Arsene Wenger: Dictator or Loyal Servant?

I think the above question is the one question that if we had a clear answer would help unify the fragmented support. The question of Arsène’s power has raised it’s ugly head again in the last week with United winning the title. Many Arsenal fans are laying the blame solely at Wenger’s feet….”sold them the title” is a popular phrase used by these supporters.

Arsene-Wenger

In truth it’s hard to disagree with the fact that the traitorous Dutchman had a very positive impact for Salford United, and their early season form was boosted by his arrival. Ours on the other hand was affected by his departure and another summer of uncertainty.

The bone of contention however is that Arsène’s supporters don’t believe the decisions to sell players is solelyArsène ‘s and that his statements after another sale are simply those of a man being asked to follow the company line, but also bound by a loyalty the club he loves. Why else would he still be here?

Greed? I think he probably hasn’t got a lot to worry about when he retires.

Egotist? Maybe but if that was the case he would have taken the Madrid job a long time ago and given himself more chance to win a few trophies.

In a recent interview another departed player gave a slightly different version of events.

Wenger told me that if Cesc left, I would stay but Kroenke wanted the money.

The coach told me we’ll only take Gervinho. Cesc was already gone, I had only one year left so I decided to leave.

There is a subtle twist there in that the player himself says he chose to leave but he also says Kroenke wanted the money. There is though one undeniable statement – Arsène did not want him to leave.

So should Arsène come out and say as much? He has said previously that he could write a book about that summer, would it be better for us if like Mancini he would just come out and say “the Board are lying, they forced me to sell to buy, they did the same this summer too, that’s why I had to sell the Dutchman and Song, as I needed to bring in replacements in other positions with different skills and also replace the departed”.

Man City fans should be revolting against the manager given their squad but, despite having spent another *£14m net, by claiming that he was not allowed to spend as he had in the previous two summers (net spend £164m) the City fans have continued to show their support to him.

Arsenal fans disenchanted with the “all powerful” Wenger will point to the fact that Arsène says nothing of the sort as some kind of admission of guilt.

What if it is misplaced loyalty to a club that gave him the chance to manage at this level, what if he thinks it is better to present a united front, what if he can’t think of life without Arsenal.

There is no point saying “but if we’d kept X and Y we would be dominant” because we wouldn’t have A and Z if we hasn’t sold.

Those are the two sides of the story, but we do not know the truth, if we did would it change our opinions of the Board or Arsène? If I found out Arsène had final say on those players departure from the club then maybe I would view him differently, if on the other hand we find out he has nothing to do with contracts, sales, wage levels would it help us focus our questions (and ire) towards the board/owners? Would we believe again that “there’s only one Arsène Wenger”? Could we judge him solely on the teams performances knowing he has been working under internal pressure.

Gooner in Exile

*would have been £31m had Balotelli not exited in January

126 Responses to Arsene Wenger: Dictator or Loyal Servant?

  1. Shard says:

    Hi GIE,

    Thanks for the post. To me, I don’t think it makes much difference as to who’s making the final call (I assume the final call lies with the board) The fact is, any organisation will have people with different viewpoints. All of those viewpoints are legitimate, but ultimately a decision needs to be taken. As long as even the dissenters within the organisation, despite disagreement, align themselves and contribute to the cause going forward, all is well.

    Arsene obviously did not want to lose his best players. But, he probably acknowledges or accepts that the reality of the situation(s) (Players wanting away, club’s financial state etc) was that it had to happen. If he really felt strongly enough about it being the wrong call, or a malafide decision, he would walk away, or say something to that effect.

    I don’t think anyone who actually listens to the man talk can feel he’s an egotist (even though he’s obviously proud of his achievements) He could have walked away at any time (Munich tried to sign him a few times by their own admission), he could have, like Rafa Benitez with Liverpool, and Mancini at City, laid the blame at the board’s door and used his considerable popularity among the fans to isolate himself from any criticism. Instead he refers to himself as just an employee (not…THE BOSS), says he does his job the best he can, says there is money available (which is true, he just never says how much money), and takes full responsibility for all transfers and (i think) for the wage distribution. Does that make him a dictator? Not at all. It makes him in charge of a well defined role, and for the rest, the board and manager coordinate on decisions (that too is how it should be in my view) It’s a pity so many don’t see what he and Arsenal are trying to achieve and what they have fought against all this while.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    My colours are firmly nailed to the mast – Arsenal comes first and the personnel second; when AW leaves it will be “The King is Dead, Long Live the King”

    In the meantime AW remains one of the two best managers in Arsenal’s history.

    The development of the club under his stewardship has been huge.

    Dictator? Well, I guess he has been and continues to be but name a player who hasn’t said AW is the best manager he has worked with?

    Loyal servant. Undoubtedly

  3. Manthan says:

    Hi Gie,

    Great POst Mate..

    Arsene never wants to sell best player but if player himself wants to go he cannot help..

    Whoever has left arsenal till date have never complained about Wenger. Nasri,RVP,Cesc,song all treat him as his father figure. I think Board is the one who wants money and they sell thier best player when offer comes. . Nasri himslef has told that he regret that he has not spent more time with wenger.. Problem is not wenger Problem is Board. Suppose if wenger leaves next year don’t get surprise if he gets offers from world best clubs…

  4. Manthan says:

    Because of him we shifted to Emirates that too without affecting team result. Many team have struggled once they move to new staduim because of Money

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. Another super comment

  6. Morning all, I saw this gem of a post in drafts yesterday morning GiE when there was nothing showing up for “New post” by 10 am but didn’t publish as neither you nor Peachy/Rasp were around and I didn’t know if it was being held back or not,,,,sorry guv, I would only follow orders so MDI89 very helpfully came up with a post, much to Tony’s chagrin, the poor dear.

    As to the question raised in the post itself -the truth lies between those two extremes and only on the publication of the aforementioned memoirs of last summers transfer shenanigans will we ever know.

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Manthan. There will always be people who think the grass is greener.

    There are two brilliant managers working in the PL and we have one of them (maybe 3 … AVB)

  8. Manthan says:

    I agree BR,

    AVB is showing class.

  9. Manthan says:

    “In January 2011, it was announced that Wenger was voted “World Coach of the Decade” by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics. The organisation aggregated the results from each year of the decade, and Wenger had narrowly beaten Ferguson and Mourinho for the honour.”

    Despite SAF more titles then Wenger he couldnt win coach of the decaded award.

    SAF always get backing from board. If RVP was thier in MANU and we wanted to buy him do you board would have given permission to buy 29 year old striker with injury records at 25 Million… NNNNOOOO

  10. Talking of ManPoo Manthan, I wonder what the reception from the gooners to the guard of honour and the return of VanJudas will be on Sunday.

  11. Manthan says:

    I think BSR will be rested. .

  12. Old purple proboscis loves stirring things up, he will order BSR to lead ManPoo out for the guard of honour – that’s the kind of front bottom Fergiescum is.

  13. Shard says:

    Thanks BR. I was going to say the same about your comment, and how I could learn a thing or two about brevity 🙂

    As for AVB, even though he was ridiculed while at Chelsea, I always felt he was going to be good for his club. Chelsea probably shouldn’t have gotten rid of him. He moved from Porto to the PL too early. Otherwise I had him earmarked as one of the possible successors to Wenger. If he stays at Tottenham for the long term, we’re going to hear more from our noisy neighbours. Although, of course, they’ll always be in our shadow 🙂

  14. As some one said earlier Shard, don’t worry about AvB – he’ll be off to Madrid with Bale soon enough.

  15. Shard says:

    chary

    That’s also the kind of person RVP is. He’ll want to play and score and rub our noses in it. He’ll make full use of his protected status as a ManU player and try and incite our players (and maybe the crowd) and then play the innocent victim if anyone reacts. I hope our players don’t lose focus of the 3 points, and aren’t all friendly and back slappy with RVP.

  16. Manthan says:

    Agree Chary,

    I looking forward to the game. If KOzz and BFG keep him quiet I will more then happy.. If the first game against MANURE because TV mistake BSR scored..

    Let see how much he scores next season.. one thing is sure if he won’t perform next season for manure. He will get stick from his own crowd. Gary neville himself has told Arsenal supporters are more loyal and good then MANUTD

  17. Shard says:

    chary

    That has to be among the weirdest rumours I’ve heard. Real aren’t really known for hiring young managers, especially those that generally seem like a long term bet. Plus, I don’t think the powers that be will want anyone else who is chums with Mourinho to take over the reins immediately. Of course, I could be totally wrong, but somehow I don’t see it happening. They’ll probably go for someone like Ancellotti (Also a potential short term successor to AW in my book, along with Bielsa and Pellegrini)

  18. ochieng says:

    Boo him! He spent 1 productive year with us and other seasons staying out with injuries. then he refuses to sign the contract! I hate that scum burg

  19. Manthan says:

    Shard,

    I don’t agree with you first time for Ancellotti :D. He cannot deliver without spending nonsense money. Kloop is best Successor for Wenger may be AVB too.

  20. Shard says:

    Manthan

    Would you want a Spurs manager to become Arsenal manager? I don’t think I could quite stomach that. So AVB is out for me 🙂

    The only reason I named Ancellotti, Pellegrini and Bielsa (my favourite of the 3) is that there is a part of me that thinks Wenger’s legacy will be too heavy for any young manager to overcome, and perhaps it might be a better option to have someone with more experience come in. I like Ancellotti from his days at Milan. I also think that the only Chelsea team I didn’t actively hate due to their antics on the field, was Ancelotti’s Chelsea. I think he can do agood job in the short term (and we’ll have increased spending ability soon)

    Of course Klopp ranks right up there too, and since he’s completely mad, I like him even more 🙂

    But I truly hope Wenger stays with us for another 4-5 years at least.

  21. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking Shard, but it would be hilarious if Madrid got them as Maureen Yo is definitely off this summer.

    Perhaps Madrid can give them Modric back as part of the deak and then everyone’s happy 🙂

  22. Manthan says:

    Wenger will stay 4-5 years for sure who knows by that time many new manager will come in football ( for example – Shard.Didit or Manthan 😀 😛 :D)

  23. Manthan says:

    Chary,

    hahaha

  24. Shard says:

    chary

    Is mourinho heading back to Chelsea?

  25. Manthan says:

    Not sure about Chelsea but he wants to return to PL…

  26. Shard says:

    Manthan

    So it’s either Chelsea or ManCity then 🙂

    Either way, it’s time to set the record straight next year about who the best team is, and who the best manager is. All the better if Mourinho is one of those watching from the sidelines as Wenger receives his medal during Arsenal’s trophy presentation 🙂

  27. Manthan says:

    Shard,

    hhahahahahahaha

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Who can afford JM and his back up staff’s wages? Only Oilers.

  29. Manthan says:

    Br,

    Spot ON MANCINI will be on his way next year. He is shit he has got best team in the world and still he complaints we don’t have good team rofl…

  30. sherlock says:

    Why all the ballyhoo over Wenger when George Graham is a more successful Arsenal Manager than Arsene Wenger.

  31. Red Arse says:

    Congratulations to our new Danish tour guide, BR!! 🙂

    Two years in Uni must have been tough going, but, you know, there are three bakery shops in St Albans who all do wonderful danish pastries — and I could take you on a tour around them, if you like? 😀

    Joking aside, that is one hell of an achievement, Randy, and I am very pleased for you!! 😀

  32. Shard says:

    sherlock

    Your name appearing in blue is something of a giveaway..What’s with AA making up for the lack of trolls in the last few days?

  33. Red Arse says:

    Good Post, GIE, 🙂

    I scoured it for zenophobic comments, after Micky’s “I will let the foreigners know, before I drop one”, yesterday. No mention of gas masks you may have noticed.

    Anyway, the management of a company/club is akin to being a member of a team, the individuals become subsumed within the collective.

    So too, with Arsene and the BoD (aka Kroenke). If Arsene had found the various decisions intolerable, he would have given his notice and gone off to richer pickings with Real, Barca or PSG, all of whom wanted him.

    The question of whether he was/is the best manager Arsenal have ever had, is subjective, but George Graham said last week that he thought he was better even that Herbert Chapman. ‘Nuff said.

    In terms of wealth — it was revealed in a newspaper today that FergieBum, is the wealthiest past or present manager with a net worth of £34m, followed by AW and Roy Keane with £29m each.

    Any suggestion that AW does anything for a bit more money is farcical bollix propounded only by the intellectually challenged.

  34. sherlock says:

    George Graham has won more Trophies with Arsenal than Arsene Wenger.

  35. Red Arse says:

    Shard,

    Sherlock, or any of the other nom de plumes he adopts, is like an ugly man who tries to change his appearance by wearing different glasses, not capable of understanding he is only fooling himself.

    The idiotic one liners cannot be disguised by yet another name change. Best to just ignore the clown.

  36. Shard says:

    RA,

    sherlock is saarki? Ok, I guess I was wrong about this, but I thought the name only appears in blue if you have some sort of admin powers on the site.. I guess it must be a wordpress thing instead. But correct me if I’m wrong, as you know I haven’t been following AA as closely as I used to, but there has been an increase in trolling, and most of it is under ‘friendly fire’. Is that correct?

    What’s with BR and tour guide thing. Is that what his 10 hour exam was for yesterday? There’s a small, tiny, chance that I might be visiting Denmark in June. Is that where you are based BR?

  37. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Thank you for your kind good wishes.

    Shard. I am in Copenhagen. If any Gooner comes here I would be delighted to give a tour of our fine city 😀

  38. Red Arse says:

    Shard,

    I am not best suited to answer your questions, really.

    However, if you want a ‘gravatar’, perhaps a picture of yourself, you can register with WordPress, and part of that deal is to give your avatar name the blue font color.

    WordPress is a slightly disfunctional system, and the gravatar’s (including mine) don’t always show up.

    Saarki, Sherlock blah, blah, aka JulianJustCallMeJules, Rufus and many others, has been banned elsewhere for the same disruptive, repetitive trollery rubbish.

  39. Shard says:

    Well congratulations BR, and thanks. I’ll take you up on that offer if I visit. 🙂

  40. sherlock says:

    An indisputable fact George Graham as Manager has won more Trophies with Arsenal than Arsene Wenger.

  41. Big Raddy says:

    sherlock. That is the 3rd time you have told us that.

    Why don’t you try writing a post and explain your point?

  42. kelsey says:

    Hi everyone.

    Very nice post GIE, will we ever know the truth.
    Quite frankly I could be labelled as a shite supporter at the moment as I see so many negatives at what is going on at the club from Kroenke downwards.
    Winning ugly isn’t the worst thing in the world but having just seen the highlights of the Fulham game and allso having read some of the comments on here,it was again an uninspiring performance.
    How we are still third amazes me yet things could have been a lot better with Wenger having better coaches around him, a better scouting system (which has now been overtaken by a number of clubs to get good players at our kind of budget).
    We are still 21 points behind United and though I want us to finish top four it is feasable we won’t or at best actually finish fourth behind Spurs who could well beat Chelsea.
    Cesc left to early and it shows in the amount of games he has played but he wanted to go home.
    RVP knew that the “ambition” was limited at Arsenal for the time being hd regained form last season and is a world class player but that we sold him to our direct competition is what really hurts.
    Wherever we finish I really don’t see a major change in policy and my expectations for next season are pretty low.
    Quite frankly I would love to see the fluid consistent Arsenal of old who scared the daylights out of other teams but though I fully understand our budget limitations it costs nothing for the players to get motivated and start a game as if they really want it.

    I would like a lot of things to happen but with kroenke at the helm it won’t not that I am advocating Usmanov. We are in no man’s land for the time being and I will just grin and bear it.

  43. Shard says:

    Thanks for your answer RA..See you around.

  44. sherlock says:

    George Graham Legacy greater than Arsene Wenger.

  45. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi Kelsey,

    I hope you are all settled back in the homeland and that your trip was not to stressful.

  46. GunnerN5 says:

    George Graham.

    League Cup 1986/87 & 1992/93
    League Title 1988/89 & 1990/91
    FA Cup 1992/93
    Cup Winners Cup 1993/94

    Total of 6 trophies.

    Arsene Wenger.

    League Title 1997/98. 2001/02 & 2003/04
    FA Cup 1997/98, 2001/02, 2002/03 & 2004/05
    Charity Shield 1997/98, 1998/99, 2001/02 & 2003/04.

    Total of 7 trophies & 4 Shields.

    Just historic fact.

  47. evonne says:

    Great post Gie, thanks a lot.
    I have no doubt that Wenger has little say in running of the Club and especially buying and selling players. He is ambitious, his time is running out, he wants to win. And he is not a fool who thinks that our chances have improved by selling the Judas to United. Anybody who thinks that Wenger wanted to sell Cesc and Judas, needs his brain tested. Of course he didn’t. they were his ‘inventions’. He made them team captains hoping to keep them for longer than just 1 more season.

    He gets paid £142k a week to stick his neck for the board, and make do with what’s given to him. And he makes a bloody good job of it.

    Rightly or wrongly I am not proud and would welcome Usmanov replacing Kroenke. I think he would make funds available to Wenger that would prove the man’s brilliance.

  48. sherlock says:

    Arsene Wenger won Two Trophies (3 League Titles-4 FA Cups)– George Graham won Four Trophies (2 League Titles-1 FA Cup-2 League Cups-1 Cup Winners Cup)

  49. GunnerN5 says:

    Evonne,

    We may be alone in this camp but I would also welcome Usmanov as our majority owner.

    He already owns around 30% of the club and so far his overtones have been more positive than negative.

    He is the richest person in England and appears to love the Arsenal, and unlike our absent owner he also attends many home games.

    Maybe his past reputation is a tad cloudy but if one goes back in history to find out where family riches originated many are from very shady dealings.

    On another point I disagree that AW has little or no say in transfer dealings, in fact I think that if his opinion was not sought or valued he would quit. This does not mean that he never gets overruled as it’s obvious that he doesn’t always get his own way.

  50. Jamie says:

    Sherlock
    Yes we understand. Do you have any more bits of useless information to offer?

    Arsene Wenger is still a great manager. Some might say he’s out of touch, but being human, all managers make mistakes. I remember the Mancs – Madrid match when at 1 up the mancs could have easily seen the game through. Bringing on a defensive minded player immediately would have helped them keep their lead, but the ‘all wise’ SAF watched his team lose.

  51. I would hate jabba to own the club.

  52. sherlock says:

    Fergie bought success something Wenger should aspire to.

  53. GunnerN5 says:

    Sherlock,

    That sounds like it would be Watson’s conclusion, but Sherlock would then have put him right by pointing out that winning the same trophy on multiple occasions counts as more than one title.

    By your reckoning Man U have only won 1 PL Trophy/Title and not 11??

    PS.

    Don’t strain yourself by thinking up another a one line response because after we’ve read one we’ve read them all.

  54. sherlock says:

    Graham’s achievements outstrip Wenger’s by virtue of having a more complete Trophy haul with all 3 Domestic and 1 European Trophy on his CV.

  55. Manthan says:

    GN5,

    :D:D

  56. Manthan says:

    sherlock,
    If you feel Graham is better then Wenger then tats ok its your understanding and your wish here all supports Arsene

  57. goonerjake says:

    Shhhhhhh! lock

  58. Afternoon all, must admit thought i’d come here and find bodies lying left and right, but the pub is obviously quiet today 😀

    Sorry can’t comment much am in deepest darkest Norfolk with no internet on phone (so am using the clients PC while he is out at lunch).

    Not a lot to add to the discussion from my original post….except welcome back Kelsey, hope all is well, and Raddy will you be running bike tours via Noma?

  59. sherlock says:

    This websites for dullards all following the party line.

  60. gee says:

    “Graham’s achievements outstrip Wenger’s by virtue of having a more complete Trophy haul with all 3 Domestic and 1 European Trophy on his CV.”

    well not really, the value of the competitions should dicate the value of the achievement – wining the league cup 10 x does not carry the same weight as wining the champions league league.

  61. gee says:

    champions league once

  62. sherlock says:

    Which Wenger has failed to achieve.

  63. Shard says:

    sherlock

    Exactly right. You also forgot to mention that Arsenal have won more trophies without Wenger than they have since he came to us. Not to mention that those trophies were won with much lower resources than Wenger has had. Clearly he’s just a chequebook manager who’s pulling us down. Without him at the helm we’d have won the CL, the PL, AL,BL, ML, XL and all those awards. These ‘dullards’ just don’t get it.

  64. sherlock says:

    Wenger has never won an European Trophy in his entire managerial career which suggests a lack of tactical nous.

  65. evonne says:

    good detective work Sherlock!
    I suppose 2 finals, 4 quarter finals and a semi count for nothing

  66. sherlock says:

    Do you want the short answer or the long protractive answer?

  67. evonne says:

    long please

  68. evonne says:

    BTW – congratulations to our own scholar, Big Raddy himself. Well done Raddy!
    Is there really so much to show in Denmark to justify 2 years’ studies? You must show me one day 🙂

  69. evonne says:

    YES what? I am still waiting for your long answer

  70. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. Can you recall when yo asked your kids why they did something and they just keep saying “Because..” 😀

  71. evonne says:

    yes Raddy 🙂

  72. Red Arse says:

    Whatever pseudonym he takes he is a blog killer. 😦

  73. Hi all

    What a great post GiE. There are times when I firmly believe that Arsene is saying and doing things deliberately to wind us up and others when I feel so much compassion for him and what he is having to work with that I almost want to go to his house and give him a big hug.

    Will we ever know the truth of the supermarket dash of the summer of 2011? I very much doubt it as what I think most of all is that Arsene is loyal to his employers as well as to Arsenal which sometimes must feel like two forces working against each other.

    I love watching him sparkly eyed in front of the press after a great win, knowing that he’s worked a bit of magic. It’s a shame we didn’t manage to win the Champions Lge while we had the Invincibles, but we didn’t and that’s football ……… shit happens.

  74. goonerjake says:

    That’s a bumper sticker isn’t it? Or it should be ……We didn’t win the champion’s league S*** Happens

  75. evonne says:

    wahay!!! listen to this

    Are we human or are we Arsenal?

  76. VCC says:

    They are playing at the Gunners pub on Sunday Evonne. I have all their CD’s. They are great.

    I play them full volume when getting ready to venture out before the game. It gets me up for it. That’s the kid inside me. 🙂

    My Wife knows all the words as I play them some much. 😉

  77. evonne says:

    VCC – you prove my theory that all best men are married

  78. Graham never won the fucking Emirates cup though did he? Or the Amsterdam trophy

  79. Ashley cole he’s a chelsea batty boy (my personal favourite)

  80. VCC says:

    goonermichael….. have you heard the new RVP one out?

    Try and get it, it’s really funny.

  81. I’ll listen when I get home. I can’t listen here.

  82. GunnerN5 says:

    Here is part of the FA Regulatory Commission’s verdict on the Suarez incident.

    ………………………………………………………………………………….

    “We believe it is our duty to discourage any players at any level from acting in such a deplorable manner or attempting to copy what they had seen on the television,” said the report. “The incident of biting an opponent is alien to football and must remain so.”

    The panel also stated that Suarez had failed to “fully appreciate the gravity and seriousness of this truly exceptional incident.

    “It is completely unacceptable and such truly disgraceful behaviour could also lead to possible health issues.

    “This truly shocking incident had been seen by millions of viewers both domestic and overseas, as well as generating a great deal of interest and debate amongst countless numbers of people.

    “Whilst we accepted that Mr Suarez’s reputation had been impacted, these unsavoury pictures would have given a bad image of English football domestically and across the world alike.

    “All players in the higher level of the game are seen as role models, have the duty to act professionally and responsibly, and set the highest example of good conduct to the rest of the game – especially to young players.

    “In this regard and on this occasion, Mr Suarez’s conduct had fallen far below the standards expected of him.

    “We took into consideration Mr Suarez’s apology, his personal statement, supporting letter from Mr Brendan Rodgers and the letter from Ms Zoe Ward (Liverpool’s secretary).

    “But when these were read in conjunction with Mr Suarez’s denial of the standard punishment that would otherwise apply for violent conduct is clearly insufficient, it seemed to us that Mr Suarez has not fully appreciated the gravity and seriousness of this truly exceptional incident.”

    “We did not take into consideration any previous disciplinary records of Mr Suarez and considered the offence in isolation,” said the report.

    The panel, comprised of chairman Thura KT Win, JP, Roger Pawley and Brian Talbot, said of Suarez’s bite “it would be preposterous to conclude that it was not an intentional act”.

    But they disagreed with the Football Association’s suggestion the striker had done so to provoke a reaction from Ivanovic in an attempt to get the defender sent off.

    “We found that biting an opponent in itself was extremely shocking, unexpected and truly exceptional,” said the report.

    “The participants in a game of football do not expect to be bitten by another participant when they come to play football.

    “In this incident, Mr Ivanovic would not, and should not, have been expected to be subject to such a shocking and reprehensible action.

    “The incidents of biting an opponent in football are very rare at the moment and we need to ensure that it will remain so.”

    Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre continued his support of the striker, who he revealed made the decision himself not to appeal.

    “We are all disappointed at the severity of the punishment and in particular the differing standards that have been applied across various previous incidents.

    “Luis is an important member of our team and nothing has changed in that regard.

    “We are committed to helping him improve his conduct and he will be given our full support.”

    Manager Brendan Rodgers, who was highly critical of the disciplinary process and the length of the ban on Thursday, added: “We can’t hide our disappointment at the outcome of this situation, but we have to move on and support Luis in his decision.

  83. Big Raddy says:

    If it had been Henderson or Joe Allen he would have been shown the door but because it is their best player they come out with all that guff.

    Liverpool fans ought to be shamed by Suarez conduct – the cheating, the violence, the racism and now the cannibalism. Are they? No, they think it is a FA conspiracy.

  84. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Hi GiE

    Arsene is a hero in my eyes. I dont realy care who makes the final call or wether his personality traits are egocentric or controlling.

    I am grateful for what he has given personaly. Before him i did not believe it possible that we could win things by playing open, expressive, and fluid football. It just wasnt the Arsenal i knew. He changed that.

    For that reason alone, what ever happens in the future, i will never slander or knock him.

    Everyones entitled to there opinion, but i will always defend the man if he is disrespected. Arsene Wenger, despite what might happen in the future, deserves respect

  85. Reddawn says:

    Well said TMHR, I fully agree with your sentiments

  86. Reddawn says:

    Sorry, TMHT

  87. Big Raddy says:

    TMHT Seconded or Thirded

  88. sherlock says:

    You’re either sending yourselves up or you’re Tottenham supporters.

  89. dandan says:

    .BR, it has been suggested to me by someone who should know, that to watch Saurez is instructional in that he displays many of the mannerisms normally associated with Asperger syndrome. Now should this be the case and I know not if it is, then the guy needs help not public abuse and official sabre rattling.

  90. weedonald says:

    Wenger is a bit of both….any reasonable manager has to be to have survived so long.

  91. chas says:

    Look away now, Tony.
    Excellent post, GIE.
    Wenger’s autobiography is one I’d definitely buy. He seems to me someone who insists on doing things his way. As has been said that would appear to be requirement number one for a good manager. Whether he oversteps his manager remit or not is something we’ll find out when he’s gone.

    What’s with the daily one-liner idiot influx? Still I suppose they boost the comments even if not one of them has actually commented on what’s been written.

  92. I just listened to the new van judas song. I nearly wet my self

    http://www.talksport.co.uk/radio/listen-again/episode/112831

    From 1730-1800 (and then skip three minutes).

  93. Gooner In Exile says:

    Do hope Wigan Gooner is off to JJB today to cheer on the Latics, we’re all Wigan fans today.

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Mr Exile,

    Excellent post, thank you. Also, a great relief to know that the site is right back on track 🙂

    You mentioned the “fragmented support”. For me, the biggest single fragmentation is between those with manners and who know how to behave, and those who don’t. It’s not an Arsenal thing, more representative of English Society as a whole. Sad, but true, and football is an arena in which these people feel it is ok to display these traits.

    One thing that is undeniable, is that Arsene acts with dignity and loyalty. Rare and noble qualities.

  95. chas says:

    Haha, GM.
    …..maybe she can make his appendix burse, lord have mercy. 🙂

  96. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Next up…. Big Raddy.

    Many congratulations my Dear Friend. Terrific news. I really admire people that take on new challenges and directions. If I had the time, I would be on the first plane to Denmark and straight in line.

    What’s more, I’d promise not to stand at the back, chewing gum and making fatuous comments 🙂

  97. chas says:

    Morning Sir Michael of DidItshire.

  98. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wiganist I am today 🙂
    I wonder how many City players will turn up today v West Ham? They lose, we win, and it’s a two point gap. Ok, they’d still have a game in hand, but much, much stranger things have happened.

  99. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Duck Ahoy 🙂

  100. chas says:

    Picked up the keys to my new gaff yesterday.
    PC must be packed away. See you on the other side.

  101. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great news Chas.
    Moving in this weekend?
    And when you say “see you on the other side” ??

  102. Gooner In Exile says:

    Hope move goes easy Chas.

    Micky it is true I think TMHT says it well above, criticise Arsene and players and the board by all means, but do it with some respect that they are all human beings and talk about them as if you were talking to their face. (I’d love to be there if ever GM and Chary met Fergie 😀 )

  103. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My God, there’s a nasty thought. Chary and Fergie both on the sauce in a face-off. Fur would fly!

  104. Big Raddy says:

    Wiganist 😀

    Could they? My Spurs mates are all concerned but Lemon is back and so is the Simian. I fear for the Latics – they are going down.

    And if they go Martinez will leave.I reckon a summer move to Stoke.

    Chas. Hope all goes well and you are wired up for tomorrow

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    Wigan win, and they climb out of the bottom three (for 48 hrs anyway).
    Massive game for them, and they are certainly not down.

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Kelsey
    I see you have arrived on these shores. Hope journey was easy.
    One piece of advice now that you are here: “emigrate quick” 🙂

  107. Big Raddy says:

    😀 😀

    kelsey is a smart fellow. He will have been thinking that the moment he saw the White Cliffs!

  108. Big Raddy says:

    Thing is Micky, neither team want a draw and Wigan have to attack. Who do you think is best equipped in such circumstance?

    And thanks for the congrats. It was an exhausting process for a mature gentleman. I would love to take you and yours around my homeland

  109. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    I only hope our Kelsey didn’t decide on a late night stroll with his dogs on his first Friday night back.
    He would have been assaulted by the drunken “Fat Slags” (Viz)
    😦

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy,
    What next, do you set up on your own?

  111. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Right, that’s enough from me, or there’ll be words from Cummings.

  112. evonne says:

    sh*t, I have just realised that if Scummers win today they will be 3rd!! No, no, no, we cannot allow that to happen. I will be praying today

    Dandan – interesting point about Suarez. Asperger or not, I feel for the guy as he very clearly cannot manage his emotions. He most definitely has some mental health issues. I still think that Shawcross is a much nastier piece of work than Suarez

  113. evonne says:

    QueenofSuberbia twitted:

    Pep Guardiola wanted to sell Cesc Fabregas and David Villa

    Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola would still be in charge of the Catalan club if he was allowed to sell four big name players, according to one Fifa agent.

  114. Rasp says:

    Morning all, many congratulations to Raddy for passing his exams, to chas for moving no his new home and to kelsey for returning to his old homeland 😛

    Thanks for the post GiE, whatever your personal view of AW’s future at Arsenal, he must have the ultimate respect for his achievements, and for his class and dignity in the face of criticism latterly.

    One thing is for sure, he is his own man and will only do things his way. The dramatic reconstruction of Arsenal since his arrival has been incredible.

  115. Rasp says:

    Do we have a post for today? A remember a couple of regs threatening to write a post about BSR for today?

  116. evonne says:

    looks like Almunia will be back in EPL with Watford next season!

  117. Rasp says:

    I wouldn’t mind scoring a winner like this against manu ….

  118. Rasp says:

    No post for today 😦

  119. Cheer up, I’ve found one 🙂

  120. Raddy – many congratulations on passing your exams 😀

    chas – best of luck for today 😀

    kelsey – I hope you’re not too traumatised by our rubbish weather 😉 looking forward to being invited for tea very soon 🙂

  121. Unashamedly standing on my ‘Support people with Aspergers Syndrome’ soap box here ……….. what is it about Suarez’s behaviour that would give someone that idea that he has that condition?

    Now, if you want to study someone in football with Aspergers Syndrome I would suggest that Rafa Benitez is far more likely to be a sufferer.

  122. Rasp says:

    Thanks to Norfolk Gooner for today’s …..

    …. New post ….

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