Wenger to Chelsea?

Too many words have already been written on the subject of Arsene Wenger, nevertheless BR would like to give his tuppence worth.  I don’t usually write serious posts and this is a rarity (hence no pics or explorers)

Firstly, is Mr Wenger too old for his job? The crux here is that he is two generations older than some of the players and could easily be their grand-father-figure!  Does he understand “Dench”? Of course not.  The question is does he need to? Wenger has never been the arm around the shoulder buddy to the players – he has been and remains a much respected, somewhat distant manager. He has other people to be the emotional rock, though it should be pointed out that AW does create close relationships with his players – just look at TH14. But as an older man myself, I know that the mind is not as open and flexible as it once was, there are new ideas in football and it is the younger men who embrace them. Would a Lambert or a Laudrup be better? Can Wenger adjust to the digital age?

Is Mr Wenger, as has often been touted, tactically naive? Now BR is no tactitian and is not able to judge but a manager doesn’t suddenly go from being manager of the decade to dunce or does he? It certainly appears that AW does get  out-thought by the top European managers, SAF seems to have the hoodoo over him and has beaten us with teams which on paper should never have won. The strict adherence to 4-3-3 may be costing Arsenal – right now though it is the team rather than the system which is letting us down.

Is Mr. Wenger’s notorious reluctance to pay big money for star players the problem?  I recall AW stating that there are many highly expensive players who were simply not worth the money ( I believe he was referring to Kaka and Ronaldinho). His preference has always been to shop elsewhere and who can say whether signing Ibrahimovitch (for example)  instead of Giroud would have improved the team. In my opinion Ibra would have had a huge impact, not only because he is a brilliant player but he also takes a huge reputation (and ego) into the dressing room. A few years ago our young players could say they shared a dressing room with TH or PV or TA or DB …. now? ?  To be a big club we have to have big players and the biggest one we have at present is Theo, who isn’t even a first choice England player. We need to sign someone who can attract other quality players to the club.

Please Mr Wenger, I beg you – buy a World Class player – forget the wages, forget the fee because if we want to see kids wearing Arsenal shirts around the world then we need a name to hang the team on.

Is Mr Wenger responsible for the poor performances of late? Damn right he is. One may well say that it was the players who caused the embarrassment at Bradford but who bought/nurtured them? Who picks them? Who motivates them?

Mr Wenger is not above criticism nor should he be. Of late he has made costly and inexplicable mistakes in his transfer dealing; he continues to use players out of position causing uncertainty and frustration. Worse, this team seems devoid of inspiration and football intelligence. Who can one look to when a team which includes the imagination of Cazorla, Wilshere, Arteta, Rosicky and Diaby does not create goal scoring opportunities? Since when have Arsenal been a team who play with a target man, a tactic not used since the days of Wright? And if we are forced into this tactic because of a dreadful shortage of strikers – who is to blame?

I am not questioning AW’s continued reign as Arsenal manager – I remain convinced he is the right man for the job. He has the experience, the courage and the skill to take us back to the top but something has to change. The transition of Arsenal from being a football club to an American owned Corporation has been painful and for some fans unacceptable but in the words of Paul Weller “This is the Modern World”. Those asking for “our Arsenal back” are deluded – it has gone forever. If it has been hard for the fans imagine how difficult it has been for Mr. Wenger. My hope and expectation is that Arsene will see out his contract and leave on a cloud of love and appreciation to become a National manager .

My final point is this and it is a question to those with an “Arsene Out” agenda:-

Chelsea have been looking for a manager who will develop their youth system and get them playing attractive football – they have been looking for many years now. Do you imagine that Roman hasn’t had his men approach AW? It doesn’t take much vision to see how quickly AW would build a team with the brilliance of Hazard, Mata etc allied to an open cheque book. What would you think if the next manager of Chelsea was one who was pee’d off with the complaints from the minority of Arsenal fans and decided to take a  last, huge financial payday at Stamford Bridge?

Arsene Wenger – next Chelsea manager? It is not beyond the realms of possibility.

Would that make you happy?

Written by Big Raddy

151 Responses to Wenger to Chelsea?

  1. Rasp says:

    Thanks Raddy, a very clever post … I see what you’ve done there 😛

    Wenger to the chavs to join his protege Theo … no chance

    But if you’re asking us to imagine how we’d feel if he was the manager of another top prem side, I can see the point.

    Since a diehard fan like yourself has put in print his reservations about AW’s ability to bring this team round, maybe we should put up a poll asking how long supporters think they should give him before they conclude his is no longer the right man for the job.

    I have read many comments that suggest the problems can be solved by big signings in January and believe they will happen – I don’t

  2. Red Arse says:

    Good heavens, Big Raddy, 🙂

    Yesterday, we had GN5 presenting a first class Post, and now you have produced yet another classic Post, albeit with the quixotic subtext that AW might join Chelsea!!

    You are right on the button with this topic, given the maelstrom of criticism and faux sympathy unleashed on our beleaguered manager.

    It is clear where your sympathies lie, and I am in agreement with wanting him to get us out of the current torpor, or, failing that, I would want him to go with his head held high when he has at last had enough of the constant distasteful bickering.

    A good read. 🙂

  3. Mark says:

    You’re right we are not the great AFC anymore we are SK Corp.

  4. ArsenalForever says:

    Morning all! Nice post BR – I can’t imagine a worse scenario to be honest… But it would never happen because Wenger is a principled man and Chelsea represents everything he hates about football.

  5. Red Arse says:


    Just as much as you do not believe there will be quality replacements bought in January, to help AW right the boat, I do not believe changing a brilliant manager at this time or in the near future will rectify matters.

    Nunc dimittis …. be careful what you ask for. And beware the Ides of March!!! 😀

  6. Rasp says:

    Hi RA, I am not in favour of changing the manager mid season – that would be ridiculous. If we have not made a considerable improvement in our performances by the summer, I would be in favour of a new manager then – but I don’t expect it to happen.

  7. Rasp. I agree – it is highly unlikely we will make a big signing in Jan. though a loan is a possibility.

    I read yesterday that Zenit paid €40m for Hulk who is currently reluctant to play for them. 3 goals this season and a bad attitude, this from a player I wanted to come to Arsenal !!

  8. Big Raddy says:

    Theo out for Monday,. Not played this month. Supposedly has a calf injury.

    I suspect he is gone in January and the deal has already been done, hence an reluctance to play him

  9. Bt62 Gooner says:

    Can’t see Arsene going to Chelsea,they already have one dictator who decides everything.Do you really think Arsene would go someswhere were the owner actual would sack him if things started to go wrong? not a chance.Arsene is here to 2014 at least,his ego won’t allow it to be otherwise.Well baton down the hatches, a long dark winter lies ahead.Is it really a minority of Arsenal fans?

  10. ArsenalForever says:

    Wenger was brought to Arsenal by football people like Danny Fiszman and David Dein who were visionaries like him, and the Board at that time were passionate about the club. These kind of people would challenge AW whilst sharing the same philosophy. The major problem we have is that the club is now run by money men who lack passion for the club. Even if we sacked Wenger, could they be trusted to appoint the right person to replace him?

    On the other side, those saying ‘be careful what you wish for’ need to consider that change is part of life. Wenger will retire eventually, and a new person will take over. There is no guarantee that his successor at that time will be a success or failure, so it’s pointless to beat AW’s critics with that stick – I am sure people said the same thing when we sacked Bruce Rioch.

    I read a post somewhere that, AW should be given until the end of his current contract in 2014 to rectify things so his legacy is not tainted, and perhaps at that time appoint a new person if things have not improved. For me, this is the right approach, he has earned that privilege given he has stuck by us when he could have left for bigger clubs on more than one occasion.

  11. goonerjake says:


    What a genius post. I think you are………THE VOICE OF REASON….. It is so true if wenger left for chelski with their players and cheque book they would win everything.

    Wenger has a way of doing things at arsenal who are trying to run the club in a particular mould.

    Other points i agree is wenger leaving on a happy note, while being well respected.

    This does NOT mean i want wenger out, no i want him to stop and be successful, i dont though want him to become a punchline because of the lack of success coming from trying to run a club in the unbalanced enviroment of the sugar daddies.

  12. It is beyond the realms of possibility.

  13. Big Raddy says:

    ArsenalForever. If you had read the post you would see I agree with you 🙂

  14. evonne says:

    Raddy – great post, interesting topic. No way AW would go to the Bridge, Abramovitch emanates everything that Wenger abhors, that easily be the worst match made in footy. No. I’d say Wenger would go to PSG or some other big French team.

    I think you hit it on the nail with your Ibra theory. The players would not dare to feck about in a presence of God-like player; at the moment they hardly have anybody to look up to, a true leader of the pack is needed. Someone that can lead by example but is perfectly capable of kicking the lazy arses when needed. Rooney would be nice to have.

    Yes, I have pleasure of meeting you; you wore a black leather jacket and a rat tail could have been easily disguised. You did not undress on that occassion, so I could not be sure about your hairy bits 🙂

  15. ArsenalForever says:

    BR, are you responding to my first post or the second one? I did read your post – not sure where I’ve disagreed with you? 🙂

  16. LB says:

    Great read BR, a very heart felt post. You do know in your heart of hearts it is not Wenger who is reluctant to sign players like Ibra it is simple economics…….PSG can pay him more.

  17. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning BR.

    I believe that AW will work his way through our current malaise and we will end up in the top 4, the CL is beyond our capability but we may have learned enough from our loss to Bradford to do better in the FA Cup.

    Theo is being frozen out, I doubt he will play for us again and he will be sold in January. AW will sort out the striker problem and buy big in the transfer window.

    If AW reads your Chelsea comment he will gag on his bowl of blueberries.

    Wenger will not quit, nor will he be fired, he will be with us for the minimum of his contract and longer if we do well in 2013/14.

    These are the words of one of our greats – Martin Keown –

    “He’s going to find out a lot about himself in this difficult period but he’s a winner, a fighter and he’ll come back stronger from this.”


    Thanks Raddy

    Wenger to Chelsea? More chance of me becoming prime minister.

    Managers go to chelsea for the money and to improve there CV because they know they have a chance to win things short term. They all know they wont last. Its abramovitchs club and he wont have any body getting comfortable and telling him what to do.

    Its time for some people to take a deep breath and leave Arsene alone.

    Arsene and the Board have a new strategy which involves the procurment of the best British talent, and then with improved finances pay these guys top wages. The hope is that the twin antidotes of increased wages and the players Britsihness will keep the future team together

    Foe heavens sake. Arsene built a team form the Ashes form the move form Highbury which would have been more than capable of competing for the league if players had not left, thats how good a manager he is.

    I find Arsene and the Boards new strategy, which will take time to implement, both logical and exciting. If it goes to plan then Arsenes ambition of building a great team for the future will come to fruition.

  19. Shard says:


    Don’t you know that ‘future’ is a dirty word. It has to be NOW.

  20. Shard says:


    A very well written post, and I agree with you almost completely. I also agree with TMHT above that people should just leave Wenger alone for a bit. He’s not above criticism, but scrutinising and pulling apart every little thing he does so as to substantiate a previously held point of view achieves nothing except makes it harder for him to improve our team. Of course I don’t mean you are doing that..in case it appeared so.

    When I said almost completely agree with you, I meant that I don’t think Wenger’s ‘too old’, I think he understands ‘Dench’ perfectly. Everytime he talks in some public forum not directly related to football (and sometimes even in press conferences) I just can’t help but be impressed by his awareness of the world. I think he’s always someone who looks forward and the digital age won’t get the better of him. Again, you didn’t say he was a dinosaur, just saying I don’t even see a hint of it.

    As for him joining Chelsea. No chance. Even though Chelsea would love to have him I’m sure. Wenger is an Arsenal man. One of our own. He won’t forget us even if some of us are all too willing to forget him.


    Yes, i know Shard

    A Lot of people underestimate the difficulties and pressures that the Board have been under the last few years. Yes, the old policy failed becuase they could not keep hold of there players.

    In arsene and the boards defence the strategy was devised under excepional circumstances i.e. the move to the grove, and the presurres of outside, namely the emergence of Chelsea and citys money made the notion buckle.

    These guys that run the Club are trying there hardest to make Arsenal a top Club with a great team. Its not easy, Its very very difficult.

    Rather than scold, lets give the manager and club our full support and see what happens.

  22. slime says:

    He should be given until the end of his contract. The Main reason I think this is because of the fact that he has yet to have a transfer window where he hasn’t lost one or more of his key players. How can he be judged on the building of a squad if parts of it keep f**king off to other teams and he has to replace them before doing anything else.

    People are upset that we aren’t doing better than last season, but the reality is that the team is no better than last year, a year in which we scraped CL football.

    We lost RvP and Song. The replacements have been Song for Wilshere, and RvP for Pod, Cazorla and Giroud. Wilshere will be a much better player than Song, but after 14 months out, he isn’t an improvement on Song from last season. Wenger did the right thing in getting more attacking bodies to cover RvP, but collectively they are only managing the same goals as he got on his own. We may have a stronger squad body wise this season but we do not have a better team, so why are people expecting anything better than last year?

    Wenger should be given the remainder of his contract to show that he can build a squad capable of trophies. The majority of players wanting out seem to have gone (apart from maybe Theo and Sagna) and he now has money available to build the team he wants without having to waste money and time replacing those who have jumped ship.

    He has 18 months, not to prove that he’s a great manager (that will never change), but to prove that he can get the job done in the modern game where money is king and winning trophies is everything.

  23. ArsenalForever says:

    TMHT, Shard, in an ideal world Arsene would be left alone but the reality is that is never gonna happen. When former players, pundits share heir opinions, and other managers like Mourinho, rightly or wrongly, make comments about how AW is under no pressure whilst he is always under pressure to deliver, then the media will always gobble it up.

    In fairness though, it has only been the past few seasons that the scrutiny has been this intense, before that the media had always been pretty generous to AW. It was only really when Mourinho started talking about the lack of trophies that they turned on him.

    Also TMHT, you mentioned that AW built a team from the Ashes of Highbury. I have to disagree with you on that point. The team that moved to the Emirates was still the core of the Invincibles minus Vieira – and they got to the CL final in 2006. And we allowed some of our senior players to leave too early due to their being over 30.


    I wouldnt put a deadline on it Ginge.

    I can understand why many people want to see the back of Arsene. The argument that i usualy get is that he has evolved from been a football coach to become a nominal director. In other word he is heavily involved in the strategy and direction of the Club were as his sole focus should be football, not the econmics and strategic direction of Arsenal.

    In some ways i have sympathy for this argument. Should there not be a clear separtaion of powers? For example, Harry Rednapp did not have a clue that spurs got permission for there new stadium, some reporter had to tell him.

    I tend to take the opposite view that at arsenal it is preferable to have harmonistaion between the football manager and the Board. My belief is that the move to the Grove facilitated this need becuase without every one pulling in the same direction the team, like many other clubs that move home, would have collapsed.

    Wether this approach is still a nessesacity is another matter. I am still 100% behind Arsene but can understand why others may feel the need for change has come.


    Arsenalforever, the team of 2008 had very little to do with the invincibles. This team was built at one of the most turbilent periods in the clubs history, yet Arsene still managed it.

    You mention that players were allowed to leave to early. The reason is that if Arsenal had kept there older players and allowed contracts to diminish we would have been in serious financial trouble. The club had to procure young players with resale vaule or longengivity, this was the econmic reality.

    This is what i meant when i was talking about the incredibly difficult circumstances that arsene wenger has had to work under

  26. slime says:


    I believe Wenger himself will have set a date. He is very self-critical which seems to be forgotten by many fans. He wants Arsenal to succeed and the day he doesn’t think he can do the job is the day he will move on. Wether that day fits in with what others think is debatable, but I think he will definately have a rethink at the end of his current contract and take stock of what he wants to do.

  27. ArsenalForever says:

    TMHT, I take your point on the difficult circumstances – that is without doubt, that AW did a great job. But we moved to the Emirates in 2006, and the core spine of the team from Highbury was still there: Lehman, Campbell, Toure, Cole, Gilberto, Ljunberg, Diaby, Fabregas, Henry, Van Persie, So the 2008 team you refer to as being built under difficult circumstances was done because of the dismantling of the old side in little over 2 years. 4 years on, how many of that 2008 team are still here?

    That is what I meant when I say the team was dismantled too early.


    Arsenalforever, a team can not be built or dismantled over night, it is logisticly impossible. The strategy requires to be phased in and i think that the player turn around within such a short time period is quite remarkable.

    You ask how many of the 2008 team are still there. Well this is exactly the point. Stage 1 was to dismantle the invincibles and stage 2 was to build a new team based on young players. Phase 2 was a failure because the Board and Arsene underestimated player and agent greed and of course the increased financial power via new tv deals of the two spanish clubs as well as the premeir league suger daddys

    Difficult circumstances indeed.

  29. jjgsol says:

    i am very much in the pro AW camp. I am happy to express my dismay at the recent performances, and the repeated playing of players out of position, but, in the absence of a direct link into AW’s brain, and access to his discussions with SB and the players, how can anyone critisize.

    He is quoted as saying that one needs to build from within, rather than simply buy in every player as Manshitty and Chel£ki have done, as one cannot look only at the present, but must look to the future as well. Remember Leeds and Portsmouth.

    AW will know that his players are not performing to the best of their ability and will work towards resolving that. If he succeeds that will be fine, if he does not then, the players will have to accept most of the blame.

    Have a good weekend.

  30. 26may1989 says:

    Lovely post, Raddy, cap doffed.

    I adore Wenger, he has a depth of understanding and vision, as well as intelligence, loyalty and decency, that no-one else in football can match. He transformed us from a club that was slipping into the the sludge of mediocrity with players more interested in boozing and gambling than developing themselves as sportsmen into a cutting-edge, era-defining team of ruthless and creative professsionals. There have been three ages of Wenger at Arsenal, and two of them have been great successes: the trophy period, when we won titles, matched United, struck fear into all and established ourselves as a European force; then there was the stadium-building period, when using his brilliance, Wenger was able to keep us at the top table with no money, even while the oligarch/sheikh-cheats started to colonise our game and steal silverware. As I’ve said many times before, in my opinion, that period was Wenger’s greatest achievement, even without trophies.

    And then there is the current period: the post-stadium adjustment over the past three seasons or so. It’s not been a disaster but it has been a failure, we haven’t achieved what any of us, especially Wenger, would have expected and wanted to have achieved.

    We keep losing our best players, in particular van Persie and Fabregas, but also Nasri, Song, Adebayor and Clichy. And before that, there was Henry and Cole. Those players we have, as we’ve seen so painfully in recent weeks, routinely fail to turn up in matches. Taken together, the departures and the underperformances looks like a lack of confidence in the manager amongst the players. We used to take pride in saying that no-one leaves us and succeeds, we loved it when a defector admitted that he should have stayed with us, should have stayed with Le Prof. Doesn’t happen anymore does it? Even those, like Nasri and Adebayor who have underachieved since they’ve left, can fairly say they don’t regret having left us.

    Just watching our players perform with such a complete lack of insight and drive, as they did against Bradford, makes me so angry. What’s wrong with them? Why can’t they just turn it on against energetic but more limited opponents? Why does a team like Swansea have all the dynamism that we used to have? We really miss van Persie but the players we have have the ability to do so much better than they have been doing.

    Much as it pains me to say it, I do think the time has come for Wenger to leave. It shouldn’t be this way, his players should do better for him, but the simple fact is they don’t. We have reached the point where we need a change of regime just to shake things up and inject some motivation. Managers of football clubs serve numerous roles, but one of the crucial ones is to be the totem around whom the team’s identity and belief in itself coalesces. Wenger no longer acts as a positive totem for our players – that’s not his fault, but it’s become a fact. And we now need to change manager.

    The trouble is there is an unhealthy dynamic between fans and board/executives, and the process of replacing Wenger is likely to be drawn out, as additional time is given in the hope everything can return to the brilliance of yesteryear. It’s a bit like watching the indulgence of Indian cricket fans and the Indian cricket establishment for Sachin Tendulkar, a brilliant player, whose career should have been run down about three years ago but which is being propped up long enough for him to look like a failure. As with Tendulkar, the emotional baggage attached to someone like Wenger is too strong, and there will be understandable reluctance to concede to the ludicrous “We want our Arsenal back crowd” and their various acolytes.

    But to my mind, we have reached a point where we need to replace our manager, it’s just a question of how long it takes us collectively to accept that and take the necessary action. That will determine how long we spend in the wilderness.

  31. ArsenalForever says:

    TMHT – I don’t disagree with you that these factors haven’t had an impact, but you can’t put the failure of phase 2 solely down to external factors. The club has to hold some form of accountability – it wasn’t agent greed that caused us to lose to relegated Birmingham in the 2011 league cup final or to Bradford recently. The fact is that the quality of player in our first team has diminished since 2008, and prior to that since 2006. Yet, at the same time, the wage bill has been rising… That is the point I am making, that our rebuilding has been to replace our best players rather than to strengthen. If you don’t see where I am coming from then we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    AW admitted himself last season that they had taken a gamble on youth with the Emirates move and it had not worked – credit to him, he is trying to change things around. Like you, I back AW but I have less sympathy for Gazidis and SK. We all know they have difficult jobs, but they are all well paid for it and are not above criticism. Even Lady Nina-Bracewell has expressed he displeasure at the way the club is presently run, and she is someone who was a true custodian of the club for decades, so she should know.

  32. Red Arse says:

    Well said, 26, in fact beautifully expressed.

    I have said much the same thing myself recently, in as much as I want AW and the BoD to manage his retirement, and the recruitment of his successor, in a timely and dignified manner, rather than allow him to be dragged out protesting and with the abrupt, unpleasant drum roll ringing in our ears before the firing squad despatch our great manager.

    Rasp was suggesting waiting until the Summer to see whether this season can be salvaged, and I understand that. However, I think the tipping point has been reached and the club, as well as Arsene need to realise the end game is in play, and plans should be afoot as I outlined above.

    We will soon be saying “Sayonara, Arsene” it is now just a matter of time! 😦

  33. 26may1989 says:

    We are of one mind, Red Arse! I’m very much of the school of thought that, once change has been recognised as being necessary, the quicker it is done, the better. There is a time for radical surgery.

  34. ArsenalForever says:

    RA and 26 – you guys perfectly summed up my thoughts


    Nooooooooo, even some of my favourite posters are writing an obituary.

    As long as Arsene remains in good health he should stay.

  36. Rasp says:

    This comment was just posted on the end of yesterday’s article ….

    Jessica Roberts says:
    December 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    NOW the Accountants are against Wenger!!
    Just been sent link to brilliant article on Wenger in (I ‘m not kidding) an Accountancy website …
    “Wenger a great bookkeeper – but a bad CEO”
    Basically says despite being an Economics graduate – his commercial decision making has lead to Arsenal suffering financially. We all know about the footie bit…
    Check it out

  37. Rasp says:

    Hi 26 and RA, no top coach would join mid way through the season, so I guess it rests on whether you think SB would do a better job on his own wihtout AW until the summer.

  38. Red Arse says:

    Nooooo, yourself, Terry Nutkins. 😀

    It’s not an obituary, quite the opposite. It is recognising that there is a time and tide for all men.

    I would rather Arsene entered deserved and creditable retirement, gracefully, under his own cognizance, with garlands of sweet smelling flowers and laudatory acclaim abounding, rather than reluctantly amidst the hurled abuse of the frenzied, footballing proletariat, while the acrid smell of cordite hangs in the air!

    Its prosaically known as managing ‘a situation’! 🙂

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    Say what you like Raddy, but I miss the Explorer.
    Well written article, thank you.
    I stated on here a month ago that I felt it was time for him to go, and nothing since then has changed my mind. The players are not motivated and that is unacceptable. So sorry but I do not agree with “I remain convinced he is the right man for the job.”
    Anyway, he’s in the hot seat, my thoughts change nothing, so let’s be having three straight wins 🙂

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    Are you seriously suggesting I click on an Accountants Site?
    Strange people lurk therein methinks 🙂

  41. Red Arse says:


    I am not saying he should be rushed out this minute — I am saying it should be with AW’s agreement and the whole matter would need to be professionally managed, such that the various strands in the process, including the recruitment of a new coach may culminate in the Summer.

    For that to happen there needs to be Gannt Chart, and not throwing caution to the winds.

    Accountants and lawyers are engaged to handle these things all the time — gulp — or is that only me?? 😛

  42. Red Arse says:


    He was the best manager and man for the job, but even a fantastic leader like Winston Churchill who helped win WW2 was kicked out to let someone else manage the peace. [No politics involved – I am a Yank] 😀

  43. slime says:

    The club have indicated that FFP is going to be an important factor in the future direction of the club, surely a man of Wengers financial background is going to be an important cog in making it work?

    I don’t see him leaving any time soon, though a different role could be an option.

  44. LB says:

    I have read a very sad comment today, a comment from someone I used to respect.

    This site is changing hmmmmmmm.

    You can take the boys out of Le Grove but can you ever take Le Grove out of the boys?

  45. LB says:

    Wenger wont stay at the club in a different capacity, that is pie in the sky (not aimed at you slim)


    I have never been on Le Grove LB. Well, apart from one time when they were all taking bets on who would be the first to track down were i live so they could do me. hahahaha

  47. slime says:


    Not sure who you are referring to, but the shift on this site during the last 12 months has been pretty huge. I fear those wanting Wenger to stay are now becoming the minority.

  48. slime says:

    Just to add to my last comment before anyone jumps on it, I think the difference between this site and others is that in an ideal world pretty much everyone on here would love Wenger to stay and be successful, unfortunately, many seem to have lost patience and feel another manager may be the way to go.

    Other sites just wish Wenger would leave and don’t want him at the club, successful or not.

  49. 26may1989 says:

    Without dissing the wonderful founders of this site, who I know originally met on Le Grove, I had a look at Le Grove about 18 months ago, and was appalled by the crass, bullying, short-sighted rubbish most posters there appeared to go for. I’m sure there are exceptions, but it definitely wasn’t anywhere I wanted to spend time.

  50. Rasp says:

    I have respect for everyone on here because I know they love the Arsenal and are honest in the way they express what they believe to be best for the club. I would lose respect for someone if I felt they just wanted an outcome so they could be proved right – that is a characteristic of bloggers on another site. It is the cub we support not our own egos.

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Perhaps we should have a poll on the AW issue.

    Should he leave in Jan?
    Should he leave in summer?
    Should he stay to the end of his contract?
    Should he be given another contract in 2014?

    I have already stated that would like him to stay until 2014.

    BTW The Chelsea thing was frivolous. Of course he wouldn’t go. He must have turned down the Chavs on amore than one occasion but my point was how would we feel if AW is on the opposiition bench – and let us be in no doubt AW can choose his club.

  52. Red Arse says:


    Arsene has already set the platform to enable FFP to work, and he will, if he stays ensure that continues (as no doubt will his bosses).

    The question is that he could possibly fall into the trap, if it has not already happened, of becoming – if it hasn’t already – a Jack of all Trades.

    His specialist role is to be the greatest manager the club has ever had. He may be the best manager/accountant the club has ever had, but these two roles can be in conflict.

    On his CV and Job Specification I bet it describes his Duties and Responsibilities as “Arsenal Head Coach”. If he has taken on additional responsibilities that would be known as ‘job creep’.

    No one can be expected to take on two such roles — if in fact that has happened.

    There is another aspect that needs to be brought to bear. And that is entrepreneurship.

    Accountants apply their professional financial acumen to running the business successfully with an eye to the bottom (profit) line. They probably know sod all about being a great coach, and the converse is also true, I suspect.

    Neither the Coach nor the Accountant are necessarily great Entrepreneurs.

    What is a flaming entrepreneur then? Well it is someone who runs a business by taking calculated financial risks to do so. Not something either a football Coach or an Accountant are professionally or mentally suited for, I suspect.

    What sort of financial risks are we talking about, in football terms?

    Well, for example, keeping RVP for the last year of his contract, would be a calculated risk, in that the downside might be losing the £24m transfer fee for him, The upside would be (a) winning a trophy — and its resultant commercial rewards, and (b) looking to qualify for the CL and the possible £30m that would produce, and (c) to engender further commercial gains by enticing even more people in foreign lands {and the UK} to become fans and buy shirts etc as a result of achieving those aims.

    Not something everyone can be expected to successfully do. It takes a special sort of person, with very special attributes. That is not something either a coach or an accountant should be expected to do.

    Rumour has it that Arsene does all those roles — or is key in influencing those who are charged with these responsibilities.

    I have no idea if he is involved in all three activities, but if he is, the burnout will be very high, and he will end up not doing any of them very well!

  53. Rasp says:

    Hi RA, a lot of bloggers on AA (LB in particular, but also Rasp on occasion 😛 ) have said that if one of the 3 big spenders come in for a player, we have no chance…… so the question is ….. are we saying that FFP will have no effect on the big club’s ability to spend silly sums of money on players..OR… simply that FFP will not work?

    By now, most of you will know that I suspect the latter.

  54. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. It is a wait and see. My ultimate fear is that the Oiler clubs will refuse FFP and form a breakaway league.

  55. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy, just for the record, I have said I want him to stay until the summer. If he changes our fortunes significantly between now and then (gets the players to perform to their potential and as a cohesive unit consistently), I will admit I was wrong and be happy for him to continue.

  56. Rasp says:

    Raddy, that is exactly what UEFA fear and the reason why FFP will fail to affect the super rich clubs.

  57. slime says:

    Has his interview for FourFourTwo been published yet? I’ve seen bits of it have been quoted on Sky recently to provide pointless headlines, but I did see that he seemed to talk about the different aspects of his role at the club. Could make interesting reading.

  58. mickydidit89 says:

    AW needs to be given (or keep) a couple of world class players, and I believe the Board have the means to do it. I just don’t think they will. I believe they are short sited in this respect, as I cannot see how this business model can survive without everything CL football brings.
    Give Arsene the tools and yes he can do it.

  59. Big Raddy says:

    The arrival of the billionaires has negatively affected football but at least FFP is a recognition of the problem and an attempt to curb the excess.

    Once the clubs have a financial cap, wouldn’t it be great for there to be a wage cap? Impossible I know but oh so necessary

  60. Rasp says:

    Hi Micky, there is no doubt that the problem extends above AW. We can hope for a change in the Board (albeit unlikely) but we can neither hope for or effect any change in the ownership and the way they manage their ‘asset’

  61. Rasp says:

    A wage cap would be the best answer but only possible to action if every club wanted it. As it is, the big clubs would obviously oppose the idea and if there was an attempt to impose it we would be faced with the breakaway league scenario again.

  62. Red Arse says:


    I wrote on this at some length previously, and have not changed my mind, except there is a little fly in the ointment, which I will explain.

    The FFP rules only apply to European competitions such as the CL and the Europa Cup. Any club not complying with the FFP rules will be barred from competing in those competitions.

    UEFA have allowed a long time for clubs to adjust to these rules and have alreadt allowed a lot of “one time only” flexibility to ensure all the externally funded clubs to remain ‘onside’, and that seems to have been accomplished.

    So, in answer to your question, I think FFP will work, even if not as well as some might have hoped. This will benefit Arsenal as we are well within the requirements of the regulations. [At least the differences in resources, for transfer activities, between ourselves and the Oilers etc will be much reduced].

    The fly in the ointment?

    Arsenal and Manure have driven hard to get the Premier League Chairmen to agree an FFP for the Premier League. Not an absolute copy of the UEFA one, but similar, to ensure all the new sponsorship and TV money does not go straight out again to the players and their agents.

    So far so good.

    To get agreement to this proposal thier needs to be assent from at least 14 Premiership clubs.

    Fulham and two others have been campaigning against this, as they fear they will never be able to compete against Manure, Arsenal and Chelsea, because the scheme is based on gross revenues, and in that respect most of the ‘smaller’ clubs can only compete if they are allowed to find their own Oiler to pump money into their clubs for players.

    If the Premiership scheme fails to achieve the necessary quorum, and the FFP is ruled out for our league, that may eventually have a knock on effect on the UEFA, FFP, and result in all sorts of yeucky legal challenges.

    So yes, I think FFP is working (for the CL etc) and will work when fully implemented (to our benefit) but there is possibly a fly in the jolly old ointment closer to home!

  63. Rasp says:

    Thanks RA, I will only believe FFP has teeth when a big club gets thrown out of a European tournament. As it is, the super rich clubs will find ways to buy their way around the rules I believe. Even supersalesman Ivan Gazidis, would only go as far as to say that he was cautiously optimistic that FFP would work.

  64. slime says:

    Why do we assume that the mega rich clubs would not want a wage cap?

    I believe they would be happy with a cap aslong as long as the ceiling was high enough to allow them to operate at a higher level than that of smaller clubs. I’m no expert in economics, but surely it’s in no clubs interests for wages to keep spiralling as they are now, rich or not.

  65. Rasp says:

    Hi sim, it is only their spending ability that sets the big clubs apart (in this country any way) for them to vote for a wage cap would be like a turkey voting for Xmas

  66. Red Arse says:


    That comes under the category of ‘worry, worry’! 😀

    You know, “I love that house, but it is a big mortgage — what will I do if I lose my job?” Don’t worry – be haaappy!! 😆

    Might never happen — but nothing wrong in being pragmatically cautious given the big oily beasts out there. The thing to remember is that the Oilers and state sponsored clubs have begun to realise (like Manure with the EPL version of FFP) that it actually benefits them, as it effectively excludes all but a relatively few clubs, including Arsenal.

    Is that morally right? Probably not — but the world is not a fair place — and once we start to compete and win trophies I suspect the vast majority of our fans will not care any more than Shitty, Manure or Chelsea fans do now!!

  67. Red Arse says:

    Wage capping is a big ‘No, No’ as it will fall foul of EU Law, if challenged. Won’t ever happen.

  68. Rasp says:

    Thanks RA, the picture you paint suggests that FFP would (emphasis on would) offer an advantage to Arsenal if only we’d structure our finances to take advantage and have a Board/owner/manager prepared to exploit the advantage.

  69. Rasp says:

    …. too many advantages 😳

  70. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Damn, you have all the answers and none of them are the ones I want 👿

  71. Red Arse says:


    FFP will effectively become the wages cap, as the salaries and transfer funds available are linked to revenues.

    If a club has £50m available for salaries under FFP, based on an individual club’s revenues/profits, it can blow (say) £40m on 1 player, and spread the other £10m out between the other 24 players.

    Ridiculous example but it makes the point. 😀


  72. Red Arse says:

    Raddy, 🙂

    I do not have all the answers — I am just speculating!! 😀

  73. slime says:


    Don’t they have salary caps in Rugby? How does that escape EU law?


    But surely wages going above £500k a week is of no benefit to mega rich clubs? They can already outbid everyone else whilst paying £250k, so why would they want wages spiralling further? It is of no advantage to them.

  74. Big Raddy says:

    LB. Why didn’t you put that comment into posts?

    Add the two Russian clubs Anzhi and Zenit plus Bayern Munich to those mentioned, all of whom can and do spend huge money of transfers and wages.

  75. LB says:


    What I was trying to say in my ham fisted way before is could you really imagine Wenger moving to a different job at the club?

  76. slime says:


    I never took any offence at what you said, don’t worry. To answer your question, I think he would be offered a job without doubt, but I don’t believe he would take it. He’s got a good few years left at the top for me, however, when he retires from management, I can see him being an ambassador or scout or some other role at the club.

  77. Red Arse says:


    I am not an expert in Rugby League, but I do support Wigan!!! 😀

    The Rugby League clubs already operate their own version of FFP, in that the amount available for salaries is linked as a % of turnover.

    Remember, that is not a blanket salary cap, it is a calculation of total amount available, and how the clubs choose to spend that on individual players is up to them, as I showed above.

    The salary cap that used to operate in the old English Leagues was a flat rate maximum for ANY player of £20 per week. That was overturned in the Courts at the time as a restraint of trade.

    The EU laws have carried that on and a ‘blanket’ or fixed maximum would fail, if challenged, but we would need 26M to explain that.

    — Just seen a snippet of Arsene’s news conference, and he muttered under his breath “the sharks are here” about the Press. I really feel for him — some of those guys are real shits!!!

    He remains optimistic Theo will stay!!!

  78. GunnerN5 says:

    Maybe posting this comment may be a mistake but frankly I couldn’t live with myself if I kept my opinion to myself, so here goes –

    AA does a more than commendable job in keeping the site free of foul verbiage and dodgy comments when compared to other Arsenal related sites – so a great big thank you to the administrators – and I mean that in all sincerity.

    Now to the other side of the coin.

    The lambasting of Arsenal as a whole and Arsene Wenger in particular is just as bad on AA as it is on any other site in fact in many ways it is far worse.

    Why, you may ask, do I think it’s worse?.

    The large majority of AA bloggers are intelligent, articulate, well educated and intellectual individuals. This allows them to express themselves in a far more comprehensive manner than the general population of say LG bloggers. What I’ve been reading today and over the past few weeks has been nothing short of an intellectual assassination of both the club I love and the manager that I respect.

    Now to be clear this does not apply to all bloggers on AA – but it’s like a barrel of apples one bad one can spoil the whole barrel.

    I can understand and accept LG bloggers rantings because they know no better and effing and blinding is the only way they can express themselves.

    On the other hand when I read the same thoughts expressed by intelligent people in an articulate manner I cannot be either accepting or understanding.

    Why assassinate our team and manger over a few dodgy games, after all we are only two points out of 4th place with 5 very winnable games coming up. It’s entirely possible that we could be in 3rd place starting off the new year, but to read some of the ranting and raving one would believe that the bottom had just dropped out of AFC.

    I read and participate on AA for enjoyment and sharing thoughts with like minded people, not to be upset by nicely worded LG comments.

    Big Raddy my comments do not apply to you.

    I am going to take a break from AA for at least the rest of the year, to clear my head and I will reconsider my decision in the New Year.

    In the mean time I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a healthy and wealthy New Year.

  79. Red Arse says:


    Arsene has said in the past that when he finishes as manager/coach he will quit altogether.

    He does not want to be seen as ‘keeping an eye’ on his successor.

    If he left us, I think he would walk into almost any other club because his reputation is so high — if he wanted to.

    That man loves Arsenal, and I suspect it would break his heart to leave us, but the pressure he is under must be appalling!


    GN5, a merry Christmas and prosperous New Year to you and your family sir.

  81. RockyLives says:

    Excellent Post BR and a fine follow-up to Gn5’s excellent one from yesterday.

    You conjured an interesting image there – AW on the touchline in West London, with a team full of players like Mata, Hazard, Oscar and Torres in full flow.

    Fortunately I’m sure AW has way too much class to make it happen and, as you say, if there’s life after Arsenal for him it will be as a national coach.

    However, the longer this season goes on, the more I get the feeling that Arsene just does not know how to fix what’s wrong. I don’t want to believe that that’s the case, but the idea is nagging away at the back of my mind.

    I think he feels he has players capable of doing what he wants; they look great in training; then they fall apart on match days. I fear he is as baffled as the rest of us.

    Quite upsetting to be honest.

  82. LB says:

    I’m not baffled, and I don’t believe Wenger is.

    Sorting the Walcott situation will help, god I hope he goes and we get someone in who has close control in tight areas.

  83. Shard says:

    Everyone seems to be veering towards the view that this represents an end of an era. (Except TMHT of course 🙂 )

    If I may, I must reiterate that the reason that view is becoming more accepted isn’t just down to our performances. It is down to the media perpetuating the notion of sacking Wenger last season. That made it more ‘acceptable’ and less ‘scandalous’ a statement, even if the majority of fans rejected it (only to be told by all the journos later that in fact it was the media which stood by Wenger when the fans wanted him out)

    Arsenal fans have been told for nearly 4 years that they are a joke of a club, have no ambition, have a dictator for a manager etc etc. and that trophies are all that matter, and ‘big clubs’ sack managers for failure to deliver said shiny silverware.

    I’m not saying people can’t make up their own minds. We have people on here much more intelligent than me also saying they believe Wenger’s time is over. But, I firmly believe that the English football media distorts perspective. It is hardly a bastion of great, or even balanced, journalism. And it does drive discussion.Among all of us.

    As for an end of an era. I think the only end we need is to the negativity from the fans. The team looks worse than it ever has done at the moment. But that’s what was said last season too. More than the team, the fans seem tired of it all. Seem to lack the fight. The team probably also takes their cue from that. Or at least are affected by it.

    Anyway, this is getting longer than I thought it would be. I just want to say how much I respect and admire Wenger, and that I genuinely believe in him. He needs us right now. I’m not turning my back on him. He deserves better, and he deserves however much time he thinks is necessary, because I don’t think he’ll hang on to a job that he believes he can’t do anymore. The more I read ‘obituaries’ of his time here, despite the sadness I feel, I think he feels more determined to get us back on top. I know I do.

  84. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, 🙂

    I hate the abuse that Arsene is experiencing from the media (some of them) and fans ( some of them) — it is just not fair!

    It feels like a member of my family is coming under attack, and brings out a rage in me that is not nice.

    Arsene knows that things are not as he wants, altho he might be able to rectify that with access to better quality players, or for the existing players to man up and help him, but I would rather he said “Eff the lot of you” and walked away into a well deserved retirement.
    He will NOT go anywhere else! Never!

    It’s really sad, and disgusting a great man — let alone a great manager is being so reviled. 😦

  85. LB says:


    Supporting Arsenal and talking about it is not optional, it is a serious addiction, the site is not called AA for nothing.

    You are the only person who makes me look like a Wenger doubter.

    See you tomorrow.

  86. slime says:

    Understood RA,

    Thanks for the explanations.

    The grief that Wenger is getting is disgusting really. People questioning the job he’s doing is fair enough, but questioning his motives, sanity or professionalism is out of order. He cares massively about this club and should be given the respect that the clubs greatest ever manager deserves.

  87. Sheep Hagger says:

    Don’t we think if Walcott was going to re sign he would have by now.
    Aw big test is on Monday if we lose that one the knives will be out for him,he’s going thru a tough patch the hardest he has had since getting the job.
    On a lighter note I hope this one makes u smile.
    When arsenal signed Arsen Wenger as manager. I thought it was a wind up as I had never heard of him and thought his name looked like arsenal.
    It was no wind up.
    Much love

  88. Gooner In Exile says:

    Raddy a top post, some people see Wenger as a man driven by ego, whereas I see him as a man driven by loyalty, maybe blind loyalty at times but loyal nonetheless. To his employers and to us the fans, he had many opportunities to take chances elsewhere, he could have signed contracts at clubs that would have given him the riches to do what he liked. He chose to stay and help us.

    Now my only bone of contention is the World Class Player thing:



    Bet it sold a load of shirts

  89. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Ian Wright is a DICKHEAD. He would sound a whole lot better with electrical tape around his beak!

    Mr Wright, you are SO SO WRONG..

    Who the fuck does he think he his calling Arsene supporters deluded?

    I wish all these ex players and has-beens who have nothing constructive to say about the club or its supporters who made them would just – go make like an ostrich and bury their heads in the sand.!

  90. goonerjake says:

    Just keep the faith.

    The best present is yet to come… Gervinho is off to The ACN very soon. 🙂

  91. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Is Morocco part of the shindig? 😆

  92. Sheep Hagger says:

    He’s off to the acn let’s hope he plays well and we can sell him .
    A good buy for a lower club he’s worth around 5-7 million.

  93. slime says:

    Ian Wrighr is just saying the same as what a lot of fans are asking. The funny thing is though whilst he’s asking how much Wenger has to spend, he obviously hasn’t noticed the £90m that’s been blown in 2 years! A lot of the fans who want Wenger out are the same who wanted him to spend money 4 years ago. He’s now doing that, and the funny thing is we have probably got worse! I remember them pleading with him just to buy anyone that we were linked with, players like Lorik Cana (had a year at Sunderland and was binned off!) and Scott Dann!

    Everything is easy in hindsight!

  94. Gooner in Exile says:

    As no one else has mentioned it I thought I would, Man City lost £92 million buying the title last year, down from £190m the year before.

    Can’t remember what it was the first year.

    So thats £280m over two years lost.

    And that doesn’t include the capital outlay on players only the amortisation of their transfer fees.

    So if they bought Aguero for £30m, the cost in the accounts in 2011-12 was £6m (assuming he signed a 5 year contract).

    Just for clarity we have made profit of £41m in last two years, our transfer ins/outs have been fairly cash neutral.

    But heres the thing, our Net Assets at the start of 2011 were £255m. So if we had tried to match City’s spending over the last couple of years (even if we didn’t have to spend as much) we would currently be sitting here discussing the Lenders calling in the borrowings because the agreed secured cash wasn’t there, and the fear of Administrators coming in, unless of course Stan or Usmanov came and stuck £500million into the club to help it continue.

    Or we could of course assume we would have won the PL which would have meant another £20m in the bank, and the CL, which again would have been around £30m more. Which means we only have to find another £200m between us…..no ones going to complain about a further 200% on ticket prices to make it up would we?

    Have City bought the title….damn right.

    Mark Lawrensons view on Radio 5, well “I’m no financial expert” …… (think you’re about to prove that) ….. “why make money like Arsenal if you have to pay tax, may as well lose the money or at least spend it all”…I am sure he is actually the third Chuckle Brother.

    Oh just to confirm if we don’t generate profit we cant spend on new players without investment from the Owner, or selling existing players for a profit…… but no one likes that do they.

  95. Sheep Hagger says:

    I find it difficult to accept than a fellow gunner can have a go at a Legend like Wrighty,one of our greatest striker.
    Can’t see the point of it really but there we are that’s his view.
    Much love

  96. Gooner in Exile says:

    Slim I seriously think there is yardage in a post comparing Project Youth to the Project Buy In Talent.

    We had more fun with Project Youth imho.

  97. Sheep Hagger says:

    Tut Check out the stats

    # Name Years League FA Cup League Cup Europe Others Total
    1 Thierry Henry 1999–2007 & 2012 176 (258) 8 (26) 2 (3) 42 (85) 1 (4) 228 (376)
    2 Ian Wright 1991–1998 128 (221) 12 (16) 29 (29) 15 (21) 1 (1) 185 (288)

  98. Gooner in Exile says:

    Wow just read some more detail:

    City Wages £178.2m

    Players & football staff 237
    Commercial & Administrative 239

    Arsenal Wages £143m

    Players & football staff 225
    Commerial & Administrative 271

  99. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Sheep Hagger, i find it difficult when i hear fellow gunners have a go at a legend like Wenger…………..half way through a season, and only a few points off the top 4..

    What is the point in that? What good are Wrightys comments of calling a certain percentage of Arsenal fans deluded.

    Maybe somebody should remind him of what VCC stands for!

    No love for people holding the knives!

  100. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    GiE @8.05pm,

    200mil between us? Ok, pass the hat around 🙂

    I have read somewhere that since the shieks have taken control at shitty they have invested sorry blown over a billion. which wouldnt suprise me. Didnt they buy some dude named Roque Santa Cruz for 26mil

  101. Sheep Hagger says:

    Some of us think he should go me included
    Are u going to have a go at me now.
    I would not type abuse on here about any player .
    Much love

  102. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. I wish you a merry Xmas and a HNY and look forward to your return in Jan 2013 when I predict we will be 3rd.

    Ian Wright: Let us not confuse a great player with a great man. Wrighty was the former and isn’t the latter. He knows that to stay in the public eye he has to be controversial and sells his hard earned reputation to do so.

    Comments from a man who advised his son to waste his career at MC in order to earn more money are meaningless

  103. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    Never had a go at you, in fact you got on my case for having a go at Wright. I had a go at Wright for having a go at certain fans and calling them deluded (which is SO effing wrong)
    You didnt like it, but i find it very ironic when you say (in not so many words) that its wrong to slag a legend..

    Thats all ive been reading the last few days is people/fans/supporters and bullshit artists having a slag at our legend manager half way through a season with an almost brand new team..

    Last year when shit hit the fan, all Wengerr asked for was faith and unity and he would pull us out of the mess that was 17th plc.. May i remind you that he did, BUT only after the crying, bitching, whinging and plastic bag protests were exhausted did Arsene steer the ship..

  104. Sheep Hagger says:

    I’m not slagging aw off but he’s run his cause I think 7 years no trophies is it good enough .NO
    Wrighty feels like some arsenal fans that’s his choice
    Brb ring my mate John Hartson

  105. Prince-Purrfect-Poldi says:

    As it was my choice Sheep.

    In terms of ‘never slagging a player on here’. Mate, your free to do as you will, but if we ever kop another Van Judas affair or heaven forbid, an Arsenal player did to our club what Tevez did to Shitty and embarass them..well i wont be biting my tongue..

    Lets just forget it Sheep, i feel your a good bloke, but i hate this witch hunt of Wenger.. Maybe we should look at getting rid of certain people that were not there when Arsene proved he could do it.. Cough cough Gazidis (just dont trust him)

  106. chas says:

    Excellent post, BR
    And fittingly fine comments in response.

  107. Rasp says:

    I can see little point in continuing with this debate or the site if we are to have positive discrimination and exclude any discussion of the manager in relation to the poor performance of the team. It’s not what we’re about and being articulate and intelligent hardy seems to be an affliction that means you are incorrect in your view. These are just opinions nothing more and they are being expressed with due respect.

    The irony is that a high percentage of those who comment are, or have been, in managerial positions and I’d bet my bottom dollar that they would expect to be held accountable if those they were in charge of failed to perform to an adequate standard.

  108. Sheep Hagger says:

    Ok np prince
    We agree to disagree
    Much love sheep mate

  109. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Interesting. It depends upon the circumstances. If I own a butchers shop and Tesco’s open next door what should I expect from my manager?

    Arsene’s success must be weighed within the new circumstances non-oiler teams find themselves in. Of those teams we are consistently at the top.

    LB has stated the case far better than I have……

  110. Rasp says:

    Ok I give up, he’s doing a great job, let’s hold hands and skip round the maypole 🙄

    I have repeatedly made the point that we are under-performing with the resources at our disposal, our lack of consistency is not because we don’t have as much money as city. We have a serious advantage over every other club except united, city and the chavs and yet we currently are nowhere near the 4th best team in the premiership.

  111. Rasp says:

    If the LB/Raddy version of our prospects is based on constantly referencing other richer teams then it is no wonder the players don’t bother to perform, they must all be looking forward to a big money move to one of the top three.

  112. Rasp says- “We have a serious advantage over every other club except united, city and the chavs and yet we currently are nowhere near the 4th best team in the premiership.”

    Get a grip Rasp, we are only 2 points off the current 4th best team in the premiership. Take your pick- Everton, spudz, W.B.A, and only 5 points behind a very broke Chelsea 🙄

  113. Rasp says:

    PPP, why do we even bother to play the top 3 they have so much greater purchasing power than us, let’s just give them the 3 points every time. We shouldn’t even try to sign good players whats the point?

    Why did nobody tell Swansea they couldn’t compete with us financially?

    Are you getting my point now?

    Our club is losing kudos with potential players, in terms of recruiting new young supporters and with sponsors who are not prepared to stump up vast sums for a team that is resigned to not competing.

  114. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp, I have some sympathy with your view on what Arsene is bringing to the table at the moment. But I also look at the parameters he has been (in my view) forced to work within. Particularly squad building/dismantling.

    Interestingly Keys on TalkSport today made an apology of sorts.

    Earlier in the week there had been criticism of Arsene and what’s going on at Arsenal on their show by one of the many press men they get in.

    The accusations were some that are made here and some others:

    1) Wenger and Bould are at odds with each other

    2) the Under18’s are evidence that even the academy isn’t working by looking at their results

    Keys today admitted today that he had been in contact with someone who he knows and trusts at Arsenal (possibly Brady but can’t be sure).

    Anyway upshot was there is absolutely no rift between Bould and Wenger and if there was Bould would no longer be in a job.

    The Under 18 team are all 15/16 and hence the youngest team in the division, the u18’s that would qualify are all playing in the U21’s and holding their own.

    They did say they were going to try and get him on the show so would be good to hear a more positive voice from inside the club, than the negative ones from outside looking in.

    Arsene Wenger has said he wants to keep Theo, the club (Fiszman in the past, Gazidis now) say if Arsene wants money for a player he gets it. Why hasn’t Theo got a new contract?

    Arsene Wenger said you can’t sell Nasri and Fabregas and say we are a big club, in my
    opinion (I know you disagree) these were and are messages to us the fans put in to the public domain in my view to put pressure on the board to break the mould they had set, but they prey on his loyalty and force him to start again.

    Lets look at this summer, RvP makes his intentions clear, the club have to sell, the club have already committed to Podolski, but Arsene wants to add a couple more (Cazorla and Giroud). He is then forced to sell in another position to make it possible (Song). As he was probably one of our few marketable assets other than Theo, who by the way I think everyone expected (including Rogers and Ian Ayre) to be at Anfield in August but they clearly didnt offer enough.

  115. Rasp says:

    Whether we like it or not, Arsenal is now viewed as a club that does not prioritise competing at the top and that mental malaise is permeating through the players (with notable exceptions) and that is why we are underperforming on the pitch.

  116. Gooner In Exile says:

    Sorry Rasp your last point has already been disproven Emirates have just signed with us the second highest sponsorship deal in the PL.

    I also need to add that when I gave City’s losses earlier I omitted to say that one of the main reasons for the loss only being £92m was the £40m increase in commercial income…..from Etihad for stadium and kit sponsorship. We actually earn our sponsorship.

  117. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE, but can you distill it down to the salient points

    AW has been sending out covert messages that he is not getting the backing of the board?

    I agree with Micky’s view that players are not just leaving because of the money, they are also leaving because they don’t believe the club is going in the right direction and who can argue when we perennially sell our best players.

    If AW really wants to keep the best players and bring in similar quality but is not receiving the backing from the Board then he should resign, that would be the honourable thing to do.

  118. Rasp says:

    GiE, I can’t remember which sponsor but one of them has refused to up their offer. You cannot deny that a club that is perceived to be growing in terms of support and competing at the top will be able to negotiate more lucrative sponsorship deals.

    Arsenal is perceived as a club in turmoil whether that is the truth or not . We are not seen as winners and that is very sad.

  119. Rasp says:

    And we really only have ourselves to blame when at the AGM, CL qualification is listed as our 3rd most important objective and yet we continually damage our chances of achieving it by being unable to retain the services of our best players. We are in a Catch 22 situation that will be very difficult to turn around.

  120. slime says:

    Since we moved, we have made a profit of about £15m on transfers.

    In the same period Liverpool have spent £125m and Tottenham £80m. Even Aston Villa have spent £85m!

    Who has the upper hand in the bid to be the 4th best team in the country?

    Has perspective been lost?

  121. slime says:

    We can all slate our current crop of players and moan about the signings not being good enough, but the FACT is that whatever we think of these signings, up until now they have ALL succeeded in meeting their minimum requirements of finishing 4th.

    How bad must the transfer activities of the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and Aston Villa be (for example) if they are spending nearly £100m more than us over a 7 year period and they are finishing lower than us every year?

    Wenger must be doing something right, surely?

    Having said that, I do now believe that Wenger must start investing in the squad with a view to top 2 finishes and silverware. Does that mean spending £100m in a few years, not necessarily, it hasn’t done anything for other clubs, but it does mean using the wage bill more efficiently, and it also means we are looking for the top talent we can afford to get some competition within the squad. Not buying 4th choice CB’s (Squillaci) and reserve strikers (Chamakh, Park).

  122. 26may1989 says:

    Evening all.

    I’m amazed that anyone feels the need to defend Wenger here – there is little to nothing on this thread lambasting Wenger or criticising him; instead there are some very measured, thoughtful comments from some saying that the time for change has arrived.

    Of course we are better run than most other clubs, and of course Wenger’s ability to trade at a profit while keeping us in CL places is unmatched. But Rasp’s central point, that we are not getting the performances on the pitch we should given the talent of the existing playing staff, remains stubbornly right. Surely we can all see that there is something fundamentally wrong at the club. Even if the problems stem from perception more than anything, those perceptions can (and in my opinion, have) become reality in their own right.

    Wenger is an obsessive workaholic, at least that’s how it looks from the outside. He simply doesn’t know how to give up, and credit to him for that. But no matter how wonderful and hard working he is, do his players believe in him? I honestly think they don’t, at least not to same degree. I can’t think of a better explanation for what’s gone wrong, and I don’t just mean in the last few weeks, this is something I would say has been brewing for the last few seasons. I think back to the utterly lame finish to the 2009-10 season, when we got to mid March with a genuine title chance, only for the players to piss it all away with a series of insipid, uninspired performances.

    Whether I’m right to say that or not, the weak performances have become more and more regular, even if punctuated with phases of great performances. As a Wenger lover, I’ve stuck with the regime because I felt the chances were it could yet be turned around, with a return to the good days (even if we have to accept the oilers’ impact limits the pots we can win). But after a few seasons of this, we don’t seem able to shake the fundamental problem of underachieving with what we have.

    I detest the classless gits who slag off Wenger, I will continue to speak up for him, and I will of course hope the team does well in each and every game. But I do think the moment for change has arrived. Any organisation goes through times of change and managing those times is incredibly important. The question is: are Kroenke and Gazidis up to that challenge?

  123. slime says:


    Whilst I agree with a lot of what you say, couldn’t some of the feeling of underachieving be because we are still clinging to ‘the good old days’?

    Comparing every goalkeeper to Seaman, every defender to Adams, every midfielder to Vieira and every striker to Bergkamp is surely one of the reasons why there is so much unrest towards Wenger?

    He was never going to replicate the Invincibles with all the money in the world, but if you add in the factors of stadium move, oil money and players jumping ship then surely the job he has done is pretty impressive.

    People refusing to change their expectations means he was always destined to fall short given the changes we have seen in the football landscape.

  124. 26may1989 says:

    You may have a fair point slim, there may be plenty of Arsenal fans out there with unrealistic expectations. I spent much of the stadium financing days banging on and on about how not winning trophies wasn’t a measure of failure, how staying in the race without money was an epic achievement for the club and for Wenger in particular. He will never get the full credit he deserves for that, whether from the numpty football pundits or from many fans, simply because relatively few people understand money sufficiently well to make that judgment.

    But I just look at these players, the ones in the squad we have today, and ask are they worse than Swansea, Norwich, Schalke, Bradford, Olympiacos? Villa played us off the pitch, we were lucky to get away with a point there, and it was similar at Everton. Think of just how appalling our performance at Old Trafford was – were was the effort from the players, the determination to give it a go? The home defeat to Chelsea wasn’t much better. The “comparison of fixtures” widget near the top of this page is interesting: have a look at how many of the fixtures we are already worse off than last season.

    I’m not saying we should win every one of the our games, but we’re just not turning out enough good performances. We know we can do it: Vincent Kompany rightly said (admittedly before they lost to United) that the best team they’ve faced this year is us. The recovery against Spurs was great. And the away game at Anfield was also very good. But the performances just aren’t sustained, that’s become a pattern.

    I hope I’m wrong, I hope we suddenly see the team firing on all its cylinders, which (given how compacted the table is) could easily see us competing for 3rd spot, let alone 4th. But the manner of the performances, and the regularity of losing our best players, really, really worries me.

  125. slime says:

    I can understand the worry 26,

    We have had a turnaround of about 16 first team players in 18 months (10 in, 6 out) roughly speaking. 5 of our starting attacking (midfield and forwards) players were not at the club 18 months ago. 3 were not here 6 months ago. Including last season we have a ludicrous amount of injuries. How can we possibly expect the team to show consistency? Apparently the players themselves were demanding extra training just last week. That doesn’t sound like a bunch of players that have lost heart, it sounds like a bunch of professionals who know they are a work in progress and who know they are under performing.

    You only have to look at QPR to see how much bedding in a large group of new players need.

    The players may not be putting in the performances on the pitch, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want to play for the manager. I still think we will improve and get 4th, but then again I might be talking s**t!

    Night all! 🙂

  126. 26may1989 says:

    Night slim!

  127. Gooner In Exile says:

    I put the failure to complete the season with a trophy when we had Cesc down to maybe four or five important factors:

    1) the 4-4 draw with Newcastle (and Djourous injury)
    2) The injury to Cesc and Theo before the cup final
    2) The injury to BSR in the cup final
    3) Kos + Szczesny = Most comical end to a Cup Final ever, which led to loss of belief and a lot of negative reaction by fans
    4) the sending off of BSR in Barca
    5) the penalty not given on Arshavin in the Sunderland game and the offside given against Arshavin in the Sunderland game when he scored (2 stinking decisions that cost us the chance to go top, and belief further ebbed away).

    Now I know these things happen but we were 4-0 up at Newcastle, Djourou got injured and we fell apart. And Dowd gave a helping hand (the penalty). But can you blame the manager for that, he sends a team out that races to a 4-0 win and then they stop.

    So was any of that Wengers fault? Was it really loss of belief in him that led to the players falling away or just some untimely injuries and a few bad refereeing decisions.

    The failure to win a trophy that season led to the exodus of Clichy, Cesc and Nasri. But as a group they were maturing and a bit of effort by the board and maybe they stay, not Cesc but Clichy and Nasri. As I said earlier if you’d then added Arteta and BFG to the mix would we have had a team that could have gone further? And would we have needed so many new players added to the squad?

  128. chas says:

    Twitter sends me articles to read.
    Two very different reactions to Tuesday night



  129. slime says:


    I agree that had some of the players shown more loyalty to the cause then we would be in a much better position than we are now. Looking at the players individually though, I think all 3 of those mentioned would’ve gone, trophy or not.

    Clichy was going backwards at Arsenal and his time had to come to move on. He needed a new challenge and that showed in his performances for City last year.

    Cesc obviously wanted out, not much we could do there.

    Nasri was a fat little money-grabbing tosspot who’s head was turned in January. He would’ve gone if we’d done the treble!

  130. mickydidit89 says:

    Despite those Twister articles clearly having Arsenalistic titles, I still expected to click and find something at least semi-topless.

  131. mickydidit89 says:

    Please do not give up, as despite a couple of toy chucking incidents, I think there was some very good debating yesterday.

  132. mickydidit89 says:

    “”I don’t have any powers in terms of decisions at the club but there are a few players with whom I am in contact, including Thierry Henry,” said Usmanov.

    “Thierry should be involved at the club but not as a player. He has another role to play, a more important role.

    “Look at Patrick Vieira at Manchester City. He is also a symbol of Arsenal but he is helping another club. We have to avoid that with Thierry.”
    Alisher UsmanovQuotes of the week

    We don’t often hear from him do we?

  133. mickydidit89 says:

    Don’t know why, but I would never have expected AU to be in contact with TH.

  134. Gooner In Exile says:

    This was from a Grauniad article last year:

    “Global research into Arsenal’s brand and appeal surprised even club insiders with the extent to which their traditions of conducting their business in the right way on and off the pitch and playing attractive football were core elements of their appeal – even above short-term success. That is true both of the global fanbase that Arsenal are trying to reach under their new American owner, with last year’s Asian tour to be followed this summer by a trip to Africa, and the commercial partners they hope to attract at a significant premium to their current long-term deals.”

    Admittedly we need to work on the sexy football.

  135. mickydidit89 says:

    Interesting that amongst the pathetically referred to “Wenger Bashers”, I don’t think one asks for Trophies, simply effort and the “sexy football” 🙂

  136. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky I guess it’s via Dein who Thierry is friendly with as we all know that was one of the reasons he was unhappy in his last year at the club.

  137. Shard says:

    Why not? Darren Dein is Thierry’s best friend, and the Deins’ connection with Usmanov is well known. What I wouldn’t have expected is for TH to be willingly used as a pawn in a PR exercise.

  138. slime says:

    Hmmm, I think Usmanov knows that if he puts the words Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira into a sentence then he suddenly has the attention of the Arsenal fans.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if he started jumping on the ‘Wenger Out’ bandwagon as a way to ‘get down with the masses’!

  139. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks Lads,
    Forgot about the Dein connection.

  140. mickydidit89 says:

    I can’t stand not having a game on saturday. 😦

  141. slime says:

    Absolutely sickening news about the school in America. Can’t even imagine.

  142. Gooner In Exile says:

    True Slim. As my American friend said “another coward”.

  143. Red Arse says:

    Good Morning all, 🙂

    One of the joys of writing on a blog such as AA, is the chance to chew the fat with a whole bunch of like minded Gooners.

    Like minded — but with various shades of different opinions, which can and does lead to some lively exchanges.

    Apart from the occasional fleeting visit by a ‘fan’, or two, who make scabrous and ridiculous comments regarding our manager, everyone else on here gives him great credit and respect and indeed regards him with genuine affection.

    Long may it continue!

  144. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. You fight your corner and I will fight mine to me, it makes for interesting debate and is certainly not frustrating.

    Your argument about the inconsistencies on the pitch is valid but very often football depends upon luck and most of our losses and draws have been unlucky e.g. on Tues we hit the post 3 times and the bar + BFC had one shot on target. Rarely have we been the worst team (MU/Swans/Schalke). Stupidity and individual mistakes have also cost us.

    I could continue going through the season but a bacon sandwich doesn’t make itself 🙂

  145. mickydidit89 says:

    Nice try, but I don’t regard myself as like minded with people who chuck toys everywhere just because someone disagrees with them.

  146. mickydidit89 says:

    Naturally I completely agree with your bit about all regulars on here giving “him great credit and respect and indeed regards him with genuine affection”

  147. Morning all, the sun is shining and we have no game for ages and ages 😦 ………………… but we do have a post from JM – no player formations but some lovely video compilations.

    Back in a minute

  148. For the record I think we all treat AW with utmost respect and quite rightly so. He has been fantastic for the club and for football in this country but something has gone wrong and I’m not certain anymore that he knows how to fix it …….. I wish he did and I hope he does but I’m doubtful that he can 😦

  149. Change that, I just found a post from LB in drafts so we’ll use JM’s tomorrow.

    …………New Post ………………..

  150. Wenger to Chelsea? |

    […]“Sweet fruits and vegetables won’t seem as appealing as a cupcake, however they’ll satisfy your physiological want for sugar and make these intense cravings fade away,” Gradney says.[…]

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