Arsène Was Pushed. He Was Never Going To Jump

Online Ed: Finally, we can all move on

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The question that will reveal the truth of Arsène Wenger’s resignation, to be asked by some bold journalist between now and the season’s end is this…

So Arsène. You said, “I have been here for 21 years and I always respected my contract”. Why the change of heart?

The reality is there hasn’t been one. Arsène Wenger would be here next season and beyond if he had his way. But he no longer controls the club as he has done for many years. He was informed he was going at the end of this season and then it came down to how to manage it. Winning the Europa League was not going to save him. Even if the club made their Champions League money next season, under Wenger, what were the chances of them being in the 2019/20 competition? Going on the last two campaigns, it was a real gamble to see if he would avoid finishing outside the top four for a third season running.

Arsène will get a season’s salary as pay-off. Part of the agreement that has seen him go along with the resignation narrative will see him paid up to the end of his deal, unless there is a clause in the deal signed last May that avoids this. I doubt Wenger would have agreed to that myself. And yet reputedly there are JustGiving pages being set up to help him out in his retirement. I find this difficult to believe, but just in case it is true, here’s a heads up guys. Arsène is paid north of £160,000 a week. With add-ons we can only speculate, probably £1,000 per hour for every hour he breathes, including sleep. £2,000 per hour if you want to simply pay him for working time on the basis he does a 12 hour day – assuming he works until 8pm every evening. He does not need charity. If you want to fund something in his honour set up a page to benefit someone who your money would actually make a difference to and do it in tribute to Arsène.

I knew Arsène was toast when Ivan Gazidis told the recent fans’ forum meeting “It would be disrespectful to discuss the manager’s position” or words to that effect. The hiring of Messrs Sanllehi and Mislintat were obvious clues that change was afoot, that Arsène wasn’t going to have anything to do with the 2018 summer transfer window, and indeed, had minimal influence in the January one, in spite of Sanllehi not yet being involved as the club’s director of football (or whatever title he has been given to spare Arsène’s blushes). Arsène stated quite firmly that he runs the footballing side of the club, and yet, two individuals were brought in to take over a lot of the fundamental stuff he and his lackeys have not been doing very well and both report to the CEO, not the first team coach. Arsène’s pride was being severely dented.

It was interesting to read Gazidis’ words at the press conference yesterday evening. Here is a man who has got sick of lying to justify the decisions of the club’s majority owner Stan Kronke. Asked whether it was a mutual decision and what had changed in a year?, Gazidis responded, “I don’t want to go into the details of private conversations around the decision. Today is not for that.” And when asked if he wanted Wenger to stay, he said, “I don’t want to get into all the discussions that went on. The decision is made”.

I also noted with interest Gazidis’ statement that Arsène, “wanted to, when the day came to leave the club, leave it in a stronger position than he found it, and I think that he leaves in a very strong position to move forward.” When Arsène arrived, Arsenal were in third place behind Newcastle and Liverpool. The previous season they had finished fifth under Bruce Rioch. Are the club in a stronger position in 2018? Not according to the League table.

Yesterday, with the quality of the tributes to the manager, it was as if he had died. One doesn’t speak ill of the dead. And Arsène’s career at Arsenal is now dead. The remainder of the season an opportunity for fans to place metaphorical flowers on his grave. There’s no point in the outpouring of any further vitriol now, no reason for fans to fight one another in the stands over their difference of opinion. The reason this announcement was made now was because the alternative was Arsène slinking off in mid-May like a thief in the night. In a sense, fair play to him. I am certain he could have negotiated that style of departure if he wanted to, but he realises that to have any chance against Atletico, he needs a united fanbase all backing the team, 100%. We can do that now.

That there was a sizeable contingent of Arsenal fans that did not want their own club to win the Europa League for the simple reason it risked at least another season with Wenger at the helm. When you reach the stage of fans positively wanting their team to lose matches simply to effect change, you are in deep, deep trouble.

The announcement now also avoids the further ignominy of a half empty stadium for the matches against West Ham and Burnley. Arsène will not want his reign to end with him looking at swathes of empty (paid for) seats. That, as much as anything, was a key factor in the decision to call time on him. I have a heavy suspicion that number of club level and corporate box non-renewals recently were also heavily influential. Arsenal had to do something before too many people who had paid not to turn up simply chose not to pay either.

But more than anything, it is the fact that the club will be posting an operating loss for the current financial year that would have made Stan Kroenke actually take notice of the decline. The disappointment on the playing front will have meant diddly squat to a man that doesn’t give two hoots for the sport. However, balance books are something he has genuine passion for. The shareholders’ rebellion at last October’s Annual General Meeting would have not have hindered the decision to move on and it was around this time that the club started talks with Carlo Ancelotti who, as I understand it, will be the manager next season. Ancelotti is seen as the steadying hand that can guide the club through the transitional post-Wenger period and start the re-building job. The first team squad will be largely unrecognisable in two years’ time with at most half a dozen of the current 23 listed on the official website still at the club. The January departures of Walcott, Coquelin and Giroud were just the start. And there won’t now be a year’s extension for poor old Santi Cazorla, unless the Spaniard will accept a pay as you play deal.

Arsène Wenger did some great things in his first decade at the club, and oversaw the move to the new stadium. But his team self-imploded in 2008 with the chance of winning either or both of the Premier League and the Champions League a distinct possibility. In 2009, he treated the FA Cup semi-final with disdain by using it as a warm up for the Champions League semi-final, which he lost in humiliating fashion to Manchester United. His teams would then go on to habitually concede four goals or more too often for it to be a co-incidence. Spurs, Newcastle, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool. And in Europe, Bayern and Barcelona. And when the other top four teams had a fallow season, leaving the path open to the first long-awaited Premier League title since 2004, his side fell ten points short of Leicester City. Every other top four team called time on their managers for that.

Wenger though, was saved, ironically given his treatment of Andrey Arshavin in 2009, by the FA Cup, twice winning the competition to keep his job. The reality though, is that he should have gone six months after Gazidis arrived at the club in 2009. In the cold hard light of day, when the dust has settled, history will tell of a club that stopped contending after they moved from Highbury, that kept faith with a manager for several seasons too long when it was obvious he had lost his mojo. The profits the club generated kept him in post as long as he was qualifying for the Champions League.

The over-riding emotion is relief for many Gooners. A case of: Thank God it’s finally over, this tortuous descent into mediocrity. The football this season has been patchy to say the least. A few good memories, but a hell of a lot of tripe, especially away from home. It will be very interesting to see how the players react. Will they raise their game as they did in the FA Cup semi and final last season? That they can play with such conviction was ultimately a condemnation of Wenger, given that they chose not to the vast majority of the time.

No doubt the Arsenal fans will celebrate him now. We’ll hear the ‘There’s only one Arsène Wenger” chant at games again for the first time in eons and he’ll be wished a fond farewell. Arsène – Thanks for the memories, but it was time to say goodbye years ago. You just lacked the self-awareness or generosity to do what was best for the club you professed to love. In the end, Stan was persuaded, probably by a combination of son Josh and the financials, to stick the knife in. So your final contract ends a year early. You were not able to honour it. You have left a royal mess for your successor, but at least there is now a team at the club able to repair the damage more quickly than if you’d been given the bullet last May. So in spite of everything, the future is bright, there is cause for optimism. It will take two seasons before the club can credibly challenge again for the title, but there is every chance it will be moving in the right direction. Because people, it is very unlikely to be worse than the season we have just endured.

The reason the resignation narrative is the one that suits all parties is simple. The Emirates is a shrine to Wenger. As the stadium was built in the early 2000s they were largely able to erase mention of George Graham, a man who won six trophies in eight seasons. In terms of fixtures and fittings, it became a giant vanity project to the incumbent manager, which would always leave the club in an awkward position if it all went the shape of a pear. So the official version of events means they will not be forced into an embarrassing interior decorating overhaul and the bust in the directors’ entrance can remain.

Au revoir Arsène. We’ll never see your like again. Thanks for the Highbury years. As for the rest, what exactly was the point in moving from our beloved old home again?

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  1. Cloggs

    Apr 22, 2018, 09:36 #108815

    Good article Kevin, well written and sums it up perfectly.

  2. GoonerGoal!

    Apr 22, 2018, 08:29 #108811

    Finally, after 6 long years since I first decided not to renew my season ticket, and not to attend a single match, until the demise of Arsene FC and the Great Dictator, the great day has arrived! Thank you to all those who finally decided the only way was to stay away. Up the Arsenal! Vive La Revolution!

  3. Rippy

    Apr 22, 2018, 07:30 #108806

    My son in law played with a lad who was on arsenals books. The poor boy only at 16 died of a rare cancer. Arsene wenger visited that boy and his family many times and still keeps in touch . He is a very decent and kind human being I can vouch for that in all honesty. His only fault was loving arsenal to the point of being selfish . Age caught up with him in the end and things became a bit confused and stale. Now his finally going everyone needs to pull together in the same direction and start supporting arsenal as a fan base that's undivided. Wenger gave us some wonderful memories and recently the three fa cups that a team like spurs would die for !!! It's time for the healing to begin and to give the man a great send off . The future is exciting again because it's unknown and this is what we have been needing. Have a great week everyone ...

  4. Moscowgooner

    Apr 22, 2018, 05:42 #108805

    Cornish Gooner - unlike Badarse, I never get into politics here but if you think Corbyn is one of the few decent people in Parliament..... His eulogy to Wenger was absolutely bang on form! But what I really find sickening is the abuse directed at Arsenal fans from supporters of other clubs - who frankly should STFU. Apparently we drove the poor little snowflake away from Arsenal and into penury. I estimate - very roughly - that since 1968 I have spent about 120,000 quid following Arsenal home and away. That amounts to about 60 days of Wenger's earnings - and now he is getting a nice fat cheque to 'resign'. Fair's fair: he ranks as the second best manager in Arsenal's history. He delivered the best football I have ever seen in my time at Arsenal. Rioch gave us Bergkamp; Wenger gave us TH14. I want to focus on the positives and get behind the team for WHU today and especially against Atletico. That said, nobody drove AW away: he failed to deliver and there is no place for overcooked syrupy sentiment here. He should have gone five or six years ago - as a fan base, our fault lies in being too tolerant and too passive; not in being 'disloyal' or 'spoilt' or 'whinging'. Unless you follow Arsenal - and from the stands not an armchair - noone really has any right to comment on AW's departure one way or another.

  5. mbg

    Apr 21, 2018, 21:57 #108804

    Apparently wenger is furious at being pushed/sacked, and not allowed to see out his contract he must still have one or two cronies leaking for him, so one of his own precious traditions of never breaking a contract ruined, fitting I'd say having ruined and over looked many of Arsenals over the years, ain't Karma a bitch. We've got our arsenal back. (WGOAB).

  6. David1

    Apr 21, 2018, 21:36 #108803

    TOOAW - now, I never read Baddie's posts but I marvel at their extraordinary length. You need to know a soupcon of Shakespeare: brevity is the soul of wit.

  7. Old Man

    Apr 21, 2018, 21:03 #108802

    He is not the Messiah (Potch) he's a very naughty boy!! Ha Ha

  8. mbg

    Apr 21, 2018, 20:09 #108801

    CORNISH GOONER, yes mate, we've got what we want now, we've just got a few short weeks of him left, many of us thought it would be another year, longer if he were to win the EL, but that's not going to be the case now (well done to all concerned), so onwards and upwards now, well from the end of the season anyway.

  9. Exeter Ex

    Apr 21, 2018, 19:48 #108800

    Badarse - do you think everyone's forgotten what your reason for being on here has been all this years? To tell us how wrong we were not to believe in Wenger, 'oh ye of little faith', how it would all come good if we just gave him time. Do you not get it? It's OVER. He's GOING. TO0AW still posting as TO0AW! Are you both hoping that it's still not going to happen? That's he's going to change his mind, or be allowed to change his mind? Wenger himself accepts the game is up, yet still you maintain this oppositional, adversarial, antagonistic stance to those who have been PROVEN RIGHT!! How horribly embarrassing for you! Do you really have so little else going on in your life that you still can't give it up, even now?? You had a chance to gain a foothold on here, if you'd come back on after the announcement to say, "Hands up, the rest of you were right, he wasn't the future. I'm with the rest of you in looking forward to what happens". Show a little humility. No, it was beyond you. Still the highminded attitude, when you've been empirically proven wrong in your fundamental perspective. A pathetic attempt to rephrase what your narrative has been all about is deeply apparent and transparent. Game over for you and T0OAW, go and join the grief party over on Untold if you can't move on with the rest of us.

  10. CORNISH GOONER

    Apr 21, 2018, 19:11 #108798

    mbg: I too am surprised at Corbyn as he strikes me as one of the few decent people in Parliament & one least likely to shaft the Electorate but this AW love-in does make you question his judgement. Anyway, what the hell, it's Ivan's train set now isn't it? Let's see what he does with it.

  11. GoonerRon

    Apr 21, 2018, 19:05 #108797

    @ mbg - I mean, seriously, I think you have a serious issue with any sort of perspective. You liken Wenger being paid for doing a job as a manager to George Graham taking illegal inducements in transfers? I can’t catch my breath.

  12. Bard

    Apr 21, 2018, 18:42 #108794

    Excellent post Kev. All the eulogies are 10 years out of date but Im fine with it. Lets move on to the next phase. Lets see whether the board are up to the job of finding the right manager. I dont think we need to worry too much. Im positive that most top level coaches can get more out of the present squad than we have seen over the last 10 years.

  13. mbg

    Apr 21, 2018, 17:32 #108793

    Saw an interview with Jeremy Corybn last night about wenger where the luuuuvvvv was just running out of Corybn for him, and he was disgusted with anybody who said or spoke anything bad about or against him, apparently Corbyn invited wenger to his sons school to waffle to them, and there were those in the audience who weren't interested possibly Corbyns own two sons lol, then after the waffle/lecture wenger turns around and invites/asks them would you like to come and see my training ground, yes my, not our, Arsenals, the clubs but my, well just like the club it's not yours wenger it never fooking was and never fooking will be, and that has been proved now, not that was proof was necessary of course to fans like me anyway.

  14. Badarse

    Apr 21, 2018, 17:31 #108792

    He slipped into his duffle coat, slipped into the bathroom, then slipped on the bathmat and fell in the bath. He felt a tap on his head. He didn't want to faucet so climbed out and trod the well known path to AKB HQ. He said hello to the path, as it was well known, but once more it ignored him. He went inside the HQ with a long face, it was just as well as he was so long in the tooth and otherwise they may not have fitted. All the AKBs were sitting on their hands, on the mat, on the floor. They said 'Hi' from low, he said 'lo from high. This confused most of them so they went into the incantation they all relied on in times of stress. 'One Arsene Wenger...'. It was a sad day for them until he organised a game of bingo. 'All the fours-8', '6 and 3-9', unlucky for some-12.' Their tears dripped onto the bingo cards and sniffles were omnipresent. Then one shouted 'House!', so they all went home.

  15. mbg

    Apr 21, 2018, 17:10 #108791

    KC38, well your certainly making good reading at them, alternative options ? what options are you talking about, what was the need for them ? there was only ever one option, and in case you haven't noticed yet, we've got it (because of keyboard warriors as you like to call us like me or not we'll never know) now there are dozens of options, managers, assist managers, back room staff, coaches, half of wenger the failures tired old regime, more options than you can swing a frowning Cheshire cat at. And your tired old not sure your even an Arsenal fan quip akin to the tired old f**k off down the lane that we used to hear from the wengerites long ago if we said boo or anything remotely anti wenger says it all, and tells me all I need to know about you and your relationship with wenger.

  16. mbg

    Apr 21, 2018, 16:47 #108790

    markymark, so the joke of the site has DNA, someone who can speak fluent Martian with DNA ? now there's something as we expected certainly not human.

  17. mbg

    Apr 21, 2018, 16:16 #108788

    At the end of the day how many of us called that right then ? I know some did, a lot didn't and thought he'd be here next season, well done to the poster who has consistently said for years we'd never win another Prem under wenger, sincere apologies for forgetting your name you deserve better, either way a great surprise, I woke up this morning terrified it was a dream, time for a Magners.

  18. KC38

    Apr 21, 2018, 15:28 #108787

    MBG your stupidity is beyond belief, the fact you believe I am a Wenger lover emphasises this perfectly. Bloggers, how refreshing, keyboard warrior sums you up perfectly you type spiteful name calling bile and yet offer no aiternative options, no solution or what you want in his place. Let’s guess, your next post no doubt will be, we got wenger out, it’s embarrassing to read, the fact you really believe it is laughable. I’m not sure you’re really an Arsenal fan, a troll perhaps!

  19. markymark

    Apr 21, 2018, 15:14 #108786

    Badarse I’ve read through your execrable tosh. My god you’re an egoist aren’t you? talking about little people . The most restricted man on the site is you . Thank god some of the youth these days actually want to change the world for the better I.e removing guns . Rather than your nightmarish vanguard changing things purely for your own benefit . Remove censorship eh? Simply so that members of your group could push moral corruption. Have a look at the National Council for Civil Liberties , have a real look at your 67’ organisers . Boy did you like the power as well. Sadly for you Baddie you failed in that manipulative grouping , never able to gain power , never able to control . Your Arsene fest failed. Now you cuddle up to racists ( some left winger you are? ) though of course you drop in a bit of anti semitism yourself . Who cares if Wenger was your best ever ? He’s gone pal . Now scurry off

  20. mbg

    Apr 21, 2018, 14:04 #108785

    KC, George Graham took a bung of around 400,000, reportedly, wenger has been taking £10,000,000 (give or take) a season under false pretences for ten years and has got away with it scott free, with another nice few 4 or 5 million coming his way as a thank you for doing it. How do you know keyboard warriors (as you call them) bloggers, Arsenal sites, etc didn't get him out with our opinions and views, at least we had the balls to view them, and from years back too, not just lately by wengerites who have just gotton of the fence when the writing was on the wall and who would have jumped back on to the fence and kept him in a heartbeat. One things for sure if all the so called keyboard warriors (spiteful or not) had sat on their hands like good little AKB's and done or said nothing all these years like good little AKB's and sang only one arsene wenger, God knows where we'd be now, far worse off than we are now I bet, middle of the table, relegation material ? and probably with another contract to put up with, and by the way I, and others like me have always supported the club just not your beloved wenger there is a difference, something you and your ilk hated and could never get your heads round. Come on Arsenal. We got wenger out.

  21. Paulo75

    Apr 21, 2018, 13:17 #108784

    Mbg - I must admit I did think you might have had a few to celebrate last night! Still LOL’ing at your post. As for future appointments I think it might be a good time to get Mr Arsenal / Big Tone back into the Club in some capacity to reinforce The Arsenal mentality and add some steel and defensive know how to the team.

  22. mbg

    Apr 21, 2018, 13:13 #108783

    Tony Evans, that baldy nodding dog will have to fall on his sword alright along with others, lets hope that swords Sharpe and the new man uses it to gut the whole of TOF's useless out of date nodding dog regime.

  23. John F

    Apr 21, 2018, 13:05 #108782

    Great article Kevin,What was moving yesterday was Bob Wilson talking about the support Wenger had given him during the death of his daughter.Bob was moved to tear s talking about it and it did highlight Wengers human side.Having never lost a child it is hard to imagine the grief the poor man is still going through.

  24. KC38

    Apr 21, 2018, 13:02 #108781

    MBG we got him out, get real mate keyboard spiteful warriors dont get managers out. Empty seats on behalf of season tickets slipping down the league and a shocking away record got him out. Hopefully now you might actually attend a game, talk about self obsessed. Hopefully you can put aside your vicious name calling posts and support the club in the Europa league

  25. mbg

    Apr 21, 2018, 12:50 #108780

    Good article Kevin, yes thank God it's finally over although we still have a few weeks to listen to him waffle on yet but it will be bearable knowing it's hours and days and not Months and Years. TOF was pushed alright an egoistic dictator like him would never go off his own bat, but he still can't just slip/slink away either he has to hang around for applause, cheering, praise and get and take the last bows such is his ego, better just slink away, he's been doing it down the tunnel after embarrassments for years.

  26. SilverGooner

    Apr 21, 2018, 12:38 #108779

    This is the best result Arsenal have had all season!! As you say Kevin, we can all now want our team to win the Europa League without the fear of Wenger hanging around for another season.

  27. markymark

    Apr 21, 2018, 12:30 #108778

    Hi Baddie Just checking in from sunny Barcelona . Still droning on about Wenger eh. He’s out you might as well go as well. Toad was proven wrong Wenger was sacked. Beautiful !

  28. mbg

    Apr 21, 2018, 12:17 #108777

    Oh my Gawd what a hangover after last night, biggest one for a while don't know how i made it to work, but it was bloody well worth it, on the coffee now ready for tonight, it looks like a weekend bender. We got wenger out.

  29. Badarse

    Apr 21, 2018, 12:00 #108776

    TOOAW, along with 'Brian', making three standing, I can happily say, 'Together, together, together!' Good old Arsenal. Think I got away with that one, buddy.

  30. TOOAW

    Apr 21, 2018, 11:50 #108775

    Hear hear Badarse. Wise words indeed.

  31. Badarse

    Apr 21, 2018, 11:19 #108774

    FPGooner I think you are over-egging the situation, true in a more coherent manner than the Nark, and without his rampant wandering from the reality checks found in most people's minds, but over-egging it all the same. I think Arsene Wenger was the single greatest thing to ever happen to my club. Simply that. I am every bit a realist and as a humanist just accept that we all have just an allotted time; we all stand on that large and long conveyor belt with those at the front toppling over into oblivion before us. Arsene's time was fast approaching and he has gone. No I am not grief-soaked, not even grief-damp, I am aware the day was coming, it arrived, and we move on. The king is not yet dead but when he leaves I shall salute the new king. I care not what anyone on the OG thinks, how they vote, their favourite films, or their glitches, except when it affects me or those unable to defend themselves. The mentality of little people-little in their minds, with or without duffle coats have a corrupted view of reality and it shows often. I am railed against as something the cat brought in because I applauded others who may have taken a bite out of those who bit me. How inconsistent. A mob in the majority, or a clique which is a nicer and more genteel term, can cuddle up to odd and weird ones because they are happy to vilify Arsene also. Yet a person under constant fire must not applaud or take satisfaction when another fires off a round at the same dullards. How inconsistent and convenient is that? To this day I have never wished Arsenal lose a game, it isn't in my DNA, yet some scream that attitude from the roof tops. How tragic that a life is so empty to sink to such a level. It is indefensible yet within a group with a herd instinct perfectly acceptable. I do not share the mind set. I am even slated for recognising and mentioning a solid post. The divisions are created by others and it is imperative that a chasm remains. I honestly believe that people act like lemmings and much of the drivel in the air is media-driven. It is ironic to me as an observer that many on the site react against the 'mentalities' of the new supporter which is a zeitgeist thing, then readily fall into the same trap on certain issues, many just happily jump in. Sad! Nark, a bony bottom? Actually apart from my feet it is my best feeture. Ask the MAYDUP man, he would love to smack my bare bum. Your scripts are showing promise but please do not give up the day job just yet. Another piece of advice, and this to all, read John Donne's 'No Man Is An Island', gentle folk.

  32. Ham

    Apr 21, 2018, 10:55 #108773

    Great piece Kevin, your analysis is 100% accurate. Tony E: laughed at your cone joke, you're right, Bould should be shown the door as well and made to take that anal marking system with him. Cornish: Wilson makes my stomach churn, he bleats about Man City and Chelsea having more money, unbelievable. So the 34 odd point gap is purely down to money and nothing to do with the abilities of the City manager, no wonder a lot of other clubs' fans hate us and see us as arrogant. No explanation from Wilson as to why Liverpool and Spurs are also out of sight above us, is that down to money as well? And, as Kevin says, Leicester??

  33. Cheltenham Gunner

    Apr 21, 2018, 10:23 #108772

    Summed up well Kevin, hearing it yesterday felt like my 'Kennedy moment' as I am sure it did for alot of other supporters. Just hope the board can get the appointment right. I can now have some interest in following the Europa League.

  34. Redshirtwhitesleeves

    Apr 21, 2018, 10:09 #108771

    Seven kings- agree mate, that's been the worst thing of the last decade for me, the likes of Eboue, Adebayor, Gallas, Bendtner, Gervinho, Walcott, Christ the list is endless, of bottlers and pussies being paid vast sums to bottle it and disappear whenever we needed real Arsenal men to stand up and be counted. And Wenger created and indulged this culture of mediocrity and excuses. We've all known more or less how every season this last decade would pan out before a ball had been kicked each August. I just hope whoever the new manager is can give us our identitiy back. Whether we win trophies or not, more than anything I want to see our players on that pitch and think to myself yeah this is a REAL Arsenal team. I used to be so proud being a gooner. Wenger has destroyed that over the last 10 years, let's hope that very soon we will all have that pride back

  35. CORNISH GOONER

    Apr 21, 2018, 09:59 #108770

    We will have to wait a few more days for a dose of realism to kick in - that means yet more listening to the likes of Bob Wilson claiming how unfair, i.e. anti- Arsene, the PL has become in financial terms!!! Doesn't stand up to close scrutiny Bob. Man City & even, gulp, Spurs have bought cheaper in recent seasons, improved those players & therefore more than doubled their worth. I agree that it will probably be Carlo to steady the ship - not exciting & I am worried that he looks in even worse physical shape than AW despite being younger. I don't know whether the Enrique rumours are credible but I'm not sure he is a rebuild man since he doesn't appear to stay too long in one job. Still the opportunity for AFC to become a massive club once again is a real one & let's all hope the appointment is not rushed.

  36. Seven Kings Gooner 1

    Apr 21, 2018, 09:28 #108769

    Very well written Kev, exactly as I have seen things for the last 10 years. The poor quality of some the players signed in the last 10 years will be my memory of the last decade and the fact that many of them are still at the club. I look forward to the cull that is coming but my main hope is that I will never see frightened and cowardly players wearing an Arsenal shirt again.

  37. Alsace

    Apr 21, 2018, 09:26 #108768

    Arsenal are obliged only to pay him in lieu NET of tax and because it is payment in lieu of a fixed term obligation, hopefully they will have to deduct full National insurance as well. That should mean that he gets (only) circa £4.5 million of his pay off. When George Graham was sacked by Spurs I believe they argued that he should go and get another job to mitigate his loss and so didn't pay up his contract. I suppose that they were advised that no one else would employ him. Still, £4 million to get rid. Cheap at half the price. Gazidis will be singing when he signs the cheque, puts it in the back pocket of the creature's loosely fitting trousers and escorts him out of the building, via a plank on the third floor!!!!.

  38. Sarflunden

    Apr 21, 2018, 09:04 #108767

    It's over and all I can feel is a mixture of numbness and relief. Numb because its taken 8 years longer than it should have. Relief as I won't cancel my season ticket, after 26 years, depending on who the replacement is. I'm happy Wenger will leave "carrying his shield rather than on it". Angry that its taken the board so long to force this through. In the end my overwhelming memories will be a great manager, who became a lucky manager (scraping 4th place and FA Cups), to a manager who drove off the fans. Will they come back? I doubt it unless the board make an imaginative appointment, carry on clearing out the dead wood and buy a decent GK and CB pairing. Will I sing "One Arsene Wenger"? Maybe once but grudgingly and quietly.

  39. KC38

    Apr 21, 2018, 08:53 #108765

    What a great day yesterday was the news broke the smile returned. I can now want my team to win the Europa league it is like freedom. I am big enough to say thank you Wenger, the first 10 years were the best ever I witnessed and I am a supporter since 71. He was a great manager and decent human being, sadly the power and freedom he had, allowed him to become self obsessed and blind to reality. His football in the first 10 years was bliss compared to much of the Graham years and he would never take a bung or manage our rivals he had far better principals than Graham. The spuds could handle us winning leagues with negative football they hated it when our football was sublime that says it all. But Wenger lost his way and destroyed a lot of great memories by clinging on and pretending to love the club when reality it was the power. It’s great news and now we must hope the board get it right, the manager is the most important figure in any club.

  40. RobG

    Apr 21, 2018, 08:51 #108764

    Very good Editorial Kev. For me, the beginning of the end was the humiliation to Utd in the CL Semi. And it was a humiliation. They could have banged in six if they wanted to. The sight of players like Denielson just not caring, brought the curtain down on Arsene's reign for me. What follows was slow torture. But before then, it had been fantastic - often - and Arsene deserves great credit for that. Those two Doubles and the 2004 title, will always be treasured. Maybe now we will see an ending with a European trophy ? Maybe ? And I hope you are right about Ancelotti. As the rebuilding job is going to be considerable. And far more involved that what Wenger himself initially had to do. I suspect AW might be at PSG next season.

  41. TonyEvans

    Apr 21, 2018, 07:41 #108763

    Relief is a good word to use, and probably sums up how most of us feel. The club had to act, it's just a shame it's nearly ten years later than it should have been. I agree that this was no resignation - the club have handled it sensitively but he was pushed in the nicest possible way. As to his replacement, yesterday I was saying I don't care, such was my joy at hearing the news of Wenger's departure, but of course I care very much. Arsenal have to get it right so please no Rogers, Henry or Viera - though may be Viera as a number 2 to replace Bould who surely has to fall on his sword, or should that be traffic cone!

  42. Suker

    Apr 21, 2018, 07:40 #108762

    My sentiments exactly! Spot on!

  43. jwe1981

    Apr 21, 2018, 07:38 #108761

    Anyone that believes the spin that Arsene decided to step down is possibly more deluded than the man himself. In my opinion Arsene lost the right to a great send off years ago. As the editor says he cared more for himself than the club for the last five years or so. Massively positive news for the club as a whole.