Adieu et Bonne Chance Monsieur Wenger

It was a bolt from the blue. While I hoped there would be ‘regime change’ this summer, previous experience of Arsène’s reign led me to believe it come at the end of his contract. That Le Boss chose to end his tenure yesterday caught me on the hop.

It caught Ivan on the hop as well if his mawkish press conference was anything to go by. Suffice to say, he didn’t inspire confidence that he will get finding a replacement right although it can’t be ruled out.

But to talk about others is to deflect from the manager and that shouldn’t be the case. For once, Arsène should remain the centre of attention.

105 words are all it took to bring his time at the club to an end. Unless, of course, Enos decides to give a middle finger to supporters and appoint Wenger CEO or executive chairman. Your uneasy shuffle in your seat suggests that like me, you won’t rule it out.

I suspect not. Arsène wasn’t ready to give up the managerial reigns last summer and made it clear that he would go on elsewhere. PSG for a couple of years? Les Bleus? I’m sure he has options if he genuinely doesn’t want to retire.

Twice he declined to walk away a hero after a cup win; third time lucky? I hope so. If Arsène wins, so too do Arsenal and while in some minds that distinction doesn’t exist, it most surely does. This one, in his native France, has the fairy tale ending most wouldn’t deny him. Some would let’s not forget to acknowledge that. Frothing at the mouth, leaving at this season’s final whistle wasn’t soon enough.

As Jimbo said, people are strange.

You Say Goodbye

I genuinely don’t recall too much about his actual arrival at the club, the day of the announcement itself. George Graham’s anecdote about the only thing missing off a manager’s contract was the date he will be fired seemed apposite. “Arsène who?” the tabloids screamed in an accurate reflection of the players initial reactions.

My vague recollection was a reaction that he wouldn’t last long.

That he stood on the steps shortly afterwards and faced the press down about scurrilous accusations speaks volumes about his strength of character. It would support him through hard times, particularly in recent years.

Everyone has their own memories of the first decade, culminating in Paris. We’ve each got our own memories of the Invincibles, the two doubles previous to that, cup wins and a dynamic brand of football not previously seen on these shores.

While those tangibles will be totted up when he is remembered, in a wider footballing sense he will always play second fiddle to Sir Alex. Wenger’s influence, his thinking on diet and other aspects of players health, were stepping stones to the modern game. Yes, the Invincibles will be there for a while but the absence of a European trophy on his CV will always be thrown out there in a debate about his standing in football.

Does it matter? A football manager belongs to a club or nation. Name a manager and one club will instantly spring to mind. Arsène will always belong to Arsenal no matter what he achieves elsewhere.

Thanks to him, we saw some great time. It’s healthy, I think, to allow yourself some reverie for the moments brought on by a rejuvenated squad at the start of his reign and the memories of the great players we’ve seen in the past 22 years.

I Say Hello

Acknowledging that he was the right man to guide us to the new stadium and through those years is no sin. The bankers demanded his steadying hand on the tiller; the club needed it but in doing so, surrendered too much power to the Frenchman.

David Dein’s departure was a missed opportunity. Irrespective of whether Wenger agreed with it, a director of football was needed. The roots of his departure were set in those moments.

Project Youth, the socialist wage structure; fine notions but handed us white elephants. Players remained on the books too long as the paternalist instinct developed into sentimentality. Someone else needed to take those decisions which were unpalatable to Arsène.

And we’ve lived through the past half-a-dozen years so don’t need reminding of them. Suffice to say, Hull was the moment many of us believe was the perfect time for a send-off, but it didn’t happen.

If you’ve got this far, you may be wondering why there are no tears being shed here. I didn’t know Arsène Wenger. He’s not a close personal friend and he is the sixth permanent manager of Arsenal Football Club in my lifetime. The 11th if you count Messrs Burtenshaw, Houston (twice), and Rice; he’s not the only man at the helm that I’ve ever known.

To be honest, I think it’s also something to do with my age. George Graham’s departure hit me harder; it was more sudden, more surprising given its’ nature. Yet like the Scot, I will remember Wenger fondly for the good times and eventually suppress the bad. And that, to me, is how it should be.

Thanks for everything and best of luck in the future.

’til Tomorrow.

57 thoughts on “Adieu et Bonne Chance Monsieur Wenger

  1. G4E says:

    Not so often you experience being “Sad and Happy” at the same time.

    Asrene Wenger deserves to be celebrated now and until the end of his time with the club.

    It is true that this man made me love Arsenal, and if it were not for the kind of football he played from 1996 to 2006, I would not be an Arsenal fan today.
    Yes, my time being an Arsenal fan did not start until 1996. A lot less than many of fellow Arsenal fans on this Cultured Blog, but he made me love Arsenal football club to a point that I can never be any other way.
    Sometimes I say I can’t deal with this shit and I shouldn’t follow it, but I can’t.

    I think this is the moment when Fans “Switch Off the negative and Turn On the positive”

    So, I here say….Sorry Mr. Wenger, we called you names and sometimes disrespected you…..But it was just time to let go of us…..The length of your tenure is our age, the re-invented Arsenal Football Club is 22 years old, it’s time to let us go on our own and face life. I know it’s tough out there, but we need to make our own destiny now.

    I hope he continues working in Football in some way. He is still a good man. I think we talk about him making millions a year, but I have no doubt he could have got a lot more than that if he left when the big chances came knocking, but he didn’t, and I truly believe he loved this club.

    All the best for Mr. Wenger and All the best for Us Gunners…….It’s going to be “Scary and Exciting” at the same time.

  2. victor fenech says:

    Great article, sums up my viewpoint perfectly. And as I’ve always insisted only fan power would drive Wenger out of office. The empty swathes at the Emirates in recent games is what finally convinced him to go. Yes indeed, thank you Arsene. The good times were brilliant and would have been even better had not a certain manager up north been blessed with a ready-made youth team that eventually swept the board. Now that Wenger is going we face the even bigger calamity of unfortunately having practically the only owner of any club who simply do not care about the game and to whom Arsenal is but a property to be sold at a profit when he deems fit. It’s going to be an even bigger battle, and I hope that whoever is in charge of the team will make it clear that money is available for the purchase of top players, because Wenger’s undoing was that, obviously on owner’s orders, he often sold our gems and bought players of a lower level to replace them. Thank you Arsene. Good luck Arsenal. Think deeply and choose well.

  3. Kam says:

    Adiou mosyo WENGER.
    for all the good times, writing a magnificent chapter in ARSENALS history and for being you. Sublime gentleman. A class to his own. The club will not be the same. You picked the right road to take when all the vultures had descended on the football landscape to buy as many trophies as they could to manufacture a history.
    You said no. At ARSENAL we earn our honors and to your credit many a manager followed in your path and therefore honor you and your ways more than any other in England and in Europe . And you treated your players with respect and affection. In return they worked their hearts out for you and for us. Orgasmic football like no other could replicate.
    Sure as hell , you didn’t deserve to be hounded out and disrespected by a minority of the clubs supporters.
    For that I myself apologize profusely in their Stead. Best of luck with the rest of the season. And with your other Ventures. I’m glad you came in when you did and disaffected at the manner you where shown the door.
    Forever in our heart Arsene.
    Always a part of this club and part of it’s illustrious family.
    Thank you for everything and welcome back whenever and at what ever capacity that suits you at that time.
    Only a fool will forgo all your knowledge of the beautiful game.
    LOVE & RESPECT
    good man

  4. consolsbob says:

    I can’t disagree, YW. Fine sentiments, well chosen words.

    However, and there is an ‘however’, I cannot be as generous to the man as I once would have been. Despite the efforts of the media and others to say that Arsenal fans have become disaffected in the last two seasons because of the lack of CL football, that is just not the case.

    When did we pen the ‘End of an era’ posts, YW? It must be 5 years ago. He was a busted flush then and while his reign will glow golden in the collective memory in time, for me, his flaws have emerged and those, together with some hindsight into the enormous benefit that the inherited defence gave him, have come to outweigh his achievements.

    In the end, I see a man with an enormous ego who put himself ahead of the club. That is not unusual in football, Fergie, for one, did the same. However, Arsene has posed for far too long as the club’s ‘creator’ and guardian.

    We were a great club before he came and we will be a great club after he leaves. He is a significant chapter in our history but not the only one of significance.

  5. JonJon says:

    amazing news.
    perfect timing at this point.

    the lack of away form, 2 points ahead of burnley and no chance against athletico……

    we can now galvanise and push on…

    we can go for this cup, knowing he wont stay on – it wont be a plaster over a major crack nor a reason to stay and subject himself to more turmoil.

    father time caught up with him and this can be the perfect ending for one of the greatest but most stubborn fuckers the world has ever seen.

    thanks for the memories, arsene….theres a hint of sadness but much like a marriage that has gone stale – theres excitement for the future…

    the fa cup was the one – the perfect ending, this may have passed and it shouldnt have ended without a trophy – but theres one last chance, one last opportunity for these players to rise to the occasion.

  6. Freddo says:

    Oh, God, now we’re going to go through an epidemic of mawkishness. Arsene earned 10 million a year (he wasn’t running a charity) and definitely didn’t find a cure for cancer. Then he did a runner just before he got the chop. I wish him well the way I would wish any fellow human well. But spare me the rest.

  7. Wavey says:

    Morning all,

    Well it’s finally happened and the relief is tangible. The first decade memories will live long, but so will the final years when Wenger was complicit in managing a team designed simply to make do. Just send enough money to keep in the big league where the money was, but not enough to win anything other than the odd domestic cup. I love the FA Cup, but winning it should have been a stepping stone to greater things, not a solution to how to keep a large section of the fan base happy.

    Wenger deserves respect in the last few home games. He may have dragged his heels on the final decision and perhaps been pushed rather than jumping, but he had his moments and still has a trophy record that many managers would envy.

    So adieu M.Wenger. Time for change has finally arrived. A bright new future (fingers crossed).

  8. Mike says:

    Freddo,

    Yeah I agree with you, people are going a bit OTT. He stayed on far too long and wasn’t earning peanuts. I also thought he was disrespectful to the fans when he banged on about a negative environment instead of addressing the teams problems. He’ll get another job and earn a fortune. He’s not gonna be on the streets!!

  9. Jerry says:

    Been a fan for 40 years so a happy but also very sad day for me.He had to go but it’s still painful…..one thing though it’s perfect timing.I guess The Emirates will be packed and give him the send off he richly deserves…..I honestly think the dynamic has shifted re the Europa cup to…but please….not Rodgers…

  10. MikeSA says:

    I’m very happy he’s leaving.

    It’s better late than never, but it is very, very late, and he is leaving the club when he was taking it back down at a rate of knots, having lifted it up initially.

    I’m quite sure this wasn’t his decision.

    I think the board started seeing the growing number of empty seats that reflected the growing apathy of the fans because they were refusing to listen, and decided that another season would do very real damage to the club going forward.

    I am not going to piss on the batteries of those who wish to remember the good times, but for me personally, he completely eroded the considerable respect I had for him for quite some time, so I’m fairly ambivalent as to what he does or doesn’t do from here onwards.

    He’s made a few bob off the club so I imagine he’ll not be struggling to scratch the cash together for his next loaf of bread.

    From a personal perspective, after 48 years of being an Arsenal fan, the last few years have brought a large degree of scepticism to my support of the club.

    I’m afraid I won’t just simply be climbing uncritically back on the band wagon.

    The club have been downright stupid for some time whilst mismanaging this, and I’m not simply going to skip gleefully back into la la land now.

    I’ve never wanted the team to lose, and I’ll certainly be hoping we can win the EL, but I’m not exactly holding my breath on it.

    I am fairly open minded as to a replacement apart from 1 purported possibility, namely Rogers.

    If he arrives that’ll put the final nail in the lid for me and I’ll move on.

    I’m simply not prepared to go through more idiotic crap from the club at this stage, IMO there’s been too much of it for too long, so I’m just not interested in going through yet another idiotic decision.

    I don’t demand that they get everything right, and they might well make choices that later don’t work out, that’s ok in my books, but I simply am not prepared to watch a complete and utter cuntflap (Rogers), manage the club next.

    In recent times we’ve seen the walls of Jericho fall, Mugabe, Zuma, and now Wenger, I don’t want Zuma or his ilk back in my country, and I don’t want a self absorbed fuckwad like Rogers managing any club I support either.

  11. HALF TIME LEMONS says:

    Perfectly balanced words YW.

    C’bob is right. Arsenal were a great club before AW and will be after…

    Like many I have mixed emotions, towards, I think, a sincere man who lost objectivity and was the instrument of stagnation.

    Like many I thought the tipping point was the meltdown in 2011 and the end of that contract in 2014 would have turned out quite appropriately – and a properly run board could have put in place a seamless hand over to a new man who would build on what went before.

    And therein lies the main issue. For me the main debate was never “should AW stay?” but “what is the Club doing to develop in the future?”

    Now that he is gone there will be nothing to obscure the real issue we face – How interested are the owners in running a FOOTBALL club? They are the real problem with stagnation, which is why I chose the word “Instrument” to characterise AW’s last 5 years….

    For now though – let’s concentrate on the good times – hope for one last hurrah in Lyon…. and now that the issue is resolved – why not be respectful and appreciative to the man?

  12. James says:

    Arsenal mismanaged Wenger’s departure very badly. I’m glad he’s gone, or going anyway, and the announcement came not a day too soon. But I like YW’s last sentiment:

    “Yet like the Scot, I will remember Wenger fondly for the good times and eventually suppress the bad. And that, to me, is how it should be.”

    In a long stint that I did in the middle east, I read Wilfred Thesiger’s “Arabian Sands”, written ten years after his trek across the Empty Quarter on foot and camel.

    He was asked why he waited ten years to write the epic account, and he said “because by then the bad memories have faded and all that is left is the golden memories, the bigger picture” (or something like that).

    In time we will see Wenger’s impact on Arsenal, but it will take a few years, because, like Ferguson, there will be significant adjustments required to get Arsenal back to where they were as a leading contender just a decade or so ago.

  13. Harry says:

    Lovely stuff, YW.

    Yeah there’s a huge sense of relief he’s finally gone. Bittersweet though. For all his obvious flaws, which would only be magnified as we began to decline, he brought a lot of joy in those early years. That’s all I want to remember now. He lifted us. The club should be looking to aim that high again.

    Agree with HTL, seems churlish (in the extreme) to be anything less than appreciative and respectful of the man. And this outpouring of (genuine) affection is helping to wash away some of the accumulated bitterness of the last few years.

    These players need to do him proud now.

  14. MesutsLeftFoot says:

    I wonder if we’d look at Maurizio Sarri, he uses a lot of youth players in conjunction with players brought in to strengthen.

    From the statements from everyone involved, it looks like we’re wanting someone not like Pep and Jose who’ll just buy in players. I wonder, Jardim fits the bill but still, i’m lost as to who could come in.

  15. Stu says:

    Bravo Yogi, bravo.

    It is the end of an era. An era that was golden and then became tarnished, but no less a golden era. Early successes, the Invincibles, 49 unbeaten, 20 years in the CL (ok, shame about 2006), the move to a modern super-sized stadium etc all happened in his era. All good things come to an end though and this change is long overdue. We have become stale and the atmosphere toxic.

    Was the end of the golden era down to Wenger? Yes, in part. He is without doubt belligerent and has proven he cannot coach a new defence. The power, or was it foisted responsibility, appears to have caused him trouble. He has muted or rejected greats; greats who could have helped. Bould, Keown, Lehmann etc. He is at fault for that, but not solely. The hierarchy of the club are the root cause of this. A distant owner, an impotent CEO and a culture of either placing the responsibility on Wenger or allowing him to take it on unaided since 2006. That causes me more concern than who is appointed, although I would rather not see Rodgers as the new manager/coach.

    All those successful in sport need a wingman, whether on or off the playing field. Vieira had Petit, Adams had Bould and Keown, Shearer had Sutton, Brian Clough had Peter Taylor, Sir Alex had his red nose (and McClaren). Wenger had Dein, until the takeover. That’s when it all started to go wrong. Let’s hope Wenger’s successor has his wingman.

    Ideally Wenger would have stepped down after the FA cup victory over Hull or even Villa, but he didn’t. He can’t change that, we can’t change that. A fairytale end would see him lift the Europa League cup on French soil next month and go out on a high, returning us to the Champions League. Fairytales don’t always happen though; just as Buffoon found out recently. Let’s just hope for one more Wenger era trophy.

  16. AG787 says:

    Winds of change have been required for some time at Arsenal, that much is obvious. Wengers flaws have of course become apparent over the the last few years but I personally cannot countenance the notion, in some various media platforms, that the stagnation and decline is entirely his fault. The behaviour and decision making of the the owner, board and CEO have been nothing short of idiotic over the last several years. Lack of succession planning, shirking of responsibilities, financial imperatives and using Wenger as a cover to avoid serious decision making has affected, maybe also jeopardised, not only the immediate past but also immediate future success of this club. I will always remember Wenger for the wonderful early years, financial stability during and immediately after the move and the significant successes as well as close successes, but also of course the lows and failures more recently. Watching Gazidis yesterday I am not filled with great confidence that the club, now fully exposed, will make the right choice or decisions regarding the next choice of manager and future of the club. Let us all hope the right choices are made, turbulence is avoided or kept to a minimum and this great club enjoys serious success and glory once more.

  17. MesutsLeftFoot says:

    Stu,

    Totally agree… That’s where I think it went wrong. We lost Cesc and Nasri in one season and brought I’m Arteta and Ramsey back from injury to replace that dynamic in midfield. Since we lost Cesc and Narsi we haven’t played at nearly the same pace imo. Injuries didn’t help but still… I think whoever comes in needs to find the balance to get the best out of Ozil, Messi at barca had Xavi and Iniesta etc we need someone to back up Ozil and Myki. I’m a huge fan of Myki, man haha ruined him I’m really excited to see him get a good preseason and confidence in.

    Whoever comes in will have a list of players they want I imagine. I there is potential in team but we need to sort out our wingers and cdm

  18. Stu says:

    MesutsLeftFoot,

    Mickey does look a good player and how we fit him, Ozil, PEA and Lacazette in the team is a challenge for the new man. The bigger challenge though has to be putting some strength, fire and resilience into the centre of midfield and defence. That’s what we have been missing. All the reports from the Man U old boys is about the physical side of the battles with Vieira, Petit etc. The new man has to fix that.

  19. jw1 says:

    Appreciate the succinct recap YW.
    Certain this change will be therapeutic.

    While I’d only begun commenting in recent months– I’ve been a reader for 2-3 years. The spiral, repetitive in both tone and content, was evident ‘outside-the-bubble’.

    Believe I’d stated to you sometime back this was coming– and came very close to predicting the actual week. It was, after all, timed from a marketing and PR sense– as most £1B+ corporate entities would action.

    Looking forward to rejuvenated, refreshing, and now-unbound offerings in my inbox each day.
    Really enjoy what you do.

    jw1

  20. Paulie Walnuts says:

    I’m already reaching for the sick bag with all the ‘tributes’ Arsene is receiving but memories of those halcyon days when his teams were winning AND entertaining should not be forgotten.

    As for the future , the main thing for me is that nobody can predict how next season will go – unlike the previous at least half a dozen , when we all knew how they would pan out.

  21. Adam Singh says:

    10 major trophies in 22 years. Maybe 11. A very good record, but some way off the best. I think even Graham had a better record (trophies/years). Maybe if we’d stayed at Highbury and not suffered the financial burden there could have been more. Who knows.

    Whoever comes in has some dead wood to clear out, contracts to resolve and in reality a lot to do to build a title winning squad. Personally I think someone like Ancelloto coming in for the next two years followed by a younger manager for the future is the way to go.

  22. lari03 says:

    Hi Adam,
    I think Ancelloti is not what we need. Whoever gets the job is an indication of the ambition of the Kroenke family. I would prefer Jardim or Berizzo. Jardim is on a contract with Monaco till 2020.

  23. dukey says:

    Yogi you took the 500 words out of my mouth.

  24. Bill says:

    Great post yogi. Well chosen words. I think the concern expressed on blogs like yours were an important part of the effort needed to let management know that the fans were unhappy with the status quo. We must remain ever vigilant and our goal should always be to get the right answer even if it isn’t the answer we want to hear. However, now that we will be entering the new era, I think we should try to focus on the good parts of Arsene’s tenure. The club needed a change of manager and change of direction since we melted down in the last 1/2 of the 10/11 season and the prolonged agony of stagnation and then slow deterioration that has marked this decade has been unfortunate. Still despite everything that has happened since 2011, I think Arsene deserves a statue at the Emirates for his accomplishments during the first 13 years of his reign and we should give him a good send off.

  25. C says:

    Superb write up and agree with most of it.

    While I became a Gooner right before Arsene came on and while I have know primarily Arsene, there was before him and there will be after.

    I thank him for a brilliant first decade, some superb attacking futbol and honestly, for the silverware during these darker years. While the bad times will always be apart of Arsene just because he hung on too long, I will ultimately remember the good and the players he brought to Arsenal who played some brilliant futbol.

    Thank you, you stayed too long but in the end its just thank you.

  26. dukey says:

    Its in no way hypercritical to applaud Wenger for what he has done for us, every gooner has that right. never mind what the divas say. His time was up, it was more than up. but he is/was a legend for us and will get the same treatment afforded to him as all our other legends(unlike the divas who select which legend to give respect too depending on how they treated our current manager Arsene Wenger).

    Wenger like all our other legends has earned the right now to say what the fuck he likes about the club in which he has given so much to.

  27. C says:

    I will say this, Arsenal are in a better position than when Sir Alex left Manure. Imagine a new man coming in and realizing that his attack will be led by Aubameyang, Ozil, Lacazette and Mkhitaryan as a platform who are all in the prime of their careers. Sure we need a DM, commanding CB and a GK(though I think Macey is as talented as if not more talented than Pickford and Butland he just needs a chance).

  28. dukey says:

    C

    Any chance the new man can buy Walcott back??

  29. YW says:

    C

    Really? Look at the state of us in the summer:

    Wilshere out of contract (ooc)
    Macey ooc
    mertesacker retiring
    cazorla ooc
    ospina leaving, lyc
    ramsey last year of contract (lyc)
    monreal lyc
    welbeck lyc
    koscielny too injury prone to be relied on
    mustafi go, for the love of god, go

    I make that 9 signings – more if ramsey refuses new deal; he’s got to be sold this summer. Only Monreal has a genuine replacement at the club.

    I don’t know how we are in a better state than United, honestly, I don’t.

  30. Bill says:

    C

    Fergie did the right thing. If there any conflict between building for the future and having a great chance to win the biggest trophy then the latter is always the priority. Fergie left after giving the fans and his players a PL title and Arsene will leave with a 6th place team. Based on what we have seen for the last 2 1/2 seasons its a gigantic stretch to suggest that Ozil is still in the prime of his career and there are still significant question marks about how effective Lacazette, Mkhitaryan and even PEA will be in the PL over a full season. As for the rest of the squad, Arsene will leave us with a lot of rebuilding to do.

  31. andy1886 says:

    YW,

    For all the moaning about how Fergie left United prople forget that that team had just won the title. That they slumped so badly goes to show what a great job he did with mediocre players on the whole. Arsenal will be the reverse at least to the extent that if the new boss doesn’t get more from what he has, or convince the likes of Ramsey to sign, then the BoD will have done a terrible job on the scale of the Moyes appointment at United.

  32. Bill says:

    I agree with yogi. Arsene is leaving with the squad in a real mess with in a lot of ways. In truth that might be a blessing in disguise because the path that Arsene has chosen has not worked and the 6th place finish means we do not have to try and hang on to what Arsene was trying to do. The new regime has a chance to start from scratch

  33. kenyan gunner says:

    Great post YW. The first ten years of Wenger were great. But things changed. Manutd took on unsustainable debt to win – the sort the club wasn’t ready to borrow. Chelsea was bought by a Russian oligarch – whereas Arsenal got Kroenke. And then Mancity was taken over by an oil rich emirate. Competing with such loss making entities was near impossible. The promise that the new stadium would help us compete didn’t work. And then the academy project failed. Only Wilshere really came through – and not to the level we hoped. So a new era begins and as the great management guru Peter Drucker said: The future is uncertain!

  34. Bill says:

    One of the challenges for the new management team will be to get the right answers even if it means those answers are not the ones we want to hear. We have some players with big reputations who look good on paper and we have a couple of players who have had success in other leagues. However those players have combined to give us a 6th place team right now and the idea that any new manager could take this same squad and challenge for a PL title and go deep in the CL team may be what we want to hear but I don’t think its the correct answer.

  35. YW says:

    Start from scratch? Very possibly. However, the pressure then is on Kroenke and the board. Particularly Kroenke.

    Knowing the position he is coming into, there’s a reasonable expectation that funds will be made available. If there aren’t, and they won’t be anywhere what we need to push for anything other than fourth, then the atmosphere will remain toxic with Enos the target. Gazidis, too.

  36. Bill says:

    The only positions that we can say with some certainty that we are in good shape is creative central midfielder with Ozil, Mkhitaryan and Ramsey. Unfortunately on paper those are 3 of our best players and the skill set of all 3 is best suited for the same position of most advanced central midfielder. Putting more then 1 of those 3 into the lineup at the same time starts to become square pegs in round holes.

    I think its unreasonable to hope Lacazette could match his production in France. Not many of the players who have excelled in the French league has been able to match their production when they moved to a different league. However, I am more hopeful for PEA and I think we can reasonably hope that one of either PEA or Lacazette can be our leading scorer next season and hopefully one of those 2 is capable of being mid 20’s in league goal scorer we need next season.

  37. Bill says:

    Yogi.

    Starting from scratch is an over statement. However this squad was built with ball possession and technical skill as the center pieces and I don’t that will work in the PL for us unless you have the Pep factor to motivate players to play at the high energy on both ends of the pitch. The other thing that pep has always had was enough money to build a squad that has a significant talent advantage. That is not taking anything away from pep because lots of managers can spend a lot of money and not succeeef but you need a talent advantage to make Pep ball work. It’s unlikely we will be able to build a squad that has a huge talent advantage.

  38. G4E says:

    I won’t hold the grudge….

    I know Wenger made a lot of mistakes since the move to the new stadium. I think the biggest one is not buying the players you need to compete and spending big after we became financially sound.

    If the Board didn’t give him the money, he should have demanded it or walk-out and show the fans that the board/owner was to blame.

    Instead, he tinkered around with half-assed players for a while, then when he started getting players like Ozil and Alexis….It was too late, and the weak mentality was set in the team, the club, and consequently the fans or the majority of them.

    I don’t blame the fans for being pissed off at the current state of the club, fans are ignited by success on the field, off the field success would just be the icing on the cake.

    Now that Wenger is gone, It will be interesting to see how the board will handle this. It will be a test of the Owner/Board ambition, it will show who was really holding the club back.

    Until I see what happens next……..I’m OK with what he have done for the club, his return was 60/40 in his overall dealings with the club… not bad in my opinion.

    This was a unique circumstances and from two decades ago. Who’s fault it lasted so long with no action, I think a lot of people were at fault here, not just Wenger.

    ****

    The current situation with player’s contracts and some in old age, or not dependable is an ideal situation for a new Manager.

    I would not say we are better than in Man United case, they made the mistake of hiring the wrong mangers maybe and we could do just that as well.

    Our selection for the next manager and how the football side be structured in the club and the ambition level of the Board is paramount to how will we succeed or not.

    We actually need the New and Young Arsene Wenger, that will lead us into the next level……One can hope we will not get worse, we’ve had enough of that.

    I sure did, I do not want to see Arsenal like this anymore.

  39. Phil says:

    Nicely done YW.
    Well I am very pleased it’s happened, and excited that we might challenge again.
    This looks like a walk before a push.
    Not that it matters.
    A great managerial career until the last 5 odd years, in my view. No point litigating it now.
    I personally feel a greater sense of sadness when a great player retires or moves on, rather than a manager.
    Wenger will be fine. Well remembered and tributes from the club to follow. I don’t think his ego or stubbornness in believing he knows best , would have been dinted in the slightest.
    Our Club should be able to attract the best managers in the world. The recent decline ( past few years) in chasing the title won’t stop anybody from being interested.
    The only issue for a new manager will be what role will the owner , Board and Executive will play.

  40. Dukey says:

    I’m sure Sanchez is wearing guyliner. He has gone well camp since he went to men utd.

  41. C says:

    YW,

    Didn’t Macey just sign a new deal? Santi, Jack and to be honest Mert haven’t been called or relied on. A CB was alwaya needed as was a DM. The biggest decisiom will be Ramsey and if I’m honest, I would gladly have Max Meyer cause he is quality.

    Mustafi, Bellerin, Sead I think are good and just need to be coached up.

  42. theskywalker says:

    This is my first contribution to this blog.
    We bought our flat when Graham was winning at Highbury, and when Wenger arrived, I did not think much of him. But the years followed were magical. The new stadium application was voted down by a majority of the residents as it was planned to be perched in the midst of them. I had my doubts about this stadium. But my baby son enjoyed the movement of heavy vehicles and grew up with the new Arsenal home while it was coming up. Soon , it was evident that the stadium though an impressive structure, did not do much good to the Club. The American owner wanted Pounds more than PL Points. Wenger went with it, sold best players and bought mediocre ones. He valued his position more than the trophies and the owner was well aware of it. He should have gone 10 years ago .
    Now that he is going, I treasure the Invincibles he gave us, and wish him well. Now, the owner and management should put winning PL and CL above Pounds. That is my ardent wish.

  43. Michael says:

    I would imagine anyone interested or been approached, must surely have watched the team play with a view on who they like or they think they can improve. If the new guys upstairs are as good as we hope, and the “new” manager can influence any player from his old club to join, maybe transition won’t be too painful.
    I am intrigued as much by who the new manager will be, as to where AW goes. There is no doubt in my mind self preservation was in his mind when he “decided” to leave, as he always honours his contract, then at the end of the season sits down with the board to discuss how they are doing.
    I suspect there will be less offers of work than he possibly anticipates, given that DoF’s are pretty standard. If perchance he turns up as a DoF somewhere, then to me it would highlight he is a very selfish man.

  44. C says:

    Bill,

    Unless you actually look it up, I would say you might need to really have a look at players that have come through and then left Ligue Un. I think making a blanket statement like that is madness especially when you consider Lacazette didn’t do it for just one season but he did it for several seasons both domestically and in Europe even better than the likes of Ibra and Cavani who have done it everywhere they have played.

  45. C says:

    If Arsenal really are interested in Jardim, I sure as hell hopes he bring Fabinho with him because he is without a doubt a top 7 DM in Europe and if we got him we would literally be gettimg the reincarnation of Gilberto Silva except he is only 25 and we would get him right as he is entering his prime.

  46. Welsh Corgi Cardigan says:

    A very surreal day. I’m both very pleased and happy to look forward to the rest of the season and coming ones and at the same time ambiguous to all the media, podcasts and journalists writing about the great deeds of this man.

    I understand that it’s the British way and it is a very graceful way to reminisce in past glories and success after all is said and done. I wish I was a better man and could do that. However now, I’m just pleased that there’s finally change.

  47. Bill says:

    C

    I am going mostly by the players who have come to Arsenal from France. So far we have purchased chamahk Gervinho Giroud and Lacazette. None of them have come close matching their production when they came to the PL.

  48. Bill says:

    C

    The reason Arsene has done a lot of his shopping for goal scorers from Ligue 1 is the players have been generally less expensive compared to players with similar levels of production from the Germany Spain Italy and England. I assume the reason players from ligue 1 cost less is because they don’t produce as well when they move to bigger clubs. It’s anecdotal but players such as Falcao or Cavani tend to score more after they move to France.

  49. OLUWABAYODE JEGEDE says:

    Nostalgic piece there YW.

    AW’s long-overdue departure caught us all napping, cue his ever consistent insistence on respecting his contracts to the end! haha..

    Its the end of a ‘glorious but chequered’ era and his legacy will surely outlast him, history being kind to him..

    Huge relief to see him go so his footy records don’t get overly tainted, yet with fond memories of the good times we all shared together..

    Arsene and Arsenal, by extension, will forever be in our hearts!

    He certainly made us better than he met us, though not without the evidently ‘normal’ human foibles that defines every individual..

    One thing is sure for me: there will only be #One_Arsene_Wenger!

    Goodluck for the future & All The Best Le Prof.. #AFC #VCC

  50. Bill says:

    Actually I just looked up the numbers and cavani has had similar numbers in Italy and France.

  51. Aaron says:

    Seriously-
    Fergie bought RVP and won the PL.

    If the Arsenal win Europa, I would take that over 1st place as the Arsenal have not won a European championship yet-thanks uefadridlona.

    To quote someone I respect from his writings, and been a fan for a few, GN5, “frankly I find the whole debate on “did he or didn’t he get pushed” to be very unsavoury.

    Arsenal made a statement so what is wrong with accepting that and letting a great manager leave with his head held proudly high?

    I find it all to be in very poor taste.”

    And freddo, you are one dreary man!

    That comment yesterday borders on obscene!

  52. Steve says:

    I’m happy Wenger is leaving. I consider him a great coach. He deserve more respect than he is being given. One reason I’m happy is that a culture left foot won’t bore me again with Wenger leaving. It was really boring to read any article no matter how well written about any subject ending with the wish of Wenger’s departure. I hope ACLF won’t also disappear like Wenger. The writers here are one of the best but they more or less lost their head on Wenger. May the new coach take us to the eldorado that you guys have been talking about like Tottenham, Liverpool and some trophyless clubs have been enjoying. Football is about goals, winning trophies but you guys are in love with something else. Winning trophies like the FA Cup leaves me on high for days as a supporter. I don’t do politics. I just watch football. That for me is better than rejoicing we beat the league leaders without any trophy. Let’s see what your new past time will be. Hoping we can move on to support our club.

  53. Damon says:

    Don’t often get involved with Arsenal on social media as it has been a form of self mutilation over recent years

    Dipped my toe in again this weekend.

    My word there are some mentally unhinged people that follow AFC!

    I’d say the general mood here is common with the Wenger Outs. Varying levels of rescpectful nods to the man but blended with excitement for the future. There appear to be swathes of people who have managed to post profile pictures that at least suggest they should be old enough to know better and seemingly are close(ish) to a full ticket but, fuck me, thought and mental capacity has left them

    One woman has posted an open letter the entire Arsenal squad on Facebook shaming them all for getting Arsène sacked. Pointing out it’ll be on their cv’s forever, how could they do it to him as a human. Ring that cared! !!! Then she remembered he actually stood down but always honours his contracts

    I didn’t realise people like that were still loose?

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