Blog Suspended Until Players Can Be Bothered…

This blog is officially suspended until our players, manager and club can actually be bothered. *

£7m per year for Arsene, £2m for Gazidis and about £3-4m per player per year. And we get this rubbish? The entire wage budget of the Swansea team was the same as Vermaelen, Cazorla and Arsene. And they showed up and kicked our arses in more than one way.

* The blog is not actually suspended, but I’ll wait a day or two until I calm myself down…

  • Arsefan101

    The worst team I’ve seen under Arsene.
    Absolutely rubbish this season. It’s over.

  • German

    I hate our current situation, it really sucks

  • kiki

    Can I donate 500 million pounds for Arsene to be able to keep players and keep on getting youth talent?

  • steven

    hi dev. i understand your frustrations and i agree with you. the problem as i see it, it lack of the ‘fabregas’ touch. no inciteful pass through the defence for a ‘RvP’ to pounce on. In fact, when i watched the swansea match, i think that our first shot at goal came in the 48′th minute. possession football is great to watch, but that’s all we got right now. when that changes, so will the results!

  • Bop

    Without a shadow of a doubt, it is the worst team under Wenger. They have no drive, no determination and no idea… Podolski rubbish, Walcott rubbish.

    Santi + Jack are good, but they are surrounded with people who should be on the bench. Giroud, Podolski, Arteta, Mertersacker, Szcznesy etc – these players should be bench to come on when the first team are tired… not to start!

    Quality of the squad at an all time low

  • sean

    So where was the guy with the 100 caps for Germany? Where was the guy
    who thinks he deserves £100,000+ a week and whose most noticeable
    contribution was, when having found space in the second half, was to
    hoof the ball aimlessly towards a teammate (essentially kicking it away
    because he didn’t want it) rather than try anything himself? Why was
    Gervinho?

    It’s the same with Arshavin. I’ll be the first to say he hasn’t done
    it at Arsenal, although playing his proper position might have been a
    decent start – you know, the position he was playing when he scored four
    goals at Anfield? Fair play to him, he’s not moaned publicly, and this
    year in his brief cameos he has generally looked likely to create
    something. He dug us out of the s**t at Reading with an
    uncharacteristically lung-busting performance. His reward? What was it,
    ten minutes at Villa?

    If these players are at the club, why not at
    least TRY to put them to use? But no, like his pre-planned
    substitutions, Wenger decided in the summer that these players weren’t
    part of his master-plan so they are effectively a couple of very
    expensive pieces of furniture.

    I don’t know why Arsène puts
    himself through it. He has gone from a manager we were so proud to have
    at our club to a figure of comedy. His ridiculous excuses and pitch-side
    behaviour have become painful to watch. He has started to have the feel
    of a gambler who just wants to stay at the table until he wins his
    money back. It’s not nice and it’s getting worse. I’ve long thought that
    he was a willing part of the money-grabbing cartel that our club has
    become, but I’m now hoping he doesn’t get the chance to spend any of it
    on players.

  • sean

    There are still people out there who believe that Arsene knows best.
    Surely, their number has to be dwindling this season. Is there an
    argument for his retention? Sometimes in life, change is needed. Perhaps
    it might not to be too late to salvage this season if it were made now
    and a new manager able to spend in January. Sadly, that isn’t going to
    happen though and we’ll see a good few more matches like this before we
    can kiss goodbye to this wretched season.

  • kevin

    Pound for pound, even with some of the stragglers, that’s an Arsenal
    team that should have been able to beat Swansea. There was enough
    quality and experience in that team to win the game. That they didn’t
    obviously raises uncomfortable questions. If a group of players who are
    capable of more continually fail to produce then questions have to be
    asked of the man who manages them. That is football, at Premier League,
    Championship, Conference or Sunday League level.

    And Arsene Wenger is that man. Afterwards he spoke about his squad
    being ‘physically jaded’. And you know what, I think it is. Physically
    and mentally. I get it. They’re tired. A bad result saps the energy so
    quickly, and we’ve had too many of them this season. But the reason
    they’re tired and jaded is because it’s the same players week in, week
    out with no real alternatives available. No options. Nothing different.
    And that is down to the manager.

    Part of me wonders if the manager hasn’t had as much support
    financially as he needs to maintain a squad but ultimately this is a
    squad of the manager’s making and it’s simply not strong enough. Arteta
    and Cazorla are being played into the ground. If Giroud is
    understandably tired after working on his own up-front then the fact we
    don’t have a replacement worthy of a place on the bench is down to the
    manager.

    Arsenal went into the new season with Jack Wilshere out injured,
    Tomas Rosicky out injured (Dec 1st marked his first appearance of the
    season), and took a huge, huge gamble that a decent pre-season might be
    the answer to all of Abou Diaby’s injury problems. It wasn’t. Diaby took
    a shot 17 minutes into the game against Chelsea on September 29th,
    hasn’t been seen since and is in some sort of permanent
    3-weeks-from-fitness limbo. Our midfield is exhausted, that is down to
    the manager.

    The change in the backroom staff has done little to improve things,
    if anything, they’re worse. Certainly if you go by the blindingly
    obvious measure of points on the board. After 15 games last season we
    had 29 points, this time around it’s a measly 21. Not that this is the
    fault of Steve Bould, not by a long way, but it just shows that those
    who shouted loudly about Pat Rice were a long way wide of the mark. The
    weaknesses, the frailties, the problems remain and the man at the top is
    the constant.

    This season is what last season probably would have been like without
    Robin van Persie. This time around the spark of genius, the flash of
    the left boot or the chocolate leg is missing. When Gervinho had a free
    header 8 yards from goal yesterday he didn’t even hit the target. He
    didn’t even hit the corner flag it went that far wide. I understood what
    the manager was trying to do this summer by making his team less
    reliant on one man for goals but in doing so he made them reliant on
    players who are now weary and on the verge of looking broken.

    Losing games is part and parcel of football, how you react to that is
    the key. In season’s past when results demanded a response we were
    capable of digging deep and producing that. Now, more often than not, we
    can’t. The man who creates a squad is the man tasked with getting the
    best out of those players and on both counts it’s fair to say Arsene is
    falling short. Not only is the squad light but he seems unable to wring
    performances from the players he has. After the two away draws a home
    game like yesterday was the perfect game to get back on track, to
    restore some pride and confidence, and to see Arsenal so listless and
    flat was massively worrying.

    That we have another seven games this month before anything can be
    done to boost the squad is a bit scary too. If the players are jaded
    now, and I always find that kind of excuse self-defeating because the
    minute a manager says his players are tired they’ll feel tired, how are
    they going to fare for the rest of this month?

    Ultimately football is a results driven business. The results this
    season have not been good enough and for me the biggest worry is that
    this is a situation which will be played out indefinitely. I can’t see
    Arsene Wenger walking away. For all the criticisms of him I don’t doubt
    his love for this club and his desire to do well. This will be hurting
    him, make no mistake, and he’ll want to put things right. At the same
    time I don’t think Stan Kroenke is interested enough, or knowledgeable
    enough, to have any kind of positive input.

    I worry that if and when the time comes that’s there’s isn’t
    sufficient football knowledge at the club to appoint the right man.
    Arsenal Football Club made a brave, forward thinking decision to appoint
    Arsene Wenger back in 1996. Is there anyone there now who could
    likewise? After just 5 wins in 15, (and it’s not just this season
    either, let’s face it) whether at Arsenal or any football club, the
    question ought to be asked – Is the manager getting the best out of the
    players he’s got and if not is there anybody else out there who will?

    If the conclusion is that yes, yes there is, then it’s something that
    should be considered. But Arsene is so entwined in the fabric of the
    club, particularly the footballing side of things where he makes all the
    decisions, it’s like there’s a vacuum. There’s nobody to ask that
    question, let alone act upon it. It’s all a bit sad and unseemly and
    it’s hard not to think there’s something fundamentally wrong with the
    way we’re set up.

    The timing of it seems awful too. Arsene hinted last week that his
    hands had been tied for years because of the stadium yet now there’s
    money on the horizon. Another couple of bad results, especially in the
    league, and the pressure will mount, faith will fall and it’d be not
    unreasonable to ask if that money should be available to somebody new
    rather than to firefight. But even if his hands were tied did he use
    what he had as well as he could have? Did he really have to sell his
    best players, his captains, summer after summer? Did he replace them
    properly?

    They say it’s always darkest before the dawn, it feels a bit like
    that this morning, and it’s not nice. I understand completely why people
    want things to change and to want a new manager, but I find the vitriol
    leveled at Arsene a bit hard to take. If you think it’s time for him to
    go, fine, but he’s not a clown or a cunt or any of those other hashtag
    inspired insults. He’s a man who has worked miracles for this club, but
    now the loaves are stale and fish are rotting.

    Nor am I convinced that changing the manager is the great panacea
    when there are clearly issues with how the club is run from the very
    top. In short, I don’t really know what to think, other than our
    problems go deeper than the manager. But the manager is the guy who
    takes the fall when the time comes. Clubs rarely change the make-up of
    the board, they don’t get rid of 8 players to solve their problems, it’s
    one man out, one man in.

    Do I see that happening at Arsenal? Not at the moment. I think things
    would have to get a lot worse for that to happen and while some may say
    it has to get worse for it to get better, it’s still something that can
    be dealt with if they just get better. But at the moment it’s hard to
    see how.

  • Darren

    We have a lot of important games until January,” the manager said. “We’ll decide [on targets] in January but at the moment, we have to find solutions before then.

  • veny

    do we really want to give the funds to this inept manager? What has he done in the transfer market for the past few seasons? Bought Arshavin – ruined him by playing him out of position, and he doesnt even make the bench…chamakh….enough said, gervinho….why???? Skillachi….no comment. the list goes on and on…the only option i see is to terminate this dictators contract and boot him as far away from the club as possible

  • derek

    Our chances of beating Olympiakos with a full squad was unlikely, with this squad it could get embarrassing !

  • patrick

    OK guys bear with me need to get a few things of my mind this ever growing saga of the present day Arsenal “fan” runs along the
    lines of “Wenger out!” When I recently polled a group of Arsenal
    supporters during the half of a match, the consensus was the following:

    How long have you been an Arsenal fan? Most answered with a date range of when Wenger was already on board.

    How do you think we fix the current situation? This one was simple, most answered with “Wenger out!”

    And of course my final question was, who should replace him? The
    answer was something along the lines of what crickets do, “chirp, chirp,
    chirp.” They gave answers I’ve seen in this blog from some, as well as
    some showing their knowledge or lack thereof of who could actually be a
    suitable replacement with all things considered at AFC(transfer budget,
    wage caps, style, etc.)

    So you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this? Well here’s
    where I’m going. The overgrown dissent amongst Arsenal fans that I’ve
    seen of late seems to be common with those who have only seen the glory
    years of this club i.e. the last decade and not what I consider the dark
    years. As an Arsenal long, its difficult for people like myself, some
    posters in here like ‘Tom’ and a few other objective thinkers, to see
    the backlash against a manager who brought us back from those dark
    years. With that said, I am not going to say the Professor is without
    guilt here. He is as much as part of the current problem as he WILL
    be as part of the solution. The difference in what I believe and what
    I’m finding the “Arsenal fan opposition” to believe in is simply that I
    still trust in our manager to fix the situation.
    The following will be my first of two posts about the outlay of the
    current affairs at our club amongst our players and staff, as well as
    how we WILL climb out of this funk and head back in the right direction…

    An objective person would look at this table and would see that just
    as well as the Arsenal being in 10th place, the 3rd place team is a mere
    5 points off ahead of AFC. That’s precisely 2 matches difference.
    Someone with a little more knowledge of the league would also see that
    the clubs ahead of us up to 3rd place have easily shown the same
    inconsistencies we have, but have managed to eek out a win or two more
    whereas we’ve drawn those matches. We were never, ever going to
    challenge for the league this year, I’m fairly certain we all know that.
    If your expectation was as such, well that’s another argument to be
    have, but for now we’ll stick to this season & the current affairs.

    Looking ahead for the season, the outlook from most is that we’re not
    strong enough to finish in the top 4. To that I say, fair enough, but
    we’ve played 15 matches, are only 5 points behind 3rd, and I know that
    we have the quality in the team to achieve the feat. Will it be a hard
    fougt, tooth & nail struggle to the 3rd/4th spot? MOST DEFINITELY.
    Can this Arsenal team do it? MOST DEFINITELY. I mean, why not? We are no
    worse than the other clubs ahead of us like I said, and we’ve already
    seen the scoring power in this team, if we can get the run of confidence
    that is so direly needed and figure out how to bring back that cutting
    edge, I think you can objectively see the team has every much as chance
    as CFC or West Brom (yeah right) or Everton or the Spuds.

    Part II: Staff Issues – Quick & Long Term Fixes

    So now that we can all agree that AFC still has a reasonable possibility
    to make top 4 (I know, I know not good enough, we should be competing
    for the title!), let’s move on to the root of our current funk – the
    combination of squad implosion & lack of confidence and the
    questionable managerial decisions being made.

    As much as many want to put an emphasis of blame on the manager, the
    professor, the guy who wears that Marshmellow Man jacket, I beg to
    differ to some extent (note the “some extent”). Look, I know Arsene is
    not without fault, and I’ll actually dive into some of the faults I’ve
    seen recently where a few magical tweaks could be the difference between
    a draw and a win, but to put the level of blame people have on him
    might seem fair, but I think he deserves the opportunity to fix this
    situation. If he cannot fix it this season, then even the “longs” would
    be on board to say it’s probably time to at least start looking at who a
    suitable replacement would be. Beyond that, I’m baffled at the
    treatment of Wenger by Arsenal “fans”. I honestly have lost a bit of
    respect for the some Arsenal fans even in my circle, because this is not
    the way you treat a man who has given us quite a bit and this is not
    the way THEE ARSENAL FAN REPRESENTS HIMSELF.

    Arsene’s current faults mostly come in the form of squad selection in
    my opinion and could be remediated in the short term rather easily.
    First off, and I’m sure I’ll receive some backlash for this, but Ramsay
    should NOT, I repeat should NOT be starting for Arsenal. He is not of
    the starting quality for a team competing for top 4 honors. As I’ve said
    before, if he’s ok with being a rotational, squad/depth player then we
    have use for him, but beyond that, I’m sorry but I’m thoroughly tired of
    seeing his poor runs, poor control, poor crosses, poor lobs time and
    time again. He might have had a glimmer of prospect before his horrific
    injury, but sadly I think that really took the momentum he built up and
    I’m not sure if he’ll ever find it again, at least not with Arsenal.

    Secondly, we’ve got to stop playing Gervinho centrally. We were very
    lucky and I think duped into believing he could with his early season
    exploits, but it’s become apparent now, he’s far better played as a
    winger and wide (we finished 3rd last season with him there), than
    having him central and missing an 8 yard, open header. In my humble
    opinion, I fully understand having to give players a rest (i.e. Giroud),
    but we really should be using a guy like Podolski centrally who has a
    ton of familiarity in the role with prior clubs and has a good goal
    scoring record to boot. Hell, even if we’re going to sell Walcott, for
    the mere purposes of trying to salvage the season, I think Wenger may
    finally give him the go centrally to see if he’s up to par (I personally
    don’t think he will be, but that’s not for me to decide).

    Lastly, as good as Arteta was for us last season and earlier this
    season, I think we need to let him come forward a bit more. He’s one of
    the best passers on our team, and I think we could use his cutting edge.
    I alluded to this in his post-season assessment and I think if he’s
    free to roam a bit, our creative juices might start to flow again.
    Cazorla has been a godsend, but I think he can’t be absolutely and
    definitively our sole creator because defenses are wising up to us.

    That last statement, “defenses are wising up to us” is probably the
    biggest culprit for our issues in offense right now. It’s time to get a
    little creative and I know this is Wenger’s biggest fault right now.
    He’s going to have to start thinking outside of the box again like he
    did when he first came to the club. I could be wrong and it could be too
    late as he might be too adament about his ways, but I still give the
    Professor the benefit of the doubt in this department to turn things
    around for Arsenal Football Club. I’m still firmly in the category of
    “IN ARSENE WE TRUST”, but fail to get us back into the top 4 le Profess
    and even your most ardent supporters (Perry S., Tom, Gigi & Sh31kh
    to some extent) will probably be saying it’s time to look into a change.

    For the long term fix and future outlook, I think we are actually
    starting to see some of that in action already and will continue to see a
    revolution at Arsenal, even as soon as January. We obviously do need
    further, quality investments into the club and I think come January
    we’ll be seeing a player or two coming in and at least a player leaving.
    The continued effort and expunging of the old and the insertion of new
    is absolutely the right direction for Arsenal. We’ve got an incredibly
    brilliant group of homegrown youngsters who are hungry and will get
    better with every match played, but equally we’ve got to surround them
    with the Artetas and Cazorlas, the Mertesackers and the Poldolskis of
    the footballing world. The expecation laid upon AFC is always going to
    be high, but I think it’s not unreasonable to say we should at least
    temper our expectations a bit while the we work through these growing
    pains of gelling a new squad together. The least you can do the “longs”
    is look back at the last 30-40 years of Arsenal history, and then look
    at what we have now, I could stretch to say you might consider yourself
    fortunate. With that said, I’m definitely not saying we should be
    satisfied, not nearly the case as I fully expect a classy, hard working,
    quality team fielded yielding positive results in most situations. BUT,
    and a big BUT (I like big BUTs, what can I say?), to essentially turn
    your back on the manager not even half way through the season puts you
    in the class of a Chelsea or City fan, probably the worst fan there is.
    We compete, we stick behind the team, the staff, until the last day of
    the season and then assess the situation then. The players and staff
    need us, they really do. So I’m looking to you match goers out there,
    don’t boo the team or manager, be frustrated, vent it, be angry, vent
    it, but support the classy club that is Arsenal FC, so you can have the
    opportunity to say you supported them through thick and thin.

    On a final note for this first part of the two part post, Arsenal is
    making good strides towards offloading the “deadwood” contracts (some
    expiring, some sales, and some “permanent” loans). Combine that with the
    new Emirates deal, the stadium debts being paid off, the new players on
    contract, some additonal player resources coming in, and I still see a
    good future for the team. I’m far more of a fan of consistency than I am
    of a funding a trophy only to see us drop to 12th the following season
    and risk further obscurity with poor financial decisions. We’re not
    Chelsea, we’re not City, and we’re not United, we just don’t have that
    owner who will give fuck all to buy himself a trophy. We do things the
    right way at Arsenal and because of that we have remained consistent for
    ever so long. As I said above and I’ll conclude at this, if we somehow
    don’t finish with UCL this year, then I won’t question anyone who says
    it might be time for a change up top, but until then, we owe it to
    Arsene, Bould, and the team to work their way back from mid-table
    obscurity to top 4, and still the possiblity for a cup.

  • limet

    Too bad Bould did not give them a dressing down after that
    performance. Because they deserved it. Wnger said this “This group of
    players is very strong, very highly motivated, has a very good spirit
    and they want to win”. Is he really that blind not a single player
    showed that against Swansea well except for maybe Schezny who did not
    get any help at all. Why even defend the players anymore. Show the
    players the door if they dont do their best at least someone has to be
    kicked out so that the others realise playing football is not being on
    vacation. Wenger sickens me with his comments like this he has no clue
    all he wants is his players to love him of course they now see that and
    don´t even bother thinking about what he says. He has clearly lost the
    dressing room.

  • mike

    By picking 16 year olds from Spain like Cesc, and from Southampton like
    Walcott, you could eliminate some of the uncertainty of banking on players who
    are 9 or 10, and hoping that they come good in a decade. Instead, you could
    accelerate the academy process, if you picked right.

    Put those young players in real games, not practice sessions or reserves
    games, with legends like Henry, Vieira, Bergkamp and it would accelerate their
    learning curve while teaching them what it means to be Arsenal. Pay them well
    too, that had always been Arsene’s philosophy, it was the first thing he did
    when he took over at Arsenal, paid everyone well.

    It should have worked but it didn’t.

    One by one the players abandoned the project. Some were lured by greed, like
    Cole, Adebayor and Nasri. Some were lured by the siren call of their homeland
    like Cesc. And some were lured by the promise of trophies and playing with
    better players, like van Persie. Each seemed to have their reasons but in the
    end, the important thing is that they left. There’s only one remaining, Theo
    Walcott, and he wants assurances that Arsene could never give.

    Dein saw it coming, Arsene’s old friend, the rise of the super-billionaires.
    “Soccer” was being broadcast in America. The Chinese were getting richer. All of
    Asia was booming. And football is the world’s sport. It was only a matter of
    time before English Football, the home of football, would be the hottest
    commodity in the world.

    £70m or £100m a year seemed like a lot of money in 2004 but Dein saw the
    writing on the wall. The scale and rate of change in English football was going
    to be astronomical. Abramovich spent money like water to build Chelsea from a
    shit-hole of a team full of racist fans into one of the biggest brands in world
    football. £70m is what Roman would put out for 2 players. Chelsea’s salary would
    double Arsenal’s. Once that happened, building a stadium that seated 60,000 and
    brought in an additional £70m in revenue? Chump change. Arsenal would need their
    own billionaire to compete.

    “Kick greed out of football”? Impossible. So why not kick greed into the
    boardroom? Dein tried by bringing Kroenke to the table. But he soon realized
    that Arsenal didn’t need an owner who would be happy making a few million pounds
    off developing some property around the stadium, they needed an owner who would
    speculate to accumulate. Dein was wrong about Kroenke. Kroenke was small
    potatoes. Dein needed a big, Uzbek, potato and his London based Persian partner:
    Usmanov and Moshiri.

    But Arsene and the board rejected that notion outright and Dein was
    fired.

    Arsene could think back to the board from the 2004/2005 season; Clive Carr,
    Richard Carr, Lady Nina, Ken Edelman, Danny Fiszman, Ken Friar, Sir Gibbs, and
    Peter Hill-Wood. The only remaining members from that group are Ken Friar and
    Peter Hill-Wood and Hill-Wood is on borrowed time as the specter of a heart
    attack looms over him.

    The management’s not the same either. Pat Rice retired last summer after one
    of the toughest 4th place finishes Arsene has ever endured. Where are the
    familiar faces? Who can he talk to about the way forward? Jack Wilshere? He’s
    all that will be left once Theo is gone.

    And so, Arsene’s Arsenal and his dream of building a golden generation, of
    self-sustaining football bringing the club glory for decades, lies in tatters.
    And he is all alone, beset by enemies and relying on strangers. The warmth of
    Highbury has turned into a frozen fortress of Arsene Wenger’s solitude, The
    Emirates.

  • Berth

    Like Patrick said, am still confident the team will finish in the top 4 this season. However, my main concern is the level of ambition from the club which is not acceptable.

  • seamus

    if they do finish top 4 …means you can accept the same old bullshit from the manager…this club needs to sack him and that crunt gazidis