Arsenal’s Options For January. Oh Crap.

Any business, including football clubs, should constantly review its operations and make sure things are going as well as possible. Even if things are looking good you should still regularly ask the question, “Is there anything we should change? What can we do to improve?”

‘Going well’ is relative. Most clubs wouldn’t dream of sacking the manager if they were in Arsenal’s position, but the Manchester Clubs and Chelsea certainly would. Even Spurs would think about it.

So who is reviewing how things are going for Arsenal? Me and you obviously, but the power vacuum that surrounds Arsène Wenger means that if he isn’t doing it – and he isn’t – then no one else in the club is either.

But let’s assume for the sake of argument there was someone willing and able to review the situation and address any problems. The situation is this: Arsenal’s league form is poor; they played a lower league team in the Capital One Cup and got knocked out; they have just been beaten by the team they must face in the FA Cup; they are still in the Champions League, but realistically have little chance of winning it. Overall assessment: the best we can hope for is standing still; we certainly don’t appear to be progressing.


1 – Do nothing. Let Arsène work his magic, as he has done so many times in the past, and hope for the best – ie top four at the end of the season so we’re no worse off than last year.

Best case: it works; income streams are maintained. Fans aren’t happy but they’ll live with it.

Worst case: we drop out of the top four, but we have some money saved (because it’s not spent in January) and we have the summer to strengthen and regroup.

2 – Force Arsène to spend the available money on new players in January, in the hope of turning the season around.

Best case: it works; new players invigorate the squad, there is genuine challenge for places. We cruise back to the top four, and make a damn good fist of trying to win at least one cup.

Worst case: the £70m in the bank is wasted on another couple of Gervinho’s. The team gets worse. We miss the top four, win nothing else and have no money left to make things better come the summer.

3 – Force Arsène to make other changes that cost little or nothing: new coaches from outside, or new methods of training, drilling the defence to within an inch of George Graham’s life, dropping those who underperform, preparing specifically for the opposition, getting someone in who can change tactics and formations even during a game, etc etc.

Best case: top four finish, challenge in the cups.

Worst case: we’re still crap, but we haven’t spent much. (This worst case is only likely though if AW spends the rest of the year sulking at being told what to do. So very likely.)

4 – Sack Arsène now.

Best case: new manager comes in – assuming we can find someone decent to take over mid-season, or we give it to Uncle Bouldie as caretaker until May – spends all the available money on new players and does well enough to finish top four.

Worst case: new manager comes in and it’s Mark Hughes. He spends all the money and we end up closer to the relegation zone than the top four.


Which is the best option? In an ideal world, number 3. In the real world, we’re stuck with number 1. Chances of success: 50/50 at best. But I may rewrite this paragraph if we manage to stuff Reading out of sight tonight. Fingers crossed, because that’s all we’ve got.

Follow me on Twitter: @AngryOfN5


10 thoughts on “Arsenal’s Options For January. Oh Crap.

  1. Usually we’re more certain to get 4th due to blips from opposition rather than our great performer

    Somehow this season looks a bit different. We’re painfully crap, Arsene’s under stress & only getting more & more shut, and our oppositions seem to do better

    Hope I’m wrong though

    All that said, we’re still the 3rd best defence in the league, if we win tonight we’re in a touching distance from 4th

    Hopefully we’ll manage to escape this season, but Arsene should go at the end of it, in a respectable way though (Hint, don’t copy paste Roman). Honestly I can’t see him changing his way again ….

    • Bade….utter nonsense: you mean we came from 17th to 3rd because our opponents were crappier than we were last season? You didn’t give that one much thought did you! We beat our opponents in order to get 3rd, including the Spuds very convincingly.
      What possible reasons can you give to fire Wenger? Our team is a NEW team this year, minus 2 big players from last year, but having built up a much better defence AND with our kids improving steadily, as well as 4 new faces who need to acclimatize, but are still class.
      The only crap I’ve seen so far is that spewed by pessimists and whiners easily losing faith in the best manager in the EPL!

      • A much better defence than last year? The defence that has conceded 7 goals in 2 matches against the Premier League’s bottom team? I’d say the jury is out on that one, mate.

  2. You’ve omitted the fifth (and best) option: keep Arsene and sack Stanley. The £70m is a myth, Arsene has been forced to make do and mend these past several years – no other manager could have done better. Yes, he makes mistakes – but all the best managers do, they make fewer, that’s all. Arsene knows all that there is to be known about football tactics – he makes choices in line with the personnel he has available and, year by year, that has worsened because he has been forced to shop in the bargain basement. He needs a regime that will invest in quality players – and Stanley, on his record thus far and his record in the States, will never do that. While he is owner, the Club is doomed to mediocrity at best, no matter who is manager.

    • englandsbitch……ANOTHER anti-board and Kroenke whine. They spent 90K on transfers so far this season….and they weren’t for so-called ¨bargain basement players but full internationals and top scorers in their respective teams or midfield masters. You many errors of judgement include the fact that Cazorla was NOT bought to replace Song or Cesc or Nasri but to bring a new style to AFC, which he definitely has. Giroud and Podolski were NOT brought in as replacements for RVP, they are entirely different players but having seen Podolski, a true international, live in Germany, he brings a different approach to the game as does Giroud.
      By the way, Korenke’s teams don’t win much but he lets his general managers run the sporting side, AND he doesn’t ruin his Clubs by draining them dry, already two big factors in his favour. Imagine what Usmanov the robber baron would do to AFC if he got his hands on the team…it wouldn’t be pretty, and probably worse than Abramovich.

      • Giroud and Podolski were bought because Arsene knew RvP was leaving. The fact that they may be players of a different style doesn’t alter that.
        Still, nice to see you back adding to the debate Donald, though I’m not sure calling people names is helpful.

  3. How about keeping Wenger, keeping faith in our current players, adding one or two really necessary additions in January and letting the people who actually know how to run a professional Football Club get on with their jobs. This incessant whining and moaning, which adds nothing to the progress or support Arsenal need from its fans, is getting old.

    • But Donald, your hero Arsene says there is no room in his squad for new players, it is already stuffed with quality, so what are these necessary additions of which you speak? Surely you can’t be going against Arsene?

  4. Donald, on the basis of what we have seen so far, the current regime haven’t a clue how to run a football club, certainly not a Big Club like Arsenal. Your mistake is to confuse loyalty to them with loyalty to the Club. We whiners (as you call us) feel compelled to speak up because it would be disloyal of us not to.

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