very good he needs more play time to get more experience.
    The midfield needs as already mentioned a talented and gifted midfielder the wingers in Saka a who is very talented and Pepe is ok while the two up front Abumayang and La cazette are very talented a versatile players . One must not forget Martinelli who is injured but very talented player.
    I again stress that the 4 -4- 2 formation is the best one as to play the two forwards side by side and we need at the back to play with four even in the midfield as these two departments are lacking in the Arsenal side. Of course this is only my opinion .

  12. @tony are you saying all the allegations were time barred? That’s not what the CAS ruling says. It says some were time barred. Secondly, if man city has spent within it’s means in the last 5 years, why then are you so bitter? It means they are no longer engaged in behaviour that is a threat to arsenal

  13. Think Untold is becoming outdated & Tony is perhaps been around too long flogging the same old agenda. IF Arsenal were performing better none of this would even be talked about. Seems Untold are never happy except when complaining about something or another. Now we see your new sub narrative is Arteta is not not up it whereas most real Arsenal fans think he is doing fine and really even your MR Wenger (sic) said himself he was not really up to it anymore. He is long gone and has someone else has said that it is you who are the questionable Arsenal supporter. Without Wenger you are lost.

  14. John, it is interesting that you claim I am flogging the same old agenda on the same day that I am accused of having abandoned the fundamentals upon which Untold was set up. Clearly one is not right.
    My fundamental point is that the owners of the club made an error giving into the card carrying negativists who first wanted Wenger out and then wanted Emery out and now are unhappy with the decline beyond that.
    These people complained when we were third or fourth, complained when we slipped further to the Europa positions, and complained now we are outside the European positions.
    The owners error, in my view, has been to listen to them and act upon their demands of a new manager and lots of new purchases as we had last summer.

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