He is one of a number of solid shouts for players that look old before their time. We also have the final words on lovely D-Beck and a rejection of end of season playoffs...
That's one opinion, but others give their thanks to the man. We also have ideas for a relegation playoff, happy memories of the season and a defence of Liverpool's campaign...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Di Canio For Arsenal
You know the way you come out of a long term relationship with girlfriend who, while you still love each other, you no longer have a passion for? You have a lot of happy memories and while the most recent months have been hard, in the future you'll look back at this relationship and realise it was, on the whole, a good relationship that simply ran its course?
You know the way you go out, get drunk and inevitably end up sleeping with someone who you really shouldn't as part of your post-relationship break up? You know the way you keep seeing that person for 6 months before you realise she's pretty mental and you started this new relationship on the rebound from the other? You know the way that rebound relationship is an important part of your recovery and once it's finished you're normally in a much better place to find Mrs.Right?
If Wenger was to go then I suggest DiCanio for Arsenal!
*Will he help Arsenal win a league? No
*Will he win silverware for Arsenal? Probably not
*Will he help Arsenal qualify for Champions League? It's possible.
*Will he be a refreshing change from the mind numbing corporate rhetoric that comes from press conferences with Wenger? Absolutely
*Will it be fun and games until someone loses an eye? Definately
*Will it finish with DiCanio leaving in disgrace after making insulting comments? Quite likely
You heard it here first (and possibly last).
...With all the discussions about the managerial roundabout in the Premiership I just wonder if everyone's favorite crazy Italian Paolo Di Canio has'nt based his decision to quit Swindon for the lure of a bigger club, he's got a few to choose from IF the papers have it right.
Arsenal? - Seems like Arsenal fans want anyone but Wenger at the moment, he might instill a bit of fear and fight into the drips at the Emirates and get them playing some entertaining football again, although on the other hand last time he saw red he got a bit argy bargy with the individual holding the red object.
City?- If you believe Mancini is a dead man walking, maybe City could be an attractive option plenty of cash and a decent squad, not to mention a decent pay check, unfortunately having just got rid of one Italian mentalist in Ballotelli, I can't see the board being to keen on getting another!
Chelsea? - Well he won't be driven mad by all the goings on behind the scenes... because he's already there. Unfortunately not enough experience for Roman!
So unfortunately that means he's likely to return to the Hammers....how boring.
Tommy Gunn (Cape Town)
More Possible Replacements For Wenger
Zap, LFC. The reason Jupp Heynckes hasn't been mentioned is because he is both 67 years old and retiring at the end of the season.
Other than that, a flawless suggestion.
Mike, London. (Did you not wonder why he was being replaced at Bayern given the impressive record you referenced?) AVFC.
...For me Wenger's replacement has to be Jurgen Klopp.
Crucially he's tasted failure at Mainz 05 - I actually think that's pretty important given Mr Arsenal once said he learned more from defeat than failure.
He has also tasted success at Borussia which shows he can manage a top club and Germany is where a lot of fantastic young talent is emerging so he could help bring a few of these kids across the continent with him.
But the most important reason for hiring him is he analyses mistakes and works with his players to correct them. This is crucial given Wenger's propensity to sign a player and then discard him within a few months because he doesn't like him anymore.
The next Arsenal manager has to be someone that can get the most from the squad he already has and that will mean retaining quite a few of the players currently deemed crap or surplus to requirements - of course that does not include Gervinho.
Steve Bould has to be allowed to do his job in coaching a proper defence and also to make players' lives hell so they don't want to just sit in the stands picking up a hefty pay packet for doing diddly squat.
And quite frankly time is running out to make that replacement as we will need to make Jack our captain sooner rather than later.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London
...Re: next Arsenal manager
Alex McLeish is out of a job?
It could always be worse...
...Dragan Stojkovic. The only man Arsene has ever expressed a desire to take over from him at Arsenal. Sorry to spoil all the fun of the speculation.
Ross, AFC London
Is it just me or would anyone else kill to watch Piers Morgan do one of his 1 on 1 interviews with Arsene Wenger?
Talk about car crash TV!!!
Chris (give Wenger back his mojo - replace Gazidis with Dein) Charteris
Wenger Out (For His Own Good)
With all of this talk about Arsene's future/non-future, I worked out the following pointless statistic (and then my colleague at work said Sky had done it anyway) -
Prof. Wenger has been at Arsenal for 5,988 days. His team last won a trophy 2,831 days ago. That 2005 FA Cup win was 3,157 days into his Arsenal career.
In 326 days, Wenger will have spent more than half of his not inconsiderable career at the club successively not winning anything. Statistically then, unless the Champions League is won this year, Arsenal will have had longer under Arsene in delcine than in ascendancy. The shame is that the leap from the 1996 team to the 1997/98 double winners was a greater leap than would be needed to take the current team to a trophy-winning side. Is this a damning statement in regard to Arsene Wenger? No, not for me.
Rather than damning, this makes me feel gutted for him. You can measure success in so many ways, but trophies are the understood currency of the game. Mr Wenger is an enormously talented manager, and if it wasn't for the class of the man, I think we would already have heard about restrictions the board are putting on him - trophies after cash.
The problem with Mr Mancini's assertion that he's the best manager in the PL is that we (sensible football fans) all know that a manager is measured not by silverware alone, but by the manner and scenario from which achievements are wrought. Mancini has spent an estimated £5.9 bazillion, and has failed to make a force in Europe and hold on to the PL title. Had he spent £100m over the last three years and achieved the same, he would be the best. It's why David Moyes is so well thought of. Naive football fans question him and his lack of silverware, but look at his investment in the squad and maintaining a secure footing and occasional European place for a long time is worth praising.
I switched to a 'Wenger out' stance at the weekend. Not because I don't like him, not because I think he's failed. But with a board that is endlessly satisfied with profit and a fanbase who are enraged by this, Arsene Wenger will only damage his name further if he remains. He deserves to be remembered as one of the greatest managers of the modern footballing era, and I will certainly try to remember him as such. But if he reaches 10 years without a trophy? 15 years...?
I just hope that the next manager in does not prove just how well Wenger has been doing under a board whose primary expectation is profit.
Arsenal Fans Are Spoilt
A question for the Arsenal fans in the mailbox. Assuming you had won the League Cup this year, how long would you be prepared to wait until your sense of entitlement for silverware resulted in your clamouring for the removal of your most successful manager in history once again?
Have you ever considered that the way that Arsene brought you up since he arrived, giving you football of enviable quality, winning you trophies in a style that 95% of other team can only dream of, and all within the realms of financial realism, that you maybe you got used to the idea you would always be competing and winning?
On the eve of your Champions League tie in the knockout stages for the umpteenth year in a row, whilst you debate and discuss who you want to replace Wenger with, have you ever considered the possibility that you have been and currently are, well, spoilt?
Enjoy Bayern Munich in your MegaXbox360Wii stadium, we're home to Watford, to play football pong no doubt.
Chris, ITFC, Liverpool
Stop Mothering The Players, Arsene
Having read the views on Arsene this morning, I have to say (compelled even) that I agree with Fraser Carr, Arsene deserves better treatment. However, Wenger needs to be honest with himself. His legacy depends on it. Is "I believe in the mental strength of the squad" the correct response to a p1ss poor showing against Blackburn? No, it should have been "the players are better than that. They need to recognise the size of the club they are playing for and perform to the level they are expected to. They know they have not delivered and I have believe they will rectify this." Its time to instil in the players a Big Club mentality. Ferguson wouldn't tolerate Diaby performances, why does Wenger.
By commenting so frequently on the mental strength, one wonders if this is a double bluff and he actually doubts the mental strength. The performances would suggest that is the case.
I have always believed in Wengers judgement, but the biggest flaw I have seen in Arsene's team over the last few years is that there are no leaders on the pitch when things go pear shaped. Perhaps Arsene has been Mr Arsenal for so long, the players rely on him to solve the problem without ever looking at themselves and what they can do. He needs to stop mummying the players with fat salaries where they show no accountability themselves.
I personally believe this squad has the components to compete at the highest level, but it is flawed by wishy washy players who don't like the trenches. Players need to stop hiding behind Wenger and take accountability of their performances.
Michael (Great players show skill with determination - Arsenal rely on skill alone)
Nani Should Face Real Madrid
The performance of Nani last night really got me thinking that we should be fielding him in the next few games and demanding he produce the kind of displays that in the last two full seasons made him the best winger in the league (barring G Bale).
Like the man or hate him it is a fact that his performances improved greatly over the years at Old Trafford and he was a huge huge part of us winning recent league titles, I actually think without him we would have less trophies in the cabinet.
If we can get him in that form for the Real match he could definitely make the difference, barely a world class winger, but a world class winger none the less.
Billo ( Eire in London )
...After watching Nani last night (and been impressed by Zaha against 'Boro), I was struck again by what I feel is the salient point about him: he's exciting to watch. As a spectator, much as one enjoys tactical shapes, styles etc., football is still an aesthetic, sensory experience, and in comparison to Young, Valencia and others, Nani is just so much more fun to watch. Like Kagawa, van Persie, Rafael and others, Nani has a palpable sense of quality about him, an obvious elan, and creates a frisson of excitement when he has the ball.
In statistical terms, Nani also produces a lot of goals and assists. As demonstrated last night, he can outplay anybody else at United when the mood takes. And even when not in the mood, he plainly worries defences more than Young or Valencia: neither of the latter two attract two defenders as a matter of course (thereby creating space for players inside). He can be startlingly selfish (although so can most decent attacking players), but in comparison to United's other genuine wingers, he's both more exciting, and more effective.
Defending Liverpool's Summer Signings
Spending £25m on Borini and Allen looks rather mad now but only because of poor performances by both but in the summer you could have argued they were almost worth that kind of money.
Borini is young, did well in Serie A and had broken into the Italian national team, he also has some experience of English football in which he did fine.
Allen is also young, young and British which with regulations ticks many boxes, he also had a great season with Swansea and looked like going from strength to strength with impressive performances at the Olympics.
On paper £25m is a little too much but not that far off the mark, compare it to the previous summer though and it looks like sale of the bleeding century.
Liverpool's problem this season has been the change in formation and theoretical style of play rather than poor signings, certainly in Borini's case he's barely been available.
Blaming Rodgers for buying players he's worked with before and trusts also seems rather unfair, when Hodgson did it with Konchesky he was praised.
As for Agger and Skrtel, if he'd sold Agger to City just after Agger had tatooed YNWA along his knuckles the shouts of 'Rodgers Out' would still be ringing in his ears now, Skrtel hasn't been great recently but I think it's a dip in form rather than the end of his Anfield career.
The ball is firmly in FSG's court though, if they give Rodgers £25-£30m to spend on several reinforcements and expect him to compete with teams that can spend that amount on one player alone then expect another season just like this one.
Surely City's summer spending was far worse than Liverpool's as Liverpool didn't really strenghten a poor team but city severely weakened a title winning one. What's worse finishing 8th when you could have finished 6th or finishing a distant second when you could have won the league?
Tony watching a repeat of Top Gear...no hang on it's the new one...get some new ideas lads.
A Few Replies
Robert - Phil Jones is a central defender by trade, his clumsiness in midfield is totally understandable.
Malcom, AFC - No, Chelsea and Man City did not force Arsenal to lose those games, but their strength in the League and Cups, generally, has meant that there is far less margin of error. Arsenal are competing, whether you like it or not, on four fronts each season, smaller clubs will put 100% of their resources in against them. Chelsea and Man City have done a good job of monopolising the FA Cup, meaning Arsenal would have to play a full strength side in the Carling Cup, at potential risk to other targets, to be able win these. At least Arsenal have been reaching finals in the last 5 or 6 years, how many other clubs can say that?
Darren Walsh - The expectation of Arsenal supporters was virtually created by Wenger. So it is funny to see you and others bashing him for failing to live up to standards that he set. I'm pretty sure older Arsenal supporters will remember not being in the top 4 and not winning anything for a few years.
Stu, Chiswick - Wenger is in it for the long haul, for the long term future of Arsenal. Another way of looking at it would be that he has sacrificed personal glory for the good of the club. Admirable, I would think. He has probably achieved more, even now, given the quality of players he has had than anyone else in the Premier League. Particularly when you consider the constant upheaval at the club.
Joe, LFC - Don't think Moyes is another Hodgson but can see your point. Still amazes me that anyone would tout him as being a successor to Wenger, though. In fact, I find it incredible that a manager who has always made top 4 and could still do so this season is even having his job security mentioned at all. Considering that England only has two sides left in the Champions League, I find the hysteria surrounding one of the best managers to ever grace these shores a bit surprising.
Fraser Carr - spot on. Some Arsenal supporters ought to be a bit embarrassed, really. Probably the best manager the club ever had, playing the best football, taking the club from a hated, cynical boring team to a team that everyone loves to watch, and winning less trophies than he could have won elsewhere if he adopted the Mourinho model. I know who I would rather have running my club, apart from for about 2 or 3 seasons.
If Arsenal supporters don't want Wenger, hopefully they will keep shouting and FSG will take note. I'd definitely collect him at the airport if he were on his way to Anfield.
And football is a strange game, it wouldn't be the biggest shock in the world, for me, if they put up a good show against Bayern Munich now. I'd love to see them go through and then read the mailbox the next day. Somehow, given all that I've read this last few weeks, I doubt that all would be forgiven, even if they won the thing. They may not have won anything for some time, but people forget the Champions League Final where they played a good chunk of the match with 10 men, against Barcelona. And lost 2-1. I hope the supporters get their wish, he's better off out of it.