Arsenal Back On Track?

Arsenal 5  West Ham 1

The Arse win! Not just win, but win convincingly despite going a goal down to West Ham, who looked dangerous early on. There were several good points about this match, and I’m not sure which was the best, so let’s have a top 10 good things in no particular order:

  • Fat Sam Allardyce loses; always nice when the anti-football messiah gets his comeuppance
  • David Sullivan was pictured in the crowd wearing a silly hat and looking miserable – ha!
  • Arsenal shared the goals around the forwards almost equally, leading to more confidence and happiness all round
  • There were sweeping moves flowing from one end of the pitch to the other, reminiscent of The Invincibles, and we did not fart about playing sideways passes for ten minutes then lose possession before shooting
  • Some of the flowing attacks led to fairly spectacular goals!
  • Some crosses got past the first man and even found an Arsenal player!
  • Santi found his shooting boots and was getting shots on target
  • Several players were prepared to shoot from outside the box
  • Defensively we looked far more organised than in recent matches
  • The team spirit was far more evident than we’ve seen for a while
  • The captaincy didn’t immediately paralyse Jack and prevent him playing his natural game

There were a couple of bad points too, but I won’t dwell on them except to say I hope this doesn’t convince Arsene not to go on the spending spree that he is probably, almost certainly, gearing up for right now.

What we need now is consistency. We need to put a run together. We’ve hung on to the coat tails of Everton and the Spuds; we need to be in a position to take advantage when they inevitably falter. But first, a little trip to the coast on Saturday to see off Brighton. Come on!

 

I did say in the last post that I’d give measurements of some of my body parts (not that!) if we won against West Ham. I’ve added them here if you’re interested. (If you didn’t read the last post, that is going to look like an odd couple of sentences, I admit.)

Follow me on twitter: @AngryOfN5

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29 thoughts on “Arsenal Back On Track?

  1. Calm down Phil ! , Great , we won a derby with a bit of style but this was the hammers ,not the “west end girls” or the spuds ! We are still papering over the cracks ! Hope that young Potts lad is ok though.

    • I didn’t expect you to turn on me Noel! I don’t want to get carried away, but it was the way we attacked I liked so much. I didn’t think AW was interested in playing like that any more.

  2. Sweet performance, even sweeter against the deluded FatSam who couldn’t keep his fat chops shut again this week churning out the same shit about knowing how to beat Arsenal. He has less than a 10% win rate against Wenger but keeps lauding himself as being his match.

    And Noel, we’re not ‘papering over the cracks’ every time we win. Maybe this is the true us and the bad performances paper over the facts that we’ve actually got a great squad that lacks consistency. When ManU win after playing badly – or in many cases outplayed, like at Southampton and Liverpool and Spurs – mugs like you say thats what makes them champions – but when we win if we dont play well, its papering over the cracks.

    Yeah we’re a million miles away from the Manchester clubs, but we’re in sniffing distance of Chavsea after they spent £150m in a year, and the Spuds that everyone say are so amazing and are just 4 points ahead.

    The 2nd half football was dazzling tonight. It might not have looked that way to you on your internet stream whilst watching Big Brother at the same time, but it was. Did you see West Ham away at United two weeks ago? They were all over them as United clung on to a 1-0.

    Bit of positivity wouldn’t go amiss from these idiot armchair goons!!!

    • I think the difference with Man Utd is they play badly and usually win or play well and win, and we play well and win or play badly and lose. Sometimes we even play well for 45 and still lose. So Man U currently don’t have as many cracks as we do, albeit they are conceding a fair number of goals.

  3. Noel’s right Phil….we did very well tonight BUT we need a real run of victories to get us back to the top where we belong. The team seems like Dr.Jekyl and Mr.Hyde….piss poor performances followed by total domination…or piss poor first halves followed by dominatuing but unsuccessful 2nd halves. For me it never has been a question of quality but rather of committment and confidence. The team is too fragile morale and confidence-wise and lack the conviction that they can take any team to the cleaners IF they all work together and never say die. I blame the negativism and piss-poor AFC supporters who chant and harass our good players havinbg a bad day, Some of our best men seem to be very negatively affected by this rudeness and ignorance and too many Gunners seem worried about making mistakes and getting booed by the morons. Wenger seems to be able to motivate his players r CRAFT syndrome diseasesecond half displays but can he start doing it from the first whistle? If he can, then we’ll end this season in the top 4 easily and probably with a trophy as well…if not then we are in big trouble.

    • So OMG, the problem is the fans fault? Did we train these players? Did we sell our prolific world-class striker who is lighting up the Premiership at our detested rivals and not replace him? Do we tactically set up the team the same no matter what team that we play against and never change it despite having players with distinctly different playing styles? Do we have roughly the same substitutions regardless of opposition or circumstance? Are we sitting on our hands during a vital transfer window and dropping points because we refuse to strengthen our squad despite the glaring obviousness of our lack of depth?

      Oh yes, it sounds certainly like the fans fault.

      Oh yes, it must definitely be the fans fault, surely

      • Do we have alot of shit fans who love the manager/team one week and hate them the next? Yes!
        Do you expect to be like the invincibles year on year and if not then call for the head of everyone? Yes!
        Do you panic after a loss and want us to spunk £25 million on some ‘flavor of the month’ striker that just scored a hat trick, even though it might destabilize the ones we have, big money means big wages? Yes!
        Then when we do spend money on said flavor and he dont work out, wil you be saying more wasting of money, shit purchase so sack AW? Yes!
        Do you all think that you can do a better Job than AW? Yes!
        Do you lot really want Ancelotti, Benitez, Owen Coyle (haha), Mancini to take over like we are some easy, floozy, scrag that has been around the block a million times with all the big boys then bugger off with a big money packet to next scrag? Yes!!!
        Remember this, AW can get any Tom, Dick n Harry together and have them play better than any other manager around, he just needs to be convinced to buy some good ‘backups’, which isn’t easy to do, but getting rid is not the answer yet!
        This team is fairly new and needs to really gell, we can see that the team is almost there it just needs some magic ingredient which WE ALL don’t know what it is. We can demolish any team on our day, the magic ingredient will be the person/s that can actually make us do it more often. That’s why AW cut thr press conf early.

      • Some whiny fans contribute to the problem rather than help the team, by booing them and constantly sniping at everything they see as being an issue. You are stating that Wenger is doing things that are,in fact, past your simplistic view of how a Football Club should be managed. Why is Wenger waiting…maybe his reasons are far superior to your capacity to understand them? Maybe his tactics are more in tune with the reality of the game than your ¨superior¨ view of how things ¨should¨ be done?
        Criticism is justified if it is positive and contri utes to the general improvement of the team, is based on hard and sure facts and a firm knowledge about what it is directed at…but you’re just another whiner who thinks his opinion is legendary.

      • “Maybe his tactics are more in tune with the reality of the game than your ¨superior¨ view of how things ¨should¨ be done?”

        Firstly, if you can actually counter argue without the insults, it would be appreciated. When you insult it typically shows that you bring nothing to the table with an argument.

        So tactically in tune that a majority of performances have left us 19 points behind Utd and currently 6th.

        “Criticism is justified if it is positive and contri utes to the general improvement of the team, is based on hard and sure facts and a firm knowledge about what it is directed at…but you’re just another whiner who thinks his opinion is legendary.”

        Criticism is criticism. It is subjective whether or not it is positive or not. The facts are we are under performing this year (look at the table), were beaten by a League 2 side who is close to bottom of the table. So given the cold light of day, would you qualify this season as a success?

        Although by and large, I enjoyed the 10 minutes that we played quick counter-attacking football and the Hammers, I am under no illusions of grandeur just yet.

  4. Fans like you I think, begeegs. It’s your fault.
    And well said elkieno. You saved me the trouble of all that work sorting out that begeegs chap.

    @ angryofislington… you forgot the face on that Karen Brady bird. I think she was sizing up Giroud. At Brum [allegedly] she would have a habit of walking into the dressing room when the players were in various states of undress.

  5. You lot are ridiculous. You come up with a straw man argument and think that you have won. Sorry, but I don’t claim to any of the above. Sure there are some fickle fans, but I am not one of them. I am a realist. I also love and support Arsenal, not Arsene. I expect us to compete with the resources at our disposal. Is that happening? Nope. And that is when we pay the highest prices in world football to watch them and should expect better. (I would have Ancelotti in a heartbeat though. He’d sort out our defense – the other managers, no thanks)

    At any other big club in world football – Wenger would have been out on his ear 2 seasons ago, but here at Arsenal because of what happened almost 10 years ago he is still in a job. Why is that? Because of fans like you who defend him to the hilt despite overwhelming evidence that he is the cause of the teams woes and blame the fans for the teams failings.

    Why do we have the same problems in defense year after year despite a change in coaches and team personnel? Oh, I forgot – it’s the fans fault. Why the same formation despite changes in personnel and against every team? Yep – the fans again. Why are we leading the league with individual errors? Fickle fans. Why do we have so many Winston Bogardes in our squad happy to collect wages even though that they aren’t playing (Ashavin, Squillachi)? Yep – us again because we decided their contracts.

    Even if I was a fickle fan, it still has little to no effect on how this team plays nor how it is being managed and that you are actually clinging on to that is simply sad. What will you blame next? Some other benign influence? Maybe the FTSE tumbled a few points? The Prime Minister perhaps?

    Are you also telling me that this team still hasn’t gelled? Come on. How long do they need? Again, this is the fault of the manager for having such a high turnover from year to year with his key players.

    • “At any other big club in world football – Wenger would have been out on his ear 2 seasons ago, but here at Arsenal because of what happened almost 10 years ago he is still in a job.”

      Just for the record, there is no top manager in the world that would take the Arsenal job in the first place. The Arsenal FC manager is required to turn a profit on player sales – in fact this is the income that keeps the lights on at AFC – AND keep the team in the top four.
      http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2011/08/24/sale-of-nasri-makes-arsenal-a-net-selling-club-over-a-decade-24080/

      Go look at the spending record of Ancelotti, Mourinho, Ferguson, Guardiola, Benitez etc. They all SPEND money like water. Despite the bluster of AFC board and Wenger, it is clear from the record that the manager is NOT allowed to spend.

      So how would Wenger have been out on his ear? Do you know any manager that has produced his record while being a net seller of players? No one can do this. Wengers peers know it and the club owners ALL know it, which is why the man continues to be linked to top jobs even while a handful of clueless Arsenal “fans” berate him

      Some of you are delusional. No more rational than a common roman street mob.

  6. While I concede that the first few years that Wenger probably had his hands tied, he hasn’t been so restricted in the past few years and letting RVP go was criminal. Even selling Fabregas, who had years on his contract, was bad business. Sure, Fabregas wanted to leave, but he was under contract. Also, the ‘socialistic’ view that Wenger has on wages is ridiculous as well – it is why we cannot offload some of the players that we have. They are on wages that are too high for other teams to match, so they end up getting loaned out. I needn’t mention the names because we all know who they are. That is waste, in my opinion, and could be better utilized.

    I think that you need to have a look at the accounts before saying that he hasn’t had money because the board have always maintained that he has money to spend and even Wenger recently conceded the same. The accounts are freely available on Arsenal.com – quoting a bloggers website that talks about net spend proves nothing. If anything, it proves that Wenger is a good accountant, but nothing more.

    However, the point about no top managers wanting to come here is simply not true and no, they don’t all spend money like it is water. Mourinho, if you recall, won the CL with Porto and they aren’t big spenders. In fact, they traditionally also sell their best players, but manage to stay on top, however, that could be an inherent weakness in the Portuguese League – I don’t know. Porto beat Utd that year on their way (Arsenal had the Invincibles that year and were beaten by Chelsea). He has also been on record recently saying how he was jealous of the stability at Arsenal. (That isn’t saying that I want him at Arsenal). Ancelotti was linked with before going to PSG (not sure how true that it is). I very much doubt that any top manager wouldn’t want to come here – great facilities, great stadium, loyal and very patient support (look at the posters above for proof of that) and decent players.

    I think that the problem that I have has nothing really to do with finances. My complaint is that I seriously doubt if Wenger is getting the best out of his players anymore. Results this year would suggest that he isn’t. Of course, that could change, but we still can’t defend set pieces, or defend very well full stop. This has been happening for many, many years. The formational aspects which I talked about above, the pre-planned substitutions, etc. There is probably more that people have probably covered elsewhere.

    Is he still the best man for Arsenal or could someone else come in and do a better job with the same budget and same players? I think that there are many coaches out there that could do that easily, especially in the organizational aspect.

    Is that delusional? I think not.

    • Look, first of all let’s dispell one myth: keeping Van Perise was not a option, nor Fabregas. Fabregas spend the 2nd half of his final season on a quiet strike, suffering “hamstring” injuries. The same was true for Nasri. Once Van Persie said he was off, holding him to his final year would have meant that he would play well for the first half, just to secure a new contract elsewhere, then shut down at xmas for the next 6 months on one medical excuse after another. You think this would be a good idea to keep him? Get real please.

      This is why Song was sold. He was using the same agent and would have been disruptive. Its not an idle threat – go read the news reports of what Song was doing to engineer his way out. Its public knowledge.

      “The manager has money to spend” is pure bluster. He clearly does not. The club is stockpiling cash to be able to pay the debt if revenue takes a hut. They cannot prepay the debt because of penalties. If you believe that stash is waiting for Wenger then you are gullible. If Arsenal had that much money to spend believe you me, the would have offered it to Guardiola and he would have taken the job!! But he didn’t because Arsenal manager’s job involves being a net seller.

      You say Mourinho won the CL at Porto? Indeed. And since then he is no longer interested in any job where he doesn’t have a big budget. Because even he knows that he had good fortune in that one fluke for Porto. I also remember that team of his: they basically dived and fouled and cheated their way to the title. he could not do that at Arsenal – the fans would not accept that style of play. But whatever the case, Mourinho today would not accept the Arsenal job if you told him to make a profit on players – not when PSG and co will give him an open chequebook. Again, get real please.

      You need to stoop swallowing media propaganda about Wenger’s wage policies. He does not pay squad players any more than any other top English team. And Man Utd has had to eat players wages in payoffs to get rid of them. Ditto Man City. Only difference is Arsenal makes them wait out the term.

      Also tell me who is the “socialist” in English football.
      – Is anyone more socialist than a club that does not run a profit, but pays Kolo Toure 120K of charity money per week? Wayne Bridge 90K per week to do nothing? Scott Sinclair 80K per week to do nothing? Nasri 160K per week to occasionally perform. Do you undertand how many players are no Man City’s bench because no one will buy them or pay them?
      – Do you realise how much Fabio is getting paid by Manchester to do nothing much at QPR?
      – Do you know how much Lukaku is earning at West Brom? Do you think West Brom is the one paying him that amount?

      Like I said, some of you are gullible beyond belief and you swallow any garbage the media inserts in your mouth.

  7. Firstly, once you remove this ‘Wenger needs to produce a profit’ point that you insist on pressing, despite any evidence, your entire argument falls down. What you are basing it on is something that I do not know. There are blogs out there that devour the public accounts, like the excellent Swiss Ramble and even this very site. The accounts are available to you to do your own research, but yet you insist that I am deluded despite offering nothing to support your claim.

    If keeping RVP wasn’t an option, then replacing him with a proven striker was – like the one that was bought up by Chelsea, Demba Ba – a proven Premiership striker or one that was World Class – don’t get me wrong – Giroud is a decent striker, but he is not in RVP’s calibre. We are missing his goals (and playmaking skills) badly this year.

    Fabregas – you are relying on media speculation and your own speculation to support your claims – the same with Song and Nasri and that’s the thing- you are saying that I am gullible beyond belief when believing the media’s garbage, but then refer to the very same media to support your claims about Song, Fabregas, etc. Quite convenient, don’t you think?

    “You need to stoop swallowing media propaganda about Wenger’s wage policies”

    Ummm – Is it propaganda if it comes straight from the horse’s mouth?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/9782420/Arsenal-manager-Arsene-Wenger-defends-his-socialist-wage-plan.html

    Or how about this one regarding money to spend –

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/english-premier-league-arsene-wenger-1529741

    But nope – no money to spend.

    I am very aware of penalties for paying back loans too quickly. However, Gazidis has claimed that the debt is very affordable with low rates and the public accounts support his statement, but again, I was never arguing about the financial aspect, I am talking about the footballing aspect.

    The last point that you try to make has no relevance (Man City’s wasted wages) to what I was talking about. The oil baron’s clubs have significant waste because they can and yes, it does have a run on effect to the footballing world as a result (the fans end up funding it through ticket prices), but on the pitch is what matters – and that is where I feel that it has been lacking for the past couple of seasons.

    • I think you dont have any grasp on what blustering is: people claiming they can do more than they can, in an attempt to fool the audience. Arsenal has been doing this for ages, precisely because it is not a big club. Its a club with a noble history that is working its way toward the elite table, but really does not have the kind of firepower the elite clubs do.
      – No, Wenger does not have any extra money available to buy players: the proof is there in the accounts which document that every year he runs a ret sale of players.
      – Yes, the club is operating a rainy day fund in case they dont make it to the CL. It shows up in the goddam balance sheet every year – over and over again. If you are expecting the club to TELL you its a rainy day fund, then I suppose you are the type that believe both Putin and Obama when they claim that they just happen to own hundreds of nuclear weapons but that those weapons are not aimed at any particular country!! Wake up, please. your naivete is shocking.

      You think a business of this size runs every year with a consistent pattern of financial results (net sale of players) and somehow this result is NOT the framework handed down by ownership? Get a clue please. You clearly have no experience of how businesses of this scale are run. There are no such thing as coincidences – results with this kind of consistency are nothing less than a result of a deliberate strategy.

    • Oh and one more thing. If Demba Ba was such a clear bargain, why do you think the only club that bid for him was a club that does not run a profit – and does not aim to? In fact its a club that spends money like water.

      This should be a clue for you. No Ba was not a good buy and he would not give lasting value over a 3 year time period. Bayern wasnt interested, Real madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, Juve – none of them. Spurs needs a striker – they werent in for him, either. But somehow Arsenal is insane for not buying him? Okay, right.

      • While I accept that it is simply your medical expertise or scouting opinion that Ba won’t have lasting value over 3 years, the rest is unfounded. You would simply have no idea if those teams were or weren’t interested. And because Chelsea bought him, he must have been very expensive and that’s your proof? The logic astounds….

        Secondly, it was held up as an example of a striker who is currently better than Giroud. Would he have been my choice, no, but I know some people who thought that not buying him when we don’t have a clear striker on the bench is folly.

        As for the rest of the financials, if Arsenal have been lying to their fans and Wenger is complicit, it just gives another reason why he should go. I can’t be arsed with arguing with you about it when you don’t back it up with anything. Yes, companies all have contingency and I would expect that Arsenal aren’t any different, but the financial aspect is really secondary to what I was arguing.

        Please tell me why you think that he is still the best man for the job and please leave out anything financial.

    • “…The last point that you try to make has no relevance (Man City’s wasted wages) to what I was talking about. The oil baron’s clubs have significant waste because they can and yes, it does have a run on effect to the footballing world as a result (the fans end up funding it through ticket prices), but on the pitch is what matters – and that is where I feel that it has been lacking for the past couple of seasons….”

      You’ve got to be kidding me. Let’s see:
      – Nasri 160K per week to be a squad player
      – Adebayor 160K per week to be loaned out like a used bicycle
      – Kolo Toure 120K per week to sit on the bench
      – Clichy 120K per week that no other club would ever offer him
      – And then Van Persie’s going rate effectively jacked up to 250K per week

      But you claim that Man City’s spending does not count on the field? Wow.Man City operates with a clear pattern of jacking up wages artificially (it cannot make a profit at these wages – it is giving money away to the players) to the point that other clubs like Arsenal that run on a real budget are getting drained of talent. Obviously this spending has an effect on the field: it’s forcing other clubs to run a financial loss – or lose their talent.

      So I go back to my original point, which is that before you complain and whine you need to understand the financial framework the manager has been given – and recognize that it creates limitations. Wenger himself has telegraphed this with his steady comments to the effect that the squad he has is giving their all. The message to the board his: give me bigger budget to spend if you want better results.

      And the board clearly isnt winning to spend, because as I pointed out before if they actually had a 70 million stash they were ready and willing to spend, the’d probably have had no problem getting Guardiola to take the job – but Guardiola isnt going to join a selling club, is he? So stop this clap trap about Wenger being a miser – the cash is clearly NOT available to him – or any other potential replacement manager for that matter. So when you ask for Wenger to go, make sure you tell us who can come here and do BETTER while making a net sale of players every year.

      • Eh? The original thing that we were talking about had to do with what Wenger was talking about – his socialistic wages. His words, not mine. Then you started talking about Man City which was diversion and I didn’t see the relevance to the original argument, but to what you are saying, I’d largely agree. The Man Citys and Chelseas of football created a dramatic rise in wages which has trickled down to other clubs in order to compete and those other clubs, like Arsenal, pass on that expense to fans in ticket prices, etc. etc. I don’t agree that they drain the talent pool, though. What they do is create excessive turnover because they keep poaching our best players. What we haven’t been doing, though is replacing those players with the same quality that has left and maybe that is what you mean by draining of talent.

        Whether or not, Wenger is restricted by the board sounds like we will agree to disagree. I’ve grown very tired about arguing about the finances. I don’t feel that you have given me any evidence to support your claims and telling me that Wenger is saying something when he says something else is merely speculation and your opinion (eg – ‘The message to the board his: give me bigger budget to spend if you want better results’ – this is your opinion and not based on evidence).

        “the’d probably have had no problem getting Guardiola to take the job” – Sorry, but to do that, they would have to get rid of Wenger, and that isn’t going to ever happen. He will decide when to step down, unfortunately.

        “when you ask for Wenger to go, make sure you tell us who can come here and do BETTER while making a net sale of players every year.” – Not this old chesnut – It isn’t my job to identify targets, but if I had to name a few names with your hypothetical situation, I’d have a punt on quite a few managers – Frank De Boer is doing well at Ajax, David Moyes has done well at Everton despite having a wage bill considerably less than Arsenal’s, Klopp at Dortmund (doubt he’d come at this moment in time, but has done exceptionally well dealing with budgets and his team play superb football), Possibly Laudrup at Swansea (his 1st season in the Prem is very promising, but need more time to watch him), Hiddink (if he was available) – again these are hypothetical, but I do not have a global glossary of footballing knowledge because I do not work in football and I wouldn’t expect that you would either which is why that question is a cop-out.

        You still haven’t answered my question regarding why Wenger is still the man for Arsenal without mentioning finances.

      • “You still haven’t answered my question regarding why Wenger is still the man for Arsenal without mentioning finances”

        What – you think this is a video game? Football clubs run on budgets. Wenger has won titles when he had the budget. When he hasnt had the budget, he has still performed WAY above par when adjusted for his budget. I mean do you think Ferguson or Guardiola would do better with THIS financial restriction?
        http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2011/08/24/sale-of-nasri-makes-arsenal-a-net-selling-club-over-a-decade-24080/

        Get real and stop whining. I’m so sick of “fans” who do nothing but moan and yet have no clue what it means to run a business. I mean you try outperforning the competition in your job when they have an unlimited budget from their owner and no profit objective. Are you people insane?

  8. My question is quite simple – you could answer with ‘Wenger’s teams still play great football.’ or ‘Tactically, I think that he still gets the best out of the players that he has. blah, blah, blah’ or ‘Wenger sets his teams out to press the opposition high on the pitch, which I feel is quite effective and other coaches may not get that, blah, blah’ or – after all – we are talking about football and not business, but you’d rather not do any of that for whatever reason.

    When presented with evidence, you twist what is being (even by Wenger himself) said into speculation and try to pass it as fact and then insult me saying that I know nothing and am deluded while basing your entire argument off the back of a ‘net spend’ blog rather that looking at sites with actual financial analysis and fact (even this very own – I even linked to it above – here is another Swiss Ramble – http://swissramble.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/arsenal-song-remains-same.html. Here are the accounts for 2012 – http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/arsenal-holdings-publishes-financial-results, 2011 – http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/results-for-the-year-ended-31-may-2011. If you want to go further back, google is your friend.)

    “Get real and stop whining. I’m so sick of “fans” who do nothing but moan and yet have no clue what it means to run a business. I mean you try outperforning the competition in your job when they have an unlimited budget from their owner and no profit objective. Are you people insane?”

    At the end of the day, the game is 11 vs 11 and my complaints about Wenger is that he doesn’t get the best out of his players anymore, plays a tactically rigid system, forces players to play out of position to the detriment of the shape and flow of the team (Ramsey on the wing? Bendtnet on the wing? etc), are constantly vulnerable on set pieces, buys players that aren’t really suitable for the formation that they employ (eg – the defensive high line is exposed because Mertesaker lacks pace. When Sagna bombs up the pitch, a simple ball up top to a striker with some pace, and we are vulnerable), etc. There is many more things to list and none of it requires 10 p to fix, but what do I know, I am just a season ticket holder and football fan – Oh, and I forgot, I don’t know how to run a business.

    Nice defense, mate – you’d make a brilliant solicitor.

    • “When he hasnt had the budget, he has still performed WAY above par when adjusted for his budget” – I forgot to comment on this one. Arsenal have the 4th largest budget in the premiership, so 4th place should be a minimum, not ‘WAY’ above par. Last year, he earned his spurs (no pun) by finishing 3rd (with a slice of good fortune in the form of a dire Marton Fulop),

    • Your point:”My question is quite simple – you could answer with ‘Wenger’s teams still play great football. ”
      – Not as good as say the Invincibles or the team with Hleb and Rosicky at their peak. But then again he had better talent to work with because he still had the leftovers from the era when we spent a lot and when players came here just to play with talent. You think talent is incidental in the game? Or that Wenger wouldnt want better talent to work with?

      Your point:
      “Arsenal have the 4th largest budget in the premiership, so 4th place should be a minimum, not ‘WAY’ above par. Last year, he earned his spurs (no pun) by finishing 3rd ”
      – As documented in the link I placed, Arsenal has been a net seller of its talent over the years. While Spurs has been paying a lot of money for players. Spurs is THIRD in this capital spending list while Arsenal is NINETEENTH:
      http://www.sportingintelligence.com/2011/08/24/sale-of-nasri-makes-arsenal-a-net-selling-club-over-a-decade-24080/

      Again do you want to come back again and tell me that Arsene Wenger is actually sitting on 70 million of spare cash, but is a masochist? Dont bring up salary as an excuse. The Real Madrid guys have been courting him for years and they wouldnt pay him any less than he earns here. Quatar guys at PSG are offering him even more money. The only logical reason he is sticking it out has to be that he and the board had clearly discussed this constraint and agreed that the wouldnt ask him to win now, but we have money when 2014 hits.

      But as of now, the guy has no money to spend and has not for years. Laudrup turns up at Swansea for five minutes and everyone is jizzing themselves over him. Fact is that Laudrup isnt even likely to be in top 6 or 7 by the end of the season. And Swansea is higher on that spending chart than Arsenal. Meanwhile Wenger has been in top 4 for nearly a decade while spending less money.

      Sometimes people dont understand what they have.

      • Look, I have enormous respect for what Wenger has done, but for me, but for me, the time for change is now (meaning end of season). I think that he has always been tactically inept – even Tony Adams says this, but had better players who were more creative, thus they didn’t need to be told where told what to do tactically. I think that this team does, unfortunately. However, Wenger won’t be going anywhere. He will never get sacked unless people stop going to games.

        Sorry – I meant wage spend above rather than budget.

        Not going to get into the money thing again – I have said all that I need to say about that. His comments today about doing away with the transfer window in January are simply ridiculous.

        I reckon that he is sticking it out here because he is a proud and honorable man. He honestly believes that he can turn it around and he is at a club which allow him total control with little to no interference. That wouldn’t happen at Madrid or PSG. There would be plenty of interference from the press as well as fan expectation. He won’t ever go to either. His next role will probably be an analyst on television and probably working with youth academies. I think that he mentioned this on more than one occasion.

        Laudrup is promising at the moment and Swansea are punching above their weight, but they will finish mid table which will be a great result for them. I don’t feel that he is right for Arsenal just yet. Some managers would struggle with that big of a step up in terms of size of club. Laudrup will probably end up at Chelsea next year anyway and take a sip from the poisoned chalice there. If Wenger walked at the end of the season, we could have worse managers than Laudrup – brilliant player and will probably be a brilliant manager as well.

      • I dont think Wenger has always had better players. Not an Monaco and he was successful there. And not even at Arsenal – quite often Wenger MADE better players.Lauren was not an obvious championship-winning full back, but Wenger crafted him into one. Ljunberg could easily have been a flimsy bauble but Wenger turned him into a modern Inside forward. What’s there between say Vieira and Papa Bouba Diop or Salif Diao? What’s the difference in the skill set of Pires and Lauren Robert? But only one of these players won the PFA award and a title. Even Fabregas himself said that he could have become just another fairly capable but all too lightweight player off the LaMasia production line who ended up at a lesser spanish club. These are not coincidences. You need to realise that Wenger has done this and keeps doing it today, with the likes of Gibbs, Coquelin, Szczesny and Jenkinson having barely hit the heights that are there for them.

        Tactically I dont think the guy is stupid – I think he has a deliberate strategy of taking the socratic method where you force people learn themselves by putting challenges before them and asking them what they need to do to make progress. That’s the underlying premise of this type of offense anyway – its analogous to the “triangle” offense that Phil Jordan used for Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls team: the players need to be int he right places to create multiple options. Beyond that they have to make intelligent decisions. And it cant be taught by rote – you need intelligence. Similarly that’s the idea with zonal defense and the high line – you have to THINK.

        There I can fault Wenger – he maybe hasnt been rigorous in picking only players that are hungry to learn for a lifetime and steely enough. And this hurts the team. But its a personnel problem, not a tactical one.

        Whatever the case, I just dont see that anything can change unless the board wants to spend more capital to compete for a better class of players – i mean 19th out of 20th in the premiership in capital spending on players? No sh$% Guardiola wasnt coming here – he’s not stupid – he knows the deck would be stacked against him! But you think Wenger is underperfoming while spending 19th out of 20 in the premiership? Wow – you must know more than Guardiola then.

        You can stick Michael Laudrup here into this job, facing a step change in expectations and I dont think he will do any better than Wenger – in fact I think he will do worse, because scoring few goals and winning the odd game against a big team isnt enough here.

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