Be careful what you wish for.

When it rains it pours and on Sunday the heavens opened on Arsenal FC creating a downpour many have never felt before.

Dev has already covered off the events of Sunday but the aftermath of THAT substitution still rumbles on.
Many of the players have leapt to the defence of our manager, RVP has gone as far as releasing a statement after camera’s caught him expressing himself in a similar fashion to us at that substitution;

“I was not having a go at the boss on Sunday — I was just sad to see Alex leave the pitch as he just gave the assist for our only goal.
“I was not questioning his judgement — I know it’s not my place to challenge what Arsene Wenger does…
“Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain had a calf injury. We did not know that but the boss did and brought Andrey Arshavin on.”
“The manager and I are fine and my relationship with the club is good.
“There is no problem, there is no conflict and there is no controversy.
“The boss knows that, I know that and the players know that.”

It says something about the severity of the incident when the club captain has to make a public statement defending his actions and backing his manager’s decisions.
Personally I don’t think I’ll ever forget the substitution. The noise and reaction was deafening, you couldn’t have been blamed for thinking we were taking off RVP and bringing on Teddy Sheringham (the c*nt). And no, I didn’t boo or give the boss stick. I’ll never boo my team cause it’s the team I love and pay money to support every week. If I ever felt the need to boo, I just would stop going and to be honest I rather the people who want to boo and give the team sh*t during the 90mins just didn’t turn up. Yes , I know everyone has a right to their opinion and the fans have a voice too, but for the 90mins respect the players and get behind them. Arsenal fans pride themselves of doing things ‘the Arsenal way’ with a touch of class and respect, events on Sunday have greatly damaged our reputation

So what now?

Well we fight on. Remember outplayed but never outgunned. We pray for the quick return of Arteta, Wilshere, Sagna and Gibbs. We need our players back in order to restore the much needed balance to the team. As for the great subject on peoples lips, Mr Wenger, I urge you to be careful for what you wish for.
Last week a comment on the WOA’s stated he wanted Wenger out and would take anyone to replace him as he’d had enough. Really? Is that the answer? Anyone. Is that what it’s now come down to? I doubt that person spoke for the masses but if the majority reading this agree then we’re set for some tough years.
I completely agree that Wenger has made a rod for his own back and his stubbornness in the market and on the pitch has created part of this mess but let’s not force the man out and then realise what we had when it’s gone.
I’m not going get the violins out and talk through his roll of honour because we all know how much the man has achieved with our club. I grew up and fell in love with Arsenal watching Graham’s team but I became an Arsenal fanatic watching the teams put together by Wenger.

The man has single handedly revolutionised our club from mid table obscurity to a world respected powerhouse in a stadium to be envied and facilities you would dedicate your career to.

However, everything and everyone has their sell by date and if Wenger continues down this path of stubbornness and on pitch naivety, he will destroy his own proud legacy. Wenger has himself said it is a short term project now so why go out in a frustrated manner? Build the squad up to handle injuries, create a true competitive spirit and go out in a blaze of glory.

The buck will always stop with the manager at any club but I strongly believe the board have more to answer for than Wenger. They’re letting him take all the flack and are non existent in the fight to keep the club competitive.
The next few weeks will determine not only the outcome of the season but potentially the future of Arsene Wenger. Come what May, the team need our support.
Remember;  Victoria Concordia Crescit.
The Arsenal.

Comments welcomes – @Tottz82

  • Chase

    Well said brother

  • bergChamp

    As for the great subject on peoples lips, Mr Wenger, I urge you to be careful for what you wish for.

    Very true – Wenger has to work with no money, and players who want money – he is doing extremely well considering.

  • robin

    @Tottz: i refer to my post yesterday Arsenal Football Club has been quick to get Van Persie to deny any conflicts with Wenger this morning- what a surprise! Wenger made a crass decision and then lamely tried to justify it. We have stories spun about how tired OC was, how he had been ill during the week and how he had a sore calf. By all accounts, OC has denied all of those in after-match interviews. When asked why he ( correctly) substituted Djourou, this normally articulate manager of ours stumbled over his words for a while and then mumbled something about a slight hamstring strain, which again no-one bought. I’ve very rarely been at a match where a mood of rising optimism was crushed instantly as it was.The players and crowd were stunned and as the man in front of me said ” I bet he decided that before the match”, which is par for the course with Wenger. For those saying “don’t panic and stop over- reacting”, I say go and follow a team that strives for mediocrity, that is not what Arsenal Football club is about and hasn’t been certainly since the mid 1980′s at least.For those who say respect Wenger for his past achievements, does he respect the fans? This is the individual who reacts with fury when he has faced shareholders, who has lied about making small needed investments to take us over the finishing line. A man who does not think he’s accountable to anyone. Someone who has kept dross at the club for years, who has neglected the defence for seasons and only spends money on bad or average players after the utter humiliation of an 8-2 defeat. A team that does not show consistent fight, hunger, commitment and surrenders meekly when average sides like Fulham and Swansea do.I hope that those near the dug-out continue to tell him how they feel- maybe then this has-been will finally get the message.

  • robin

    Wenger is starting to lose all respect that the fans had for him. All the good work hes done is starting to be forgotten and he’ll be remembered in the coming few seasons for bungling in the transfer market, having no clue tactically, and losing the dressing room. Its a sad end for a great manager, but most of us could see it coming years ago. Its over for Wenger and irs not funny anymore. Any orther club would have sacked him by now

  • miller

    Van Persie knew that we would likely have won that match with Ox on the pitch. Hell, 50,000 fans at the game knew it and told him about it as it was happening. Wenger obviously made up his mind prior to the match that he was going to sub in Shava at 75 minutes. It’s impossible to fathom that Wenger is completely incapable of seeing what is happening right in front of him. He truly did not know that Ox was the most dangerous player on the pitch? As he said, he has made 50,000 substitutions but none as disastrous as that one. Ox had just made that beautiful assist on RvP’s goal and was looking dangerous and causing United problems every time he received the ball. United was reeling from that goal. We had them on the run. It was our game to lose at that point. Then Wenger takes the initiative away from the team and concedes it to United by making that disastrous, moronic substitution. Wenger cost the team that game and gifted the game to Fergie through incompetence and dereliction of his duty as a manager. He may have not yet lost the dressing room, but he has lost 100,000 home fans.

    No trophies in six years. This year will be 7. 7 more won’t be so bad. We are used to it by now. Maybe we can stay in the FA cup this year until the quarter finals. Lord knows there will be no Champions League next year, so we won’t have a shot at that next year. Even Piers Morgan is OK with it. He’s our celebrity fan. He explained to everyone this weekend how to tap into a celebrities cell phone so you can stay up on all the latest gossip and get a good story for the newspapers. He should be tapping into RvP’s cell any day. He should let us know whether RvP will be staying and what he thought of Wenger’s substitution on Sunday. Did he really think it was moronic?

  • shard

    @robin: Look if the argument is Arsenal are no longer the force we were, then I already said that I think. We’re not. It won’t be that way because Arsenal have changed AND because football has changed. It isn’t about blame. That’s the difference. I don’t blame ManCity, Chelsea etc.. I don’t blame Arsenal either. It’s just the way things are at the moment. We can argue about the little decisions all we want, but in terms of the larger strategy, I don’t disagree with the direction the club has taken. You can argue it’s outdated, I think it is forward thinking. If all clubs go down that path, sure it’s easier to follow and hope for the best, but to build our own stadium, and do it with our own resources..That takes planning and courage. Is it the ‘smart’ thing to do? I would say yes, despite the current frustrations it causes. I do not want Arsenal to be a sheikh’s plaything. If nothing else, a club loses some part of its identity. But apart from that. It’s risky in the extreme, and a potential recipe for ultimate disaster.
    Also, the thing with money is..Spending money doesn’t necessarily win you trophies. If it is JUST about the money, then ManCity win that battle all the time because they have an entire nation’s oil wealth backing them. What would win us things is more money combined with the things we already do well. But bringing in a sugar daddy has the potential to upset our current good points. Will a sugar daddy be patient enough to deal with the growing pains of bringing through young players? Will any manager that he appoints, being under pressure for immediate results be willing to scout for gems and bring through youth, or just go with proven stars? Going by general patterns I would say it goes back to being only a competition of the wallet, which not only doesn’t guarantee victory, but almost certainly guarantees that your short term desires overrule your long term concerns every time, and when the shit is about to hit the fan, the sugar daddy can always leave the club.

    Besides..Why do you think these rich people buy football clubs? Is it to throw away money out of their love for football? I seriously doubt that, because rich people don’t get rich that way. Basically you only see them putting in money, but they must be getting something out of it which has nothing to do with football. But that’s something I guess is a little beyond this discussion.

    Ok what else.. my ultra defense of Wenger and the gloomers must hate him… OK. Have you EVER once seen me typecast people into AKB’s or AMG’s or any other fancy acronym? I hate doing that, and I don’t think like ‘oh you’re a gloomer’ etc.. It makes no sense because it reduces the person to just one viewpoint. Which is never true. So I don’t think there is anyone who is a ‘gloomer’. And I’d like to think I’m not an AKB

    Why I love Wenger is because of what he’s done for Arsenal football club. Also why I love him is the way he conducts himself. Forget the media image of a whinging, lying, paranoid, arrogant, semi-senile Frenchman. I think he conducts himself with amazing dignity. He is a very principled man, and he’s humble. I think in every way he’s a credit to Arsenal.
    As to why I defend him the way I do..firstly because I don’t look to blame anyone for the way things are, but rather to understand them. But mostly, my ultra defense stems from the ultra abuse, undeserved reputation that the media gives him and what most people seem to echo. I’m sorry, but in a situation of conflicting version of events between the media and Wenger, I believe our manager every time. Maybe that is naive, but going by their track record, I am correct in that assumption.

    That isn’t to say Wenger doesn’t make mistakes. Of course he does. I don’t think he’s perfect, nor do I expect it. I agree the wages of players like Diaby, Bendtner, etc are problematic and can be classified as a mistake. Why did that mistake occur though. I think you can look at it and say that we messed up by paying on the basis of potential rather than achievements. But the other way to look at it is that we were trying to get the best youth players together to make into a team. So we paid them more than they would get elsewhere. Which for a whole team reached a similar level to the other top teams, but saved us on superstar transfer fees. I guess the idea was to have a team rather than superstar players. Was that wrong? Not exatly, even though it didn’t work out. Firstly cos of the constraints of cash flow during the early stadium years. But also, that team of young men got ever so close to winning the title in 2008.

    Now here is the thing. here’s where we disagree. You think nothing else can make a difference as long as we are good enough? I think that is expecting your team to be perfect all the time. Things don’t work that way. Referees can and do influence results, whether it is through mistakes or otherwise, but they do. And anytime they do, it’s a sad moment for the sport. Believe me..I would get upset of Arsenal were awarded a penalty we didn’t deserve. That has been blunted a bit in past years because of what the refereeing has been like in our matches. I’m sorry, but there is no objective way to look at it without saying the referees have been crap for Arsenal the past few seasons. That isn’t to say it’s the only reason..but it’s been a contributing factor to our losses and even poor performances…How huge a factor..that’s debatable.

    Also, of course the manager deflects with the opposition, the pitch. Though he rarely talks about the referees, not half as much as he rightfully could.. I take it as such. I don’t hate him for it. I don’t hold it against him. Also, I don’t assume that what he says to the media in one instant is necessarily what he’s thinking or what he feels like in general.

    This turned out longer than I thought so just let me say I fully understand the frustrations. With the board, with Wenger, with the players. But I do not think it justifies turning on the club the way some people have. It’s a little arrogant of me, but I think people aren’t necessarily thinking for themselves. Probably because they aren’t stopping to think. Just going with an emotional response which is hyperbolic. Ultimately, I think its an argument of self-sustainability vs the billionaire model.. Everything else is an offshoot of that. Which doesn’t mean we can’t do better within the model we have chosen because we can. I’m just more sympathetic because its a plan that was made pre-Abramovich, and has had to be constantly tweaked under changing circumstances.

  • Leroy

    some very valid points in the above few posts and to be honest how can we expect so much from players who are being played out of position by the stupid manager? Before Arshavin came to Arsenal, he had spent his entire career playing a central attacking position for Zenit St. Petersburg. He was always the star player and was never counted on to play in a defensive role. He was the creator and he was very good at it. At 28 years of age he was brought to a new league and placed in an unfamiliar role where he was expected to track back every time Arsenal lost possession. He was suddenly not involved in every possession like he was accustomed to. This was not a teenage kid who was still learning the game; this was an experienced player who was in the prime of his career, taken out of his best position and asked to fun more than he ever had to before, and seeing the ball less and less. While the effort surely was not always there for the player (and admitted in interviews that he hated training) he has made efforts to track back and help out defensively. We have argued his merits on the squad ad nausea on this blog, but one thing we can certainly agree on is expecting him to be an effective defender is an absurd notion. It’s not his game and never will be, no matter how hard he tries. Arshavin genuinely tried on the game-winning goal by Welbeck, and I struggle to blame a player for failing to live up to a standard that was always asking more than his skill set could continually provide. Players can out perform for a while, but the liability remains as long as he is asked to do so.

    This isn’t reserved to players out of position either. For instance, Robin van Persie is a magician with the ball at his feet, but when the defenders lump the ball to the centre circle you can hardly expect him to win the ball in the air against Vidic, Terry and other dominate defenders. Expecting Theo Walcott to beat players without space to run into is always going to turn into disappointment. Criticizing Per Mertesacker for losing a foot race to the speedy Welbeck from half is harsh when we all know he has the foot speed of a beached whale. I appreciate Aaron Ramsey’s work rate, but his decision-making is poor and he needs more time to shoulder the workload that was merely given to him by Fabregas’ departure, not by his own merit.

    Where I get frustrated with players is not completing plays that are well within the bounds of expectation. Alex Song should not be beaten over and over in the middle of the pitch, Denilson should have the awareness to understand players are moving outside of his vision, and fullback have to know that to be two feet behind the centre backs is asking for trouble (Hi Gael Clichy!). Watching van Persie stand three feet from the ball and not even attempt to force the player into an uncomfortable pass drives me mad, as does Theo Walcott’s newfound lack of effort if the ball is not inch perfect for him. Watching Koscielny and Mertesacker force a highline when van Persie decides to ball watch and not pressure is absolute madness and where I get extremely annoyed.

  • Leroy

    It comes down to tactics. When you are forced to player centre backs as your fullbacks, you cannot ask Djourou to defend the whole flank himself like Sagna does. He needs protection. Vermaelen naturally drifts to the centre of the pitch when attacking and makes the left incredibly narrow, so expecting him to provide width like Santos and Gibbs is naïve. A manager needs to be adaptable and change the squad and instruct his team in how do deal with these limitations. Since the eradication of Arsenal fullbacks, nothing has changed in the team approach. Fullbacks are left on their own against players that will eventually take advantage. Why is there no direction to assist Djourou? The build up play is left too narrow because no one is providing the width. Where is the in-game management? It took Alex Ferguson three minutes to throw Valencia on at right back and exploit the weakness that is Arshavin’s defending and Arsenal did absolutely nothing to help him out. Time and time again Arsenal are set out to play one way and if it doesn’t work, nothing changes. Players are expected to fit a formation and a specific theory of football, no matter which position they are in. Everyone remembers Andrei Arshavin playing centre forward and how successful that was. Nicklas Bendtner, Tomas Rosicky and Emmanuel Eboue have all been played as wingers with the expected results of awfulness.

    You cannot put square pegs into round holes and expect it to work and why Arsene Wenger continues to persist in this mystifies me.

  • paul

    I think wenger will be off at the end of this season. Failure to finish top four, the anger of the fans and the board’s inactivity will surely be too much for wenger to bear. Some fans will be happy, others won’t, but one thing is for sure; for those of you who think that the current board will replace wenger with a top coach such as ancelloti or hiddink, and hand them the keys to the arsenal safe, you’re in for a major disappointment. Anyone who thinks wenger leaving will usher in a new era of free spending is living in cloud cuckoo land. The only way arsenal fc will release the funds needed to make the team competitive again, is if the club gets a new owner.

  • paul

    at the end of last season we all knew we needed strengthening but it took an 8-2 thrashing to get some players in! jan last season we really needed a central defender a signing like samba probably would have got us over the line in the carling cup final & kept us in 3rd in the league instead we finished 4th and had a play off!! the year of eduardo’s leg break everybody could see almunia & the lack of a big centre half was costing us pts every other game again we arrived in jan hoping that maybe schwarzer & defender could be signed to steady the ship! we most likely would have won the league that season! fastforward to now everyone can see we need another striker and full back?? but as usual wenger refuses and it will cost us champions league football… i fully understand there are financial restraints at Arsenal but players like Samba, Hangeland, scwarzer, podolski, parker who have been or are available would easily have been within Arsenal’s Transfer limits! instead we stuck with Almunia, djourou, sendros, denilson, chamack, squillaci, and the forever injured diaby!.. rant over :)

  • calins

    Wenger has lost his touch and we have been in decline for the last 7 years. no one on here can say we are better than last season because we are NOT. Yet we have a manager that says that he will not buy unless its to improve the team and he has bought for the last 7 years without improving the team. His decisions have become stranger highlighted by last weekends substitute. ( he could of taken off any of 7 other outfield players to be replaced by Arshavin and i don’t think it would have raised this much attention , but the fact HE decided to take off the best player we had off shows he has truly lost it. As to the money available I do not think Arsenal have to sell to buy players (we are not a lower league club) sponsorship, tv etc provide very high rewards plus the fact we play in the CL provides the club with lots of revenue sales of the flats the flats were built for a profit not a loss plus we have two very rich part owners of the club the club could who borrow money for transfers very easily!!!. Plus you would get rid of the fringe players that are on high wages and are crap and dont play to raise funds reduce your staff payrole etc not sell your best players. Problem is Wenger has lost his touch and ambition to win. The best and good young players want to win to mark their success and if the club is not on the same path its better for them to go elsewhere ie Cesc ans Nasri. the board are behind wenger for the simple fact he has brought them success in the past and he has been very economical in doing so with NO big transfers or high wages whilst keeping them in the top 4.But ever since abramovic came we have never been anywhere near winning and it just proves that spending big money actually brings success (spent on the right players of course)Because we have had NONE since they and now City have come to overtake us.

  • miller

    sn’t it strange how those ” Wenger to Real” stories mysteriously surface whenever Le Tit is under intense scrutiny hmmmm? Just like when David Dein gave that Football Focus interview! Rolling Eyes

    Look people. Arsene Wenger will NEVER join Real. For one their fans don’t rate or want Wenger, a manager who’s won nothing for seven years and never won the CL. Wenger himself would last about five minutes at Real. The minute he comes out with “I’d take second place” his desk will already be cleared!

    This is a classic. Wenger is under the cosh and he knows it. So now it’s time to use every trick and contact to take the pressure off. He is so very precious our Dear Leader isn’t he? Why has this ” Wenger to Real” story only surfaced now eh? Is it that Real have seen the last three consecutive Arsenal defeats and decided to make their move! Embarassed

    This is all too obvious. This is Wenger’s way of throwing a strop but lets call the egomaniac’s bluff! Go on go to Real. He won’t last two weeks there the pressure to actually WIN and deliver results would be a shock to him.

    Still. I expect Red Action will be holding another serenade Mardi Gras parade for Dear Leader in their love Wenger t-shirts, as they did the last time the “Wenger to Real” story somehow resurfaced (when he began to be criticised in public) and a new contract until 2021 will be signed off the back of that

  • miller

    John Nicholson form F365 wrote this. It goes to the core of what I have said: the lesson to be learned from this, and this especially goes out to all the AKBs and Wenger-loving cheerleaders, is that every Arsenal manager from now until forevermore, needs to be judged on WHAT THEY WIN.

    Never again should anyone be allowed to become bigger than the club. Wenger wouldn’t be such an arrogant turnip if the fans hadn’t elevated him to that status. Lesson needs to be learned here. Mourinho won so much with Chelski but when he stopped delivering he was out the door. That is how it works at big clubs, and how it should work with us from now on….

    ________________________________

    Wenger’s Never Been A Football God…
    Wenger doesn’t Know. He never has. It’s not his fault that his supporters have elevated him to a status where having feet of clay is a crushing inevitability. It’s too far to fall…

    Last Updated: 23/01/12 at 10:02 Post Comment

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    All Articles 1 of 1

    Poor, poor Arsene Wenger. There can be few worse feelings as a manager than having your own fans abusing you for your pitch-side decisions. You must feel like sticking it right up the bracket of your tormentors. All too often fans’ ire at their team’s performance gets turned on their manager. It’s harder to blame 11 players individually than the man in the tramp-like, long padded sleeping-bag coat.

    But this is what happens when a manager or indeed a player gets elevated to too high a status. For years those rather patronising ‘Arsene Knows’ signs were displayed as a kind of smug act of faith in his brilliance. It’s always dangerous to assign this kind of special wisdom to anyone, let alone in the world of football. Idols always turn out to have feet of clay.

    This faith in Wenger was established when they won those three league titles wins and all those cups. That seems like forever ago now. He was also apparently brilliant because he suggested the idea that players should eat pasta pre-game, as though this dietary knowledge of how carbohydrates work was exclusive to him in the world of football and not already common knowledge on the continent. But, no matter, it was a tremendous period for Arsenal.

    The title wins – even though achieved in part with an inherited once-in-a-generation uniformly brilliant defence – of course deserve kudos and respect. However, many managers win titles and are not hailed as a Professorial Genius in the same way. They are not said to ‘Know’ even though they go on to win Champions League titles or other European trophies, which Wenger has been unable to do, so far.

    This world of worship wasn’t Wenger’s fault of course. You can’t control how high people elevate you, or how far you will fall in their estimation.

    Then we had the curse of The Invincibles. A statistically remarkable performance to be sure but in the wider scheme of things, it has surely distorted expectations. It was too epoch-making. Perhaps, at the end of that purple patch, it actually made Wenger seem better than he was. It added to the Wenger mythology. Which isn’t to say he’s not really good. But you know, he’s not God and never has been.

    After all, during the following season Chelsea lost one game and yet ended up with five more points and then lost five and ended up with one point more. So how earth-shattering was that 90-point season really? It depends on how you want to view it.

    In subsequent seasons, winning things was replaced by ‘playing the best football’, That was the propaganda anyway and enough fans were happy to believe it. No trophies, but look at the quality of football Wenger had got them playing. After three league titles, success seemed inevitable in the near future. Surely, He Knew. He wouldn’t have got it wrong. But in fact, he had. Just like any other manager.

    The trophyless years may well have been full of good passing football but it was elevated too high by some and Wenger with it. It was not the more superior, intelligent and almost moral style that many desperately seemed to want it to be, it was purely an aesthetic choice by Wenger. Other styles of play are available and as it turned out, more successful ones. This isn’t to discredit it as a project but more to set it into context.

    Wenger has always enjoyed a good press because he’s articulate and intelligent and his image as a football mastermind has gone unchallenged until recently. Because Arsenal have already lost eight games and seem set to have their worst season since the mid 90s, questions are being asked about him as though his crown has only just slipped.

    However, a more sensible long-term reading of the situation would be to say that Wenger has been a superb manager at times, a really good manager always, but not the cream of the crop. If Wenger ‘Knows’ and is a professorial genius that would make Sir Alex Ferguson some sort of all-knowing deity, so dominant over Arsenal has he been, so groaningly massive is their trophy haul in comparison.

    Wenger is likeable and interesting and his project for Arsenal over the last five or six years has been a fascinating one, but he has never been as good as his biggest fans said and he’s certainly not now as bad as his biggest critics would like to believe.

    I realise saying this is a kind of heresy and as ever I’m sure that merely saying someone isn’t a genius will be read by some as saying ‘that Wenger, he’s sh*t he is’ even though, obviously, that isn’t what I’m saying at all. Indeed, such lack of nuance seems to be at the heart of his current problems.

    You can be exceptionally good and still be over-rated and this is what is currently cursing him. Once people lose faith and fall out of love with someone they believed in so much, it will seem as if everything they do is the work of a fool. It is unfair and as the club is likely to finish no lower than sixth at worst, hardly a disastrous season if viewed more rationally.

    Wenger doesn’t Know. He never has. This is categorically not a criticism of him – even if some Arsenal fans will be unshakeable in their belief that it is – but of his worshippers who told him, us and themselves that he did and now seek to berate him because now, as ever, he obviously doesn’t.

    John Nicholson

  • miller

    So there’s been a few records Wenger has amassed over the past two years.

    Last season, Wenger became the first manager in CL history to go a whole 90 minutes without registering a single shot on goal in a CL match. At the Nou Camp. Even Almeria and Bratislava managed this.

    Last season, Arsene Wenger became the first manager in PL history to fail to win a match his team were leading 4-0 in.

    This season, Wenger continues to add to his Legendaru status:

    After Swansea, Arsene Wenger now officially has overseen the worst Arsenal away defensive record at this stage, of any Arsenal manager of the past 50 years. Shocked

    Speaking of Swansea, the winner they scored is officially the fastest goal scored straight after an opposition goal, in PL history! Shocked

    The Swansea match also added to another record: Arsene Wenger has now officially, ratio wise, become the Top 6 manager to have thrown away the most leads, turned into defeats!!!

    Add that to the 8-2 record at OT this season. Yet another record.

    Oh and one more too. Blackburn this season was the first time an Arsenal manager had seen his team score three goals to a bottom three side, and lose the match.

    In Arsene We Trust

  • afc4life

    It seems like we’ve lost the basics – there is a case whereby Arsene lets the players “play their game” – this worked when we had defenders like adams, midfielders like vieira and strikers like henry and bergkamp

    But it doesn’t work when we have kids who need education and you can see the lack of tactical training every game. The players make the wrong runs, players don’t pass more than 20 yards – usually 5 yards. Defenders caught out of position.

    What has happened? Where are the tactics?

  • robin

    Only QPR and Bolton have lost more away games

    We have the worst defensive away record in the league bar none

    So even ignoring the past, the present is fucking awful enough

    Can someone also look up how many league goals have been scored other than by RVP ??? Surely there’s never been such an over reliance statistically on one player either. At least when TH14 was in his pomp we had goalscoring midfielders. Perhaps in GG’s last couple of years of Ian Wright doing the business on his own ?

    Awful stats all round.

    Still – “real fans have patience” and “who heard of Nasri and Fabregas 4 years ago” – surely the most cringeworthy fucking banners of all time

  • miller

    3 League games Arsenal have lost in a row, their worst run since April 2007

    11 Games in which Arsenal have failed to score more than one goal in the league this season (but with Arsene, we play the best football! Embarassed )

    7 Number of clean sheets Arsenal have kept in the league this season

    0 Players other than Robin van Persie whose goal tally runs into double figures for the Gunners this season Shocked

    6 Away games Arsenal have lost, the joint most in the top half of the table alongside Sunderland Shocked

    16 Millions of pounds spent on Per Mertesacker and André Santos to bolster the defence last summer (remember though, Arsene does not have the funds to compete from the board)

    1 Goals Marouane Chamakh has scored this season. Even Thomas Vermaelen has scored two more

    Arsene Knows

  • lance

    ou do not have to spend like Man City and Chelsea to win titles. FACT.
    A non-retarded manager, with the resources and funds of AFC, should easily be able to compete each and every year for multiple trophies. FACT.
    Arsene Wenger has not put his team in a position to compete for anything but the Mickey Mouse cup. FACT.

    And no, we were never in contention for the PL title outside of the 2007 season up until the Eduardo incident. Arsene is so stubborn to prove that HIS ways are the best way to run a team, that he is blinded by the mediocrity that he is placing on the pitch. I won’t even start about all the moronic substitutions and roster decisions he has made.

    Wenger out. Period.

  • arron

    1.) Get Keown, Dixon, Winterburn involved with coaching.

    2.) Bring in Vieira for same reason, and as assistant boss.

    3.) Full medical review.

    Not neccessarily sacking staff, but a look at if we need to spend more on medical equipment or change training methods.
    And above all, use Osteopaths not just for injuries, but for regular check ups and posture manipulation, thereby hopefully preventing slight posture misalignments that in turn can lead to muscle injuries.

    4.) Full training ground review.

    Buy new equipment and expand gym areas if needed.

    5.) Repetitive defensive drills.

    6.) Recognise that Song is an all round midfielder, but not the dedicated defensive midfielder we usually need.

    7.) Flexibility of formations.

    8.) Buy a striker to help out Van Persie.

    9.) Increase win and goal bonuses, but avoid large wages for unproven players.

    10.) Regular “Meet The Fans” events, to improve relationship between core supporters and players.

  • miller

    ‘I do not have to justify every decision I make to you…’ Actually Arsene, you do.
    January 24, 2012

    In fairness he was talking about the press, but the arrogance of what he said was reminiscent of a dictator just before they are toppled.

    What he does have to do however is justify his actions to the fans, but he doesn’t do that either. When asked what cost Arsenal the game, he said a tactical error, I thought at last, he is admitting he screwed up by taking Oxo off, unfortunately what he meant by a tactical error was in fact Arshavin’s inability to defend.

    He blamed Arshavin! I like Arshavin, but this season he has been arguably our worst player, so why put him on? That was like the time he subbed the sub, Eboue and Eboue got booed instead, very cynical Arsene, very, very cynical.

    He can’t even admit when he screws up, the fans sure let him know though didn’t they? Apart from the poor sods in row D that were ejected for trying to unfurl an anti Wenger banner, a bit like they do in Syria eh?

    This was Wenger’s explanation…

    …I can understand that the fans are upset about the substitution, especially when it doesn’t work, but he (Oxlade-Chamberlain) had started to fatigue

    He was sick in the week and Arshavin is captain of the Russia national team. You have an 18-year-old kid making his first Premier League start and a player who’s captain of his country and they are querying the substitution? Let’s be serious.

    I’ve been a manager for 30 years and have made 50,000 substitutions. I do not have to justify every decision I make to you (the press). I stand up for it. People pay for their tickets and express their emotions. We have to deal with that, it doesn’t mean they are always right.

    First of all the Southampton captain said he spoke to Oxo after the game, he tweeted he wasn’t ill and didn’t have fatigue.

    Secondly yes, you may well have made 50,000 substitutions but how many of those were made between 67 and 74 minutes eh? Most of them I suspect. Obsessive compulsive, or co-incidence we needed them just at that time? I could write a list of strange calls this season, like taking Oxo off and leaving Chamakh on when we pinned Man City to the wall and ended up losing, or in years gone by like taking Bergkamp off for Senderos when we were beating the Mancs and ended up losing, the list goes on.

    The time has come Arsene, greatness doesn’t last forever, Britain used to be the richest country in the world, we aren’t now, you used to be the best manager in football, not any more you aren’t, Brian Clough ruled the world once but if history teaches us anything, nothing is ever forever.

    This season started with selling our two best players and the best one had three years left on his contract and you sold him cheaply, this was followed by an 8-2 thrashing and the worst panic buying in the history of the EPL, now we need players and your head is buried in the sand.

    It’s Ok people like Ian Wright saying we should get behind the team, but we have been behind the team our whole lives, but this manager has lost it, he has had 7 years of failure and in that time had £40mil+ in salary and that my friends is a joke, if a banker got that, the whole country would be going nuts.

    I dare say we could still win trophies, but had we signed what we really needed this past 7 years we could have won a shed load by now, as Graham Souness said on Sunday, we are now a feeder club, but not because we have no money, but because the money we have is being spunked up the wall on mediocrity. On kids that never make it and management.

    That’s how I feel, if you don’t like it then best not comment today, try and defend anything I have criticised here today by all means, I would be amazed if you could, what I witnessed on Sunday was beyond belief, ask Robin, and that was followed by a pack of lies.

    And someone needs to explain the purchase of Park to me in detail, why did we buy a player that is going in 18 months, not play him for six, then realise he’s no good?

  • ZimGooner

    I’ve never been cynical and always supported our team and Wenger even at the toughest moment 8-2. Wenger fucked up last Sunday and should get his P45 coz that substitution was a no brainer and it may cost us his ambition of 4th place. I will exchange my tickets until I see change. End of!

  • miller

    after reading the above i think many fans have got pissed off with him…i mean you’d never expect the library to voice such concerns over a substitution but that noise was deafening

  • Berth

    Better spend on quality to give you assurance than spend on whack players with unpredictable end product.

  • Bonathan

    Wenger is good at many things, and could continue to be good at them and be part of a very successful club. The problem has been, he has been allowed to have too much control. He has been in charge of making too many of the key decisions. And like anybody else, AW has his fair share of weakneses. These weakneses have come to the fore and will not go away until he either learns from them quickly or is given (and lets people give him) the support in the areas he needs.

    anybody trying to do everything themselves will always come unstuck. is he too stubborn to admit this though?

    “but for all his power, couldn’t foresee his own demise”

  • sean

    The first thing needing sorted at Arsenal is the wage structure, Diaby 60k? chamack 60k Van persie 70k? wtf? arsenal should introduce a pyramid structure so that the van.p’s and cescs of this world etc, can be paid in and around the going rate for there talent. we are wasting way to much money on players like diaby, chamack, arshavin, rosicky, squillaci, almunia, bendtner.etc in my opinion it’s just terrible management at Arsenals boardroom level.

  • Tottz

    Plenty to talk about right now, unfortunately. Interesting to read all the comments and thank you all for reading.

    I personally do think it will be wenger’s last season and he would have decided this a while back. If we don’t finish top 4 or win the fa cup, it will be a very sorry way to see him go.

    Who the hell would/could replace a manager who has revolutionised a club for 16 years? Tough dilemma ahead.

    I’ll be back next week as always.

  • robin

    In 05/06 we lost Vieira and finished 4th. By 07/08 we had lost Cole, Lauren, Campbell, Ljungberg and Henry and we finished 3rd. Vieira was replaced by a teenage Fabregas, Cole by Clichy and Henry by Adebayor. We have lost big players before and had fans complain about the quality of their replacements. I bring this up because I just read an article that says that more than 50% of clubs across europe are in the red. Chelsea and Utd are not that far ahead of us despite £50m Torres and £30m Berbatov. We are keeping up with the best in our league and on the continent without spending a penny. We may not be competing but we are not as far away as some fans would have you believe. I say all this because fifas financial fair play laws become relevant at the start of next season. When spending is restricted to funds generated 1) Chelsea and Man City won’t be able to offer rediculous wages and steal or targets/players 2) the board will have less places to hide.

  • yemi

    @ robin:
    We await that day when restriction will be placed on spending! but mark my words, it won’t work cos clubs will find a way to subvert it !

  • Berth

    @ robin. I thought you were a bad guy. You keep turning from good to bad to good again. Where do you stand dude.

  • shard

    According to various reports in The Sun (not linking) and The Express (won’t link because of auto-playing video), there was something of a team meeting at the training ground this week. Some might call it ‘crisis talks’, some might call it ‘group therapy’, some might call it ‘Trevor’. What it’s called doesn’t matter a jot though.

    Apparently Arsene got the players together and told them to believe in themselves, told them he loved them, cherished them, respected them, wrote ocassional poems about them (mostly sonnets but sometimes a baudy Limerick – “There was a lad called Chamakh, who was really quite poor in attack … erm … “There once was a small guy from Russia, whose father was not a drug pusher, that was John Terry’s father … har har” … etc), and that they all needed to pull together like never before to ensure we salvage something from this difficult, trying, obnoxious season.

    I do like stories like this though. A ‘team meeting’ becomes big news because there seems to be a perception that they go out, do training, run about a bit, and never speak about stuff anyway. You can be quite sure that the team have training ground meetings when things are going well and they have them when things are going badly. Of course the ones when things are going badly are a bit more ‘inquesty’ and perhaps a touch more ‘finger pointy’ with a slice of ‘What the fuck was that in the last game there [player who didn't quite deserve the Limerick that was written for him]?’, but they do happen.

    Famously, in Arsene’s first full season, there was a team meeting which many people think took place after a 3-1 defeat to Blackburn at Highbury, but reading back through Tony Adams biography, it happened before that. We’d just lost twice in a row, 2-0 to Sheffield Wednesday, 1-0 to to Liverpool, and it was Pat Rice who suggested the team and the management get together.

    They did, the senior players had their say, looking for more from players like Overmars and Petit, for example, and even though the next game was won (away at Newcastle), the Blackburn defeat followed. Interestingly, Tony had this to say after it:

    The next day I looked in on the Arsenal website and was horrified by the comments. ‘Tony’s playing rubbish,’ it said. ‘It would be a shame if it were to end like this’.

    I felt really angry. What was all this? Even if it does end like this, they have had good value from me. ‘They’re a fickle lot, these fans’, I thought. I felt really down.

    This was 1998! The parallels between then and now are obvious (in terms of the circumstances), and if Tony Adams thought comments on the internet were harsh back then, imagine what he’d be subjected to nowadays. It’s all well and good saying players should have a thick skin because they earn £xx,000 per week but they are just human, not unfeeling robots. While you can legitimately ask whether or not some players are doing enough to dampen down some of the criticism, nobody is that strong that they’re not affected in some way by boos from their own fans.

    What happened after the Blackburn game back then was Tony being given three weeks off to go see a fitness specialist in France, and the team got its shit together in a big way. Whether that was down to the meeting or not, it’s hard to say, but I’m sure it played a part. However much a player respects a manager or the shirt or the club he’s at, the people he least wants to let down are those he’s playing alongside.

    If there were some harsh words spoken at the training ground this week, if some fingers were pointed behind the scenes rather than in the full glare of the watching public (as some seem to think is acceptable), then it would be no bad thing. It’s a workplace at the end of the day, if the poor performance of somebody else is affecting how well you can do your job, wouldn’t you say it?

    Players have to be accountable, to the manager, to the fans, but most of all to each other, because once the whistle blows they’re the ones that matter most for the 90+ minutes that follow. If a midfielder needs more movement from the forwards, say it. If a defender wants more protection from midfield, say it. Only by demanding the best from others can you get the best from yourself. And we need those players, the ones motivated to do that, to stand up and let the others know what needs to be done.

    I often say that football is a game of fine margins, and we can talk tactics, style, game plans and everything else till the cows come home, but sometimes what a team needs to find is some character. At the moment we seem a bit meek, a bit compliant, a touch brittle and seriously lacking in self-confidence. We need to be a bit more Arsenal, to remember that we’ve got a cannon on our chests, to show a bit more fight, a bit more pride, and if the players are behind the manager then let’s see it.

    The problems we have can’t be solved 100% overnight. Even bringing in new players wouldn’t make things right straight away, although I still maintain it’d be a help. It’d be nice if there was an easy, one-step, no fuss solution to what’s going on, but there isn’t. And before anyone says ‘New manager’, there’s no guarantee that would do the trick either, especially when Stan appoints John Gregory.

    Let’s hope that we’ve enough players in that squad who want to turn things around, who will have said their piece and that those they’ve said it to have enough balls to respond, instead of sulking. We showed we had something about us when we went on that run from September to December. With so much at stake between now and the end of the season, it’s time to show it again.

  • shard

    that was written in arseblog – think it hit the nail on the head.

  • Tottz

    Indeed, my friend Arseblogger is the king of kings at putting things in perspective and on paper.