Wednesday Wondering: What Wenger Wrought and What Will…

 He Do to Make it Right!

Midweek here and–after the extreme elements have said their piece–gloated, groaned, and given up on the season after one match–the more level headed in the Arsenal world are working to diagnose (and dissect) what went wrong in the opener with an eye to how we can improve things this coming Sunday at Selhurst Park.

We all had hoped the feel-good factor from our perfect pre-season would translate into an easy opener.  West Ham United had other ideas and manager Slaven Bilic used their more rigourous efforts in the Europa League qualifiers to craft a perfect strategy to counter our attack.  Married that to a day when everything went well for them–and nothing fell our way–and, like a blast from our cannons, Arsenal are staring up at everybody else from the foot of the table.

Beyond the muted calls for a new manager, the louder ones for a new striker and the lols around the mistakes from our lone signing of the season, goalkeeper Petr Cech, analysts are criticizing the narrowness of our attack, our confusion at set pieces and overplaying out of our own box.  To be frank, mistakes were made, but our attack also played into the hands of a very solid West Ham central defence.   As much as Cech might have blown his chances, Adrian did very well with his.  Ogbanno and Reid also were outstanding ahead of the West Ham keeper, helped a bit by another central defender, James Tompkins, filling in for our ineligible loanee, Carl Jenkinson.

To add insult to injury (although I believe we made it through the match with no new injuries, at least…), 16 year old Reece Oxford, a guy even Spurs rejected (!), did a job ahead of the central pairing in a defensive mid-field spot.  The best of all the tweets to come out of the match was a joke about things found in a 16 year-olds pocket: chewing gum, cell phone, Mesut Ozil.  Good humour always contains an element of truth.  In my view it wasn’t so much Oxford containing our playmaker but rather too many of our own guys crowding that central space making us far too narrow in attack.

One of them was our breakout player from last season, Francis Coquelin.  Instead of focusing on the basics and moving the ball on quickly then retreating, his passes and runs were far more adventurous–and often misplaced.  Personally, I thought his push to the end line and pull-back for Giroud was one of our best moments in attack, but it did seem symptomatic of our rush to get that first goal.  That it was Le Coq doing it spoke (to me) of the desperation we were feeling–even at nil-nil.  A similar sense of desperation may have caused Coquelin to break back towards goal on their set piece, eliminating any chance for the play to be call back for offsides.  At 2-nil the manager sacrificed the player, but our attack looked little improved and too many bodies (too central and too far forward) did not swing the advantage our way.

That match is history and the quicker we can put it behind us the better.  Optimists hope that the wake-up call coming early can work to our advantage.  Perhaps it will motivate Wenger to get more serious in the transfer market.  Maybe it will show the players that they cannot simply show up in the shirt and walk away as winners.  I’m not so sure.  Confidence has been dented (if not crushed) and now it must be restored.  How then, do we do it?

Some suggest that Wenger must ring the changes and come with an all-out attack.  Before the West Ham match much of the discussion was on Giroud or Walcott–or why not both?  That last tactic was employed at the end of the match but it resulted in little progress.  Throwing in Alexis didn’t help either.  The Hammers didn’t muster much on the counter, but then again, with a two goal lead, they didn’t need to.

I believe Wenger will not tinker too much.  If he thought Alexis was ready for a super-sub cameo after 6 days with the club, my bet is that he’ll believe in him that much more after two weeks.  As such, my guess is a reversion to the sort of lineup which was so successful last Spring.

This means moving Santi Cazorla back alongside Coquelin at the rear of our midfield.  Alexis takes up his role on the left side of attack with Giroud as the focal point up front.  The big question is what happens on the right.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looked bright over there, but perhaps less so trying to dribble the ball out of our own box and into the feet of Mauro Zarate who took a touch and then blasted to the near corner to double our deficit.  Does he get dropped for the mistake or does he receive the pat on the back (for his direct play going forward) and keep his spot?

Aaron Ramsey, who started many a match in the wide-right role last Spring could be moved there.  Like the Ox, his tendency will be to push into central spots, but, even if Wenger would like him to supplant Santi or Le Coq in a DM role, he at least has some familiarity with the wider role.  It might also force him to work a bit more with Mathieu Debuchy, whom he looked off while in acres of space, opting to take a daisy-cutter of a shot which rolled wide of goal and out of play instead.

Then there’s Theo.  His whole career has been accompanied by the question of whether or not he can play alone up front.  With so much time lost to injury he’s normally had to contribute from a wider position and has gotten quite capable in using his pace to push balls out wide and bring them across.  Is it a shot or is it a cross?  It’s a Theo ‘shot-cross,’ patent pending!  While they can cause all sorts of havoc and can go in for goals–just ask those ManU fans who saw one do just that in our match late last season–they don’t have the look of deliberateness and control so many of us crave.

Nobody knows what Wenger is thinking but my hunch is that the question, I believe, is out there on the right side of our attack.  That’s just me, of course.  What do you guys think Wenger needs to do?  It’s probably too early to say that he simply “doesn’t know,” but perhaps losing two-nil at home to the lowly Hammers is two-nil too much.  Can we (he) refigure this current group for success or should he send Steve Bould to the touch line while he works on transfer business?

In other words, have at it, and tell us what you think the manager should do.  It’s Wednesday, after all, and we need to get this last match in the rear-view and get Palace firmly into the cross-hairs.

By 17highburyterrace

75 thoughts on “Wednesday Wondering: What Wenger Wrought and What Will…

  • Sorry but the best play last year was when Theo was playing the striker role. Ignore his contribution for a moment and just think back too how good Alexis, Santi and Ozil looked by his self less runs. Thats where the problem lies. Giroud. And that has been the problem since RVP left. we have been living on past reputation of fluidity and attacking football whilst Giroud, static, poor finisher has led the line. Our attacking reputation was only restored last season when we hammered a very Pulis organised WBA who were coming of a victory over the champions and then Aston Villa who were revived under new management and under extreme pressure as we were expected to win.

    Wake up and join others who have just started to understand what Henry was talking about.

  • Ozil wide right, Alexis left, Carzola 10, Ramsey box to box, Coq DM and Walcot striker. Back 5 non issue.

  • Good post Total…

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Arsene doesn’t go again with the same XI, maybe set out a bit differently, with Cazorla alongside Coquelin…

    Last Sunday was a bad day at the office.
    If our players perform to the standard that we know they can deliver, at Selhurst Park, then it’ll be like watching a different team…

  • Yes, Giroud holds the ball well for our more central midfielders to link up. Unfortunately non (Ozil, Carzola, Ramsey, Wilshere) has proved to be a consistent goal scorer like Pirez or Lampard.That leaves us with very little. On the other hand these our midfielders all have eye for runners, which Giroud is not, but which Sanchez and Walcot are. Walcot is the better runner, but Sanchez, a good runner, is a far more rounded player. So Sanchez top, Walcot left wide and there would be end products to our game.

  • Hey guys, busy busy so just checking in… Welcome to the site, Mark & Pony Eye… Allezkev, I wrote the post, not TA…I’ve added my by-line at the bottom, but also changed the title as it might be offensive to some…

    The wake up and smell the Henry stuff is a bit tough on Ollie, I think. My feeling is that AW lets his wide attackers do as they please rather than stapling them to the touch line. As such, a guy like the Ox was far too central far too often. The same can be said about Santi (or Alexis if he starts wide-left), but everybody knows he’s going to work towards the inside more often than not… My point is that even if the starting formation looks like a 4-2-3-1 it’s really a 4-5-1, esp. if guys like Le Coq are given the freedom to come all the way to the end lines…

    Anyhow, at least Mark and Pony believe we have the talent at hand to solve the issue…

    IMO credit should be given to Ollie (and Theo when he came on…) for moving the ball out wide while the others clogged the middle. It’s a team game and we need to use our heads to spread the pitch. Please see Total’s previous post. These, perhaps, are the “nerves” AW mentioned post-match… If it were me, I’d drop the Ox, move Rambo wide right but be ready to bring in Theo on 55 or 60 mins if we need a goal(s)…

    That’s just me, of course…and YMMV…Ok, gotta run…

  • I shall blame myself for our demise !………………for the past Dennis knows how many seasons I have been pessimistic in thinking that we would not even get 4th place, the first time I think we are going to compete for the title ends up with me now looking at this Sunday as an …SBS……Squeaky Bum Sunday !….and that’s normally reserved for the last EPL game of the season !. hahaha

    Interesting fact !……..Cech was only on the losing side once at home with Mmmmourinho in charge !……one game at home under Arsene and he has a 100% loss ratio !. 😆
    I`m not going to go on about goalies but goalie was never my main position for spending some serious cash !….personally I think and hate that saying that decent goalie will save you 15 points a season, who the fcuk knows whether Szczesny would have had a better or worse game !.
    Spend the cash on the position where it matters most, the position where it will really can have an outcome at the end of the season…… SQ striker !.
    Nearly every fcuker is improving their squad, which will make it possibly no easy games at all !. Mansour City come second and buy Sterling……………we buy a goalie and Wenger is adamant that we don’t need a striker or probably anyone else !………does he remember our injury record and as we speak, Rosicky is out for 8 weeks to join…Welbeck and Wilshere !.
    As a big mouth shareholder blabbed …..but true to the point !……we have £200M sitting in the bank and could buy anyone under Messi and Ronaldo !……………..fcuk me !……..Stokalona are spending more than us !.
    I`ll let Le Coq off seeing as that was his one and only bad game since he came back from Charlton, but just keep it simple please and I wont have to say….Le Coq Sucked !.
    I had Palace to be a harder game than WHam in my eyes……………we`re fcuking doomed !…………………ahhh…. that felt better !. 😆

  • Nice one Cockie, always good to hear the view from behind the sofa… 😀

    Indeed, Pardieu may have stolen a trick on us by spending (relatively) big on Cabaye… Maybe they’ll come into this one in overconfident mind, having taken a good 3 pts at Norwich… Personally I think we can play a little more freely AWAY from the big ticket crowd. On the road, both the team and the support know we’re up against it…

    It’s not a good situation and the stat on Cech and home matches does nothing to warm my heart…Hopefully he’ll get his hat on straight and do better…Ospina, of course, isn’t a bad 2nd choice…

    Again, just my opinion(s)… 🙂

  • Good stuff Seventeenho 🙂

    I am with Allezkev this time. Little or no changes but maybe Ramsey on the right instead of Ox, with CoCa in the double DM.

    Off to bed for a long drive through the highlands tomorrow. 🙂

  • @TotalArsenal (August 12, 2015 at 15:12) from previous blog post:
    {‘Perhaps surprisingly, it is Arsenal, so often accused of outdated tactical strategies drilled by an ageing coach..’ Oh dear oh dear, and you still felt like copying this to all of us, JM?! 😦

    Sorry, what a load of bollocks. Santi has done well centrally deep, but the it is Wilshere, with Ramsey a close second, who fits the bill of the all round, modern midfielder best, unfortunately he is injury prone and does not get enough protection in the PL.}

    Those are not my from own words, but that is what has been so often laid out by the press and media (traditional & social alike) with an unqualified reasoning, that The Arsenal are “so often accused of outdated tactical strategies drilled by an ageing coach”. Whether readers choose to believe in what is written, facts or factions, is their own choices.

    You also did not mention the second part of that same paragraph and the rest,
    {{“Recognising the new necessities, Arsene Wenger shifted Santi Cazorla from a high playmaker position to a deeper role at the beginning of last season.
    The impact has been monumental, and leaves Arsenal looking capable of a title challenge for the first time in a decade (and may be partly why they lost last Saturday, instead fielding the industrious Coquelin).”

    It seems symbolic that the Premier League would begin to catch up with Europe not by innovating or cultivating young players to new and challenging positions, but instead by pulling a 30-year-old playmaker back and sticking him in unfamiliar territory.”

    “But in Cazorla’s shift, we see how the standards of modern football have dramatically risen; as tactical strategies become hyper-intelligent, interconnected swarms, and as the technical quality of the individual continues to increase, the modern central midfielder must now boast all the traits – dribbling, agility, speed – of an attacking playmaker, while maintaining the composed passing and defensive poise that the position has traditionally required.”}}

    So does the entire post still reads as a “load of bollocks”? Or is it a perception formed from a personal point of view by only emphasising selective sentences from the entirely of a post?


    Wilshere is a non-factor currently, until he is ready to prove his fitness in continuity through seasons, away from injuries. The manager has utilised him recently (in the ending part of last season and pre-season) in a more offensive role in attacking midfield (centre or flanks).

    Ramsey has a good engine to last an entire match, though he is still to master his timing in picking the key moments to either support the team offensively or stay back defensively. His out-balls from deep and under pressure is to be improved.

  • @17HT on this blog post:

    I stick with my previous midfield-attack line-up of (Cazorla, Ramsey-CM; Ozil-AM; Walcott & The OX support Giroud). Alexis will be involved at some point from the bench, only his 2nd competitive match after returning to our squad to up his match fitness. He will be a key element when we face Liverpool, after Palace, next week.

    Defence line-up will have to wait on the the availability of Bellerin (at full fitness, not to be risked if half-fit). If he plays, Mertesacker-Koscielny-Monreal can retain their roles. With Debuchy deputising, the balance of his other defensive members may be tweaked.

    The Bellerin+Monreal; Debuchy+Gibbs combi offers a balance in defensive & offensive capabilities on our flanks. Bellerin+Gibbs is offensive-oriented; while Debuchy+Monreal is defensively-oriented. (The fullbacks’ better attributes in their attacking and defending games)

    Still, this (defensive line-up, whoever shall start) is secondary to the spotlight on our attacking players: to live up to the high standards we are capable of in our combination play and open our accounts (hopefully leading to a win) in the new PL season. We simply have to start scoring goals again.

  • Guys,

    If I am Le Prof I will start the lineup that ended preseason with a bang.. if Bellerin is still out then Debuchy on the right back position and Gabby to make up for the lack of pace. Gibbs should come in for Nacho.. when Nacho is under pressure he will crack.

    So I am preparing for an opponent that plays like last weeks opponent.


  • Very well-written post 17.

    I think we just have to stick to basics. As you’ve said play Coq next to Santi. Tell Ox to not try and do it all by himself. Tell Coq to move it to our better users (after all it is an area of his game that the manager didn’t like prior to last season). Take nothing away from Le Coq…he has an impressive passing range…but everyone ahead of him is better.

    The hysteria this week has been out of control. It’s the first game for crying out loud. I just wish we had a mid-week game so we could all put it in our rear-view mirror.

  • All

    I’d echo Oz and many others. To me, in order, the critical things to get right next weekend:

    A. Composure and patience on the ball, less frenetic

    B. Width = Santi back centrally, Coq way back shielding (almost a roving 5th back), wide guys staying wide and coming in only one at a time (as Ozil does move out then), which will give us space and motion that ain’t all straight up field.

    C. Same 11 …. Give or take Bellerin but it seems he’s out still…

    Cheers — JGC

  • Oz

    From last post. I’ve the same Skype name and I’m findable as you know. Happy to offer academic career advice…. The nose bleed you refer to is doable with some thoughts to how you integrate all aspects of work efficiently, along with the rest of life…. 🙂

    Cheers — JGC

  • Hahaha Here`s a better view from behind the Sofa !.

    A question !………do you want her to be right and we buy Benzema or do you want her to be wrong and she gets punished ?………………….auditions to do the punishing are in Venezuela !………the queue for the audition is currently just outside my gaff in Cornwall !………… tell the truth, I couldn`t wait that long after watching her video and ended up punishing myself !.

  • JM, clearly those were not your words but you felt that somebody who wrote such bollocks was still worth quoting, which reflects badly on you cause you must believe there is at least some truth in it. It is an insult to Arsenal and Wenger and could not be further from the truth. And no, what the journalist wrote after that was not interesting but just as naive. But if it rocks your boat keep floating. 🙂

  • Don’t put words in my mouth TA, what do you know about me believing in which are facts or fictions when quoting something from an article.
    (That article was in writing 3 pages long so I have quoted the full length of it from the 1st to 3rd page, where the controversial sentence was made on Arsenal & AW only on the 3rd page).

    The main piece of the article is a discussion on “The modern central midfielder: why the Premier League is struggling in Europe”)
    1st page

    “The modern all-round midfielder is an agile dribbler who shifts and slaloms away from trouble, is a composed distributor who links the lines, and is an intelligent presser and tackler, flitting across the pitch performing multiple roles.”

    So agree with the above paragraph? or is that a “shitload of bollocks”, ie “┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐!”

    And you did also mention Wilshere & Ramsey being closest with what we have for a modern midfielder… quote {Santi has done well centrally deep, but the it is Wilshere, with Ramsey a close second, who fits the bill of the all round, modern midfielder best}, so you would have agreed on at least part 1 of 3 of the article. So some truth in the article, and some fiction at the end, not entirely balderdash (“load of bollocks”).

  • Hey guys, stop calling each other names.

    Just drop Rambo from alongside DM position and put back Santi in there.

    Case closed.

  • Interesting post 17! I really hope Arsene doesn’t persist with playing players out of position this season and forces players to genuinely compete for their place in the staring line up. The West Ham game though was not a good omen, with Cazorla on the left wing and Ox on the right. This is the way I see Arsenal’s squad at the moment in terms of the players’ best positions (no order of preference):

    GK – Cech; Ospina
    RB – Bellerin; Debuchy
    CB – Mertesacker; Koscielny; Gabriel; Chambers
    LB – Monreal; Gibbs
    CDM – Coquelin; Arteta;
    CM – Ramsey; Santi; Flamini
    CAM – Ozil; Rosicky;
    RW – Wilshere; Campbell
    ST – Giroud; Walcott; Welbeck
    LW – Sanchez; Ox

    I really hope the Cazorla/Ramsey on the wing experiment stops pretty quickly. Even at the back end of last season when Ramsey was shunted to the right wing, it messed with the rhythm of the team’s attacking play, as take ons are neither players’ strength but an inherent requirement of the team’s wing roles (as demonstrated by Sanchez last season).

    With the Ox, I would prefer to see him competing with Sanchez for a spot on the left wing and asked to play a similar direct attacking role to that of the Chilean. Given Ox’s pace and effectiveness at directly taking opposition fullbacks on, I think he would be a sensation in the left wing role which would also hopefully provide him with better shooting angles to improve his goal scoring record.

    I’d like to see a similar type of duo deployed on the right wing (i.e. direct left footed – in this instance – attacking dribblers), but the squad seems deficient in that regard. I’ve proposed Wilshere and Campbell as options for that position as both are effective left footed dribblers with the apparent ability to play direct. Their goal scoring exploits are lacking but that could be attributed to a lack of game time and/or being asked to perform to many different roles in the team.

    With the fullbacks often providing the team with attacking width, I think there is a real opportunity for the club to deploy more direct, dribbling wingers this season to help balance our attack. Sanchez showed the way in the left wing role last season and I’m hoping that style of wing play can be replicated on Arsenal’s right side of attack this season.

    That said, I won’t hold my breadth.

  • Hey 17. Good post. Sorry gang. Been out for a min. Ahh. Last Sunday was a bad day at the office. Not something I’ll like to overthink. I however thing santo is the best partnership for coq in the middle and the sooner Ramsey gets back to his best the better for him. One ambitious shot he took when he shoulda passed to the of stands out for me in that game. That was foolish and too hopeful. Anyways I have confidence we’ll beat palace. Not too fazed about that. But we need to buckle up tho. A lotta other clubs had good buys over the summer and I think even mou is slightly shook. We can’t afford to let games like west ham at home happen again.

    Side note. I noticed the site has changed somewhat and I can’t find the tab for the umf league. Is it not happening this season or has the fantasy league replaced it somewhat?

    That’s my 2 cents anyways. Have a good day guy.

  • Really enjoyed that video, Oz…

    First time I’ve seen our lads in action.
    Great goals by Akpom and Toral, whilst Maitland-Niles looked impressive.

    Early days, but we seem to have a great clutch of promising youngsters, maybe 12 months away from really pushing on for 1st team recognition.


  • Total, seems that Bellerin and Alexis could be in contention for this weekend…

    If they do the biz in training, I think if have both back into the starting XI, with immediate effect…

    What do you think?

  • That is good news, Allezkev. The line up is not so much my worry, but getting the team to control the game and play with deadly composure is. In a way, I want to see the same line up and the boys playing out of their skin to win the game. Cannot wait till Sunday. CoyG!

  • @ Allezkev

    I’ll definitely have to post those videos when they come out (the creator does a good job) and it’s always nice to see what our loanees are up to.

  • JM, let me say it differently: why do you take a journalist who says this about Arsenal and Arsene serious, and quote this part into your original comment? I assume you are a Gooner and know how Arsene made Arsenal survive with very limited funds over the last ten years? What do you think it was, luck or his tactical strategies?

  • TA, its luck. Sometimes his tactical strategies backfired and that cost us titles.

    The past few years as you guys have already known we were inconsistent. That was due to lack of depth and tactics.

    Now we have depth but tactics fail us as we mainly do not have a plan B..

    We were only lucky not to have lost more.


  • @TotalArsenal (August 13, 2015 at 23:05)
    Same answer to all the questions: A total package.

    We take in the facts, the fictitious and the controversial as the whole; then acknowledge the facts, dispel the fictitious and challenge the controversial.

    It was neither luck nor his tactical strategies that AW & Arsenal survived till now; it was primarily with the backing and support from the much maligned board and the senior management (Kroenke, Gazidis, Hill-Wood etc) that we managed to have AW with us for 20 years and thus he is able to continue his plans and achievements with us. We don’t see that in almost 99% of other clubs around the world.

  • @ JK

    we had a plan B in the second half of last season. I think injuries had more of an impact on Arsenal winning titles

  • @oz gunner if u feel that plan b is defemd to the death then yes.

    Nope its not just the injuries.. we have depth sometimes the past few seasons but something else is missing.


  • JK. How long have you been following Arsenal? The suggestion that we maintained top 4 in the last 10 years due to luck suggests not that long? Perhaps I have misread your comment

  • AB definitely more than 10years.. 🙂

    Luck definitely is one thing, but Wenger was brilliant in the past but after the last trophy 10 years ago until the last couple of years he was brilliant as ever, but the squad failed him.

    If he is tactically better we would have won the league a few times in the past 10 years.

    I can say so but I can say compared to the King Chav tactically he is less superior. Not that I like the Chavs, being a gunners supporter my whole life, I feel that tactically Le Prof can be better.


  • Well, not a lot of comments here over the past couple of days…I guess we really need this next match to happen so that we can either a) get back on track, or b) move into full doom and gloom mode and start trotting out all the narratives from the past decade… Here, thus far, we seem limited to the idea that AW doesn’t do tactics… 🙄

    I’m never quite clear why some small proportion of supporters choose to blog. Venting frustrations seems a big reason, but so too does giving a vote for the various narratives in play. A lot of it may be about deflecting from the pain (of our addiction?…) through one-upsmanship… “I’m right, you’re wrong,” along with plenty of untestable ideas seems to make folks feel better? Maybe?…

    Anyhow, have at it, I guess…and if the notion that AW has been “lucky” makes people feel better about the all those times when they’ve declared the sky to be falling–but then it didn’t, i.e., those years when the doomers got it wrong…was down to luck…all the better. Even IF the sky did fall, we would curse and cringe but then re-group and try to figure ways to buy our way back into the top 4–like they’re doing up in Liverpool and the red side of Manchester. Maybe a real set-back IS what Arsenal (or at least Arsenal bloggers) need. A new manager to curse at would at least be different than always the same, always the same…

    For me, the opener was set-back enough…Time to get back on track, I say. OK, off to write the preview…

  • JM, so it was the Board that kept us in the top four and competitive for the last ten years; is that what you are saying? They sold every asset to our competitors and allowed only for young, unproven replacements but it had nothing to do with Wenger’s tactical/strategic genius to do what nobody else has been able to achieve at one club? 😕

  • FLO8 and Xavier…Cheers re: the post…

    X-man, I’m up a for a UMF competition but the blog is having enough trouble just hanging together as it is. We’ve lost a lot of regular writers and–clearly, see above–those who remain are plenty snippy with one another. I’ve got my own theories–mostly that Arsenal blogging is a function of the frustrations of a certain segment of the support. If those frustrations go away, what will we have to write about?… “Luckily” matches like the opener are always possible… 😀 😦

    FLO8, I never know what to say re: playing players in their correct positions. IMO, beyond the FBs we don’t have ANYBODY who actually wants to play out wide. JW, and Campbell on the right? Jack seems as central a player as anybody, and Campbell (I would guess) is done as an Arsenal player. Ox and Alexis on the left? Alexis plays as centrally as anybody and certainly it would be a new spot for the Ox (and one from which he’d be cutting inside as much as he could). Bottom line, AW has collected a group of guys who ALL want to play centrally. They need to sacrifice for the team, keep moving to stretch defenses and open spaces for their mates. Otherwise, new manager, new players and several seasons down the line we might have what you’re looking for…

  • @TotalArsenal (August 14, 2015 at 13:37)
    They could have done the worst: Give Arsene Wenger the boot earlier, when the club’s results and performances are dismal, if they are glory hunter-owners like Real Madrid, Chelsea, PSG etc.

    No Arsene = the rest of the equations are irrelevant. End of story.

  • Cockie Monster,
    I to blame your lack of dooming on the West Ham result :/
    I did ask you where your dooming was a few weeks ago but you may have missed it. lol

    I must say i am pretty nervous about the Palace game.
    They have a very good looking team now, Pardew as he did at NUFC has brought very very well and being another London derby. I myself would welcome a 1-0 win just ground out with a no thrills performance. Of course i would prefer a 5-0 thrashing instead but i think a well fought out win would also be as good right now.
    We have to win , lets not forget we have Liverpool next. and must pick up points, i hear Monreal saying we must put in a perfect performance v Palace but do we?? We must win is what i am saying.
    As TA said we need to control the game and be patient and cleaver.
    C O Y G

  • Also i would like to see Monreal stick to Yohan Cabayh or how ever you spell it like glue as he will know how he plays from his time together at Newcastle or at least tell the lads how to defend against him.

  • JM
    Wenger is a football god!
    I am shocked that some still cant see the sacrifieses he has made for our club, putting him self in the firing line. When Real , PSG and many others all wanted to sign Wenger even in the bad times as they understood what he was doing.
    He is the best manager in the world, Only Sir Alex had himself on par with him.

  • @TotalArsenal (August 14, 2015 at 16:19)
    Hello sunshine,
    I am not avoiding the question, and gave a very relevant answer. Would anyone be still talking about “Wenger’s tactical/strategic genius”, should our board gave him the boot earlier?

    You got to be subjective to the matter, our board is not perfect; but they sacrificed the captains & lieutenants(whatever players that were sent away) in the squad and supported the general(Arsene) by letting remain and do his work for the last 20 years with us. Where many other clubs were doing the opposite.

    “Maybe you should stick to looking at footie cards.”
    To this, I’d say, “What a shitload of bollocks, and “┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐!”

  • That said he may still be stuck a little in business mode from the stadium building mode, but he will fully snap out of it soon.
    I would like to see him buy 1-2 warriors , big strong lads, like Petit and Viera and Sol Cambpell.
    I think that is all we could do with adding, as a most needed aspect.

  • ……………………………….Cech,,…………..
    ……………………………Le Coq…………………….
    …………………………BIG Ollie…………………..

  • @proudgooner (August 14, 2015 at 16:31)
    Can you comprehend my sentences clearly? Don’t put words into my mouth, I was talking about our board giving AW the support and continuity that he has for the last 20 years in our club, where clubs like Real Madrid, PSG & Chelsea like would have given him the boot for not achieving results and winning trophies year in/out.

    Those clubs would have given him the sack, even for past glories he had achieved because they are only concern about the glory now and future — greed. AW wouldn’t have lasted 20 years with any of them as he has with us.

  • lol
    I can’t believe you cant understand the bigger picture JM
    TA can, Wenger has now explained it , the whys, hows and tough years. etc.
    Plus City, Chelsea and money buying glory dirty money club, WE ARE NOT. very proud of that i am, as i know TA is
    Maybe you really should stick to football cards.

  • Oh i am sorry if i miss read.
    So you are saying that you are glad we still have Wenger.?

  • I am looking forward to getting Welbeck back fit, i think he will have good season.
    If some can’t trust Wenger to put together a great side, after the invincables and being the most points winner in the 2nd half of the season, then they never will .
    Plus back to back FA cups. It crazy that people question him still and cant understand he single handly paid of the clubs morgage on the stadium

  • OMG .. City, Chelsea, PSG are made to become glory dirty money clubs because the change in directions their new owners have taken; Real Madrid & Barcelona are politicised clubs given a free rein and supported by their royal Castille and Catalan factions respectively.

    I am just glad the Arsenal institution, the board and management has remained level-headed in most of their undertakings (they are not perfect, of course), and one of which is we still have Arsene Wenger at our club (and whatever tactics, genius and luck that he has brought with him).

    We could have been under Usmanov’s regime which could turn out differently.

    @proudgooner (August 14, 2015 at 16:44)
    Don’t worry, I court controversies as part of my work.

  • Hell no JM,
    Please don’t tell me you are questioning Wenger in his Midfield dept.??

  • Glad you like the board and Wenger’s loyalty and wise headed backing of Le Boss genius pheew

    No drama but you should cut out the fingers, kids on this site etc.

  • TotalArsenal (August 14, 2015 at 16:39)
    {{I rest my case, JM. You really don’t have a clue.}}

    Oh I do. Very simply, without our board’s (past & present) support and faith in continuity, AW won’t be with us for 20 years.

    No board support = No AW, and the talk about his tactical genious, his luck, his genious becomes irrelevant.

  • You are avoiding his question.
    It was a simple question, It was Wenger alone that kept us in the top4 though the toughest years in the clubs history. That is all he asked , tbf the board is irrelvant in that situation.

  • AW is great, but for me personally, the institution always comes first, i.e. The Arsenal (and its owners).

    Before highlighting Arsene’s genious and tactics that led us these 20 years, we must acknowledge that our club and its owners have given him this very precious platform to work his magic.


    @proudgooner (August 14, 2015 at 16:59)
    “Please don’t tell me you are questioning Wenger in his Midfield dept.??”

    My opinion in our midfield department is that: It is our bread, butter and jam of our squad, more so then most other teams, because of the way AW sets our squad to play – a fluid offensive-oriented one that goes emphasise lots of movement, passes and transitions. The midfield area is the battleground where most of these happens in a match.

    Recently, the proportions are not too good, so our sandwich (end product) tasted odd.

  • I hear what you are saying but this is my take on it.
    Wenger and or board members.
    “we need a bigger stadium”
    “We are playing the best football the world has ever seen or at least in England”
    ok lets all sit round the table and talk about this and how we can go about it.
    Wenger took the lead on this, took all the harsh critics, sold the players he made great.
    Had a rough time from the fans who did not understand.
    What i am saying is it was all planned and with out Wenger it was just not possible!
    Has gave us great football on fish and chip money kept the grounds full and in the CL
    Of course they backed him if they did not it could have been very bad.
    But yes the board do deserve some even a lot of credit of course.
    No is the time to pluck the fruits of the harvest. 😉

  • @proudgooner (August 14, 2015 at 17:09)
    I am not avoiding the question.

    Where would AW be doing his good work, if our board gave him the boot instead of selling our “star” players in that difficult period. That “AW remained with us, kept us in the top4 though the toughest years in the clubs history”, isn’t this what our board (past with Hill-Wood, Dein; and present with Kroenke & Gazidis) retained AW with us for 20 years and gave him this platform to do his good work (tactical genius, good luck, managing the new teams etc).

    So, fundamentally, at the base level, our board’s decision to stick with AW is relevant to what our manager is being given the opportunity with us (and not some other clubs) for the last 20 years to do his good work.

  • So Total Football, is right its Wenger that takes the credit.
    How is your sticker book coming on anyway lol

  • Hey folks… I think we’ve got some confusion here, but always inneresting how things escalate so quickly… 😦

    I get what JM is saying–the sound management by AW might never have been seen if the board had been short-sighted. True dat, but hardly a revelation… TA, I’m pretty sure it was JK, not JM, who answered that Arsenal were just lucky to have never dropped from the CL places… Credit to JM for continuing to explain himself, maybe a bit less for the emojis… 😀

    A longer view is ALWAYS difficult and sacrificing one’s own ego for the good of the club, whilst the definition of exactly what individuals should do, is rarely seen in practice (practise?)… To my mind, AW has been the best in the regard and deserves credit…

    OK, gotta run… Almost done with the match preview but it’ll be a couple of hours before I get it out…

  • what came first the chicken or the egg???????

    Without the great football that Wenger brought we would have not needed such a great stadium

  • I think Wenger will make signings before the window shuts by the way.
    He has let 10 players go, there is no way at least 1 or 2 aint coming in.

  • I’ll be frank (and controversial) in that I was ready to cut ties from our club with the foreign owners invasion to the PL. Chelsea, United, us, Pool, City and even mid-table and lesser clubs got new foreign owners and created a new norm … a real “Premier” league era.
    We got the lesser evil in Kroenke.


    @proudgooner (August 14, 2015 at 17:31)

    How about The Arsenal (institution and owners/directors – principally Dein) recruiting an relatively unknown Arsene Wenger from Nagoya Grampus in Far East (Japan) to our club, through the transition of club ownership, giving him platform, support and continuity to manage our club for the last 20 years.

  • TA,
    Out of curriousity , who or what is your team in Holland?
    I am surpised that Wenger has not brought another Dutchman, he has always had a great Dutch player, maybe he might find us 1 before it shuts.?

  • hmmmm, got me with that 1, i thought i put this 1 to bed lol
    David Dien was very important indeed.

  • United or Van Gaal, who i cant stand.
    Sold RVP for £3,750,000.
    If i was Wenger and found out he was that cheap i would have snapped him up for 1 or 2 more seasons, even after his Judas betral
    Mind you we sold Podolski for peanuts, just a couple of million i believe
    Very sad really, you know he knows he made a mistake when he said goodbye to united and Arsenal fans on twitter after the sale.
    I wonder if we could snap Huunterlaar up on the cheap.?

  • JM, I’m still not totally clear on where you stand, but yes, all things are inter-related… :zen man:

    When it comes to big money in football, I can see why most fans favor a sugar-daddy. AW was fairly smart (I think) in bringing on an owner with a longer-term perspective. The other American owned clubs haven’t fared as well, although many would argue that the title under Fergie were worth the transitional pains under Moyes and LvG. They’re sure spending some money these days, which, I guess, is what the people want…

    On that note, PG, RvP’s sale price is cheap but it had to be because the Turkish club will be taking over his contract. AW is trying to build a (real) team so it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to pay an aging striker (with injury issues) 30% more than our highest earners (Ozil, Alexis and Wenger himself), who would probably be a super-sub, at best. Besides, he burnt his own bridge… IMO…

    That said, Theo is now on very good money and is maybe only a super-sub himself… see upcoming post… 😀

  • Hi PG !. 😀

    Late getting back to you, but I have millions of women to dribble at when delivering around the sunny Cornish beaches !.

    Way too early to start dooming after just one game, give me until at least 3:30pm Sunday ! 😆
    Palace is already a Must Win Game as it stands with Manshafter winning atm !.

  • Just read this headline on newsnow………………………..” Apple is preparing to test its own self-driving car, according to reports “……………………………….thank fcuk for that, the quicker we can replace woman drivers the better !.

  • The Board’s loyalty to Wenger is significantly less relevant than Wenger’s loyalty to the club, which frankly is unique in top football. Wenger could have gone anywhere and continue to be very successful with unlimited budgets at his disposal. The club was, and still is, very lucky that Wenger stayed put where many others would have chosen the easy road. Comparing Arsenal in the last ten years with RM, Barcelona, PSG etc is of course utterly nonsensical: they were in a totally different financial position and so were their managers. The success of the club is due to the luck that Wenger is the loyal type, willing to sacrifice the most important years of his life to the club. It was Arsene who kept us afloat and close to the top and he did it with dwarfed funds and brilliant tactics. Only a fool Board would not have supported such a brilliant, loyal guy and there is no credit due here. The credit goes solely to Wenger and nobody else, and anybody who cannot see that loses any respect I might have had for them.

  • New Post…

    Not (politically) correct, Cockie (and offensive to some, of course)… Plus you’ve got it backwards… Driving on the left side and all… 😀

    TA, isn’t this the same guy (AW) you thought had taken the club as far as he could (on an occasion or two)… I guess that’s a separate argument, in truth…

    My take on the loyalty question is that there are times in life–that when you are with a good institution it can be good to marry you own success to its. As such, the Arsene-L thing appeals to me on a very deep level and (I think) it’s been good for both parties. He’s had to take unfathomable stick from those who live moment to moment (result to result) but seeing the bigger picture (maybe) has its rewards…

    Fingers crossed that his current group can come together, overachieve (vs the money-down-a-hole clubs) and do something really special. Even if they don’t, I feel it’s been worth the ride…

    But that’s just me… 😀

    LIke I said, New Post…

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