In Defence of Arsene Wenger

As an avid supporter of Arsene Wenger and an empathetic Arsenal fan, understanding of current frustrations expressed by many a fellow Gooner I feel it is only right to contextualise our current predicament in support of one of football’s greatest managers.

Having reached 1000 games it’s easy to juxtapose the Wenger era by splitting it in two. The first half glittered with silverware, culminating in record breaking feats, broken in style and anti-climaxing with a bitter European cup final loss to Barcelona.

For the bemoaning supporters of late it is easy to compare this period as an equal to the one that followed it and discredit the last few years of not being of equal merit. However, Wenger’s achievements since that night in Paris are of equal greatness, I believe.

Having identified and cultured the globe’s rawest footballing talents into international superstars it called on Wenger to conflict his two biggest loyalties in football, his players and his club. Wenger had to pawn these players to fuel and accelerate the development and enhancement of the club – he put our club first.

To have created a conveyor belt of such consistent quality to be able to do this is an achievement in itself, unrivalled in England since Fergie’s class of 92 and perhaps only bettered by Barcelona. Yet to have to rely on this talent to compete and maintain a level high enough to be awarded a place amongst Europe’s elite each year is unparalleled.

I’d also afford Wenger some bitterness that those he’d placed his faith and loyalty in, and had seen an arguable level of success in doing so, did not repay the same faith and loyalty in standing by him to see it through – despite that same collection of players having extremely successful nights together; playing a Barcelona (in their peak) off the park and beating them at their own game at home, for example. Yet success isn’t awarded on such nights alone.

In light of the first half of Wenger’s reign it can seem hard to credit the cultivation of these players as success. However, in this time foreign investment has skewered the competitive landscape of the English game which has allowed urgency, impatience and desperation to seep in to our support, when in fact; it only heightens Wenger’s achievement.

We are towards the end of a first full season where we can compete on equal measure with the other financial forces in our league, only justified by our late signing of Mesut Ozil. This is done by earned right, not foreign spoils, through Wenger’s execution of a vision to propel us on to becoming a global force. The season has seen us plagued with injuries to crucial, match winning players that have left us fading at the final call, yet in a semi final of the FA Cup to offer some comfort nonetheless.

Ozil, himself much criticised, did not get the luxury of a pre-season training camp with the rest of the squad to aid his settlement into the side. Yet the initial excitement and goading that we are back as a force soon turned to finger pointing and criticism of player and manager alike.

I believe we have arrived at a point where we have taken the first step in developing from a side capable of a certain level of consistency, in keeping with financial assurity, to a point where we can begin to compete with the other clubs for Premiership glory.

Whilst this is unlikely to be done this season owing to recent disastrous results, in context, and in the much grander scheme of things, this has been a massive step forward for Arsenal and a sign that Wenger’s constraint in delivering us to this point has been for the greater good of the club. We are stable, secure and have significant assets. This is something fans should be thankful of Wenger for.

Whether this tenure has taken his toll on him, with the criticism and disregard from our support potentially denting his desire and confidence, and how this compounds and resonates with him may leave us bidding farewell to a man that has improved our club in equal measures to Herbert Chapman.

Personally, I’d like to see Wenger be given another season. A fair crack with the opportunity to invest and add to a squad which in fairness has been close over the course, but far away when competing head to head. He’s been guilty of some tactical errors, some clinical guile and either an oversight or blind faith in having one recognised striker the whole season.

However, we’ve seen genuine attempts in the transfer market thwarted, deals seemingly lined up for the summer and a genuine appetite to compete by using newly awarded resources. We are close. Wenger has got us close. He deserves the opportunity to fill the final pieces.

One summer to assemble and prepare a squad capable of winning the title should be afforded to a living club legend. Someone that has sacrificed inevitable glory overseas with elite club’s already primed for success – in favour of creating a legacy, which he may not be at the helm to fulfil.

Wenger’s been criticised for being well paid, yet he could have easily doubled his wages and paid less tax by taking one of these moves. By what he’s achieved we’ve repaid our debt early by selling key players and having increased sponsorship yet not faded into obscurity. On this basis our club is extremely healthy and Wenger should be financially rewarded.

Frustrations are vented at the board over record breaking commercial deals, yet Wenger has maintained our relative competitiveness in order to secure such large sums of money. He’s not accountable for how these funds are reallocated.

He’s delivered us, early, to a point where we can remove the handbrake. Peeking over the neighbours’ fences shows that whilst we may not have kept up with the Jones’ – we’re not a million miles away. This is of significant credit given the millions of investment they had to flood their squads with to catch up.

I still trust in Arsene Wenger to do right by the club and Arsenal fans owe it to him to support him, and hope that next season we can take the next step.

Jack

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30 thoughts on “In Defence of Arsene Wenger

  1. DAVE GARDNER

    a very balanced view which is very refreshing to read,i agree Wenger has earned the right to at least one more year and with the financial support from Stan this summer and with 3-4 quality additions I believe we can go all the way next year and win the league.this summer could be a very exciting time for all us Gooners.

    Reply
  2. faron sanders

    I just think it is time for him to bow out now. i am very proud of what he has achieved and he has done well to keep us floating in the CL spot for all that time when he didnt have much money to spend. but the last 2 seasons i have seen mistakes by him, but making the same mistake over and over again. which is frustrating. I actually dont think there is anything wrong with the squad, apart from looking very thin up front. oli clearly needed help. And it was Wengers duty of Care to sort this out. i have no idea why He didnt bolster the Strike force. He has also turned Tactically inept. Again these are mistakes he does repeatedly. Maureen must sometimes think surely Wenger is going to change his tactics against me this time. but no, he tries to out out pass Maureens Chelsea every time and we get hammered for it.

    If we win the FA Cup, AW should leave with his head held high still with integrity. and we can say Nice one Prof, thanks for that. now Jog on!

    Reply
    1. John Gee

      faron, you must stop repeating what you read in the press !! Arsene Wenger has been and still is one of the leading managers/coaches in the world and Arsenal are very lucky to have him. As has been said many times before, “be careful what you wish for”. Look at ManU !!

      Reply
      1. Joe

        The be careful what you wish for, look
        At Man U line? Really? Bollocks. Moyes replaced a manager who had title after title for the last 10 years. Wenger had won naught. I wish for a change from losing to the b’hams, blackburns, 4 goal leads, collapses in jan to March, no progress!! So yes I wish for something different. Any manager will be able to come in and get us 4th and have us lose 6-3,5-1, 6-0. We need fresh ideas, fresh motivaton, fresh tactics. We were 1-2 players away from the title this jan. Wenger screwed it by buying only kallstrom. Not only would we have had 2 fresh players but the squad would have been given a shot of belief. Check our record. Terrible since jan. Coincidence. No. The squad lost belief and wenger lost the dressing room that day. Wenger out. Only way arsenal will move forward.

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  4. Goongoonergone

    Here’s a view from a man who wants Arsene Wenger to quit.

    Mr Wenger
    Please just pack you bag and leave. 9 years of mind-numbing “we played with the handbrakes on nonsense” is enough. And while you are at it, take Diaby and Sanogo with you.
    You can’t do tactics for zilch, all the other club like Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool fans want you for eternity like they want Moyes at Utd for ever because they know that both of you have a loser’s mentality.
    You can only play one way; you don’t do tactics by your own admission; you now have a rag tag group of players who are leaderless on the bench and on the field and you have the temerity to call Kim Kallstrom a leader! A player who sat mostly on the bench at his Russian club! If that is your idea of a leader, God help us.
    When Mourinho called you a “specialist in failure” you embarrassingly proved him correct and yes, he is a man who has managed for more than a second in life. Scholes has played at the top and won Champions leagues medals — which you haven’t. He is a tv pundit, and he said what he saw as weaknesses in Arsenal and there are a fair number of us who agree with Scholes, but not you because your petulance and childishness prevents you from seeing another viewpoint. So if you are unhappy with Scholes, why didn’t you stop your constant commentating on French television and try to get Arsenal sorted out instead of constantly dithering in the transfer market.
    Sadly, there are too many fans hypnotised by the myth created by you and the BoD that you are some kind of “hero”; no sir, you are merely a tin god and a dictator. You accuse other teams of financial doping, but what do you call it when Arsenal FC ask fans to pay the highest prices in the England to win a “fourth place trophy”. You are more interested in a fat contract and Arsene FC.
    Sir, if you have any dignity, especially after the 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 which you called an accident, I challenge you to leave Arsenal and allow the Club to progress under a new younger manager who will want Arsenal to progress even if it takes a season or three. You are mentally shot like your team; this team is a splitting image of you and rest assured, the mental strength you talk of is just another delusional soundbite, like the handbrake metaphor you have been feeding us for years.
    And if fans think there are no fine managers out there, have a look at Klopp, Simeone and even Martinez, doing things on a shoe string budget.
    I am hoping that Liverpool win the PL just so that they explode this myth that only teams like Chelsea and City with huge financial backing can win the league. It may be argued that Liverpool have Suarez that’s why Liverpool are where they are. Absolute nonsense! Barcelona has Messi, Madrid have Ronaldo. Furthermore, look at what Sterling and Sturridge bring to the team together with all the other players who love playing for the manager. Nobody stopped you, Mr Wenger, from getting a top striker as a priority. What did you do when the fans lost their cool after the Villa match? You got us a midfielder as a last resort to appease us when the crying need of the team was a great striker. Do you call this sane management? You gave us Sanogo instead! What does this tell about the farcical manner in which you are allowed to run the club? Aren’t you the one who said that if you were given 100 million pounds for transfers you would hand the money back. So why don’t you hand your exorbitant salary salary back for nine years’ failure? Do you think it is a joy to watch Arsenal coming second in the group stages of Cl and then predictably getting knocked out in the last 16?
    Man Utd have massive revenue too, but they have a poor manager and the Utd team too is reflecting the image of a manager with a loser’s mentality; and in spite of this, you Mr Wenger, don’t have the balls to take advantage of Utd while the likes of City, Chelsea and City takes Utd to the cleaners.
    You have you fans who still think you can turn it on like you did pre-2005. You are running on empty – empty ideas, empty tactics, empty mental strength and it is not a joy to watch how you sit on the bench nowadays gripping your knuckles and frowning as if these gestures will give direction to your leaderless players on the field.
    A man will know when his time is up unless 8 million pieces of silver is too great a temptation

    Reply
    1. John Gee

      I cannot believe you really believe all that drivel !! Are you a Spu*s supporter on the wrong website? If you are an Arsenal supporter, support them, together with one of the best manager/coaches in world football.

      Reply
      1. UP YOURS

        what is it with all the AKB’s and “Are you a Spu*s supporter” being branded whenever an Arsenal fan voices their opinion (usually correct) about the club or Wenger. Wenger changed Arsenals system to allow fabregas to shine, he then sold fabregas and didnt replace him or the system. He, as mourinho (the cunt) says, is THE specialist in failure. The sooner he leaves arsenal the sooner we will be competing again for the title.

        We were The Arsenal before Wenger, and we will still be The Arsenal after Wenger, he isnt the be all & end all.

      2. Joe

        GG had won 1 less league title than wenger in half the time. Wenger not that great. No Europe title. Never won back to back titles. No top manager gets beaten 6-3,5-1,6-0 in the same season. If he’s so great, why has he not been able to beat Man U this season as every other team
        In the top 6 have? Take off the blinders. Wenger is done being a top manager as he has proven over the last 10 years. It’s quite the sample size.

      3. Goongoonergone

        Is this the best you can throw at me accusing me of being a Spurs fan? You are showing the same cowardly traits of the manager you adore. Mr John Gee, for your info I have been a supporter of Arsenal FC for 47 years. Next time , ifyou are man enough, try to defend the issues I have raised in my views above. It is a disdainful and rather pathetically natural response from AKBs to attack those who don’t support one Arsene Wenger by calling them “Spurs supporters” and “cunts” when they can’t respond to honest criticism of this impostor masquerading as an Arsenal manager.
        Now I challenge you to rebutt all the points I have made in my long discussion on Wenger or are you also a “specialist in failure”?

      4. PaulB

        Always the same reply from a deluded AKB, always the same bullshit, the article about how poor Wenger is is spot on, he is not a coach, he is an economist, and the blinkered AKBs raised their deluded heads again

    2. PaulB

      Mate your article is spot on about the clueless le fraud that is Wenger, he has nine years to sort things out and he has failed, failed youth policy, his failed transition, his failed crusades in the CL are embarrassing citing fourth spot more important than the FA Cup, the clown is bringing out his autobiography and it will contain his me, me,me attitude and his arrogant life, without the likes of Adams,Keown,Dixon,Winterburn,Bould and Seaman, Wenger would have failed at the first hurdle, but they installed the Arsenal way, the grit, the leadership which Paddy took on, the same with Henry,Bobby and OF COURSE rOICH’S SIGNING OF DB10.Wenger is past his sell by date, and if anyone can fuck up our chance of FA Cup glory then the clown will try his best to do it……I know “Go and follow Spurs”, typical dictatorship, question it and the AKBs come streaming out of the woodwork.First 500 games we won trophies, then the nest 500 and the arrogant dictator achieves NOTHING, and he is allowed to get away with it on the promise of making loads of money for the greedy Yank cunt and the board. So fuck Wenger, fuck the AKBs, when the fraud goes I hope like lemmings you follow your messiah into oblivion

      Reply
  5. bring back dein

    supposedly we had 70 mill to spend in the summer, so we spent 42 mill on ozil – by my reckoning that left over around 30 mill – so why did wenger only attempt to make loan signings in january? if you ask me he hasnt got the nuts to spend real money (dont for one second believe his hand wasnt forced to sign ozil by the boos against villa on the first day and the AST opposing wengers new contract)

    Reply
  6. Malaysian gunner

    I think,in all honesty,Wenger can’t bring Arsenal any further.Lose to Everton and the cl spot could be in grave danger. I watched MU draw with BM.Arsenal play like BM all day passing and a reluctance to shoot unless there is a 99.9% chance of a goal.Don’t be surprised Moyes gets through going direct and if he were to win the cl,finishing 4th will be useless.
    The game against Wigan could be massive. The Lactics will get in the gunners faces ,that’s for sure. The gunners find it uncomfortable when not given time and scace. Indeed all teams will find it so.
    It’s up to the manager to devise a plan b and this is where Wenger has failed not once but repeatedly. Ultimately he has to pay the price.

    Reply
  7. Johnno

    Brilliant article mate but I fear that Wenger has had enough. I still think he retains his ability and desire but he must be sick to death of these fairweather cunts who constantly have a pop at him and the club. Its hard enough to compete against these plastic, sugar daddy run clubs as it is. It becomes even harder when you constantly have to try to unite the fan base as well. These halfwits who want him out will one day realise what a fantastic job he has done over the past 8 or 9 years and his legacy will be understood by even the most mentally challenged. The daft thing about the current criticism is that we would all have taken a top 4 place and a win in one of the domestic Cups at the beginning of the season. And we are still well and truly on target to achieve that aim. I personally would like to see Arsene sign on for another 5 years+ but I no longer fear the day he leaves quite like I used too. He has overseen one of the most turbulent and financially challenging periods in the clubs history and his genius has allowed us to remain competitive throughout. There isnt another manager on the planet that could have delivered Champions League football year in, year out under the same circumstances. Whoever replaces Wenger will not only take over a far better club, he will stand a far greater chance of delivering success to us because of the foundations that Wenger has put in place. In 100 years time when club historians reflect on this period they will fully understand its importance and Wenger will join the likes of David Danskin, Sir Henry Norris and Herbert Chapman as the men who have formed and made the most important contribution to our great club. The man is a one off, a genius and I will always be thankful that it was my club that benefited from it. Anyway, cheers for the post, its refreshing to read a well thought out article after having to put up with some of the drivel Ive seen on the internet over the past couple of weeks.

    Reply
    1. Goongoonergone

      With respect, have you been paid by Arsene Wenger to write this. You are presenting opinions as if they are facts, just like one Arsene Wenger. Get a grip of your sanity mate. Can you please tell me ( I have supported Arsenal for 47 years ) how I and many others who have supported Arsenal for scores of years are “fair weather” fans?
      Respectfully, you are so deep up Wenger’s intestines, you have lost leave of your senses.
      BTW if you wish to argue sanely, go back to my long discussion on Wenger above and prove me wrong.

      Reply
      1. Johnno

        With respect, I couldnt really give a monkey`s what you think pal. I think you are a halfwit and I also strongly suspect that you are a liar as well. There is so much shite in your “mind numbing” ramblings and I havent got the time or the energy to sift through it all. I simply dont believe your claim of supporting the club for 47 years. I reckon you are about 14 or 15 maximum. If you really are telling the truth then you should be even more ashamed of yourself as it would mean that you are old enough to remember The Arsenal sides of the 60`s, The Arsenal sides of the mid 70`s who were nearly fucken relegated and the utter shit of the early to mid 80`s which was my introduction to the club. You would also remember the absolute dross that George Graham left behind him in the mid 90`s. Whilst the 2nd half of Wenger`s reign hasnt been as enjoyable as the 1st half, history will look back on it very kindly and acknowledge its importance. The mentally challenged may not be able to see it right now but it will become a lot clearer with the passing of time. Anyway pal, you support the club anyway you want but I`m not having that youre a good fan. We`re 7 points off top spot and in the semi final of the FA Cup and all you cunts want to do is fucken moan. Believe me, there`s been far worse times to be a fan of The Arsenal than this.

  8. Mezza

    Wenger will go down as one of footballs greatest ever managers without a doubt. He not only changed Arsenal but English football and should be held in high esteem for that.
    Unfortunately he has become stale, stubborn to the point of desperation at times and it’s now beyond painful to watch.
    He is now making mistake after mistake and for me his biggest mistake was not offering £50 for Suarrez – Liverpool would have snapped his hand off for that and we would have won the title this season. The revenue we have generated for the club already this season would have covered the deal easily without worrying about what’s in the bank after Ozil.
    Thank’s Arsene but please go this summer and be remembered as another legend within the club – don’t stay and finally leave as a laughing stock.

    Reply
  9. Redgun1971

    I’m a Wenger out supporter, he has failed time and time again. CL remember Liverpool beating us in the quarter final home and away, the following year Man U did the same to us. Wenger not starting Arshavin in the FA semi final. He did not want to buy in 2011 until we lost (Man U) 8-2 and (A Villa) 3-1. Year after year Van Persie and/or Walcott gets injured but he still doesn’t want to spend our money in the January transfer window to get cover or strengthen the team. Most teams buy their players at the end of the season so they get a preseason but not Wenger, How many times has he said this is the best squad he has ever had, we played with the hand brake on, we dropped physically and the players have mental strength. Wenger played one holding midfielder against strong teams – Man C, Liverpool & Chelsea all away but played two against weaker teams – Cardiff & Swansea at home & Southampton away. What other teams have conceded 17 goals in 3 games against Man C, Liverpool & Chelsea? Tactical substitutions usually made around 70-75 minutes, subbing off Chamberlain against Man U in 2012, not subbing off Ozil against Bayern Munich even though Wenger admitted that Ozil confidence had gone after the penalty miss – so why didn’t he subbed him off?
    Be careful of what you wish for here are some examples – Brian Clough got Notts Forest relegated, Roberto Martinez made Everton a better team and even sold their best player (Fellaini), Roberto Mancini even though he won the 2 trophies with Man C he could beat a weaker and relegated team (Wigan), Brendan Rodgers working on a smaller budget (less than Arsenal) but still competing in the league against mega rich clubs like Man C & Chelsea.
    Arsene thank you for what you have given us for the last 17 years but it is time for you to say goodbye.
    Johnno Wenger inherited the 7 players from George Graham era Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Bould, Keown, Winterburn and Parlour, do you really think they are dross?

    Reply
    1. Johnno

      Only 2 of those players(Keown & Parlour) contributed to the invincible team that went 49 games unbeaten and they both played bit part roles. But those players mentioned are certainly not dross, in fact they are all club legends. I tell you who were dross though, the likes of Hillier, Morrow, Selby, Jensen, Helder, Kiwomya, Lydersen, Flatts, Carter etc etc. No offence intended to those players because some of them were real triers but they werent Arsenal class. The football played was utter crap(we managed the grand total of 38 league goals one season) and I remember being seriously worried about relegation at one stage of the 94/95 season. It took a good Easter before we pulled clear of the drop zone. Unfortunately, there are far too many supporters with short fucken memories who deliberately choose to forget the bad times. You aint one of them are you? Anyway, this is my last post on the subject. I only came on here to congratulate the author for an outstanding post. It was never my intention to argue with a load WOB`s. Ive made that mistake a number of times before and its like banging your head against a brick wall.

      Reply
      1. Redgun1971

        I forgot to add Ian Wright that makes it 8 experienced players Wenger inherited also A.Cole from Graham era.
        I remember the 78 & 80 finals as well as the pre GG era during and after. I’m not wearing rose tinted glasses either. Graham achieved success with little or no money compared to Liverpool, Man U, Everton and Tottenham at the time. GG teams play good and bad football, he 1st moved luxury players on and brought in youth and hard working players. Can you really say that Merson, Marwood, Davis, Thomas, Rocastle, Limpar always played route one football? GG 8 years and 6 trophies, so far Wenger 17 years and 7 trophies. GG was the Mourinho of his day get a goal and shut up shop. Yes there were plenty of crap games under Graham reign but most of the players you mention had less talent but usually gave 100% every game, the same can’t be said for the players under Wenger for the last 6 years. For every shit player signed or came through the youth set up by Graham you have the likes of Stepanovs, Diawara, Jeffers, Inamoto, Cygan, Senderos, Djourou, Almunia, Denilson, Squillaci, Chamakh, Gervinho, Santos, Park, etc…Wenger not only buys these 2nd rate players but give them big wages on long contracts because he doesn’t think certain players are worth the money like Alonso, Huntelaar, Huguain, Suarez but thinks Silvestre, Diaby, Bendtner, Giroud is. The teams under Wenger supposely can pass the ball but fail when under pressure – Wigan League cup semi, Birmingham League cup Final, 4-4 & 2-3 against Tottenham at home, 4-4 Newcastle away, Bradford League cup 5th round. BTW I’m 42 and have been a season ticket for over 20 years. Arsenal has the most expensive season tickets in the world but still the club wants to charge us another 3% next season for what reason? to pay Wenger £8 million a year whilst he only want players like Sonogo, Cayabe, Kalou, players associated to the French league because they are good VFM. I will cheer IF we win the FA cup and laugh at Tottenham IF we finish above them in 4th, but time for a change.

      2. Johnno

        Who mentioned anything about route one football? As it happens, we did play a very direct brand of football but I quite agree that during Graham`s first 5 years the football on offer was pretty good. However, you are deliberately ignoring what I have said. I was talking about the dross of his later days. 1993-95 saw some of the most turgid football ever played at Highbury. We won a few Cups during that time but our real quality was reflected in our League placing. The poorer players you mention from the Wenger era rarely(if ever) started a match together. In the latter days under Graham it wasnt unusual to see a midfield of Selby, Jensen, Hillier, and Mcgoldrick all starting in the same fucken side. And if one of them were missing through injury or suspension he used to bring Keown or O`Leary into the middle to replace them. Graham inherited a golden Youth system from Don Howe and some of the players you think Wenger inherited from GG were players GG inherited from Don. When Graham left he left a fucken shambles of a youth system and a team in the lower half of the table. Those are the facts but despite that, I dont wish to criticize George too much because he was exactly what we needed at the time of his arrival. He galvanised the club, gave Don Howe`s kids a chance, made a few very astute signings and got rid of the big time charlies who were strangling the clubs finances and not putting in a full shift. But dont ever try and put him in Wenger`s class or pretend that he had the same impact on the club because that is utter shit. Ive already mentioned the type of team GG left behind and the Youth system he run into the ground. I could also mention the training facilities as well and The Arsenal`s standing on the world stage. When Wenger leaves he will leave behind a great scouting network, the best Training ground in the world, the best stadium in Britain(possibly the world), a healthy and financially robust club and an established Champions League side. He has also re-established us to our rightful place as a global super power with a fan base to match. He has ensured that Whoever takes over from him will have a very good budget to work with and he has created a football identity that will last for a very long time. He`s also responsible for putting together the greatest side ever seen in this country and the team that all other Arsenal sides will be judged against in the future. Despite all the handicaps and obstacles put in his way he has still managed to become the first Arsenal manager to win the title 3 times, he`s also won 4(hopefully 5) FA Cups and 4 Community Shields. Oh, and two of those seasons culminated in the club winning the Double too. Be very careful what you wish for my old son because things could be a lot worse than they are.

    1. Redgun1971

      Johnno, I have said Arsenal played bad and crap football, if you want me to use the word dross then Arsenal played dross football under Graham. But I have watch plenty of dross football under Wenger, passing for the sake of passing, the ball going backwards and sideways but not forwards, remember the FA cup final in 2005? One shot on target late in normal time thanks to a freekick!!! More recently Man U at home and Stoke away. Cygan play plenty of games alongside Keown and Campbell like wise Senderos, Almunia with Toure or Gallas, Denilson with Fabregas. Chamakh was 1st choice until Van Persie was fit in the 2nd half of 2010/11, Gervinho played regularly for 2 seasons and Santos also played enough games thanks to an injury prone Gibbs. The midfield of the latter Graham era was shit due to a number of things, M.Thomas wasn’t the same player since Anfield 89, Rocky’s had a long term leg injury, Davis and Limpar fell out with Graham, Merson had his drink and drugs problem, half the team was drunk during the week, the board did not give GG enough money (for transfers or wages) so players we were linked to like Cottee, Sinton, Sutton, Ferdinand never came and him not demanding the money unlike Wenger with all the player sales,TV and Champions league money at his disposal. Wenger played Grimandi in midfield more than in defense and there has been plenty of games where he has had 6 defenders on the pitch. Graham was never tasked with building a new training facility or new stadium but thanks to his trophies a new Clockend and Northbank was built, making it the best stadium at the time in the 1st Division/Premier league also he missed out on European football revenue twice due to the English ban. With of his so called knowledge and footballing brain Wenger like Graham did not strengthen his team after 1998, 2002 and 2004 when we were Champions, he has never managed to beat Mourinho, rarely buys a player in the January transfer window knowing we have x amount injuries and suspensions. As mentioned in my previous post is tactically inept recent away games has prove that, he is so tunnel visioned, it’s his way or no other way. the chase for Baptista 2005/06, Chamak 2009/10 both came to the club the following season. We badly needed a striker this season – Higuain was the target but when he was sold to Napoli Wenger decided we needed a player like Ozil instead, great news for the likes of Giroud, Walcott and Podolski but Giroud is not good enough, he doesn’t like/play Podolski and Walcott got a long term injury so he cleverly signs an injured defensive midfielder in January. We have in my opinion 3 players with pace, Chamberlain, Gnarby and Walcott in which Ozil would have shined but 2 of them got injured, so how many times did he play Gnarby whilst they were injured? Wenger has been a fantastic servant for the club whilst being paid a world class players wage, he is suppose to be a footballer manager and not a bank manager, the board and himself tell us we are playing the best football with the best players available to justify another season ticket price hike also to compete not only in England but in Europe. Portsmouth, Birmingham, Swansea and Wigan with lesser players, money and infrastructure have managed to compete and win a trophy, Liverpool has had handicaps and obstacles like missing out on European football, ownership problems and managerial changes but have managed since our last trophy a FA cup, Champions league final, League cup and now possibly a Premiership title and they have a world class striker that we were after but decided that he was only worth £40 million plus a £1!!! We need a change of manager sooner rather than later because the board doesn’t care about winning a trophy, it’s all about the money and that’s why Wenger’s only target every season is a Champions league spot which he calls a success. For the last 9 years we have been a business and not a football club it’s about time things changed for the benefit of the fans and not the board. You are suppose to learn from your mistakes, what has Wenger learned after each thrashing this season? People say look at Man U, well what has Moyes won before he was appointed? What was his highest finish in the league? How many world class players know who Moyes is outside the UK? If a Mourinho, a Ancelotti, a Guardiola was appointed at Old Trafford do you think Man U would be where there are now? You said along the lines of having the right manager at the right time and Wenger is now not the right manager.

      Reply
      1. Johnno

        You can always pick out individual performances that were poor but we were shit week in week out for 3 years under Graham. I always judge a team on their league placing because that is your bread and butter. Anyone can win a cup with a bit of luck. In two of George`s last 3 years we were bottom half of the table material. Similarly you can always pick out individual players and say that they are not Arsenal class and some of the players you mention under Wenger fall into that category. But again, you misunderstand the point I was making. The likes of Cygan were poor but they played alongside top top players. GG filled his entire midfield with workmanlike players because in his later days he believed in simply bypassing that area of the park with long balls. That is why he fell out with Limpar and Davis. Its also the reason why he flogged Thomas and Rocastle. He basically gave up on challenging for the league and changed us into a Cup team that raised their game for one off games and made life difficult for the opposition. The reason why our training facilities were so primitive until Wenger came along is because other managers never had a clear vision for the future. That is the main reason why I defend Wenger so much from the halfwits. He has sacrificed his own personal glory and CV for the good of the club. He has ensured that we will be a top club in 60,70 and 80 years time. By the way, it wasnt really George`s success that payed for the two stands at Highbury. The authorities put aside miilions of pounds so that clubs could change their grounds to all seater and David Dein`s share sheme(which everyone moaned about) raised a nice few quid as well. As for Wenger only ever targeting 4th spot, I wont even go there because not only is it utterly ridiculous but it is an argument that you cant possibly prove. The fact is that our team over the past few years hasnt been good enough to finish higher but it has been essential to the clubs longterm future to have achieved it whilst servicing the stadium debt and waiting on our sponsorship deals to be renegotiated. Finishing in the top 4 might not fill you with excitement but it has been far more important during this period than any FA Cup or League Cup success would ever have been. Thats why, in an earlier post I said that in 100 years time, club historians would look back on the last 8 or 9 years and acknowledge its importance. We are obviously different types of supporter mate,8 or 9 years isnt a long time in the life of a football fan as far as I`m concerned. I am more interested in my kids and Grandkids being able to watch a competitive Arsenal side in the future and I think Wenger has gone a long way to ensuring that is the case. Anyway mate, that really is my lot. Lets hope we can bring home a bit of silver this year and also win the top 4 trophy you talk about. You are entitled to your opinion and I would happily have a beer with you if our paths ever crossed because you have stated your case without being too disrespectful to a club legend. Its these horrible little spoilt cunts with their fuck off Wenger banners that piss me off.

      2. Redgun1971

        Johnno, I do agree with some of what you have said but Graham was more handicapped with money than Wenger was, that’s why we had a shit midfield, 92/93 we finished 10th but we won 2 cups, 93/94 we finished 4th and won the ECWC (more results over performance), 94/95 the bung saga/the sacking of Graham effected the team but we managed to finish 12th, got to the ECWC final again and in those 3 seasons didn’t let in 5 or 6 goals more than once.
        The players of recent years have more skill/technical ability but no heart or take on responsibility, winners always want the ball, not scared to shoot, our players seem to treat the ball like a hot potato and giving it to another team mate to shoot or make the through ball. This is a managerial/coaching problem, Graham did not get the time (his fault in the end) or the money to fix our short comings but Wenger has had 9 years to do something about it.
        Every fan has the right to give their opinion sometimes they go over the top whether that is pro or against Wenger but Chelsea was the final straw and today (Everton) reinforce the fans view on Wenger out but some fans still defend him saying his players let him down or give him more time!!! Wenger buys the players, picks the players, chooses the same formation, same tactics from start to finish, today there wasn’t any pace in the starting line up, 2-0 down and no substitutions, only when we went 3 down did Wenger make a change. Arteta is one of the worse performing players over the last 4 months but I do not remember him being subbed off unless due to injury because he is the captain or vice captain on the day.
        Wenger needs to change but he will not and that is why fans want him out, we will not win the Premiership or Champions League under him, he has been well paid and like you said help make the club be in a better position than when he received it but us fans pay a premium into the club that pays Wenger wages, we expects results and trophies which he has not produced.
        History will show that from 2006 to 2013 Arsenal finished 3rd and 4th, hopefully 2014 will show a FA cup win as well as 4th or higher and then we can share a beer or two.

  10. Goonermay68

    His Last chance when he did not buy in January 2014 .we are now ing paying the price.He wanted Kalou on LOAN.? Pathetic. WENGER OUT .every club has. Injuries but due to a small squad and lack of foresight. Dithering pathetic embarrassing senile way past his sell by date.

    Reply
  11. Nathan lightning

    Who brought Thierry Henry to The Arsenal? wenger, who went 49 games unbeaten wenger who was the only manager to compete with one of the best sir Alex Ferguson? Wenger he need time money and support

    Reply

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