Rule #1: Arsenal Football Club will still exist.

In the slew of “10 things which will happen when Arsène Wenger leaves Arsenal” articles which will appear over the next few months, can we please have agreement that each list begins with “1. Arsenal Football Club will continue to exist.”

And it will, no matter what you claim. In common with every other club, the floating fan will move on, replaced by others around the globe. It’s the natural cycle of life in a global football club in the modern era. We saw it happen after the Emirates was built, we’ll see it again. Who knows, things may get worse, they may get better, they may even stay the same. But Arsenal Football Club will still exist.

Arsène was the perfect manager for the club in the Premier League era but just as football changed from the mid-90s onwards, it has changed now; the natural cycle is at an end. He’s adamant that he will still manage next season and good luck to him. If it’s here, then I honestly don’t see anything other than an already bad situation off the pitch, getting worse. It’s too far gone, and neither he nor the board has the goodwill left to reunite the fanbase.

The wheels on the bus

Tim Stillman made a very good point in The Guardian; Ivan Gazidis threw Arsène under a bus in 2011 when he made the statement that it was the fans to whom the manager was accountable. There’s so much wrong with that concept but most importantly, it underlines the feeble leadership at the club. Fear of change, and the consequent erosion of fiefdoms, holds the club back.

Put a director of football in situ and the manager’s immediately accountable at board level. Incredibly, the most ‘European’ of managers refuses to work with one despite knowing that it is the accepted model in Europe. And successful too; all the Champions League winners in the past decade, bar Manchester United had/have one.

Some of them are very self-aware, knowing that what works at one club, doesn’t work in another. That’s what Arsenal Football Club has to do; find their way in a post-Wenger world. Changing the manager is the catalyst for an overhaul of the club; whether the will exists to do that is one thing but more importantly, are the directors capable of doing it? On the football side, a new manager will bring in new staff. Most of the coaches will leave with one – possibly Steve Bould – remaining as a conduit to the players, initially at least.

A new broom, changing everything, was the fundamental mistake David Moyes made at Old Trafford. A club already reeling from Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure, had a complete overhaul from a manager whose PR had him as ‘Ferguson-lite’ when he’s proved to be anything but.

No Arsène Wenger 2, the first version of someone else

That’s the most important lesson to learn; you’re not going to find Arsène Wenger 2, just a manager who will work within the constraints placed on him from the outset. If it’s laid out clearly before you begin, there’s no reason it won’t find a level of success, however that is defined. The one certainty must be that it is a manager who knows the politics of ‘big clubs’. Oh, there will be heart-wrought pleas for English managers to be given a chance, I am sure. There are now with Eddie Howe’s cheerleaders in the back pages, but nationality isn’t a qualification for doing a particular job.

I’m well aware that Wenger wouldn’t have been appointed to the Arsenal job at the time if those criteria were laid down. The world has changed since then as well as the club and, more importantly, he didn’t come in and replace a manager whose reign was ending in its third decade. That’s the crucial point United – once again – missed. Just as when Matt Busby left, they made a pig’s ear of replacing Ferguson. Arsenal need to heed that warning.

Getting it right now would give a lasting platform for Arsenal Football Club to move to the next level, of becoming challengers. It’s a huge responsibility for the board to shoulder and so far, their performance is unconvincing. The contract offer was made last year; fine if Arsène wants to take time to decide but six months – if as he said yesterday he was waiting until March/April time – underlines their weakness; this is the decision which is best for Arsenal Football Club not Arsène Wenger. The two aren’t mutually inclusive.

Coincidentally, April is the time decisions will be made at other clubs, if not before, should Champions League exits occur.

Who says he’s leaving

He didn’t yesterday.

Reading anything of substance into his words at press conferences is a risky business. He’ll field a “normal” team on Monday, an answer which is open to interpretation. Is that a normal XI or one he normally fields in this competition?

Likewise his claims that he will still be a manager next season. The only answers he could give were the one he gave and “I’m retiring”, which is what the assembled hacks wanted to hear. Not because they don’t like him but it gives them a huge story to write. And the opportunity to spend a year in Paris, following Arsène’s career at their newspaper’s expense. “What about a series on Wenger post-Arsenal? I’d have to move to Paris, of course…”

But let’s not forget where we came in this morning. Rule #1: Arsenal Football Club will still exist.

’til Tomorrow.

65 thoughts on “Rule #1: Arsenal Football Club will still exist.

  1. Wavey says:

    Morning,

    Thanks YW, another good read.

    Another FA Cup weekend. Still potential for a few giant killings, what fun.

    🙂

  2. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Wavey

    If getting beaten by Sutton would force Wenger to quit, would you want us to lose?

  3. Orson Kaert says:

    Good morning, well done Yogi you’ve taken the some of the fear out of the post Wenger debate.

    Just as in the Brexit campaign, fear of change is the only thing stifling progress towards a brighter future.

    Could this be the time for a return to the Arsenal board of a truly Football man, someone with the knowledge and, more importantly, the contacts within the game to identify the new manager and play the role of Director of Football, David Dein?

  4. Alex Ice Cream says:

    I can’t bring myself to do it either but if someone with divine powers could guarantee me that Wenger would leave if we lost on Monday, I would.

  5. buckagh says:

    Orson Kaert,

    We will just have to wait and see on the Brexit issue the divorce settlement isn’t in place yet and is going to drag on,

  6. -DFS says:

    An interesting Arseblog podcast this week, featuring Daniel Storey (F365) and Miguel Delaney (The Independent) as well as some Arsenal supporting regulars.

    The consensus was Wenger’s time has come – although all expressed admiration for Wenger they are afraid he’ll shoot himself in the foot with obstinacy (and this was recorded before the ‘defiant’ presser).

    Additionally, the delay in announcing (one way or another) is just causing further damage, especially if he is to leave narrowing the window for recruiting a replacement.

    However along the way a couple of interesting points were made.

    Regarding the ‘woe is me’ routine of the club floundering after Wenger (a nonsense premise in my book) Miguel Delaney made an astute point. He said he felt Wenger should have quit around 2012, and if he had done so what difference would it have made to Arsenal’s performance from then until now?

    I not only agree I think we might have improved.

    However, the real eye opener concerned the squad. Many of us have argued we have a talented and deep squad, regardless of the shambolic performances of late.

    Andrew Mangan noted earlier in the week he had worked on a media event with Robert Pires who trains with the present squad to keep fit.

    Andrew related Pires thought the present Arsenal squad were technically better than the squad he played in – the problem was the strength of character.

  7. andy1886 says:

    For Wenger to leave he needs ‘a new challenge’ to go to. We may be stuck with him by default, after all which of the big clubs would have him? They all want CL success and AW’s record very much suggests that he cannot deliver it. Playing the most CL matches without winning it is hardly a recommendation, Neither is being the only coach to ever lose in the final of all three European competitions.

    PSG is often cited as a possible destination because he has contacts there. Would they really appoint him after sacking their previous manager for failing in Europe? Another suggestion, Barca, is quite laughable.

    The other option is taking a job at a second tier club desperate to qualify for the CL but who have no expectation to win it. Would Arsene want to take a step down at this stage of his career? Could his ego stand that? I don’t think so.

    So Arsenal may be his only option. And as he says, he has no intention of retiring yet.

  8. Alex Ice Cream says:

    DFS,

    I can believe that as we probably have more players now who are more technical. Its mental and physical strength that is the difference as well as game intelligence.

  9. Adam singh says:

    Well said YW. I’d would also say the same if Sanchez and/or Ozil leave. Yes it will be a big loss but we will move on and hopefully find our next set of superstars who maybe are even better than these two.

    I ultimately think its a question of risk vs reward. Sure, changing the manager might mean we languish in mid table for a number of seasosn, but it might also mean we end up winning the PL for the first time in over 15 years. I for one and up for taking the risk. However I doubt Stan is so I am fully expecting to see the same manager on the bench struggling to zip up his jacket and struggling to adapt his tactics for the big games next season.

  10. Paulie Walnuts says:

    F*ck project fear – I’ll risk a new broom any day.

    Infact, get Rentokil in to clean house from top to bottom, including King Rat over in the USA.

  11. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Andy,

    Its more Wenger bullsh1t. He is saying “I want to do you all a favour by staying but if you don’t want me then there are plenty of other places I can go. So there. You will be sorry, oh yes.”

    Its a thinly-veiled threat from a desperate old man. No other top club in theory will tolerate his nonsense but in football there is always a mug just waiting round the corner.

    He is a dictator – none go quietly.

  12. Dukey says:

    Well it’s wrong to want your own side toulouse but I’m like the players in Germany were, I have no fight or passion to give a shit about it at the moment.

  13. Dukey says:

    In fact i still can’t bring myself to even look at that rag bag lot right now. As far as I’m concerned in the heat of a fight against a side that had been slagging us off for weeks they all ran off home and hid under their beds, except Sanchez and Ospina.

  14. Bufallo says:

    I’d actually be interested to see him managing elsewhere next season, would he be a success elsewhere, he’ll probably go and win the bloody CL….i just don’t believe he has any interest in leaving hence it seems he’s staying on. There is a possibility that he means to move into international football, that would be logical at his age. Which probably means he wont be doing it.

  15. Damon says:

    Bufallo,

    I agree

    I could see Arsene slipping into a club that has some defensive capability already drilled into it, sprinkling it with a couple of skilful diminutive midfielders and saying “go out and enjoy yourselves, take the handbrake off” and being successful

    Caveat being if it happened, he’d get found out if year two

    The AKB brigade would have a fucking field day for a year though

  16. Ras says:

    -DFS,

    @ DFS I listened to the Podcast. The current crop of players ” maybe technically’ better but there are no leaders on and off the pitch. There are no fighters.

    I personally beg to disagree that this squad is one of the ” best” AW has assembled. You just glance at the squad you can see he has assembled a hotch potch of players whom he ” thinks” will play well together. It does not work and this has been borne time and time again in the beatings etc that we have suffered at Chelsea, Man U, Barcelona. Spine an underbelly call it what you want AW has been by passed and he sadly is unable to accept or acknowledge that.

    we have no players of the ilk of Gilberto, Sol, Viera, Petit. How many times in the last few weeks the term Men v Boys ( Watford) Men v Boys ( Chelsea) Men v Boys ( Bayern). You first have to earn the right to play. That means compete.

    We have no DEFINITIVE style or way of playing. WE do not know how to press or defend. We do not know how to stick to a plan of any sorts. Game Management and Game Intelligence is zero.The capitulation from 3-1 to 5 is testament to all that. AW has to many players whom do not know how to play when they are NOT in possession of the ball.
    There is NO coaching to my knowledge of defensive shape, defensive tactics nada. I have said before and will say it again you cannot play Iwobi and Ozil currently in the same team . It is to much of a luxury.

    Having decided to buy Ozil and Xhaka you then as a right MUST assemble the ” correct” type of players whom will help to bring out the best in the ” star players”. It’s a bit like the Queen Bee who has workers. These workers know “their” place. Moses at Chelsea is a worker. Fernandino at City is a worker. Both it can be argued are not the greatest individuals but in a team it is the contribution on a consistent basis that makes them valuable This contribution cannot be denied. When you have this in a team repeated over and over again as at Chelsea with Kante, Matic you start to see consistency.

    When you have that consistency it is then that you have a platform a framework. What tangible framework. spine has AW developed?

  17. Orson Kaert says:

    Whenever Wenger leaves it will be the ideal time for a radical restructuring of the club and personnel. Not just the coaching and playing staff but the board and executive management too.

    I posed the question earlier, should David Dein return? I would go further and suggest that the time would be right to welcome Alisher Usmanov onto the board. He may add a new dynamism to the club as well as providing additional funds. He would certainly move the board of directors out of their comfort zone.

  18. -DFS says:

    Ras –

    The very reason I relayed the Pires point was just that – technically they are better but in terms of mentality or spirit just a shadow of earlier squads.

    However, it does beg the question under different leadership how would this group of players perform?

  19. captain senderos says:

    Lincoln has just made history by knocking burnley out of the fa cup…. wow wow wow

  20. andy1886 says:

    -DFS,

    Hard to say, they can certainly perform better under the right coach.

    Firstly you can never perform your best without structure. ‘Freedom’ can easily become anarchy unless the players are strong willed, something we’ve not seen much of whatever Wenger might say.

    Number two, simply putting your best eleven players on the pitch rarely gives you the best team (as Ras says). We simply may not have the all the parts we need to be title winners in which case a new man will need to rebuild anyway.

  21. -DFS says:

    andy1886,

    The freedom, the organic play is fine when it come off – the problem being the high points have been few and far between in recent years. Is it once or twice a season?

    In the interim, the lack of structure does nothing but place a weight on the players shoulders – individuals feel they need to conjure magic out of thin air – some overplay and others shrink away. There is no framework, structure or tactics for them to fall back on.

    As noted in the podcast and elsewhere, on Wednesday when we went 2-1 down (let alone 3-1 down) no one attempted to stop the bleeding – its as stupid as that, no one could go into fundamental damage control.

    Thats an astonishly shallow level of coaching/management.

  22. Wavey says:

    Afternoon,

    A real shocker that Burnley were knocked out by Lincoln. Not because Lincoln scored, any team can get a chance at a set piece at some point in a game, more that Burnley looked rally out of sorts. They just looked like a team going through the motions. I wonder if they thought the gulf in class would mean they could just turn up? I’m pretty sure the manger didn’t, but players seem to get sucked into a degree of confidence which means they seem to forget that they still have to do the job. Lincoln were up for it, but they weren’t really putting Burnley to the sword so maybe there was a sense from the Burnley fans that they would score at some point.
    Its that kind of arrogance against a weaker team that we have seen Arsenal being guilty of in the past. Hopefully Burnley’s demise will be a stark reminder of how you can get caught. If we do get knocked out on Monday night it could get pretty nasty amongst the fans. I can’t really see it myself, but it still requires a professional performance from the team.

  23. Bill says:

    Great post yogi. I agree with each and every word. Thanks for my daily dose of Arsenal.

    It feels like I that I have morphed into one of the less negative of the regulars. I am still very confident that we will find a good run of results in the league and hold on to the top 4. I think we will win against Sutton and we might draw Lincoln next round. in each of the last 2 times we win the FA cup the team in the finals was lower table. I think the same thing may happen again and we have a decent chance to win the FA cup. We will won the next leg against Bayern Munich so the final aggregate score line looks closer then it really was. I really hope all those things happen

    In the end Arsene will sign the 2 year contract on offer irregardless of how the rest of this season plays out and the status quo will be maintained. That is certainly not what I want to happen. I thought Arsene should have left after that incredible team meltdown at the end of the 10/11 season. However, I long ago gave up hope that he would retire before the end of this decade and there is not much I can do about it

  24. captain senderos says:

    can u just imagine… d same Bayern that put us to the sword are being beaten by Hertha Berlin…. Arsenal is a disgrace

  25. Ras says:

    -DFS,
    It is possible under a different leadership a fair few would not be able to cut it.

    I have no remorse in repeating it but Maureen is correct in a round about way. Wenger is a serial loser.

  26. Ras says:

    Has anybody seen this. Arsenal Fan TV meets Gary Neville..ft Troopz DT Mo and Claude..So funny

  27. Bill says:

    The results of the games today are certainly setting up a good chance for us to get favorable draws in the next couple of rounds in the FA Cup. Papering over the cracks by the end of the seasons is one of our specialties.

  28. captain senderos says:

    leceister out too… boro and man city very lucky

  29. nicky says:

    In all the to-ing and fro-ing that is going on about the possibility of a replacement for Arsene Wenger, not much has been said about the prime movers and shakers i.e. the Kroenkes.
    Under their all powerful patronage, Arsenal FC is more than just financially solvent and the odd £3m per annum is available when necessary. Usmanov’s 30% is no threat. Under Arsene Wenger, the Club has been assured of qualification in the lucrative CL, year on year.
    There is a waiting list of thousands for season tickets, let alone the many overseas supporters who visit the UK specially to attend the Emirates Stadium.
    Attendances at the Emirates are vitrually up to capacity every game (on the basis of seats sold).
    This season, Arsenal may win the FA Cup and are well placed to qualify again for Europe next term.
    What incentive is there for the financially successful Kroenkes to part company with Wenger?
    “Out of the frying pan, into the fire” comes to mind.
    Unless or until our Yanks decide to move on (and there is no sign of that happening so far) Arsenal Football Club is firmly “in hock” to the US.
    And there is little to be done by fans, loyal and fickle, to alter the situation.
    The Club’s history, its reputation for integrity and its past success has now become somewhat of a millstone against change. 😉

  30. consolsbob says:

    Nicky. You are becoming a bit of a rebel.

  31. Wavey says:

    Ras,

    Seems like a bit of an opportunity missed. So focused on him calling one fan an idiot and describing the scenes outside of Stamford Bridge that they didn’t get him to answer the real questions. Neville has talked about his frustrations at Arsenal’s yearly collapse, but he doesn’t think fans should be calling for Wenger to go. It would have been more interesting if they had discussed the views of Arsenal fans in the context of treading water every season. Either Robbie, or maybe DT would have had a better discussion with him on their own. By including the other fans it became focused on Neville’s two comments.

  32. Wavey says:

    Got to say Conte is doing a great job at Chelsea in his first season. He’s been getting the best out of Pedro and Moses as his wide men and the team generally seems very organised.
    His first XI is pretty much all players who were already there with Luiz and Kanye being the only real additions. It shows that a manager is able to get a team playing better together without bringing in a raft of new players.

  33. Wavey says:

    Wavey,

    I suppose you would include Alonso as well. Michy hasn’t really had much of a look in so far.

  34. Wavey says:

    nicky,

    It’s going to be solely up to Wenger. The club is ticking along nicely as far as the owners are concerned. They do not need trophies, top 4 and CL knock out phase provides a very solid revenue stream.
    The only concern they may have in the future is how they grow the fan base (client base) without success on the pitch. But as you said, the season ticket waiting list is fairly deep and the new TV money will add nicely to the bottom line.

  35. nicky says:

    @consolsbob,
    At 93, with over 80 years of accepting the footballing peaks and valleys of Arsenal FC, I think in many ways, I AM becoming a bit of a rebel.
    I regret the conversion of football clubs into big business companies.
    And also so many foreign majority shareholders taking over and running the show. 😉

  36. nicky says:

    @Wavey,
    I believe you are right in your forecast.
    Arsene Wenger will not be forced out by the Kroenkes, bearing in mind their considerable investment in Arsenal FC.
    As to success on the field, I am persuaded that there is a limit below which the Club will never descend. Sufficient funds will always be available to see that Arsenal continues as a top flight Club. 😉

  37. andy1886 says:

    nicky,

    I think that you would get 100% support on that here Nicky. As the saying goes these people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    My hope is that big business and the other hangers-on lose interest. Stan, Sky and their buddies might lose a fortune, some clubs might even go to the wall, but AFC would be fine. It’s a win-win!

  38. Bill says:

    Wavey

    The Chelsea blogs probably are saying the same things about Michy that we say about Perez and Joel Campbell

  39. jjgsol says:

    Thank you for a very astute post.

    I do not think that either side of the AW debate could complain at what you say.

    Comparing Tuesday night’s game to Bayern’s game tonight is somewhat flawed, unless it would be correct to say that Hertha have lost their main CB and Bayern did not take advantage of the temporary lack of organisation in the defence, whilst the new player settles in, by scoring a goal or goals.

    With the game even before then, what is disturbing was the compete collapse after the 2 quick goals were conceded.

    I do not see what “normal” might be for the team on Monday.

    We were fortunate against Southampton in that their second string were as used to paying together as ours.

    Sutton will be playing their first team, who have played together all season and will be on a high.

    I think it would be folly for us not to pay our first team as well, possibly with one or 2 changes from Tuesday, but no more.

    We have been given a real chance to well here and it would be criminal not to take it.

    The players have 2 weeks afterwards to rest and need the opportunity to make some amends for their capitulation last week.

  40. Bill says:

    The idea that other managers rotate more then Arsene and use their whole squad and keep all 25 happy is a myth

  41. Bill says:

    Managers don’t use players 19-25 in their squad in high leverage games if they are not forced to do it. Using those players is one of the reasons big teams have devalued the cup competitions.

  42. -DFS says:

    Wavey-

    Conte appears to be be epitome of man management.

    David Luis (one of the ‘new’ players you cited) had always seemed erratic, was sold to PSG then returned back at a loss. Nothing but a head scratcher to me as I wondered if you could depend on him.

    Conte places him (ultimately) into a defensive set up which demands more of him, he raises his game as the team flourishes. As you said, a team which he largely inherited.

    I think it all but inevitable some of the present Arsenal squad might need to move on under a new manager, but making any such call yet is premature.

    As others pointed out, each and every player Arsenal on the pitch against Bayern have had games, long spells, seasons where they have excelled. They did not turn to crap overnight and my argument would be they have not turned to crap, period.

    If Conte had taken over the Arsenal we might be talking about strengthening the squad (for what it’s worth having faith Conte would actually do so precisely where needed) but I would imagine the list of players we felt we needed to move on would be a lot shorter than most are ‘considering’ right now.

  43. consolsbob says:

    Nicky, we are at one on this.

  44. Bill says:

    I suspect that almost every big club in Europe has a couple of players that the fans don’t understand why the manager isn’t giving him more chances.

    DFS.

    I suspect Conte, Klopp, Simeone, Mourinho and probably a whole lot of other managers could have taken our squad and the $90M we spent last summer and do a lot better then we have so far this year.

  45. Damon says:

    Today’s football was a shot in the arm

    Pride, passion and a will to win

    And did you see those fans? I remember days like that….

    Appreciate we still have our banana skin to overcome on Monday, but…

    Did it occur to anyone else that the gulf in class between the lower leagues to the top today, including non league to the Premiership, didn’t seem that far. Whereas, our own team to Europe’s top table just this week hasn’t seemed further in decades.

    How things change in ten or so years

  46. Wavey says:

    -DFS,

    I completely agree. I think there players in the current squad who need to be managed to get the best from them. Some of that might come from changing the way the club plays and some might simply be from working more directly with players on what their roles are. There are too many stories about players being told to go out and play their game for there not to be some grain of truth.

  47. Wavey says:

    Bill,

    You are probably right, but I suspect the demand to give him game time is less vocal whilst the team is successful in the pitch. The call for Perez to get more game time is louder because there have been too many average performances from the players who are picked to excuse keeping him on the bench. Maybe nothing will come of him getting a run out, but the team continues to struggle and it seems that it couldn’t get much worse if we did play him (and Campbell before him).

  48. Wavey says:

    Is Perez available for Monday night? The only two players showing on the website’s sick list are Cazorla and Ramsey, although Kos was meant to have had a scan on Friday.

  49. Wailesy says:

    While there are lessons to take from mistakes made by Man U, the situation we’re in is very different . Man U had just won the league when they replaced Fergie. Yes Moyes didn’t understand the “politics” of a big club and for that reason alone it was an ill advised appointment. As they had just won the league, wiping out the entire back room staff was Moyes biggest mistake and completely unnecessary.

    AFC are not winning the league and not looking likely too anytime past or present under Wenger or the board. A complete clean out is the only way we will climb out of this chasm we find ourselves in.

    People talking about staying true to our integrity and footballing philosophy are either missing the point or seeing something in the club that I fail to see myself. Whatever our philosophy is, it isn’t working. It’s creating rifts within the squad and capitulations on the pitch in big games domestically and in Europe for over a decade.

    The only prerequisite for a new manager should be the ability to show he’s had success at a top 8 club in Europe.

    Football philosophy? Meh

  50. Bill says:

    Wavey

    I am not as excited about the idea of Perez as a lot of us but I honestly can’t understand why Arsene keeps running iwobe out on the left wing instead of giving Perez or welbeck those minutes.

  51. Bill says:

    If we are going to be honest, based on what he has done when he has played, Giroud is the guy who probably deserves most of Iwobe’s minutes. Giroud carried us during that run of games where he was starting. We would almost certainly be in 6th place now without those goals.

  52. -DFS says:

    Bill –
    Bill,

    “I suspect Conte, Klopp, Simeone, Mourinho and probably a whole lot of other managers could have taken our squad and the $90M we spent last summer and do a lot better then we have so far this year”.

    Exactly. A point lost in the shuffle is the significant spend made pre-season which was obviously a pledge to improve.

    Wavey (and Bill again)

    Whatever one’s feelings regarding Perez, I fear his public declaration of wanting to move will cast a shadow whether selected or not.
    Personally, I would love to see him feature with some regularity…however…I can’t imagine (with all that is going on) those comments endeared him more to Wenger. I believed Perez has already been (wrongfully) designated as peripheral.

    At this point I think I am more focused on the likes of Elneny – will he feature and develop into a broader role or not as the season heads to a conclusion? I really have no idea why he did not play against Bayern, but presume he and Welbeck will play on Monday.

  53. Bill says:

    A lot of people were theorizing that somehow girouds lack of pace was hurting our defense. The idea that a CF would hurt your team defense seemed really odd to me. I guess when we can rationalize almost anything when we try hard enough and Giroud is certainly easy to dislike.

  54. Bill says:

    Long term I think players like Giroud Walcott Perez welbeck ox elneny Le coq, the current version of Xhaka are potentially decent complimentary pieces and could all be players 14-18 in the squad but I doubt any of them would be regular starters for most big teams in Europe. We have an abundance of good squad players but we need a couple more difference makers upfront. IMO. You win consistently by having enough game changing firepower up front and a really strong defense. At least one really good midfielder is also helpful. To me Ozil has a midfielders skill set but midfielders help to control the center of the pitch and control the tempo of the game and Ozil does not play like a midfielder. The position he plays in our set up is support striker and not midfielder.

    I think we should sell a couple of players like Giroud Ramsey wilshere Ozil Walcott and buy a couple of difference making forwards to go with Alexis and buy at least one really good midfielder to replace Cazorla.

    That still leaves the defense to sort out. I hope a new manager could mold the players we have into a good defensive team.

  55. Ras says:

    Wavey,

    Agree Wavey I thought the whole thing got derailed slightly. It’s possible that Neville had certain stipulations already agreed before doing the interview, therefore certain questions etc were never going to be asked.

  56. Wavey says:

    Ras,

    Maybe, but it seemed that they just got hung up on what they considered to be a slight. As he is a football fan as well as an ex-player I would be interested to know if he would have been happy with United if they had been in a similar position. Qualifying for CL every season, but not winning anything. I think the answer would be no.

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