Arsene Wenger: “My strategy for Arsenal has failed”

patience1Okay, he hasn’t actually said those words, but he did say he believed he would have failed by 2011 if he hadn’t won a trophy, as you can see from this piece from 2009. We Arsenal fans still await a trophy, therefore by his own definition he is a failure.

All right, I’m just kidding, he has of course had a good deal of success. Albeit some time ago. Unless you consider third or fourth place and repeated qualification for the Champions League a success, which some people do. You make your own mind up. The fact is, some Arsenal fans consider every year without a trophy a failure and others consider every year with Arsène as manager a success, with a lot of views in between. We all know that. Abuse flows from one side or the other no matter what I say.

Anyway, what this article from 2009 shows is that it’s very risky to try and predict the future, especially since the internet was invented, since all history is there for everyone to see. A lot of it is distorted, but it’s still there.

What I wonder having seen this, is whether Arsène does now feel he has failed, as another four full seasons (plus most of this one) have gone past since he thought two years without a trophy would be a failure? Or does he think he has done everything he could and his strategy was always the best one? But I don’t suppose any member of the press would ask these questions. They didn’t even say to Mourinho the other day, when he started talking about big horses and little horses, “Jose, what are you talking about? The club you manage has had a billion pounds invested in it. A BILLION POUNDS. In what sense does that make your club the ‘little horse’ in your ridiculous analogy? Your club won the Champions League two years ago. Please tell us why you’re the little horse, we are dying to know.” Because that was the biggest pile of horse manure I’ve ever heard. I’d have thought in these days of honesty and transparency that perhaps the gentlemen of the press would feel they could call managers out a bit more than in the old days when they start talking palpable nonsense. I mean, all the journos are on Twitter, some talking more sense than others, and usually they are happy to point out BS when they see it on that medium, but less so when they’re face to face with a football manager. The only one who always asks tricky questions and gets right through the crap in a very polite way is Gary Richardson on Sportsweek (5 live Sunday mornings at 9am). He’s exceedingly polite, but refuses to take any rubbish, it’s a rare talent. The others play along far too much.patience2

Back to Arsène. So why did he think he would have failed by 2011 when the long-awaited promised land of mega-sponsorship deals and competing with the Bayern Munichs was not due until 2014? Was it that Arsenal had improved in the League in 2008 and 2009, and Arsène thought success was again getting close. Maybe he also thought Fergie wouldn’t last much longer, and Man City, although they had been bought by the Arabs in 2008, were still at the time no threat. Sadly Fergie stuck around, City grew quickly, and Arsène had another ‘big horse’ to deal with. Or maybe he just thought, “I can’t tell them it will be another five years without trophies, they’ll kill me. I’ll say two years and hope they forget.” But no – the internet, you see Arsène. It won’t let us forget.

The headline ‘Wenger pleads for fans’ patience’ has a familiar ring. He does seem to have been pleading for patience on various topics for a while. I Googled the phrase and it came back with 7.2m results. Seems quite a lot. Then I googled ‘Mourinho pleads for fans’ patience’: 8m results! ‘Ferguson pleads for fans’ patience’: 11.6m! Conclusion: football fans are impatient. But despite the trophy drought, maybe Arsenal fans aren’t doing as much complaining as others.

For further comparison, ‘Wenger best manager in the world’ gets 36.6m results, Fergie 44m, Mourinho 38.7m. But I wouldn’t use that to try and prove anything, as even ‘Sherwood best manager in the world’ gets over 11m! Though if you read them, none of them are actually saying he is. Not a single one. Because no one believes that. No one.

Arsène’s comment about failure came in the infamous shareholders’ Q&A where he was questioned about the purchase of the ‘geriatric’ Silvestre. Things went downhill from there.

Arsène was also insistent at the same meeting that Adebayor was ‘a great player . . . all the big clubs wanted him and it will be the same again’. I’ve never been a fan of Adebayor, who is a limited player effective only in certain formations, and even then he misses far too many chances and is totally one-footed. And that’s without the fact he always plays more for himself and his next contract than for the team. So yes, some of the big clubs did want him, and they signed him, and then he left and went to Spurs. That’s his level – not the top clubs, just below the top clubs.

So, lessons from all this: 1) don’t try and predict the future, that never works; 2) don’t trust Google results totals; 3) Sometimes Arsène is wrong about players.

And 4) Jose Mourinho talks absolute bollocks.

Twitter: @AngryOfN5


47 thoughts on “Arsene Wenger: “My strategy for Arsenal has failed”

  1. I think putting “My strategy for Arsenal has failed” in quotation marks is intentionally misleading and frankly quite lousy

      • Setting the bar high so!

        Agree with the sentiments of the blog though. Whatever about competing with the oil clubs in previous years, this season was a big opportunity to push on. But Arsene preferred to keep £140 million in the bank. If we finish empty handed again which is quite likely his failure this season will be unforgivable for many

  2. A lot is said by the gutter press and arsenal other haters like sky but now the position is fair the team is good time to have ago

  3. Nice post phil,

    Totally agree with number 4,
    Moaningho talks absolute bollocks.

    As for wenger…
    I get the the feeling he will leave,
    If we don’t win a trophy this season.

  4. it is very easy to write your own opionion, but doing the job in field of soccer is totaly different my friend.
    We all know that, Wenger has gone for some years without a trophy, but what was the reason, can you recall since the time of Viera, how many good players were sold by Arsenal? Arsenal were not building the team, infact there were busy selling players to other clubs. the reason they wanted to pay for debt to avoid accumulate more interest. To build a stadium like Emmerates Stadium is not a joke my friend. How many clubs have done it while they continue to win tryphies. Please let have sound in mind before we open our mouth and start blaming some.

    • While i agree with you on stadium issue,i dont agree that we continue to use this excuse like a broken record . Admit too that Arsenal have disappointed for years now. We deserve better than buying the kallstooms amd Silvestres of this world

  5. “….this article from 2009 shows is that it’s very risky to try and predict the future” Of course but Wenger wasn’t the one predicting the future. “…..four full seasons…. have gone past since he thought two years without a trophy would be a failure?” Where does he claim he thought not winning a trophy in that time would be a failure? He said nothing other than simply accepting responsibility himself. The article was published 7 months after Mansour bought City. Maybe, as you suggest, Wenger failed to foresee that Mansour would put almost £1bn into the club between then and now but I’m not sure he should take responsibility for that. “So why did he think he would have failed by 2011” Again how can you claim that was what he was thinking from what was said? “Arsène’s comment about failure came in the infamous shareholders’ Q&A..” Again what comment about failure? Did you mean the one about responsibility? Wasn’t he just answering a question about responsibility?

    • Here’s a quote from Arsene in October 2009:
      “I know that we haven’t won a trophy for four years, but we have been very close and I believe that this year the team will do it. When I say that it is not to please you [the press], it is because I am really convinced of it.”
      Sounds a bit like predicting the future there.

  6. Phil March 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm
    A) it’s not a mistake
    B) they do the same all the time

    A) It is a mistake, even if done deliberately, to use direct speech quotations if it can’t be quoted directly.
    B) Tabloid newspapers never do it. Their legal teams are usually far too clued up to make such a fundamental mistake.

      • If you read newspapers then you don’t take enough care to understand how it is presented to you. No newspaper of any substance would use your headline with direct quotation marks. It’s easy enough to understand why really.

      • There’s an example on the front of the Evening Standard today. I didn’t even need to go and look for a Sun or Mirror or Star.

  7. Phil March 7, 2014 at 4:36 pm. If you believe something will happen and state that, you are predicting it will happen.

    No – stating your belief(s) is not the same as prediction.

      • He referred to delivering, which he didn’t

        Maybe you should put a basic effort in reading his comments since 2008 before you react. Because it would be easier to debate things you read than just assuming

  8. Bade March 7, 2014 at 5:25 pm He referred to delivering, which he didn’t. Maybe you should put a basic effort in reading his comments since 2008 before you react. Because it would be easier to debate things you read than just assuming

    Your problem is not with what I have or haven’t read it is with understanding what you’re reading. If the english used by a frenchman escapes you then there’s little chance of you following what I’ve written which makes all of this a waste of time.

  9. Phil March 7, 2014 at 5:56 pm There’s an example on the front of the Evening Standard today. I didn’t even need to go and look for a Sun or Mirror or Star.

    The example being what?

    • If it’s the “vamp in the veil” then you really haven’t understood the principle of direct quotes at all! It’s quite different from what you’ve done with your headline (and also in your text too!).

  10. Take a statement from someone uttered in some context. Call it a prediction.

    Add a dab of moralising about how you should never make predictions, in the hope that making someone you dislike look stupid makes you look clever.

    A generous portion of misrepresentation spice with words like failure pulled out of the ether, as per agenda.

    A few bits of Especial Portugues Mourinho bashing to prove how you are an equal opportunity manager basher and hence preventing the flavour of your curry getting too transparently overpowering.

    and et voila, you have cooked up a brand new Arsenal blog dish on the menu where you can complain about how everyone else is so unreasonable when it comes to Arsenal. A true Michelin Star deserving cook-up.

  11. Just out of curiosity mate, do you read an Arsenal forum called Arsenal-Mania, they were talking about this very same quote, and i find it interesting how an Arsenal blog picked the very same thing up at exactly the same time it being talked about on an Arsenal forum. Just wondering 🙂

  12. It’s fair enough to point out what he said. What chimed with me more is the point I keep making to my fellow gooners. Chelsea have had a BILLION pounds invested in them, Man City maybe 400 million… I’m not sure? It is what it is… We have more money to spend than other teams. But at a time when we’ve had to watch carefully what we spend, Man City and Chelsea have lavished unheard of amounts of money on the best available players. Also during that time, how many first choice players have we lost – at least half a dozen. Not only can they out spend us, they can buy our best players away too! I don’t believe Arsene’s philosophy hasn’t failed… It’s just tthat its coincided with the “money no object” era. “Financial doping” is the phrase Arsene used and he’s bloody right. The only way you can beat ’em is to join’ em I’m afraid… We need to let Usmanov pump his cash in to the club or it’ll be a very long fucking time before we win the title again!

  13. Phil March 7, 2014 at 10:21 pm It’s almost painful talking to you mate. Are you sure you have nothing better to do? I’m referring to the ‘quote’ from Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.

    It’s bound to prove a little painful to someone as reluctant to admit their mistakes as you seem to be. But as it’s your pain and not mine I can enjoy it a little. So what’s wrong with the ‘quote’ from Sir Bernard then? How does it relate to your invented quote?

  14. I think you should all switch off your internet feeds and get out and enjoy the sunshine. Oh and maybe enjoy the game later.

  15. Hi David, a well written piece but a little misleading but enjoyable none the are right we have failed to win a trophy in years but have been to three or four finals and have qualified for champions league year in year out which means whilst under financial constraint albeit a self imposed one we have been competitive and that’s a good thing. I see in your piece you don’t put much worth in fourth place but fourth brings in lucrative champions league money and top players want to play in the top competitions so it is good for attracting players. I am sure if you ask Wenger he would have loved to win one of those finals as well. Yes there have been some poor buys but every manager gets a few wrong every now and again. Now let’s start with this season at start of season I thought we would be in with a shout but Chelsea were my favourites mainly because j M has managed them before and knows pl too. Can we win league I believe if we can beat Chelsea city and Tottenham and get a draw at Everton then we have every chance of winning the league but it is in Chelsea s own hands at this present time. The f a cup is our chance to win silverware this season and though a tough match is on cards we should go through I believe a 3-1 score line is on for today in our favour. To be honest I am looking towards summer and transfer window and I would like to see Wenger go after lukaku the guys a menace reminds me of drogba a bit. I would also like to see remi taken. Add in Campbell then our only areas are left sided attack, central midfield a holding player type and a defender short. Though I think jenkinson and bellerin should be adequate at rb.

  16. As absolutely everybody knows AFC have been crying for a top goal-scorer since TH14 left. It’s so obvious that even Adrian Durham and Darren ‘where’smycolouringinbook’ Gough have woken up to the problem – on Talksport. Imagine where we’d be now if we’d been successful with the Suarez bid. Out of sight that’s where. Much as Ozil is a great addition to the side, I can’t help feeling that if we’d taken that £42M and added another £18M, LFC couldn’t have refused. Obviously they wouldn’t accept that now but Suarez would have been the man to make us ‘genuine’ title contenders for the next 3 or 4 years. Getting any other player who could achieve so much for us, seems a near impossible task.

  17. I have supported Wenger for years because he merited it , I have also criticised him when he deserved it. As of now despite reaching the FA cup semi final I have no faith in him nor his management style. I have been a consistent critic of the manager in recent years and have been subject to a lot of abuse for my views , but his record is terrible. Let no one talk about the expense of the new stadium , that’s nonsense , Man U won two champions league titles while they were developing their ground. Perhaps the worst part of Arsenals recent history is having to watch Abramovic the Russian gangster launder money that is not his and allow Chelsea buy a champions league title. I hope that both parties will soon see a sharp demise in their fortunes . Old clubs and yes that includes the spuds have more class in their toenails than the likes of Chelsea or Man City have between them . Arsenal , and it has to be acknowleged that Arsene Wenger led the way, has always been a class outfit, there is no doubt about that. But the time has come for the club to start winning again, time for the Arsenal to lay down a marker. Magic is what Arsenal do well, now we need a new magician , the old man has no new tricks . Time to go upstairs Arsene .

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