Tag Archives: #WengerOut

Lucky, Lucky Arsenal

Well that was easier than we thought.

Despite AC Milan not being the great side they once were, they are still a good side.

Before last night, they had lost just once this year, a run of 1 defeat in 14 games. they had been revitalised under the stewardship of Gennaro Gattuso.

That single defeat was against Arsenal in the San Siro in the first leg.

To emphatically win 5-1 on aggregate sends a message to the rest of the teams in the Europa League. That we are taking the competition seriously.

Looking at the sides left, only Atletico Madrid are on par to Arsenal. And if we perform to our best, they can be swatted aside with ease. The Europa League is Arsenal’s to lose.

An interesting little stat for you all now:

When not in the Champions League, Arsenal have made the final in 3 of the last 5 occasions.

1993/94: European Cup Winners Cup (Winners)
1994/95: European Cup Winners Cup (Runners-Up)
1996/97: UEFA Cup (Round 1)
1997/98: UEFA Cup (Round 1)
1999/00: UEFA Cup (Runners-Up)

Hopefully this year we can put the run of 3 European Final defeats in a row to bed.

Whilst we praise Arsene Wenger for what he has won at the club, we have also lost a lot of finals under him (1 Champions League, 1 UEFA Cup, 1 FA Cup, 3 League Cup). One thing that people will always ask once he is off retired into the sunset is did Arsenal under achieve under Wenger. With 6 final defeats and 3 league titles that we should have won (99, 93, 08), a strong argument can be made for yes.

Anyway, I digress, this is not a blog about bashing Wenger, it is about the Arsenal. I love the feeling and sense of pride when we win. Made even better when Tottenham and Chelsea are no longer in Europe. But it seems some people are not as proud as me when The Arsenal win.

Despite us winning, and getting in to the QF in Europe, some still moaned. One chap on Twitter said “a better team would have taken us apart. arsenal got lucky.” We scored 5 goals mate.

To claim scoring 5 goals and gong through was due to “luck” is just silly. It is bitter. It shows the person who wrote the tweet, and those that agree, are just sad. Sad little men who probably sit there tweeting Arsenal’s sponsors during a game that he has to go. Who claim it is Arsenal FC not Arsene FC; yet dedicate there waking life to wanting #WengerOut.

The majority want Wenger to leave, but there is a point where you have to look at your own behaivour, as a middle aged man, and realise the fact that you are just a sad bitter man.

So onto the next round?

Not sure who I want, but the hope is the away leg is second so that I can give myself a chance of going. Will probably consider anything but Moscow. Madrid in mid-April will be beautiful weather. Marseille and Lazio could be fun. The two Red Bull teams are cities I have never visited.

Lets see what the draw brings us at noon today.

We now do not have a game for 17 days. My advice? Get off twitter. Get out and enjoy your life. It is a short one. Spend some time with your kids. Your family. Get out doors, get some fresh air. Use the time to not think about Arsenal 24/7, not think about Wenger 24/7. Do not become bitter like the weirdo that tweets Arsenal’s sponsors, journalists and various TV channels #WengerOut during the game.

Enjoy a few weeks off.

Up the Arsenal

Ps: Danny – no need to dive mate

Keenos

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Wenger Out – Back the Team

Arsene Wenger’s time was up a few years back.

My opinion has never waivered. I felt that during the 2006-2012 period, when money was extremely limited due to stadium debt and front loaded sponsorship deals, that Wenger did a good job steering the HMS Arsenal through choppy waters.

We might never know how restrictive our finances were during the period, but it is clear to anyone who read the accounts that we had to sell to buy. That we could not pay the wages others did.

I back Wenger during the bad years. Of the opinion that he had helped build the club in those years to become more competitive. A sacrifice of short term glory for long term success. My opinion was that after seeing Arsenal through the choppy period, Wenger should get the first at spending that money.

It was the summer of 2013 my faith in Wenger started to waiver.

Money had become available, through renewed sponsorship deals and new TV deals. We chased Gonzalo Higuain, and then had the infamous £40m+£1 deal for Luis Saurez.

On the Suarez deal, I actually do not attack the club for the failed bid. As I outlined at the time, Liverpool basically told Suarez to “take them to court for breach of contract”. The £1 above a minimum release clause is common, and it was only because the press needed the advertising revenue from clicks that it became such a big story.

Arsenal did not wrong. Liverpool refused to honour Suarez’s contract. Suarez himself would have had to have taken them to court, and instead settled for a big new contract with a new release clause meaning he could go abroad in a year.

But that summer was a fiasco.

Mesut Ozil did join on deadline day, but the only other two signings were Yaya Sanogo and Matheiu Flamini. It should have been our first big summer. Instead it was one of many frustrating ones to come. It was at this point, I wondered if Wenger was still the right man. We had the money, we were just not spending it.

A year later and Arsenal had won the FA Cup and spent nearly £100m – including Alexis Sanchez. Wenger signed a new contract, and everything seemed to be moving forward. It was at this point, in hindsight, that Wenger should have gone.

We should have built on that FA Cup win, on spending £100m on new players. Instead, the next year, 2015, we returned to type.

FA Cup winners once more, we spent just £10m on Petr Cech. It was a disgraceful transfer window.

Having got in the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in the previous 2, we should have built once more. Added what we needed. The striker, the centre back, the midfielder. But we did not, and it was clear Wenger was past his best.

For me, after the 2014 victory, that is the natural time for Wenger to have left.

When he signed the contract last summer, it was to extreme disappointment. It was a cowardly move by the board to offer him that contract, and Arsenal have suffered since.

It feels, however, that the club have seen the light.

Led by Ivan Gazidis, Arsenal have had a massive backroom shake up. A new Director of Football (in all but name), a new Head of Recruitment, a new contract negotiator. The decks have been cleared of Wenger’s yes men, and hopefully it leads to the biggest change of them all this summer; Arsene Wenger leaving.

There has been massive talk of Joachim Lowe being lined up to replace Wenger.

With the German Sven Mislintat as the new Head of Recruitment, Per Mertesacker about to get a plumb Academy Job, and Shad Forsyth as Head of Performance, the back room staff is having a very German look of it.

Forsyth is an American, but he spent 10 years working with the Germany national team and was part of the coaching set-up during their 2014 World Cup success.

You then look at the likes of Mesut Ozil, Shkodran MustafiPierre-Emerick Aubameyang,Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Granit Xhaka & Sead Kolašinac, Arsenal are collecting German players (or former Bundesliga players) like they are Pokemon. Lowe is increasingly looking like a natural fit.

But just because Wenger’s time is coming to an end, it does not mean that we should stop back the team to the end of the season.

At the end of the month, we have a League Cup final.

Someone recently said to me “Arsenal should lose to Man City 4-0”. This is the defeatist attitude we do not need in the lead up to a final.

City “should” have beaten us in last years FA Cup semi-final. Chelsea “should” have beaten us in the FA Cup final. And the west-London side “should” have beaten us in the League Cup semi-final. But Arsenal won, against the odds.

When you actually look at Arsenal v Man City head to head, Man City have won just 2 of the last 10. So to start writing the club off is just agenda driven drivel. It is rubbish.

We also have the Europa League to look forward too.

A big black mark against Wenger is his failures in Europe. 22 years in charge, 2 European finals, ZERO wins. There are some out there who do not want Arsenal to win in Europe so that this black mark stays against his name.

It is Arsenal FC, not Arsene FC.

I want Arsenal to win every tournament they enter. And the Europa League is one I would love us to get our hands on. A trip to Lyon on May, lifting Europe’s second trophy, a potential Europa League / League Cup double.

There are plenty of reasons to still back the team, even if you want Wenger to go.

Winning trophies is what it is all about, not progression and fake records.

Arsenal could end up with two at the end of the season. Despite it clearly being Time to Change, I will continue to support and back the team. That is what real fans do. And hopefully I am rewarded with that trip to Lyon in May.

Wenger Out – Back the Team

Keenos

Jekill and Hyde Arsenal, Lacazette Agenda, Wenger Out Protest and Other Stuff

Jekill and Hyde Arsenal

Great win, great performance. How frustrating.

Arsenal’s last 4 results in the league are LWLW. Both losses came away, both wins came at home.

Bournemouth (A) 1-2
Crystal Palace (H) 4-1
Swansea City (A) 1-3
Everton (H) 5-1

32 out of a possible 39 points at home, 13 out of a possible 39 points away. As an Away Scheme member, it is frustrating.

But rather than spend a Sunday focusing on what we have not achieved, lets enjoy yesterday.

5-1
Hat trick for Aaron Ramsey
Goal on debut for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
3 assists for Henrik Mkhitaryan

On Mkhytaryan, if a player left Arsenal and hit 3 assists and a 10/10 performance on his debut, we would be saying that’s what happens when a player plays under a decent coach. Well Mkhitaryan left Manchester United for Arsenal and has put in his best performance in England. What should we say now?

A delightful victory to take us into Spurs.

Lacazette Agenda

I really hate Arsenal fans sometimes.

Spend years moaning about lack of options, a weak bench, a poor squad, then we have two £50m strikers competing for one space and the narrative changes.

Now it is how can we fit both in?; how can we keep both happy? Lacazette is the fall guy.

Other sides throughout England, and Europe, have multiple quality players for every position. They do not have their own fans asking these questions.

Manchester City have 3 £40m+ centre backs in their squad (and Vincent Kompany). They have Raheem sterling, David Silva, Bernad Silva, Raheem Sterling & Leroy Sane competing for 3 spots – and still tried to buy Alexis Sanchez and Riyad Mahrez.

Why are we complaining?

And then the lies come in. That Lacazette has fallen out with Arsene Wenger. That he has questioned him.

The truth is Lacazette has scored 1 goal in 12 games so was rotated to the bench. nothing more than that.

Wenger Out Protest

It was disappointing to see so few turn up for the organised Wenger Out protest.

Looking at pictures, it seems their was more journalists than fans there. This has the potential to kill any pressure that fans can put on the club as the Arsenal board will see it as 25 turned up to a protest out of 60,000. And they have a point.

Some will point to the rain – but then thousands are marching for the NHS today (although those marching today are probably using the rain for their monthly wash). Others will say it is apathy. That fans now know longer care about, they do not think they can actually do anything.

These fans are wrong. The recent changes in the club – the employment of the likes of Raul Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat – came due to Ivan Gazidis bowing to fan pressure and reducing the influence of Arsene Wenger.

I feel this protest was always doomed to fail, and it has nothing to do with Wenger or apathy, and everything to do with organisation.

In the past, the likes of GC from this site, the Blackscarf Movement, and influential large Twitter accounts have been involved in protests. It takes a lot of work. It is not as easy as “put a message on Twitter and hope people turn up”.

It takes mobilisation of people to get them out. Canvasing the pubs. A call to arms in WhatsApp groups. Actual organisation. The BSM had around 5,000 turn up a few years back.

This was done done by merely putting messages on Twitter. It was done through actual hard work.

I was in The George from about 2pm yesterday. No one was even asking if people were going to the protest. No one seemed to even know about it.

Having faceless 16 year olds running Twitter accounts promoting and attempting to organise protests is always going to fail. Having 100s of RTs about the protests from fans who do not even go is pointless.

Hopefully this failed protest is a lesson to some of those involved, and those Facebook pages and Twitter accounts who promote the protests.

These protests take make organisation than sitting behind a keyboard. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if many of those organising or aggressively advertising it did not even turn up themselves. They probably do not even go to game themselves.

A lesson to be learnt.

Other

Alexis Sanchez scored and was Manchester United’s best player at the weekend. He also gave the ball away 32 times – the most by a Manchester United player in a single game this season.

Two MOTM games, Sanchez is putting in the same performances for United as he did for Arsenal.

He gives the ball away then more than any other player, gets involved when he shouldn’t be, has one of the worst pass completing percentages on the pitch, but will always be one of the best players on the pitch, one of the biggest threats.

Liverpool v Spurs – The “Won two League Cups between them in a decade but everyone thinks they have been really successful recently” Derby. Are there two sides that have won so little in recent years, yet seem to be praised so much by the media? They are the darlings of the British press.

Pep Guardiola – Interesting to see the difference in opinion on poor tackles. When Wenger complained about poor challenges and players needed protecting (3 double leg breaks), the media labelled Arsenal Soft Southern Softies. Guardiola makes similar comments, and that same media publishes a two page spread highlighting the “9 bad challenges on Man City player this season”.

As for him saying he does not have enough players, I always find it interesting the Jose Mourinho is labelled a “cheque book manager” whilst Guardiola is a great coach – he has spent nearly £500m in 18 months at Manchester City.

 

Have a good weekend all!

Keenos