Arsenal’s Strategic Vision and Arsene’s Loyalty is What Sets Us Apart

Managers, in general, are treated like dirt.

Failure is in the eye of the beholder! 😉

Liverpool and Chelsea already changed their manager this season not even half way through it. Rodgers made Liverpool play some sublime football – in my view among the best football on show anywhere in Europe over the last few years – that was not that far away from being successful too, but the fans and owners did not stand by him and you have to be a hell of a manager to fight such collective doubt about you and come out as the winner. Klopp seems a good match for Pool but they still will have to be patient with him which is in very short supply.

The Chavs let Mourinho go a few weeks ago and this after winning the title with him just a few months ago. The self-adoring one had vowed he was going to stay at Chelsea for a long time and leave a legacy, but the so called ‘third year syndrome’ affected him once again. Mourinho’s niche is coming in at a top club, with top players already available, and then have an immediate impact, often helped by spending a lot of money. He puts his personality and energy into it as well, and that has led to a lot of successful albeit mostly boring football. But, after a while, he loses interest and the bad sides of his character become more and more to the surface, and this has been very entertaining for us Gooners over the last few months. 🙂

Mourinho has no staying power; so much has become clear now. If you end up near the relegation zone with a squad that just won the league and the team look clueless and without desire, then you literally don’t know what you are doing. The often branded tactical genius, even by fellow Gooners, turned out to be absolutely tactically clueless, seemingly unable to make changes to the team to get them back to winning ways. Jamie Carragher was spot on in his assessment: Mourinho has never been in this position before and just did not know how to get out of it. A specialist in turning failure round he will probably never be. Yet it was ridiculous that the Chavs’ BoD let him go so soon and not give him the opportunity to turn things round (unless of course he did not want to be at the club any more…).

Wenger had once again the last laugh but he did well to keep quiet over the departure of his nemesis who tried to ridicule him on many occasions.

We all know that flat-faced Dutchie, LvG, is a dead man walking at MU as the fans cannot stand the football their team plays nowadays, and they also believe they have a God-given right to beautiful winning football. This is of course good news for us. The lack of patience by the fans, and now their shirt sponsor as well, will lead to the sacking of LvG and the whole cycle of building success will start again; and there are no guarantees they will get it right any time soon, even if the hottest team manager ticket in town, Guardiola, decides to have a few years at the red side of eternally rain-wet Manchester. And what a blow it will be to them if restless Pep decides to replace – the equally to LvG job-vulnerable – Pelligrini in the summer!

Yesterday, Benitez was sacked by Real Madrid – Perez’s 10 managerial sacking during his Los Blancos reign ffs! – after just seven months in charge. Perez had sacked Ancelotti in the summer because he felt like it, and then appointed the highly unpopular Benitez instead…. because he felt like it. The most arrogant club management in the world by a country mile (yes even more than Chavs’) does just as it pleases and treats managers like entertainment-fodder – as if they are Roman Emperors flippantly entertaining a blood thirsty mob.

The lack of long-term vision and decision making and ability to stick with strategic decisions by so many clubs, is just ridiculous.

Van Gaal and Rodgers are managers who build towards long-term success based on a football philosophy, but, just as with any other businesses, success seldom or never establishes itself along a 45-degree upwards moving line.

There will be ups and downs, and the dips in performance and success can be severe; and yet, sticking to the strategic direction and plan remains key. If you get a guy like Van Gaal to manage your club, you have to give it 3-5 years to fully embed his philosophy and then start enjoying the fruit of all the hard work that has gone into recalibrating the club; his managerial record, with personal successes as well as good evidence of legacies left behind at clubs like Barcelona and Bayern – two powerhouses in the modern game – speaks for itself. Rodgers and Klopp are also ‘football-philosophy-implementation managers’; and the same goes, of course, for Wenger.

I am very, very glad that we have had visionary, business-like BoD members at Arsenal for the last few decades, and that Arsene Wenger is a loyal type by nature, which is of equal importance. By building the new stadium and achieving a sixteen year presence in the Champions League, Arsenal have established themselves at the very top of European clubs in terms of turnover and respect – all of this achieved through sensible business strategy and planning, whilst playing football the Arsenal Way. Everything is in place to translate this newly achieved status gradually into the shiniest silverware available, and then remain a national and European powerhouse for a long time to come.

I must admit I am not entirely sure whether Wenger is the man to get us to that next level of success, but given our recent successes and Arsene’s keenness to stay put and complete the journey – and of course a supporter’s duty to repay the loyalty given by him to Arsenal over so many years – I happily await and see whether he can do it.

And if not, everything will be in place for the then hottest manager ticket in the world to take over from him at THOF.

By TotalArsenal.

38 thoughts on “Arsenal’s Strategic Vision and Arsene’s Loyalty is What Sets Us Apart

  • Hi TA,

    I reckon you saw the news on Pep Guardiola wishing he could be at Emirates this coming season.

    My response to that:

    Wait 5 more years.
    I am all for Le Prof to continue his legacy, and the reason why 5 years is that he can still have the tactical vision for 5 years and beyond, but by the time he will be thinking of retirement.

    For those similar type of managers that failed along the way, it is because of the board and the players mental strength, rather than the managers.

    Look at our barren seasons after the Vieira era. Everyone is calling for Le Prof’s head, but the board stood by him and the players played well, finished in the top 4, but were criticised for the lack of consistency.

    We know that consistency is not something that can be bought. It needs time for the squad to get used to the tactical strategy of the manager and see what it has done to our title challenges this season. Even without Alexis we are well on top, Ozil making the most of his teammates running and that is not something we can do overnight.

    World footy is now more business than beautiful footy. We need to have more teams like we do, like Leicester city do so that football as we know it would return.


  • Well, TA, I’m fairly shocked nobody has commented on this one… People must agree completely with everything you’re saying… 😀

    I pretty much do so myself except that I think I have just a hair more faith in Wenger getting us to the “next level,” although I’m not quite sure what that is or if it’s actually possible (any longer) with the massive influx of money going into English football. Already we’re in the top 10 in terms of value of the club…

    In general, I think football is in a bubble which has to pop–and it’s actually worse in England. So much of the English speaking world is jumping on the bandwagon and picking favorite teams to support. The Arsenal brand, like the ManU brand before it, is heavily linked to an individual figurehead–one Arsene Wenger. Luckily he’s got the broad shoulders to handle it… Additionally, it’s a good brand, with strong values and (dare I say it…) morals. Now, if we could just lose the “lovable loser” tag…

    The consistent results, while the bane of those who say 2nd = 1st loser, speaks for itself, IMO. Still, many a Gooner has wanted Wenger gone during this period. This is due to many factors, but I would cite the raised expectations of the great Bergkamp and Henry led teams before the stadium move as a big one. An even bigger reason is that the supporters (and I use the term loosely here…) who cry the loudest usually have the least amount of self reflection and live and die with each moment as it happens. They’re addicted to the rush of winning and forever chasing that high… Every year (that we stay up) we have a 1 in 20 chance to win the league…And the odds are far lower in the tournaments… Should 19 PL managers get the sack each season?

    In the end football is an entertainment business and the supporter (the customer) is at odds with his club, the business entity selling the entertainment. (If winning the league is the standard, firing them all makes sense…) Switching managers, even if doesn’t help the club with long-term results, provides ‘change’ which is a form of entertainment. It’s the same reason that (almost) everybody wants to buy new talent in the transfer windows rather than appreciating what they already have. It doesn’t help that the game itself is mostly grinding away at a (very) difficult task, punctuated by (very) rare moments of glory, i.e., to the customer interested in entertainment, there isn’t all that much of it on the pitch. Easier to watch Match of the Day (to know who’s a star and who’s a goat…) or just read the scoreline and choose to feel good or bad depending on what it says…

    Finally, I think the manager switch–even at winning clubs–is also down to fetishism of individuality over the group, which is a mark of our (emerging, secular, global) culture. Even though football is a team game we talk about it in terms of individual figures who are responsible (again, for our happiness). Sense of community or tribalism–something outsiders really enjoy about the English game–is waning… (How many actually support their nearest club, for example…) Now it’s more like the first reality TV show (over here in the States…), “Survivor.” Each week the tribe speaks and another contestant is sent home. If football keeps going in that direction, like with “Survivor,” ratings will slip…

    Anyhow, those are some of my thoughts… Good piece, TA…

  • Oops, Simulpost with JK… Still, it took over 4 hours to get a single (or a pair) of comments…


  • Nice post TA.. So enjoyable.. hahaha..

    For me Arsene is Arsenal.. Arsenal is Arsene..
    I become Arsenal fans.. the same period when Arsene begin his long and lasting journey in Our Big Great Club.. Arsenal..
    Players come and go.. Managers come and go.. as Clubs also.. Arsene and Arsenal still there and more than that.. We always on the top table.. for more than 18 years..
    And Wenger didn’t stop at this point.. He also preparing Arsenal 10 years ahead.. to compete with big club in England and Europe..
    And I will be glad if Bergkamp be his successor.. like Enrique and now Zidane did..

    Some of us may pray and hope that Pep Guardiola will come and replaced Wenger.. but for me it’s sound like a fairy tale.. Guardiola maybe one of the best Manager ever.. but I don’t think he will be good for us..
    He is Mourinho with different body.. and of course different styles.. but I mean Pep is an adventurer like Mou.. He won’t stay for long.. cause he never really love the club’s.. and top of all.. he was Barca.. Hehehe..
    I never like anyone from Barca.. include Sanchez.. honestly.. hahaha.. luckily he only two years contamination there.. Hehehe.. We save him.. hahaha..
    Just look at Fabregas and Henry nowadays.. Will you admired them as much as before they came back from Barca..?? Not for me.. Henry was my superhero.. and Fab also.. but all gone as they came back from Barca.. They became different and bit sucks.. hehehe..

    So let’s hope and the best for Wenger cause he deserve that.. Let him leave his lovely Club with Glory.. this season and next season.. his 20th years dedication for Arsenal..
    Arsenal is Arsene.. He is our real legend.. more than Henry of course and also Bergkamp..

  • Ko Henry,

    Good comments.
    Pep is tactically different from Le Prof (or Nutty Professor, as the media call him).
    We play total football, while his philosophy is keep passing and maintain possession, which is part of the total football philosophy, but lacks in many areas, and are easier to breach as they maintain a higher defensive line.

    So if Pep comes in, we might not play to his strengths, and the PL is very different from other European leagues where they play more open football.

    Manc Sh**y is a place more suited for him, as his teams are always costly.

    To 17ht,
    I feel that ratings will rise as new managers coming in means different style of play and more people are eager to see what the new managers can achieve with their clubs.

    However, as we mentioned earlier, long term stability is important, but eventually also provides less entertainment as we keep seeing the same familiar faces with little movement.


  • Hi JK.. Happy New Year..
    Any new things in Singapore..??

    I’m very excited about Elneny.. how about you..??
    without Flamini.. will he be our starting eleven soon..??
    Stoke City will play more dangerous after lost last night against Liverpool..
    But hope they are a bit fatigue.. winning FA again 3 times in a row will be perfect..

    I love to see Ibra playing with us..
    Despite his ages.. He still dangerous..

  • JK.. hard to say about Pep style or Enrique style.. and Wenger style..
    I think Arsenal now different with ten or twelve years ago.. Yes we still play very much offensive.. but a little bit less offensive than before.. Maybe 10 years without any trophy make Wenger more realiatic than idealistic..

    I love total football verymuch.. that’s why I’m an Orange Holland.. Ruud Gullit.. Van Basten are my favourite before Bergkamp come and be my next superhero.. hahaha..

    And I’m agree with you.. We play more Holland (not thisday Holland) than Barca or Munchen..

  • Fine comments 84 and I especially liked the last line of your first comment, although I WOULD like clubs to act more like businesses as to be able to develop a long term strategy about the football they want to play and what they want to achieve in the next five years, recruit the right manager and stick by him or her and see it through. The latter means managing expectations of fans and the press through effective communications.

  • Cheers 17HT

    I know that this sort of post is prone to getting just a few comments but it had to be written as it really angers me how managers are treated and how unprofessional clubs are being run. The slightest adversity often leads to sacking the manager. This might be short term entertainment, but it is very costly in more than one way. Agreed with the general sentiment of your comment, although I believe BoD should be better in managing expectations and communicating with the fan base. At Arsenal this is done quite well imo.

  • @JK.. sorry for stoke city.. I’m wrong.. We will face Sunderland instead.. hehehe..

  • Thats the problem TA,

    Businessman does not have long term plans, at least most do not.

    That’s why businesses fail and some took off.

    The thing is that everyone is good to be a manager, but can you find one that suits the club to a T?

    Thats the difficult one.


  • Good businesses plan ahead and have a long term vision, 84.

    Picking the right person for the job is indeed not easy but that’s a key task for the BoD; they can always call me! 😉

    Key to it all is patience and belief and robustness when the going gets inevitably rough and tough..

  • That was a brilliant article as you mentioned TA.
    I grew up in Miami FL USA in the 60s-70s– and watched the American football Coach Don Shula take the Miami Dolphins– from just-after-humble-beginnings to greatness in just 2 years– winning back-to-back Super Bowls in 1972 and 1973 (having lost in 1971). Wenger’s meteoric rise and subsequent plateau-ing with AFC parallels the career trajectory of Shula in this sense.

    Shula reached the Super Bowl 3 more times– without winning- and was unceremoniusly discarded in 1995 after 25 years of building/running/maintaining an exquisite organization.

    As when the Dolphins jettisoned Shula– they brought in Jimmy Johnson who had great successes in 1992/93 winning Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson was gone within 3 years winning nothing.

    The Miami Dolphins. The loves of my youth. Have never approached that greatness– much less a level of ‘goodness’ in these past 20 years.

    So? While I do believe that Pep Guardiola might be the ‘one’ manager who appears tailor-made for AFC post-AW? Sometimes you must be careful what you wish for.


  • Cheers JW1, that’s a nice comparison and makes me wonder how a club can avoid such a scenario once a long serving successful manager finally departs…

  • Great subject and article T.
    I look at the madness Man U just to see how the lack of long term view and strategy can go. They have a huge size base and history, had just won the league, and have all the money a team could want spend.
    But their long time manager was just looking despeprately to go off into the sunset with a trophy, and didnt plan anything for the future, maybe even so far as to choose a successor who wouldnt outshine him. Even watching as the CLUB screwed up Moyes 1st important transfer window.

    Then, hiring a big name mgr, and throwing money around on players with no plan to get things to fit into place. No concept of cobesion. Wasted talent like Di Maria. Now maybe a team and manager that good players may want to avoid. A Guardiola could turn things around as far as recruitment…., BUT ……
    If what i heard was true, that he only want 3 year challenges at any club or city.. then im not interested in having him at Arsenal. That may be best for Pep, but not best for the clubs..
    Yes, he’ll leave bayern well off, because they will always dominate the bunddsliga, but in England, we’ve seen how a team can fall when a strong manager leaves with out caring about the near and long term future of a club.

  • I’ve only seen it occur twice in the NFL in a grand fashion– and in a strangely similar setting– as Jimmy Johnson replaced the Dallas Cowboys Tom Landry in 1989– where he then won 2 SB’s 2/3 years later. Landry had been the Cowboys ONLY Head Coach since the franchise was started in 1960.

    About the same time as the above George Seifert replaced Bill Walsh with the San Francisco 49ers– and continued that franchise’s dominance of the mid-80s into the late-80s/early-90s.

    And I’m sure 17HT would have some depth and insight on the 49ers dynastic decade.


  • Yesss TA !
    Quick question, if a friend is trying to go to see Arsenal at the camp Nou in March, any suggestions on best way to secure tickets?
    Anybody have idea?

  • Johnnie, those tickets will be in high demand, as I am sure you are aware. The season ticket holders will be the first ones who get access to the tickets and this will be done on points earned through attending Arsenal away games… Your friend would need to get a ticket through one of these privileged STH. Alternatively search the web and try and get a ticket from a tout… Or try and get a ticket on match day, no doubt paying through the nose for it… 😦

  • Thanks Henry 🙂

    That is what a site looks like who have lots of advertising…

    We have a better balance now between youth and newly bought and with Bellerin, Coquelin and Rambo we have seen great progress of players making it through. Jack would be there too if it wasn’t for the injuries, and nobody can say that the Ox did not get a chance to proof himself with almost 100 PL games played…

  • TA, come to think of it, and also, after whacking the Ox countless times before,

    He is a hard worker, and his best position is not on the wings. He is a clone of Rambo, abeit a beefier one, and 2 years old clone of the old Rambo.
    He runs around, waiting for passes to come his way, does back track but without the ball he sees the ball being passed around him.

    The situation he is in now is that Rambo is the free-roaming midfielder, but we cant afford the space if 2 free-roaming midfielders are to run the show. So, only Rambo is free to roam, sometimes exposing himself, and the rest of the team are in their positions to cover any holes he leaves open.

    The situation becomes worse for him if Elneny comes in, and we will see that very soon, the Ox disappears on the bench and only features in FA cup matches against lower league teams.


  • TA,

    That’s his worst position.

    He can make that position his if he brushes up on his defensive skills, which he can if he puts in effort.

    Can you please do the preview?


  • Ko Henry,

    Its confirmed.
    Freddie is back.

    Should we swap him for the Ox? Given his age he is still way better on the wings.


  • JK.. do you mean Ljunberg for Ox.. hahaha..
    Don’t you wish Henry for Giroud also.. hehehe..
    Poor Ox.. with Elneny coming and Welbeck return from injured.. Hard for him tobe our starting eleven.. Rumour about him to Chelsea maybe a bit ridiculous but somehow may be true..

  • Hey Fellas… Happy Friday…

    JK, I’ll have your match preview here in a few moments…Thanks for, er, asking, about it…

    Catching up with this thread… and some of the comments…

    I think the real question is can a truly competitive league–which we seem to have in England–co-exist with the clubs competing in true fashion with the biggest clubs on the continent. England is attracting managerial talent (with massive wages) in Klopp and Van Gaal–and soon enough with Guardiola–but still the horizon for results is SOOOO short and the more clever managers–following the Moo-man’s example–realize they will rarely finish out their contracts. Who cares as long as you still get paid?… As always in football, absence (from the game) makes the heart grow fonder… We have the Cockster here on BK who would take Me-rinho in a heartbeat, ManU have that guy who had the scarves made… :Rolls Eyes: How long before Rainieri is back in the elite handful of managers?… What about all of those who’ve done time in South Wales…Martinez is back on the up with mid-table Everton, Rodgers and Monk seem distinctly out of favor (favour)…

    Sorry JW-1, I can’t say too much about dynasties in our National Throw-ball League… I was a 49er fan in that era but only because my boyhood club (the Raiders) had moved away… Montana, Rice, Clark and Craig, plus that tika-taka offense–a pass IS a hand-off…Was all good fun…as was the winning… The game with the bigger (and more interchangeable) players seems improved these days–esp. if you like the brutality and the all-day atmospherics… I think they’ve done fairly systematic studies about the “myth of the manager (coach) firing” to prove that it’s better to stick with the same guy… Currently, I’m enjoying watching the coach-less GS Warriors but they’ve got a player who (just about) can call his own shot anytime he likes…

    That guy (Stephen Curry) is a revolution away from size and power and (back) towards (stunning) technique… Worth watching every minute, IMO…

    Bigger, faster, more powerful is the way forward in English football and they even have drugs which can get you there faster. Maybe that’s why the Chavs want the Ox over (fragile) Eden Hazard… I say let’s do the switch, but only if they throw in Doctor Eva…


    New post coming soon…

  • Sorry JK (and anybody else…) Somethings funky with my ‘puter and the word-press software and I have to run (ski actually…) so it’ll have to wait until (my) afternoon (i.e. 9 or 10 London time)…


  • Oops that’s supposed to be 17HT not TA…i.e., still trying to figure things out but gotta run…

    New Post in the offing but not til later…Sorry…

  • Well, TA, my timing is great as usual — not! 🙂 Everyone has said they are buggering off.

    Anyway, a really interesting Post on the world and the fate of managers. I do not have too much sympathy for them, to be candid, as I cannot think of any other career that allows you to spend other peoples money to build your own reputation, and also be paid huge money to do it — and then, make just as much if not more money for being a failure when you get the boot — and then going to the next club and restarting the cycle. A wonderful merry go round for the chosen few!

    The way multi-millionaires are made. Sympathy? Sorry TA – no can do. 😀

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