Arsène Contract: Brave or Foolhardy, Only Time Will Tell

An FA Cup curio before we move onto the business of the day:

An absolutely amazing comparison.

While I’m still enjoying – and shall continue to – Saturday’s FA Cup triumph, it’s expected that a new deal for Arsène will be announced today.

In my mind, it’s a retrograde step but I understand why Arsenal has chosen to do so. Kroenke’s motive is transparent: money. He has mediocre franchises in the USA, which occasionally over-perform but for the most part, are distinctly average. We’ve fallen into the same pattern.

Arsène produces a team which gives him the profits he needs, and a strong balance sheet to underpin his borrowing on other KSE investments. There’s no footballing logic in his decision.

Like Chips & co, Enos is clueless on football. He doesn’t have a plan, abdicating responsibility to a powerless board. They lacked the stomach for a fight they knew they would lose and their capitulation to the manager is the result. Change is going to happen but who leaves is the question.

The club’s surrender to Arsène is total; even Dick Law isn’t leaving until the autumn, at the earliest.

In footballing terms, nothing much has changed from his last contract renewal. On the back of a cup win, a deal was done. Not so emotionally this time on his part but probably more emotional on ours.

Back then, we finished fourth, won the FA Cup, and exited the Champions League in the Round of Sixteen. Last season, with a better squad, we finished fifth, won the FA Cup,  and exited the Champions League in the Round of Sixteen. A backward step on the face of it. An alarming one in reality.

Je Ne Regrette Rien

Arsène remains in sole charge of the ‘technical’ side, which leaves us at the mercy of his whims in the transfer market. The directors let it be known they want him to be more decisive over signings with the same authority that they declare that their egg mayonnaise sandwiches must not include cress but that small triangular chunks of Tomkins tomatoes are perfectly acceptable.

It’s done and in my view, it’s a mistake. This is one of life’s rare occasions where there is no downside to being proven wrong; yet there’s nothing to be gained by being proven right. However, nothing since 2014 provides any basis for optimism that Arsène is capable of mounting a title challenge next or in any other season.

What must be explained is why it’s taken so long to reach this conclusion. The club descended into farce with talk of building our own Air Traffic Control centre as there were so many planes flying about. Liechtenstein looked on enviously as Arsenal supporters had more airpower than their air force.

The proud claims of being a well-run club disappeared into a swirl of headlines and farce. There’s a strong argument for replacing most of the current board; Arsène probably will during the next two years.

The end of the season proves nothing; we are not among the leading contenders already. Arsenal beat the opposition in front of them; the players can do nothing more. But it’s interesting that the one decent side we played in the Premier League, took us apart.

And the run between Christmas and the back three arriving, isn’t easily forgotten. That was as much of a mental collapse under pressure as flawed tactics. The only way you’ll find out if that has changed is to be under pressure once again.

Ni le mal; tout ça m’est bien égal!

Don’t forget, we finished eighteen points behind Chelsea. Yet I’m expected to believe one or two new players will close that gap. If those two were Messi and Ronaldo, I might be inclined to agree.

Signing players may be the least of our problems. This morning’s Times claims Arsenal will lose Alexis Sanchez while Mesut Özil is going to run his contract down and leave on a free next summer.

Ill-informed speculation or the pieces put together from the global media jigsaw? Arturo Vidal freely admitted telling Alexis to join the best club in the world. Despite our lyrical claims, it isn’t Arsenal. Bayern, Juventus or PSG? Not an English club; manager and board can all resign if that happens.

In both cases, decisions must be made by Arsenal relatively early in the summer. Buyers for the pair won’t be hard to find but replacements will. The expectation was that the board were planning for life without Arsène; they weren’t, so expecting the scouting team to be ready to replace Alexis and/or Mesut is a step too far.

Arsène’s bullishness in the past proved forlorn when it came to losing ‘star’ players. With Sanchez, the criticism of the player by the manager earlier in the season won’t have done Wenger any favours. The best we can hope for is that Sanchez decides to give it a season to see if we improve.

Enos won’t like that; £80m down the pan.

The perfect transfer storm awaits. Keeping the squad together may be the toughest job Wenger has undertaken; if he succeeds and if he gets the right signings in…whenever that many ‘ifs’ precede a summer, it’s usually the portent of doom.

aWe shall see.

’til Tomorrow.

 

80 thoughts on “Arsène Contract: Brave or Foolhardy, Only Time Will Tell

  1. “Arsène Contract: Brave or Foolhardy, Only Time Will Tell”

    Guess which way I’m betting?

  2. If there’s one thing that Arsene will conclude from this whole shabby exercise it’s that he’s absolutely untouchable and has free reign to do whatever he will. If that means selling stars and gambling on youthful projects while dumping his new formation and reverting to type then he’ll feel no qualms about doing so. And anyone who dares to object, well they are just ‘a disgrace’ aren’t they? Eternal gratitude is the only currency that Arsene will accept.

    It’s almost inconceivable that things will improve. Why would they? Repeat the same mistakes ad nauseum.

    As YW points out quick and decisive action in the transfer window is an absolute must, old omissions must be dealt with and vanity projects abandoned. Having missed out previously through sheer incompetence on solutions to our striker problem this is Arsene’s last chance to put that right. And I wouldn’t put a single penny on that happening.

  3. Morning YW. I have said it before simply announcing a new contract for the manager would be fool hardy, it will reopen the door for all the Wenger detractors to launch more verbal attacks on the manager, there has to be more than just that. Oh and simply coming out the the tired war Chest stories wont cut it either.

    Given the choice I would prefer we kept Sanchez and sold Ozil for north of £35m if one of the duo has to go. i read that santi has had 8 ops on his ankle since october that is so sad i think even the most optimistic will be fearing the worst.

  4. One option already appears to be off the table. PSG reported to have agreed a £60m deal for Aubameyang.

  5. andy1886,

    yeah i read that too but that means Cavani might be available i wouldn’t mind him at arsenal, i know he misses his fair share of chances but his work rate and movement are superior to even Welbecks.

  6. The latest from Ornstein at the BBC: (note that last line)

    “Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has signed a new two-year deal at the club.

    The contract does not include a break clause and, should it be completed, will extend his reign to 23 years.

    Neither Arsenal nor Wenger, 67, see this as definitely being his final contract.”

    Yup, he’s never ever leaving is he?

  7. silvergunner,

    Maybe a couple of years back but he’s 30 now, it’s debatable as to if we’d get much more than a year or two out of him and his wages may be prohibitive anyway.

  8. Silver

    Cavani is a big risk. Completely wasteful in front of goal; look at the chances he missed in both games against us and Barcelona. I’d guess he scores no more than 1 in 4 shots which isn’t good enough in the Premier League. At 30, he’s a lot of money for two years output.

  9. YW,

    I had similar thoughts, that or a straightjacket. Although there may be a few fans driven to that first.

  10. YW,

    Yeah i agree he can be wastfull in front of goal but if PSG are looking to move him on at his age and length into his contact he would be a better option than Giroud imo, in fact i am pretty sure he would score plenty for us his wages are the serious issue though 🙁

  11. Wouldn’t touch Cavani now. We’re 4 years too late for that boat

    £60m for Aubameyang seems awfully cheap in today’s market. If that’s in Euros, it’s almost a steal?

  12. Morning,

    Well it could be an ugly couple of years ahead for Wenger. I just can’t see him improving on 5th next term and I can’t see him signing anyone who will truly strengthen the 1st 11. He needs to run the broom through the squad which he has never shown the appetite to do. Happy to be proven wrong but Wenger seems so delusional re his own abilities, we’ll be lucky to be in the top half of the table let alone the top 4 by 2019.

  13. Wailesy,

    Maybe, but the narrative will just become about 22 years of the Top Half Trophy (be careful what you wish for etc…).

  14. Clearly the only one who sees his potential, ho hum well:- 35 goals in 35 apps isn’t a bad return for a wasteful striker.

  15. andy1886,

    True Andy,

    I suppose we should be happy to have someone who cares about the club so much he selflessly puts it before his own needs. Trying not to be cynical but it’s just all too hard.

  16. This little nugget also from the BBC:

    “Although Arsenal may have £100m to spend, the issue is that they already have a high wage bill and their revenues are not as large as Europe’s very biggest clubs. And that’s before you factor in dropping down from the Champions League to the Europa League.

    They need to be careful when it comes to Financial Fair Play, meaning they will inevitably have to sell some players to free up funds for wages rather than transfer fees. It will be a busy few months at the Emirates.”

    Which means either quite a number of squad players have to go or our two ‘stars’ will be on their way. The above doesn’t add up when you hear stories of mega contracts being offered to Alexis and Ozil. They wouldn’t lie to us would they?

    Oh, and Yay! for FFP, wasn’t it supposed to help us compete on an even playing field? Or was that compete with the likes of Everton and Southampton?

  17. Manure have just overtaken Madrid as the most expensive club, they haven’t won fuck all and have spent a fortune the past couple of years so I don’t want to hear that you can’t make money being in the Europa League!

  18. Orson Kaert,

    Yogi. I’m sure that Sanchez looks back at Arsene’s performance with total disdain. First, Arsene sold him a totally bullshit pie-in-the-sky project that never even came close to fruition. Then Sanchez (who has played for some great managers: Bielsa, Pep, Sampaoli) found out that Arsene basically wasn’t interested in preparing and coaching a team. Sanchez knows he can do a hell of a lot better and will.

  19. I think the biggest problem was last summer and the summer before when we had the chance to sign a striker and failed while watching Leicester win the PL and then not signing one this past summer. Ozil and Sanchez both won’t trophies and to actually challenge for the title and lift it. The current situation with the squad is a strange one because you have to wonder why Giroud was given a new contract before Ox, Ozil, Sanchez.

  20. Santi is out until November, I think its best to let him go back to Spain where he won’t be kicked just because he is more talented than the opposition.

  21. Ian Wright posted about the potential signing of Henry Onyekuru:

    Remember watching the news when I signed for Arsenal,fans said “why we signing him” Good luck to you Henry.I found the way to shut them up 😎

  22. Hm, I’m sort of despondent now. Gonna cancel my subscriptions for next season for premier league and Arsenal.

    I know it’s childish but I don’t wanna give Kroenke and manager any more support and money is probably the language Kroenke speaks.

    Though the window opens, transfers begin, come the season and I’ll probably be backtracking this decision. I’m a very little person and this is like a drug, darn.

  23. This is the bit that I find nonsensical:

    “Announcing the news, our majority owner Stan Kroenke said: “Our ambition is to win the Premier League and other major trophies in Europe. It’s what the fans, players, staff, manager and board expect and we won’t rest until that is achieved. Arsène is the best person to help us make that happen. He has a fantastic track record and has our full backing.”

    Given that he specifically mentions winning the Premier League how can he in all honesty say that Arsene has a “fantastic track record”?? Thirteen years – the longest that an incumbent Arsenal manager has ever gone without winning the league, all the rest were sacked long before that. How is that “fantastic”??

    Given that the people of St Louis are taking legal action against Kroenke for wilful misrepresentation it’s clear that he has ‘form’ for this sort of thing but it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow.

  24. Wenger on Kroenke: “Our ambitions are unlimited. We live in a very competitive world where you need the support of the owner. He’s highly ambitious and supportive as well so, on that front, we are all united with exactly the same targets.”

    Yup, sustain a top four finish and make as much money as possible while increasing the value of his asset.

  25. Gutless cowards no explanation about the whole debacle, no DOF no other news just empty promises, can only see things getting worse from the hardcore fanbase once results start to turn sour.

  26. Exactly this.

    I’m a fan but his profligacy is hard-wired.

    It’s one helluva pity as he might be the most natural timer of a run I’ve ever seen – the combination of these two traits is at times almost comical.

    YW:
    Silver

    Cavani is a big risk. Completely wasteful in front of goal; look at the chances he missed in both games against us and Barcelona. I’d guess he scores no more than 1 in 4 shots which isn’t good enough in the Premier League. At 30, he’s a lot of money for two years output.

  27. andy1886,

    You, me, Yogi and most of the other contributors here know that Kroenke is a clown. So when he says that Wenger is “fantastic” he actually means that Wenger is fantastic at making him money; keeping costs down; not demanding serious investment for the purchase of the very best players; and takes the flak on his behalf. The perfect manager for someone like Kroenke.

    As for the ambition comments by both; it’s all just hot air. Yes of course they want to win, but they won’t go the full ten yards to do so. So their words are just complete and utter b*ll*cks.

  28. Well at least the fun bus are a happy mob:

    “The vast majority of Arsenal bloggers haven’t helped either. These special leaders of opinion have taken every opportunity to show us how smart they are and how stupid Arsene and the board are. They spout their expert opinions on failures in tactics formation, fitness, players, finance, well everything really, and most of them are doing it for no other reason than to let the readers know how much they understand about football. The problem is it actually shows anyone with an ounce of sense the very opposite. They know nothing worthwhile. Nothing. Zilch!”

    followed by

    ““do you really think Wenger will win the PL in the next 2 years”. My answer is no, I don’t believe he will. But what I do believe is Arsene gives us the best chance to defy the odds and win it. We might spend £100m in this window, but City (for example) with one of the best managers in the world. with a squad already packed full of hugely expensive players, will spend £300m. So I “expect” a team like them to win it. But I hope our continuity and the brilliance of Arsene can do the business”.

    Chortle.

  29. Oh well the AKBs are happy, they can continue to spout their arrant nonsense for another two years, or until it all turns to shit.

    The transfer window will be a good indicator of how ambitious the club are, as will the outcome of contract negotiations with Sanchez and Ozil.

  30. The obvious way to convince our big name players to stay is to make a true marquee signing or signings, as a statement of intent.
    It is quite clear this is not just about money – for either player, but especially the ambitious Sanchez.
    I am not for one minute suggesting this would be easy but, if we want to steady the ship and hold on to our best performers, it is the only tactic I can imagine actually working.

  31. This was always inevitable, IMO. Why would Arsene give up the perfect situation. He was a great manager at one point but those days are long gone. The charismatic hold that he maintains over a segment of the fan base and apparently the board is incomprehensible to me. He should not be bigger then the team but he has become more important then results to some.

  32. At this point I think we all knew it was going to happen and while I will comment a disagree when things aren’t going well, guess I’ll just wait and see how it plays out and hope for change, if not they legalized herbals in DC and there are plenty of great bourbon and rum bars to watch matches at!

  33. I know its unlikely Conte would let it happen but I wouldn’t be opposed to a season long loan for Batshuayi

  34. Well there’s a great summer of sport in prospect, Lions tour of New Zealand, England tour of Argentina, cricket, Tour de France and I’m off to Italy on Friday for a long week in Apulia.

    Football and Arsenal are going very much on the back burner.

    Have a good summer everybody.

    Ciao!

  35. I have said it before, but I dont mind at all saying it again. AW will stay untill he has beaten SAF for the longest ever sitting manager for 1 club…..like its some kind of feat!!! Most boring ending to the most drawn out decision and a big big risk. I could easily see 10 players leave this summer; Sanchez (reject a new contract), Özil (reject a new contract), Ox (reject a new contract), Mertesacker (Still great organizer, but lost a step or 2), Wilshire (know his situation at the club is hopeless), Ospina ( wont accept number 2 role anymore), Perez ( wants to play alot more), Gibbs (loses out if the signing of that new LB is a done deal), Carzola (like arteta legs isnt there anymore), Gabriel ( doubtfull, but if Holding is ahead in the pecking order where does it leave him), Debushy (surely its time!) and then you have cannonfodder like Sanogo and Jenks. So potentially 12 players ( dont really think gabriel will be sold). So if AW pulls his usual late transfer window stunt its a mighty thin squad starting the season.

  36. C,

    What about one of the several rather good strikers at Sevilla. They hoarded strikers last years window and surely if you throw out the blubber one of them will bite…ofc AW would have to want one of them

  37. Some fans and Stan are obviously happy with where we are right now. I have no problem if a fan wants Arsene to stay just because he is Arsene. Whatever makes you happy as a fan is a very individual thing and everyone is a bit different. To each his own. However, I struggle when someone tries to argue that Arsene is still the best option for the club if our goal is to improve. I guess some people have invested so much emotional capital in defending Arsene over the years that they see what they want and hope to see rather then seeing what actually happens.

  38. Jonny,

    Jonny,

    I agree completely with that. It’s the only way to convince them to sign new contracts for massive massive wage increases at Arsenal. However, in the best of times, AFC under AW has had difficulty making big early signings. I can’t imagine the protracted uncertainty of the decision to have him stay 2 more years–even if it was ultimately the likely outcome–has helped the club to prepare for a huge summer recruitment drive. Now with no CL to offer and no guaranteed CL related revenue (approximately 50m£ perhaps), how likely is this? But the club really should try. We’ll see. Summer will be very important.

  39. Raven,

    Yea they do have quite a number of really talented young strikers but I doubt they will sell any of them as many were just bought last summer and they get regular match time. I honestly doubt if we see a striker come in this summer which would be a shame

  40. ” … we are not among the leading contenders already.”

    Depends what you count as leading contenders. Current betting odds have City at 2/1 with Chelsea and ManU on 3 to 1 – but let’s not pretend this isn’t based largely on spending power rather than their managers. Spurs on 8/1 with us and Liverpool on 12/1 and some offering as low as 9/1. All 14 other clubs are 100/1 and more. It could turn out to be a 3 horse race between the 3 leading contenders but, more often than not, it isn’t as clear cut as that .

  41. Jonny:
    The obvious way to convince our big name players to stay is to make a true marquee signing or signings, as a statement of intent.
    It is quite clear this is not just about money – for either player, but especially the ambitious Sanchez.
    I am not for one minute suggesting this would be easy but, if we want to steady the ship and hold on to our best performers, it is the only tactic I can imagine actually working.

    I agree, Jonny, it would be the most likely way to get them to stay. But …….. if they have already made up their minds to leave, then they will have already, thru their agents, put out feelers and have agreement in principle ready to go.

  42. Well, the whole rotten edifice that was once a great club is officially dead, rotten to the core.

    I’m with Orson.

    I am finished here until this shower that pretends to the name ‘Arsenal” finally cash in, pass on or otherwise fuck off. This is a disgraceful state of affairs. Absolutely disgraceful.

    Have a good summer, people and enjoy whatever genuine sport is on offer.

  43. @Bill,
    Your 5.28 is interesting.
    I get the impression that most Arsenal fans will accept the Wenger contract extension over the next two years, because the decision has been set in stone by Kroenke and this is acknowledged by those pragmatists who follow our great Club.
    Of course, Usmanov could alter matters by an outrageous monetary offer which was accepted by Kroenke although all that would achieve is swapping one owner for another.
    One would hope that supporters await the progress of the Transfer Window and then the start of next season, before making renewed judgement on Arsene Wenger. Last week’s FA Cup Final gave most of us a most pleasant surprise and there may be more to come. 😉

  44. How can we right him off so early? It’s not right. We have to judge him in May (2018).

  45. “We have a very heavy squad at the moment so maybe we might lose some players. We will work very hard to find the additions of top, top quality. I believe that our squad is very strong and we will only look for top-class people who can strengthen our team now.”

    Phew, I was thinking that we would bring in some cheap youngsters and guys on free transfers. Not sure how we are going to find anyone better than Giroud though.

  46. “We have a big squad – the basis is there. We do not need to buy a number of players,” Wenger told Sky Sports.

    “If we can get top, world-class players we will look at it, but we have a very strong squad already in number and we want to stay together and start well next season.

    May 2015

  47. @Wavey,
    I agree with you. Unless something comes to light, I think the guy has been treated badly.
    There’s something very peculiar over his continual absence on the field and on the bench. 😉

  48. I feel worst for Yogi. What will he get to write about when no match preview or report? Same quotes from the manager–might see some crafty posts of former blog pieces. Tell me you haven’t been tempted, YW!

  49. C:
    I know its unlikely Conte would let it happen but I wouldn’t be opposed to a season long loan for Batshuayi

    C:

    We can’t pencil Michy Batashuyi into a high leverage squad spot like CF and hope that it works out. We need someone we can be reasonably confident that they can hit the ground running and contribute immediately if we want to have any chance to compete for a league title next season. Hopefuly we can buy someone and we won’t have the minutes available to use Michy anymore then Chelsea this season or Spurs did with Vincent Jannsen.

    The other issue is that our record with developing young goal scorers is absolutely abysmal. Even if we could get some positive influence from him for a season, all we would be doing is to nurse him thru the youthful consistency and developmental stages for Chelsea.

  50. I’m guessing Asano will be surplus to requirements at Stuttgart next season given his fairly average numbers in the season just gone. I wonder who we can palm him off on, I mean loan him out to next season. Did we give him an initial squad number before we loaned him out so that we had Japanese fans buying his shirt?

  51. Nicky

    Like it or not its human nature that supporters react based on the performances and results they are seeing on the pitch. Arsene always gets the benefit of the doubt when our results are good. Everyone was on board with what he was doing in Sept/Oct when we in the middle of our good 1/2 of the season. The problem is that the 13 years have given us more false dawns then we can count on both our our fingers and toes together and knowing our past history and how quickly our form goes from great to terrible in a heartbeat will always make it hard to believe that we have finally turned a corner. For example, we won the FA cup in 2014 and everyone was excited but we came back and had the worst start to a season in history in 14/15 and the examples like that are too numerous to count

  52. Wavey

    We already have 2 players who profile as backup strikers in Giroud and Welbeck. We don’t need a developmental project like Batashuyi or Onyekuru right now. IMO. We are terrible at developing young strikers and when are we we going to use someone like that?

    I know how much everyone hates him but Giroud was incredibly efficient in the limited minutes he was given this season. 12 goals in 1180 league minutes is probably the best goals/minute ratio in the league this season and he was very effective as an impact sub. Clearly we don’t want Giroud as our first choice CF but like him or not, impact sub can be a very influential position and we should pencil OG into that role next season. If Ozil had sent in the cross that Ramsey headed home for our winner, C would have been screaming about what a fantastic pass it was.

  53. @Bill,
    Point taken but I have a long memory. I remember as a boy, being devastated at the peaks and valleys Arsenal used to reach. Defeats being snatched from the jaws of victories and vice versa. It’s always been like that. Not since the late 1930s have we retained a championship……..not even and the year after the Invincibles. To follow Arsenal is not for the fainthearted. Based on our historical record I sometimes think we all expect too much. 😉

  54. For the record, YW, your efforts are much appreciated. No slight on you that I just can’t be arsed about this shambles masquerading as The Arse, anymore.

    See you for a beer sometime, anytime, my friend.

  55. The assumption by M Wenger and the Board is that there is only a small minority in the Emirates want him out. They are wrong. From personal experience over 50% want to see the back of Wenger. A run of poor results and the banners will be out again.

    This is a long game and I’m happy to play it:

    Wenger Out

  56. @Pete the thirst,
    Look on the bright side my friend. After a successful Window, you may well see a run of great results. 😉

  57. Watching Arsenal with morbid curiosity has long been an exhaustive pursuit.

    I’ve held back commentating on Arsenal for several weeks . That would be for a second time. Around six years ago I stopped posting for several seasons as I (mistakenly) thought Wenger was to retire. That we are here, three seasons later at this point has degraded my support to an all-time low . A fact which seems of little interest (on an individual or broader sense) to either Kroenke or Wenger .

    I have for years argued the squad capable of challenging – and never demanded the perfect CF (for example) as I never believed that the root cause of our problems. I recognized the game passed Wenger years ago, but it was the players who exposed how degraded the club had become this season.

    The end of season upswing became irksome from my perspective. The final run of games proved the team/squad were capable all along but on countless occasions had played with minimal effort – they lacked direction yes, but simply did not care enough. The good form was hardly Wenger inspired but rather the team shitting themselves once they realized the public was viewing them with contempt – the fans declared them not fit as to wear the shirt.

    The end of season rally was primarily a desperate exercise in rehabilitating their image, plain and simple.

    If pre-season, it had been posed Wenger would spend over 100 million, lose out on top four and the CL, yet gain another FA Cup, I would have said it nailed Wenger perfectly –a clear indication of his inability to challenge on anything other than a secondary level. Note the fact that Wenger spent 100 million last year is now never mentioned- something of no consequence.

    That this season, with all its gutless soap opera machinations (on and off the pitch), has led to a two year extension was entirely predictable, but I can’t take such crap seriously anymore. This season I found myself more excited to watch other teams, period.

    The Arsenal off season will be peppered with idiotic moments, we all know it – stalling and inaction, ridiculous speculations about players coming and going, contract negotiations failing etc. However, I’m now more engaged in whether Conte, Klopp, Mourinho and Koeman will consolidate and push on.

    I am nervous how the move to Wembley might affect Pochettino and Spurs. I’m excited to see if Guardiola can re-invent his defensive philosophy because if he can, I see City challenging Chelsea immediately. I’m interested to see how Brighton fare because there are some really smart people at the helm.

    What I can’t identify is a single reason to anticipate any progress at Arsenal. My guess will be Arsenal find themselves in the same place 12 months from now, excepting it might be 6th and minus an FA Cup.

    And frankly, it will likely be precisely where they deserve to be.

  58. There is a lot of arrogance from the board and the manager. Not one apology to the fans for a shambles of a season. Yes the FA cup was great but why did we not put in more performances like that?

    Wenger is already repeating previous comments about his strong squad and only bringing in a few top top quality players. We need to bring in more players to improve on Sanchez. If he goes we are fucked. He will try and sign a replacement but who is there out there who we would realistically sign who will come in and create and score that many goals? I see us being weaker than last year if he leaves. Which world star striker have we planned to sign???

    We have no hope in hell of winning anything in the next 2 years. even a few years back we started to press and let the better teams have the ball and it worked. But how long did that last before we reverted back to an obsession with high possession football with no substance?. The back 3 has helped us find the right balance and bring out the best in our players. But how long will that last before we are 4 at the back again?

  59. Nicky

    I would differ with you. Following Arsenal is perfect for the faint hearted because in the last 7 years you can very easily predict what will happen with us. We will play very well for 1/2 of the season and very poorly for the other half. We will drop out of the league title race around mid season. We will have a good run of form in the last 6-8 league games to get us to the mid 70’s in points and we will finish more then 10 points behind the league winner. We will drop out of the CL in the round of 16. Predictability is the great for those who crave stability and love the status quo.

  60. I guess it’s OK really, signing on for another two years could be the worst decision Arsene has ever made in his life if he doesn’t produce the Goods.

    Fans will get more aggressive and meaner, he will not hear the end of it. If he thinks he was treated poorly, just try to do another season like this one.

    On the face of it, 10 trophies in 20 years is not a bad return but it’s not what the fans expected after moving to the Emirates.

    Arsene and Kroenke can talk the talk but they will have to do the walk if things don’t materialize.

  61. Nicky

    Any fan can be fairly certain when we are in the middle of a great run of results that it will only be a matter of a few more good games before our form drops off drastically. However that is counterbalanced by the knowledge that no matter how poorly we are playing its only a matter of time before we get to the next good run which usually involves winning most of the final 8 games of the season in order to pull us back into the race for a top 4 spot.

  62. Bill,

    No argument from me on Onyekuru.

    I understand your point on Giroud, but having him in the squad seems to give Wenger an excuse not to buy a decent striker. Whilst Alexis is our main goal scorer from a wide or a deep position and Giroud can get into double figures we seem reluctant to target a top striker.

  63. Hey YW… good write-up. But of all the accompanying pictures that I “didn’t get”, this one would top the list (steve mcqueen… I get). please let us in on this one…

  64. Pete

    Film is Pink Flamingos which came with the tagline: “An exercise in poor taste”.

    Which is exactly what Tuesday’s board meeting was.

  65. @YW & Pete,
    Quite right, but this is what to expect with a single owner. Those shareholders who sold out to Kroenke have much to answer. 😉

  66. @Wilberforce,
    I think it’s a little unfair to expect an apology from Board and manager after a “shambles of a season” when we finished 5th in probably the toughest league in football AND won the FA Cup.
    I’m sure that in every game, both manager and players did their very best.
    We were knocked out of the CL and didn’t win the EPL but we have no divine right to win either.
    We now have the Transfer Window before us and Arsene Wenger as manager for another two years.
    I hope some judicious signings and successful game plans will bring us much joy in the season ahead. 😉

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