Will the last AKB in the building please turn off the lights?

By Kevin Whitcher

Online Ed: New low in fans’ relationship with Arsene Wenger

It was a moment in history. Akin to Northern Ireland’s Good Friday Agreement, or Bob Marley bringing the leaders of the warring political factions in Jamaica together on stage to shake hands. When Arsenal’s manager made his first substitution in the fixture against Manchester United on Sunday 22nd January 2012, every man, dog and club captain, every AKB and AMG/WLP in the stadium came together as one in united belief. Arsene Wenger is out of his tree.

How much more must we suffer?

The boy known as the Ox was demonstrating exactly why the manager felt justified in spending £12 million last summer on a teenager when Project Youth had yet to be given the hiding of its life at Old Trafford. Arsenal had conspired to claw their way back into a game that should have been dead and buried by the interval. Finally converting a chance to score, momentum was on their side. In no small measure due to the performance of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, it appeared United were under the cosh. This game could actually be won. Time to freshen things up. Arshavin prepares to enter, and one assumes the ineffectual Walcott will make way.

But wait. There it is, writ large in the neon of the fourth official’s board. Number 15 your time is up. Interviewed subsequently, the player gave no indication of there being any physical reason he needed to leave a game he was having a serious impact upon. Now the manager is no great tactician, no Mourinho when it comes to making game changing replacements. He has said in the past he makes subs for physical reasons as a rule, hence their general predictability. But to actually handicap his own team’s chances by removing the game’s most potent attacker for no discernable reason takes the biscuit. Does he want to get the sack? Does he want to jeopardise the club’s chances of making the top four?

The crowd let him know what they felt. Chants of ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’ rang out. Robin van Persie seemed of the same mind. And he has even worked half a day in football too. One pundit on the radio suggested it might be a defining moment in Wenger’s tenure at Arsenal. It certainly sets a precedent if the fans are booing the manager during a match. We’ve heard it before at the conclusion of games, but not during them as far as I can recall. It is an untenable situation. One suspects he lost many of the players some time ago. They are close to him and can probably detect the onset of senility, but will obviously not break ranks. Others can. One former Arsenal player, who on occasion benefits from his links with the club, actually told a Gooner seller that the club “will do nothing until they change the manager”. To preserve his relationship with Arsenal I won’t divulge his name, but all I can say is that he is far from alone in his view, and many fans that had faith in Arsene Wenger in spite of last season have now joined those of us who have believed it’s time to move him on for a while now.

It’s sad to witness his decline. And it’s awkward. The man is deified all over the stadium, not least in the giant chain mail hang facing that of Herbert Chapman in club level. The celebration of his work is justified, but it makes telling him he’s not wanted anymore just a bit awkward. The person who will call time on this descent into farce will only make that decision if he sees profits take a dive. This should happen when the club level and hospitality box renewals go out in the spring. The take up will be lower than last season, when it was down on the season before. So there is a trend which cannot be denied – at least internally – even if the club are invariably bullish. They claimed that the ordinary season ticket renewals were healthy for this season, although privately, they were in fact surprised by the numbers that chose to forego the guarantee of a seat at every home game. Obviously the likely failure to qualify for the Champions League will also register, although the financial hit of that will be compensated for by the £50 million plus sitting in the bank in the player trading account, which covers transfers and player wages. £35 million of that will plug the gap that missing out on UEFA’s golden egg next season will mean. Really, it’s just a matter of at what point Stan Kroenke decides he has witnessed enough decline. With every passing month, the manager’s pay-off gets cheaper. At the end of this season, it will be down to £14 million. My feeling about Kroenke is that he will give Wenger another year, just to save £7 million from the bill of sacking him.

It’s not a situation that is about to get any better any time soon. Things desperately need freshening up at Arsenal. They will lose one of their best players this summer, that’s one fairly certain conclusion from yesterday afternoon. About the only thing that I think could persuade Robin van Persie to remain is to bring in a new manager in the next few days – and probably a Dutch one. On a general level, the team needs both organizing and motivating. Skill and technique in possession is getting some results, but not enough for it to compete realistically for honours.

Wenger’s obsession is the Champions League. He has never won it and considers it a huge omission from his managerial CV. The reality that he may well not get a chance at cracking it again next season is having an obvious effect on his demeanour. Someone should have the balls to put him out of his misery, as on £7 million a year, he sure isn’t going to do the honourable thing and call time on his tenure at Arsenal. And of course, in his own mind, he probably believes that with a bit of luck, he might actually manage to win it this season. And that’s delusional behavior if ever I saw it.

I was reminded by Gooner publisher Mike Francis (the man behind The Gooner twitter feed – you think I have time for that!) that Ivan Gazidis said last May that Wenger’s future would be decided by the fans. But words are easy. Let’s hope that he at least has the gumption to tell Mr Kroenke that the natives are getting restless.

I’ll finish with the text messages I received that tell the story of the afternoon, including some from those who would have described themselves as AKBs not so very long ago…
16.58 (half time) – A different kind of humiliation – Ian Tanner
17.35 – Clueless takes off best player – Pete Mountford
17.35 – He’s lost it. Amazing – Ian Tanner
17.54 – Watch the replay of the Ox sub. RVP looks at the bench and mouths ‘f*** you’ towards Wenger. Wenger totally f***ed this because of his love for that little Russian ****. Absolutely diabolical substitution – Telboy
18.03 – Clueless manager. Shapeless team. 0 points out of 9. We are becoming a farce more suited to the West End – Ian Henry
18.25 – That will go down as one of the worst substitutions of all time (and you don’t need telling which of the three I mean) – Ian Tanner
19.06 – The substitution was the final straw for me – Howard Lamb
23.43 – MOTD2 – he couldn’t even explain the substitution! - Howard Lamb

On a lighter note, we promised you the result of the competition to win an ebook of Arsenal’s Best XI. The correct answer to the question How many league titles did the club win while Herbert Chapman was their manager? was two, and the winning entrants were as follows…
Nick Comber
Mark Wetherall
Simon Rahamim
Séan Donnellan
Paul Murphy
We’ll forward the winners’ email addresses to the ebook publishers today and they will be in touch to arrange er… delivery, however that works with these things.

The new issue of the Gooner went on sale yesterday and can also be bought outside the stadium at the games v Villa and Blackburn. It is available to buy online here. You can also get an e-version of the issue to read on your ipad/tablet/iphone/android. The app is free and you can download the first few pages of each issue to decide whether or not to purchase the whole thing

23rd January 2012 09:00:00


Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

Gooner1711  9:23am 23rd Jan 2012

Quite simply, nothing will change under the current regime. It is time for a change. Can any person really say it will change? Here is your chance to say it will. - Post No. 19292

Oxy-Moron  9:26am 23rd Jan 2012

Too painful to post anything other than to say Arsene must go at the end of the season, and he should be declined any transfer funds - the replacement manager will need every penny! David Platt anyone? - Post No. 19293

Mike Stride  9:29am 23rd Jan 2012

Good article but slightly got the facts wrong. The first substitution was actually a good one as Yennaris was far better than Djourou. But the second one defied belief! - Post No. 19294

gunnerbriggs  9:42am 23rd Jan 2012

Two positives from the game, the performance of the Ox and the fact that the end of Wenger maybe sooner rather than later. - Post No. 19296

RJ  9:46am 23rd Jan 2012

Enjoyable ebb and flow game against an under performing ManU team until THAT substitution. Crazy, but Wenger must in his own little world have his reasons and he is Le Boss. And I have not even worked half a minute in football. But at 1-1, having clawed our way back into the game, how the hell can we start booing our team and our players? Fergie must have been laughing his b******s off at that point - we have got back into the game, and suddenly the crowd turns against the team (some will say "we turned on the manager" - But I bet the players on the pitch didn't feel this way. I wonder if RVPs "F*** you" was aimed at the fans, not the manager). If I was one of the team yesterday I would have probably given up as well - shame on those who voiced their dissent in that way. Arshavin clearly is suffering from a motivational issue, and we gave him every reason to not give a flying f*** yesterday. I am not a Wenger apologist - but we might have dragged out a result, but the lack of support of our team at that point was shameful. Come on you true Gooners - save the abuse for the ref, the opposition and especially Rooney - but not our own team in the middle of a crucial match. - Post No. 19298

Mick Appleton  9:51am 23rd Jan 2012

"The fact that the crowd booed shows I was right playing Oxlade Chamberlain in the first place"??? How deluded as Arsene become? No one can excuse this type of judgement error, it cost us the game & he cannot justify it by saying I was replacing a tired young player with The Russian captain either. Not only did he take off one of our best players on the day but he replaced him with someone who really doesn't care anymore. As usual Arshavin allowed a player to just walk by him to set up the winning goal, if I didn't know he permanently has a red face I'd swear he was embarressed by what had just happened. I'm not an AKB or an AMG person but I'm not sure how much more delusion we have to put up with before we make changes. Blaming referees, bumpy pitches & tiredness is wearing very thin, it's time to admit our squad is weak, we need a defensive coach & a complete change in attitude at the club. It's a damning indictment when our club captain is questioning the manager, he may be able to ignore the fans but can Arsene really ignore that? - Post No. 19299

John Abrehart  9:53am 23rd Jan 2012

I agree with all that Kevin, but as the man at the top will not be replaced, let us look at the possibilities that remain for us. Further progress in the Champions League appears beyond hope but there is still the FA Cup and more importantly tothe Club's finances, fourth place in the Premier League. This is possible, by targeting Chelsea who are five points ahead. They are no great shakes now and by beating them at home there will surely be a few points that we can make up. But, we will have to make changes that are even within Arsenal's miserly limits. I suggest that we take Wayne Bridges on loan until the end of the season, which will release Thomas to play at centre back. Put Kolscielny in Song's position, which should increase the fluidity of our play through the midfield and Song becomes a squad centre back. Yennaris should receive intensive coaching on his positional full back play and he is worth a run at right back. The Ox must play reguarly and we only hope that Gervinho makes an early return from Africa to fill the other wing position as, following yesterday's display, I have given up on Walcott. Ideally, we are a second striker and creative midfield player short, but I cannot see the Club making any moves for those players in this transfer window. If we needed any reminding of Prof's state of mind, it was his assertion last week that he would decide on the left back position after the Man Utd game! Can anyone explain why? - Post No. 19300

Jason  9:55am 23rd Jan 2012

I have a very worrying question for everyone!!! If/When Wenger leaves,who on our current board would you trust (and with enough football knowledge) to go out and get the right Manager we need???????? - Post No. 19301

RSB  9:57am 23rd Jan 2012

Would like to see Jurgen Klopp, Bert van Marwijk or Dragan Stojkovic take the reigns this Summer. Despite thinking Wenger should go (3 years ago!) it's sad to witness his demise. Would love him to make something of this season and win the FA Cup or finish in the top 4 and then resign on a winning note (somewhat), but can't see it happening. - Post No. 19302

Radfordkennedy  9:57am 23rd Jan 2012

I think VP's reaction said it all,and if theres any clear indication on his thoughts on the current regimes tactics and his plans for the future that was it.Sadly after 47 years of following The Arsenal a strange thing has started to happen to me ive gone passed the embarrased stage and i have simply started to laugh at what im seeing and the comments made by the manager.I have reached the stage where i dont get nervous before big games anymore because i know that we will lose and give a totally shambolic account of ourselves ,its just become same old same old....Does anyone know if Georgous George is busy at the moment?? - Post No. 19303

John  9:59am 23rd Jan 2012

Whatever you think of Wenger, is it really necessary to be so disrespectful ("onset of senility")? A should he stay or should he go discussion could be interesting, but not on that level. What have you achieved in life, Kevin? - Post No. 19304

Ron  10:00am 23rd Jan 2012

Hes never been very good at subbing, so his decision on Sunday wasnt really shocking. Dont you recall being 4-2 up v Spuds in 2009, every attack we were looking like scoring and heading to a record massacre v Spurs and suddenly its 'off you come RVP and Walcott', 4-4 a few mins later. Utd were better than Arsenal and won that game, with a bit to spare anyway in truth.Its the midfield thats as appalling as Arshsavin and Walcott, yet people never seem to have a go at the hapless sloth, Song (hes so consistently poor v the top teams its unreal) and the overrated (but likeable because he tries so hard) Ramsey. He ll never win the CL and to be honest, whoevvr is in charge may never win it at Arsenal. The Clubs just not of the set up or the mentality to win it. Spot on about the pay off issue. The issue ultimately will be that any new (top) boss will have the same constraints though (its (lack of team imroving) not all Wengers doing by any stretch of the imagination). Some or maybe all of the Board need to go with Wenger too.If they stay, we ll end up with a rookie type Coach with a yes man mentality. The problems will intensify then and Wenger knows it too. Hes very astute and due to that, he ll play a politically correct game with that Board to get the best severence deal. I think he ll favourably negotiate his way out in the Summer. - Post No. 19305

Croker  10:00am 23rd Jan 2012

I think the Powers That Be at the E******s would prefer everyone frothing about a dodgy substitution rather than paying attention to:- 3rd successive Prem League loss**** 8 losses in Prem League (so far)**** 5 points behind 4th place**** 17 goals scored at home. We are going backwards and Arsene has run out of magic. - Post No. 19306

Graham Yates  10:00am 23rd Jan 2012

Wenger has been very clever in employing above and below his position (on his say so) who have very little football administrative experience unless you count the MLS. Therefore the Board, Gazidis & Kroenke would not have the first clue on who to bring in so there will be no sacking anytime soon. Wengers legacy will be many years of mediocrity long after he has gone. I feel sorry for his successor, whoever & whenever that will be. - Post No. 19307

Westie  10:06am 23rd Jan 2012

His time at Arsenal is up. There is no justification for a club of Arsenals size to hold onto a manager who has trod water for 6 seasons, and is now sinking. Wenger out. - Post No. 19308

Jumpers  10:09am 23rd Jan 2012

Wenger lost the plot some time ago but after that sustitution he lost everything His excuses have been cringeworthy for years but he is plummeting to new depths. His post match interview after the Fulham game was just plain embarrassing, and his whinging after being out thought and out played by Swansea was just sad. But THAT substitution and the way he tried to justify it must surely tell the world that he really has lost his marbles. I've just watched Nevilles post match comments on Sky and found myself agreeing with every word! Arshavin being here and thinks English gilts are ugly! He is just not interested. Wengers decision not to buy or loan full back could have cost £30 or £40m. Get the blinkers off Wenger, go and see a doctor, do something, But Please please please STOP ruining this great club. 60 thousand in the stadium every commentator and TV fan could see how wrong that substitution was and you couldn't. It defies belief - Post No. 19310

HowardL  10:11am 23rd Jan 2012

The buck for that substitution stops 100% at the Manager. His now indisputable decline is truly sad. As someone of a similar age, I guess for me it's sort of a "there but for the grace of God" moment. The club must find a kind way to release Arsene before he screws up even worse - but do it they must. - Post No. 19311

Gman  10:11am 23rd Jan 2012

It wasn’t the case that manure beat us as Wenger lost the game for us with his team selection and tactics. Djourou was out of his depth at right back and was culpable for their first goal. The choice of replacing one of the best players on the pitch in Oxlade-Chamberlaine with one of the most inept and disgraceful players ever to don the famous red and white shirt, was a total and utter nonsense. I mean the Russian looks so uninterested and what the f—k was he doing in defence to let in the second goal. Arshavin needs to be off loaded now and not at the end of the season, he is a spent force and he’s become a liability. If the opposition can play a 38 year old for the entirety of 95 minutes , it was an astonishingly decision to take the 18 year old off, who made Walcott look like a Sunday league player. Wenger and Rice (Dumber and Dumber) have to go at the end of the season, thanks for the memories but Arsenal FC need to move on and the sooner the better - Post No. 19312

jjetplane  10:19am 23rd Jan 2012

His post match interview was the worst yet. He said he did not know what to do. The idiot is earning millions and though he was a participant in a mini golden age it is plain to see that it was the players bossing that history while he talked boiled chicken with the chef. He has just lost RVP in a moment of belligerant arrogance to boot. We need an Arsenal man yesterday or the Ox will join Rob out the door, leaving us with 'players' who have no club sensibility or alleigance. Wenger has gone as ugly as a flailing dictator an d even the media are treating as such. Arsenal as a point of ridicule and pity can not last. Arrrrgh! - Post No. 19313

North BANK  10:19am 23rd Jan 2012

we will finish 5th at best but likely 6th and we will not be winning any cups but by may we will have £60m in bank at a minimum - Post No. 19314

SilverGooner  10:24am 23rd Jan 2012

Yesterday's anger from the fans towards Wenger was only a taster of what is to come his way should we fail to finish in the top 4. That substitution defied belief! - Post No. 19315

IMAC  10:25am 23rd Jan 2012

The manager is simply tactically inept. He is more interested in the sports science side of the game which doesn't win you matches. He has no idea how to organise, shape or balance the side and for those reasons you will not win anything. The most worrying thing about yesterdays reaction by the fans is that AW will not listen but only become more stubborn and make more annoying substitutions. Prepare for more hurt and anger. - Post No. 19316

Judge Fred  10:27am 23rd Jan 2012

Is there one AKB still out there? Please make yourself known and explain yesterday. It is embarrassing now, - Post No. 19317

Claude  10:29am 23rd Jan 2012

Kevin, It was his second substitution. The first, Yennaris for Djourou at half time, was spot on. Funny you should miss that. - Post No. 19318

Dan h  10:30am 23rd Jan 2012

Brian Clough is my favourite ever manager he stayed on too long at Forest when reputation & what he had done in the past kept him in the job.We are seeing history repeat itself with AW.It has been a disaster this season the reaction to yesterday's substitution was pure disbelief.How Walcott stayed on the pitch after his performance defied belief.The lack of full backs exposed again Yennaris did well when he came on the goals we let in preventable rank lazy defending on both.AA obviously on the second but the first Djourou doesn't even close the space on Giggs awful.Sorry to bring it up again but the worst decision AW made all season was to play Santos in Greece.AW will not be sacked the payoff alone will prevent that.That it has come to this is sad the only positive from yesterday AOC. - Post No. 19319

Martyn  10:32am 23rd Jan 2012

On Sky after the match Wenger said there was a tactical error made. When pressed it was clear that he meant Arshavin made a tactical mistake allowing Unites to penetrate easily into the Arsenal box for their second goal. He told the reporter to ask Arshavin about it. Wenger refused to criticise his player directly and of course made it clear that he himself made no error. I have been one of those to give Arsene the benefit of the doubt but serious thought must be given to replacing him at the end of the season. United had 7 players unavailable yesterday and lost Jones early on but they still have the calibre of players to plug the gaps and get results. Ferguson also knew that Djourou was easy meat for Nani and Giggs. How come Arsene didn't see that coming because 60.000 at the Emirates did! - Post No. 19320

Dave  10:33am 23rd Jan 2012

I'm so glad that I finally saw some reaction from the fans of what Wenger has done to us when he made that substitution. To say it was diabolical is an understatement. Every Gooner knew that he had basically forfeited the match when he brought that horrible little cretin on so how could he not see it himself?? And as for his explanation of it - well there wasn't one! Inspector Clueless has totally lost the plot, please someone remove this fraudster before we end up at least 5 years behind even the spuds which sickens me. - Post No. 19321

Clive the Gooner  10:35am 23rd Jan 2012

Spot on Kevin, it's sad to watch the decline of a once great manager.What the hell was he doing taking off AOC. I think the caption to the picture somes it all up. - Post No. 19322

Unbeaten 03/04  10:35am 23rd Jan 2012

I am still checking the official website and can't see the MOTM which made me think that do they know that everyone else will vote for the Ox?!! - Post No. 19323

David  10:35am 23rd Jan 2012

The Ox substitution is just a smokescreen for an awful first 45 mins and last 15 mins.Ferguson took Wenger on a coaching lesson.United knew our weakness and exploited it.Any time United had the ball it was played down Djourous side.Djourou was hung drwan and quartered.If the HT score had been 4-0 to United at we couldnt have complained.As per usual we didnt have a game plan.Its the same if we play Swansea or United.TV was plainly unfit and it was a gamble that backfired.With the exception of Kos the back 4 was poor.Mertesacker was murdered and if Welbeck was a better finisher United would have been over the hill and far away before we scored.Song and Ramsey had shockers.Overun in midfield for the 2nd week running.As for Walcott he isnt a footballer end of.Chamberlain has proved in half a dozen games he is better than Walcott will ever be.3 defeats on the trot all deserved.There is no coming back for wenger.We wont finish 4th.Europa league here we come - Post No. 19324

Ronster  10:37am 23rd Jan 2012

A big club,a club with true ambition,a club with some cojones would say 'thanks very much for taking us this far but we're now gunner give someone else a go.'We survived without Chapman,Mee and Graham and we'll survive without Arsene Wenger! - Post No. 19325

Charles  10:38am 23rd Jan 2012

It's really basic things that annoyed me yesterday. We keep passing the ball back to Szczesny who chips it straight down the middle to the halfway line for the opposition to win the header and thus gain possession in our half. Ramsey, for about the sixth straight game, shoots a decent chance over the bar. Defending throw-ins should be the easiest thing in the game, you just have to mark 3 players within 10 yards of the ball, yet man u kept being allowed to throw it to unmarked players. Things that a decent coach would have fixed by now. - Post No. 19326

Arsene is a Fraudster  10:40am 23rd Jan 2012

When the peanut headed Gazidis said its the fans which will dictate Wengers tenure, he got laughed at by literally everyone in the room. The board, the clueless one on the bench. They all need to do one. What a f**king joke this great club has become, an absolute laughing stock. - Post No. 19327

GunnerPete  10:44am 23rd Jan 2012

I have been dreading this moment but its arrived. Arsene has made one stupid error to many. I am and have been a vigorous AKB for many years, but some facts have to be accepted. 1) Arsenes only real managerial success was because of inheriting the greatest defence the UK had ever seen. Add to them the two best forwards in Europe Bergy & Wrighty, and all you have to do is improve your MF...he brought in Viera & Petit. As soon as the old boys started to retire, Arsene showed his lack of understanding of basic defending. He replaced the FAB 6 with second rate foreign players. Our defence has had very little spine or guts since then (apart from the Campbell years). 2) Arsene has surrounded himself with yes men...this is the sign of dictatorship ala Thatcher! It never works because we all need telling where we have got it wrong..since Dein, AW has been convinced he can run the whole club. WRONG! 3) We have a complicit board who mainly know little about actual football or tactics or coaching etc.ONLY MONEY! Arsene has provied them with plenty and so many of the original board have taken the mass profits, sold their shares, made millions and scarperd. We are left with an invisible owner who has no love for ARSENAL or their fans. 4) This current regime have ganged together to stop Usmanov...why because all their perks would go, and he would change all the managerial staff inc Arsene. I hate to say this but all this will happen because AW & the board decided to go for monetary gain and not football success. I am no longer an AKB man and I hate it! - Post No. 19329

Sarge  10:47am 23rd Jan 2012

It's like watching a car crash in slow motion. It started to seriously unravel at the start of last year and we have witnessed a steady decline. One bad decision after another has left us poorly equipped to challenge on one front let alone 4. I'm afraid I don't believe what comes out of Wenger's mouth anymore. He looks and sounds completely burnt out. - Post No. 19330

Nutty's RIght Peg  10:50am 23rd Jan 2012

This reminds me of the end of the Terry Neill reign, we could beat the also-rans but the better teams were just too good for us. We only beat Chelsea this season because their defence was actually more shambolic than ours. Apparantly we left Highbury "to compete" I didn't realise Hil-Wood meant in the bloody Europa League !! Let's also stop all the crap about teams can't compete with the Man City's anymore, Spurs are doing an ok job of it. Too many sub-standard players on ridiculous wages, we'll never shift the likes of Diaby or Almunia until they reach the end of their contracts, money that could've been spent on players like Parker who'll fight for the team. Is it true that Wenger didn't go for him because of his age & injury record ? Thank god we've got Diaby instead then eh ! Hill-Wood's comment that missing out on the Champs Lge are not only at odd's with Wenger's own public viewpoint, but take any pressure on him to achieve it now. LIke you say Kevin, yesterday will probably be the final straw for even the most hardened AKB's but we all know that nothing will change for the foreseeable future as the whole set-up at the club is far too cosy. Pat Rice, legend or no legend should've gone a good couple of seasons ago, but can you see Wenger actually appointing someone with the temerity to challenge some of the stuff going on. Or anyone on the board growing a pair & pointing out we havn't been able to defend a set-piece since Tony Adams retired. Like so many other's, I won't give the club another penny until I see some evidence of my Arsenal returning. As an ex-Spurs boss once remarked, "There used to be a football club over there". Wenger stated yesterday there was no point bringing in any new players, loans or otherwise as others are only ten days away from returning, it's as if it never occurred to him that we might've needed replacement full-backs a good few months ago. I'm not Djourou's biggest fan, but it's bordered on the side of cruel the way he's been exposed in the last few weeks, at least Wenger had the deceny to rescue him at the break yesterday. Can't remember the last time I feared an upcoming North London derby, & I include the day's of Hankin & Hawley. - Post No. 19331

Sarf Lunden  10:52am 23rd Jan 2012

He should have gone when we moved into the Emirates. If he'd gone then he would have rightly been celebrated as one of the greatest managers in the history of the game. Instead he's going to dragged out, screaming like Gaddaffi, unless Silent Stan comes to his senses and removes him. Wonder if the staute will join the busts of Lenin, Stalin etc in some Eastern European theme park of failed leaders? - Post No. 19332

Will  10:52am 23rd Jan 2012

Yesterday's game was a landmark in the reign of king Wenger. His position is now untenable. His explanation of the fatal substitution lacked any sense. He abuses players when he needs to ( see his running of 21 year old Ramsey into the ground week after week ). We needed to win that game and the Ox was providing the momentum. So what if he risks injury as long as we have the 3 points. A full strength Arsenal is still a top side but Wenger is making more and more mistakes ( Santos playing in a nothing game and getting injured just one ). Its sad but terminal someone needs to put him out of his misery sooner rather than later. We also saw exactly why RVP will not be here next year. - Post No. 19333

ryan  10:54am 23rd Jan 2012

If he is to go then it should be now. It would be a huge call to make which I dont think anyone at the club has the halls to do. At least a new manager would have the chance to save our season through signings and a general lift of atmosphere. If we finish outside of top four then we rebuild on the legacy of what Wenger has built. In arsene we trusted - Post No. 19334

chrisy boy  10:54am 23rd Jan 2012

kevin, in your article you said " when stan kroenke decides he has witnessed enough " well there lies another problem kroenke is never there and what has he actually done since he took over. For me wenger has lost the changing room and now i would say 75% of the fans there is no way back, but who on the board has enough knowledge and enough contacts within the football world to make the right choice for our next manager. We as fans need to act to get rid of both wenger and the board , over to you kevin how do we do that, would like to hear your ideas and views. - Post No. 19335

allybear  10:56am 23rd Jan 2012

Very hard to say anything now but the interview on MOTD2 was dreadful,he looks terrible! We all know the club is in decline&its very painful. Really hope something changes&RVP will definately go now,but will the board act? - Post No. 19336

RJ  10:58am 23rd Jan 2012

One other thing - whilst I found it amusing, I didn't understand who or why the "You're just a s*** Michael Jackson was aimed at...." - Post No. 19337

Camgooner  11:07am 23rd Jan 2012

Dreadful. Never mind the daft substituion, his decent one at half time raises more questions. Yennaris for Djourou. We deserved to be tanked in the first half. Man Utd's poor finishing was Arsenal-esque. Poor Djourou didn't know what was going on. So the question is why was Yennaris good enough to play 45 minutes v MU, but not to start that game? Or to to play against Swansea or Fulham or ... Seriously can any AKBs explain that? He's a full back. An actual, natural proper full back. Not a Centre Back (Djou, Verm) or midfielder (Coq). He's got the AW usual features of young and quick. Why on earth wasn't he thrown in against lower opponents. Why did we have to watch inept displays by Djourou? - Post No. 19338

Gee  11:12am 23rd Jan 2012

Still think we've been slaughtered by injuries again. Four full backs, Wilshere and Arteta out. We'll have a strong Feb to May with Wilshere, Arteta, Sagna and Vermaelen getting a proper run - Post No. 19339

Gooner_Vin  11:13am 23rd Jan 2012

I think you're completely wrong about Kroenke selling the club or sacking Wenger. Wenger is too powerful at AFC and will only leave at his time of choosing. He will never be fired. The fans' ire is better pointed at the current board and owners who are simply not ambitious enough and can't see that the self-sustainably model, whilst commendable, is flawed in the reality of today's football environment for any club that has ambitions of actually winning something. I think Gary Neville had it spot-on yesterday in his after match summing up. He said that any big club that is at Champions League level cannot implode and be so vulnerable when they have 4-5 injuries. United have managed. And that, as we all know, is one of the key reasons for our lack of success the past 5-6 years. Bar our first 14, our squad is just not good enough, especially when asked to play exactly the same beautiful game as the first 11. - Post No. 19340

Peter Lindstedt  11:22am 23rd Jan 2012

Why boo a player coming on in a key game - great plan for success. What is Wenger guilty of? Trusting a more experienced player - the captain of his country and not a small one - to do the job? How can a mistake like that become terminal decline? Who brought the Ox to the club? Come on - no jeering from the section I was sitting. - Post No. 19341

Andrew Cohen  11:24am 23rd Jan 2012

The present situation is like bleeding to death through a paper cut. I listened to it on the radio and knew that he would substitute Chamberlain. It is empirical proof of his not being fit for purpose. Actually losing a game because of the maintenance of ideology over the facts staring you in the face. Mr Wenger should stand for the French or German leadership, where such qualities are most ably utilised. - Post No. 19342

Nick  11:28am 23rd Jan 2012

He's lost the plot. Clearly he's lost the players in the dressing room and I don't think they are willing to play for him anymore. It's a bunch of lads biding their time and collecting their bloated paychecks. I've believed in and stood by Wenger hoping that project youth would start to pay off but his seeming disbelief in his own project by taking off Ox and burdening the team with the tiny Russian fashion designer was the last straw. Until Wenger is out there will be no change as I believe he's too set in his ways and too stubborn to see the light. He has staked his career on his idea and we're seeing now what that idea is. However much loyalty he has towards AA he has to have seen the error of his ways. And unless AA was being given a curtain call because there's a deal in place for him to be sold (which even so is totally unforgivable given that Ox was our best and most effective player Sunday) then I at least hope to never see him in an Arsenal jersey again. The lazy defending and goal he gave up more than sums up his Arsenal career. I don't care about the 4 goals against Liverpool anymore. He's done. Put him out to pasture or put him out of my misery! - Post No. 19343

BNG  11:35am 23rd Jan 2012

I'm really looking forward to the Villa match when he lets loose his caged cretins Squiggles,Park,Almunia etc & we crash out of the F.A cup - Post No. 19345

Bob  11:36am 23rd Jan 2012

I was gobsmacked to see The Highbury Spy's kneejerk defence of Wenger in the latest published edition of The Gooner. It seems that his previously sound judgement has been pretty much entirely clouded by the sentimental return of Thierry. The is not about one player, one result, or one substitution. It is about the inexorable decline of our beloved Club under a man who once led us with pride and distinction. If he survives until May, should be for no other reason than because we need time to recruit a successor and radically rethink the approach to investing in the team. - Post No. 19346

Peter Wain  11:39am 23rd Jan 2012

One wonders why Djourou was asked to play ayt full back when for the previous three games he had been destroyed by average players. The replacement was much better. Yet again the speed of Mertsacker (or lack of any) was shown up for what it is and questions must asked of his purchase. I agree we cannot afford to wast money but the suqad is desperate for new blood and any new player will lift the club and help in the 4th place fight. We needd new players waiting until the summer will make rebuilding more difficult. - Post No. 19347

Dave  11:41am 23rd Jan 2012

Anyone offer any suitable replacements for Wenger or are we just sacking our gratest ever manager on a whim, hoping someone as good comes along. Maybe you'll offer such suggestions as David Moyes, Brendan Rodgers or even that old pearler Jose Mourinho. I await your suggestions ladies. - Post No. 19348

fozzy's mate  11:55am 23rd Jan 2012

Something snapped yesterday. For a long time I had whinged about OGL's arrogance towards the fans. Disgracefully in his post match interview when asked whether Arshavin should have tracked back he said "you should ask him". Like the numerous times at shareholders meetings, AGM's and press cons he has basically told the fans to f off. His standard retort of I have been a manager for 30 years what do you know is sickening. Tactically clueless, an awful performance which came alive for 15 mins mainly due to the exuberance of the Ox ruined by the worst substitution seen in my 25 years as a season ticket holder. In previous times the Wenger drones would have bit back at the booing and arguments and fights ensued. But I think the chant of "you don't know what you doing" were universally nodded at by the amassed and amazed ranks at the soulless bowl. The collapse has started big time and again he implored "how can I sign a full back when Gibbs is back in 10 days?" Along with Fridays gem "how did I know Diaby would play nil games?". Arrogance and stupidity is an ugly combination which will be matched by the ugly scenes that started at the end of last season and will follow until the end of this one. - Post No. 19349

jtotheltotheo13  12:02pm 23rd Jan 2012

One of the most galling things, amongst the circus of yesterday, was time and time again the team showing their backs to WS13. That was the heartbreaker for me. It's the fight in the dog, and ManUre were there for the taking, with their most disjointed and frankly nervous team I've seen since the 80's. To see 10 men not WANT that ball and see if hoofed upfield so wherever it dropped landed the nearest with the responsibilty was criminal. Only the OX consistently put his hand up. Where is the pride? The bottle? RVP will be onto his agent today and I don't blame him. Playing on his own, trying to bring down hoofs, no-one there to create the chance if he won it. Rosicky and Pat Rice PLEADING with the team to press and harry. JD20 getting dragged short EVERY TIME. Who was telling him to maintain the width? Pat Rice was. He ignored him. PM4 should have grabbed him by the throat to let him know where his position should be. But, like so many in recent AW teams, fierce pride and never-say-die are absent. A shrugging culture, a moving-on approached that is as blind as it is irresponsible and in insult to the likes of me, £1250 a year worse off. Why did Yennaris not start? He had a great game IMO. Bit of London can-do about him. Good luck. See Frimpong on MOTD? Before he got clattered he was at the centre of everything Wolves did. And playing in a more advanced role! Boy can play football! Why is he out on loan? There are rumours it's a slap-down, as he has too much to say for himself in the dressing room. Probably about pride, commitment and being willing to put your head where others wouldn't put their faces - to represent the club. I would pay my hard earned to watch ten players like that than to witness the constant surrender of these past years. Wenger must take the blame. These are his players and he created the culture and atmosphere they play in. Times change and we must change with them. Sir Alex and all top managers constantly rotate their coaching staff, to keep it fresh, to keep learning, to never sit on their laurels. 'It's not new ideas I'm afraid of, It's old ones' - John Cage - Post No. 19350

Ron  12:15pm 23rd Jan 2012

One final comment on this thread for me. Here goes: I truly think that this Season has been so disapointingly awful, the team so shoddy, the boss so hapless and many of the players so lacking in ability, focus and direction, that we re actually in with a good shout of winning the FAC! Its often been won by average teams who've endured flat and scratchy league campaigns and while its been dominated by top 4-5 Clubs for quite some time, we must have a shout musn't we? It might yet be Arsene's 'get outa gaol free card'. Views guys, whether youve worked half a second in football or not. All welcome, even if the mere suggestion is delusional in the extreme! - Post No. 19351

chris dee  12:21pm 23rd Jan 2012

Arsene 'the fans have every right to boo,but it doesn't mean they are right' Yes Arsene you have made 50,000 substitutions before in your career but it doesn't mean you were right. - Post No. 19352

JER  12:27pm 23rd Jan 2012

The next game for Wenger is massive. If he fails to pick his strongest team against Villa and we lose then he will surely lose any remaining support and respect from all Gooners everywhere. - Post No. 19353

Highbury Boy  12:36pm 23rd Jan 2012

RJ and some others have got it wrong.I was there and booed. But not against Arshavin or any other player. It was just against Wenger. We could see Arshavin was going to come on. No-one booed him getting ready. We expected it would be Walcott who would be subbed. There would not have been a single boo if that had happened. It was only when we saw no. 15 our liveliest player was being told to come off that it beggared belief. And to claim credit for subbing Djourou is disingenuous. After Djourou's recent performances at right back he should never have started. It pains me to say it but I have posted on this and other sites for the last 5 years that we will not win anything under Wenger ever again. Also if he were to leave today the Club has a much worse squad than he inherited from Graham/Rioch.On the playing side he leaves us with an injured Wilshere and an almost out-of-contract VP.We do have a wonderful stadium and excellent training facilities and oh yes a great balance sheet and profit and loss account. - Post No. 19354

Big Dave  12:37pm 23rd Jan 2012

After the game Ivan Gazidis smiles,laughs and shakes hands with the utd directors, what more needs to be said - Post No. 19355

Merse69  12:40pm 23rd Jan 2012

These match reports are almost comically anti-Wenger... The substitution was a mistake, but the Ox wouldn't be at the club without Wenger's project youth. After half time (despite the manager??) a close pulsating game could have gone either way following a great comeback. The side hammered at Old Trafford was massively depleted - far weaker say than the one that defeated Chelsea 3-5 at Stamford Bridge. Funny how Chelsea's heaviest home defeat in 22 years is never mentioned here, while a scratch teams lose at Old Trafford is invariably highlighted.... - Post No. 19356

kilkenny cat  12:43pm 23rd Jan 2012

The worst thing about the substitution,was I knew he would do it. Cant remember the last thing he got right. As for that waste of space 23,he is the worst player ive seen,he is a disgrace to our once proud shirt - Post No. 19357

GoonerGoal!  12:46pm 23rd Jan 2012

Yes Ivan Gazidis did say last May the fans would decide that Wenger’s future and as each month passes, through his actions and his words, Wenger conspires to alienate even the most fervent AKB’s. In my mind also there was a feeling that he lost many of the players some time ago, confirmed yesterday watching Vermaelen in the first half standing stationary a couple of yards from the centre of the opponents penalty area waving his arms in frustration while United attacked down our right, as well as Van Persie screaming “No!” and what I thought was “****ing Hell!” in Wenger’s direction at the substitution. I can’t help feeling that with that single substitution, Wenger may have finally ensured that Van Persie moves to a more ambitious club in the summer. So it's time for a new manager and you favour a Dutch one? I’ll give you three, Marco Van Basten, Guus Hiddink, and Frank Rijkard. Van Basten and Hiddink are currently open to new job offers, while Rijkard currently manages the Saudi Arabian national football team. - Post No. 19358

Tony Evans  12:46pm 23rd Jan 2012

I never usually like to hear chants against the manager but this time (especially after THAT substitution) I thought it had to happen and it did. Anyone critiscising the reaction by the fans is no Arsenal supporter for me. Wenger has had this coming and deserves all the stick we can throw at him. Forget the early years (yes we are eternally grateful and all that) but we can not keep giving him chance after chance like the chances he gives his under-performing lightweights like Arshavin. Wenger is quite simply an embarrassment now and the club is dying on its feet. Does anyone on the board at Arsenal care about what is happening? I just don't understand my club now and less still where it sees itself in the game's hierarchy. Quite obviously, not where I see it! - Post No. 19359

Gee  12:48pm 23rd Jan 2012

This season will also mark the 8th year running without a league title. There are no football men at the club so wenger has total power. He interviewed Gazidis for gawd sake. I dread to think what will happen if Villa beat us next week. - Post No. 19360

Der Projekt ist Kaput  12:52pm 23rd Jan 2012

Thanks for your efforts, Arsene. Thanks for the trophies, thanks for the Invincibles. But please, while you still have dignity, please step aside. Please do what's right for the club. - Post No. 19361

71 Guns  13:04pm 23rd Jan 2012

"You have an 18-year-old kid making his first Premier League start and a player who's captain of his country and they are querying the substitution? Let's be serious". Ok Arsene lets be serious, we are not good enough, our 'best' eleven can compete but will still fall short. Andre Arshavin hasn't contibuted anything worth noting for about two years, Tomas Rosicky three years, Per Mertesacker is too slow (first season I know)and Theo Walcott has never/will never been good enough. So Chamberlain looked tied did he? He didn't seem to think so, nor did RVP and the fans quite rightly vented there disaproval. I seem to recollect on more than one occasion a very tired Cesc Fabregas being put on the bench for certain cup competitions and eventually coming on to save or the win us the game, when he shouldn't really have had any involvement. So what Arsene is saying is if we need a 'tired' player he will use them? So yesterdays game against a very average looking Man Ure wasn't that important then? So he decided to 'rest' the 'fatigued' 18 year old for what? The last of what we had left should have been left on the pitch yesterday, I know we still have the other challengers to visit but so what, we were given one the worst drubbings ever at Old Trafford last year and that was a game that needed to be won at all costs. That game should have been forced daily veiwing last week, maybe it was but apart from Arsene's questionable decision making where was the hunger, determintaion and passion from the boys in red and white? Regardless of how they feel about the club surely conceding 8 goals as a proffessional must be taken personally mustn't it? Thierry understands the passion if not the fans right to share their opinion (when he's lived a year in the 'working mans' shoes then he can question it) He can't save us, even RVP can't save us (gone in the Summer?) We need to do properly what we set out out to do 7 years ago rebuild, accept no CL football, this 'must be 4th at all costs' clearly isn't working because we're not attracting a better players are we? And if we were we would probably refuse the asking price or their wage demands anyway... Sad times. - Post No. 19362

sparksy  13:05pm 23rd Jan 2012

RJ - Are you Wengers love child?. Arshavin "suffereing from a confidence issue" - He's a lazy bastard who doesn't earn his money and clearly doesn't want to be here. VP - "maybe his **** You was aimed at the crowd" - Just like your mate Wenger you have an excuse for everything. Quite clearly VP was aiming it at the bench as he can see like the majority of us that the team is going backwards fast. This is not an overnight occurence but one that has been dragging on for many years and us supporters have had enough of our club being ovverrun by Wenger apologists like you and the board taht allows him to do it. - Post No. 19363

Jeff  13:27pm 23rd Jan 2012

I don't like the terms "AKB" & "AMG" and I have previously expressed that view on here. I have been a season ticket holder for over 30 years and although previously I was prepared to give him this season, the last three league games and THAT substitution yesterday, were the straw that broke the camel's back for me. When we equalised, I said to my mate I sit with (who's been going longer than me) watch, he'll take the OX off now and sure enough, to the dismay of the entire stadium, that's exactly what he did. It was so predictable. His substitutions are nearly always pre-planned, with little or no regard to what's happening on the pitch, staggering! Then outside the ground, by the cannons it got really nasty between Arsenal fans. Two groups chanting at each other,People chanting Wenger out, who were mostly older fans like me, fans who go to all the games, home and away. The other mob chanting "there's only on Arsene Wenger" and becoming incredibly vociferous about all the manager has done for the club. It was intersting that all of those chanting his name were what you'd call on here "JCL's" All young, or tourists. That this busted flush of a manager has caused such a rift in our own fans is very sad, leading to the terms "AKB" and "AMG" we're Arsenal fans for god sake. However until these deluded idiots realise that Wenger has to go and this starts to hit the board and the yank in the pocket, nothing will change. His post match comments that he substituted an 18 yo kid with the captain of Russia said it all, arrogance beyond belief. Started him ahead of the Russia captain though, didn't you Arsene? Let's have it right, if he'd taken off the useless walcott there would have been no dissent. There used to be a football club in N5! - Post No. 19364

Half Full  13:36pm 23rd Jan 2012

The substitution furore is just a distraction. The real issue is that a not-very-good ManU side were streets better than us for so much of the match.If you want another vivid illustration of what perennial underinvestment can do to a team, compare the quality on the two benches. Alongside the underinvestment there is need to continually dilute the definition of success. If when he originally joined the club Wenger had announced his aim was to achieve a top 4 finish I don't think we'd have been too impressed. But now we would accept it as a real achievement. I believe that the underinvestment will prove to be unwise commercially but it is plainly the commercial decision that the Club and its owner have taken. Wenger's job is to do the best with the resources he's given and so far he has achieved commercial success at any rate. So it's clear that Wenger will see out his contract, that any other manager would face the same financial constraints, that we will continue to be a selling club, that our best players will always want to move to achieve success, that we will be saddled with an expensive to run stadium, a lavishly remunerated set of executives but a declining revenue stream as failure on the pitch feeds through into demand for seats,merchandise,sponsorship etc Wenger has too much pride to leave and the Board aren't going to sack him because they won't be sure of attracting anyone better. I'm afraid we're sliding down the pan and it's such a shame, it's so short-sighted. But don't heap all the blame on Wenger. He's always been rubbish at substitutions. - Post No. 19365

Jekyll  13:54pm 23rd Jan 2012

Wenger made that substitution because he decided before the match that with 20 mins to go he would take AOC off and put Arshavin on. With absolutely no feel for a match, no flexibility in the face of changing circumstances, he then robotically did just that. He's actually been doing this for years, this is just the worst example of it. - Post No. 19366

Theo Jensen  13:56pm 23rd Jan 2012

I received such abuse for saying we wouldn't make the top four last summer and look where we're at now. United have always and were for the duration of that game bombing our flanks and whether Wenger wanted to be offensive or defensive, Arshavin in inferior to the Ox in both respects. We may yet get the top 4 spot but it will only be because of Chelsea's weaknesses rather than our strengths should that transpire... - Post No. 19367

Ron  14:03pm 23rd Jan 2012

Nutty - Totally correct! The treatment of Djourou is sort of 'cruel' as you say, but be honest, hes a terrible footballer whereever he plays and he stands testament to the view that getting to the top of the modern game cant be that hard, given some commitment and at aome stage some talent. As has been said, its very much like the end of the Neill days, yet a great majority of these players today wouldnt get a sniff at a place in TN s side. By my reckoning there are at least 8 who shouldn't play for Arsenal again. PS The Keeper isnt No 1 material either, despite his well self manufactured popularity. Never gets a mention though, due him being recognised as a 'fan'. Its cobblers. - Post No. 19368

Tony Evans  14:22pm 23rd Jan 2012

Ron - it pains me to say it but I would gladly go without the FA Cup if it meant Wenger might finally leave or get the boot. Dave (19348) It is not on a whim that so many supporters want Wenger out. Where have you been these last 5 years or so? Jeff - Agree with you that older fans like you and me had lost it with Wenger years ago. The JCLs wouldn't know a proper football club if they saw one. - Post No. 19369

Adam K  14:32pm 23rd Jan 2012

That's it........he's finally cracked me. Arsene Wenger has to GO!! That is the 3rd time in 4 games versus Man Utd (as i'm excluding the shambolic 8-2 result earlier this season from my memory) that they have beaten us without even having to play well. The League game at OT, the FA Cup game at OT and yesterday were all exactly the same type of defeat..........inept defending, varied application from the players and tactical suicide by Wenger. Was anyone else surprised to see ManU's first goal come from our right hand-side.....I certainly wasn't as we'd had enough warnings in the previous 15mins leading up to the goal. If it wasn't Nani, it was Evra, if it wasn't Evra it was Giggs....they were all having a field day down that side. Walcott offered nothing in terms of protection and Djourou was well, just Djourou (hapless!) . What would Mourinho of done in that situation when he was at Chelsea? I seem to remember him hauling Paulo Ferreira off on a few occasions before half time!! Agree totally with what Kevin has said above, if there was anyone who should have been hauled off yesterday, it had to be Walcott. He more than most in that squad owes Wenger EVERYTHING. If it wasn't for Wenger's unwavering support, he'd of been kicked out of football a long time ago, and been shoved in some lycra to run the 100m. He for me is the perfect example to sum up one of the main problems at our club....we just are not cut-throat enough with our players. How many other managers would have the same patience with this list of players: Almunia, Fabianski, Squillaci, Djourou, Walcott, Rosicky, Diaby, Denilson, Arshavin, Bendtner, Chamackh, Vela - ALL THESE PLAYERS STILL HAVE SQUAD NUMBER AT ARSENAL. Out of all the players he's persisted with i'd say maybe 1/5 (and that's being generous) have repaid his faith. For every Alex Song, there is a Senderos, Eboue, Traore, Julio Baptista, etc. Project Wenger needs to be decommissioned in early stages of the summer, after an inevitable trophy-less season. His final chance (in my eyes) was given to him last Summer and he repaid the confidence shown in him by the board by sanctioning the sales of Fabregas & Nasri to go LAST MINUTE basement shopping for get out of jail players (Arteta, Benayoun, Mertesacker). The squad is weaker than it ever has been. I'll leave you with one final thought.............how many points this year would Arsenal of had without Robin Van Persie in the team? Answer = enough to hold down our status as a Premiership side, but little else! - Post No. 19370

clockendpaul  14:35pm 23rd Jan 2012

How can the full back situation be allowed to carry on, players coming back we're told, once the window shuts whats the betting we'll then be told the truth! As for the substituion, and the usuall comic interveiw after the match, deluded, arrogance and stupidity those three words sum that man up.... please leave my club wenger asap, would rather have the tea lady in charge - Post No. 19371

johnnyhawleylovinggooner  14:47pm 23rd Jan 2012

when he first came AW was told to remove the boring tag from our name. he did this . He also helped the move to the new stadium. We have paid for this partly by selling players for top money.we sold too many managed our resourses poorly and the team has suffered because some players are on top money and they cannot be sold off as a result. mind you AW is on 7ml a year. so is Pat Rice on 6ml and the next on 5ml and so on like the first team is paid? or is it one law for the team and one for the staff. It is really hard to watch AW these days as he really has done a lot for us. like george and terry at the end you keep hopeing they will turn it round. but it is up to the board now to help AFC one way or the other as the situ is also one of their making, we cannot enmasse turn on AW, the chant yesterday should also been sack the board - Post No. 19372

Fozzy  14:48pm 23rd Jan 2012

The Fulham fiasco hurt. The shambles at Swansea was bloody painful to watch. Now this. Just prior to the substitution defining moment, we had The Forces of Evil rattled, despite Walnutt's ineptitude. Weng had Purple Nose by the bollox. Ridiculous. What is Weng working up for next week against Villa? The only thing that will trump it will be for him to charge on to the pitch at 0-0 in injury time and bang the ball past Chesney. - Post No. 19373

johnnyh  15:00pm 23rd Jan 2012

very sad to see fans booing the manager but it has been coming.a lot has been made regarding THAT substitution but what was worse was the last 25 minutes of the first half.they were as embarassing as any i have witnessed. we were given a lesson by a very average man utd team. we made jonny evans and chris smalling look like bobby moore and franco baresi.hopefully wenger will fall on his sword and resign but i wouldnt bet on it.things may get a hell of a lot worse before they get better. to finish would the owner of that bloody ARSENE KNOWS banner please take it and stick it where the sun doesnt shine as it is blatantly obvious that he DOESNT know. - Post No. 19374

Jezzup  15:03pm 23rd Jan 2012

The worst thing about "that substitution" was that it killed the atmosphere. Up till then,and following the equaliser, we looked like we could go on and win. After the substitution, the passion the fans felt for a possible victory completely ebbed. That in no small way played a big part in United going on to win. Bad mistake and bad timing. But then, Arsene Knows Best! - Post No. 19375

Gare Kekeke  15:16pm 23rd Jan 2012

Spot on Kevin yet again. How many of these comments have the words 'that substitution'? - Post No. 19376

CT Gooner  15:16pm 23rd Jan 2012

I've been thinking a little on where we are as a club. I do feel for Wenger, especially losing so many Full Backs to injury. From an attacking perspective it has really weakened us this year, with Sagna and Chubby santos, we would have been far better going forward, and at the back! Same in midfield, with a fit Wiltshire & Diaby (assuming you think he's good enough to wear the shirt), we would have been able to rotate guys in and out, hopefully reducing the risk of injury. But to me that's the crux, our first 11 is really good, young and solid, but where is the talent on the bench? If project Youth was working, and given the 7 years we've been rebuilding, where is that young talent?? Dont say AOC, we bought him, why has our youth system only yielded Wiltshire (jury's still out on Gibbs)? My biggest complaint about Wenger though was our closed season transfer activity, or lack of it. So do I feel he needs to go? Not yet, but he needs to be on his final warning - Post No. 19377

Yanto  15:35pm 23rd Jan 2012

This isn't just awkward but very VERY Painful. Wenger has now managed to undo ALL the good work and Great moments he lead the club to and through, it is like watching a very good friend gradually fall apart - and (Truly) it Sadden's me more than I can say. BUT I was a Gooner long befor AW arrived and (god willing) will be long after he is no longer manager. This (last straw breaking the back) situation has been coming for 6 years now. Either the board and/ or Wenger have lied..either there has been funds for transfers or there hasn't, if not then Wenger should say so...if there has then the board should make it very clear that the gradual decline of our team is due to one man. The serious lack of investment over 6 seasons has brought us to the point where we have very very average players - some only good enough for Championship level at best (Djourou, Squilacci, almunia, flappy, walcott,diaby, vela, denilson) jeeez there's almost a whole team in there, and of course we also have geriatrics like Arshavin and Rosicky still getting their £60k wedge every week...Okay so Rosicky was blighted by injury and has been seen to at least try lately, but he should have been shipped out along with those named long ago - and some Class brought in.... As sad as it makes me I cannot ignore what I and all other Gooners have now witnessed, even all the AKB's must surely admit that it is time for Arsene Wenger to relinquish the post of manager. The trouble is a) who can we get in b) will he stay on in some other capacity and still have a say in what & how things are done and c) we need a David Dein type person in the club, who knows football and can get the right manager in. Time for the (in)famous "Thanks Arsene But It Is Time To Go" Banner to Be Unfurled. - Post No. 19379

SilverGooner  15:36pm 23rd Jan 2012

If Arsenal were operating in a non-footballing business environment, Wenger's employers would be telling him that he is not only becoming an embarrasment to the club but also to himself. On top of that he would be told that there is an increasing number of dissatisfield customers. He would be told to come up with an action plan and given a timescale in which do do it. Failure to rectify the situation would result in his dismissal. But with the likes of Kronke, Gazidis and Hill-Wood running the show that isn't going to happen anytime soon. - Post No. 19380

BigB The Gooner  15:52pm 23rd Jan 2012

Another Wenger classic 'I have made 50,000 substitutions in 30 year career as manager'........That equates to 1,667 substitutions a year so in an average 55 game season it works out to be 30 subs a match!?!? More b*%*@ks! Also, what was it with Park playing his first league match against Utd.......could it be that it was written into his contract, did you see all the Korean/Asian advertising on the hoardings that came up for the rest of match after he came on......just a coincidence,uum! Maybe also a little payment to the club thrown in for good measure...... - Post No. 19383

Naz  16:24pm 23rd Jan 2012

Love how everyone is a football master tactician these days. Wenger has more experience managing a football team than most and everyone questioning his tactics like this is ridiculous ("onset of senility?"). Wenger is the only person left at Arsenal who actually cares about the club, who actually cares about our position and success not just profits. Mark my words when Wenger leaves and all we have left are the f***ing dross left in the board, then we will see true decline. I dont know why Wenger doesn't spend and the truth is neither do any of you fools. If you think its down to some simple vanity project, thats your prerogative, but i doubt it. I think Wenger is being professional and not divulging back door politics form the board. We should all be screaming Kroenke, Peter Hill-Wood and Ivan Gazidas must go. Like they did at Man U last season. Its the lack of ambition at Board Level that is an anchor weighing us down. A manager is supposed to be the manager of the team, not the whole club. Wenger is an unbelievable resource, but any resource managed inappropriately will not provide a substantial benefit. In terms of that Substitution, rationally speaking, it makes sense. He paid a lot of money for that russian, so im not surprised hes able to keep up hope that he will click again longer than the rest of us. If it was me then I probably would have pulled off Walcott, another player that Wenger is keeping faith in longer than i possibly could but then again he did spend a lot on the kid. But Wenger has more to worry about than just the momentum of the current game. Walcott's confidence is probably shot to s*** at the moment, and pulling him off and leaving, the younger somewhat similar player on would only make this worse. I dont know what we as fans can do to force the Board to demonstrate some ambition, short of a boycott nothing will work, that much is clear. I dont expect us to win everything, but I expect us to give it a f***ing go. Looking at the squad and player transfers I dont even think we deserve to be in the CL with Europe's elite, we are no longer in the same category. We have a mediocre midfield, one outstanding attacker, the rest mediocre. Defence is pretty good surprisingly If they are all fit with a back four of kos, ver, sagna, and santos and mert as a good squad player. I hate to f***ing admit it but spurs have a better squad, but the key to Spurs recent success is a chairman that gives a flying f***. Levy overspent a little in comparison to revenue over the past couple of seasons, but they are truly reaping the rewards of that ambition. Not just with success on the pitch, but theirs a lot more Spurs fans all of a sudden (glory hunters), I see a lot more spurs merchandise around london these days. No matter how much I hate the success of our infamous neighbours, I am still hopeful of a collapse, but in the absence of that perhaps it will cut through the Boards bulls*** rhetoric about not being able to compete with spending power... blah blah blah. I dont know how far this decline will go and who can stop it, but Im pretty positive that without Wenger it would be lot worse/ will get a lot worse. Is a Boycott a viable option? - Post No. 19384

FromArseToElbow  16:42pm 23rd Jan 2012

"The onset of senility" is a little over the top. It's not like Wenger tried to send on Pat Rice. The Ox was great in attack but he left Djourou exposed. The nub of the game is that both our full-backs had mares and Ramsey/Rosicky failed to close down Carrick who then fed the wings. The mistake was not taking the youngster off, but putting Arshavin on. Benayoun in the middle and Rosicky wide might have given us more solidity and allowed us to hold on for a draw. Wenger was actually guilty of over-ambition, throwing on an attacker. Arshavin (ironically) was in the right part of the pitch for their winner. Despite the ineffectual block, the real error was Vermaelen being sucked into the middle (as CBs are) instead of doubling-up on Valencia. I don't think this is evidence that Arsene has lost the plot. It's evidence that we have lost 4 full-backs (and Coquelin, the utility man), a vulnerability that teams are now targeting. And no, Wayne Bridge is not the answer. - Post No. 19385

lee armitt  17:03pm 23rd Jan 2012

The ox signaled to the bench to come off end of story - Post No. 19387

CanadaGooner  17:19pm 23rd Jan 2012

Is there any reason why anyone would be surprised that Man Utd beat us? Let's get real here: we've just come off the back of being beatean by Fulham, out-played and humiliated by Swansea, so why not add a third defeat eh? I have a huge issue with how this article has been presented**** WE ARE ALL ARSENAL FANS! shall I play you a tune so you can dance around and rejoice at Arsenal's demise? Arsenal is a classy club and our fan base used to be made up of literate people, but it seems to me that a whole bunch of illiterate and semi-literate folks have crept in to the ranks. We're not Blackburn Rovers for goodness sake! so, show some decorum here! I have an article coming up shortly in which I have clearly stated the need for Wenger to resign with dignity at the end of this season, and it has NOTHING to do with the tripe being said on here, and certainly nothing to do with our defeat to Man Utd**** but more to do with: (1) If he claims we havent spent enough money to compete with the big-spenders, then we should only be losing against those clubs and not dropping points against wolves, fulham, blackburn and swansea (teams that we can clearly compete with in the transfer market) (2) Liverpool lost this weekend and their manager has been out there berating the players and threatening that heads will roll. Wenger on the other hand still thinks it's everyone else's fault but himself or his squad (3) There's no plan in place to mitigate this situation, which is the real worry here. even 10 points behind Spurs, we can still overhaul that lead, IF AND ONLY IF, Wenger can accept that players like Arshavin is well past the point of no return and shouldnt even be on the bench! The fact of the matter is that only an idiot would have thought Arsenal would have come out of sunday's game with anything to show for it. The players had rolled over even before the game started: all they were trying to avoid was another 8+ goal mauling**** at no point during the 90mins were they trying to win the game and I'm sure they were very proud of themselves to have only lost by 2 goals (that's how pathetic we've become) So all you idiots out there thinking you've made a point, no you havent. nothing unexpected has happened. the result was predictable and not surprising in the least. so, move on! - Post No. 19388

maguiresbridge gooner  17:23pm 23rd Jan 2012

You'r right ed any chance we had of keeping RVP has now completely evaporated for the world to see don't think we disgraced ourselves like we did at old trafford man u was there for the taking rvp miss made a difference but the ox sub ? he was the best player on the pitch the excuse is he was nervous and tired he didn't bloody look nervous and tired to me and replacing him with a donkey.As for donkeys a long time ago probably the best defender ever to pull on an arsenal shirt was labeled a donkey that label didn't last long because he was certainly no donkey but we definitely have a donkey now Djourou (and i have said it on here many times)my god for the goal he just jogged across put his hands behind his back stuck his head out and said boo never jumped lifted his leg or even closed down why does wenger persist with players like this hopefully he has realised this now but don't bet on it the excuses will probably be injury get rid of this true donkey as for arshavin? wengers comment on him after the game when asked a question when he replied you'll have to ask him said it all has arsene finally realised what we've all known for a long time that this team is not good enough? don't hold you'r breath. - Post No. 19389

au revoir wenger  17:44pm 23rd Jan 2012

painful to watch yesterday the change in wenger over the last few years is alarming .Iwould liked to have seen him depart a few years ago with his dignity intact .Looks like things are gonna turn ugly - Post No. 19390

Mark  18:00pm 23rd Jan 2012

For me, Sunday was the last straw. I'm not an AKB. But neither have I been of the opinion that we should get rid of him. I've always thought that he was too stubborn, but yet was a man of vision who would probably get it right in the end. Sunday changed all that for me. His substitution of Oxlade-Chamberlain was a total disgrace. Perhaps worse still was his caustic dismissal of any genuine belief that he was wrong to take the young lad off the pitch and replace him with a man who patently dislikes the club and has nothing but disdain for what we are and the desire Arsenal supporters have for their team. I go to every game - home and away - and have supported Arsenal for forty years. I don't think that I have felt lower about the club that I love. Arsenal is about more, much more, than Arsene Wenger. Or the board. Or the players. Enough is enough. We need our Arsenal back. - Post No. 19391

nugs  18:10pm 23rd Jan 2012

i can only dream of the day we see the back of this board and their puppet wenger and true fans have their arsenal back, the problem is its the brainwashed element of our support thats helping these clowns ruin our great club. - Post No. 19392

Jekyll  18:11pm 23rd Jan 2012

CanadaGooner - the club captain agog at the substitution, fans booing Wenger whilst the game is going on, and 'nothing unexpected has happened'??? And try to understand the reactions are a result of years of pent up frustration, not just this one game or one terrible substitution, rather than sermonise and call people 'idiots'. Bad form. And you lecture on 'class' and 'dignity'! - Post No. 19393

CanadaGooner  18:15pm 23rd Jan 2012

...... and so we're not all expecting light at the end of the tunnel. We wont have it any better after Wenger certainly not with the current board. All that said, the losses against blackburn, swansea and fulham did the damage - not a loss against Man Utd and yesterday's outcome could have been very different, but nobody sane would or shouldve have expected a result. Now, can we beat blackburn, stoke, wigan in our upcoming fixtures? start saying your prayers! Comments like 'Wenger out of my club' posted above show the same volume of arrogance we continually accuse Wenger of. Let's apply some perspective please! - Post No. 19394

Merson's bum  18:17pm 23rd Jan 2012

Oh well, if Pete Mountford is throwing disgruntled texts around we must be in a right state. Pah! Pete Mountford. Who even is he? - Post No. 19395

mark from aylesbury  18:32pm 23rd Jan 2012

Dear Canada Gooner, I really do admire your rebukes there worth their wait in gold, but perhaps you are missing a point? A sizeable and growing minority of Arsenal supporters want Wenger gone and its spreading from the websites to the stands at the Emirates. Now whether you like it or not I'll take a few more defeats this season so that Wenger hasn't a leg to stand-on. Sadly it doesn't look like he is going to do the honourable thing and fall on his sword. If Arsenal finish 10th I care not as long as he goes. Sorry pal but he is a busted flush who has lost the dressing room. After Arsene has gone there will still be an Arsenal! - Post No. 19396

AvenellRd  18:35pm 23rd Jan 2012

Give it 24-48hrs and AKBs will be back in full force, even more deluded than they were before Sunday. Expect statements such as: it is counterproductive to boo yr own team/manager so it's crowds fault we lost, we are missing 285 players and all will be rosy in the garden when Diaby returns. - Post No. 19397

ppp  18:47pm 23rd Jan 2012

it's the booing fans who should be ashamed - booing the team during a close game against united. idiots. we need younger fans with more guts. none of my lads boo the arsenal - we support no matter what. - Post No. 19398

Dorset Gooner  19:05pm 23rd Jan 2012

RJ - The MJ chant was for Nani! - Post No. 19399

Hairy gooner  19:17pm 23rd Jan 2012

You'd like to think Arsene will bump his head this week and take the only trophy we have half a shout of winning seriously , but I fear the game will be another showcase of our 3rd rate fringe players Almunia and all . If there is just half a sniff of our long term crocked being fit (ie Sagna) then get them in their with Rvp and play the strongest starting eleven possible , for fecks sake the fa cup has to be the top priority now , a day at wembley and to put some pride back into the club , and maybe , just maybe arsene can save face . I have come to agree with points made on various blogs that do we need/want europa league football , playing thursdays in some eastern block country against a tractor factory team on bloody channel five and a large chunk of games on Sundays ?! I'd sooner finish 7th , take the hard lessons , learn from them , play a dozen games less next season , keep players fit ( are our medical staff witch doctors dealing in nettles and frogs legs or do we look for the early symptoms of bloody old age in our potential signings ! ) off load the underachievers and if that involves paying up contracts or a similar large payoff then so be it , any thing for a fresh approach . I suppose that brings us to the million dollar question , the manager . I have to confess that after the early season calamitys I was all for giving AW to the magic Xmas mark , but the recent defeats and just some of the bonkers decisions and excuses ( those bloody excuses ! - its almost embarrassing going into work the next day facing rival footy fans and then trying to justify some of the drivel spouted from post match interviews and the gutter press ) have pushed me into the AMG camp , it's time for new coaching staff Bould , Keown , Bergkamp anyone ? Hell all this talk of big name managers I'd give any of the aforementioned names the hot seat tomorrow and I'd give them my full support even if that meant the missing out of the flaming champions league for a couple of seasons whilst they got their ship in order ! You just feel these guys would bleed for the club . I'll be at the villa game Sunday and lets hope for a strong starting 11 and some bloody pride in wearing the Arsenal shirt and make the fa cup our goal this season and if 7 th place means a clean slate then I'm happy to take it . - Post No. 19400

Andreas  19:30pm 23rd Jan 2012

Arsene Wenger is not and idiot or a c***, as some people state on the forum. He is simply a man who has generated a great deal of success and respect doing a job a certain way. His biggest mistake is not changing with the times, believing with a bit of luck his way will be successful again. It was a sad moment but one that was a long time coming. After watching his frustrated antics on the touchline maybe, the caption should read "how much more can HE suffer?". - Post No. 19401

Dorset Gooner  19:33pm 23rd Jan 2012

CanadaGooner - Probably one of the worst man u teams in years, as a so called fan how can you not believe that we could have won the game, and if wenger had of subbed walnut instead of the Ox, who knows, we could won! Your insulting other fans for expressing their opinions, most of whom are paying top prices to watch players that really don't care! Are you? - Post No. 19402

Mandy Dodd  20:10pm 23rd Jan 2012

Mark from Aylesbury, "After Arsene has gone there will still be an Arsenal!" Managed by David O Leary. - Post No. 19403

Tony  20:10pm 23rd Jan 2012

I don't accept what Mr. Wenger said about Oxlade-Chamberlain's apparent fatigue and that he was recovering from illness during the week. United have a 38-year-old midfielder going the distance, yet our brightest player on the day, an 18-year-old, who's clearly demonstrating that he can do the business against Premier League competition, is taken off? The worst part is that he made way for Arshavin, who despite Mr. Wenger’s claim regarding his alleged “efficiency,” is utterly and woefully out of form. Frankly, I don't care that he's captain of Russia. The captain of a pub side would give more effort. To insert a player like that in such an important game, especially after the team clawed its way back into it, is disgraceful and indefensible. - Post No. 19404

Fozzy's mate  20:31pm 23rd Jan 2012

Canada - as I sensed and posted a few weeks ago you are falling into the classic bloggers trap. You love it when people agree but when anyone disagrees or posts a different opinion you throw your toys out, sling mud and call people mindless idiots. Like when posters comment "you sound like a 6 year old" etc. The point and fun of such sites is to allow diverse opinion and discussion. The Gazidis led propaganda machine don't want opinion and expect blind faith and admiration for the wonderful self sustaining model. It is clear many want OGL out, many don't, some like me and you do but have no faith in the miserable machine to find a decent replacement. At the soulless bowl yesterday we weren't booing the team or Arshavin but what the majority thought was a poor decision by an arrogant manager past his sell by date. You can't hugely increase prices and expect the same demands as when in 1986 I bought a junior gunners season ticket for £25. Lifes about opinion and it is boorish to attack others whose opinion is different to your own. - Post No. 19405

Ben, Chris and Pete are running a Marathon  20:32pm 23rd Jan 2012

With a full & fit squad, Arsenal CAN win the Champion's League this season. - Post No. 19406

tpm  21:09pm 23rd Jan 2012

MANDY DODD, been keeping quiet havent you??? david o'leary, yep im sure our board wold really put someone who hasnt managed for 5 years in....come on seriously are you thibk or something? there was an arsenal before AW and willbe one after. Just because your scared of who could replace him, what do you want to do, have him managing till hes 90? have him managing when hes taken us to the bottom half of the table. get real - Post No. 19407

Vino Deano  21:10pm 23rd Jan 2012

It all went wrong when Dein left and Arsene was allowed to become more interested in the business side than winning trophies. Dein pushed the club forward, including Wenger, but since he's gone Wenger has had no-one to provide direction. Gazadis is just a talking MBA text book. Its his job to decide when Wenger should go, not when the fans decide - that comment beggars belief. And you can bet that any replacement with a real desire to win would quickly fall out with the Board because of what it takes nowadays. We're doomed with the Yank and Ivan in control. - Post No. 19408

CanadaGooner  21:14pm 23rd Jan 2012

Fozzy - if only I had the time to read such comments. Mate, I only read posts on here by 5 or 6 people who tend to make a ton of sense, and whether or not they agree with what I say or criticize it, makes no difference. But if you think someone who comes on here to just shout 'Wenger out' is not an idiot, then I must have mis-judged you. The fact that a website offers an opportunity for free-posting doesnt mean writers should abandon all semblance of commonsense or decorum. If we follow your logic, there isnt anything such as a 'classic bloggers trap' they're all simply expressing an opinion... - Post No. 19409

Theo Jensen  21:39pm 23rd Jan 2012

@CanadaGooner the problem with the argument that we should focus on beatng teams outside of the Big Six is that all the top 6 teams expect to have those teams take points off them- that's the thing with the Premier League in general and very unlike somewhere like Spain with La Liga. The reason the loss against United was bad was because the solution was right in front of Wenger and he didn't take it (or rather, keep it). - Post No. 19410

Canadacrooner  21:45pm 23rd Jan 2012

I first met Arsene in Montreal in the late 60's when I was on the "Blue Murder" come back tour. He was tiling the kharsi of a particularly seedy speakeasy with his team of young apprentists. Even then he was notorious for not finishing the job and incurred the wroth of the owner "6 fingers" Maguire. "Wenger grout" he implored, What a complete idiot! - Post No. 19411

Fozzy's mate  21:45pm 23rd Jan 2012

Hey Canada, I'm happy enough to read anyone's opinion mate however much I may disagree with em. As you know on many things I agree with you. If I thought the board had the gumption or desire to bring in a more effective manager I to may be crying "Wenger out". I don't think even this lot would go for Davy O who like Pat Rice is one of our greatest servants. The Wenger out brigade are stuffed full of frustration and understandably so. As Wenger said at the last AGM the fans are full of fear. The reason is we are a rudder less ship heading for the rocks of mediocrity. One thing we do agree on is the apparent surprise at yesterdays show and result, when we have suffered at the hands of the bottom half of the league in recent weeks. - Post No. 19412

CanadaGooner  22:34pm 23rd Jan 2012

Theo Jensen - as someone had mentioned before, Wenger is the one who had faith in the Ox and bought him and we all moaned about 'project youth' so, if he decides to substitute him, that's his prerogative. We lost because RVP didnt score a sitter at 1 - 1, which could have knocked the sail out of Utd's boat, not because Arshavin failed to close down their winger, which led to the second goal. Verminator should have been in there anyway. All that said, nobody on here expected Arsenal to win that match. I accept your point about the propensity for the big teams in the premiership (unlike one-sided leagues like the scottish league) to drop points to the lower table team every now and again, BUT NOT 2 in a row like Arsenal have done and certainly not by dropping 5 points to a team like Fulham! And we only squealed through at home against Swansea (could easily have been 5 points dropped to a prem league debutant!) Fozzy - yes, spot on, and YES, we dont have to agree all the time. What's important is the fact that your arguments are usually consistent and you apply logic, not just blurting out jargon. I'm sure if Wenger hadnt taken the Ox off and hadnt introduced Arshavin, some other Arsenal player would have conceded an own goal or welbeck would have scored in injury time or something equally bizzare. The fact of the matter is, we were never going to win that game as our players have all lost their mojos and they know they wouldnt get criticized anyway. All they wanted to do was ensure they dont lose by 8 goals again. They were never convincing enough to win it. Just go and watch the replay of our games against chelsea (home game last season as well as the 5 - 3 win at stamford bridge this season) and you'll see the difference. In those games, we played to win and the players played like they thought they could win - Post No. 19413

maguiresbridge gooner  22:43pm 23rd Jan 2012

I would love our old arsenal back with class players playing fantastic football and winning trophies as i'm sure would everybody on here i would also like our old arsene back lifting trophies like he did on the make shift podium at highbury sadly that hasn't looked likely for five years now and doesn't look likely any time soon (we all know the reasons)and for those reasons arsene has been digging himself a mighty big hole for quite a while now and has nobody to blame only himself he's right in the middle of that hole and it's caving in fast can he get out in time? well one things for sure he is doing himself no favours no favours whatsoever. - Post No. 19414

Wombledin  23:56pm 23rd Jan 2012

Almost certain we will not make the top four now. We'll probably lose 12 games this season. Does anyone honestly think Chelsea will be worse than us in the run-in? Lose to Bolton next and we are gone burger. Is this season gonna finish like last season, when our points tally in the last 10 games was the stuff of relegation zone teams? Are we now witnessing a terminal end-game of Wenger's long and illustrious reign or will Kroenke give him one more season and an order to spend up large next summer. It's on a knife-edge. - Post No. 19417

Matty12  0:00am 24th Jan 2012

RVP disagrees with a sub (and has the misfortune to be caught on camera) and suddenly he has lost all faith in Wenger and we need a Dutch coach in to get him to sign a new deal. You conveniently neglect to conside the fact that Van Persie has had the season of his life so far - and almost broke a PL record for goals in a calendar year - while being coached by AW. So one unfavourable reaction to a sub suggests mutiny, as opposed to a year of playing out of his skin and scoring goals for fun suggesting he is happy with the manager? Sweeping assumptions like this are the problem with your articles, you are well within your rights to criticise Wenger but why not do it rationally rather than advocate ridiculous ideas like employing a Dutch coach just to keep Van Persie at the club. - Post No. 19418

Whinger_OUT_NOW  0:04am 24th Jan 2012

CanadaGooner, you want Wenger out NOW?2 weeks back you ran from pillar to post telling everyone how it not Whinger's fault but the players'. What changed? Pulled your head out of a deep, dark spot perhaps? 7 years back, we would have hosted Manure and would have fancied our chances. If today "no idiot can think we would get anything out of the game" then whose 7 year fault is it? - Post No. 19419

Ken Dodd  0:09am 24th Jan 2012

By jove,by jove what a beautiful day to invite Arsene to my local cafe,show him the menu and say ''used to serve caviar in this joint before it went down market...fancy a sausage instead....!?'' - Post No. 19420

GoonerGoal!  0:30am 24th Jan 2012

I’ve had to wait over 50 years to be called “fool” and “idiot” by a fellow Arsenal supporter for expressing a view about the Club, the Manager, or a Player. The AKBs must be feeling the pressure of the majority public opinion... Ha! Ha! Ha! - Post No. 19421

Shropshire Lad  0:59am 24th Jan 2012

Brilliant comments. Love the subtlety of The Mandy Dodds joke. O'leary would represent the Antichrist as far as the Arsenal Business model is concerned. He and his Chairman at Leeds put them where they are today because of his free spending on borrowed money. The real test will come if we go out of the Cup next week at lose at home to the Spuds. The history of us Arsenal fans says that the majority will turn on Silent Stan to do something. Now that could involve support for Wenger in a change to the coaching staff or taking him 'upstairs' but he is an absent Landlord' rath like the Blackburn owners so don't expect too much. He is not a fan of our Club or of Football. It's just a business. Anyway, glad to see you back Mandy Dodds, your joke is a gem! - Post No. 19422

DW Thomas  3:20am 24th Jan 2012

From the number of comments here it seems this game is perhaps the straw that breaks the camel's back. I really do appreciate Wenger for all he has done. What other manager has taken a team through an invincible season? However, he is bordering on lunacy with his comments about matches and this one takes the cake. Not buying better replacements this summer and now in January is criminal. It goes to the heart of the club's ambition and desire to win things. WIN THINGS! Not finish high just to make CL money. Do the board, Wenger, and Kroenke really take us fans for the idiots they think we are. Wenger said at the beginning of the season to get behind this team. I could, if only we had more players with heart. Sure, RVP scores goals, but look at him compared to the effort Rooney puts in each game. And I can't stand Rooney. But he does have fight and passion. Where is our players' passion? The only ones I can think of are TV, Jack, and Sagna. Although Kos did look like a lion vs. United. To be competitive at any level you have to simply want it more than your opponent. You have to work harder, train longer, focus better. We fall short too many times again and again. Who should take the blame? Wenger. You can't take the applause for the success and not for the failure too. Part of me thinks he knows how badly things have gotten, yet he hasn't a clue how to stop the rot, even with everyone telling him how. And that to me is the problem. He has become a man that is too powerful and resistant to criticism. How else do you explain his ramblings these past few seasons? Players say they love him, owe him their careers, yet they leave for trophies. Doesn't that really say it all? I am starting to understand Cesc, Nasri, Hleb, Cole, et al. for wanting to leave. Maybe they simply saw the writing on the wall. Saddest part is, he could have stopped or prevented most of it with better defensive coaching, more experienced depth in the squad, and better tactics. I know the job is tough at times, but you don't get $7mil a year for sitting on your couch and eating ice cream now do you? - Post No. 19425

Joe S.  5:05am 24th Jan 2012

Canada gooner, I worry about you as much as I worry about our bereved manager. The frusration felt by fans is not a result of one game but a pent up emotion caused by arrogance, ineptitude, failure of nerve, lack of ambition, smug complacency and even greed from the manager. He is just so docile. Why has he never played prima donna and threatened to quit alla Brian Clough when faced with tight arsed directors unwilling to invest in the team.. At least it would have shown the fans that he cared enough to put his job on the line. As for us being deluded in expecting our team to get a result at home. We are the Arsenal and it has always been in the club's heritage to claw out a result even in desperate times.I think in your heart of hearts you also believe it's time to change, however as has been mentioned above, can we trust this slimy board to chose the right man? Only time plus trial and error will tell. It is better to move on sooner rather than later. - Post No. 19426

CanadaGooner  8:06am 24th Jan 2012

Whinger_Out_Now, perspective mate. I would like to see wenger leave at the end of the season with dignity, regardless of where we finish in May. Funny someone posts about the supposed 'majority' on onlinegooner: of course the negative majority on here would hope they've proved something? very funny. we havent had great results against united in years and while they've kept winning trophies we havent in 6 seasons so, nothing's been proven. We're not 10 points behind spurs because we lost to united. We are where we are because we've dropped 5 points against Fulham and dropped points against Swansea, Blackburn, Wolves etc... So, not entirely sure why we have this supposed convergence of 'great minds' following a loss to united. My conclusions regarding wenger were drawn more from the reaction to the loss (particularly compared to Daglish's reaction but i suppose he did spend over 50million on carroll, suarez and co) I still firmly believe there needs to be a better board/owner/chief executive in place before the manager's relieved of his position or we will go from a frying pan right into the fire (the current hierarchy cant find decent players, i'll be damned if they can find a good manager) - Post No. 19427

Spurs are laughing at us!  8:27am 24th Jan 2012

Any guesses on why managers of our direct rivals like Harry and Fergie apparently show a lot of respect for Wenger and praise him at every opportunity???? It is because they know we are going nowhere with him at the helm and they can easily collect their six points every season from us . - Post No. 19428

Mandy Dodd  9:10am 24th Jan 2012

Thanks Shropshire! Does raise a serious point though, anybody who wants a change of manager, would you trust this current board to appoint one? I know I would not. Our lack of spending and wage cap would deter the top managers,we may go to the bargain basement for a manager. It sometimes will work but sometimes will not. Look at how many managers some teams go through in their search, and on that, we do not really need to look outside London. Just because someone is doing a good job at Swansea, Norwich (or Bolton last year) does not mean he will work here. Just because someone can work with no money at Everton,albeit with a depressing brand of football can he do it here with raised expectations? Maybe or maybe not. But a gamble. Alex Fynn hints at board changes this spring / summer. We will also - presumably get a new number 2. You may even get some of the changes many believe this team need... with the current manager. As you will deduce, I pay a lot of attention to what Alex has to say, do not agree with all of it, but he can be a good starting point. One thing he says that sticks out to me regarding Wenger....something along the lines of right man, wrong infrastructure....lets hope, for me at least, the infrastructure bit is about to change for the better - Post No. 19429

anti-wenger  11:22am 24th Jan 2012

The problem is not missing out of UCL football next season which is certain( i wish for a surprise but realistically, we're not good enough)but i don't even see how we'll be getting back into the top 4 after this season. Spurs will continue to improve and we all know that Abramohvic will sort out the mess in Chelsea sooner than later. Then Manchester clubs will be top contenders for the forseeable future. Liverpool will even make an effort to get better than they are now. But for our dear Arsenal, the decline continues. Asharvin, Djourou,ALUMUNIA,Squillaci, will continue to be tolerated, Denilson might even come back from Loan, RVP will leave and we'll become worse than we are now. Nothing will change unless the manager is changed - Post No. 19431

GoonerGoal!  11:23am 24th Jan 2012

Mandy Dodd you and others like you need to take a long good look at yourselves. It hasn't just started going wrong. It was going wrong before the current infrastucture was in place. It's been slowly going wrong for years with Wenger in charge, the only difference is now its going wrong at an even faster pace! Wrong man and wrong infrastructure... - Post No. 19432

tpm  12:30pm 24th Jan 2012

MANDY DOOD flynn is not even a gooner, he is equally sperz as he is arsenal, sure he know a lot about the club, but does he have its best interests at heart? no he has his mates, AW, best interests at heart. he is biased to AW cos he is very good friends with him. whose to say if these 'lesser clubs' managers could do well at arsenal? if they dont get a chance who will ever know. just cos your scared of change your happy for the current incumbent to continue to drag us down, without even the prospect of letting someone in who MIGHT be able to do a better job. as for wage cap and lack of spending, well whose fault is it that we dont spend what we have...AW's...whose fault is it our wage bill is one of the biggest in the country, and totally disproportinate to our success. whose fault is hit crap players are on big money, meaning we cant reward our best players properly cos there not enough left in the pot... AW's. simple. now get your head out of the sand and get real. if your not a jcl (who to a small degree you can understand there blind AW faith as they know no diferent), you must be something of a simpleton to not be able to see whats right in front of you...im sure u will ignore this as you cannot argue with any of these points. - Post No. 19439

Ronster  14:33pm 24th Jan 2012

tpm....totally agree with you mate.The legends that are Bertie Mee and George Graham would now be dismissed by the likes of Mandy Dodd.Historically,apart from the great,great Herbert Chapman Arsenal have always made low key appointments.Yes,Arsenal Football Club is now a different animal but fortune favours the brave as they say.Answer this question Mandy....would you now advocate appointing an ostracized French manager plying his trade in Japan? - Post No. 19458

pj  15:28pm 24th Jan 2012

"When Arsenal’s manager made his first substitution in the fixture against Manchester United on Sunday 22nd January 2012 . . . . " - that'll be taking off Djourou for Yennaris then if it was the first substitution!! Which was a good move. However, the second substitution . . . . how did Walcott get to stay on? - Post No. 19467

Peter Hughes  17:40pm 24th Jan 2012

The Ox had utd on the run.He may have been fatigued but when a player is putting the opposition to the sword you don't pull them off.Utd were the better team but that has not stopped inferior teams beating us and we were getting on top and could have gone on and won.In important games you do not withdraw players because they are tired.Top players pull out that bit extra when exausted to win games.utd knew we were weak at full back so played an attacking formation with the emphasis on hitting it wide. We rode our luck but got back in the game.They could not believe their luck when the Ox went off.Come On Wenger admit your error.You thought you were protecting Ox but made a mistake. - Post No. 19475

lee afc  21:01pm 24th Jan 2012

Afraid to say it...but while the forth comimg games are sold out....who are the mugs. The board see this and believe that all is smelling of roses. - Post No. 19487

Greg71  21:43pm 24th Jan 2012

comments have been passed here about a managerial change or not,plus the apparent lack of a heir apparent or names mentioned being a gamble due to taking a step up or not a so called Arsenal person,who in in 96 would have given a relatively unknown frenchman working in japan the job then ! Following the criteria of tatical nous,football style ,experience of managing and playing at a top level plus availibility (if the job is still considered a one of the top appointments) any takers on Paul Lambert of the current in vogue bosses ? - Post No. 19490

Esso  8:20am 26th Jan 2012

Why does your publication continue to push such divisive terminology as 'AKB'. The term itself is garbage and is applied to anyone who does n't suggest that Wenger should be summarily executed for crimes against humanity. You seem to actively seek this division of what was previously - and for many, many years - a fairly united Arsenal family. For what reason I dont know, other than you must be paid-up members of the Fat & Orange faction. Your publication has fallen very low indeed. - Post No. 19585

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

16th February 2018

Frozen North Provides Relief For Arsenal

Rare comfortable away win for Gunners v Ostersunds