When the going gets tough …….

Believe me, the going is incredibly tough for all true Arsenal lovers. We are watching our team crumble before our eyes. All too many people have the silver bullet – get rid of Wenger. Wonderful! What a great solution! Just who is going to replace him?

As I said in my post this morning, I think Arsène is a desperate man. He looks desperate and sounds desperate. Constantly referring to his 16 years of success has the sound of a desperate man. He looks old and worn, but, at the same time, he is a stubborn man.
 He also has an air of arrogance, but I wonder if it is in fact thinly cloaked desperation. Perhaps he would be pleased to be relieved of his duties. He is 63 and looks 83!

BUT – and it is an enormous BUT…
who would all of you calling for his head appoint in his place? 
The only manager in the PL I would even consider is David Moyes (perhaps Laudrup, but he doesn’t really have the necessary PL experience). David Moyes has done an amazing job at Everton. He is unquestionably a true motivator and tactician – something we clearly need and definitely don’t have. He has managed to “save” his team, in spite of constantly losing what were his top players (Lescott, Rooney, Arteta, Cahill – to mention but a few) and, if you look at some of the old, over-the-hill players he has in his team, it is an incredible feat for him to be where he is. I think he knows that Fellaini and Baines are off at the end of the season and so he has probably had enough and is perhaps looking for pastures new and a fresh challenge.

So many people appear to think that Arsenal can have their pick of new managers. I don’t think so.

Because now we come to the next truly ginormous BUT, which I believe will prove an obstacle to anyone coming to Arsenal. If Arsène stays on as director of football, his successor will never have a free hand. 
I think Wenger has become something of a megalomaniac (a huge understatement!) and, at the same time, he clearly has the backing of the board, because the club is making money. Maybe that would change if we fail to make it to the CL, which is looking ominously likely, but I have my doubts.

So what is the club to do? What awaits us, the true fans (not the ones who crawl out from under stones)? Must we now “do a Liverpool” and look ahead to so many barren years (at least in the PL)?

What do the other “reasonable, realistic” supporters think? I have no interest in reading the kind of critical drivel some posters submit!

Written by magic hat

About the author

Today’s author has been a regular visitor on Arsenal Arsenal for a while now and kindly accepted our challenge to write a post for the site following her comments yesterday. We asked for some background information on her support for Arsenal – this was her response:

I am British, but I live in Gothenburg, Sweden. I moved here in 1974. I go to matches with my husband and daughter, once or twice a year, but we watch every match on TV/streaming. I was introduced to Arsenal in 1957 by my dad, who took me to my first match at the age of 11.
I love Arsenal. I can’t express it in any other way. The club is an intrinsic part of my life. I cry when we lose and I am happy for a whole week when we win.
I could go on for hours…
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129 Responses to When the going gets tough …….

  1. Manthan says:

    Welcome Jeantee Kliger to AA :)(Sorry Rasp I copied Your lines who are one who use to welcome newbie to AA :D)

    Coming to the post I agree with you that david moyses is the best man to least arsenal given his PL Exp and Loyality… Don’t you think if Arsene leave arsenal there will change in the playing system and formation and beacuse of that we might loose players Arsenal playing sytle is second best in world after Barca… IF anybody else will come in he will surely gonna change the playing style and we might suffer beacuse of that… Just aTought.., If arsene leaves I wanna see him taking higher position in board he is a true gooner and a loyal man :)

  2. Manthan says:

    *You are the one who use to welcome newbie to AA Sorry for mistake :P

  3. Morning all and it’s good to have another author to swell the ranks of post writers on AA.

    Living in Volvo city she must feel a bit disconnected with The Arsenal compared to the lucky UK based gooners do, so perhaps those of us who do go to the games must use their good fortune to maximise the teams performance by getting solidly behind them, as I will on Saturday when we take on Birmingham Villa(they hate being called that so “Birmingham Villa” it is :) )

    As to Wenger’s replacement, I’m not overly impressed with Moyes and Laudrup has little PL experience so I’m probably looking at Klop or even Ancelloti.

    A dose of pragmatism is required for this team and a bit more winning ugly could be just what the Doctor ordered.

    PS – Jeanette, I’m glad you didn’t put up a video of Billy Crystal singing with Danny DeVito – uurgghh, I hate that (type of) song.

  4. Manthan says:

    Chary,
    No Ancelloti Please he always pay very high price for the player he wants in his team take example of ibhrovic,Torres……

    I am really impressed with the kloop if you had seen match against city he was very cool, laughing in entire match he has confidence to get succedd and BVB has similar system like we have they buy some players and they promote youngster to first team… Yes for Kloop :D :D :D

  5. Gooner in Exile says:

    Thank you for the post Magic Hat, i said the other morning that i can’t come up with a replacement for Wenger

    The managers I would want are probably too intrinsically linked with their own clubs at the moment (Klopp for example), even though we will have more money to spend going forward I still think it will be significantly less than teams they are being asked to compete with.

    I don’t believe he will move upstairs, he has said before that it does not work, and when Wenger decides to hang up his puffa jacket it will be to return to the vineyards of France.

    Maybe we should run X-Factor audition process and open it up to all the blogosphere, and then we can see how the people who think they know better than Wenger get on training a group of PL footballers for the day.

  6. I didn’t realise Ancelloti was in charge of Chelsea when they got Torres but I’d hope he’s done something without being backed by squillions of £££’s, Manthan.

    It’s all academic though as we have precisely zero influence over who will take over when Wenger goes.

  7. Manthan says:

    Chary,
    Agree :D

  8. David says:

    We have had 8 barren years already.

  9. Gooner in Exile says:

    Manthan…..bloody loved that video! Nice one

  10. Anyone else wondering what the atmosphere will be like on Saturday?
    I’ll probably be tweeting pictures of the day/pre-match also, especially if the Black Scarf crowd arrange something.
    If not it’ll just be pictures of “before and after” of a row of Peroni’s :)

  11. dandan says:

    Welcome to AA Madam Magic Hat,and thanks for an interesting post. Its great to have another goonerett if that is the right word, join alongside our other three female warriors. You will find Irish,Evonne and Peaches eloquently putting us wayward males to the sword when required. Whilst dispensing their Arsenal wisdom with no fear.

    Moyes is in my eyes an unknown quantity never having had the capacity to achieve in the big time, I am not sure what would happen if he did. Arsenal is much more about the club than just the team and we have no idea how he would cope with that.

    Therefore I believe two football men will be required to replace AW as the American negotiators whether at Arsene’s behest or not, are not nailing down the transfer targets as we did in times past. Having said that IMHO Dein is not the man to do that either, his day has passed and his involvement with his son makes him suspect in my eyes. Patrick Viera would be my choice to bring in and back up Wenger and make sure the dithering in the market place stops when targets are identified. Given the tools I have faith in AW to take us back up the slippery ladder that is the premier league.
    Eventually Patrick could perhaps either take over or remain the Arsenal part of the equation in a new partnership when the Great Man finally goes.

  12. Jeanette Kliger says:

    magic hat says:
    Thank you for your kind responses to my post.
    I was trying to play a kind of devil’s advocate, as I think this is a huge conundrum. I also like Vieira, but I regard him as a “money traitor” for working with the Northern Oilers, not sure about his loyalties.

    Ancelotti = no thanks
    I suspect Klopp would say the same thing!

  13. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good morning Jeanette,

    You and I both attended our first games at Highbury in the same decade so I think we probably have a fairly balanced view of the present crisis and are able to put it in perspective with regard to past “downturns”.

    I cannot agree with you about Moyes, there’s just something about the bloke that I don’t like.

    As I said, yesterday, when Wenger does step down it must be a clean break. He cannot be allowed to sit on the shoulder of the new coach, his influence would be too great.

    Perhaps it’s time to consider appointing a Director of Football, not Wenger, and a coach rather than a manager. The DoF would be responsible for identifying and transfer targets and would work with Gazidis in negotiating and signing those targets. We can dispense with Laws.

    The Coach would coach the players he is presented with and would have minimal input into financial affairs.

    We also need a complete rethink about media/public relations.

  14. Rasp says:

    Morning Jeanette, welcome to the writer’s union :P

    When AW hangs up his puffer jacket I’d certainly consider Laudrup. Its a risk because his managerial career is still in its infancy but he ticks all the rest of the boxes – he’s intelligent, classy, articulate, played for Barca and Real, likes attractive attacking football – what’s not to love?

  15. The Realist says:

    Valid point about who would replace AW; however, surely something has to be done.

    We can’t defend, we can’t attack. We are getting further and further away from contending in any competition? We can’t even say we play attractive looking football anymore as it is in fact dreadfully boring.

    Our tactic (note the singular) is poor and too easy to defend against.

    Is he out of ideas? Or is his eyesight so bad now that he actually cannot see what is wrong? His most successful years in terms of on the pitch were based around players he inherited. I guess that his most successful years in financial terms and of greater importance to the board are the most recent?

    Of course I do not have the solution, but I can’t keeping giving my hard earned money for little or no return?

  16. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Rasp,

    “attractive attacking football” yes, but it needs to based on a sound defence.

  17. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Talking of attractive attacking football, did anyone watch the AC Milan v Barcelona game last night? Barca’s tippy tappy was almost completely ineffective, in fact it was so much like watching Arsenal that I just knew they were going to get beaten.

    I prefer Bayern’s style, it may not rack up the number of passes but it’s a damn sight more effective.

  18. Gunner-Mac says:

    Morning All,
    Good Post, Even better question!!,Who to replace Wenger with????. My shortlist is Moyes,Laudrup,klopp and laurent blanc.

  19. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Reasons for your choices in writing please, Gunner-Mac

  20. Rasp says:

    Hi Norfolk, I agree the defence needs to be given equal priority to the attacking side of our game. What impresses me about Barca is the way they defend as a team (as well as attack). Its true, Milan played the perfect tactical game against Barca last night. It relies on resolute organised defending, putting pressure on the ball all across the pitch, hitting the oppo quickly on the break and taking the few chances you are presented with.

    We need a top class striker who will bury the type of chance that Giroud missed on tuesday when we could have gone 2 all.

  21. kelsey says:

    Welcome Jeanette
    ,
    You beat me by a year in going to Highbury for the first time.

    To me there are only two possibilities in that if we don’t qualify for CL this season the media more than anyone may just tip Wenger further over and he will resign (his post match interview after the blackburn defeat was totally out of character) or he will regain composure whatever happens and fulfill his contract for one more season.
    He appears to have so much influence at the club that he may appoint his own successor but that has dangers if he is moved upstairs.
    Alternatively I don’t think either Gazidis or Laws are the right men in a football sense to appoint a new manager .
    Moyes has worked very well on a very constricted budget but what has he won,has he got the winning mentallityor good European football experience.
    Ex footballers especially since the start of the PL don’t generally do well as managers of top clubs , so in conclusion I can’t second guess a new appointment.

  22. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Morning just fell out of bed.
    Brilliant post mrs hat well put together and welcome to AA.
    regarding a replacement for AW you all know I want but I’m not going to type his name as it winds a few up.

    On the Laudrup band wagon.
    As you know I live in Swansea and Laudrup is very happy with the job he is doing here.
    I can’t see him moving just yet as there are rumours in this part that Swansea are going to offer him an extension on his contract after the cup final on Sunday.

    I’ve been offered a place on a fans bus with a ticket for wembley but I had to decline it as IM A GUNNER.
    Much love
    Sheepy

  23. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Rasp,

    We have in Norfolk an old saying “du diffrent”

    One of the problems is that we do not have anybody on the bench who can “du diffrent”.

    It’s the old problem, if plan A isn’t working there’s no players available to change to plan B, even if we had a plan B.

  24. nihirealist says:

    Thank you for the post magic hat. I can’t help but disagree with the bit about Wenger being a desperate man. More than desperation, it is likely to be exasperation. With his team, with the media, with the fans. But I think he remains the right man for the job and that he’ll be hungry as ever to set things right.

    As to who the next manager should be once Wenger leaves Arsenal, managers like Klopp, Laudrup, Blanc, Garde and Moyes keep getting mentioned. Of those, I think it is too early for Laudrup, although if Wenger stays a few more years, then maybe. Moyes, I would pass. It’s one thing doing what he has done with Everton, creditable though it is, and another to do not just that, but so much more at Arsenal. I don;t think he’ll be better than Arsene at anything. Klopp would be my favourite mainly because I haven’t seen much of the two Frenchmen, but it seems like he’s going to stay at Dortmund for a while yet.

    In my view, we might be better off looking for a short term replacement to Wenger. Someone who has already made a name for himself and as a result is better equipped to deal with Wenger’s image looming large at him from every aspect of the club. Maybe someone like Ancelloti, Bielsa or Pellegrini. Give them 3 or 4 years, and then bring in a manager for the longer term. The more I think about it, the more I think that is how I would proceed.

  25. kelsey says:

    Harry Redknapp,short term as per his history ;)

  26. tipp gooner says:

    I thought AC Milan were teriffic last night ,solid defensively and great counter attack .Maybe our next coach should be Italian because until we sort out our defence “attractive attacking football” is a complete waste of time.

  27. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Kelsey,

    Gasp!!! Craaash!!! Ouuuch!!! Just fell off my chair in shock!!!

    How can you mention that name in connection with Arsenal? That would, for me, put the kibosh on sixty three years of loyal support for our famous club. :shock:

  28. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Lol
    I’d rather have Rosie Redknapp in charge
    ⛔💤

  29. kelsey says:

    Norfolk, it was actually a joke

    .You obviously don’t know my dry sense of humour.Anyway brown envelopes where discarded by the club after The George Graham Affair.

  30. Jamie says:

    How about Jupp Heynckes. His contract expires this summer, and seeing what he has done with Bayern, he could do a really good job. Or maybe Vitor Pereira. Plays a similar style of football, and with the available funds at could perform well.

  31. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Kelsey,

    Phew! For a minute there I thought you were serious. :-)

    I’m just going to have a lay down for half an hour to recover. Phew!

  32. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice post magic hat. You now join a list of distinquished authors such as that world renowned Terry Mancini fellow.

    Now i must have a mild pop at you. A mild and sweet pop but a pop never the less.

    Arsene Wenger is not a megalmaniac. Been a megalmaniac myself i can assure that Wenger is not. Football clubs need a strong manager and Arsene falls into this category.

    As to who would replace Wenger, my answer is no one. The man is not finnished yet. I fully expect him to stay and win a couple of big trophies before he happily retires.

  33. So no Sagna for Saturday, as per Wengers pre match presser, and Gibbs “a few weeks away” from a return.
    Otherwise I assume everyone else is available – so a back 4 of Jenks, Kos/Vermaelen, BFG and Monreal ?

  34. Rasp says:

    Hi again Norfolk, surely the choice between Theo and Giroud up front represents a plan A and B? The problem we have is a lack of width (proper wingers) and so our plan B fails from the start.

    If we could deliver decent corners and crosses from out wide, then plan B might be more successful.

  35. We all know its not good to leave a game early, even worse when you leave a game early and phone up a radio station about the poor performance:

    http://audioboo.fm/boos/1225366-ever-left-a-game-early-and-missed-the-best-bit

  36. mallard says:

    Nice post, magic.

    How could we have Moyes?
    He’s been at the same club for 11 years and not won a trophy. :)
    (Mind you, in that case I suppose he’s well overdue to be sacked)

  37. Manthan says:

    GIE,
    Thanks Mate I too love dat video

  38. Manthan says:

    Newspaper Headlines
    “Santos scores in his Debut and continue the trend of players leaving arsenal scoring for other team”

    Show the goal Nybody can score that goal Me too :D :D

  39. Ghost Face says:

    David Moyes ticks all the boxes for me.

    Excellent motivator. Teams always have that fight even when sometimes they lack the quality.

    An interesting point I would like to make also is that Everton have produced some of the finest English talent in the Land. And Moyes will be privy to the information of who these talents are.

    Best of Arsenal Youth and Everton Youth.

    Cant understand why people blame Kreonke and Gazidis.

    For one Arsene hand picked Gazidis and gave him his job.

    For Kreonke is never around and has a hands off approach to things.

    For all intents and purposes the club was operating in Austerity long before Kreonke got there and have continued on since then.

  40. Double98 says:

    So lets say this Arsenal Board hired:

    Mancini 2 years ago and he spent 460 million on player transfers 300 million on wages (or whatever).
    He rocks up and wins an FA Cup and a PL title.
    Board Says “Sacked” His level of return is appalling for the investment

    Mourihno 3 years ago – Jose comes in spends a wodge wins a title, makes us look like George Graham’s Arsenal and mouths off in the press against the owners for blocking his audacious transfers.
    Board Says “Sacked” – his bad manners and wreckless spending would buy us a title but not one we would feel particularily proud of.

    So who can do the following

    Maintain competitiveness
    while
    Maintaining a healthy financial return
    while
    Rebuilding a team
    while
    upholding the spirit and pride of the club
    in
    an environment of wreckless spending, oil billionaires and a hostile media.

    Answer – either Arsene Wenger or you take a punt onfinding the next Arsene Wenger, Roberto Martinez or Michael Laudrap etc

    Arsenal is a conservative institution and at the heart of that is the Manager whose job it is to preserve and maintain the club in tough times.

  41. Rasp says:

    Hi double98, did you read JM’s analysis of the make up of the Board and managerial structure at Bayern yesterday? All of the Board and management are either football people or people with talents that give something to the club – the opposite is true of Arsenal.

    Are we a conservative institution or an institution that is being run conservatively?

  42. jnyc says:

    Welcome magic hat! great to hear new voices and opinions. Im a klopp fan. We could pay him enough, but i doubt he would leave dortmund any time soon. I love Arsene, i love how he handles the press. Im not loving how the team is playing for him.

  43. Rasp says:

    Hi jnyc, I’m a fan of Klopp too (not a fan of Moyes) trouble is we’d be calling him ‘klipperdy’ in no time :?

  44. Double98 says:

    Hi Rasp
    Sack the board but not the manager. The only thing the board does well is allow the running of the football club entirely to the football men (in our case one Arsene Wenger) what it doesn’t do is arguably appoint enough football men to support Wenger.

    However Wenger might argue that he doesn’t actually need a football man around him – he needs a David Dein – he needs a commercial evangelist to sell Arsene Wenger to players, sponsors and the media.
    Wenger’s vision is the product, the players are the components. He can’t distance himself from the vision enough to correctly values the components.
    So he loses out on Mata, Alonso, Cahill etc because he has less faith in his vision than David Dein did.

    If that makes sense… Often the talent does not see their worth… and the longer the media hound him the less worth he will attribute to his vision.
    Gazidas has no idea of the worth of the vision so he allows Wenger to pull out of deals – whereas Dein would tell wenger to shut up and offer a million quid more to get the deal done.

    And he’d also beat his son around like a red headed step child if he started unsettling that vision.

  45. evonne says:

    David at 9:36 “Evonne stick your head over the parapet and smell the coffee”. Right, I followed your advice but could only smell car fumes. Mate, I live in North London, you can grow cannabis here, but not coffee bean

  46. David Stewart says:

    Hi Magic Hat. I for one do not seek a replacement to Arsene, so cannot offer up any names, credible or otherwise.

    At Arsenal, we have experienced huge disloyalty in recent times, often from players who have had much loyalty placed in them by our Club. The only person who has stood loyal and fully committed to Arsenal, is Arsene Wenger. He has shown commitment and passion for Arsenal that is normally the preserve of ourselves, the fan base. The chances of finding someone who can replicate genuine loyalty is incredibly remote.

    Arsene is being attacked by the press, TV/radio pundits, ex-players and the clubs own fans. Many of the criticisms are founded on speculation or ulterior motives. I believe Arsene deserves the support of us true supporters during this most difficult period of his tenure.

  47. evonne says:

    Magic hat – thank you for the post. I think Le boss is rather handsome and looks his age. I don’t want him replaced and therefore I am not going to enter into a discussion who should replace him.
    You are right, both Moyes and Laudrup are doing good jobs at Swansea and Everton respectively and I sincerely hope they will continue doing so where they are :)

  48. evonne says:

    David S – snap !!

  49. Bryan says:

    Great Post Magic Hat
    I want to wait to the end of the season to see what happens before judging Wenger.
    The man has done so much for the club & it will be a very sad day when he goes but sometimes change is for the best & can make things happen.
    I rate David Moyes for what he has done at Everton but for me don’t think he is the man for Arsenal.
    Ancellotti would 100% be my 1st choice, he done a great job with the chavs & actually got them playing attractive football for a change ;-) he is very tactically aware & I deffinately think it would be great to get him.
    Klopp is proving to be anotherfine manager but he would have to be mad to leave Dortmund after all the hard work he has done to create such a fantastic football team.
    Laudrup would be another worth a gamble on I think, his team plays great football & he has got winner running through his blood.
    Pellegrini at Malaga would be my outside choice, he has done a great job with Malaga & what a job he done with Villareal getting them to the semi final of CL in their 1st ever season in the competition.

    Wenger as Magic Hat said is looking old & tired (ain’t we all haha)
    & is making far to many mistakes in my opinion, sadly I feel he is like a barrier for the board to block all the crap which they should be taking, not him so its no surprise it has taken its toll on him.
    The pressure is now on the board which may end up being good for us supporters, I think the next transfer window could be very interesting for us.

    For now I will continue backing Wenger as long as he is our manager

  50. slime says:

    I think the new manager will be dependent on what the board want. Instant success = Mourinho, long term ambitions and a full rebuild = Bergkamp, Garde, Laudrup etc.

    As regards the end of this season, I’ve just had a look at the remaining fixtures and 4th is definately still a possibility. The Everton and Spurs games are important but not the be all and end all. Spurs have some very tough ties as do Everton. We have the easier run in but it will be very tight unless we can shake off this bad week and carry on our good PL form.

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Magic Hat. Fine post.

    I agree with D98. Arsenal is a conservative club and unlikely to take a massive punt on a big name manager – so Jose is out, as is Ancellotti, Mancini ( :-) ) .

    I would like us to bring in Remi Garde from Lyon (whom I have recommended in the past). The man knows Arsene and Arsenal.

    PV4 needs to be brought back to the fold. I can easily see PV as the first black manager of a Top 4 club.

    Both these men have shown they have fighting spirit and that is what is needed.

  52. Rasp says:

    Wow having just read Winter’s article I can see why Jeanette attached some relevance to her post today. I respect Winter as a journalist (I susect he is an Arsenal fan) but have never read anything so hard hitting in relation to AW – he is generally full of praise.

  53. Rasp says:

    He does make the point about the footballing giants (in Germany) that can be found on the Bayern Board. We need more ‘football people’ involved in the running of Arsenal. In reality, Arsene is the only one when you look above him in the club’s hierarchy.

  54. Double98 says:

    Big raddy – PV4 left us in a bigger cloud than

    RVP – Left for ambition
    Cesc – Left for to play for home club
    Nasri – Left for money
    Henry – Left for ambition
    Ashley – Left for money
    Hleb – Left for icecream, delusion

    Vieira moaned and bitched and questioned our ambition, our finance, his team mates etc.
    He’s not Mr. Arsenal
    Great player, not a great Arsenal man.

    Bring back Bergkamp, bring in Remi Garde or Gilberto but don’t bring back people who left the club badly.

  55. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp football people is an interesting phrase….surely the Board are football people….most of them have been with us for an eternity.

  56. Agreed Double – I think PV04’s pimping of himself to the Camel Shaggers eradicates any respect I ever had for him, especially if I think he said he wouldn’t return to the Premier League ‘cos it meant playing against us. I also believe he was very instrumental in unsettling Nasri(and probably Kolo and Clichy as well) so, no to having him back – like that dutch front bottom – PV is dead to me.

  57. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, they may be regarded as ‘football people’ by some Arsenal supporters of a certain age, but they are not recognised as football people outside the club. I’m afraid they are fast being connected to the perception that we are rooted in the past and an injection of new blood is necessary to introduce some modern thinking into the way we do things. Kroenke repeated several times at the AGM that he leaves the Board to run the club and doesn’t interfere.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    D98. We disagree. My recollection is that PV was sold when it was clear he had lost his pace. His final season at THOF was poor.

    To my knowledge PV has never bad mouthed the club and has learned at MC how to present himself. IMO with no actual evidence, he will become a fine manager whether at AFC is another matter.

    But I am biased because I can never forget the excitement of seeing his first game and realising we had a proper player after years of Selley, Morrow, JJ etc

  59. Double98 says:

    HI Big R
    “People should know this is nothing to do with money. I need to leave because I want to win more trophies and I just cannot see that happening at Arsenal. Certainly not over the next few years, anyway. Comparing Arsenal to the big clubs in Europe this season is going to be quite ridiculous. I do not honestly see Arsenal finishing in the top five in the league – and you can forget the Champions League.


    PV4 June 2001

    The year before the double. Three years before the invincibles…

    Each summer after was a saga of “would he wouldn’t he” go…. he set the template for all the other sagas to come.

    He did his bit on the pitch until his final poor season and Wenger sold him to Juventus rather than listen to another summer of Real Madrid pimping

  60. weedonald says:

    United are facing the same question we are, who will replace their long-serving manager and what will that change mean to the Club? As for Wenger, despite some believing that he’s had enough, he is far from a spent force. He has been through equally tough times before and if I am any judge of the man, he is still willing to see out his contract and finish his ¨project¨ over the next 2-3 years.
    Would he accept a promotion to the Board or to a Director of Football post and would it be good for the Club? I think he would accept a promotion and choose to remain at the Club, since he seems a man of great energy and passion for the Arsenal and despite the gutter press, some nasty so-called supporters and a few ex-players criticisms, he is generally well-loved and respected by all at Arsenal….he would bring stability and reassurance during a new manager’s breaking in period.
    We must not forget that he has mentioned his preferred successor a number of time, but would that man be available now or is this a proper succession planning affair, which has already been determined?
    As another blogger said, it is all a moot point since we have zero influence on the eventual decision and outcome…but it is fun to speculate!

  61. Bryan says:

    weedonald
    That is one thing I thoroughley dont believe is right, Wenger should not have a say in who replaces him, I am fully behind Wenger but he isn’t God & he should not be dictating who our next manager is full stop

  62. Bryan says:

    I have heard Vieira say some poor things about us & also have lost some respect for him too but recently he said that the current Arsenal team play better football than the team he played for us in, which makes me wonder if he has lost the plot as well ;-)

  63. Big Raddy says:

    D98. Love is Blind :-D

  64. Rasp says:

    This is the Henry Winter article for those who have time to read it ……..

    Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke must get tough with manager Arsène Wenger following latest loss
    Henry Winter sends an open letter to Arsenal majority shareholder Stan Kroenke as the club contemplates another season without silverware.

    It sounds like you’re going to give Arsène Wenger your full support at Thursday’s board meeting. Well, if you genuinely care for the Arsenal, or at the very least care for your substantial investment, please attach conditions.

    You must either persuade the manager to change his ways or face the inevitable prospect of changing the manager for another. And please tell Ivan Gazidis to stop being so darn deferential towards Wenger. No employee is bigger than the Arsenal.

    Those familiar with your business modus operandi say it’s your style to appoint individuals (including inherited ones), give them a budget to work with and leave them to get on with it. Not now. Not with Arsenal’s season in this kind of meltdown. You need to be more hands-on. It’s time to challenge the manager and the culture. We know you hate the nickname ‘Silent Stan’. So don’t be.

    Arsène looks exhausted, being crotchety with the press and opposing managers, traits that transmit a negative message to a dressing-room increasingly riddled with doubt. He needs help, Stan, a proper sounding board that he respects, a director to stop him faffing about in the transfer market. Arsène dithered over Juan Mata and Gary Cahill and Chelsea said thank you very much. He then rushed into buying Per Mertesacker, a giraffe in a sport of gazelles. You were there on Tuesday. You saw Mertesacker labour. Seriously.

    Your great club had an opportunity to bring in Hugo Lloris last summer. Arsene hesitated. Why? He worried about collateral damage to Wojciech Szczesny’s confidence. Come on. Shielding somebody’s feelings is all very well but this is sport, not a cub-scout jamboree. This is about winning, about the law of the jungle. Anyway, Szczesny has hardly looked a worthy successor to Jack Kelsey, Bob Wilson or David Seaman this season. It’s a painful truth for you and the board but the club miss David Dein. He’d tell Arsène to stop prevaricating and buy.

    You could have got Patrick Vieira on board. Or Brian Marwood. Please, tap into ex-players’ expertise. Don’t let your rivals reap the benefits.

    Stan, when Bayern Munich were in town on Tuesday, ending your season, did you meet the people on their board? You might have bumped into Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who conquered Europe with club and country, or the World Cup-winning Uli Hoeness or Matthias Sammer, he of the 74 caps and the job description on the club website that reads: “trophies are his absolute priority at FC Bayern”. Trophies. It’s the name of the game. Keep one eye on the bottom line, Stan, but why not for once make a break for the finishing line?

    When Bayern’s board makes decisions, as it did so stealthily and successfully with Pep Guardiola, it draws on decades of accumulated dressing-room wisdom. Arsenal can’t. A board full of civilians stays in awe of Wenger. I bet you stand up and salute when he walks into the room. Look, Arsène’s a fine man and a good manager but he’s not some mythical legend who cannot be questioned. Tell your chief executive to be tougher. Heaven knows, you pay Gazidis enough. Sir Alex Ferguson spoke on Wednesday of having “a million arguments” with David Gill and they’ve won trophy after trophy, built team after team.

    At the Emirates on Tuesday, you may have seen that fan with the shirt bearing the words of that Wenger mission statement: “We don’t buy world-class players. We make them.” But now you sell them. Listen to the fans, Stan.

    The growing fear is Jack Wilshere could be next. Jack’s a good kid, wholehearted, and definitely committed to your great club but what happens if there’s another season of losing out in 2013-2014? Jack wants to be No 1. Do the math.

    Talking of which, Stan, you need to revisit your remuneration policy. You’ve the fourth largest wage bill in the EPL, pushing towards £150m a year, yet the balance is wrong. Let’s cut to the chase. Let’s call your problem under Wenger the Squillaci Factor, an average player paid way over the odds. So divide the cake more cleverly. Promote meritocracy rather than mediocrity. Be American.

    Sorry to twist the knife, Stan, but take another glance at Bayern.

    They’ve a good blend of home-grown darling and high-class hiring, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez. And just how many of your players would get in Bayern’s team? Just Jack. We all love Theo but he doesn’t deliver like Thomas Müller. Have a word with Arsène. Ask him where his leaders are, his real “go-to guys” beyond Jack?

    Stan, in truth, you’re lucky. Arsenal fans could be picketing the ground, chaining themselves to the railings. You must understand their hurt. Supporting a “soccer” club is not an emotion switched on when crossing the stadium threshold on match-day. It lives with you, keeps you awake at night. It becomes an obsession that can wreck jobs, marriages and bank balances.

    Stan, ignore the social-media uprising. On Tuesday, there was no mutiny at the Emirates. It is hard to imagine many other supporters of leading clubs being this stoic. But do not take quietness for tacit acceptance. There are stains on a famous shirt.

    Tell Arsène that today.

    Henry Winter

  65. Bryan says:

    Rasp you are to kind because it is such hard work clicking the link to it nearly pulled a muscle ;-)

  66. dandan says:

    Rasp I read that Winter article this morning and was not surprised. I follow him on twitter and he has been making generally more and more disparaging remarks as the days have passed in recent times, my view is he wants Wenger out full stop and nothing else will do.

    One of the problems with the Daily Journalists is that they see the total newspaper circulation falling and are aware that many jobs are on the line as a number of papers are entering into discussions about consolidation.Consequently many are seeking to create a high profile in the hope they are not one of the casualties as several well known journalists have recently been. AW has become manna from heaven for many of them and consequently a marked man.

  67. Big Raddy says:

    DD. I have followed Winter of late and with growing dismay.

    He makes some valid points but has had an AW out agenda for a couple of seasons now. Being outclassed by BM must have given Winter great joy. (now there is a journalist I miss …. Bernard Joy was fab). The mere fact that Winter cannot understand why the atmosphere on Tues was so good is because he is not a fan – he is a hack who makes his money from sensationalism

    If it had been a Martin Samuel or Patrick Barclay article I would give it more weight, but it isn’t.

  68. Gooner In Exile says:

    DD the other thing that should be added is that the Telegraph made a shed load of money today with the amount of clicks that page probably got. And I am afraid that is the problem with today’s press, circulation is waning so the only way to really make money is advertising, advertising in a poorly circulated paper = low price. Advertising based on clicks to a web page = win

  69. dandan says:

    BR Paddy Barclay along with Amy Lawrence have been victims of recent purges and of course GIE you are correct, which is also why some of the blogs who,s names I will not mention let alone read, create the mayhem they do to fulfil the equation you outline above.

  70. nihirealist says:

    A few points about the Winter article, and some other points raised earlier.

    Bayern and Dortmund, according to the comments by JM yesterday, both seem to have a different structure than most clubs in England have. A supervisory board with mostly businesses which own a stake in the club (that doesn’t happen in England) represented, along with the odd politician (Bayern is to Bavaria what Barca is to Catalunya) to run the business side of things I suppose. And an executive board with mostly ex-footballers who act as sporting directors. Again, sporting directors aren’t a very common phenomenon in England, or weren’t till recently. That is why the manager is called that instead of being simply a head coach. David Dein’s official designation was V-P. Not Director of football, as I recall at least. I also seem to recall Wenger many years ago saying he would not like to work in a model where someone else is in charge of purchasing players and devising transfer strategy.

    Secondly, the board is going to change fairly soon anyway. Many have already left, and those that remain such as Hill-Wood, and Ken Friar (both Arsenal men through and through), can’t stay in place much longer due to their age. Gazidis, the CEO is Kroenke’s man, and has revamped the commercial department. That acts as our ‘supervisory board’, in absence of businesses. It would be nice to involve some players or ‘football men’ too, but who among our past greats knows the job, and is willing to do it? What would the job be for that matter?

    Also, I don’t know much about Bayern’s board, but I’m sure it wasn’t a sudden act of bringing in footballers. It must have slowly evolved. Like our board is evolving.

    As for Winter, I don;t think he knows it is the manager who’s ‘ways’ have held us back. Years ago, before we planned to move stadium, Wenger was accused by Liam Brady, no less, of not giving the academy prospects enough chances. Wenger himself said that he has to see who is better at the moment and that young players will have to bide their time. No talk of ‘killing’ any player. That came only with the stadium move. That was a balance of necessity and philosophy. An academy is hugely important to club, and the stadium move provided the perfect opportunity to accelerate the process.

    When Ferguson openly abuses the media, he’s a master. When Wenger loses his cool for once, he’s supposedly exhausted, or crotchety, and that this sends a negative messageto the dressing room. As I recall the consensus here was that it created more of a siege mentality, at least amongst the fans. Who is Winter to know what message the players take from it? I’m sorry, that article is the same old attack of Arsenal and Wenger disguised as a piece which shows concern for Arsenal’s well being.

  71. nihirealist says:

    dandan,
    Barclay is one of the few football journalists that I think talks sense. Amy Lawrence sometimes veers towards the nonsensical side, but usually is worth reading. Neither of them really attack Arsenal. Are you saying they are out of a job?

  72. dandan says:

    They have both left their regular employer and are now working freelance I believe.

  73. nihirealist says:

    Thanks dandan.

  74. nihirealist says:

    Do we want Spurs to progress in the Europa League or go out?

  75. evonne says:

    nihi – of course we do! More games, more fatigue, more potential injuries, all good stuff

  76. dandan says:

    Let them progress a bit, the extra games will do them good :-)

  77. nihirealist says:

    evonne and dandan,

    Ok. It’s just strange to be ‘cheering’ them on that’s all :)

  78. nihirealist says:

    At the moment they are going out, but if by some tragic chance they happen to win the whole thing, I’m blaming you two :)

  79. evonne says:

    nihi – just wash your mouth after the game :)

  80. nihirealist says:

    Holtby nearly scored and I was glad it didn’t go in. It can’t be done. I can’t actively want them to win a game :) There is also the risk that winning in the Europa against a team like Lyon would give them added confidence in the league. So I’m not sure it’s a good thing anyway.

  81. evonne says:

    BTW, excellent comment @6:19

  82. yesprecious says:

    It is very depressing that arsenal have become a feeder club…any1 wanna bet wilshere will be sold next? porto are also feeder club but atleast they have won somethings -_-

  83. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Hi
    Spuds losing now if it stays as it as spuds are out on away goals
    Come on Lyon
    Much Love

  84. Gooner In Exile says:

    So if Spuds should go out tonight that’ll be 5 years without a trophy….hear it mentioned all the time? (And it was only the Micky Mouse Cup).

  85. nihirealist says:

    Well. Evonne and dandan get their wish. Spurs are through. With a late goal by Dembele.

  86. Eldid says:

    Well… Wenger is the problem! What a legacy 8 years without a trophy. It will tarnish “The Invincibles” season for sure!

    The problem with Wenger is he is stubborn and insistes on playing his favorites regardless of how bad they are performing. And there have been some trully bad performances by Sagna, Diaby and Arteta. Sagna doesn’t seem to realise that he is not suppose to let stikers in behind him! Diaby is feeble and lazy. And unfortunately Arteta is no longer world class. Everton don’t sem to have missed him in the slightest!

    And then there is Rosicky… one of our best midfielders last year. And what does Wender do with him… Nothing! He plays Diaby instead!

    Our best midfiled is Wilshere,Ramsey,Rosicky,Cazorla and Arshavin!
    And we should stop playing that uselss 4-5-1 and go back to using a 4-4-2 which makes up far more affective!

    Our Strikers Giroud, Walcott, Podolski and we should have signed Henry! But as you know he was punished by Wenger.

  87. slime says:

    Spuds through = great news.

    The more tough games they play the better for us.

    How funny would it be if their Europa League adventure messed up their Champions League chances!?

  88. Gooner In Exile says:

    This paragraph makes me die:

    “And then there is Rosicky… one of our best midfielders last year. And what does Wender do with him… Nothing! He plays Diaby instead!”

    Take me back to 2010-11 season and Carling Cup Final and I bet I would have seen TR7 listed under the deadwood column, now he is great saviour, football fans are fickle beings aren’t they.

    Damn the Spuds, oh well Inter next 2more games for them.

  89. Gooner In Exile says:

    Other than that it’s the second call for 4-4-2 I’ve heard, and I’m going to ask a simple question….who else in the PL or Europe use 4-4-2?

    No one, our midfield 3 struggles as it is, make it 2 v 3 in the middle of the park we won’t see the ball against a lot of teams.

  90. Gooner In Exile says:

    At least be a bit the experimental, we need 3 in the middle of the park, our full backs spend more time up the pitch than covering their centre halves and we don’t have a defensive midfielder to help them either.

    We do have three good’ish centrebacks, most teams play 1 up front and 4 at the back 5 in midfield against us. And the biggest threat they pose is counter attacking.

    Play 3-5-2. Or 3-4-1-2. Then I might start listening. 4-4-2 is for the past.

  91. slime says:

    How many teams play 3 at the back GiE? I understand your idea, but I fear that a team who play 3 up top would find far too much space in wide areas.

    If we bought a better attacking RB then I think we could play 2 ball playing, holding midfielders and be much more solid, but with Sagna there it doesn’t work. I would love Piszczek but will never happen.

    The other option is to buy a dominant CB (looks like we are opting for amorebieta, who is a bit of an animal apparently!) and a top class DM. That would allow us to be more solid whilst still playing JW and SC in the middle.

  92. Amazing game at Anfield – Liverpool back from the dead

  93. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Peaches
    Hulk what a daft name not a bad player
    Lol

  94. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Suarez just stood on a player
    No need for it

  95. Hi Sheep – Liverpool need to leave it late so that Zenit can’t come back. Agree about Hulk :)

  96. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    I thought there were going to do it
    We go no spirit like that at arsenal at the moment

  97. Sheep Hagger ™ says:

    Got to go see u all tomorrow I’m on call tonight 🙈
    Bye

  98. Two amazing free-kicks from Suarez ………. I thought they would do it too.

    Anfield rocking …… just like when we beat Barcelona

  99. goonerjake says:

    Suarez – what a thug!

    Hulk – don’t rate him.

    Tottering through – good – hopefully a distraction.

  100. I’d love us to have a player that can score from a free-kick :P

  101. nihirealist says:

    huh? What’s this about Liverpool? I didn’t watch the game, but the final result says 3-1 to them. Doesn’t that mean they go out on away goals?

  102. nihirealist says:

    Chelsea through as well with a 92nd minute ‘winner’ by Hazard. Both Spurs and Chelsea got late goals. Bad, because both might get a bit of a boost simply by the manner of their victory.

  103. Yes, they’re out but they made a good go of it.

  104. nihirealist says:

    Ok peaches. Thanks. I wasn’t sure if it was 2-0 to Zenit in the first leg. Thought Liverpool might have gotten through.

  105. Big Raddy says:

    Hope Spurs beat Inter and draw The Chavs. Happy Days.

  106. barumgooner says:

    Very nicely written piece. I personally would love us to give Moyes a chance and agree that whoever replaces Arsene can only do so if he actually leaves the club. Unfortunately I dont think the board will ever sack AW as he makes them money year upon year and as a very stubborn man I dont think he will fall on his sword either so i’m afraid we are stuck with him. My only hope is that the board will give him money to buy one or two leaders who can inspire the others on the pitch as Arsene no longer seems able to. Ideal scenario for me …Arsene to go to PSG at end of season having qualified for cl and with his head held relatively high, Moyes to come in with Bould staying as assistant, board to give him funds to replace the inadequate squad players with better. Will it happen ? probably not.

    Probably Wenger stays, Bould resigns and Diaby gets a nice new contract.

  107. Gooner In Exile says:

    Slime …. Wigan :)

  108. Gooner In Exile says:

    Do we think we are a bigger proposition for Moyes?

    Not being funny but he has had years of working under financial restrictions with PL survival first aim, second aim a good cup run, third aim European football.

    Does anyone think he would relish the chance to manage us? Similar restrictions on spending much higher demands. (Not from the Board but from the fans and media without doubt. I actually think he will stay at Everton unless he gets a nod elsewhere (United/City).

  109. Sav from Australia says:

    Can’t wait for the match…its only Friday afternoon!

    Hello from Australia, magic hat!

  110. weedonald says:

    Bryan…Basically your suggestion makes no sense:

    1) Who knows the Club, its traditions (he helped create) and the players better than Wenger?
    2) Who knows what it takes to win things at AFC, even if it has been a while since we did?
    3) Who knows how to meet the Board’s expectations and what compromises are required to do so better than Arsene?
    4) Who has a better handle on the rigours of the manager’s job than Wenger?
    5) Who knows the relative strengths and weaknesses of potential managerial candidates than AW?
    6) Who does the BOD and Kroenke trust and whose opinion is more respected than AW’s?
    7) Who would you rather have as a mentor and advisor than a legend like Wenger if you took over a Club like the Arsenal?
    8) Who knows the youth development and recruiting setup better than Wenger, who helped create it?

    There are numerous other reasons that make Wenger an ideal bridge between the past and the future. I never suggested that he should be the sole decision maker in who replaces him, but he should have a major say, and you can bet the BOD agrees with that premise as well.

  111. Manthan says:

    Saw Liverpool Match yesterday….
    They played there hearts out.. Want to see similar response from arsenal on return leg… Hardluck they coundt make trough but neverthless there cofidence will be very high now :) :)

  112. Manthan says:

    Gudmorning all,

    This something not realted to the post…

    We all know Arsenal fans always support OG.. Olie is a great player but dont you people think he has missed many sitters this season… Starting sunderland,blackburn,BM and many maore teams when ever he is been through he missed tat gloouriois oppurnity and if we had a good goalproacher like rvp or some one of his calibre dont you people think result would have been different no doubt OG is a great team player but Striker job is to score he cannot score most of the sitters any toughts??????

  113. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All.

    Manthan. Every striker misses goals. RvP missed two sitters in Madrid.

    OG has shown the effort and desire to convince the fans. He is scoring well for his first season but I agree with you that he could be more lethal.

    Luck plays a part as well. He could easily have scored with his first touch (a lovely volley) but the fates were against him.

  114. Gooner In Exile says:

    There is a reason players get taken to the hearts of fans and one of the main ones is spirit on the pitch, I’m not sure I’ve seen Giroud do the strop at team mates, or sulk because he is left on the bench, or most importantly hide.

    I think a little more composure in those goal scoring positions and we could have a real threat on our hands, capable of 20+ goals a season.

  115. barumgooner says:

    Morning GIE. i do think we are a bigger proposition for Moyes. We have far better players than he has at Everton and I think he can mould them into a great team even without additions but we are also at the end of our tight period spending wise. ok we are never going to challenge the sluts with their sugar-daddys but are not as poor as we look. Expectation would be high but i think it would be the best offer he could get..and the best move we could do but as I said before it wont happen though…sadly.

    Oh and OG could be very very good but could also be easily ruined by being replaced by a big name and only played once in a blue moon ala Cham.

  116. Gooner In Exile says:

    Got about half way through before I got bored of the cliches

    “GGs defence crumbled so did trophies” – er Lauren,Campbell, Toure and Cole.

    “The football is still beautiful” – has he been to watch matches this season? That’s about as tired a line as the above.

    “Spurs are currently above them in that crucial fourth place in the Premier League and if defeat there were to cost Arsenal that coveted place in Europe there would be no placating their supporters.” – shouldn’t matter as qualification for CL is not a trophy apparently

  117. evonne says:

    Giroud scored more goals for us in his first season than a certain traitor did. And it won’t be difficult to keep this trend for the next six years being the time the traitor was on the physio table

    Morning all, cold cold cold here …brrrr

  118. Manthan says:

    Barum,
    I agree Giourd should play most of the games… I had seen youtube videos of chamakh i amaze to see he was such a good player he got wasted because of not playing regurally

  119. Manthan says:

    Hi all,
    I know OG is very good palyer he will never hide and he will give 110% but I wanna see from him is to improve scoring sitters.. I agree everybody woill miss sitter at certain point but he is missing regualry n he is scoring some wonderfool goals with head… His first touch is ausome…. If he improve his finishing he will be deadly CF for us :) :)

  120. Manthan says:

    Some stats about poldi when he came to arsenal all the news paper were critizing him saying he cannot perform well in higher level he was flop at bayern but stats say something differnt..

    Nasri (LW) had 16 assists in 125 games for Arsenal . Podolski who plays in the same position has 11 assists in 32 games.

  121. Manthan says:

    God what good player he was

  122. Rasp says:

    Morning Manthan, I’m just about to publish today’s post and I’ve realised that your name does not feature in our list of authors – fancy giving it a try some time ? :)

  123. Rasp says:

    Morning everyone …..

    …. New post …..

  124. ash cole says:

    I guess that was too much to take? Did I lie? Did I insult? I simply stated facts! Arsene is arsenals longest serving trophy-less manager at 8 years!

    The highest paid trophyless manager in the world, there is no manager paid over 5 million that doesnt have at least 1 trophy in the last 5 years!

    Last time I checked afc stood for arsenal football club not arsene football club. If anyone anywhere else in the world is incompetent they are fired simple! SAF wins thats why he is still there if he doesnt win for a year or two its a big deal, he doesnt go over 2 years without winning shit!

    Here we got a manager that only keeps his job after 8 yrs of worsening results he is even rewarded! I dont get it?

  125. oznoizee says:

    Ash Cole, you have come back to haunt us with your awesomely unavailable brain yet again! Whatever that is there inside ur head, you need to understand the basis for running a business. If you don’t get a penny out after you’ve invested one, you are heading for a slump.

    Arsene has done enough wit available resources to get us into a debt-free position. He has managed Champions league football with a youth setup and has managed to make profits in millions. That is the reason why he’s one of the top paid Managers in Football.

    Now, when the resources are available, it will be fair only to give him a season at least to prove himself. With getting rid of fringe players and adding cohesiveness to the team (With inclusion of a couple of top class players hopefully), we will get back to compete with top European teams again.

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