Shadows Of Doubts

Afternoon all, a belated greeting on what is quiet week. And that is just what the players needed having ventured into the world of rugby football over the past week or so. Jack Wilshere‘s injury is not as bad as first feared with the incident which caused the injury now downgraded to a collision as opposed to a foul.

Sometimes you miss the good old days. I’m not talking about the silverware, Highbury or standing on the terraces; the days when there was a good old managerial bust-up, mind games in the media have been replaced by suppine pleasanteries about opponents.  No more do we hear about apologies being sent by horse or men believing they have the prettiest wife at home. Needle is largely the preserve of fans; managers have turned nice.

At first most thought it was the lack of any substantive challenge for silverware on the part of Arsenal, a patronising respect from the likes of the Sith Lord in Manchester. That may in part be true but to be honest, it is not the real reason; managers are just boring now when they talk to the media. Oh ‘Arry might be triffic for a quote and Darth Ferguson keen to ban journalists who upset him but where are the bust-ups, the pointed remarks. If we are reduced to having noisy neighbours we might need some fresh blood at the top, someone who is incapable of doing anything but self-promotion and belittling the opposition.

But it seems that Jose Mourinho is not likely to be going to Manchester United, as many sections of the media would like. Since his pitchside slide, the Portugeezer has been touted as a potential Sith Lord even when he was at Stamford Bridge. West London seems to be his most likely return to the English game this Summer, if it happens at all. Arsène’s poured cold water on the notion that Ferguson would step down just to accommodate the ego of another, a logical step. I wonder if the Scot will want another Champions League to sign off with, a flourish to end his time at the top.

That and Wenger’s departure from Arsenal leave big decisions to be made by the respective boards. Following in the footsteps of managers who will leave indelible imprints on their clubs requires strong characters, managers will proven track records. United have trodden this path before, failing miserably when Sir Matt Busby stood down. The game has changed a lot since then, it has changed a lot since Arsène took over from Bruce Rioch (or Pat Rice, if you want to be pedantic). Expectations have been raised by the respective successes of the current incumbents and the difficulty is in sustaining or recapturing former glories as required.

This is not just about the manager though. Arsène’s conservative economics suited the board through the stadium build and the sale following Danny Fiszman’s untimely death. A new manager who follows the same philosophy will be hard to find; Jurgen Klopp would be the nearest in that sense but with the pool of talent in that sense is very limited. If they cannot find Arsène II, the board will have to compromise not just on their managerial target but also on their business philosophy.

The assumption can be made that KSE will stick rigidly to the self-sustaining principles; will it be a stumbling block to their first choice? If the preferred candidate does not want the purse strings so tightly held, it will come down to how much the board, owners want that individual. Life is about compromise and whilst the loosening of the pay structure has been brought about by repeated Summer departures but also a nod to the future and setting the playing field for future managers.

It is a tough decision for the board, one that they have not been involved since the departure of George Graham. Arsène was the leg work of Dein with backing of Fiszman, a fait accompli. It is a long time to go without appointing a senior executive which suggests that the current manager will need to have some input but is that necessarily a good thing? Even with the best will in the world, Wenger would be drawn naturally toward people who share some similar characteristics, philosophies; it is natural and something for which he should not be criticised since it is a human trait we all share.

Perhaps a complete break with the past will happen, maybe Arsène won’t want to move ‘upstairs’ for fear casting a negative shadow over the new manager. I think that would be a shame, a waste of the footballing knowledge he has but perhaps put the development side of the younger players under his control but maybe that would not be desirable on his part. That changeover represents a good time for KSE to restructure the board, a natural break with the past, to bring in younger management who would hopefully bring about a more dynamic approach to the everchanging commercial moods. Whether there is impetus on the part of Kroenke to effect such a change remains to be seen.

’til Tomorrow.

170 thoughts on “Shadows Of Doubts

  1. I know I’m going over the same old subject, but JJ has said it often in the past. Whilst its great to bring new players of the calibre of the players we acquired in the summer, they have largely been replacements for players we have sold. Old Red Nose usually tries to strengthen his squad each season. He’s not a great lover of the January window because he usually gets his buying done in the summer. Usually three players, a couple of more experienced players and a youngster. He’s already got his youngest for next summer in Zaha. Obviously he loses top players from time to time, but he looks to add to his squad to cover the loss.

  2. Wavey,

    did you not read runebreakers comment yesterday. He does not like people going over the same old shit. Please refrain.

  3. I am a speculate to accumulate kind of chap Bob – but I would say so is Arsene – on bringing in new players, in retaining existing players long term and in bringing through a crop of youngsters

    I’m not really a spend cash on the basis that it will inevitably improve the outcome kind of guy

  4. With regard to Fergie he is a shrewd man in the market no doubt

    I look at their midfield though and wonder – as for De Gea he surely can’t last ?

  5. dukey

    I think most of us live our lives in “the same old shit”.

    Just thought I’d throw my comment in the middle of Bob and Anicoll’s discussion.


  6. De Gea is a great shot stopper as we saw at the start of the game, but its widely rumoured that Begovic will be a Manure player in the summer.

  7. Goonerkam

    “Any attempt by ARSENAL to up the Antiy will be meet by the corresponding move up in spending from those who have no limits as far as that goes. AW should stick to his philosophy and rely as much on in house

    I agree with Cbob. You idea sounds like a rather weak rationalization to me. We need to do the best thing or us since we can’t control what they do.


    Clearly no one knows the answers to the could have questions. However, the more players we bring in (within reason obviously) the better chance we have that one or 2 might have been or might become real difference makers. Having more good players certainly can’t hurt. Since we have been stuck in 3rd and 4th for 7 years now using a more conservative philosophy, then being more aggressive seems like a complete no brainer. How anyone could argue otherwise is hard for me to understand.

  8. I think midfield is his blind spot. He just cannot find replacements for his two old boys, although he’s tried a few times

  9. I think for De Gea it doesn’t help that often times his defense let him down and he is left to get ran over or get caught 1-on-1

  10. Di Maria is really bossing the match. Popping up everywhere, running past everybody shooting and I mean missing by 6ins at most each time.

  11. Get some funny decisions in Europe. I’m not a fan of Evra, but I thought the RM defender had a handful of his shirt there.

  12. @Wavey

    The thing is that he is either barely missing or making De Gea make a stop. It will only take a little deflection and there you go.

  13. Its funny because alot of the calls you see Manure get in England they aren’t getting now and old Red Nose is having a shit fit.

  14. Perhaps it’s all about getting someone like Moyes or O’Neill – a shrewd, likeable, strong-willed boss who’s a “pro” more than a “Prof”? 🙂

    As for the transfer comparisons with ManU: last season, their squad was merely a fraction better than ours. It’s still the same this season. Our main problem is we’re getting the due replacements too late and miss out on the time they need to settle. I don’t mind it that we “bleed quality players” so long as it’s no more than 2 every summer – they do age, and at times they fail to live up to the hype. Luckily, we have too few who would be willing to depart to even start worrying about it now…

  15. Watching the Celtic v Juve game yesterday its clear that the refs in Europe are much more relaxed about players leaning in and shirt tugging. The Juve FB Lichsteiner was all over Hooper at every corner and free kick. He pushed him to the ground twice before corners and the only time the ref acted he gave yellow cards to both of them.

  16. Love it, Welbeck on the ground with Rooney helping him loosen up his cramp. Ferdinand wanders up and taps him in the back with his boot whilst he’s on the ground as if top say, “get out of the way, I need to take a freekick.”

  17. In this type of game RVP either gets pissed off and gets sent off, or he disappears. It looked early on like it would be the former, but has ended up being the latter.

  18. @Wavey

    I completely agree with you and the thing is that Pepe isn’t going to do anything but make him go even quieter.

  19. Manure nick the draw and get to take them back to Old Trafford with an away goal on the board. Not going to be easy, but I guess that makes them marginal favourites. If RM do the same job on RVP at OT, Manure are going out.

  20. Dukey

    Got footie on the telly, a pint in front of me and chat on ACLF. Its almost as good as watching it down the pub.

  21. I agree Wavey, if Benezema realizes that Manure have no defenders that can slow him down let alone stop him Madrid go through easily. Ronaldo and Di Maria have a massive advantage on the flanks which will onyl be aided by Pepe coming back from injury and going back to his favored CB role next to Varane and allowing Ramos to play his favored RB.

  22. I love it when the TV commentator goes on about how the away fans are still in the ground because of the result. Obviously not actually sat in the stands at as an away fan in Europe, they are still in the stands as they have to be. The stewards won’t let them out for at least another 45 minutes. Most of the home fans will have moved away from the area, so probably less chance of trouble.

  23. get a room you two 🙂

    good post..
    we dont want arsene moving upstairs we need a clean break for obvious reasons already mentioned by most today.

  24. Luckily, we have too few who would be willing to depart to even start worrying about it now…


    nobody really saw song leaving but he was sold and weve had about 2-3 squads in the last few years becuase of our philodsophies..

    which will not change under the current set up..

    so basically its fingers crossed that arsene can get the side balanced enough to be consistent over a season and these guys can win something either this year or next to convince them to stay a little longer, if not the chances are we’ll be looking at 11 new faces come 2014.

    its the arsene way.

  25. I thought Manure were pretty well outplayed despite a couple of decent chances. Got an away goal though, so they will fancy themselves to go through. Played shite, got a result.

  26. Looks like luck is again on Red Nose’ side, and he is going through.

    No idea how they are doing that. Are they doped? Or just wound up by the hear dryer?

    I mean, really. With this midfield-less squad to be 12 points up in February? With Rafael? With Evans? With De Gea?

    I’m giving up.

  27. SV – Strange eh?

    I suspect they are a seriously well drilled unit and their players are probably better than we give them credit for.

  28. @goonerandy

    Yeh… I think we are just deluded Arsenal fans. As we should be.

    But the club management has some food for thought how much we have to catch up with ManU. A Herculian task if you ask me. And finishing above the Tots would be a good start!

  29. Just finished watching the rm vs manure game,
    Pathetic advertisement for EPL , bunch of shit scared clowns defending in mass, holding on for dear life. League leaders by twelve points and the best they can do against the mercenaries of Madrid is just a tad bit more respectful than what chelski scum showed us last year. Disgraceful. 27 attempts on their goal, and if not for an out of character performance by De gea they trujly would be coming back home with their tail between their legs,
    Phil Jones should have received a minimum of three yellow cards for the things he did yesterday and he calls that crap football, no wonder mourinwhore still thinks the tie is up for grabs. I do too after that demonstration from the red DEVILS.
    The shakater vs Dortmund game was entirety different end to. End cracker of a game, very enjoyable and exciting. It was great seeing EDUARDO come on the pitch towards the end. Bitter sweet memories came rushing back. Thank god mostly SWEET.
    can’t wait for our date with bayern, but first off bring on the freaking rovers.
    UP WITH THE GUNNERS!!!!!!!!!

  30. Goonerkam – It won’t matter if they go through mate. It will be looked back on as an excellent result.

  31. I see that De Gea is getting rave reviews after last night. He was pretty good I will admit, but that wierd save with his feet was plain strange. I have no idea why he didn’t just save it with his hands?

  32. I know ANDY
    unfortunately all that matters is results. Not the way it was achieved.
    You know what they say, WINNING IS BLOODY EVERYTHING.
    ferret face must be very concerned after that show.
    I was very impressed with
    And hate to say it Madrid
    Of all the teams so fat.
    How about you.??

  33. Half man half octopus De Gea last night – opening few minutes he looked very nervy but it was one of those nights where the ball seemed attracted towards him.

  34. Goonerkam – There are some good sides left, but it is hard to see beyond Barcalona again if I am being honest. Messi is like a one man team playing for a side that is good enough without him anyway.

  35. True , pounds for pound one of the best technical players around,
    But I was talking about the teams that have played so far this round,,,

  36. Goonerkam

    Did you view our semi-final in 2006 v Villareal as a “pathetic advertisement for the EPL” or was it a heroic defensive performance by a side playing away from home in Europe?

    We’re all biased in our summation of matches, some more than others, but let’s not be silly. Ultimately United were as close to winning that match as Madrid were.

  37. BARKA is all right . A team built at great great cost. I wonder if they be meeting their payroll this year or will go to the banks to get bailout money again.
    they did have a horrid time of it trying to break down the chelski bus defense last year.

  38. Ok STEVE
    whatever you say. 27 attempts against what?? Five maybe six.
    And yes. I’m a damned biased fan of ARSENAL,
    damn proud of it too,

  39. I remember seeing that game against Valencia that year. They had a very good team then. Can’t remember if we played defensively or not against them. I do remember the final very well.
    I believe we a quitted ourselves very well.
    A sad but also a proud day for me.
    Yes. I think we were a very good advertisment for the EPL that year. As every year.

  40. Goonerkam

    The statistics from last night could be 127 attempts to 1. Viewed in isolation it is a completely meaningless statistic, there is really only one relevant statistic from last night which is the 1-1 final score.

    I still expect Madrid to go through as I cannot see them being held scoreless in the return tie.

    If United do go through then I expect them to rue the very soft yellow that van Persie got.

  41. Chelsea won’t the cl last year ,technically. Yet the majority of football fan are displeased with the way they accomplished that fest,
    Many also believe they have purchased trophies not earned them.
    I’m in that group .
    I do agree with your second paragraph though.
    And rvp was caught kicking Ramos in the throat. You think that yellow was soft??
    I thought it was called for. And Jones should have gotten one also for that push in the back. In the box. I would have given a penalty kick.

  42. And rvp was caught kicking Ramos in the throat. You think that yellow was soft??

    His hand brushed his mouth and Ramos went down like he had been shot. He certainly did not get “kicked in he throat”. Yellow card? It wasn’t even a foul.

    Chelsea won’t the cl last year ,technically. Yet the majority of football fan are displeased with the way they accomplished that fest,
    Many also believe they have purchased trophies not earned them.

    I bet Chelsea fans don’t care.

    And just to play devils advocate; from out last starting 11 only Szchezny and Wilshere were not bought. So, if we win anything, will we have bought it?

  43. Morning YW
    could you please tell ANDY that ARSENAL do not buy their titles. He seems to be equating our club with that of manure .Chelsea . And man shitty ,
    No one in the world thinks that but him. Set him straight please.

  44. Goonerkam

    We bought our titles in the 1930s, we bought them in 1989 and 1991; Wenger has bought all of his titles. It’s the way of football, always has been, always will. The closest we’ve come to a homegrown squad winning the title was 1971 where half the squad were from the youth ranks but the likes of Graham, McNab and McLintock were bought.

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