Mails: Arsenal’s woes won’t go when Wenger does

Date published: Friday 17th February 2017 3:41

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Arsenal need a b*stard
I’m not sure why Diego Simeone’s fiery temperament would make him an outsider for the Arsenal job when that’s exactly what we need at the club.

There’s been far too much mollycoddling of players for the last decade which has allowed average players to act like they’re world beaters who deserve their arses kissed 24/7 whilst failing to reach anywhere near the standard expected of them.

Bringing in a manager in Wenger’s mould will just mean the same soft, mediocrity accepting mentality will persist within the team and we’ll be stuck with Baby Bentley players like the Ox for another 10 years, always crumbling when there’s any hint of pressure or things get difficult.

Having a no nonsense manager like Diego Simeone would mean players no longer treat playing for Arsenal like a social club like they do with their kindly grandad Wenger looking on. There’s no way the team would play like they did on Wednesday if when they looked to the touchline they saw a man who looks like a Mexican drug cartel leader who you wouldn’t put it past flailing players if they didn’t keep up their high intensity pressing game
Simon Clarke


New manager, same old problems?
Cards on show, I’m more of an Arsene Wenger fan than an Arsenal fan. Don’t get me wrong, I really DO support Arsenal, a lot, but a few years ago I realised that it was because of Wenger – and just how he is – more than the club itself. I’d even go so far as to say that should Wenger leave this summer, and I think that he might just do that, that I will still follow with interest what he does next. Despite the flak he takes for finishing fourth, the same fourth place Jurgen Klopp would be deified for, I think Wenger would be inundated with job offers, and not only that, you couldn’t predict what he would do next. The French national side? A Bundesliga club? China? The US? Barcelona? Nottingham Forest? Director at Clairfontaine? Or would he just retire altogether? Really don’t know.

This isn’t about whether I think he should leave or not, I’m wavering on him staying beyond May btw, but more of a wondering-out-loud as to what we may come to realise when the new guy steps in. Wenger has the reputation of making the board members a LOT of money, and on top of that not really spending any money (although Ozil, Sanchez, Mustafi and Xhaka total around £140m whilst we’re on the subject). For whatever reason, and maybe the reason is accurate, it’s been pedalled as gospel that this is entirely down to Wenger. He simply chooses not to spend the money. He’s sat on a massive cash reserve, and clubs with genuinely unlimited funds are splashing the cash with abandon, and people just can’t seem to fathom why he’s not spend-spend-spending every last penny.

Me? I think it’s the board. I agree with the board, by the way, a football club should be making millions every season and they should be reinvesting that in to the youth team, and the medical team, and some nice shiny Ozil baubles. My point is that people are under the assumption that the next manager is going to come in, is going to get unfettered access to that £250m that Arsenal are sat on, and will be allowed to blow all of it in a summer on a fleet of luxurious new summer signings. I may be wrong, but I can’t see that happening whatsoever. The next manager is going to be bound by the same financial remit as Wenger worked to. I don’t know a single board member of a single company who would green-light the emptying of the company coffers in a single summer. Why would they? They get paid a share of the profits the club make.

A new manager may come in and do a much better job than Wenger, or vice-versa, but the one thing I suspect strongly is that the crowd will be demanding that he, whoever he is, “spend some fackin munny”.
Dale May, Swindon Wengerite


Wenger the managerial equivalent of Liverpool?
So, Wenger is definitely one of the top five managers in the world and arguably in the top three…..

Carlo Ancelotti, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola. These three men have managed teams to multiple Champions League titles, are still active managers, and have done it during Arsene Wenger’s tenure as Arsenal manager. Unai Emery won three consecutive Europa Leagues with a slightly bonkers Sevilla in a duopoly league.

Jurgen Klopp won back to back Bundesligas in monopoly league (where the direct competition steals your best players each year) and reached the Champions League final. Antonio Conte has won three Serie As and is cruising to a Premier League title. Rafa Benitez won two La Liga’s (again, duopoly) two Europa/Uefa Cups and a Champions League. Diego Simeone won La Liga (duo…) Europa League and reached two Champions League finals.

Most (not all) of the above has happened in the last ten years. During that time, Arsene Wenger has won two FA Cups and reached one Champions League final. So I am not saying that all of the above are better managers than Wenger (I could debate the point but there are pros, cons and mitigating circumstances to them all) In short, he is becoming the Liverpool fans of managers.
Kev (I like the guy but some perspective is needed)


Grieving for Wenger
It may be too late to comment on that Arsenal performance but please respect that this has been a difficult time for myself and the whole Arsenal community whether they are Wenger supporters or the arseholes who hold up the ‘Wenger Out’ banners even during a comfortable 4-0 win against Hull on a Tuesday evening.

In short, I feel like a piece of me died on Tuesday night and I am grieving for a man, who apart from my father, has been the most consistent figure in my 28 years on this earth. To liken football to grief may seem extreme but as female fan (who admittedly has never kicked a ball (something we all wish we could say about Gabriel) I may not be in the right position to comment on the tactics and technicalities of last night’s game. But believe me, as a female, with science backing me up that women’s brains are more sensitive to negative emotions and being twice as likely to suffer from depression and anxiety I feel I am right to comment from a purely emotional standpoint.

The five emotions (derived from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross) I have felt, like Bayern’s demolishing, have come in quick succession over the past 12 hours.

Denial – Wenger isn’t past it and has a mountain of knowledge and experience. Chelsea could slip up and we’ll have a lovely day out at Wembley and win the FA Cup. Plus, there’s always the second leg of the CL.

Anger –For the fact Gibbs was handed the duty of captaincy last night. A previous comment that Gibbs couldn’t even run a bath, let alone team made me even more the angrier. And whilst I’m in the anger stage, I’m still absolutely fuming about that team selection against Watford.

Bargaining – Admittedly looking up to the sky, Please God just allow the board to pay Alexis Sanchez £200k a week. My mind then teases me with ‘if only we had paid £45million for Suarez in 2013….’

Depression – At my lowest ever point around 9.49pm on Tuesday night. Not to be taken lightly, I was 10 when Geri left the Spice Girls.

Acceptance – It’s probably time for the professor to say au revoir and a time for change.

For my own sake, and the sake of Claude, DT and all the other ‘stars’ of Arsenal Fan TV, we must do our grieving fast, do it correctly, and be done.
An emotional female Arsenal supporter.


The feeling’s mutual
He hates us Arsenal fans far more than we hate him. He is an ‘artiste’ and sees us a philistine critics. We see him as outmoded. He sees us as a perpetual thorn hindering his methods. Irrespective of who is right or wrong it can’t go on, and as the fans are a permanent fixture Wenger is going to have to f*ck off now. Thank you please.
Alexander Tovey


Not yet
Is it safe for me to turn on the internet again yet?
Adonis Stevenson, AFC


What actually happens after Groundhog Day?
I’d love to be wrong on this, what with being a Tottenham supporter, but…we’ve been here before.

Arsenal take an absolute hammering in the first leg of a CL match against Bayern Munich. The sun turns to darkness and the moon to blood. Wenger out, Wenger out. Etc.

Then there’s the second leg. They perform much better, given that it’s a dead rubber and expectations are lower than whalesh*t, almost threaten to pull off a come back and ultimately go out with their heads held high. After that, they completely forget how to lose and, without looking remotely like championship contenders, steamroller their way through the rest of the Premiership campaign to finish third. Probably win the FA Cup too, without trying too hard.

The added bonus this season is that they are the opposition in the last but one game at White Hart Lane. You can all stake your mortgages on this being a pulsating draw that does neither side any good, but especially not Tottenham, who have faltered to fifth and are now looking nervously over their shoulders at Liverpool, who have started to get results after the end of February.

Because that’s what happens.
Andrew (It’s the hope that kills you in the end) Warmington, THFC


…After Arse’s version of Groundhog Day, 24 hours later here come Spurs.

Another season, same old same old. Great result against Gent tonight for this lifetime Spurs fan but why on earth would we play a full strength side? What’s the endgame here? Of course we’ll (unfortunately) turn it round in the return leg and continue to fight for what is unarguably the biggest waste of time that football has come up with.

It’s obviously going to be a dogfight in the Prem for a top four place down to the wire (apologies for mixed metaphor there) and, by common consent, although our starting 11 is very strong, our squad is thinner than most and risking anything – including fatigue – in the Eurotrash tournament…?

It’s like we have no strategy, everything’s tactical: win the next game; Message ends.

I understand that in small (footballers’) minds, “one game at a time” sounds like a strategy, it really isn’t. Arsenal’s humiliation, while painful today, may well put them on the path (again!) to a better league finish. I’m sure Arse Fan TV will be flooded with Arse fans casting jealous eyes at our glorious Quarter Final exit in the Eurotrash league when all they could do was finish fourth to our fifth.

If we can conjure a clever convincing second leg loss to Gent and wheel out Poch to look sombre and disappointed to explain the absence of the many many injured first choices and avoid the ire of the authorities who think this is in any way important, I’ll not only take it all back but would back us to press on to a truly satisfyingly great season.

If this all sounds familiar, I write on the same subject to these pages every year….and Bill Murray continues to wake up to the strains of Sonny and Cher…

So very tired…
Big Pete (THFC)


Pogba better with the reins on
Great article on Pogba by Sarah.

It’s no coincidence that Pogba is excelling in a deeper role after Mourinho massaged the press in to accepting that he has positive defensive qualities.

Is it right to assume that Jose sees the future as Pogba behind Herrera with a real number ten such as Griezmann coming in and not having to come so deep (ie cheat) and play closer to Zlatan (wow), therefore becoming a more potent attacking force.

Generally when I look at an early league table I see goal difference as an indicator of where a team will finish. Six weeks ago United were closer to Albion than they were to City.

Has Jose finally found the formula for United to be solid yet also produce the goals? I don’t want to see Carrick depart but him leaving could be the catalyst for Pogba to step up in to a (vice) captain role and assume more responsibility? This can only be a good thing going for the future. Especially if Martial and a Griezmann (Pogba’s friends) can grow with him.

In other news, I’m 34 and feel like my body is falling apart every morning. How on earth does Zlatan keep producing it twice a week at the top level?!
Lee, Darlington


Be careful what you wish for
Sarah Winterburn’s piece on Huddersfield’s so-far-excellent season resonates in the same poignant fashion as John Nicholson’s write up on Middlesbrough last year. It’s all about the chase, and is not unlike finding yourself chatting to a stunning, charming girl down the pub one night when all you’d been expecting was a quick pint and a game of darts before heading back home to your dark, cold flat and a sink piled high with greasy dishes. Suddenly, everything that was grey and dreary is bright and golden with possibilities – and it would all be perfect if not for that nagging voice at the back of your head reminding you that it’s all going to go the shape of the pear at some point. Because of course it will. It always does.

I’m a Wolves fan. Our best two seasons in recent memory were promotion seasons, once from the Championship and then once from League One. We won games, we scored goals, we dominated like meerkats in shiny waistcoats; on both occasions we were drunk with nervous excitement about what the following season would bring, but we were off our nuts with glee. This time, we said. This time we’re better prepared. This time, we’ll make it count.

But it doesn’t work like that. We spent three years in the Premier League and won a few games, some of them memorable (someone somewhere will be happy to sell you a commemorative DVD, I’m sure) but ultimately we were spannered every other week. And the last two years in the Championship have been, to be frank, sh*t.

Those promotion seasons were as good as it got. Those are the years to be enjoyed; what comes after is, inevitably, just mean-spirited drudgery. For every Leicester and Southampton there’s a Norwich and a Rotherham. You think Bournemouth, Burnley, Watford and Middlesbrough won’t be back in the second tier within two or three years, getting shafted by inept, muddy, inevitable last-minute goals at home to Burton or Wigan on a cold Tuesday night, then watching on, seething with hate, while the away fans go bug-arse in the far corner? That’s just the natural order.

I hope Huddersfield go up. They’re playing great football and they deserve a spin of the wheel. But all Huddersfield fans (and Brighton fans come to that) should know that these are the moments to enjoy to the fullest, because what comes next is just sorrow and angst and then bone-aching acceptance, and those dirty dishes will still be there festering in the morning.
Ian, Northampton


Is Carra Batman?
So, according to Andy, Cardiff, G-Nev is Two-Face, the hero who worked in the light for all of us until his secret dark side ruined him. Piers Morgan is the Joker, a pointless but inevitable b*ll-end (which fits amazingly well, frankly). The real question is, ‘does that make Carra Batman?’

Let’s think – Born in tragedy? Well, Bootle in the 70’s is pretty close. Instantly recognisable voice? In terms of top-level punditry, absolutely. Only wears black (suits) if he can possibly get away with it? Oh yes. Will die as a pundit, rather than live to see himself become a manager? Yep. Would spark you out with very little bother in a fistfight? Probably.

I really hope he is Batman, because hearing the Batman voice in his accent would be amazing.
Matt, LFC



I long for the day that Sunderland put as much effort in as the gents that wrote about Shakespeare & Gary Neville (Beckham loves them both) earlier today.
Glenn (Even after seeing Ricardo play I never thought I’d call any Gabbiadini a tw@t) SAFC


When Johnny goes marching down the wing
Because its Friday and the talk all week has been of defenders’ goals, here’s a compilation of all the legend that is John O’Shea’s goals for United.

Almost all of them are great one way or another if not for the man’s reactions more than anything. The goal against Spurs is oddly similar to his famous strike against Germany for Ireland, both with the outside of the boot into the corner.

Alan, Córdoba.

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