I have been reading some of the comments from so called Arsenal fans after yesterday's defeat and I am at a loss.....
I have heard we should be behind our manager and that we should respect him for his past achievements but how much longer do we have to put up with mediocrity?
There is no doubting Arsene Wenger was a revoultion, not only at Arsenal but for English football in general. I have previously documented my understanding of how he attained such great success earlier in his Arsenal career so I wont rake over old ground. Surfice to say I was a fan and even though my respect is diminishing, I still think Arsene Wenger was the shot in the arm the club needed at the time he joined.
I have been reading comments on social media sites this evening and its all out war between supporters pro and anti Wenger. The fact is that barring a Champions League miracle (and yes they do happen) our season is over already. It is February and what do we have to look forward to? I certainly can't get myself up for the fourth place trophy challenge?
In defence of Wenger I have seen the following comments -
"it's the board who won't let him spend any money"
"the youth academy has started to produce now and the next generation are almost ready to dominate"
"it's not his fault City and Chelsea can outbid him on all his targets now"
"he can't force players to sign new deals"
"he couldn't stop Van Persie joining United"
"he couldn't stop Nasri joining City"
"he couldn't stop Cesc joining Barcelona"
"it's not his fault that he signs south americans who can never get a work permit"
"it's not his fault that the only Brazillians we ever get are rubbish"
Well I think it is only fair to give the opposing view.
Wenger has always intimated that he has full and total control of playing matters from transfers and contracts to team selection so that shoots down most of the above in one swoop. The only nagging doubt might have been about the money but the board have announced profit year on year and the accounts show we have cash in the bank as a surplus. The board has said money is available if required so that seems to blow that argument out of the water too?
In December Wenger insisted he expected to be busy in the tranfer window *(http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-i-expect-to-be-busy-in-january) but all we saw was a left back signed in a hurry to cover an injury to our number one in that position. Monreal may well be a fantastic player but I am led to believe that the deal was due for the summer anyway and was just pushed forward in an emergency. We let "first teamers" Chamakh, Djourou, and Santos leave on "loans" and didn't replace them, that doesn't strike me as a busy window. Wenger claimed he would sign players who could immediately improve usand we are expected to believe there wasn't one player who could?
Our youth policy isn't reaping the rewards we were promised. Remember 2007? That was the carling cup year when we got to the final only to be beaten by Chelsea. This team of youngesters was supposed to dominate for a decade, they just needed the experience. Who is left of that lot? Walcott and Diaby, that's it and Diaby has spent most of the intervening period on the treatment table and Walcott has had his fair share of injuries too, followed by his inconsistent period and currently the counting the massive wages period. Of the others Almunia is plying his trade in the championship with Watford, Kolo Toure went to City and got fat or did he get fat and got to City, either way he got fat. Senderos finally went to Fulham on a free after two unsuccessful loan spells, Traore is at QPR propping up the rest of the premier league, Fabregas obviously was a decent player but took himself back "home" to Barcelona to spend the prime of his career there. Denilson is on loan back in Brazil, Aliadiere after three loan spells away from the club was sold to 'boro (as was Hoyte) and then eventually arrived at Lorient on a free transfer, Baptista was a loanee who was returned at the end of the season to Madrid and now plays for that european thoroughbred Malaga. Far from being a success it has been an epic failure to the point that six of them had extensive loan spells at our expense with three eventually leaving on free transfers and two for undisclosed (probably nominal) fees and one, Denilson actually still on loan. Cesc and Toure obviously left for a profit but as fans the bank balance should not be our concern.
Even more of a concern is this seemingly recent development where we let our players get to the last year of their contract and then hold us to ransom. This takes either the Walcott route where a good player (as opposed to a world class player) becomes our highest paid player or the RVP route where they leave. And now leaving for our rivals, actually strengthening teams we should be looking to overhaul. I have heard we had to let Van Persie leave as he was holding all the aces. I have read the statement about why he had to go but the fact remains that RVP is a world class player with an achilles heel. I am speaking metaphorically of course, but I mean he has a history of persistent injuries. Arsenal could have called his bluff and not allowed the deal to go through, it may possibly have cost the club the £20 odd million fee but ultimately his missing goals may cost us even more in terms of lost revenue should we not qualify for the champions league. Also, would RVP have risked picking up an injury with less than a year of his contract left and leaving himself unable to negotiate a deal with anyone else. I doubt it, I think he would have signed a deal for the security. Even if he still wanted to leave in the summer the club would have been in a stronger position.
We have been played for fools for years with false promises and more than a few false dawns but the fact remains that our club has under-invested year on year. Arsene Wenger has to shoulder the majority of the blame because he has told us he is in charge and the buck stops with him. He has told us numerous times that the good times are coming but they are always out of reach.
In the words of others "Thanks for the memories but it's time to say goodbye"
10 Responses to "Dear Wenger, Thanks for the memories but time to say goodbye"Jump to comment form DM
17 Feb 2013 15:24
Sandeep - you have for things wrong I'm afraid - for real fans buying your ticket and spending money on merchandise is because of an optional attachment and is investing in the club. We don't care who actually owns the club on paper because they are merely the current custodians - the fans are always the real owners and should ultimately control the destiny of the manager and playing staff. In this day and age this distinction gets blurred because of multi millionaire pound shareholders but we, the fans, are the true powerbrokers.
Arsenal aren't a small club content with 4th spot after our invincible season we should have been steadily progressing not slipping backwards. We have the stadium, the fan base and if you look at the accounts money in the bank. Don't be fooled by the hype that having a a decent stadium means we can't compete for a while. Why do we need cash in the bank especially as the club insist none of the directors are taking money out of the club. By the way I was a fan through the 70's ad 80's and we may not have won a great deal but just off the top of my head we were in three consectlutive FA Cup finals '78, '79 and '80 winning the middle one and lost the 1980 cup winners cup final on pens too? Please don't preach about real fans unless you have some substance to back your theories ?
17 Feb 2013 12:50
Got to be one of the most sensible articles on this subject that I have read for a while. I beleive the most annoying aspect of AW's current reign is the lying. If you come out and say one thing and do the complete opposite and then just expect everyone to smile and agree, then you get the curent situation. For those who complain that we pay money so we expect trophies and therefore we are bad supporters obviously haven't takena look at the clubs financies. Even the finacies publicy available show clearly that the clubs operational profits have been dropping every year since 2005. We are reaching nearly ten years of financial decline as well as football decline. Now anyone who knows anything about football economics knows that winning or even just competing to win is the only way to make money. So if your an AKB and you think the club is well run financially then you need to realise that the only way we have been able to make a profit is by selling 25m players. Each season we sit on 150m we are loosing at least 3% of its value just in inflation. Our club is being asset stripped in order to over inflate the share price for Stan. They have sold all the property and fixed assest available to them and still not been able to make a profit. So they sell the playing assets to make up for the loss. So we are sitting on tons money which is becoming less and less all the time. We have a weakened squad, dropping operational profits. We no longer have any fixed assest of serious value. We have been unable to improve our Emirates deal which means in reality that 150 m really isn't very impressive. Add to this that our manager is the highest paid in the country at 7.5m and we have the highest paid CEO in the country at 2.5m. Surely at 7.5m you would expect ambition? For 2.5 m you would expect some sort of opertional profit if not then at least massivly improved sponsorship. So financially we are not good and certainly not sustanable particulary as we have no more 25m players to sell. Our footballing has plumeted and now the fans are tearing chunks out of each other over the manager. Look no one including the players are doing there job at the club and buck stops with Arsene and the board. In my opinion we need a clean start the whole lot gone in one go, people want ambition and the chance to compete by using all the resources at your disposal. Right now this is not happening and this is why Arsene needs to go.
17 Feb 2013 12:01
Wenge give these bunch of cunts you bought as football players a serious kick up the arse! Do that or get the fuck out yourself and let someone else do it.
17 Feb 2013 11:31
Dear all many months ago I wrote a comment on the subject of Mr Wenger , it said that he hass lost the majic touch regarding player buys. you all mentioned a few but be honest they are mosdtly a bad lot when u look at the other players in other teams . He has got to go before we are languishing in the championship and thats not a joke it will happen so lets get rid of Mr Wenger and get a manager that has the best interest of the club to heart and all the dumb fans have to waker up to the fact we are the people paying his wages stay away till he does go try it , it may work
17 Feb 2013 11:25
what Arsenal really need is a 5 star striker and a 5 star defensive midfield. I'm sure Wenger is stupid for not doing these stuff.
17 Feb 2013 10:37
All these comments are coming from fans who the be all and end all of being a supporter is supporting a winning side. You think that because you spend your money on season tickets and purchase goods in the club store that the club has to win trophies. Well that is not being a supporter.....a supporter is supporting the team when it is going through a difficult time. If you all you want is trophies because you pay your money.....then you are just a consumer who wants value for their money. There are plenty of supporters up and down the country who support their club through thick and thin.
What Wenger has achieved in the last seven years is better than the unbeatable season....because he has paid for a stadium in the capital city which in today's money would cost £1 billions..look at all the clubs who want to do that and can't....spurs, Liverpool, Everton, west ham, Chelsea,even the FA are struggling to pay for Wembley.
Wenger has ensured that Arsenal as an entity are here for generations to come...not just 8 years. He has also kept us as atop four club while paying for this stadium
Nobody stooped being an Arsenal supporter between 71-87 just because we did not win anything.....and believe only after the stadium is fully paid for will we compete with the Chelsea's , Man city and Utd...but we will and the fair play rules means we will overtake Chelsea and Man city when they can't spend all their owners wealth.
So stop moaning and support your club in a difficult time because we will probably have another bad year next year. Look at Leeds and Rangers supporters who still support their clubs in bad times, that's what we need to be like.
Just in case you did not realise....I am an Arsene Wenger .....and Arsenal fan.
17 Feb 2013 9:51
Ahh Wenger the old French lover. All kisses and no penetration.
Yes I know Championship sides have quality and backbone and teams should never be under-estimated and all that. But honestly Arsenal should have won this game easily 3-0. Canít see any other top four team losing this match. So Birmingham, Bradford, Blackburn. Why should I be surprised? The writing is on the wall. It is us stupid fans who need to believe, dream and hope that Arsenal will play football and not beach soccer with a beach-ball. Arsenal is a prostitute but we cannot see that. Then you get the well-oiled PR machine that controls Wengerís mouth and we forget out girlfriend is a hooker.
Yes Wenger has other strengths. Especially when he had players like Dixon Winterburn Keown Adams, Pires, Bergkamp, Viera and Henry. So his strengths belong to the great players and teams he was fortunate to have. We must bring down this Wenger demagoguery. Wenger just letís them play. He has made so much money from Arsenal. The players make the team not the coach. Do you really think that you yourself could not have managed this team today against Blackburn? Please. Just tell them to pass the ball along the ground in pretty moving triangles and defend on masse.
His weaknesses? How many times do we play against teams that park the bus? How many times do players put in a sterile performance? Over and over again. His tactical substitutions are abysmal. Here is his great failure. The team had no drive, leadership and balance. The substitutions were easy today. Take Giroud off. He did not touch the ball. replace him with Walcott. Walcott wants to play there and his movement and pace would have upset the defensive structure of BR. Take off Diaby. He is on drugs again. And replace him with Jack. Rosciky had the form to play some one twos with Jack and Theo. That should have been done in the 50th minute if Arsenal had not started and remained in fifth gear. Towards the end you may have put Santi on. After all Jack and Santi play a very similar game. While Gervinho is hopeless and missed his chance he still created some havoc on the left and the same goes for AOC. They were no-where as ineffectual as Giroud and Diaby. Why wasn't Giroud that got the through ball from Rosicky instead of Gervinho? By the way where is Vela and Miyachi? How about Gnabry or Eisfeld. At least something different! Was Diaby playing a holding role with Arteta against a team that parked the bus. Where are the one-two-threesí on the edge of the box with players running into the box to drag and move defenders away? At least Roscicky, AOC, Theo, Jack, are much better than the rest in playing and unlocking deep lying defences. While my substitutions seem like a tactical answer it was those three, Jack, Santi and Theo that can at least play some fantasy stuff.
Wengerís strengths are those of a CEO. His weaknesses were there to see today and in fact have been there to see for the last 8 years. Yes play your style of football but what we have seen lately is far from the fantasy football that was his brand. Yes I understand a system should trump any tactical initiatives. The Invincibles proved that but with a lot of blood sweat and tears. That this team lacks. As someone else wrote it is as if the Emirates is like going to Wimbledon and the Arsenal players conduct themselves like members on a Saturday afternoon social tennis match. Did I see anyone really try to lay siege to the castle? You must do anything and everything to break down the castle. Even a Trojan Horse. What is the reward. Well. It is simple. Blackburn Rovers have to come out from behind the castle and play. This is where the better team scores another 2 or 3 goals.
So the problem is that these players cannot play fantasy football. That might be the reason Arsenal have been listless, spineless, cowardly, sterile for the last few years. No really great players to spark this team into life. Except for as we have seen recently Santi and Jack. Forget about any spark or leadership from the back. Walcott just prances around, He is no leader. Arteta might be but he is hanging on playing a defensive midfield position. Gervinho looks like he has been bitten by a Tsetse fly. So too with Diaby. Rosciky is fragile and no leader. Podolski new and often on walkabout. So let's put all the load on a 21 year old. Great management Wenger! The defence as a force? They are an accident waiting to happen. See the League Cup Final against Birmingham and most of the recent matches against Manure and of course that pitiful 4-4 against Newcastle. How on earth does this team concede a goal to Blackburn Rovers. OK so the team has no clue going forward but do we have a defence. Sagna playing at centre-back made Per, Vermaelan and Koscelny look like the idiots they are. How can Sagna produce the best centre back performance of the last few years and he is not even a centre back???
So donít blame RvP, Viera, Nasri, Clichy, Song, and Fab for wanting to leave. If there is no real quality and no real spirit then there is nothing keeping a player from staying. Time to go. They are simply leaving a club that is a business rather than a football team. Arsenal is no more special than Tescos or Sainsburys'. And fans talk about loyalty. Loyalty to what? A Profit and Loss sheet that sits on Wenger and Kronkes' desk? Or to blood splattered over that great red shirt?
All things come to an end. Player and coaches come and go. Thank God it is only a matter of time before Wenger leaves. He is an old French lover. All kissing and no penetration.
Can we beat Bayern? Yes if all play at a fantasy level. And when they do it is delightful. The problem is as we have seen on many occasions over the last few years they really cannot sustain it at all.
17 Feb 2013 9:37
in wenger's defence how about acknowleding stan's part in afc's downfall. yet again fans blame only wenger but no one can silent stan's sqeezing the life out arsenal and his other sports clubs who also fail to win trophies now. Stan has only shares in arsenal but has not invested any money.
17 Feb 2013 9:34
Couldn't have said it better. If he truly loves the cluba s he claims, he would resign and enjoy the millions he has made. I see a man who would rather wreck the club than admit that he was wrong. Its like an obsession. Gazidis claims only the fans can sack him. Well that's just plain wrong. He knows he is untouchable and there are fans who support Arsene FC than Arsenal FC. The fact is that they are in the majority. So, we are stuck with that Gentleman for the unforeseeable future.
17 Feb 2013 9:24
Well it just proves that Gervinho the ass, Headless chicken can't just score against bradford and also rovers.. If he is the best Black player in Africa ( ivory coast) then we get to know the range of coast!! Gevinho.... FUCK YOU!! Giroud go back posting your pics on GAY MAGAZINES!! Walcott we know its all about money.. Where is your interest on becoming a striker you money seeking WHORE!! Well I don't see any reason why coquelin should be picked up ahead of that stupid injured kid Diaby!!! Well Fuck this arsenal team!! I wan't my Arsenal back!!