Arsenal’s Deadline Day: A Numbing Void Of Nothingness

“[Alexis joining Manchester City] was not very close, it’s very difficult for me to speak about that because what I want now is the player to focus on his career, on his season and Arsenal.”

Thus spake Arsène. It depends on your definition of the word “close”, I suppose. I mean, he wasn’t Ross Barkley ‘close’ to joining City yet closer to leaving Arsenal than Diafra Sakho was from leaving West Ham.

I almost fell for the Deadline Day drama. Working with Sky Sports on in the background proved an interesting experience, one which I hadn’t endured for several years. I gave up late afternoon, my mind numbed by the constant and bewildering flow of maniacal nothingness. Reporters stationed at the clubs pummelled us with a thousand ways an hour to say nothing.

There was nothing mesmeric about ex-players and former managers being wheeled out. Asked the same question as the previous hour’s guests, they gave the same answers. Same words, different accents.

Alexis was the focus of their Arsenal attention. Denied a move, he will be the malignant force in the dressing room. Let’s not forget the reports which claimed the other players don’t like his attitude; he’s already a pain in their arsenal. Sitting sixteenth in the Premier League and off the back of progressively abysmal away performances, the players need shaking out of their comfort zones. A frustrated Alexis may be a positive influence after all.

And Manchester City are livid that we didn’t rollover and give them a player. As if £55m (plus add-ons) is giving a player away. Apparently, they will try to ‘loan’ Alexis in January; confidence in their squad is in short supply at the Etihad it seems. Will the loan fee be in the region of £30-40m?

I Was Born With A Plastic Spoon In My Mouth

Still, it gives us Thomas Lemar’s position in the ‘Nearly Signed XI’; a substitute as he presumably “was not very close” to joining Arsenal.

The question of whether this was a good or bad window won’t be answered until May. It doesn’t look good, you have to say. A positive start with Kolasinac and Lacazette disappeared into a six-point gap to the leaders and a manager wrapt in the swirling fug of appeasement. Left backs made hay in the centre, while full backs didn’t know their right from their left; £50m sat on the bench aghast at the collapse on the pitch.

With the situations clearer, will the mists addling Wenger’s brain be lifted?

There’s no surprise Arsenal made a profit this window either. We had a lot of players to shift so it was never going to be a big ‘net spend’ but I expected us to make more of an effort to bring in new blood. There are some questions which baffle.

Alexis, Wenger was adamant, wouldn’t be leaving. He didn’t; he’s still here. But it’s like saying Arsène never breaks contracts: it’s not through lack of effort. Martin Edwards, former Manchester United chairman, tells in his autobiography of several meetings with Wenger in 2001/02 when Fergie initially talked of standing down. Another club chipping away at the veneer of loyalty.

The bigger question is why Arsenal broke off negotiations with Monaco when the cost got to £60m yet went back with €100m on deadline day. If we had the money now, we had it then. Aah, but no bids for Alexis were received; flush them out by signing Lemar, a player who allegedly wanted to join Arsenal in the summer. That was before he saw the sh*tshows at Stoke and Liverpool.

If You Think I Don’t Know About The Little Tricks You’ve Played

Ornstein’s contrary claims of £150m and being skint were ‘club sources’ playing games. As soon as the former total came out, expectations were raised. That’s your problem, the party faithful claim; it is but that quickly turns into one for the club as perceptions turn to militancy.

What was the motivation for the former and latter; it hardly quells the discontent with the club’s direction. Unless it was to destroy the Man from the BBC’s credibility…job done.

Forget about the £27m ‘profit’; it’ll be a lot more when the reckoning is done in this year’s accounts but it’s chipping into the lost Champions League surplus. That plus what we earning from the Europa League just about evens out.

The only cash concern is the £60m which has just gone up in smoke; that’s going to hurt next summer. We know how much an outstanding young talent to replace the Chilean will cost: €100m. It won’t be lower next year; that £60m is going to hurt somewhere, particularly with Özil’s future, as yet, undecided.

Arsène can talk about how it was a financial choice we made but it wasn’t; that was a PR decision. When the gap to the champions next May is 20+ points, that’s the real cost: progressively worsening Premier League performances.

And the legacy is further eroded as well. The second decade is going to be remembered more readily than the first. He’ll find history’s benevolent vision is a long-time coming as a generation of fans grows up knowing only mediocrity in the league.

Thruppence and Sixpence Every Day

A lot of ifs, buts and maybes. The one certainty is that it poleaxed Ivan; maybe that’s the game here, has been all along from Kroenke and Wenger’s ploy all along? Rid themselves of dissenting execs, calm the dressing room and float on the sea of mid-table mediocrity? The latter may not be a target but when there is no challenge to a manager over his and XI’s performances, it’s where you end up.

Please have your tickets ready for inspection, ladies and gentlemen.

’til Tomorrow.

62 thoughts on “Arsenal’s Deadline Day: A Numbing Void Of Nothingness

  1. If Jack Wilshire and Santi Cazorla were magically match fit, I would believe we had a creative midfield. Seeing Xhaka, Coquelin, Elneny as our midfield makes me feel sick inside. What had happened to Wenger’s mind. Is he deliberately trying the club. Does nobody see it?

  2. Thanks for the post Yogi, a brief dissection of our “Great Club’s” summer transfer dealings reveals a complete and utter shambles.

    How many times did we hear Wenger bleat about Sanchez staying, only for an eleventh hour rush to sell him. Where does that leave our manager in the credibility stakes?

  3. Orson Kaert,

    He already had zero credibility so nothing to lose there. I don’t know about his masters degree in economics, more like a PhD in talking complete and utter bollocks.

  4. Lemar snubbed Wenger, not Arsenal, knowing very well that the manager has ruined the careers of many young players and is pathetic both in the Premier League and in Europe. Wenger’s damaging and outdated training methods are responsible for Arsenal’s long injury list every season. Lemar is aware that if he came to Arsenal, he would be played out of position — something that’s responsible for most of our injuries

  5. Afternoon all,

    When the initial stories of Arsenal being willing to do a deal with City for Alexis were first leaked, the need for a replacement player to be brought in was highlighted to avoid a backlash from fans. No mention of the manager needing a replacement. Did Wenger not feel that he needed a replacement?

  6. Wavey,

    Since we made a €100 million bid for Lemar, we must suppose that somebody, if not Wenger, thought we needed a replacement.

  7. Just reading today’s wise words while topping up a hot tub deep in the Devon countryside. I don’t know how you do it Yogi. Great articles day after day; despite the car crash that is Arsenal at this time. I suppose someone has to write horror!

    Nice tune by the way. Have The Who going round and round my head now!

  8. MikeSA from last night

    “One of the many reasons Wenger has not found his own Mbappe in 13 years is because he is a shit coach.”

    As you know from many years of blogging together that I agree with your assessment of Arsene’s coaching ability. However the notion that Arsene is misusing and hurting our young players and the thing holding them back is Arsene does not fit with the evidence. If it was just Arsene holding them back then at least some of them would kick on and live up to their talent and become better players after they leave Arsenal. However there have been hundreds that have left and I can’t even think of 1 that has matured into an impact player on any medium or big team anywhere in the world.

    IMO. The idea that somehow being around Arsene destroys them for life is just as over the top as the old idea that players somehow improve just by being exposed to the wengerian ether.

  9. Bill,

    Hi Bill

    As I said, IMO it’s “one of many reasons’.

    There’s obviously a vast dollop of luck involved, but there are several players who I think would have done much, much better without Wenger’s “magic touch”, starting with Alex Manninger.

    In recent times we could talk about Zelalem and a few others.

    My point is that even if we had a diamond in the rough with us, there’s no way he would emerge because too much damage would be done during his development.

    I know you like to refer to empirical evidence, which is valuable, but that approach only highlights the historical fact or result, it ignores the hypothesis of “what might have been”.

    To illustrate, we have plenty of examples of players arriving with sound reputations, only to for fans to decide they’re “shit” after a period under Wenger.

    Take a look at Ozil’s performance for Germany in the last game.

    Does that look like a player who is “lazy”, or “past his prime”?

    How come he and many other players (even my personal favorite, Ramsey), look like world beaters when playing for their country or other clubs, but at Arsenal they’re “not good enough for Arsenal”?

    That’s why Lemar didn’t want to come to us.

    That’s why so many good players have been desperate to leave.

    It’s pretty likely that that is why the Ox wanted to leave.

    That’s why I maintain that our squad is good enough to challenge and do a whole whack better than they do because even an average manager would get much more out of them than Wenger does.

    Quite frankly, the only fans who should have taken heed of the “careful what you wish for” crap was the idiots who wanted this archaic clown to sign a new contract, and now we’re seemingly stuck with him.

  10. In addition to having the second lowest net spend (only Swansea with a profit of £35m spent less) Arsenal also signed the fewest players (2). Obviously Arsene’s claim that signing more than 2 or 3 players is disruptive wasn’t shared by other clubs, apart from AFC only Southampton with 3 signings met that criteria.

    It seems that Arsene’s wisdom isn’t even shared by his fellow managers let alone the majority of our club’s fans.

  11. MikeSA

    Lots of really interesting bullet points and lots to debate.

    I always believed that the notion that Arsene improved players was over the top. I think our scouting was ahead of the rest of the world and he had a run of finding players who were ready to step up and he and David Dein found them while they were under the radar. I also believe that the current notion that Arsene damages players is over the top. I think our scouting and players aquisition is now way behind the rest of the world. For example, Xhaka is a limited player and no one could turn him into a really good DM in the PL. Same with Podolski, Gervinho, Giroud etc etc etc

    Ozil is still a talented player and he will have a few good games but his skills have clearly eroded and he does not have the physical or mental strength to be a consistent difference maker over the course of a PL season.

    There are plenty of players that can look good in international games but can’t replicate that success in their club. Ramsey is certainly not unique.

    The idea that we have had youth players who would have developed into much better players if they had been in another organization makes no sense when you look at what happens to them when they do leave. If they were really that good then the talent would eventually win out at least for at a few of them. The notion that we do something in their development that damages them for life does not make sense. The one thing I do know for certain is that we significantly over rate 100% of players like Zelalem, Toral, Akpom, Jeff etc etc.

  12. Bill

    I think we do differ on the damage issue.

    I’m using the examples of players who,were quite sound when they arrived turning ino pumpkins.

    Take Squillacci as a very good example.

    There’s a very Xhaka like example who is universally flamed by Arsenal fans as being “not good enough”, but he had a solid career before he arrived at Arsenal, and wonder of wonders, he’s had a solid career after leaving Arsenal.

    Is he world class?

    No, but he’s more than adequate, and should have been a far better player at Arsenal than we saw.

    How come defenders who are nowhere near world cup winners (and we have 2 of them), at other clubs are able to be drilled and defend effectively against our wonderful and talented top, top forwards?

    I’ll bet a penny to a pound of pigshit that even Xhaka is a much better player than what we’re seeing.

    If you want to look at empirical evidence then there is nothing clearer than the fact that despite there having been a plethora of personnel changes of the playing staff over the years, the same flaws and faults keep on appearing?

    There have been only two constants over the last 10 years, Wenger and Walcott, and personally, although I think he is very flawed, I’m struggling to attribute our lack of tactics and flawed play to Walcott.

    Thee was a very interesting story related by Keoewn very recently about his time assisting Pat Rice with defensive coaching in the 2006 UCL run.

    Keoewn apparently wanted to show one of our defenders some video to illustrate some positional mistakes he was making.

    Apparently Wenger wouldn’t hear of it in case it damaged his confidence!

    If that’s the approach then there can be no question that his “coaching” very definitely damages players.

    How on earth can you improve if the “coach” can’t bring himself to correct something fairly simple?

    Players are obviously allowed to blissfully carry on fucking up and being totally oblivious to the issue because Wenger can’t bring himself to help them improve.

  13. MikeSA

    I completely agree that our system does not encourage players and the team to play good defense. I have been complaining about since 2008. However, we still identify the wrong players. Vermaelen has not improved since he left Arsenal.

    My point is that I don’t think any manager can turn Zalelem into Iniesta and he can’t turn Iniesta into Zalelem. If our young players had been that good then at least some of them would have thrived after they left Arsenal.

  14. I think we over rate our younger players Arsene has always been so invested in technical skill and passing ability. Our players can dazzle in the youth leagues because they are well drilled with their pass and move attack and they can overwhelm the defenders with their technical skill. However, the further up the ladder they move the defenders get better and the defenses become more organized and they can’t overwhelm the players with technical skill. A good analogy is my baseball career. I was not talented but I learned how to throw a good curveball before the other players had ever seen one and they could not hit it. As I moved up the ladder my opponents were the players who knew how to hit a curveball and my effectiveness and ability to dazzle the other team with my curveball went away.

  15. Is it over? Can I wake up now?
    What a shower of shit. I honestly think its pitchfork time. Lets run those rotten self serving, lying pricks out of the club. Preferably with flames, tarr and feathers.
    Fuck them, the lot of them but mainly Wenger.
    If he had any love for the club he’d get on his bike and be gone. He’s only worried about himself. Honestly if feels like he’s gonna run this ship aground and then step aside when its well and truly sunk. Then say ” Well you see the new guys not doing so well” If he’d walked a year ago there was a very good squad to build on. Now, its looking pretty average. This time next year its going to be complete rebuild time with out the funds for Sanchez and Ozil. And with the likes of Jonny Evans turning us down, Ox taking less money to go to Liverpool ext. What kind of player is going to be keen on a move to the Emirates.
    Every time I think Ozil is crap I watch him with Germany and realize its just that he’s crap at Arsenal. Down to coaching then I guess. He knows the kind of effort he puts in at club level will see him dropped from the German team very sharpish.
    The rot starts with Wenger. He could turn around and say ” Sorry, but I don’t believe that the owner gives a fuck about the fans, our history or winning shit all. I cant be apart of this” Instead hes’ riding off into the sunset with Stan and his 8M a year.
    Fuck him, I really hope he crashes and burns in spectacular fashion.

  16. Arsene has always prioritized players who are technically strong even at defensive positions like DM or CB which is why we get players like Xhaka or Vermaelen who are not very good defenders.

  17. Santi is not in the 25 man squad for the first half of the season. Which means he’s out until at least January, probably longer after numerous surgical procedures on his achillies.

    Another example where Wenger simply does not learn. We’ve been shipping out players to reduce the squad size and wage bill yet Arsene couldn’t resist giving him a year extension on his contract even though he was seriously injured and there were doubts if he would feature for us again. Just like Diaby, Rosicky, and Arteta before him. None of them featured in more than a handful of games during their final contract and contributed little or nothing to the team.

  18. andy1886,

    I really don’t understand why he didn’t just let Cazorla sail off into the sunset on a free transfer and so he could find a nice Spanish club who would let him have a couple more seasons in a warm climate. I really don’t think Cazorla will ever play for Arsenal again. If he does it’s a couple of token appearances so Wenger can say that he knew Santi would play for Arsenal again. Wenger is such a liability now that he makes the same mistakes time after time as a matter of course. He doesn’t even think about it. Of course Alexis will stay and may sign a new contract, dream on. Of course Ox wants to stay at the club and is part of its future. I don’t think so. Of course Lemar wants to join the club and develop his career, oh no he doesn’t.

  19. Wavey,

    Santi’s contract for this season appears to be more like a golden handshake than anything to do with football.

    We’re beginning to see what the football world now thinks of Arsenal or more precisely Arsene with players looking to move anywhere else but the Emirates & the ones already there planning their own escape routes.

    As for Wenger’s comments on Alexis , well , I wish him luck. By all accounts he wanted to leave & most of his teammates felt likewise , so I don’t see any way forward there.

    I’d bet that there are quite a few niggling injuries affecting our little Chilean between now & the new year.

  20. MikeSA.

    Xhaka might do better ina different leaguecorceith a different style of play or a different manager but I doubt any manager would turn him into a good defensive mid in an English premier league team. He does not have the skill set

  21. Wavey,

    Absolutely. In some respects I can understand that Wenger refuses to see his own mistakes. After all, if he could see what most of us can he’d know that he’s finished and with no life outside football that’s not something that he’ll willingly face.

    What amazes me is that there are still fans who fall for this nonsense. Why are they so attached to Wenger that they would rather see the club burn than jettison him? Get a few wins in what is a relatively easy run over the next couple of months and I’ll bet we’ll here chants of ‘One Arsene Wenger’ again. And fisticuffs no doubt. Sad.

  22. Great post, fantastic at acentuating the negatives, ignoring the positives and predicting a dire future for all, really ought to take a long hard look at yourself and wonder why you even contemplate supporting The Arsenal, its been such a bad last 20 years and there is nothing but despair and destitution to look forward to, if you had any guts you would walk away,take a turn in life and find another more enjoyable pastime, unless,bleating,squealing,crying and moaning is your thing, then clearly sticking around and doing more of the same is in order!!!
    IMHO that would be boarderng on the insane, a thing regually thrown at Wenger.

  23. Paulie Walnuts,

    And I thought that this was a football club, a sporting organisation rather than a charity for Arsene’s buddies. Shame he can’t see himself to be so charitable to other players that don’t feature inside his magic circle.

  24. Bill,

    Now now Bill dont go talking too much sence now, you know only reprobates and malcontents read replys You know its manager who has kept his club at the top for 20 years cant be a good coach of anybody or anything

  25. @Andy 1886,
    Re your 7.46 and with respect, I feel that much of the criticism directed at those “fans who seem so attached to Wenger” is very misjudged.
    The vast majority of supporters of our great Club, IMO, maintain loyalty not so much to an individual as manager, but rather to whoever is appointed to the position via the governance of Arsenal Football Club. 😉

  26. nicky,

    I appreciate that you see things differently. I do however still find it hard to believe that some people cannot be objective and come to a realistic assessment of the problems we have, many of which stem from the manager. Decisions have to be based on reality rather than on some rose-tinted view formed in complete denial of the facts or some crackpot conspiracy theory.

    We’ve had this discussion before, but sometimes the best for the football club isn’t the same thing as what’s best for the incumbent manager. Terry Neil and Don Howe had to go before we found success with George Graham, and Bruce Rioch had to go before we got Arsene. It’s about what you believe is best for the club rather than one individual however well he may have served us in the past. The club appointed all of the above but certainly in the case of Rioch and Howe they made bad choices. Arsene’s last contract was a bad mistake too.

  27. Whilst it is clear that Arsene is past his used by date, the notion that he is a shit coach is just lazy commentary. The culture within the club is at the heart of the problem. No new coach is going to succeed within the malaise that is Arsenal Football Club.

  28. Philbet

    The first part of Arsene’s reign was wonderful but its been complete and total stagnation since about 2010. You can only remain stagnant for so long and at some point you either have to get better of things go downhill. With us it certainly looks like the latter is the path we are taking. Arsene is the unquestioned captain of the this ship and he is the one who makes all the decisions. If Arsene gets credit for everything good that happened before 2005 then he also has to take the blame for everything that has gone wrong since then. .

  29. Nicky, I cannot speak for other areas of the world, but here in Columbus there are fans of the manager. I do mean in the sense of the manager before the club. Often arguments degenerate in to pointless name calling and shouts of disloyalty be it club or manager. Many younger fans have never known managerial change, and seem to wear that as a badge of pride. Clubs either grow or stagnate, I think we can agree that Arsenal is not the former.

  30. I understand that the manager controls the football side Bill. The lack accountability or leadership from ownership is the culture I am referring to. No manager will succeed at Arsenal, whilst there is a total lack of vision or passion for the club.

  31. Miami

    The club needs a manager whose goal is to build the best team he can have on the pitch and will actually fight for what he wants. How can Arsene possibly concentrate on being the best possible field manager and shaping the dressing room culture when he wears the hat of the field manager, CEO, CFO, wage negotiator, director of scouting and player aquisition etc etc etc. Several of those jobs have competing goals which means goes to work with inherent conflicts of interest each and every day.

  32. nicky,

    Nicky- I have given you (in my mind) a huge leeway in the past.
    Tonight it needs to be called as it is…you are seriously fucking deluded.
    The fact that you’ve played and bartered on the fact that you were here when the Romans left is irrelevant….how can you really back the manager?…..like a rudderless ship???…c’mon Nicky….come out of the world of Miss Marple and Poirot and get with it.
    A man as egotistical as Wenger,on 9m a year doesn’t give a shit if you back him or not….it’s all about him-he is not Arsenal.

  33. I’ll never attempt to alter your views, we all speak to our confirmation biase, as highlighted in your above post. I’m not sure how any person could fit all those roles in a mere 24 hours a day. I have no inside sources within the club, to confirm or deny that Arsene does indeed hold all those roles.

  34. Miami

    Perhaps its a bit of hyperbole to make a point. I think we can say with relative certainty that one of the biggest issues during Arsene’s prolonged contract negotiations was his distaste with the idea of having a director of football who could take over some of his duties. We know with 100% certainty from the things that he has said that he is the field manager and he makes the decisions with distribution of player wages and he also is in charge of player aquisition and selling players. Even if he just has the jobs that we know he has then he is doing the job that most clubs divide between a field manager and director of football. In 2017, both of those are full time jobs and Arsene is trying to do both himself at the same time. How can he concentrate on building a solid dressing room culture and fixing the tactical problems we have on the pitch and run training sessions do everything a field manager should be doing when he has so many things to divide his attention?

  35. Philbet

    I have been following sports and sports clubs all of my life and I will never understand why in the case of Arsenal there is a very vocal segment of the fan base who truly believe you can’t love and support the club and but at the same time be unhappy with the performance of the clubs manager. Those two have never been mutually exclusive prior to Arsene Wenger.

  36. Bill, we are run as an asset, nothing more. We can all rail against Wenger but the root cause is ownership. Ownership has allowed this malaise to set in. Until we have people passionate about the game and not the asset, then Arsenal will remain the same.

  37. Miami

    Fair enough. However, I think you underestimate just how much influence arsene has. His contract situation last season showed just how much influence and power Arsene really has in this organization. Like it or not he has become bigger then the club. I think he would have left years ago if someone had been making him do things that he did not want to do. If he is letting the ownership take the club down then shame on him since he is the only one who possibly could do something about it.

    Arsene might never get Stan Kronke to actually care about winning titles but I think he could convince Stan to do almost anything he wanted within reason.

    That is all speculation on my part

  38. Wenger appears to be rewriting history again, as he’s now claiming the Sanchez deal wasn’t close. I just don’t how anybody can take the man seriously? Who is he trying to kid? The offer from City was accepted subject to Arsenal signing a replacement and Alexis had signed a contract in anticipation of the two clubs completing. The only reason the deal didn’t happen is the club leaving it too late to convince a replacement player to join. If he means that technically the deal wasn’t close because the papers were not filed, that is the only point on which he is correct. He said, “I cannot tell you everything that happened because after when you decide to let a player of that calibre go you need to replace him, because nobody would understand why you let the player go.” Clearly Wenger had accepted Alexis was out of the door. So why is he revising history in what appears to be an attempt to make out that he has stuck to his guns by not letting Alexis go? Only the most loyal of AKBs would accept this nonsense and praise Arsenal for keeping Alexis to contract when it’s obvious that he was out the door.

  39. And this gem from Mail,

    “We have achieved a lot in our four years together [at Arsenal]. Three of the 13 FA Cup victories have been accomplished in the past four years, with the other 10 taking 75 years for the club to win.

    This is in addition to our three Community Shield wins. After all, six titles in four years is quite something. However, this only makes myself and the team even more disappointed for not playing a role in the title race at the end of last season – this is something we hope to change this year.

    Personally I’ve had to accept a lot of criticism during my time in London. ‘Too expensive, too greedy, bad body language, and lacking fight’ – this is what people have said about me.

    Some of these comments are made by those who do not know me, some are made by former players – both successful and unsuccessful during their time here at the club.

    Although criticism is something that all football players have to deal with, I nevertheless expected legends to behave like legends – my advice to these former Gunners: stop talking and start supporting!

    Even though I personally do not know how my career will continue after this year, I look forward to my fifth season with Arsenal.”

    I’m assuming that a large part of that is directed at Wright and maybe Keown. Both players who continue to support the club and have given Wenger, in particular, huge support in the past.

    Ozil is clearly a talent, but he has declined in his time at Arsenal. Some of that will undoubtedly be the way he is deployed by the manager, but he has to take responsibility for his performances as well.

  40. Wavey,

    I see that the fourth place trophy is no more but fear not, the Community Shield is now a significant honour! 😂

    When Ozil mentions that they failed to challenge last year for the title he forgets (possibly conveniently) that they failed to challenge for the thirteenth year in a row. That puts a rather different complexion on things.

  41. Me I’d have happily sold off the buggers..Sanchez, Ozil et al. But yeah, only if I was confident someone on an acceptably high enough level was coming in. Whoever says we are broke or will be because we allow Alexis is leaving on a free can pass me whatever it is they’ve got in between their fingers, and maybe I’ll let Henry have some…no not you HenryB, I meant the other guy in liverpuddle. So it remains to be seen whether Alexis will stop the bitching and whining and start doing something, anything to help the team. After all it’s not free labour.
    Would someone be so kind to tell me what they think would have happened if we had sold Alexis without bringing in somebody comparable? and on the final day too? Now we have exciting young talents like Nielsen, and Bielik, and I’m quietly hopeful that they can break the curse and actually break into the first team squad, the exuberant press and supporters permitting. Whichever way it goes, both of them might have become part of first team roster in Germany, Spain or even France by now.

  42. drazy,

    Well that’s one viewpoint I guess.

    Consider your two comments:

    “Would someone be so kind to tell me what they think would have happened if we had sold Alexis without bringing in somebody comparable? and on the final day too?”

    and

    “So it remains to be seen whether Alexis will stop the bitching and whining and start doing something, anything to help the team”.

    So clearly if Alexis isn’t going to help the team (you seen to have swallowed the ‘he’s a bad egg ‘PR hook, line and sinker) then his leaving would if anything have improved team moral as they wouldn’t have to put up with his ‘bitching and whining’.

    You can’t have it both ways.

    As for our youngsters I would quite like to see what Bielik can do but I don’t subscribe to the idea that his success or otherwise will be dictated by the press or supporters (who generally are very supportive of young players). It will be solely down to his talent and how he is managed and coached.

    As an example Rob Holding has had nothing but positives thrown at him by fans and press alike. His one downbeat note was when AW dropped him for the Stoke game, commented on his confidence and then put him back in the firing line for the hammering at Liverpool. So if he does suffer a setback it isn’t the fans that you should blame is it?

  43. Miami

    No, it’s not “lazy” to contend that Wneger is a shit coach.

    There is way more than enough anecdotal and empirical evidence from people who have direct knowledge of it to say that he is indeed shit.

    In fact, it’s lazy to contend that he’s not a shit coach, because there’s very little evidence to suggest he’s been any good for quite some time.

    If it was only one or two people who one might consider as malicious or a bit off the rails (e.g. Stewart Robson, and Tony Adams), then one might be able to dismiss, it, but there is more than enough further evidence from others including Parlour, Keown, Squillaci, and more, who indicate that there is very little in the way of actual coaching going on at Arsenal. Witness the recent comments coming out of the German national team.

    Bill commented on the anecdote by Keown in highlighting that it was about defense, but the point is that it is highly unlikely that it is only the defense that suffers from that particular flaw.

    I’d venture to suggest that Wenger’s “coaching” consists of little more than close quarter pressured passing and confidence boosting waffle at best.

    Some extremely simple questions:

    Why does Ramsey shoot straight at the keeper for a large percentage of his chances?

    I know it’s postulated that goal scoring is some sort of mystic art, but that’s not the whole truth.

    When I played at a very decent amateur level, we coached strikers to focus on where we wanted the ball to go, instead of focusing on the keeper.

    It sounds simple, but it makes a very significant difference when tracking percentages of attempts resulting in goals.

    Likewise, why do we have so many one-footed players?

    I know it’s a huge malaise in football in general, but I can relate from personal experience that working at becoming ambidextrous as a footballer is not impossible, it’s just hard work.

    Going back further, in Palmer’s book there is anecdotal evidence of Wenger cocking up the defense mid way through a game before he officially became the Arsenal manager, something for which Adams roasted him for at the time.

    There is also some evidence to suggest that Wenger’s claim to developing Thierry Henry might not have been entirely down to him.

    There is plenty of evidence to suggest that Wenger is indeed a seriously shit coach of you take the time and effort to research the issue instead of lazily taking accepted “truths” at face value.

  44. @Jonnygunner,
    Your 11.46 is both pompous and hypercritical.
    All I was saying is that in my opinion most longstanding Arsenal supporters tend to support the Club’s manager, ex officio*, rather than the personality.
    I can’t help it if it rattles your cage.
    *by virtue of his office

  45. Well said Nicky –

    Have only just read the latest posts but felt the 11.46 Johnygunner post that you refer to above was a personal attack, uncalled for and needlessly offensive.

    Hosted by Yogi, this is a great place for gunners to discuss differing perceptions and views – let’s keep it that way and respect the views of others.

  46. andy1886,

    I don’t necessarily believe whatever the media or anybody for that matter says. I keep an open mind, and that has helped me a lot in my life. Nothing is strange under the sun. I only speak based on what I have seen so far. It’s obvious he no longer wants to stay, so I say sell him off. Any player with half of Alexis talent and a desire to be with us will help the team a lot. But since that has not happened, yes he should stop the bitching and whining and knuckle down. That stunt he pulled about being sick at the beginning of the season was well, sickening..come on, these are mature men and not some random little boys we are talking about here. Anybody who doesn’t want to be at the club can go do one…Simeone at Athletico and others have shown that you can win with less talent than your competition. And please don’t drag me into the “its Wenger’s fault” argument. He’s in charge so yes, his mismanagement is to blame end of.
    Re press and supporters, I agree with you, and therein lies the problem. The press is often quick to label any shiny new youngster that scores an overhead kick in training the “Next Wayne Rooney”. Same with supporters too. Too much hype at such a young age can only ever be damaging. Can we just leave this KIDS to grow at their own pace and thereby reduce unnecessary pressure? I hope I’m clearer on this now…

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