Wenger: The Most Stubborn Manager Going

Arsenal fans would quite like their club to sign a striker thank you very much, whilst someone is excited about Jim White et al. Plus, Klose to Arsenal please...

Last Updated: 01/09/14 at 09:30

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The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

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The Title Race
Can we just give Chelsea the trophy now and save ourselves eight months of rage, heartache and sh*t banter?
Adonis Stevenson, AFC


Excited About Deadline Day

I was sat reading the paper yesterday afternoon and realised I am genuinely excited at the prospect of transfer deadline day. It's a stupid thing to get excited about but the prospect of a new signing for your team joining at the very last minute is brilliant. They may succeed, may fail, the transfer fees/salaries may be sickening in the context of the million better ways money like that could be used but, like other seemingly pointless events such as the Olympic Opening Ceremony and a televised baking competition, you've got to watch it.

Jim White, Sky Sports, 'arry's car window, even having a camera pointed at Big Ben (New Year's Eve style!) - it's all ridiculous and massively over the top but pretty much essential viewing for football fans across the country.

Furthermore, if it's exciting for the fans, what about the managers? Maybe they love it too - we know the loathsome 'arry certainly does but look at Wenger. He's clearly enjoyed baiting the media all this week and will surely sign someone last minute today as he has in the past with Ozil, Arshavin and...errrmmmm...Park Chu Young.

Football is entertainment. Maybe, just maybe, some of these managers see transfer deadline day as simply part of that entertainment
Dan (hoping for a striker...guess my team!) Miller, Guernsey


Sluggish Arsenal

"....We lack focus, discipline, urgency, chemistry, a prolific striker and tactics".

So wrote poster Mark C after the Leicester game and I could not agree more.

Wenger's strengths historically have been spotting and securing skillful players then encouraging a nurturing and supportive environment for them to thrive. He trusts skill will out, and when it does it provides transcendent, organic football, admired by all - "Invincible's" football.

The problem being since 'peak Wenger', coaching techniques and tactics have advanced in leaps and bounds and Arsenal have stagnated. Faced with a well-coached aggressive team, Arsenal are stifled, pulled apart or overrun. Save for the defensive line, Arsenal players seem to be all over the place, with little idea of position, role or tactics.

Nervousness and panic take hold whenever 'Plan A' (whatever it might be) fails as it is apparent there is no 'Plan B' in place. Sweaters for goalposts stuff.

As Arsene (and therefore every fan) wait for the organic brilliance to emerge and the team to gel, unwarranted pressure is placed on individual players to perform when the team is not cohesive. Outside of defense, every midfield and attacking player appears burdened with the idea they have to create a piece of sublime individual magic to inspire or rescue the team.

The lack of tactics and this subsequent pressure on individuals simply grinds them all down. Looking across the team virtually every Arsenal player suffers from extended dips in form. Ozil, Cazorla, Wilshire, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud and even Ramsey this season have already looked harried and clueless at times, mentally frazzled. Is it even worth discussing the pressure put on a fledgling player such as Sanogo?
In this atmosphere it is virtually impossible to play with dash and verve, let alone the joy which has been the hallmark of the great Wenger teams.

It struck me watching Liverpool at Spurs, that Liverpool were playing as one would expect Arsenal to play, with exuberance and total self-belief. Yet, I could not imagine, let alone hope Arsenal would produce such a performance in the game which was to follow against Leicester, and Arsenal lived down to expectations.

At this point, how can any supporter not ask themselves how Arsenal would perform under the likes of someone such as Brendan Rogers?
Francis Daniel


Stubborn Wenger

Dropped points to a promoted club and looking completely impotent up front. Sanogo is just another Chamakh. Actually Chamakh is better.

Chelsea just signing Remy is Mourinho just rubbing Wengers face in it again after the Fabregas coup. It was obvious that Sanogo should have come off at half. He was caught offside twice if not three times and one was because he was just being utterly lazy after a possession loss.

Arsenal need a quality striker at the very least. It would be nice to see another holding mid mid and cover at CB too. Without the former they will struggle for top four, without the latter the trophy cabinet will be bare.

Wenger, get your head out of where does the sun don't shine and produce the goods. The era of austerity with building the emirates is over, the time for the fourth place trophy is over.
Frustrated expat Gooner

...Here is the one big difference between Mourinho and Wenger, which makes Mourinho a winner, and Wenger a nearly man.

Rumours that Costa has suspect hamstrings, Torres moves to Milan and Chelsea move quickly to sign Remy - an option Wenger clearly had.
Wenger would say "we have Schurrle who can play there".

Whereas we make do with Sanogo even though Giroud is out till next year.
He never learns from his mistakes.
Strevs, Afc, Canada


Actually, Sanogo Was Arsenal's Best Player

Now, I know Sanogo really isn't good enough to lead the line for 3 months until Giroud's return, but he was just about our best player against Leicester. If Ramsey had spotted him and nodded the ball across goal instead of attempting that ridiculous header, he'd most likely have netted his first for Arsenal and opinions would have been very different.

He caused real issues with his strength and ceaseless running. It's no coincidence that Leicester so easily dealt with everything we did once Sanogo went off. The whole team was crap, and I feel sorry for Sanogo getting all the blame.
Ross, AFC London


Klose For Arsenal

It seems Wenger is once again annoyed at all of the "opinions" emanating from the Arsenal faithful.

The problem derives from the fact it was Wenger who brought in our greatest ever striker. Henry is the forward to which all others are compared.

Personally, I couldn't care less what a striker does, so long as they put the ball in the back of the net. It's the reason why when certain Arsenal fans were giving Adebayor stick for being lazy, I was happy enough with his performances as he was still scoring.

Arsenal's away support is not comprised of Johnny-come-latelies. It wouldn't have been easy for a lot of them to make that journey to Leicester. It's also worth remembering that driven on by that support, Arsenal have managed to go two separate seasons unbeaten away from home in Wenger's tenure.

The fact they're urging the manager to sign a striker shouldn't be so readily dismissed as "opinion".

Sanogo's inability to score isn't a matter of opinion, it's a matter of fact. It's for this reason Arsene really needs to go and buy a striker.

And he doesn't have to spend stupid money either. Why not bring in Miroslav Klose? We could bring Podolski back into the fold on the left with Sanchez on the right. Also Ozil could move back into a more central position. This would also have the added advantage of Sanogo learning from one of the game's greats.

Additionally, I would think Klose only has one, maybe two seasons left in him. He probably misses his German teammates and this way he can play with three of them in one final hurrah of a season.

Go on Arsene, you know it makes sense.
Graham Simons, Gooner, Norf London


It Pays To Go Down Easily

Yes, by the rules, it was a penalty, but a sad one. Firstly, it made the game less of a contest. Secondly, it illustrated once again that it pays to go down easily. For me, the decision was only partly right - give the penalty for the foul, yes, but also card Allen for simulation. In no way did that slight tug warrant falling down. Oh he wasn't 'deveiving' the ref as such, but 'pointing out the foul', but I still think it was unsporting behaviour, for which the referee is well in his rights to caution a player. This kind of situation is very different from jumping over sliding challenges, which could potentially ruin your career, or at the very least hurt.

Thirdly, it's not truly a level playing field. If that was Ashley Young or indeed Gareth Bale of two years ago going down, it most probably would not have been a penalty but just a yellow card for the player with the reputation. Well, maybe Allen is now on his way to gaining that reputation...

Anyway, this sort of thing won't end before refs start to regularly give penalties from fouls even when the player fouled manfully stays upright.
I'm not holding my breath.
Samuli, THFC


The Spurs Take

Well I always was happy with 6th.
Will, THFC


Gerrard's Take On Suarez

It was interesting to read about Steven Gerrard's believe that Luis Suarez engineered a move out of Liverpool after his latest biting incident at the World Cup. In my opinion, Luis probably made up his mind to leave during the closing stages of our final game of last season.

With three minutes of the game left at Anfield, 2-1 up against a nine-man Newcastle and our fate in the league table all but decided, Suarez needed just one more goal to ensure he won the UEFA Golden Boot outright (Ronaldo was out injured for Real's final game of the season.) But Liverpool, probably still shell-shocked from the 3-3 game at Crystal Palace a week earlier, decided to pass the ball sideways and backwards in their own half against a bemused depleted Newcastle. It was almost too painful to watch Suarez gesticulating angrily to his teammates to bring the ball upfield and holding his head in his hands as time after time he ran into good positions only to see another back pass from the halfway line back to Mignolet.

Suarez, who had a quickly taken free kick goal harshly ruled out earlier in the game, must have felt deflated after that as he had worked his socks off throughout the season to help his team get back into the Champions League but probably felt let down by those around him. As I watched his frustrations in those final minutes, I knew he had just played his last game for the Reds.
Kas Lee, LFC


Cornering A Swan

Swansea have won their first three games.

In all three of those games, they have had fewer corners than their opponents, including absolutely zero corners against Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion.

But the Albion game is the real kicker. Swansea had 56% possession and won 3-0, while being outcornered 7-0. Has anything like that happened in the whole history of the world?
PeterG, Pennsylvania, USA

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really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

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Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

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