Arsenal’s Six Big Problems

In addition to the regulars, there are a couple of very good articles on similar subjects in the latest issue of The Gooner, which would have been on sale for the West Ham game today. One is by Simon Hill, a fellow AST Board member (and I’ll come back to that one in a couple of days) and the other is a very succinct piece by Chris Cann called Stopping The Rot.
I don’t know Chris, but he seems to have hit the nail quite hard on the head with his summary of Arsenal’s problems.
I will summarise briefly and leave you to read the full thing if you are a Gooner reader.
Chris is frustrated, as we all are, over Arsenal’s decline. We have so far stayed ahead of the likes of Spurs and Everton, but sometimes only just, and with the use of far greater resources. Why is this? Chris lists six reasons:
1 – Arsenal’s owner is purely a businessman making an investment, and is happy with the status quo.
2 – The rest of the Board have sunk into complacency, having taken their money while still enjoying the privileges of ownership.
3 – Arsene Wenger has lost his advantage. He could previously buy world class or potential world class players from abroad that the rest of England wasn’t even looking at. Now Chelsea and Man City are always there to outbid him. He generally refuses to buy proven Premier League talent on principle of price.
4 – Our player turnover has become far too high, because although the set up still attracts (mainly) youngsters, all the best players want to leave for trophies and/or more money.
5 – Linked to four, a lack of strength in depth. We always seem to have players either permanently injured or just proven not good enough.
6 – High wages have not been matched by performance. We’re no longer very close to teams with similar wage bills – Man U – and struggle to stay ahead of some teams with wage bills around half the size.
Chris offers solutions to the last three of these, on the assumption that the owner isn’t going anywhere so we’re a bit stuck on the first three. Solutions aren’t as easy as stating problems, though.
On player turnover, the suggestion is to tie a core of players down to long contracts, but of course this is easier said than done. A long contract doesn’t necessarily mean no sale, it just means Arsene says there won’t be one, then there’s a protracted period of bull from all sides before the player leaves.
Regarding the lack of strength in depth, the key – as I think we all know – is to have two players challenging for most or all positions on the field. Preferably one up and coming youngster and one more experienced player – and let’s face it there are plenty around who would improve the squad right now.
Wages seems to be the tricky one, though. We are stuck with players on high wages who can’t be sold because no one else will pay them anything like Arsene has decided they’re worth. Chris Cann thinks the problem will resolve itself fairly shortly because the problem contracts are mostly soon coming to an end. However, unless Arsene changes his philosophy and stops awarding novice youngsters with lucrative contracts far beyond their open market worth, the problem will remain. The likes of Ivan Gazidis have publicly acknowledged that the wage structure is a problem, but as long as Arsene has total control over what he does with the budget, it’s difficult to see too much change. We can only hope that the recent contracts announced have been more realistic than those in the recent past.

Twitter: @AngryOfN5



28 thoughts on “Arsenal’s Six Big Problems

  1. If Wenger is the problem,then Arsenal shd get rid of him. There are many competent managers who have won the cl as well national football titles.These guys shd be given a two/three year contract. Underperformance will result in the axe.

  2. Apart from all the problems listed above, I would even question Mr. Wengers`tactics. In the most recent game – The Ox., playing a blinder, gets substituted by Ramsey ( who has lost his way since his injury – yet recently given £10,000 a week increase), and we spend the last 15 minutes defending never getting out of our own half, and looking like conceeding a goal right up to the final whistle. I despair of what is happening to our team.

  3. The. First problem is just senseless if u say the owner is a business man then u should know business men re never satisfied with the status quo and they always want to make more and they best way to make more is to improve so don’t tell me crap abt the owner not being aaambitious …we’ve been unlucky afteerall no matter wat formation or tactics u saw arsenal use against Bradford nobody would think of bettin against arsenal with the line up there…all we need is a large doze of confidence and a bit of luck

  4. D power been given 2 Arsene is 2 much 2 some extent 4instance Wenger is overall boss on budgeting also overall boss on buying n selling of players etc n if d power been giving 2 him is not reduced or supervised we will still be in d position we are

  5. Infact the fans av the say they can decide to boycot buying tickets n stay at home.i thnk the owner and lack of early contract talks to players are the major problem.if arsene can tie his curent squad minus djrou,spuilaci,chamalk,bedtner,arshavin plus lopez,lucas biglia and demba ba for atleast 4 seasons believe u me with his capability to manufacture sweet football wenger can win al the trophies within 3 seasons…and the kiler to this trophy draught monster requires building players together for as long as they can compete for 1st team football.Thank you!!!!

  6. The problem with players we’re unable to offload is not really a problem of our own making. Rather it’s a natural consequence of City and Chelsea (and Utd, and other teams outside of England) distorting the world-wide pay structure for top level footballers.

    We’re now in a middle tier of teams who are unable to match the wages paid by other top teams for top talent (so our top players leave when they get the chance to move on). But smaller clubs are similarly unable to match the wages we pay for ok players who don’t quite make the grade for us (Arshavin, Bendtner, Chamakh, Denilson), which makes it very hard to move them on.

  7. Wenger should be sacked,i wonder why he can’t sign ready made players like falcao,cavani,gotze,lewandowski etc,instead he prefers young boys probably who aren’t experienced,wenger should be sacked.

    • No! Wenger is an excellent manager…in fact, he is the best arsenal has ever had…y dont just give him some time…every team has a “down-period”. Look at Chelsea..they’ve been sacking managers like nothing and they’re still not having any success with that so I think Wenger jus needs a chance

    • What Fantasy Football World are you trapped in Honda? None of the players you mentioned are available, and even if they were their prices would never entice AFC or Wenger to even consider them. you should be sacked…not the Manager of the decade…you ignoramus!

  8. I wonder why wenger prefers Gervinho,Gervinho ruins games nd he refuses 2 create chances,what wuld u call dat player,still yet wenger won’t sign experienced nd ready made players,even in striking options,he has failed drastically,hw can Wenger say Giroud is Van Persie’s replacement,dat man deceived Arsenal fans in d last transfer window,we all thought he wuld sign a qualific striker,but he didn’t,nd again,hw can teams like tottenham,liverpool nd everton snatch players 4rm us,its unheard of,wenger is just 2 slow in d transfer market,wenger must be sacked with immediate effect

  9. kroenke is the slow death of our beloved club i have supported and dreamt of for 45 years, it makes me so sad, its over, arsene has totally lost it too and did so 8 years ago when fizman kicked dein out out of spite then sold to kroenke the very many he kicked dein out over!, he sold to him out of spite too, what a total disaster, as for the team and the players, come on the awful truth is we are total crap compared to the £120m on wages we spend, giving ramsey an extended contract with more money tells you all you need to know, we are dogshit from the very top to the very bottom, it breaks my heart, i am very seriously thinking the unthinkable, a season ticket holder home and away since the early 70’s, im going to give up this love of mine, as its gone, kronke is a total piece of scum, a moron a cunt, a loser, as for usmanov, i know the facts most dont, usmanov offered kroenke a fortune and he turned it down, pep was lined up… yup its true, it will come out but it doesnt matter now, we are as i said in a slow and painful death, it may take a generation for kroenke to die before we ever get our arsenal back but we may well be like leeds when that eventually happens!
    as for our gooners, maybe at some point we will unite and wake up but for now we are silent just like our owner!

    • Gee…oh dear….time you took up knitting…its easier on the nerves. I’ll ask Kroenke to send you a kit for Christmas.

  10. Same old crap that fails to engage with the financial realities. We spend as much as we can on wages to recruit and retain and stay in touch, we spend nothing on transfers, we lose greedy players who want more money and haven’t finished below anyone with less expenditure for years.

  11. To indicate any manager would do a better job than Wenger given the same restrictions is insane. Mourinho is a manager who needs to spend stupid money to win titles. Guardiola had the best team and the best player (by far) in the world to work with. All other managers are either unavailable or just plain unable – regardless of what us plebs may think.

    There’s only one manager who can take over from Arsene right now and that’s Jurgen Klopp. Although those well-versed in football will acknowledge that Dortmund were a side who dominated Germany in the early 2000s only to fall by wayside – losing countless top players in the process. Klopp arrived and decided to switch the club’s focus to youth development and cheap, underrated recruits – acquiring the likes of Kagawa and Lewandowski for peanuts from lesser, unknown clubs (Lech, anyone?), mixing those gems in with a core of players from their youth system – Gotze being the brightest light. Klopp won two titles in Germany using the exact same philosophy as Wenger while others were buying big stars and spending many, many millions.

    The problem is that when you rely on a youth system and cheaply-acquired gems, your graduates may not develop as planned (ala Lansbury) and your cheapies may turn sour due to various factors (Denilson because couldn’t live up to hype and RVP because turncoat). Every now and then everything syncs – you have a bumper crop of youths who are ready to take on the world and your gems turn out to be diamonds. This is exactly what happened to Barca after they went through what was probably their worst title-less run ever. It happened to Dortmund. Its possible to achieve this way and its happening this day and age. Maybe Arsenal fans need to pull finger (and head) and see what’s happening in the real world outside of petro-dollars and the gains of oligarchs.

  12. Arsenal’s problems.
    1.Arsene has way too much control over the entire club.
    2. I don’t know why he has assistants, it’s just a complete waste of money.
    3. We have an owner that does not care less about the Arsenal, as long as books are in the black.
    4. IG is a complete YES man. It would be novel to hear about one of his ideas for improving the club.
    5. We are a stale club and have been for 5 years.
    6. The hierarchy are complacent thinking that Gooners will just keep paying regardless of the current plight of the club. There will be a backlash.
    7. We need to get Usmanov into the picture.

    • Usmanov again? Be wary of what you wish for mate. Your list neglected point 8: whiny, ignorant fanboys pretending to be in the know but actually being manipulated by the media BS and Anti-Arsenal forces.

  13. In that case, the 7th problem is surely Arsenal fans. Not even the idiots who live halfway across the world and can’t speak the language. But the sad, bitter, pathetic opinionated morons who go to the Emirates. Well, I say ‘go’, but often it’s just an empty seat. Booing their own players, screaming at every bad pass, picking on individual players, booing their manager for a substitution, singing ridiculous songs about the manager not knowing what he’s doing.

    And then, oh, the blogger fan, the one that is extra sad, bitter, opinionated and pathetic, yet thinks he is positioned ideally to comment and analyse even though his own life is likely a failure and he spends his time writing a blog endlessly criticising, belittling and berating the club he is supposed to support. ‘I’m doing this because I love the club’, he says. ‘That’s why I’m so scathing and insulting. That’s why I always appear extra excited after a bad result. That’s why I joined a meaningless organisation like the AST and regularly make a fool of myself at meetings with club people who have actual responsibilities, who actually make decisions, who actually have a life.’

    If Arsenal stinks right now, perhaps it’s from the bottom up and not the other way around.

    • Right on mate…..our biggest 6 problems are Twiddly-Dee and Twiddly- dumber, moronic and his brother cretinous and ignorance and his colleague prejudice…who all together don’t make one true supporter.

  14. To me wenger is our biggest problem,i just laugh when we arsenal fans say buy dis sell dis bt have we sensed dat it might nt be d fault of dis players under par performance,how can u sign a striker and expect him to play as a winger or sign an amf and expect him to play on d wing.Before we condemn dis players,did we arsenals watch there matches in there previous clubs.when chamak was in bordx,he scored goals becos he was been played along wit a striker bt wenger used him as a lone striker upfront making him isolated,d same goes 4 podoski,giroud all played along wit a 2nd striker upfront bt wenger uses podoski on d wing or as a lone striker,even giroud played along wit a 2nd striker.Arshavin par performance is down on wenger becos arsenal played well in zenit as an amf or support attacker bt wenger uses him on d wing.Is arshavin nt better and creative than ramsey,so why do wenger play ramsey ahead of arshavin in matches.To me wenger tactics,formation and selection is nt working 4 arsenal,i just dont understand why wenger keeps playing 1 dimension formation in all matches dis season.dont wenger sense dat d 4 3 3 formation isolates d lone striker upfront becos he is been marked by d central backs bt a 4 4 2 or 4 1 3 2 formation will be so threating to d central backs becos they have two strikers to mark.look at tottham d avb has changed from 4 3 3 to 4 4 2 to give d team two strikers option upfront.even alex fergie prefers to use two strikers upfront to threat d central backs bt our dear wenger tends to prefer using 1 striker upfront making d striker isolated.Atleast wenger should rotate d formation nt just 4 3 3 opponents will be prepare to defend.i love to see david moyes as arsenal manager,he is a coach dat is nt afraid to play any team 4 4 2 formation in d epl.wengers problem is dat he wants to develop d players on d pitch by playin them if they are nt good enough 4 d club,dat is why he keeps on playin 1 dimension formation always.

  15. Lets look at podoski and giroud both scored enough goals for there former clubs last season becos they were used properly in d attack.How can wenger keep on playin podoski on d wing,when he can play him wit giroud or walcot upfront in a 4 4 2 or 4 1 3 2 formation.wenger keeps on playin 4 3 3,when 11 and 7 are nt supplyin or supportin d attacker wigan match,walcot was isolated thru out d match becos he was closely marked by d central backs,if wenger had played podoski and walcot upfront,wigans central back will have had a difficult time.why do think manu beats wigan just down to d two strikers upfront.if we sign quality players dis january or in d summer it will be the same thing,we will be struggling to win matches if wenger doesnt changdm d formation.Do u know we have players more than chelsea,everton,tottham bt d problem is wenger,he does nt know how to use them to win matches confidently,his tactics,formationtand team selection very poor.we have fast players in gervinho,ox,,they should be drafted as wingers like valencia,young.giroud,walcot and podoski upfront attackers.either arteta or cazorla or wilshere in cmf position.then we have a 4 4 2 formation onground-syn-sagna,mert,verm,gibbs(defence),gervinho,arteta,wishere,cazorla(midfield),giroud and walcot(attackers) or 4 1 3 2 formation-syn-sagna,mert,verm,gibbs(defence),arteta(dmf),podoski,wiishere,cazorla(mf),giroud and walcot(attackers).wenger needs to drop a player on d bench.Even fergie develops players bt does nt play everyone

    • well highlighted kunle^, ive been making a similar point about formation tactics for a while now… i have stayed quiet for a while on this issue as i believe it can be somewhat distasteful to question a manager such as AW on formation tactics, player positions etc. but after years of seeing potentially great players ruined by blatantly being played out of position or in the wrong system it is hard not to point fingers. the main culprits;
      bendtner ( doesn’t belong in a 4-3-3 )
      arshavin ( needs to play more central )
      gervinho ( winger but in a 4-4-2, he has to much responsibility in a 4-3-3 )
      chamakh ( needs to play in a front 2 )
      ramsey ( winger? lol )
      podolski ( my nan can see hes not a winger )
      giroud… ( does not belong in a 4-3-3 dnt have a clue what AW was thinking )

      im convinced all these players have a decent chance of becoming great players but it seems that wenger isn’t prepared to play them in the positions they played in at their previous clubs, opting to crowbar them into a 4-3-3 instead

      bottom line is for a 4-3-3 formation to be winning week-in week-out you need all your attacking players to be top quality, very comfortable playing in such a system and a world class striker that can do everything i.e Robin van fuckface !
      basically if the striker in 4-3-3 is cack its fckin pointless

      • You mention van Persie as if he is some sort of savior, meanwhile he was here for the past 8 season of which the past 3 were 4-3-3 and he didn’t win us anything and was shackled in most big games. He is no hero.

        Most of the critics haven’t a clue. Kroenke is no different from Fiszman & Dein. Both had only 1 goal in mind and that was money. It was not Kroenke who lost Ashley Cole over a mere 5,000 a week. It was not Kroenke who let Edu, Wiltord, Pires and Flamini go for free. It was not Kroenke who sold off Henry.

        At some point the lightbulbs should go off. Fiszman & Dein were out to maximize profit and the resale vale of the club which is how they made their coin.

        Also, they were only committed to winning in the years when they saw a window that is was possible. The minute Abramovic turned up spending fat wads of cash that they couldn’t match, Dein & Fiszman gave up on winning and turned the club into Ajax West, with a property scheme tacked on. Then they cashed out. Spectacularly and without donating even a single share or a board seat to AST, which tells you how little they were interested in fan opinion, let alone control.

        Anyone with a couple of brain cells can follow the timeline and see this. The rest are running around like rabble looking to blame the current owners, who are merely continuing what was started by Dein and Fiszman and operating with the ofiscal framework locked in by them!,,,

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