What’s next for Arsenal & Arsene?

By CanadaGooner

Has the club become a stepping stone for players?

If we can all just step back for a minute and reflect on what has happened in the past 16 years at Arsenal, without being too divisive, I think a few factual points will be acceptable to all Arsenal fans regardless of whether or not you still support Wenger or you want him out.

Cazorla: Will he go north as well?

1. The handwriting has always been on the wall and I don’t think it has come as a surprise to anyone who knows enough about football, that Arsenal have now ended up where we currently are - divided and clueless.

2. The philosophy of clubs like Man Utd and Liverpool over the years, as they each dominated, was to “win it all”. Both clubs wanted to win everything they could get their hands on, be it the League Cup, the league itself, the FA Cup and the European championships. There was never a time when Man Utd or Liverpool got to the final of any tournament and decided to play a bunch of teenagers out of stubbornness or to prove a point. Wenger brought that destructive arrogance to Arsenal and, at the time, it worked well, as we were competing for everything else and the Carling Cup felt trivial, and not many fans challenged that elitist attitude. Unfortunately, the reality is that teams need trophies to boost morale and create that ‘winning’ pedigree in their players. The moment you’re left with a bunch of players who haven’t won anything and feel very comfortable with ending each season with nothing, you’re in trouble.

3. Once a football manager begins to dabble in the financial side of the business - demanding a bigger stadium (not to get more fans in nor to improve the atmosphere; but supposedly to generate more financial muscle to take the club forward?), the situation becomes one where attention to detail is missing and that manager becomes totally distracted. It almost happened to Fergie during the early days of the Glazer takeover of Man Utd, and that distraction cost them that season. Fergie, being the wizard he is, stepped back, left others to it, and reverted to what he does best, which is manage the football team. They swiftly returned to winning ways and, I daresay, haven’t really spent much more than what Arsenal have spent in recent years. Unfortunately, at Arsenal we have a manager who believes his past successes entitle him not only to manage the team, but also to dabble in everything else, including this idiotic fantasy that they (Gazidis and co) can create a ‘model’ for financing a football team. In their collective lunacy, they have continued to push Arsenal further and further away from being a football club, to being a business with no other objectives than to balance the books at the end of each season.

4. Looking to the future, and beginning with the current season, does it need to take a genius to tell Wenger that the best thing to do right now is concentrate on winning the Capital One Cup? (Ed’s note – this article was submitted before the Bradford match last week) This is a trophy that is clearly there for the taking, and, with that win, we will not only eliminate the hoodoo surrounding the trophyless seasons, but we will also begin to give some belief to young players like Jenkinson, Chamberlain and others, that the club’s intention is to win trophies and build a team that can compete across the board. Unfortunately, we all know what is in store for us in that competition (more complacency).

5. People continue to moan about the players Wenger has brought in. Let me ask you this - if you’re a footballer and are suddenly at the top of your game and a club that has won nothing in seven years approaches you at the same time as clubs that are serious about winning trophies (Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea etc) also approach you, who would you sign for? So, what Arsenal are left with is a bunch of players who are not the cream of the crop, and are simply signing for us in order to have a decent season and move on elsewhere, e.g. Nasri. Do you think Santi Cazorla has joined Arsenal because he had a sudden urge to win trophies? No, he has joined Arsenal because he likes Man Utd and Man City, but he know a good season at Arsenal will get him to those clubs (can you blame him?). Arsenal can no longer attract decent players, and we also now no longer have a manager who can make the best of average players, as he is now too busy trying to build a financial model and is engrossed in other aspects of the club rather than focusing on managing the team and winning games.

Week in, week out, we continue to heap abuse on a bunch of players who shouldn’t be anywhere near our starting eleven. A few seasons back we blamed injuries; now we are scraping the barrel as our best players are simply not motivated enough or not good enough to win anything. All the usual mid-table teams in the Premiership now see Arsenal as fair game and they expect to gain a point or three every time they play us

So, what next for Arsenal and Arsčne?

17th December 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.

Fred Oburu  9:23am 17th Dec 2012

With AW philosophy, Arsenal will be consigned to a middle table club as Spurs, Everton and new EPL clubs like Norwich scramble for fourth, fifth and sixth positions. AW should hastility plan for his exit! - Post No. 32421

Digsby  9:51am 17th Dec 2012

The Arsenal Board have given Wenger a knife to bring to a gunfight get rid of the deadwood and players who dont want to play for the club and bring in a proper midfield enforcer and striker pay the 20 million for each give Wallcott and Sagna what they want Kronke is very shortsighted if we fall away from the CL it could take 5 years to get back and the club will lose a lot more than just finance Time to roll out the Cannons Come on "the Arsenal" - Post No. 32422

jj  9:54am 17th Dec 2012

Of course it's a stepping stone.Wenger has sold them the idea that he'll further their careers for years.Buy them,give them a platform,flog them for a profit.The problem he has now is that he's no longer buying players who improve under him. His obsession with playing half his team out of their natural position may work with younger players but when you buy experienced pro's and do it they are more likely to think he's an idiot. - Post No. 32423

Dan h  10:24am 17th Dec 2012

Take any league in the world dominant teams always buy from a position of strength.In my lifetime of supporting Arsenal it is something we have never done.Liverpool used to do it & obviously United we are a very conservative club in the transfer market go back to the 30's for the last time we had the balls to show financial muscle!We have become a stepping stone club we don't even settle for second best Canada offer this club 4th place for the next ten years they would bite your hand off.Low investment for a maximum return sadly it is what it is! - Post No. 32424

ppp  10:41am 17th Dec 2012

This article starts off as a call for reason then descends into yet another pathetic, frothing rant against Wenger as if the man who won doubles, cups and titles for this club is some kind of idiot. In fact one of the clueless commenters has already branded Wenger an idiot. There is no doubt in my mind you people have anything but the best in mind for Arsenal. For one reason or another you want to kill the club dead. YOu've probably hated us all your miserable lives. You have no argument, you just seem furious that we aren't run by a sugar daddy. And that's it. So the time for you to go and support City of Chelsea or Robin Van United is NOW! We don't want you anymore. - Post No. 32425

Wombledin  10:43am 17th Dec 2012

Everyone's getting too dramatic. Quite simply, nothing is next for Arsenal and Arsene if and until we finish outside of the top four. If we beat Reading tonite we will be in fifth spot, so as far as Kroenke, Gazidis, et all are concerned, there is really no that much to worry about right now and everyone should just settle down. Evidently most fans are content to finish in the top four each season and its way to early to say that will not be the case again come the end of the season. Once its mathematically impossible for us to qualify for the Champions League again, then we might see regime change. And even then it would be no surprise if the current regime is satisfied with Europa League football for a season or two if the season tickets are still getting sold. Ultimately nothing will change as long as fans are still singing "There's only one Arsene Wenger" and are still flying "In Arsene we Trust" banners. Wenger will finally be hounded out of the Club only when we finish sufficiently down the premiership table, and its anyone's guess at this stage where that will be come the end of the season. So shut up and see what happens. - Post No. 32426

Stroud Green Road Boy  11:41am 17th Dec 2012

And still the pro-Wenger lobby says there is 'no argument' being made for his removal, despite a clear argument being made again and again on this site. How many times do you need it reiterated? I'd say those who still want him to stay on, despite the clear and obvious on-field decline he's presiding over, are the ones that need to go off and support City, Utd or Chelsea. Perhaps you could help prop up decline at those clubs, that would be most welcome to us that want what's best for AFC, not its current manager . - Post No. 32428

mark from aylesbury  12:06pm 17th Dec 2012

Seems to me it is business first, football 2nd. With the board and wenger on some sort of corporate power kick. I think Stan is utterly useless for Arsenal, the marketing guy Fox also seems to have foot and mouth. However clubs can still prosper with dodgy boards and chairman. When it does succeed is when you have a driven footballing man. Both George Graham and Wenger (up to Emirates move) where these men. We now need change, someone who can challenge the players and the transfer kitty. You need tensions in life to produce the best. This present lot just crow about how much profit they make. Who of us really care about that apart from what can be spent on players. Good article Canada - Post No. 32429

Chris  12:19pm 17th Dec 2012

@SGR Boy - Personally I fully accept that an argument is being made by the anti-Wenger lobby. It's just that it's a stupid, reactionary, obvious one made by people who don't think for themselves and don't have the analytical ability to work out the underlying reasons for the current on-field decline. Numerous luminaries who know far more about football than you or I ever will agree with that - eg Gary Neville, George Graham after his recent volte-face. Unlike your position on Wenger supporters, I don't doubt that you believe you want the best for AFC - I simply don't believe you are capable of judging what that is. - Post No. 32430

Mike  12:21pm 17th Dec 2012

Critisism of Wenger is valid, but just one or two points though - Up until the petrol dollars came in, Arsenal were seen to be competitive in terms of wages - City took the majority of our players, with other high profile players going elsewhere. All for much better money - the questions is this, had that money not been there, would the players have elected to stay at Arsenal? Probably not. We know Walcott is not worth K100 000/week but he will get it from somewhere. SAF is the exception and not the norm .People now are touting Moyes - he has done nothing except finish above Liverpool - and it must be noted that he is the third longest surviving manager after Wenger showing what stabilty does -Last year this time people were touting the Sunderland coach o'Neil. when he went there -now? they are back where they were. Wanted players are seasonal as well - last year people said Tiote, Dempsey and Ba were must buys - not too sure about them now - no easy solutions unfortunately - Post No. 32431

Danny Clapton  12:21pm 17th Dec 2012

Judging by PPP's furious over-reaction to this article, he or she needs to be careful they don't burst a blood vessel. OK, so you don't agree that Arsene Wenger is responsible for our present situation. you are, of course, entitled to your opinion, but I would be interested to know how you explain the team's poor performances last season and this (bearing in mind we have suffered some record defeats in that time)? I am old enough to remember the sixteen years between trophies (from 1953 to 1969), I recall far worse Managers than Wenger (George Swindin and Billy Wright to name but two). Indeed, my experience as an Arsenal supporter is that our current situation is the norm. Our unparralled successes between 1986 and 2005 have not eclipsed the years of dross that I recall. Nevertheless, my loyalty and support of the club remains steadfast. My problem now is that even I can see the need for change. I don't believe that Wenger is a dictator, nor that he is responsible for all our ills, but I do think he is not managing the team well. One only has to watch Wenger and Steve Bould at games to see that all is not well with the manager/coach relationship. Terry Neill resigned after we lost to Walsall; Wenger never even had the backbone to say the performance against Bradford was completely unacceptable. We were treated to the same old whining from him. I don't expect PPP to agree but I am convinced the Wenger is part of the problem and needs to shape-up or ships out. - Post No. 32432

CanadaGooner  12:34pm 17th Dec 2012

It never comes as a surprise how many idiots come on this site simply to criticize an article before even reading it. For such people this site is just an outlet for them to give vent to their frustrated, miserable lives. This article was written and submitted to the editor prior to the Bradford game (and as I'm not the only contributor to this site, we sometimes have to wait our turn for our articles to be posted, and rightly so). It is quite clear that such debacle as the Bradford result comes as no surprise and arsenal's predicament is clearly spelt out by the now so common use of the phrase "if we can beat...." e.g. "if we can beat Reading tonight". At nearly 20 points behind, some idiots on here would still have us believe all is well. The question is: what's next for arsenal and arsene? Not who is the best arsenal fan or wenger fan or who writes the best articles on online gooner. Set your idiotic sentiments aside and get real: this isn't where our club was supposed to be heading after an invincible season! Man Utd keep progressing, Chelsea are winning trophies (including one we've never won), city are making progress and arsenal fans continue to bicker! What will it take to confirm we're on a downward spiral? - Post No. 32433

Bard  12:40pm 17th Dec 2012

I don't totally agree with this psot but I do get where he's coming from. The arguments get too polarised. I don't think its to with David dein or Petro dollars. That line of argument is too simplistic. The core problems are that Wneger has too much power, the board are useless, and most imprtantly of all the boss has lost his touch in the transfer market. His unerring touch is what had kept us competitive. Canada is right the players now are a pale imitation of previous years. Maybe what we fans have to accept is that our dominance of the league has always been patchy. We aren't Man u. Maybe we have shot our bolt and will have to endure a period of mediocrity Wneger or no Wenger. One final point there is such a massive disparity in earning power between us and the top three as to be almost unbridgeable that's why we can't sign top players. Its deluded to think we wouldn't have lost Dennis, Paddy et all if they could have tripled their money by moving elsewhere. - Post No. 32434

Stroud Green Road Boy  12:42pm 17th Dec 2012

There has been frothing hysteria on both sides of the argument. However, amongst that there have been numerous analytical, considered reasons given by various people as to why Wenger's time should be up, including those that take into account the rise of petro-clubs, the board, the owner and so on. Those that cannot see or understand those arguments are the ones that lack the analytical ability to comprehend them, so they believe they don't exist. Or perhaps they are actually quite bright and articulate but simply have a wilful blind spot. - Post No. 32435

Tony Evans  12:48pm 17th Dec 2012

Danny Clapton - What a good comment from you which I fully agree with. I can't remember the 53 - 69 period (thank goodness) but well remember the low points of the 70s and 80s and this is just how it feels now - stale and crying out for change. The trouble is we now have a manager and board in place that, although they say they care, don't appear to give a stuff and provide no evidence to back up their weasel words. Actions speak louder than words and after 7 years by God do we need action, but with Wenger and co in charge all I am expecting is more bull****, which I am now completely tired of hearing. - Post No. 32436

Angry & Frustrated  12:52pm 17th Dec 2012

@PPP you are clearly a bitter and twisted individual who will stop at absolutely nothing to try keep Wenger at Arsenal forever, even if that means the club remains in perpetual also ran territory. Your zen like devotion to the man is actually quite worrying, and you are now beginning to display paranoid behaviour. If anything your comment has done the cause of those like me who want Wenger out a lift, because your reply will have swayed those undecided that your camp is a rabid desperate mad house, simply clutching at straws. This is just an article, with comments underneath, which everybody is entitled to contribute towards, without someone like you telling everybody else "We don't want you anymore" simply because other peoples views don't match yours. By the way, their are others on this site who don't want Wenger out, but at least try to have a civilized discussion, and am sure they would not want to be included in your "We" category. Hardly mature debate is it, if every time someone has an opposite opinion to yours you resort to throwing your toys out of the pram? Do your initials by any chance stand for Paranoid Politburo Police? And before you reply, no I won't be f***ing off down the lane or anywhere else, and yes I am "Angry & Frustrated" with the current direction of the club, and in particular with your cult hero, can do no wrong, walks on water Arsene Wenger. - Post No. 32437

CanadaGooner  12:54pm 17th Dec 2012

@Bard and Danny; excellent comments. Perhaps Bard has answered the question. Maybe what's next for arsenal is a few more years of poor results and perhaps as our history indicates, 7 trophyless years isn't unusual for us and we may just have to get used to it. My only question is: can't we at least do that without the bull****? Do we need wenger and his arrogance for this period? Can we fare any worse with a manager that accepts taking superstars to a league 2 club and losing (on the back of 7 years without a trophy) isn't where we should be heading as a club. Our predicament is easier to bear if we don't have to read all the crass coming out of wenger and Gazidis - Post No. 32438

Inspector Clueless  13:26pm 17th Dec 2012

Canada Gooner i am happy to take your bet for this season in front of everyone. the point i made ( i do see sometimes you dont read very well) is Spurs Board were brave, made a call, took a brave decision when it was easy to leave Arry there. and are they worse off for it ? my point is under AVB (focus, hunger, attention to detail, passion) i think they are better off than we are today. if not for Adey at the Emirates they would have seen us off that day for sure - Post No. 32441

Mandy Dodd  13:46pm 17th Dec 2012

I am hoping Santi C is the real deal for this club and not using us as a stepping stone. This is a player who reputedly turned down Real Madrid - if so, we should certainly be able to keep him out of the clutches of EPL teams. - Post No. 32442

Ron  14:23pm 17th Dec 2012

Danny - 'Shape up or ship out' sums it up for me!! I can recall the mid 60s onwards as well mate. I swear the so called 'BFG' is a badly hamfisted attempt to clone Ian Ure!! - Post No. 32443

maguiresbridge gooner  14:37pm 17th Dec 2012

Your right Canada the big teams always want to win everything unlike arsenal as the managers attitude to the LC COC (as it is now) has shown. And when ogl suddenly decided to change his philosophy for the first time in years and go for it (just to placate the fans i'd expect) and field a full team it backfires spectacularly.It will be very interesting to see what he does when it comes round again next season (assuming he's still here)or indeed for the FAC surely he can't revert to type although would it make much difference.Your question is a no brainer what top player would turn down the big clubs and a chance to win medals and silverware to come to arsenal at this moment in time? We'll probably be left with the bargain buys as usual or a unknown sixteen, seventeen,year old or more dross who can't believe their luck with a nice contract or like you say players using us as a stepping stone to much better things,it's the only type of player ogl has in him any more. - Post No. 32444

Theo Jensen  14:46pm 17th Dec 2012

@Chris- this is a quote from an article I wrote for this site a couple of months ago: "If one ever criticises any policy of any kind, it is far more legitimate if an alternative can be proposed. The problem in this context is that such attempts usually lead to things being slung at you like 'leave it to the professionals!' or 'stop playing Football Manager!'. The problem with the people who do this is that, firstly, they often bring their own arguments in defence of the club or the manager. This is dishonest and unfounded, since they themselves are amateurs and, although showcasing themselves as 'representatives', could not themselves, from the logic by which they criticise, accurately convey the thoughts of 'the professionals'. Alternatively, if they merely assert it, they are simply making a statement of blind faith. That would be akin to claiming that those who trust in their governments blindly are 'better citizens' than the ones who question them. Obviously 'credentialism' is often important. We'd all prefer trained psychologists and surgeons over untrained ones of course. However, I'm currently studying history at King's College London, and never in my study of the subject have I encountered criticism based solely or even mainly on an ad hominem attack. Why? Because the real issue is the data, and that's what we should concern ourselves with." Now... I think you're one of the best defenders of Wenger on here, so why squander some of the good arguments you have by resorting to faith? - Post No. 32445

allybear  14:48pm 17th Dec 2012

CanadaGooner enjoyed your article very much. Its terrible the way the club is at the moment&im one of those that believes a new manager would be a huge boost but now not at the end of the season. Ron i think the BFG is a clone of Igor Stepanovs! - Post No. 32446

Ken Dodd  16:45pm 17th Dec 2012

By jove,by jove what a beautiful day to take Wenger to the local Christmas grotto,sit him on Santi Claus' knee and whisper in le boss' ear:''Go on Arsene,ask him...'are you for Real'.....?!!'' - Post No. 32448

Chris  16:59pm 17th Dec 2012

@Theo Jensen - I never told anyone to leave it to the professionals or deferred to the view of professionals. I simply said that my independently arrived at view that the manager should not be sacked was in agreement with those of people who know (or at least it is reasonable to assume know) more about football than I or SGRB – this isn’t based on faith but was an attempt to make him see that it is possible for people to have quite valid views that differ from his own. I also suggested that whilst SGRB may feel that he knew what was best for the club, based on what I had seen I didn’t believe his judgement was accurate – this wasn’t a reference to the fact that he wasn’t a football professional. At the end of the day, though, I do believe that whilst everyone is entitled to – and in fact has a responsibility to have – their own opinion, it is wise to give an especial degree of respect to those coming from people who might reasonably be judged to be in a position of authority. - Post No. 32449

Chris  17:10pm 17th Dec 2012

@ SGRB - I can't speak for anyone else but it doesn't follow that if someone doesn't want Wenger sacked that they can't follow the arguments made or that they disagree with all of the criticisms made - it is possible to do that without concluding that the manager must go. Describing the on field problems of the team,as I have seen you do, is easy but it is not making an argument for managerial change - it is describing the situation that causes the discussion. An argument in favour of managerial change needs to demonstrate that over all, Arsenal would be better off with a new manager. This needs to show that a new manager is available, will result in greater on-field success and won't harm the medium- to long-term stability of the club. - Post No. 32450

Justin  17:10pm 17th Dec 2012

Come on all Arsenal Fans! Lets not quarrel amongst ourselves, now it's not the time, get back to the stadium and cheer for Arsenal. I'm too sick of wenger, the board and the lack of committment shown by the team and the list goes on, but what is the point? Let's stay united and cheer for our beloved Arsenal. Wait till the end of the season. What is the point of showing all those empty seats around the stadium? Will the players feel more motivated to play? Come on! I support Arsenal! not wenger, not the board. Arsenal! - Post No. 32451

Kensall Green  17:28pm 17th Dec 2012

@ Chris 17:10pm Come off it mate you make out like there are guarantees whenever a manager is changed, there is always an element of risk, jsut like there is even in signing the most highly rated player from the same league. Case in point: FERNANDO TORRES. Banging them in for Liverpool, commanded the 50 mil transfer, hasnt looked anywhere worth it since. Other hand that is a one-off and you can make calculated risks. In the case of Arsene Wenger, one only has to look at his record in the last 8 years to get a whiff that something's amiss. And nothing atl to do with petrodollars, the board, or any other weak excuses. Facts such as a near full strength team lost a cup final to BIRMINGHAM. Facts that under his watch Arsenal suffered their heaviest defeat in over 100 years. How many teams have ever been spanked 8-2 by Manure EVER, by the way? Fact that Wenger is continuing that trend, with the worst start to a season under his campaign. Fact that an Arsene Wenger first team just got knocked out to Bradford City. It doesnt really take a big leap to catch on and identify the one constant, amidst all the changing personel, who himself admits is ultimately responsible for everything on the pitch: ARSENE WENGER. Another manager, with this SAME PERSONNEL, could make a massive difference: NO SPENDING REQUIRED! Look at Chelsea last season under Villa Boas.. tanking and seeming headed OUT the champions league.. He comes and in the same players WIN THE THING.. As well as FA CUP! Wenger talks disparagingly of Capital One cup, in a lame attempt to cover himself, but he has indeed been judged ALREADY.. by the dismal defeats in said Carling/Capital One cup.. to BIRMINGHAM, let alone BRADFORD CITY with a full strength team. Those appalling results ALONE are worth sacking, let alone it been 8 years, with 4th highest wage bill in the country, and most expensive gates. When will the madness stop? - Post No. 32453

Theo Jensen  17:40pm 17th Dec 2012

@Chris- I definitely agree with you in the sense that it is a very reasonable way to substantiate your point if you can back it up with someone of a more professional ilk. It's just when you said "Numerous luminaries who know far more about football than you or I..." it seemed like an attempt negate the the opposing view by reference to credentialism primarily. I mean my brother played to county level for football, had a place at Chelsea Juniors (career ended because of injury) and is a level 3 coach, and he feels that Wenger should resign now. Not an established professional of course, but you see how just because of a more formal education in the game it doesn't follow to be a self-evident truth that Wenger is the right man for the job (anymore). It would never happen in history to hear a lecturer retort to a question 'I've been a scholar for 30 years- you haven't spent half a day as an academic so what could you know?' (you'll see who I'm parodying there). I don't mean to rant but it's quite a common trend (set by Wenger no less) to side-step the data and try and reduce the opposition in this way. - Post No. 32454

Stroud Green Road Boy  18:21pm 17th Dec 2012

@Chris, I'm reluctant to respond directly to you because I do not want to get roped into another endless back and forth with an individual, however you said: "Personally I fully accept that an argument is being made by the anti-Wenger lobby. It's just that it's a stupid, reactionary, obvious one." So, here you are saying that the argument that's been made against Wenger is invalid. My point was that there have been many well written, intelligent, analytical articles and points made on this site and others that could not be described by any reasonable person as 'stupid, reactionary and obvious' even if they disagree with their conclusions. So it doesn't sound to me as if you're accepting of any criticisms or have been following the arguments made at all. And of course none of us can be certain that Arsenal would be better off under another manager - no one can 'show' the future as you seem to be demanding - but fear of change is not a reason for sticking with the status quo. At the very least we'd get to see new, different mistakes being made and just maybe we'd get to see a whole new exciting chapter open up for AFC. Personally I think it's worth the risk. I'll leave it there. - Post No. 32455

CanadaGooner  22:23pm 17th Dec 2012

hattrick and bye-bye Cazorla! Man City next season, as the arsenal board will again cash-in! - Post No. 32456

Gare Kekeke  23:56pm 17th Dec 2012

Good article CG. You’re third point I think is the most defining of them all. It is very worrying when Wenger speaks so passionately about football finance when his focus should be on building a truly competitive team. Perhaps this is the economist in Wenger coming out seeing as he has a degree in this field. You don’t hear Ferguson making the same noises about FFP the way Wenger does. True, Man Utd are supporters of FFP too, but they are not almost naďve to think it will force the ‘petrol dollar clubs’ to change their ways, even if they all signed up for it. I agree that the club has increasingly moved away from the football side into becoming more of a business. But then that’s the way football is going in general. How ironic that Wenger & Gazidis preach financial prudence yet take away the big-name big-money sales, financially we make a loss because of the ridiculous wage bill, not taking domestic cups seriously and our average performances in the European Cup. The club is in need of one heck of an overhaul starting from the very top. Up The Arsenal! - Post No. 32457

Graham Hansen  0:02am 18th Dec 2012

Great result against a dogged resiliant Reading side who tried to close Arsenal down but couldnt due to the scintallting football that Arsene Wenger gets his team to play. To get rid of Arsene would be the greatest folly. Who else could assemble such a great team on a shoe string wages budget of 140 million pound. Up the Arsene! - Post No. 32458

1971  0:41am 18th Dec 2012

In the last four years this man (Wenger)as mucked our club up,And some fans are still willing to give him a chance. I honestly don't believe it what ever the reason. A win here and a win there, fourth in the pl NO silverware.And thats the manager we want is it? Silly me i thought a football club becomes successful by winning trophies. Its all blah blah blah,money,players,stadium.Its all a load of bollocks. If the manager becomes unsuccessful over the years then f**k off simple.FANS WANT TROPHIES NOT LIES. A team i love to hate Chelsea have won silverware including the cl with differant managers FACT.they are the pride of London. Iam not saying by getting a new manager we are goona win silverware in his first season that would be crazy. New manager new idears. WARNING WENGER IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH. - Post No. 32459

Chris  9:22am 18th Dec 2012

@ Theo Jensen - I was definitely trying to negate dismissal of my point of view rather than negate the validity of opposing views! I'm sure you can find people with 'credentials' who have views that cover the complete regarding Wenger - that was my point. - Post No. 32460

billthered  10:06am 18th Dec 2012

Lets start by stating the obvious,if you owned a company in America and someone was running it for you and getting huge profits year after year what would you do,nothing thats what.So our owner will do nothing as well because while the tills keep ringing why should he.We where sold out by the board years ago when they could'nt wait to sell their shares to the highest bidder,Mr Hill Wood said he did'nt want his sort (Kronke)here well another few quid and hey presto here he is.I know it is wrong to think like this and I hope it does'nt happen but it might be good if we dont qualify for next seasons champions league and see what impact that has on our club.But I think AW will sign a couple of players in the window and make sure we finish in that trophy laden position of fourth,because for all his faults he knows only to well how to finish there,a few years ago he knew how to finish first but times change. - Post No. 32461

CanadaGooner  10:19am 18th Dec 2012

well, well; sounds like our beating the MIGHTY reading has turned things around? very funny! Wenger said: we've answered our critics! ok, let the team go to sleep again. we've just pissed off yet another chance to win a trophy by rolling over for a league 2 side and yet, let's rejoice that our superstars have beaten (reading) a team we havent lost to since I can remember. I hate being cynical, but hopefully we slay the MIGHTY wigan as well and wenger can demand another 10 years at the helm for these heroics! ha ha - Post No. 32462

Chris  10:21am 18th Dec 2012

@ Stroud Green Road Boy - you really do take the biscuit! How does my position regarding anti-Wenger arguments (“stupid, reactionary & obvious”) seriously differ from your own regarding pro-Wenger arguments, which if I recall correctly you described as “weak, tenuous and nostalgic”? I could say it doesn’t sound to me as though you have been following the arguments or accepting the facts presented but I fully accept that you have a right to your view – I just think you are wrong – but you can’t allow me the right to mine without resorting to the insult that I can’t follow an argument! Almost all of the anti-Wenger arguments I have seen either outline a sequence of unfavourable results, describe some characteristics that the team has exhibited in certain matches or make the far from substantiated assertion that Wenger is sitting on resources. In the first two instances, I find the arguments obvious because all they do is describe the situation as it is without attempting to work out whether there are underlying reasons for the current situation that go beyond the manager (for instance, would his philosophy work with better players or more time given for the current squad to gel? or are there factors out with his control that have resulted in the high turnover of the squad and an apparent reduction in the quality of players?). I find the arguments ‘stupid and reactionary’ because they don’t seem to consider what is being attempted with regards to fashioning the team’s play, the demonstrable and undeniable big picture & facts that Wenger continues to achieve results in excess of those predicted by the resources used and, in the case of the putative but far from substantiated case of Wenger failing to use all of the resources at his disposal, they fail to take into account whether allocation of resources for future use might actually make sense, despite the current problems of the team. In other words they don’t fully consider the underlying causes or the over-arching facts – they are based purely in the post-hoc descriptive and observable realm. As well as making my own criticisms of what has happened (e.g. poor management of the transition from project youth and failure to invest in the squad when it would have had impact in 2008) I have made arguments as to why these things need to be considered but to my knowledge you have never argued against them, you have merely repeated your own mantra. Of course I think the anti-Wenger views are invalid – that’s why I’m on here defending him! But it takes a peculiar type of arrogance that some might identify as narcissism to dismiss anyone who doesn’t concur with their own point of view as not being able to follow the arguments – your position seems to be based on faith because you seem to believe that you opinion = absolute truth. But I don’t expect you’ll get that so I’ll it there. - Post No. 32463

Stroud Green Road Boy  11:42am 18th Dec 2012

@ Chris, firstly, to stop you keep saying it, yes I do think you have the right to a view and no, I do not think my opinion is the absolute truth. I think you'll find the difference between us is you've just said in your response to Theo that you were not trying to 'negate the validity of opposing views' then you say in your response to me just now that 'of course I think anti-Wenger views are invalid'. Direct contradiction, in your own words. You accuse me of 'insulting' you by saying you can't follow arguments (when what I've actually said is you haven't been following arguments) but seem to think it's okay to make the greater insult of saying I'm incapable of forming a valid opinion. Like with your use of credentialism, you're attempting to reduce the opposing argument by asserting your intellectual superiority (you do it again with 'I don't expect you'll get that'). Now that's narcissism. You can keep wriggling on the hook of Theo's argument and your own words all you want, and doubtless will continue to do so. As you've judged me, in return I'll give my judgment on you: You try to position yourself as standing for fairness and reasonableness but I believe what's behind everything you write is you've totally bought into the cult of personality surrounding Wenger and have a fervent 'Arsene must stay, no matter what' faith. You won't admit this of course - maybe not even to yourself. My opinion is this cult of personality is destructive and divisive and therefore continuing to prop up the current manager is damaging to the club. That's my position, and once and for all that doesn't mean I don't think it's possible to make reasoned out arguments for his continuation in his position, but I do think they are weaker than those for his dismissal (or preferably, resignation). - Post No. 32464

John  12:02pm 18th Dec 2012

"Both clubs wanted to win everything they could get their hands on, be it the League Cup, the league itself, the FA Cup and the European championships"..........except the year united didn't even enter the fa cup??? Bore off, mate. - Post No. 32465

Rocky RIP  12:20pm 18th Dec 2012

@Canada Gooner - 'I hate being cynical' - really? For someone who hates being cynical I suggest you stop being so cynical as all your posts tend to be. Being negative is the easiest job in the world. Taken in isolation last night was a very good performance (with 2 typical lapses of 'focus'...aggggh! Who wasn't bricking it at 4-2?! Why?!) Our formation had great balance, good pace, fantastic passing and movement. No, our critics won't go away and the problems will still lurk, but can we not enjoy a well deserved, encouraging victory without the cynicism? Cazorla has a great game - reaction: he's off. Great team performance - reaction: it was ONLY Reading. As I said, taken in isolation, very pleasing, but can you not bring yourself to say that? - Post No. 32466

Theo Jensen  12:54pm 18th Dec 2012

@Chris- ok then, it just appeared to me to try and 'go above' the debate somewhat but you're clearly an intelligent guy and don't seem dishonest so I take your point. - Post No. 32468

Chris  13:18pm 18th Dec 2012

@SGRB - there's a world of difference by saying that I don't think those views are valid (i.e. stating that my opinion is different) and using other people's views to attempt to say that it is not a valid position to hold. To paraphrase yourself - perhaps that's too nuanced for you to grasp? Wriggling on words, asserting intellectual superiority? Does remind me of someone but I'll have to think.... As for the rest, you have accused me several times of being seduced by the 'cult of Wenger' - I thought you had got over that but clearly not. And so we go on..... I will concede something though - your supercilious dismissal of all who don't think Wenger should be sacked - in the face of the clear facts to counter this, whether or not you accept that argument is stronger than the case for dismissal- has indeed riled me and yes, I would like to demonstrate to you that you're not as smart as you would like to think. What I think is that you can't tolerate anyone having views different from your won and so you invent this whole 'cult of personality' and 'faith' business as a stick to beat and discredit them. For the record - as I have stated before - I don't think Wenger should stay no matter what. There are very strong reasons - based on facts and statistics - that you have not been able to counter as to why I believe he should currently stay. Over-looking these facts is, in my opinion, indicative of allowing emotion to over-rule reason. To suggest he should go because of a 'dangerous cult of personality' is frankly one of the very weakest arguments I have encountered. - Post No. 32472

1971  14:53pm 18th Dec 2012

@Chris. The comments i make are all true. And you know it.You are in a small group now mate get a life. bye bye Wenger. - Post No. 32482

CanadaGooner  16:12pm 18th Dec 2012

@John -- and I'm guessing in your clever little head, that was the same year Utd had gone 7 years without a trophy? I'll gladly 'bore off' the minute you 'grow up'. - Post No. 32487

Empty vessels make the most noise  18:09pm 18th Dec 2012

@Canada Gooner - 'European championships' ? That's an International competition which takes place every four years, so I fail to see how Man Utd and Liverpool have always tried to get their hands on a trophy they are inelegible for. Silly article. Offering nothing pertinent. - Post No. 32493

CanadaGooner  20:27pm 18th Dec 2012

@empty vessel; good to see you're making the most noise for sure. the clever folks on this site (who I'm glad to say are the majority) understand what i meant was the europa and the champions league. glad to ignore your comments going forward, so you can carry on being an empty vessel - Post No. 32502

Ali  9:51am 19th Dec 2012

Wenger fans argue that we don't have money to win trophies, yet wage bills and financial resources of clubs like Bayern Munich, Inter, Athletico Madrid and Porto are much lower than Arsenal and most of them lose their best players every year. Still they have stronger squads and star players than us and challenge for domestic and European trophies. - Post No. 32521

Stroud Green Road Boy  12:08pm 19th Dec 2012

@ Website Admin, you appear to have lost my final retort to Chris, the main point of which was to point out the logical flaw in the criteria he believes are required for an adequate argument for replacing Wenger, namely knowing the future: "needs to show that a new manager ... will result in greater on-field success". I guess this will to do. - Post No. 32531

Chris  17:05pm 19th Dec 2012

@SGRB - I think all reasonable minded people who can be bothered to read what we have written (which, I admit, may be very few) will realise that what I meant was that "needs to argue why" rather than "show that". Please, let's get away from the petty points scoring and back to thinking about football/Wenger. It's getting pretty boring now...... - Post No. 32548

Stroud Green Road Boy  20:00pm 19th Dec 2012

@ Chris, at last we agree on something. Enough is enough indeed. - Post No. 32554

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

16th February 2018

Frozen North Provides Relief For Arsenal

Rare comfortable away win for Gunners v Ostersunds