Arsenal’s Future: Defined by Trophies or What Might Be?

If Jim Henson were still with us, Kermit would kick Robyn off the stair and begin his rap. It would begin about the prejudices he faces through being green, turning that into an anthem of defiance. Then the lyrical path weaves through Brexit before finishing in the cul-de-sac of being an Arsenal supporter.

And it is a cul-de-sac; or if you don’t think it’s currently a dead end street, it’s certainly a road to nowhere.

Saturday’s defeat is no easier to bear this morning than it was at the final whistle. The season continues uninterrupted on its bumpy road to a conclusion outside the top four. That was always our final destination and I know not of any tears shed that we won’t reach the promised land.

You can kid yourself if you want, that this objective is still on but I don’t think Liverpool or Tottenham will drop enough points to offer up the opportunity. Nor do I think we’ll take enough points to make up the ground even if they did.

The decline is far from temporary and the claim years ago that Arsène wouldn’t leave us with a squad in as bad a shape as Ferguson did at United returns to haunt us. We’ve already plummeted the Moyes depths without a change in manager.

Comparing this situation to that of Rioch is spurious; the Scot was doomed before he took over with Wenger always coming in, even if he’d won the Premier League title. The question to be answered this summer is whether the Frenchman walks away of his own accord or Arsenal pull the plug on his reign?

There’s been precious little sign of either happening and to Ivan’s chagrin, his claim about ‘best manager for the job’ haunts him at every turn.

A Proper Pea-Souper

Wenger’s future dominates the skyline. Smog hangs over the club but as spring blossoms, it will become clearer. A decision must be made this summer if the farce of last season isn’t to be repeated. Who am I kidding; it already is on the pitch.

I will be surprised if he leaves in the summer. Having made a great play of never breaking a contract, to turn around and do so would be a volte-face of giant proportions. The only thing which may cause that to happen is PSG. Unai Emery will probably face the chop this summer with or without the Champions League and the owners of the French club appear to hero-worship Wenger as much as our own board.

Which begs the question: why would Arsenal renew Wenger’s deal? The board’s timidity is the key factor. Too many men who lack the courage to contemplate a new future. With good reason; they don’t have the football experience to appoint a new man or hold him to account in the future. The next appointment is all on them; little wonder they’ve brought in a director of football (relations) to make the decisions for them.

Beyond that, it is all about the value of Kroenke’s investment. There are no overwhelming football reasons for Wenger’s continued appointment. Would winning the Europa League and/or Carabao Cup be enough? They are trophies, shiny tin pots to put on the shelf and maybe we need to appreciate them more. Modern football, however, demands the Premier League and Champions League; anything else is understated.

The FA Cup for years suffered the same dismissal as the League Cup. Little attention was paid to it until Wenger needed to win something and Hull were beaten. Now it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

Even a Paranoid Android is More Fun

I’m not knocking the FA Cup nor would I sneer (anymore) about the League Cup. I’d like the Europa League; you may view it as the European League Cup but I quite like the idea of Arsenal winning a European trophy; it’s been too long and frankly, we’ve always spurned the opportunities presented to us (2000, 2004, 2006, 2009, since you ask).

However, does that warrant a new deal? As I said, modern football demands the league and we’re a long way from challenging for the title. One fundamental criticism of Wenger which won’t go away is that he’s lost the ability to build a squad.

Maybe the new management team structure will help in that sense. Wenger may like to portray that he is in charge, that there’s been no change to his role, but there has. The last window and the strong Dortmund influence underlined that. While he remains in charge of the first team away from transfers, referring to “the Greek lad” just emphasises that Wenger had a player foisted upon him. It won’t be the last.

The work the club carries out in the summer will be the strongest indication yet of Wenger’s future. If it is a major overhaul of the squad, the contract renewal will follow shortly after. A lacklustre summer, while half-expected, is an indicator that he is seeing out the final year of his contract. In that scenario, the presumption must be that an announcement would come in the autumn or Christmas time.

We shall see. For the moment, we bumble along, devoid of inspiration, leadership and enthusiasm. That’s what happens when you lose to Spurs.

’til Tomorrow.

93 thoughts on “Arsenal’s Future: Defined by Trophies or What Might Be?

  1. Well this article sums up the mood.Monday after the weekend that was. Goodthing the past seasons i have been mentally ready.

  2. I genuinely think he will be made an offer he can’t refuse, one that will take him away from the front line

  3. I very much want us to win the Europa but I am really not sure I want us to do so if that means AW staying and if he does win that there is no way he is leaving in the summer.
    Still, I can never actively choose not to support the team – so I will just get on with doing that game by game and try to ignore the big picture consequences…
    UGH.

  4. We get served the same dish all the time here. I try to make sense of it I can’t. We will lose games through the season. To keep repeating that Arsene must go whether we win games or not bothers on the extreme for me. Three FA Cup in four years is nothing to you. There is something we can achieve without Wenger. Let’s know what that is: Champions League? Or the Premier League? With which budget?

  5. Wouldn’t it be great to win a cup double and see the back of Wenger. That would rank as one of mu greatest AFC years ever.

    If he does go in the summer the squads not in that bad a shape. A no nonsense CB and DM along with a GK would give a new manager plenty to work with for a league challenge.

  6. Sorry Yogi, didn’t quite make the 💯.

    If it was the case that Aubameyang and Mhkitaryan are Butch and Sundance riding to the rescue, then we should recall the final scenes when our heros where blasted into kingdom come. 😢

  7. Ak,

    He may not walk away but it would make financial sense for the board to buy out his final year, as we could recoup the cost by hiring a cheaper replacement. That should appeal to Silent Stan.

  8. Good stuff Yogi and contrary to what some have said, its actually quite an interesting thought.

    Ofcourse we want to lift as much silverware as we can and 3 FA Cups in 4 years is nothing to scoff off (not as though you did like some have suggested); but I would gladly take finishing outside the top 4 if it meant we lifted both the Carabou Cup and the Europa League crown which happens to be to pieces of silverware that Arsene hasn’t lifted and that is why I think he will go all out for them and I genuinely hopes that he gets to lift them both this season after the way the summer and everything went (sure it was of his own making) because, and I know I might be standing alone on this one, but it wouldn’t at all surprise me to see him walk away or the club work something out to let him go out lifting the one piece of silverware that has alluded him the most and that is any sort of European title.

    As far as squad building, I think that has been taken out of his hands but the bigger question will be, will he use the assets that will be brought in? For instance, he spoke about Lacazette’s confidence being potentially dented due to Aubameyang’s arrival; its as though he is getting his ducks in order as to why he won’t play them together and why Lacazette (his signing) may struggle moving forward.

  9. I’d take the trophies.

    if we win the lesser of the domestics and the lesser of the europes then whats that? 5 trophies in 5 years?

    nothing to be scoffed at really – and i remember the debates of old where plenty of us would suggest that we would take the FA cup over the top 4 nonesense…..
    we cant go back on that now…pick an arguement and stick to it would be the classy thing to do

    fuck top 4 – if we can get in europe by winning the europa then Id rather do that…all day long..

    but the lesser trophies dont fix anything – they just paper over the cracks (see george grahams era) and the arguement for lesser trophies over top 4 was solid when it was project youth.

    now its project ‘lets spend 400-500mil quid on our squad’ we need to be matching that ambition on the pitch and this manager fell on his arse years ago.

    lets win the lesser trophies but if we are signing 50-60mil strikers we need a manager who knows how to use them to go for the big ones.

    and i dont see why we cant defend as an attacking team….are the two mutually exclusive? can we not find a balance? i refuse to accept we cant – the best teams have balance, no matter how much attacking flair they have, they can defend too…

    we should know – the invincibles had the best CB and LB in the league and the team before that had the best back 5 the countrys seen in a decade.

    wengers past his sell by date and the lesser trophies wont hide that.

  10. Steve,

    I think your missing what is being said here, its not just about Arsene should go whether matches or won or loss, but its the club as a whole rather its the infighting between Ivan and Arsene to the point where Ivan has seemed to successfully taken power from Arsene who up until now has gone about things unquestioned and unchecked and is the club better or worst NOW and that is me not taking away from ANYTHING Arsene has done.

    Nobody and I mean NOBODY is scoffing at the 3 in 4 years FA Cups, especially not Yogi who if you were around and read the euphoria around these parts, you would know we truly enjoyed them. You ask the question, what can be achieved without Arsene: PL, CL….to that I will ask you, what can be achieved with Arsene: PL or CL because he has never won any European titles and the PL he hasn’t won in 14 years. You talk about budgets, and I will say this, take a look at the budgets that Dortmund, Juve and even Athletico had the years they won the titles and their teams were built on the backs of players like Vidal and Asamoah who Juve paid a combined 30-35m, or Lewandowski and that lot who were bought for pennies. The other thing is, compare the monies that Arsene has spent on youth and you would be even more surprised.

    Before you talk about Chelsea buying the title, you should probably actually take a look at what they do, sure Abromovich put money into the club but they also sell their youngsters at a high price when the opportunity arises and they also sell their senior players at quite a high price often times making a profit.

    Not trying to be a jerk or asshole or anything like that but what means more to you: Arsenal FC’s success or Arsene’s success because those are two drastically different things both in the short term and long term?

  11. I look forward to Arsene exit as it heralds the club finally coming to age in terms of the manager position. As our peers have demonstrated we will be in for manager exits and 2-3 seasons and sometimes mid season. Interesting times await.

  12. I’ll say this, if Luis Enrique is available and wants to manage next season, Arsenal would be wise to sign him up. Not only did he manage Barca but he also changed Barac from just the tiki taka of Pep into the more direct quicker dynamic version that we see now. The other thing is that he actually made Barca are more solid side defensively.

  13. I will say this though, for all the goals that Kane has scored and all the praise that Spuds have been given, they still haven’t won fuck all and I could see Juve really putting them to the sword.

    The funny thing is, people have banged on about how brilliant their win was over MAdrid, but as we have seen, Madrid aren’t even close to close to close to the Madrid side that we remember.

  14. Great post yogi.

    I think the chance that Arsene leaves this summer is almost nil. Hopefully
    I am wrong. The point that Jon Jon makes is perhaps the strongest argument that anyone can make for why Arsene needs to go. You can’t successfully compete against big teams especially when they outspend you if your teams can’t defend well enough. It costs the club absolutely nothing to spend time on the training ground working on staying organized and building a better defensive ethos in his players. Any team that wants to compete needs to have balance and the idea that being an attacking team and a solid defensive team are mutually exclusive it utter nonsense. Any decent manager could have done a better job of balancing defense and attack in this decade. The really frustrating thing is that for all of Arsene’s talk about being an attacking team, if you look at how many goals we score, we are not even that good at attacking. That simple fact completely destroys the rationalization Arsene uses to explain why his teams have not defended very well.

  15. I had hoped that bringing in Sven and Raul meant the club was preparing for life after Wenger. However, the acquisition of Mkhitaryan instead of taking cash and the unbelievably gigantic contract for Ozil when we are already well stocked with creative players who don’t score in the squad and the potential signing of Wilshere are all Arsene type moves which seems to signal that the club is preparing for more years of Wengerball rather then preparing for a new manager.

  16. The evidence from the last transfer window and the line ups Arsene has used since then suggest that Arsene still has not learned any of the lessons from everything that has happened during the Emirates era. Despite 12 years of undeniable evidence to the contrary I think Arsene still believes that shoehorning as much technical skill and creativity as possible into your line ups is the best way to win.

  17. We are pedalling backwards – the league table does not lie.
    Just 3 Wins and 13 points that The Arsenal have taken in away games this season.
    We are almost as close to Burnley as we are to Spurs.
    The manager is culpable for again failing to address the squad issues – ageing keeper, no depth in defence and still no DM or leader worthy of the name.
    Just because an FA Cup or three is good enough for you that does not mean the rest of us have to accept the staggeringly mediocre targets you set yourself.
    Any other manager at a supposedly top 10 club would have been sacked a hundred times over by now.
    You don’t get paid those kinds of managerial sums, to dine out on glories from a decade ago.

    Steve:
    We get served the same dish all the time here. I try to make sense of it I can’t. We will lose games through the season. To keep repeating that Arsene must go whether we win games or not bothers on the extreme for me. Three FA Cup in four years is nothing to you. There is something we can achieve without Wenger. Let’s know what that is: Champions League? Or the Premier League? With which budget?

  18. In this decade Arsene has done a terrible job with getting value for the money he has spent. Mustafi, Xhaka were relatively high priced for defensive players and neither has lived up to reasonable expectations. Kolasinac is probably on one of the highest wages of any LB’s in the world and can’t get any minutes. Lacazette was a big money signing and it looks like he has been replaced after a 1/2 season.

  19. Reminds me so much of Brian Clough’s end of days at Nottingham Forest. I recall Clough turning up pissed to talk to the cameras after the game. The media used to love him and he gave good headlines, but the football was awful. The Forest Board couldn’t bring themselves to sack him until it was too late. Sound familiar?

    It’s getting embarrassing under Wenger. I had Spurs fans telling me on Saturday evening that ‘he’s got to go, surely’. Even they are starting to think it’s becoming a bit of a joke.

    If Wenger gets another contract it will be a disaster for Arsenal.

  20. Bill, you mentioned the X word!

    How that lad gets into the team each week is beyond me. He must be consistently one of the worst players this season, and there has been a lot of choice!

    Bill:
    In this decade Arsene has done a terrible job with getting value for the money he has spent. Mustafi, Xhaka were relatively high priced for defensive players and neither has lived up to reasonable expectations. Kolasinac is probably on one of the highest wages of any LB’s in the world and can’t get any minutes. Lacazette was a big money signing and it looks like he has been replaced after a 1/2 season.

  21. we haven’t got a cat’s chance in hell of winning the europa in my opinion….we lack organisation and will be torn apart by a half decent, hungry and well setup side. napoli or at madrid surely…
    we are just drifting and bumbling along, it’s almost like the whole club from ownership down is just giving wenger this one big long self serving goodbye fling for no other reason than he was once a good manager many moons ago. stockholm syndrome !

  22. Steve you’re a prime example pal…..locked in and sympathising with your kidnapper.
    We can at least do far far better than we’re doing with the squad and money we have in the league and CL, to claim otherwise is total madness. How anyone can think Wenger isn’t underperforming is beyond me. He could win the next ten matches, he still needs to retire. The evidence is overwhelming and damning and it has been this way for many many years, fa cups or no fa cups.

  23. Bill,

    Yup just like Pep signing Bernardo Silva while at the same times giving De Bruyne, Silva and Gundoghen new deals. Honestly, mate, I think if you could have 6 defenders, 4 CF’s and a GK you would….The problem is, you wouldn’t have anybody who does the other things and creates. You know, when teams park the bus.

    You always talk about having all these goal scorers on the pitch at the same time but did you know that most PL sides that win the PL only have 2 that’s right 2 players in double digits and the last 2 seasons guess what, Kane has won the Golden Boot the last two seasons and what does he have to show for it. How about Conte, Mourinho all have won the PL title with only 2 players in double digits and the rest sprinkling in no more than 7-8. Honestly mate, the last team that I can think of that had 3 double digit goal scorers until this season with Pep was the year Suarez was at Liverpool and funnily enough it was Suarez/Sturridge/Gerrard and not Sterling (who was close but not close enough) and Fergie’s team that had Ronaldo/Tevez/Rooney whose main focus was to outscore teams

  24. Conte summed up the modern manager and what makes him great perfectly:

    “I think that I’m the type of coach who, if I have a player who is six, I bring him to an eight. If I have a player who is eight, I take him to 10. I’m this type of coach.

    “My task is to try and improve every single players, in every aspect. About mentality also. About the desire, the will to fight, and the tactical aspects. Yes. My task is this. For this, I’m very good.”

  25. Well done on the article.
    But it’s rather with the same theme, Arsene is the problem and he must.

    No trophies was the charge against him, he presented 3 in four years…. the charge sheet became reviewed, he has lost the capacity to build a squad. It’s a shame. Knocking the FA cup cos Wenger is involved.
    Why this obsession with Arsene?

    I think he should enjoy some period of buying big players and managing them now that the fund is here aplenty (at least).

    In another stead….
    The media definitely has something up their sleeves when it comes to setting the agenda of what constitutes news or stories. The theme with Arsenal has some spice to it.

    Sky Sports is now comparing Giroud and Morata, with a conclusion that postures Giroud as the better player.
    At Arsenal, the media considered him an average player, a plan B at best, but now at Chelsea, he’s better than the 75million Morata.

    I imagined this comparison and conclusion would never have been made had he remained a Arsenal.

    Tell me there’s nothing in there, and I’ll say you know it all.

  26. Afternoon,

    On a net spend basis we have still been fairly frugal, but I’m wondering if our signings in the winter have come with some expectations from the Board. Our wage bill has jumped significantly with Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan joining, whilst Ozil’s new deal is crazy if we are just intending to read water in 6th. We could have taken the money on the Sanchez deal, not signed Aubameyang and not given Ozil the new deal. We would probably still have ended up in 6th. So has Wenger been told to get CL football next season?

  27. Good afternoon All,on point as usual YW.,Its David Byrnes fault this road to no where.

    That feeling of déjà vous is becoming a lot more regular.

    The problems are many on and off the field. On the field one of the biggest problems is that this team are dire, useless without the ball.

    What was clear v The Spuds was that they are a fitter side, with greater physicality all over the pitch.

    Dyer is not brilliant but he plays to orders a defined plan, a system of play.

    We dont have team players, by that I mean on the day Xhakia with his size should have said, been madeto mark Dembele.

    Watching JW v Dembele was a joke a times. My respect to JW for his efforts for the team. If there had been any in game Management AW would hsvd seen this.

    This brings me to the question of the types of players and their attributes that we possess in midfield and defense.

    In midfield there is Ramsey and JW. Both like to go forward. Ramsey is a runner. His priority is to get forward and score. He’s not the most defensively minded. JW likes to get forward has more to his defensive game. Not a good combination for the team. Both have bad serious Injury issues.

    El Neny is tidy in most areas but he’s not a Gilberto in the rough etc. We need more than this. He can play with both JW and Ramsey. El Nenny has decent athletic ability but like JW and Ramsey has no genuine pace, the ability to sprint.
    Xhakia like Giroud before him is not blessed with great athletic ability. He can pass a ball. The positives that he brings to the team when Arsenal are not in possession of the ball make him redundant for good parts of matches. He can’t tackle, he don’t defend, he dies not bring a lot to the team. There have been a fair number of conceded
    Goals this season that has him with egg on his face.

    ANM is untested. He has speed and what looks like decent to good athletic ability.

    There are currently no options, permutations, partner ships that AW can pick from that can provide stability for the creative players in front to do their thing.

    Ca

    A clear nettoyage( clean out) is required for midfield . Decide on a system and buy those players whom you think and feel can do the job. Sell Ramsey or JW. Sell without any misgivings El Neny and Xhakia. Iwobi needs to go out loan.
    We lose matches for a number of reasons. You can make mistakes on a pitch and not be punished. The Arsenal make them in areas where we are punished repeatedly.

    When you have a philosophy that is based around possession what does the team do ( versed in ) when not in position?

    Its the same for the defence.

  28. Bill,

    Please stop with the most technical and creative players, I mean FFS look at the best sides in the world, they are jammed packed with technical and creative players; hell Madrid has a CF who can score goals but creates them in boatloads to go along with all their midfielders (remember they dropped Bale for Isco in the CL Final).

    The problem that Arsene has is that he doesn’t know how to get the best out of them. I have already talked to you about different types of players you view as the same, I mean it would be like me saying that all defenders are the same or all CF’s are the same………its crap mate it really is. Your problem is that you think all these clubs have goal scorers in CF and wingers and that’s not true at all:

    Citeh: Sane isn’t a goal scorer, he is a wing creator but has the ability to score goals and while everybody knew that Sterling had goals in him, nobody would have thought it would happen now.

    Chelsea: Sure Hazard scores goals but have you EVER realized that one of the players that ALWAYS takes up one of the 3 front positions is either Willian or Pedro and neither of them score more goals than Mhkitaryan because they are ALL wingers who can score goals but are also in the team to create.

    Bayern: People bang on about Robben being some high flying goal scoring winger but I wonder if people have realized that he generally scores between 2-12 goals and that didn’t start happening until he got to Bayern and even then he only score more than that 2 times but he does create loads of goals. Ribery and Mhkitaryan are essentially the same kind of player with Mhkitaryan probably being a better goal scorer especially when you consider that SINCE 07/08 when he moved to Bayern, Ribery has only scored double digits in 4 seasons(10, 10, 11, 12) and the rest of the time its been somewhere between 2-8; again your high flying wingers in high leverage matches aren’t quite the goal scorers everybody thinks they are.

    Juve: I mean they start Douglas Costa and Juan Cuadrado who have a COMBINED 29 goals in their last 209 appearances the last 3 seasons playing for Juve and Bayern.

    Barca: the lone exception but PLEASE don’t forget that for years Pedro was a nailed on starter and he isn’t nor will he ever be some highflying goal scoring threat.

    Manure: After Ronaldo/Tevez/Rooney, lets not forget that Valencia was an UNDISPUTED nailed on starter and he has 25 goals in 317 appearances IN ALL competitions for Manure.

    Please please please please find a different narative because Mhkitaryan as a winger is no different of a goal scorer than most of the big clubs in world futbol not named Barcelona and the only difference is that Lacazette should be starting on the flank opposite him with Ozil playing in teh whole to complete the foursome.

    Arsene’s main job right now should be defending with 6 and attacking with 4 and playing Jack in the box-to-box role because he links the defense to attack but still shows the fight and enough defensive (though he does need to continue to get better because he doesn’t always bother with tracking a runner) qualities but he always prefers to sit.

  29. Oh come off it – Giroud is 31 and Morata is 25.
    Morata was clearly overpriced because the selling club did not especially want to sell and the buying club has VERY deep pockets.
    Giroud is clearly the more complete article and, crucially, he comes with sack full of PL experience.
    Morata is playing for the first time in the hurly-burly and cold climes of the Premiership: a far bigger set of changes than he will have experienced at any time in his career.
    Making the comparison is redundant as the price for Morata was about potential – something that Giroud has very little of – with one they were paying for, or gambling on, what he might become and with the other they are very much paying for a ‘known quantity’.
    Giroud is the better bet right now but there is no guarantee he will even be there next season.

    Any suggestion that he is any better than an option B at a big club is beyond laughable – he has never scored more than 16 PL goals in a season.
    Not even with Europe’s top chance creator supplying the ammunition…
    End of discussion.

    Oludotun:
    Well done on the article.
    But it’s rather with the same theme, Arsene is the problem and he must.

    No trophies was the charge against him, he presented 3 in four years…. the charge sheet became reviewed, he has lost the capacity to build a squad. It’s a shame. Knocking the FA cup cos Wenger is involved.
    Why this obsession with Arsene?

    I think he should enjoy some period of buying big players and managing them now that the fund is here aplenty (at least).

    In another stead….
    The media definitely has something up their sleeves when it comes to setting the agenda of what constitutes news or stories. The theme with Arsenal has some spice to it.

    Sky Sports is now comparing Giroud and Morata, with a conclusion that postures Giroud as the better player.
    At Arsenal, the media considered him an average player, a plan B at best, but now at Chelsea, he’sbetter than the 75million Morata.

    I imagined this comparison and conclusion would never have been made had he remained a Arsenal.

    Tell me there’s nothing in there, and I’ll say you know it all.

  30. Oludotun,

    Why this obssesion with Arsene? Because for the last twenty years he has been Lord High Admiral, in charge of everything. Scouting, buying, selling, valuing, tactics, team selection, coaching, training, players diet, pitch dimensions and grass quality.

    That doesn’t leave much for anyone else to be responsdible for, does it?

    You can’t deny that that he has had enough cash to buy some good players, but they all sink into mediocrity under his guidance. As to not being able to sign top quality, Sanchez? Ozil? Lacazette? Kolascinac? The result? One gone, one on a new contract (was Wenger instrumental in the offer? Doubtfull) two reduced to riding the pine.

    The outcome, closer to the relegation zone than the Premiership title, out of the second most important domestic competition at the first hurdle, and reliant on a demoralised team, seemingly lacking in confidence, for any chance of Champions League football next season

    A damning indictment of his managerial ability.

  31. On the bright side I do truly feel that we can win the Europa League and I think the one thing that Citeh have shown recently is that they can be got it you just have to know that if you miss they will create a good chance at the other end rather quickly and more often times than not this season they don’t miss.

    I know it might be crazy but at this point I would focus purely on defending with 6 and attacking with 4 and I know it would probably mean dropping players and others not being involved but its what I would do. I would also tell Bellerin and Nacho/Sead to focus on defending and no need to join in the attack for now and start Ozil, LAcazette, Mhkitaryan and Aubameyang and attack like crazy with them.

  32. C,

    Hello C hope your well. In agreement with Conte 100%. He’s very clear in his remit to players under his tenure.
    I’m not sure what The remit of AW to his players,

    We are witnessing a decline in the Clubs fortunes on the pitch. No CL this season, none again next unless we win the Europa League.We look odds on to finish outside of the Top 4 for a second season again.

  33. Jonny,

    Well said but you could have ended it a lot sooner by simply putting the facts out:

    Morata was a nailed on starter at CF for Juve at 21 and helped them lift back to back Scudetto’s. He then went back to Madrid after a summer of Juve and Madrid battling over the fineprint in his contract and helped them win the CL (he started most of their CL campaign) and still as Benzema’s back-up scored 15 goals in 26 appearances in La Liga.

    Giroud has scored 16 goals twice and it took him 36-38 appearances and he was the nailed on starter.

    Giroud is a good PL player but better than Morata, well that’s like saying Ozil is useless and hasn’t lived up to the billing despite playing with a CF that as a nailed on starter wasn’t even the teams leading goalscorer in 3 of his 5 seasons here if memory serves.

  34. Ras,

    I think that’s the thing, Conte is spot on with what a manager should do: getting the best out of his players tactically, individually and mentally.

    I will always support this club and support Arsene while he is manager at the club but I can’t do so blindly when we should be so much better.

  35. Steve

    What I can’t make sense of is the denial which pervades the support. You ask “With which budget?” about a club which routinely appears in the top eight of Europe’s richest clubs. We can shop at the best stores but lack the glory or appeal to get the elite players. I get that so we shop at the next rung down – Waitrose instead of Fortnum & Mason – which is still a good level of shopping.

    We made a £25m profit on transfers in the summer and a net spend of £5m in January. This is on top of what was estimated to be a £100m transfer fund, so do you want to tell me what’s happened to the £130m which hasn’t been spent? We’re still short of a central defender so with £130m to spend, we tried to buy Evans on the cheap on the last day.

    We’re fed a stream of lies about the club’s finances, most of which can be traced back to leaks from the club. What we lack is a manager who can build a squad. With our finances, we should be able to challenge for the title. Maybe not this season with City being head and shoulders above everyone but certainly in other. The problem is that Wenger doesn’t know how anymore.

    Your comment “Three FA Cup in four years is nothing to you” shows you didn’t read the post properly; I said, “I’m not knocking the FA Cup” and anyone who has read the blog for a long time will know I love the FA Cup. You’d also know I’ve said for the best part of a decade that under Arsene Wenger we will never win the Champions League and the longer he is in charge, the less likely it is in the decade after he leaves.

  36. I’ll just put this out there to the “Let him buy players and manage them” brigade:

    Alexis Sanchez
    Mesut Ozil
    Alexandre Lacazette

    £130m on three players and which one has Arsene managed successfully? Which one has he drawn consistently high-level performances from?

    Next level:

    Shkodran Mustafi
    Danny Welbeck
    Granit Xhaka

    Which one of them is indispensable?

    That’s £200m of talent he has rendered incompetent. That takes some doing on the manager’s part; I doff my hat because I don’t think I could do that.

  37. The difference between Pep and Arsène is that pep does not start all his creative players in the same line up. Pep always starts 3 goal scoring threats as his forwards. We don’t even have 3 legitimate scoring threats in our whole squad much less in any of our starting line ups

  38. Bill,

    Pedro, Sane, Sterling(up until this season), Ribery, Koman are wingers that are there for their creativity and ability on the ball with the potential of scoring as opposed to goal scoring threats who happen to create. Honestly, mate its a terrible and untrue narrative that only your trying to spin.

    Lets be honest, Pep signed Bernado Silva for €50 million (£43.5 million) and then gave Silva, De Bruyne and Gundoghen new deals.

  39. Arsene’s problem is that he stopped playing Theo and its only 2 matches but he has refused to play Aubameyang, Mhkitaryan and Lacazette in his front 3 with Ozil.

    Bill,

    Also, Pep is BRILLIANT at tactics and coaching up players.

  40. C

    I genuinely wonder if it’s because someone might say, “Well, with £190m worth of talent Arsene, Arsenal fucked it up again. Why is that?”

    It leaves him stumped for an answer. Or more accurately, not wanting to admit the truth.

  41. 🙂

    YW:
    That’s £200m of talent he has rendered incompetent. That takes some doing on the manager’s part; I doff my hat because I don’t think I could do that.

  42. YW,

    Exactly, I think the line has become soooo blurred for so many that they don’t seem to realize that we spent a load of money, sold players (some should have went Szczesny and possibly Gabriel should have stay) and still made a profit.

    I wish people would actually take a look at the reality of the situation instead of the media driven narrative. I mean, it is reasonable to think that one of the highest paid managers in not just the PL but Europe should be challenging for the title NOT talking about how tight the budget is.

    The other thing is, reading is fundamental unfortunately not everybody has good fundamentals 😉

  43. Just a thought that I had about this whole Luis Enrique situation:

    Eniruqe and Sanllehi were both at Barca together with Sanllehi working closely with him to not only bring in players post-Pep but they have a fantastic relationship by all accounts. I wonder if Sanllehi, well more than likely, has still be in contact and has vetted him about taking over at Arsenal given that Enrique tends to not only get the best out of the team but helped to change Barca from Pep’s tiki taka style and unleashed Messi and Inesta even more and added to that Neymar and Suarez who are a different breed. I mean if he could get the best out of them adn have them play as a cohesive unstoppable force; at the bare minimum he could get Ozil, Mhkitaryan, Aubameyang and Lacazette to play to their best and challenge for the PL.

    Go Sanllehi, go bring us Enrique especially since Allegri and Juve have told the world he will not be leaving any time soon.

  44. Today’s Post was a nice easy read for a jaded supporter, thank you, and it did not make me even more pee’d off than when I started it.

    Just as a side note; Not totally sure of the reference to “plumbing the depths of Moyes’ management level” meant, but I probably misread it. Context is all so they say. 😀

  45. Oh, dear — I keep thinking I am talking directly to you on a one to one, YW, and forgetting to properly address my comments to you. Mea culpa. 😀

  46. Just for my good friend Bill, against Leicester, Pep’s Citeh side started with a midfield and striker force of:

    ———–Fernandinho———-
    –Gundogen——De Bruyne
    Bernado Silva—Aguero—-Sterling

    Yup, only 2 legitimate goal threats and 4 creative players.

  47. C

    I doubt Pep would ever start a game much especially one as critical as the spurs game with ozil and Mkhitaryan as 2/3 of his forwards. Unfortunately with Lacazettes form we did not have a lot of good options

  48. Hi C, 🙂

    A quick read thru of the comments above shows that you are in fine fettle today in your D’Artagnan mode with a swift thrust of your sword thru the vitals here, and a skewering of errors there, such as to make any Musketeer (or is that Mouseketeer? 🙂 ) proud of your swordsmanship!! 😀

    I am not now sure of who said what, to be candid, but one of the issues mentioned was a sort of conflation of opinions relating to Arsenal’s relative financial value among the top 10 most wealthy clubs, and AW’s unwillingness to spend money on players.
    I do remember that YW put that in context by highlighting the monies spent on various players in recent years, including Mesut, Sanchez, Mustafi, Elneny, Xhaka et al, and now, in the last six months, more big bucks spent on Aubamalama, Miki, La Caz and sundries.

    The issue is, I suspect, that the only one who can sanction that sort of spending is the big cheese – Kroenke – but clearly he knows sod all about football and those that ply their trade in it, so he must have to rely on ‘an advisor, or advisors’ to tell him which horse to gamble his money on.

    The answer, it seems to me, is that in the past this advisor has solely been AW, and he has put his imprint onto a certain type of player that he feels suits his vision of attacking football, and the profile for that, extending over many years, is a shortish, pacey, skilful, attacking cove, who will cost a bomb, and as a concession to defence, a mainly short, unspectacular, physically weak, reasonably cheap CB or two, and a one footed, slow ‘skilful’ midfield lummox who cannot tackle.

    in the future, the advisor may become plural as the influence of the singleton AW wanes.

    What my dear blogging chums, and I, have to accept, is that any changes to the current regime, altho welcome, is going to be painfully slow, and some of us, including yours truly, may have to turn our attentions to a foreign league to find a team to support, so that we may be spared the existing miserable miasma of platitudes that ‘all is not yet lost’, and instead hope for more enjoyable results in far off lands if necessary, and by doing so avoid the insufferable mantle of being deemed a PL snowflake demanding ‘I want it all and I want it now’ — even tho’ that is unfair and untrue of so many Gooners who have stood and watched the inexorable decline of our club for many years.

    I doubt, C, that you or any of the others are still with me — but I am falling out of love with the game!

  49. Bill,

    Actually mate, it would depend on the Mhkitaryan scoring goals than he sure as hell would given Sane isn’t a goal scoring threat (yes even despite having 7 goals alot of them are tap-ins but he is a creative winger). Pep plays with 3 different types of creative players: Sane, De Bruyne, Silva. Sane is the pacey tricky winger who creates by running at people and also has an eye for the pass, Silva is the intricate weaver of the attacking third who plays the little through balls but also links everybody together and De Bruyne is the maestro of it all. Compare that with our team and you have Mhkitaryan who, despite what you think, is a winger and dribbler as he has shown HIS ENTIRE career who can create but also score goals, Ozil is the player that makes the attack go and JAck is the link between defense to attack.

    Lets be honest here, comparing Pep to Arsene is MADNESS because with this same squad Pep would play Elneny or Maitland-NIles in the Fernandinho position, would put Ozil and JAck in the Silva and De Bruyne positions in midfield, have Aubameayng/Lacazette/Mhkitaryan in the front 3 and all them to interchange.

    Isn’t it funny that you talk about defense but they press high up the pitch and before this season NOBODY in their right or wrong futboling minds would say that De Bruyne, Silva, Sane or Sterling were good defensively and if you started a match with De Bruyne and Silva there is the possibility that you can be overrun by physicality and a lack of defending but here they stand because of good coaching.

  50. Whilst not wearing my glasses, I picked up the paper and saw an advertisement for “Outside Dwarf Patio lavatory where everyone wants to go”. Intrigued, I put my specs on and saw it was an offer in the gardening section for “Outstanding dwarf patio Lavatera that everyone wants to grow”.

    Oh the problems of aging. 😕

  51. we have no money
    everyones injured
    the refs are against us
    our fans are shit

    ive heard it all – every excuse under the suns been dished out over the years as to the whats and whys, but every single one of them has evaporated like a drop of piss in the desert.

    some people spotted it early, some people gave it a chance and realised what was going on when it was happening and those of us who still refuse to beleive it are just fucking lunatics who would happily see us relegated a million times over as long as it meant wenger was in charge.

    they all need a slap.

  52. HenryB,

    Well that was masterful and if I am making the Mouseketers look good, you sir would most certainly act as the master to my apprentice….the Miyagi to my Danielson.

    I think that’s the thing that is being missed amongst those that prefer AFC to stand for Arsene FC as opposed to its given Arsenal FC; they forget that Arsene was the sole ‘futboling’ brain and that there have been many a quote from both BoD and Arsene himself that tells you: Arsene was boss and those that opposed were beheaded.

    Not with the likes of Mislintat, Sanllehi and even Fahmy (surely he has been around futbol given his CV), no longer is Arsene the sole man nor is he the man that has done the most with less (Mislintat at Dortmund) nor at the biggest and best club(Sanllehi). Now there are several futboling brains at work and they seem to have a vision of the direction of the club with Ivan acting as the ‘pen’ to simply sign off on deals. The funny thing about Kroenke (and in no way am I defending him) but he has actually done the same thing with his NFL team the Rams and they were more successful for it instantly by a simply shifting of the manager with a lot of the same players only tweaking the roster here or there.

    Now this is the part where apprentice reals you back in because I understand your love of futbol waning given the state of the club, supporters and manager BUT hold fast because while you may think that it will be a slow process, I actually think that we will see a sort of change instantly and we might not challenge for the title in year 1 post-Arsene but I think there will be a significant and swift change of direction at the club that is already underway. First the backroom was cleared out and upgraded, then you look at the players that left and outside of Szczesny its hard to argue that Lacazette, Mhkitaryan and Aubameyang aren’t instant upgrades on essentially Giroud, Theo, Ox and sure Sanchez is a lost but I personally think Mhkitaryan will show his class and will score more goals than people think.

    I would say to you, don’t fall out of love of the game, have a watch of the CL because there are some truly juicy match-ups: Spuds v Juve(only because Spuds are the media darling but I think Juve will put them to the sword and Szczesny will be brilliant), PSG v Madrid, Liverpool v Porto(this will be high scoring), Barca v Chelsea and United Sevilla. Plus, we have a legitimate shot at the Europa crown.

  53. Liam Brady, sorry can’t agree with you at all mate. He was asked about Higuian and Dybala and said:

    “Not all the way. Because the best of Higuain, in my opinion, we have already seen it. In Europe it’s hard to make the difference.

    “It’s too static. While Dybala, which is also a great talent on the rise, is no longer a novelty as last year: the opponents know how to take the measures. It takes more to win in Europe.”

    Would that be the same Dybala and Higuain that have 14 goals a piece in Serie A and 16 and 17 respectively in all competitions.

  54. C,

    Just guys chatting — and frankly you have really helped my mood with your positive outlook, and I can only hope you are right in the foreseeable future. Thanks for that bro.

    I now am off with some friends for a fish and chips supper, and they are mostly Manc and ‘Pool fans, but they have promised not to take the p*ss over the Spuds result. (if they do — I will eat their fish too !! ) 😀

    See you and the rest of the lads here tomorrow.

  55. HenryB,

    Well glad that I can help.

    Manc, well I’m sure he can’t say to much given their result against the Barcodes and that miss by Sanchez could be one of the misses of the season!

    Until tomorrow my friend

  56. The current Arsenal board is the only one in the Premier Division who wouldn’t change their manager in the current situation. I want us to win the Europa League so that we can draw the CL income but I desperately want Wenger to leave and if he wins that and maybe the Carabao he definitely won’t.
    I don’t think he will of his own volition anyway but the club can’t move on until he does. I suspect he’s already destroyed what would have been once a phenomenal legacy. As you say he is now regarded at the same level as an ex United manager but Van Gaal is a better example than Moyes because he won a largely meaningless FA Cup …and was sacked.

  57. Jay Rodriguez was clean through and was in ACRES of space with LOADS of time and instead hit it first time and cocked it all the way up

  58. Giroud wide open in the middle of the box just outside the 6 yard box with goal open to him and plenty of time…………..he does the one thing that was pretty difficult to do, hit the GK.

  59. They would be lost without Eden.
    Another player we should have had but we didn’t want to pay the extra £5-10M.

  60. Welp Giroud then gets one of his flicks that inconsistently come off and Hazard buries it. Chelsea’s first goal at home in the PL in 2018.

  61. C:
    Just for my good friend Bill, against Leicester, Pep’s Citeh side started with a midfield and striker force of:

    ———–Fernandinho———-
    –Gundogen——De Bruyne
    Bernado Silva—Aguero—-Sterling

    Yup, only 2 legitimate goal threats and 4 creative players.

    C

    You know as well as I the reason he started that line up was because Gabriel Jesus and Sane were both injured. Look at the line ups he used the rest of the season before those injuries and look at the line ups he used at Barca.

  62. HAHAHHAHHAHAHHAHAHHA the commentator just said, “That’s what I love about Hazard is that when he always tries to stay on his feet and isn’t one of those that looks to go to ground everytime a player comes around.”

    He also said something like, “Giroud’s goal is coming, he has had 5 or 6 chances that a big man like him wants exactly where he wants it and you feel his goal is coming.” He should ask Ozil how many times Ozil thought that only for it never to come 😉

  63. So talk about building a squad and we have needed a GK since CEch’s first season and instead of doing everything to keep Szczesny, we sold him to Juve and his agent and Juve confirmed it was for €12.2 million plus a maximum €3.1m of bonus which is fucking a bargain when you considered we apparently paid €10-13m for a GK on the wrong side of his career.

    Talk about cocking that one up huh

  64. Assuming the front 5 outfield players are the attackers then pep will play 60% of his attacking players who are scorers and 40% creators unless injuries interfere. On the other hand only 20% of Arsene’s attacking players were a scoring threat against spurs.

  65. Bill,

    Pep rarely if ever plays Jesus and Aguero together so its not like he would have and that is why again he spent the money on Bernardo Silva in the summer and then giving David Sila, De bruyne adn Gundoghen extensions. Yes, you talk about Sane, Sure he score 7 goals but he is more creative than a goal scorer, he scores goals because of tap-ins. You do realize that at Barca Pedro was a nailed on undisputed starter right and Pedro again, can score goals but is not a goal scorer. Mhkitaryan is the creative player who can score goals but isn’t a goal scorer. The problem is AGAIN, not Mhkitaryan starting but the fact that Lacazette should have started and didn’t. To be honest, Xhaka shouldn’t have started, drop Ozil into the midfield play Lacazette on the flanks and that is our best chance moving forward.

  66. C

    If a player like Sane or Pedro is a threat to score a goal and creative at the same then that is even better. It’s a good thing to have some creative players in your line up as long as you don’t go overboard and ruin the balance of the team because you don’t have enough firepower. Goals don’t take care of themselves and you need someone to turn the passes into goals. Assuming his players are healthy Pep always makes sure there is plenty of firepower and all of his forwards are a legitimate threat to score. He does not play Iniesta or Xavi or Thiago who are all great players but not much of a threat to score on his forward line unless forced by injury.

    I doubt any manager not named Arsène would voluntarily start a line up in which 4 of his 5 attacking players are not a threat to score

    I hope that makes sense.

  67. C

    If a player like Sane or Pedro is a threat to score a goal and creative at the same then that is even better. It’s a good thing to have some creative players in your line up as long as you don’t go overboard and ruin the balance of the team because you don’t have enough firepower. Goals don’t take care of themselves and you need someone to turn the passes into goals. Assuming his players are healthy Pep always makes sure there is plenty of firepower and all of his forwards are a legitimate threat to score. He does not play Iniesta or Xavi or Thiago who are all great players but not much of a threat to score on his forward line unless forced by injury.

    I agree with pep and I think it’s a mistake to use a player who is not a threat to score in any of our 3 forward positions. Using one of those positions to shoehorn in an extra creative player who will probably not score makes us less likely to score a goal and the evidence from the last 12 years backs up my contention. I doubt any manager not named Arsène would start a line up in which 4 of his 5 attacking players are not a threat to score.

    I hope that makes sense.

  68. Doesn’t matter, Duke. Wenger will spoil PEA in due course. Nothing wrong with Lacazette that a decent manager wouldn’t sort out.

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