An open letter to Arsene Wenger

Dear Arsene,

I find myself writing this letter not out of anger but out of frustration. As a fan (not customer, fan) of the Arsenal I find it hard to get angry with the team’s performances these days because to be frank, nothing surprises me anymore. I have seen it all before. Arsenal are, to some extent, masters of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

So why am I writing this? As I have touched upon above, it is a letter borne out of frustration. Frustration that the club, run by you Mr Wenger is in a never ending cycle of mediocrity when things can be so much better given the resources at our disposal. If you love Arsenal as much as you say you do, please do the best for the club and accept you have taken it as far as you can, resign and allow another manager to take the club forward. You can enjoy your legacy of revolutionising English Football and enjoy the fact you had a hugely successful first 10 years at Arsenal.

No doubt you will read this and think “what does he know? he hasn’t worked 2 minutes in football or won the FA cup” and you are quite right, I haven’t. That doesn’t make my opinion any less valid, nor does it prevent me from having one. I am a pragmatist, to me, to flourish is to adapt, to be questioned, to be challenged and in top level sport, to win.

Since you have managed the club your style and philosophy hasn’t changed, hasn’t evolved but English Football has. Failure to adapt is costing us dear. Failure to address obvious weaknesses within the squad, the failure to bring in adequate or superior replacements for those players departing. Failure to address the lack of discipline in the team, not from a fouling perspective but from a tactical one, 3-2 up at home and we have 5 players in an advanced position against a team who by your own admission are excellent on the counter attack.

It isn’t just this week’s capitulation against Anderlecht that prompts this letter it is a culmination of events throughout your tenure. The team do not learn lessons; the defence still make elementary mistakes. Blaming the players is the easy option but was the back four the same as last night when we conceded 4 against Newcastle at St James Park, 8 against Manchester United, 6 against Manchester City, 4 against Tottenham at home in 2008. No they weren’t, was the manager the same. Yes. That isn’t bad luck; it’s a trend, one you haven’t addressed over the years.

There is no doubt you are stubborn, can that work to one’s advantage? Absolutely but it can also be detrimental if left unchecked, unfortunately it seems the latter is true. So you won’t resign, what is next? How do we change things? How can we ensure mistakes are not repeated? May I suggest the following?

* If Steve Bould isn’t coaching the defence, let him, if he is then perhaps it’s time to delegate that away from him or bring in some ex-players who know a thing or two about defending, Messer’s Keown & Adams would be a good starting point.

* Address the team’s obvious defensive weaknesses, accept the Wenger way may not be what’s best for Arsenal FC, not Arsene FC and purchase accordingly. There is a good reason the saying “you get what you pay for” exists and in most cases, rings true. There are some excellent defenders in the Premiership who would love to represent such a prestigious club like the Arsenal. Winston Reid was a good example.

* Bring in a tactician who can be a pragmatist as an assistant manager, someone who can offer a different opinion, challenge you and can set up a team according to the opponent. That’s not to say attacking football to which we are known for is compromised, it’s a pragmatic approach to ensure a good solid defensive foundation is built enabling the attacking players to express themselves.

* Bring in an external party to evaluate the training methods & playing surfaces in order to better understand why so many of the players suffer muscular injuries. Shad Forsythe is an excellent addition; let’s focus on prevention rather than cure / rehabilitation.

* Play players in their natural position, this sounds simple and it is, a number 10 (Ozil) is played as a number 10, not as a winger players who aren’t performing are taken out of the limelight to regain form (Ramsey) and players who are in form are played regularly not because they are a favourite of the manager. (Sanogo over Joel Campbell / Lukas Podolski) Now that may not be the case, but looking from the outside in, that’s the impression we get.

* Make substitutions based on the needs of the game. If a player isn’t performing, be a manager, break your loyalty to that player and take him off at half time rather than the 70th minute. Be pragmatic, again, using Anderlecht as an example, if we are 3-2 up, don’t bring on attacking players, get on the touch line, organise 2 banks of 4 and if you absolutely have to have an attacking player on, use Walcott to hit them on the break and / or run into the channels to hold the ball up and keep possession.

* Have a plan and listen to counsel – Identify the teams weaknesses, identify replacements and start doing the ground work as much as you can (within the rules of course) before the transfer window opens. Pay the asking price, using the Arsenal brand to sell to the player, get the deal done, the player settled well in time for pre-season as Manchester City & Chelsea have done in the past to their benefit. As a manager it is your job to identify the players you and your coaching staff think we need, not to negotiate fee’s or argue on what you think a player is worth. That is for the Chief Executive and Finance Director to worry about.

I have decided not to mention the issues at board level, I wanted this letter to focus on what can be changed on the field and training pitches. This is not a personal attack; it is to raise concerns, to point out flaws, offer constructive solutions. It may not always seem obvious but the fans criticise because they care. We like you Arsene, love Arsenal FC. Let’s either see a change of manager or a change in approach. Being challenged and admitting mistakes isn’t a weakness it’s a sign you are prepared to change, prepared to evolve and hopefully be as successful as you were in the first 10 years as manager of this great club.

Yours,

Paul G


 

 

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46 thoughts on “An open letter to Arsene Wenger

      1. JB

        OK mate.

        Do you not see this isnt just ‘an open letter’

        Its literally ‘Wenger, here is everything you do ‘wrong’ . here is how my 0 minutes of experience of managing at any level of football will douse your 16 year experience at the top. Sincerely, random unknown fan’

  1. Gooner Sam

    Good letter and a lot I would have to agree with. Wenger is not the only issue but he is a big part. As you say love him for what he has done for Arsenal but don’t believe he is the right one to take us to the next level (ie. realistic chances of winning the league / champions league).

    Too many of the same mistakes being made and no change…Wenger / the board / tactics, a better captain…something needs to change to move forward

    Reply
  2. Johnno

    Haha, I reckon JB has summed up this article quite well. Its not even original, Ive heard all this slavver before. One bad result and the worms all come out of the woodwork. So lets sack Wenger ay. Who would you replace him with mate? (I`d prefer names who are available and willing to come) Klopp (is he available)? Good manager but his team are currently in the relegation zone in Germany. Imagine that happening at The Arsenal, haha, you`d go into a fucken meltdown. Maybe you would replace him with the latest hyped up media sensation like Fat Sam or Koeman. You know the ones, you were probably one of the mugs who wanted to replace Wenger with Phil Brown, then it was Martin O` neill. I also remember the clamour to bring in Owen Coyle. Honestly mate, give it a rest will ya. One day we will have the extremely hard task to find a suitable replacement for the great man and there aint too many coaches out there who are up to the job. My hope is that we can entice Guardiola to the club after his contract at Bayern is up but we wont be the only interested party there. And if we do sack Wenger or he resigns and we then proceed to get our next appointment wrong then the chances of luring the likes of Pep Guardiola become almost non existent. Be careful what you wish for because a 3 – 3 draw at home in the Champions League, no matter how painful is not a good enough reason to get your panties in such a knot.

    Reply
    1. Goongoonergone

      Johno
      There are remnants of turds still defending Wenger and bleating: “In Arsene we trust.”
      These are the idiots who have made this delusional manager complacent. The letter above is bang on the money and it’s time for the sham masquerading as an Arsenal manager to take his water bottle and retire with whatever shred of dignity he still has.

      Reply
      1. Johnno

        Yeah Ok mate, I remember hearing that same drivel last March. We then proceeded to win The FA Cup and came within 7 or 8 points of doing the double. Its funny though, the old “In Arsene we trust” idiots are mainly the ones who actually go to the games. I would say that he still has the support of 70 – 75% of match goers. The “In Arsene we rust” brigade can normally be found moaning and getting their panties in a knot on the internet after any bad result. By the way, Do you bother going to the games yourself?

    2. Eased4u.com

      I can’t believe you would think there is no coach as good as Wenger. There is that Ancelloti apprentice Paul Clement! Arsenal has the resources to make even a blind me an excellent coach!

      Reply
      1. Johnno

        Great, You want to replace Arsene Wenger with Paul Clement. If you are actually being serious then thanks a lot for proving my point.

      2. Eased4u.com

        What has Wenger given you…he sucks and I was just showing how bad he is. Why you sneers at my clement suggestions make me wanna point that some successive young coaches have learnt from masters. Mourihno was an interpreter to Robson, an interpreter! Clement is master Ancelloti assistant. I bet you don’t even know who clement is, just as Wenger doesn’t know he got success playing two Holding Midfielders.

    3. nick

      You are clueless like the whole team. Who was Wenger before he became Arsenal manager? Why are you afraid of change? Do you think Wenger is an immortal?

      Reply
      1. Johnno

        I`m clueless like the whole team? You mean the one that came within 7 points of winning the double last year? Who was Wenger before he became Arsenal manager? Well, lets see, he was a French title winning manager, he also guided Monaco to the French Cup as well as taking them to the final of The CWC and semi final of The European Cup. He was also a Cup winner with Grampus eight but all that is irrelevant really because even though Wenger will leave behind him a far healthier and more financially robust club the Job of replacing Arsene Wenger will be much bigger than the job of replacing Bruce Rioch. Why am I afraid of change? I do worry about life after Arsene but I no longer dread the day he leaves. As I have said, he will leave behind him a club which is far bigger/better than the one he inherited, the thing that really worries me though is the thought that morons on the internet might get their way and our next manager might be the likes of Moyes, Brown, Coyle, O`Neill or Clement. Do I think Wenger is an immortal? No but apart from Herbert Chapman, he is the best manager this club has ever had.

  3. gilbert

    Mouriho est tétu….les résultats lui donnent raison….Wenger est entèté….les résultats nous le démontrent à chaque saison…et un des affligeant effet de l’entètement est qu’il ne démissionnera jamais!!! on est pris avec cet homme jusqu’a la fin de son mandat avec toutes les conséquences….n’oublions pas ses employeurs qui sont aussi reponsables.

    Reply
  4. bonaroca

    Bonaroca:- I fully agree with the gentleman’s letter, which I must say most of the Arsenal would agree, but unfortunately I think he is still living on past glory, which have now been copied by all the teams at all upgraded their level of play.

    I have worked all my life but when it come to argue with a 65 year old who thinks that he knows all, then it is about time that the Board will have the courage to say enough is enough, for the simple reason if you can’t realise that the weakness in the team is with defence which could be remedied by two top players a Midfield defender instead of Arteta or Flamini and a top central defender to guide the up and coming youngsters.

    I am very sorry for Mr Wenger but one has to realise that the Supporters are paying good money and expect to have a return and not be obstinate by and consider that because one is not a Manager dose not mean that those on the terraces do not understand the game.

    Bonaroca

    Reply
  5. Craszy gunner

    Cheers I enjoyed reading your piece….but very much like you about 70% of arsenal fans feel the same way..

    I gave up waiting for Wenger to change or accept he got it wrong….It has to be his way or the highway …so I am resigned to waiting for that change to happen only when Arsene feels he has had enough….but for the the £8m a yr or £24m even l will not give up such a lucrative job whether you think l am good enough or not…

    The real problem beyond Wenger is Kroenke who knows nothing about football and is not at all interested in soccer…but is more than happy to leave Wenger in charge if only for 4th place as long as the money is rolling in and his investment is not threatened….

    If AFC was your £1bn investment would you risk giving it to AVB to run just because asome fans fancy a trophy or two?…then you better think again…

    That is the quandary guys…..so our pain will continue….

    Reply
  6. Phil Poole

    Brilliant Paul, everything you have said is spot on, I have been saying the same thing for the past 6 seasons. Absolutely no change in tactics season after season, playing the same way every time and always the same end result.
    Even if AW was to read your letter, he’s so arrogant, he wouldn’t take any notice of it at all, because Arsene knows best, as most of the brainwashed supporters say!
    Regards
    Phil

    Reply
  7. SAG

    Johno, so how long should we wait before we switch coaches? 5,6,10 years. You must be one of the “Arsene knows best” idiot fans that we have. Change is tough, hard but sometimes that’s the only way forward. Do you see us winning the PL/CL anytime soon with Wenger in charge. We have been stuck in 4th position for the past 5/6 years. Get kicked out of the CL in the round of 16, because we cannot ever top our group. 19 years at the same job is a long time, and people keep acting like he is working for free or took a pay cut to remain with us. He is one of the best paid manager, if not the best in club management. Thanks Wenger for all you have done for the club, without you we won’t be here, but it’s time to bow out with some dignity.

    Reply
    1. Johnno

      No, I am happy for Wenger to see out his contract(3 years) which I believe will be his last. Guardiola has 2 years left on his contract at Bayern and maybe he will take another year out like he did when he left Barca. I an ideal world, we could come to some sort of agreement with him to be our next manager. What I dont want us to do is to replace Wenger with just any old manager or the latest media darling. Ive seen the likes of Coyle, O`neill, Brown etc etc all touted by some clowns as possible replacements in the past and all I can say to that is, Thank fuck our board dont listen to moronic cunts like that.

      Reply
  8. Eased4u.com

    I couldn’t agreed more. All facts point that Wenger has a mental illness that makes him forget 1996-2005 or is extremely stubborn, arrogant & proud to listen, indecisive, or is living in Utopia!!! Why can I, in Ebola infested continent, see we need a proper, strong, quick brute of a DM…plus a similar defender n not him? Y can I see we need tweaks on formations in relation to the teams we are facing or in relation to how a given match s panning out?

    #Wengerout fans must start shouting!!!

    Reply
  9. Philbet

    Well I guess we could get a new manager, spunk off a £billion or so,and the only certainty would be some will be calling for the new manager to be sacked and some (or all) of the new players to be sold off (because they are after all shite), Paul you clearly love writing and have got a talent there but you have the option to write about The Arsenal or whatever you wish,maybe the managers shite ,the players are shite, the coaches are ,shite and even the owner is shite,sometimes blog writers have to stand up and say we write shite as well, If you feel there is negativity surrounding the club you could blame all or any of the clubs employees or you could look at what you keep writing and take some of the responsibility for that nagativity

    Reply
  10. ljb

    I guess johnno was fuming when David Dein brought in a man who had been sacked by Monaco for almost relegating them and had been managing in that hotbed of quality football known as the J league .

    Reply
    1. Johnno

      No, not at all. Scroll up for my reasons why. The main one being that The Arsenal job is a far bigger job now than it was then. Funnily enough, thats all down to Wenger and its probably the reason why people like eased4u.com actually support the club from his ebola infested land(his words, not mine). Now these same fans want him out. As I have said, the majority of supporters who go to the games still back the manager but I accept that we are in the minority when surrounded by the internet experts.

      Reply
  11. FanaF

    Absolute BS of an article or an open letter. Arsene has a football IQ more than all of your xbox / PS brains. Calm down man … you will realize what he has done when he is gone. Mark my words !!

    Reply
  12. ljb

    Ha ha as if what bloggers write is responsible for the negativity surrounding the club.Yeah,its all the fans fault,nothing to do with the absentee owner only interested in the $ .highest ticket prices in the world ,shite defence ,constant injuries,failure to beat the top sides ,boring football or past it arrogant clueless manager .No ,,its ALL the fans fault ,lets be positive and pretend everything is rosy and Wenger is the best manager in the world BTW do you like seeing your manager sat on his bony arse with a rug over his knees looking like a geriatric in a nursing home as his team throws away a 3 goal lead against a team from a country that , until they came up against Wengers mob , had never scored a goal in England before ?

    Reply
    1. Jacko

      Well said ljb! Spot on, just like the article itself.

      I really don’t understand these cult members defending Wenger over the good of the club. A man who treats all Arsenal fans (including his cult) with contempt!

      It was a great day when Arsene joined the club, of that there is no question…….but it will be an absolutely euphoric day when he finally leaves!!

      Reply
    2. Johnno

      Are you suggesting that Anderlecht had never scored a goal in England before Tuesday night. If so then you are wrong but it does go to show the knowledge some internet experts have when it comes to Football.

      Reply
      1. Jacko

        Back to planet Wenger for you Johnno. When he retires will you buy a deck chair and sit in his garden on Saturday afternoons?

  13. goonersx Post author

    3/14 – Chelsea 6-0 PL
    08/11 – Man United 8-2 PL
    12/12 – Bradford (Pens) LC
    02/14 – Liverpool 5-1 PL
    04/14 – Everton 3-0 PL
    02/12 – AC Milan 4-0 CL
    02/08 – Man United 4-0 FA
    02/14 – Blackburn 1-0 FA
    02/11 – Birmingham 2-1 (Cup Final – Birmingham then Relegated)
    12/10 – Man United 3-1 PL
    04/10 – Barcelona 4-1 CL
    12/13 – Man City 6-3 PL
    04/08 – Man United CL 3-1 CL

    And now, the snivelling capitulations:
    02/11 – Newcastle 4-4 (4-0 lead slip)
    10/08 – Spurs 4-4 (4-2 lead slip)
    02/08 – Birminham 2-2 (2-0 lead slip)
    04/10 – Wigan 3-2 (2-0 lead slip)
    11/12 – Shalke 2-2 (2-0 lead slip)
    10/10 – Spurs 3-2 (2-0 lead slip)
    11/14 – Anderlecht 3-3 (3-0 lead slip)

    taken from facebook.com/shewore sadly there will be more to add to this list…

    Reply
  14. okey ozowalu

    Great letter Paul G. If only Wenger would read it. Wenger lost the plot a decade ago. He is too stubborn to admit it. We are also cursed with two billionaire part owners that dont see eye to eye. Yeah, Wenger will always have legendary status at Arsenal, but presently he is clueless about everything that will keep Arsenal competitive and restore our bragging rights. Arsenal will always have a self sustainable financial model with or without Wenger. My candidates? Roberto Martinez, Michael Laudrup. Piers Morgan is right: Wenger Out!

    Reply

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